mont saint-michel, chateau de chambord or windsor castle- which to go?

I may have an extra day to spare for a castle trip. I will be visiting the Buckingham Palace, Versailles, Residenz and Nymphenburg Palace in Germany. Which castle do you think is the best to go to out of mont saint-michel, chateau de chambord or windsor castle in England? What are the characteristics to each castle?

Thank you!

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
9291 posts

People here will try to answer your question and will give their opinions.
But there's too much information on each one for anyone to give all the information you need here.
If you haven't already done so, you'll get much more information than we can provide by going to the website of each sight and looking at the extensive amount of photos and other information available for each. That way you can see which one seems to best match your interests.
Each of these is a world class sight and worthy of a visit.
Chambord is a French King's chateau (not, technically, a "castle").
Mont Saint-Michel is, well, you have to look at the photos (it's not a castle either).
Windsor is a castle and one of Queen Elizabeth II's homes.

Stay tuned for more info and opinions from others. But most important, do your own homework so you can decide which is best for you.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1903 posts

To avoid later surprises... MSM is not a castle. It's an ancient monastery and the community that grew around it. And it's still an active monastery, with the monks and nuns of the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem in residence.

Posted by Allie
130 posts

Go to the one that is easiest to get to based on your itinerary. How could you go wrong?

Posted by Teresa
610 posts

I'll say Windsor Castle. It's an easy train ride from London and makes a lovely day out. The castle is impressively fortress-y on the outside and pleasingly grand on the inside. The town of Windsor is touristy but not soul-crushingly so, and you can walk down the hill to Eton too.

I really liked Chambord, but there's not as much on the inside as there is at Windsor. It's a beautiful place though.

MSM looks and feels like a dream ... provided you're there after hours. It's too hectic otherwise. Also, as has been pointed out, if it's truly a castle you're after, MSM isn't what you want.

If you decide to go to Windsor Castle, do check their website to be sure the State Rooms/Apartments aren't closed on the day you plan to go.

Posted by Jenn
Rick Steves' Europe
291 posts

All three are good choices. You are already exploring many palaces so either of the three would add variety. For me, I would look at how much time you have to visit and from where you will be to determine the travel time. To reach mont St Michel it can take awhile. On public transportation there is no direct route. And truthfully I would stay the night if I went all that way. Its so much nicer at night and I really enjoyed my tour in the evening. Chambord can also take time to reach. If you are close to the Loire Valley then that's a good choice but I would also add Chenonceau. Make a day of exploring the chateaux's. You will be in Paris so if you can easily get to Amboise then from there you could reach the chateaux's. Windsor is really the easiest to reach on public transportation and wouldn't require an over night. Since you will be in London that might be the best pick. If all things were equal I would pick MSM and spend the night on the island but that's just my personal opinion.