With over 2000 castles in the Czech Republic, the country beats any other country in Europe. The castles you’ll find in the Czech Republic showcase a variety of styles, from fortresses to Renaissance to Baroque palaces. During our road trip through the Czech Republic, we visited several castles in the cities and outside the towns. In my opinion, Karlstejn Castle and Hluboka Castle are the two castles that you can’t skip on your trip and are worth the detour. If you are into castles, there are plenty more to visit. Furthermore, most of the castles can easily be combined with other main sights in the country.
Karlstejn Castle might have been the most beautiful castle in the Czech Republic, in my humble opinion. The castle is located about ~30 kilometres south of Prague and is therefore easily combined with a trip to the Czech capital. The Karlstejn Castle is a Gothic castle and was built in the 14th century. It is a popular place for tourists, due to its proximity to Prague. If you are navigating to Karlstejn Castle by car, enter Karlstejn parking in your navigation system and park your car at the large car park down the hill. From there, it is a 1,5 to 2-hour walk up to the castle.
There is the opportunity to visit the inside of the castle, however, we decided to skip that. Nevertheless, there are plenty of outside areas that you can explore without a ticket. We almost missed out on the beautiful inner courtyard as we thought we weren’t allowed to progress without a ticket, however, all outside areas are free of charge.
After you visit the castle, you can walk back to the parking lot and settle down for a drink at one of the terraces in Karlstejn town.
Hluboka Castle is one of the most impressive castles in the Czech Republic and feels like a castle from a fairytale. If you want to add this castle to your Czech Itinerary, you can best embed it on your drive from Karlovy Vary to Cesky Krumlov. Also, we decided to stick with visiting the exterior, however, it is also possible to visit the inside of the castle and explore the many rooms. Moreover, there are 3 tours provided in the castle, focusing on the different areas of the castle. All come at a different price. Lastly, the beautiful castle garden and Orangerie make it an even more special place.
When visiting the castle by car, you can best park your car at the Centrální parkoviště next to the Penny Market. It is a 10-minute walk up the hill to the castle. After you visit the castle, it might be time for lunch or a cup of coffee. In that case, you can sit down at for example Fiore cafe or SCHNECK.
Note: The castle is closed on Mondays.
The Cesky Krumlov Castle will probably be on your travel list already when travelling through the Czech Republic and when visiting Cesky Krumlov. However, the castle belongs to one of the most interesting and beautiful ones in Czech. Especially the clock bridge that connects the different sides of the castle is a stunning feature.
Even though Prague Castle is worth a visit when in Prague, this wasn’t the castle that impressed me most. On my first trip to Prague back in 2014, I didn’t visit the castle, so I felt that on my trip in 2022, I couldn’t skip it again. The area around the castle is impressive due to its size, and the cathedral is pretty. However, in my opinion, a day trip to Karlstejn adds more value when you want to explore the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic.
Especially when visiting Brno, the Spilberk Castle is worth a visit if only it is for the beautiful views of St. Peter and Paul Church and because of its military history.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to visit the full list of the most beautiful castles when in Czech. The 5 castles mentioned above are easy to combine with a full 12-day Czech Republic Itinerary. However, if you have more time and are keen on exploring more beautiful castles in the Czech Republic, these 4 will be worth adding to your list.
Konopiste Castle can be found 50 kilometres from Prague. Unfortunately, you have to drive to the southeast from Prague, whereas Karlstejn Castle is located south-east. Even though the two can be combined on a day, it does not make up for the most logical route.
Lednice Castle is known for its fast mix of styles, where Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles are combined. I have to admit, I regret not visiting this castle as we were kind of close. Lednice Castle can easily be added to your itinerary when driving to Brno and exploring the Moravian wine area. Better, it is only a 15-minute drive from for example Mikulov.
Bouzov Castle can also be found in Moravia, however, the castle is not as conveniently located as most of the castles on this list. The best way to visit this castle is by adding Ostrava to your itinerary to explore the eastern side of the Czech Republic.
Another fairly popular castle in the Czech Republic is Pernstejn Castle. The castle is located between Bohemian Switzerland and Karlovy Vary. Therefore, it can easily be added to your Czech castle’s travel route. Furthermore, the Pernstejn Castle is referred to as the marble castle and is one of the best-preserved castles in the Czech Republic.