Did you know there are hundreds of castles in the Czech Republic? Prague Castle is probably the most famous as Prague sees over 7 million visitors a year. Step aside Germany, who is globally famous for their Romantic Road and incredible castles, your Czech neighbor also has just as many incredible castles to check out.
The Czech Republic is proudly one of those destinations we have traveled pretty extensively over multiple trips visiting every region on trips as long as 30 days at a time. We have TONS of reasons why the Czech Republic should be on everyone’s radar and not just a visit to Prague either. We encourage travelers to see more than Prague if you’re not convinced check out our Czech Republic photos that will inspire you to visit this beautiful country and see that it has way more to offer than Prague alone.
See 15 of the most magical Czech castles that are pulled straight out of a storybook or fairytale.
Castles in the Czech Republic
1. Prague Castle
This list of castles in the Czech Republic wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Prague Castles. I know we said that we want to encourage visitors to visit beyond Prague, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy all the amazing things to do in Prague before embarking on the ultimate Czech Republic itinerary.
Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Prague Castle is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest medieval castle complex in existence. The entire complex covers 750,000 square feet and features numerous palaces, churches, halls, towers, and other structures.
Many tourists spend as much as an entire day touring this Czech castle and never get to see more than a small portion of the whole complex. It was built in the early 10th century as the home of the Bohemian Kings. However, it has experienced a lot of change over the years and is now the official home for the Czech president.
Visitors are allowed to roam most of the complex for free but will need tickets to enter the majority of the buildings within it including the magical Golden Lane.
Visitors Travel Tip: Prague Castle can get very crowded, we encourage visitors to come first thing in the morning or in the evening. You can roam Prague Castle freely on the exterior before/after opening hours! Check out this guide on how to avoid crowds in Prague for more tips!
2. Karlštejn Castle
Karlštejn Castle is easily one of the most famous Czech castles and easily visited as a day trip from Prague. This enormous, Goth styled castle was founded in 1348 by the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Charles IV.
Its original purpose was to serve as a treasury for the safekeeping of the Holy Roman Empire’s Crown Jewels. This was because the castle was considered to be unassailable, constructed as it was on a hillside and surrounded by dense forestry.
This dense forest surrounding still forms much of the appeal for visiting the castle, and many people enjoy the views of the castle as they make their way through the forest and up towards the castle grounds. As with most historic castles in Czech Republic, Karlštejn has seen a number of renovations and modifications in its ancient existence. However, it still acts as a repository for many Czech national treasures.
Be sure to plan extra time to just explore the town or have lunch in the town before or after your visit!
3. Český Krumlov Castle
Another famous Czech castle not to be missed is the Český Krumlov Castle located in the South Bohemia region. It made its first appearance in history in 1240, having been built by the main branch of the legendary Rosenberg family – the Witigonens. As the Witigonens all passed away, the castle was transferred from one major family till the next until it was repossessed by the Czechoslovak State in 1950.
Within the castle, is the Český Krumlov Baroque Theatre, one of the best examples in the world of a beautifully preserved baroque theater, featuring its original auditorium and theatre building as well as the original versions of the orchestra pit, stage and stage tech, as well as the stage curtains, costumes, and more.
If you plan on visiting the Baroque Theater you will want to arrange for a tour in advance as there is a limit of how many visitors can see the theater per day for temperature and preservation control.
Český Krumlov is also a magical storybook village of its own, we encourage people to visit overnight to witness this enchanting village after the day tourists have left. There are tons of amazing things to do in Český Krumlov that you can’t just see in one day. Plus there’s nothing more beautiful than a sunrise or sunset here.
Český Krumlov Castle is open from Tuesday – Sunday between 9 AM – 5 PM.
4. Valtice Chateau
Valtice Chateau is one of the most impressive displays of Baroque architecture among the castles in the Czech Republic located in the country’s wine country in the South Moravia region.
Originally constructed in the 12th century under the leadership of bishops of Passau, this once Gothic castle eventually became one of the residences of one of Europe’s wealthiest families by 1530 – the Liechtenstein family.
Over the centuries, specifically the 17th and 18th, several great architects made modifications to the castle, bringing it to its current form.
In this present, resplendent form, the castle and its surrounding grounds were registered as UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. The best way to explore this castle is via the standard sightseeing tour that happens at regular times throughout the year.
However, there are some exhibitions that happen seasonally and some portions of the castle are open for all to go through like the castle chappel to the winter riding hall.
Our favorite part of Valtice Chateau? The Wine Salon in the cellar offers unlimited wine tasting for one or two hours of the finest wine in the region.
The area surrounding Valtice Chateau is easily one of the most romantic getaways you can have, be sure to check out all the best things to do in Mikulov so you can see what makes this area so romantic and perfect for a couples getaway.
5. Chateau Hrádek u Nechanic
One of the more interesting and lesser known Czech castles that is truly one of the more unique places to visit in the Czech Republic is Chateau Hrádek u Nechanic .
Built between 1839 – 1857, the Chateau Hrádek u Nechanic is one of the more attractive and romantic Czech Castles around. It was given its Gothic Windsor style by Edward Buckton Lamb, an English architect who envisioned it as the summer home for the Harrach family – a powerful member of the Czech aristocracy.
As it has not needed much modification in its years, much of its original decorations and furnishings are still on display – unlike many other Czech Republic castles.
Tours of the castle will take visitors through different floors, exploring representational halls, game rooms, libraries, the dining room, master apartments, and more.
The castle is open to the public between the months of April – October.
6. Hluboká Castle
Hluboká Castle is one of the more famous Czech castles, located near Ceske Budejovice. Regarded as one of the most gorgeous castles in Czech Republic, it was built in the 19th century on a site that had been home to many castles before it; beginning with a Gothic castle that was built in the 13th century and eventually becoming the Windsor-style castle that it is today.
Its conversion was overseen by Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg and his family lived there until 1939. Listed as a National Cultural Monument of the Czech Republic, Hluboká is probably one of the most popular Czech Castles on Instagram.
The castle is accessible via wheelchair and refreshments are available on site as are childcare facilities.
7. Blatná Castle
Blatná Castle is located in Blatná, which is on the South Bohemia beer trail! The castle was built in the middle of a manmade lake with a panoramic garden surrounding it making it completely picturesque.
Blatná is also, without a doubt, one of the most excellently maintained water castles in Czech Republic.
The castle first started out as a wooden fortification constructed in the middle of the marshes and was slowly developed over the centuries. Local legend claims that it was once occupied by the Templars who hid treasure on the property.
What makes this castle in the Czech Republic even more magical is that the castle grounds has deer residents that roam the gardens! Them and their descendants have roamed the castle grounds for centuries. You can actually by feed (please don’t feed them anything other than the feed the castle sells) them too by purchasing deer feed from the castle!
The castle is open for tours from Tuesday to Sunday, between the hours of 10 AM – 4 PM.
8. Zvíkov Castle
Often referred to as “the King of Czech castles”. Zvikov Castle is situated at the confluence where the Otava and Vltava rivers intersect. It sits beside the village of Zvíkovské Podhradí, in the South Bohemian Region.
Historically speaking, Zvikov Castle is one of the most consequential early-Gothic castles in the Czech Republic. It started out as a fortification in the 1st century and by the middle of the 13th century, different variations of that fort had culminated in the current castle, by order of King Přemysl Otakar I.
It was also home to Charles IV in the 14th century, who stayed there while Karlštejn Castle was still under construction.
You can tour the castle, its open most days just check to make sure during your visit there isn’t a holiday or a special reason why they are closed.
9. Špilberk Castle
While Špilberk is considered to be among the more spookier Czech castles, it is rated as being one of the most prominent landmarks in Brno, the city that’s on the rise as being one of the hippest destinations to visit in the country. There are tons of amazing things to do in Brno, and this is one of them!
It was first established in history as the residence of some Moravian nobility in the 13th century. It went on to act as a fortification and later in the 18th and 19th centuries as a prison.
Having gone through many repurposings, it is currently being used as the Brno City Museum and exhibits a number of awe-inspiring pieces.
The castle is typically open from Tuesday – Sunday between 9 AM – 5 PM.
10. Orlík Castle
Another castle in the Czech Republic that is under the radar for most tourists is Orlík Castle situated on the boundary between South and Central Bohemia. Built next to the Orlík Dam, only 500 meters from Orlík nad Vltavou village.
Being a key waterway, the castle that was originally sited on the spot where Orlík is today was built to protect this strategic spot. It underwent many reconstructions over the years, with the most extensive work carried out by Prince Karel Schwarzenberg in the 19th century when he chose to live there.
Today, visitors can come over to the castle and take a guided tour of its luxurious interior. This is one of the most memorable castles in Czech Republic, with its awe-inspiring coffered ceilings and brilliantly decorated halls.
However, our favorite way to see this Czech castle is by water. Visit the castle and join one of the scenic river boat tours that leave every 30-60 minutes.
11. Bouzov Castle
Another Czech Republic castle that looks like it was peeled straight out of the pages of a storybook. The ancient Bouzov Castle is definitely one of the Czech Republic castles that you want to visit. It is also regarded as one of the more romantic castles in Czech Republic and is one of the best things to do near Olomouc, an incredible destination worth a visit!
It was built in the late 14th century by the Teutonic Knights and has been excellently preserved, having never fallen in battle. In its perfectly maintained state, Bouzov Castle has been the location of choice for a number of popular movies, including Fantaghirò, the tale of the Italian Princess, Before the Fall, and Arabela, the Czech fairytale.
The best way to see this castle is by joining a guided tour. You can join a tour from Olomouc or drive yourself if you bring your own vehicle, parking is available and close to the castle. There are refreshments and snacks available for purchase on the castle grounds.
12. Lednice Chateau
Located within the Lednice-Valtice Complex, Lednice Chateau is one of the most beautiful Czech Republic castles that was developed in the Neo-Gothic English style.
Situated in the south-east of the Czech Republic in South Moravia, Lednice-Valtice area, where the chateau is located, stretches over 200 square kilometers and is a majestic model of landscape architecture. A popular place among tourists, there are different guided tours that take visitors through the interior of the chateau; crossing through representative halls, to apartments.
Our favorite part of touring inside Lednice was the intricate woodwork. Don’t forget to plan enough time to explore the complex gardens either. There’s a minaret tower that you can climb for an unforgettable view of the entire landscape.
Also within the castle are a Museum of Marionettes and a man-made baroque cave. Visitors will be mesmerized by the beauty of all the old pieces of furnishing and decorations within the castle, which were a sign of the opulent lifestyle available to the families that resided there through the years.
13. Chateau Žleby
The Žleby Chateau can be found in history as far back as 1289 when it was a simple Gothic citadel that was also the residence of the Lichtenburk family. It was damaged during the Hussite wars in the late 15th century but was reconstructed with Renaissance architecture.
The castle was reconstructed again in the 16th century and one more time in the mid-1800s. Currently a state-owned Prague Castle, Žleby now serves as a display house for ancient Czech relics.
Visitors to the castle will be treated to views of beautiful and old leather wallpapers, timeless furniture that still stand strong and beautiful, as well as stained and painted glass windowpanes. One tour of the chateau takes guests through the chapel, the kitchen, as well as representative rooms.
The other tour covers the same spots but also extends to the theatre, the lookout tower, and the cellar – which houses an art exhibition.
Not far from Žleby Chateau is one of our favorite Czech destinations, Kutna Hora. Be sure to stop by and see all the incredible things to do in Kutna Hora as well!
14. Kost Castle
Situated in the Jičín District of the Czech Republic, part of the gorgeous Bohemian Paradise area, Kost Castle was built in the mid-to-late 1300s by Beneš von Wartenberg and his sons.
Excellently maintained and retaining many of its original features, it is currently owned by the Kinský dal Borgo noble family. The castle was built in an enchanting landscape of woodlands known as Bohemian Paradise and from a low projection, overlooks the fishponds that were built as a safety feature with breakable dams, creating a moat around the castle when intruders attempted to break in.
Tours of this castle take visitors through the different rooms, including the medieval torture chamber. These tours are personally conducted by Count Octavian or the castle executioner, Herman.
Also, if this castle looks familiar it’s because it was featured as a filming location for Hannibal Rising.
15. Vranov Castle
One of the more unique castles in the Czech Republic are the castle ruins of Vranov Castle in Bohemian Paradise. Towering over the town of Mala Skala.
It is said that Vranov was used as a base for Hussite troops in Bohemian Paradise. The remains of the castle are a bit of a mystery. However, you can follow along on the English brochure to find out what each chamber and room probably was. This includes a kitchen and a dump pit where they found tons of animal remains.
This beautiful castle has lots of amazingly designed attractions. From the Gothic watchtower that stands in the main gateway, to the Holy Trinity Chapel which houses the Althann family crypt beneath it. Explorers will be mesmerized by the beauty of the Hall of the Ancestors, expertly constructed and decorated on the interior. The castle is typically open from Tuesday to Sunday, but their opening hours vary, depending on the time of the year.
BONUS CZECH CASTLE!
Another amazing castle in the Czech Republic in Central Bohemia is Konopiště Chateau. Another one of those castles that looks straight out of a fairytale with its beautiful towers and castle gardens.
This was the last residence to Archduke Franz Ferdinand before his assassination. If you’re interested in the history there’s even the bullet that killed him on display inside the castle museum.
Walking the outside and garden area is absolutely peaceful and beautiful, especially on the perfect autumn day we arrived. Or tour the interior of the castle which is open daily for tours except for Mondays.
After admiring the beauty, head on over to the restaurant on the property, Stará Myslivna. This restaurant is unique and popular with the locals as it serves local wild game from the forest nearby in honor of Franz Ferdinand, an avid hunter.
You can see the antique hunting trophies and collection on display and the largest known portrait painting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Also, if you’re a movie buff, scenes from the film, “Illusionist,” were filmed here.
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