There is definetelly something truly romantic in visiting castles in Europe: fairytale dreams, noble history and daily life of wealthy people centuries ago is definetely a good enought reason to go. Czech Republic got around 930 Castles and more than 1000 Chateau to visit. Some of them works as museums, some as a hotels or wedding destinations, some still lie in ruins. The list is so big that it could be confusing to figure out where to go.
Here is the list of the most picturesque and interesting castles to see in Czech Republic!
Without no means, Hluboka Castle should be your first choice if you want to see a castle in Czech Republic outside of the cities. It is the most famous and the most visited castle for a good reason: from the first glance it looks like a real fairytale princess castle and there is a lot to see inside. No surprise that it was used multiple times as a movie location and was featured in “Shanghai Knights” and “Underworld: Blood Wars” movies.
The history of the place is really cool. Think about it as layers! Hluboka Castle now is a neo-gothic palace complex, built on the basement of a baroque château, modified from a renaissance château, built on the remains of a gothic palace that was built on a platform of an older water fortress, which was build in 13th century. It’s present day Neo-Gothic look is influenced by the English castle of Windsor.
While touring inside you can see 140 rooms including impressive library, the bedroom and dressing room of Princess Eleonore, the Hamilton’s closet and the reading rooms, kitchen and even a bathroom, which was specially built for Stalin (the head of comunist party during USSR). Defintely a place not to be missed!
How to get there: Hluboká castle is located in Hluboka nad Vltavou city, approximately 150 kilometres away from Prague. There is a direct bus connection between Prague and Hluboká nad Vltavou, the ride takes approximately three hours.
Cesky Krumlov Castle
Cesky Krumlov Castle is one of the most scenic and most accesibble castle in Czech Republic. Cesky Krumlov is a city, that is worth a visit and should be a on top of your list while visiting Czech Republic and it’s Castle is it’s major attraction.
The complex of Cesky Krumlov Castle rests on rocks by the Vltava River and the Polečnice Stream, overlooking stunning medieval town below. It is one of the largest castle complexes in central Europe, and the second largest castle complex in Czech Republic. It consists of forty buildings and palaces, situated around five castle courts and a castle park spanning an area of 7 hectares.
The main tower with the colorful facade, baroque garden with the large cascading fountains, yards and walkaways together with scenic aqueduct will definetely blow your mind. And the the city itself is definetely one of the Top10 amazing small European cities.
How to get there: The castle is located right in the Cesky Krumlov city, 3 hours away from Prague with many busses and trains going there. The place is really popular as a day trip with around 2 million visitors a year (which is a lot for such a small town), so if you prefere more relaxed experience, consider staying there overnight to take advantage of early hours.
Karlstejn Castle is another popular castle to visit in Czech Republic outside of Prague. It is easy to reach from Prague and is a great choice if you want to visit a castle as a day trip from Prague. Karlstejn Castle was build in 14h century as a hideaway for the crown jewels of Emperor Charles IV in a beuatiful and peaceful countryside. After centuries of lying in near ruin, it has been restored as the Gothic castle and now one of the top tourist sights in Czech Republic.
Browse around beautifully furnished rooms, see duplicates of the Czech crown jewels, the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, visit the Knight’s Hall, Charles IV’s Bedchamber, the Audience Hall and the Jewel House, Marian Tower, the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Chapel of St. Catherine and the most famous Chapel of the Holy Cross which walls and ceiling are covered with thousands of polished semi-precious stones.
How to get there: Karlstejn Castle is located just 30 kilometers southwest of Prague. The best way to get to Karlstejn is by train. Trains leave regularly from either Prague’s Main Station and it takes just 40 minutes to get there.
Pic by https://www.videoblocks.com
About an hour northeast of Prague you will find magical Kost Castle. Located in Cesky Raj, it is still the best-preserved Gothic castle in the Czech Republic. It is believed that the the construction of it has started around 1349. Despite undergoing some restauration work in the 1950s, Kost Castle retains most of its original features.
Kost Castle is located in a valley surrounded by dense forest, unlike most castles in Bohemia that are situated on hills. The most famous part of it – The White Tower – has a trapezoid like plan, another unique feature of this massive structure.
How to get there: Located 80 km away from Prague, the castle is a bit tricky to reach without the car. If you are spending your holiday in Český ráj, you may go there by foot. The nearest train station is in Libošovice, around 2km away from the castle. Also there are several busses going there, but they are season dependent.
Castle Orlik dates back to the second half of the 13th century. For centuries it has been home to many Bohemian kings and was renovated a number of times. It was a wooden fort, Gothic stone castle, standing at the top of the hill (later the dam built in the 20th century moved the castle right above its surface), Renaissance-style castle and was turned in the Neo-Gothic style in the 19th century. It was once home to Charles Philip, the commander of the allied armies against Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig. Now the castle works as a museum, where you can see some weapons from 16th century, hunting rufles and even personal gifts from Napoloen to Charles Philip.
How to get there: 1-hour drive by car from Prague or 2 hours by bus. Buses are leaving from the bus stop Na Knízecí at the Smíchovské nádrazí station.
Pic by http://ru.infoglobe.cz
Lednice is a village in South Moravia in the Czech Republic. In 1996 together with the twin manor of Valtice it was inscribed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site as “an exceptional example of the designed landscape that evolved in the Enlightenment and afterwards under the care of a single family.” It contains a palace and the largest park in the country, which covers 200 km².
Lednice castle is the major gem of th place and definetely is your first choice if you love visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites and consider them while building your iternerary.
How to get there: Lednice Castle is around 300km away from Prague and around 70km away from Brno. They are well connected by trains with Prague, but visiting the palace as a day trip from Prague is not an option. The best place, from where you can quite easily get to Lednice, is Břeclav, where main train railways from Brno and Přerov lead to. A bus to Lednice leaves a bus terminal in Břeclav about once an hour
Pic by http://www.worlds.ru
Bouzov Castle is an 14th-century fortress built on a hill between the village of Hvozdek and the town of Bouzov in Moravia, Czech Republic. Beacuse of it’s stunning “Harry Potter” styled shape it has been used in a number of film productions lately, including Arabela, Fantaghirò, and Before the Fall.
Unlike other medieval settlements, Bouzov Castle has never gone to ruin. From the late 15th century it was in the hands of the Teutonic Knights. Now it is famous for it’s romantic interiors with rich paintings and carvings, it’s observatory, Neo-Gothic chapel with the altar decorated with tombstones and an exhibition devoted to life-size fairytale dragons and the knights who fought them.
How to get there: Bouzov castle is located 35 km from Olomouc and around 250km away from Prague. To get there by public transport you need to take a bus or train to Olomouc and from there a bus to the Bouzov castle.
Zamek Cervena Lhota
Pic by https://www.amazingczechia.com
If you are looking for a picture-perfect castle, surrounded by water and lush greenery, than this red castle is what you need! Zamek Cervena Lhota is located around 100km away from Prague and was build in 16th century on a place of Gothic citadelle.
It’s red colour is not original: the Castle was white when it was build and it’s current colour got a lot of legends. One of it says that once upon a time there was a beautiful princess, who throw herself out of the window and the only sign of her that was left was a blood trail. It was a reason to paint the castle in red.
How to get there: If you’re are based in Prague, you can go there for a day trip by car. Public transportation is not very convenient: you need to take a train from Praha hl. n. to Soběslav and change there to a bus going to Deštná. The journey should take less than 3 hours.
Kratochvíle is a Renaissance summer residence surrounded by a park located in the south Bohemian countryside. It is famous for it’s relaxed mood, beautiful gardens and stunning interiors. It was build in 16th century as a hunting house and in the 19th century was converted into apartments for the Schwarzenberg family. The Great Gold Hall is the most notable room inside of it and good enough reason to come.
How to get there: Chateau Kratochvíle is located around 2 hours away from Prague and 1 hour away from Cesky Krumlov. I couldn’t find any information about public transportation there, so i assume that car is the only way to get there.
Prague castle is the most famous and recognised castle in Czech Republic and one of the most famous in the World, so it’s hard to skip it in this list. It consists of a large-scale composition of palaces and buildings of various architectural styles, from the remains of Romanesque-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications of the 14th century.
It can take all day to see all the highlights inside oof it: St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and the most important temple in Prague, St. George’s Basilica, The Golden Lane, Old Royal Palace, The Treasury, Rosenberg Palace are the main places to see here. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world.
How to get there: The castle is located in the very heart of Prague, so you simply need to come to Prague to see it.
With so many awesome options there is no good reason to skip castles while exploring Czech Republic. Even if you don’t plan to drive, there are multiple options of cstles to see using public transportation. Make sure to put at least some of them in your iternerary to learn more about this beautiful country and see Czech Republic outside of Prague!
Credits: Huge thanks for Czech Tourism Board for showing me Czech Republic outside of Prague!