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This is how much palaces around the world will cost to visit in 10 years

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Each year, millions of tourists visit famous castles around the world to have a glimpse into the lives of royalty – and this type of tourism is something that has fascinated people for years. Whether visiting Her Royal Majesty’s official London abode or the picturesque German palace that inspired Walt Disney, there’s something about wandering through ornate rooms and perfectly manicured gardens that makes visitors return year after year.

At Holidu, we have done some research to find out the price of visiting these castles and palaces in years gone by and compared these historical figures to today’s prices. Using this data, we have been able to predict how much a ticket to each royal tourist attraction will cost in 10 years time, as well as in the year 2050.

So, how much will they cost in the future?

Buckingham Palace, London, England

Home to the Queen of England, Buckingham Palace first opened its opulent State Rooms to the public in 1993 to pay for damage to 155 rooms at Windsor Palace caused by a fire the year earlier. This decision was a result of the Queen wanting to relieve British taxpayers of the burden of paying for the repairs, which cost £36.5 million. However, almost 30 years later, these opulent rooms are firm favourites for tourists visiting London, whether from the United Kingdom or further afield.

The price of visiting the State Rooms has increased over the years though, rising from £8 per person when they first opened to £30 today – an average of 4.66% (CAGR) each year. If this trend continues to 2050, the predicted price for an equivalent ticket would be a hefty £107.39. This would represent a total ticket price increase of just under £100 since opening (£99.61), or 1242.38% since the doors first opened in 1993.

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Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Another UK based royal residence, Edinburgh Castle is one of the oldest fortified places in Europe. One of the reasons that tourists flock to the fortress is to see the ‘Honours of Scotland’ – a Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State that were used in the coronation of Scottish monarchs. After Scotland and England were united under one crown in 1707, the Honours were locked in a chest in Edinburgh Castle and forgotten about for nearly a century. Thankfully, they were rediscovered in 1818 and have been on continuous display in the castle ever since.

Yet, despite its popularity, tickets for the castle have increased in price the least out of any attraction analysed, averaging only a 2.73% increase year on year (CAGR). With tickets costing £9.80 in 2005 and only £15.50 today, there has been a total ticket price increase of £5.70 or 58.2% over the last 17 years, However, when the historical figure was adjusted for inflation (£15.59), the value of a ticket to Edinburgh Castle has actually reduced in the last 17 years.

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Château de Versailles, Paris, France

Château de Versailles is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, attracting around 15,000,000 people every year. And it’s not that surprising really as, for anyone wanting to see how the other half lives, Louis XIV really went all out on the luxury in the palace – even the chamber pots were made from silver. Outside offers opulence too, with the gardens of Versailles covering more than 30,000 acres, homing 400 sculptures and 1,400 fountains. Although everyone could freely visit the palace’s gardens, there was one condition and that was that one needed to be well-dressed. If you did not have a proper outfit, you could rent one at the entrance.

Although the luxury dress code is no longer in place, it currently costs €20 (around £16.70) to visit the Château de Versailles and it is the attraction that has experienced the highest year on year increase in this research, with a CAGR of 7.26% over the last 16 years. It is likely to have the most expensive admission fee at £118.84 in the year 2050. Quite a hike from the €8 (£9.65) it once cost to visit back in 2006.

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Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany

Designed as a summer palace for relaxation, Prussian King Frederick the Great named it with the French phrase, ‘sans souci’, which literally means ‘without worries or concern’. But unlike its counterparts in this list, Sanssouci is little more than a large, single-story villa that contains just ten principal rooms on the outskirts of the Berlin/Brandenburg border. But for what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in decor – its grounds are divided into 6 terraces which are separated by a total of 132 steps and lead to a richly ornamented garden which includes a Great Fountain and marble statues of Venus, Mercury, Apollo, Diana, Juno, Jupiter, Mars, and Minerva.

But its lavish design clearly hasn’t influenced its ticket prices, having only increased a mere €5 over the last 17 years. Today, a standard ticket of €19 (£15.86) makes it the fourth most expensive royal attraction in our research. However, it has the second-lowest average annual price increase of just 2.97%, meaning that in 2032 it could be positioned as the second cheapest with a ticket costing as little as €43.12 (£35.99).

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Schloss Neuschwanstein, Schwangau, Germany

Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, Schloss Neuschwanstein is a fairytale-like castle in the German Alps that inspired Walt Disney to create Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. The castle’s perch on a hill gives it an imposing silhouette, one that many visitors flock to Bavaria each year to catch a glimpse of.

The price to visit the royal residence is currently cheaper than that of its German counterpart, Sanssouci, with tickets costing €17.50 and €19 respectively. However, Schloss Neuschwanstein has a much higher average annual growth rate of 5.68%, meaning that it could cost almost double what Sanssouci might in 2050 – €82.19 (£69.04) compared to €43.12 (£35.99).

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Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace is one of Europe’s most beautiful Baroque complexes and has been in the hands of the Habsburgs since 1569. The royal residence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Austria’s most visited tourist attraction. Not only boasting this beautiful palace, but the estate is also home to the oldest recorded zoo in the world, Vienna Zoo, which explains why so many tourists flock to visit Schönbrunn each year.

Behind only the official residence of the British monarchy, Schönbrunn Palace is currently the second-most expensive royal attraction in this research to visit with tickets today costing €22. This is quite an increase from the turn of the Millenium when the admission fee was around 247 Austrian Schillings (£11). The prices could be €37.86 (£31.60) in 10 years and €100.62 (£83.98) in 2050.

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Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Although being the only one outside of Europe sets the Taj Mahal apart from others on this list, it is also the only royal building that was not built to house a monarch whilst they were still alive. Although the translation means “crown of palaces” in Urdu and Persian, the white marble complex is actually a mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was a labour of love too, with construction beginning in 1632 but taking 20 years to complete.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the historic price for the Taj Mahal was cheaper than any other royal building on this list at only 500R (around £3.80) a ticket in 2004. However, being one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world means that the Government of India has since wised up and today visiting the mausoleum is almost triple the price at 1300 INR (£12.91). This equates to an average annual growth of 7.03%, meaning that the ticket price could be £86.51 in 2050 – an increase of 2176.58% since 2004.

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The Louvre Palace, Paris, France

Last but by no means least, the Louvre Palace. Often referred to as simply the Louvre, this French palace is an iconic building that sits directly on the Seine in Paris. It has served numerous government-related functions in the past and was used as a royal residence between the 14th and 18th centuries. However, it is now mostly used by the Louvre Museum, which is the biggest one in the world, and it is for this reason that the palace now sees around 15,000 visitors at any given time.

Although the Louvre’s historical ticket price cost only €0.50 less than its French counterpart, the gap between them could widen significantly over the coming years and ticket prices for the museum could end up being almost half the price of those for the Château de Versailles, with these predicted to cost around €72.25 (£60.30) and €142.33 (£118.84) respectively in 2050.

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The Cost of Royal Attractions in 10 Years and 2050

Methodology

Looking at castles/palaces around the world, we took the price of a current ticket and compared it to a historical ticket price from at least 15 years ago. We then calculated the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for each castle/palace using its historical and current ticket prices and applied that same growth rate ten years into the future. This allowed us to predict the prices at each resort in the years 2032 and 2050.

The reason that we used the CAGR formula is that this is the mean annual growth rate of a figure over a specified period of time. Unlike other calculations, it smooths out the volatile nature of year-by-year growth rates, which makes it the most accurate formula in this case as we didn’t want one unprecedented event to skew the data and cause a predicted future figure to be inaccurate.

Predicted prices and GBP prices were rounded to the nearest whole number. GBP prices were converted in January 2022 using data from Google search.

Current prices were taken from the attractions’ official websites, while for historical prices, we used a combination of archived websites.

A full dataset and source list is available on request.

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