The Best 20 Castles to Visit in Czech Republic (Listed by Popularity)

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The Czech Republic is a land of history and architecture, and its castles are a big part of that. This small landlocked European nation has some world-famous castles, but did you know that the country is home to more than 2000 castles?

The Czech Republic has one of the highest density of castles in the world. The beautiful, fairytale-like castles are a treat to the eyes, not to mention the beautiful woodlands surrounding them. The fortified structures and citadels are replete with history for architecture lovers and are sure to blow your mind. 

Here is a list of ten castles, some of the finest and famous ones in the country. Continue reading for ten more castles also worth exploring while you are visiting the Czech Republic!

The order of the list is based on Google search volume of each castle = popularity.

1. Prague Castle

Prague Castle glowing in the night.
Prague Castle glowing in the night. _CEESA prague-castle flickr photo by ceesa.images shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Prague Castle is one of the most significant monuments of the Czech Republic. Founded in the 9th century, the castle is a top-rated tourist destination.

The castle was a royal residence of the Kings of Bohemia for the better part of the 14th to 17th century. Today, it is the official office complex of the President of the Czech Republic. It dominates the skyline of Prague and is the city’s most distinguishable landmark.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the largest castle complex globally, with an area of almost 70,000 m² (over 753,000 ft²). A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex hosts several palaces, museums, cathedrals, monasteries, defense towers, and picturesque gardens. A visit to Prague is not complete without a visit to this magnificent castle.

2. Karlstejn Castle

Karlstejn Castle rising above the surrounding forest.
Karlstejn Castle rising above the surrounding forest. Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic flickr photo by Govisity / Tip na Trip / kosice.guide shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Karlstejn Castle is considered one of the most visited castles in the Czech Republic. It is a spectacular fairytale castle, like something out of a Disney movie. Perched on a hill, it is surrounded by lush forests and vineyards.

It was built in the 14th century to safeguard the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. Now, you can have a look and marvel at duplicates of the jewels in the Jewel House. Apart from this, the beautifully furnished rooms and historical relics will leave you mesmerized. 

There is also the Knight’s Hall, where some armaments and names of knights have remained; the Audience Hall; and the famous chapels. Visit the castle’s upper levels to take in the stunning scenery of the countryside surrounding the castle. It is truly a gem among castles!

3. Lednice Castle

The Gothic Revival appeal of Lednice Castle.
The Gothic Revival appeal of Lednice Castle. Holgereberle, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the village of Lednice, the castle of the same name is set against the backdrop of the largest park in the country. The castle itself looks like something out of a gorgeous fairy tale.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, the castle is well known for its magnificence and is a much-visited tourist destination in Europe. The site was redesigned in the 19th century in the English Neo-Gothic architectural style by Prince Alois II, in order to serve as a palatial summer residence.

It is a grand complex with several tour options available for visiting the site. You can have a walk through the spectacular halls and galleries of the castle. The beautifully-furnished private rooms and opulent relics are not to be missed, and a walk in the tranquil surrounding park is a must! 

4. Bouzov Castle

Bouzov Castle’s imposing position.
Bouzov Castle’s imposing position.

One of the popular castles of the Czech Republic, this impressive structure will take you back to the time when it was a stronghold of the Teutonic Knights. Located in Central Moravia, it has the appearance of a fairytale palace. Built on a hill as an early 14th-century fortress, the castle today boasts an impressive Neo-Gothic architectural style after remodel work in the early 20th century.

As of now, the castle is fully furnished and open to visitors. Filled with rich paintings, works of art, and carvings–the interiors are a fantastic sight. Visit the watchtower, observatory, and courtroom, and don’t miss the Neo-Gothic chapel altar. For kids, the highlight of the visit will surely be the cellar exhibition dedicated to life-size fairytale dragons and the knights who fought them. Bouzov Castle has something for everybody!

5. Křivoklát Castle

Křivoklát Castle among the trees.
Křivoklát Castle among the trees.

Křivoklát Castle is one of the oldest and most important castles in the Czech Republic. Dating back to the 12th century, it has a wealthy and impressive history of destruction and remodels, several times throughout the centuries of its existence.

Located deep within the Central Bohemia area, the castle has been a substantial royal residence. Many historical figures and members of the royal family have made it their home before it later became a prison. Today, it serves as an important museum and tourist place.

The castle’s interiors have been beautifully preserved with its charming Gothic architecture, works of art, and other treasures. Also, visit the chapel and the halls and get a fantastic panoramic view of the woods from the castle battlements. Packed with history, the castle will keep you spellbound.

6. Trosky Castle

A bird’s-eye view of Trosky Castle.
A bird’s-eye view of Trosky Castle. Zdeněk Fiedler, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On top of two basalt volcanic plugs in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic sits Trosky Castle, an amazing castle ruin.  For centuries, Trosky Castle proved quite difficult to capture due to its position on the high basalt cliffs. The existence of an extensive network of basements and escape routes extending into the sandstone rocks and the subterranean caverns below helped as well. 

Between the two towers, a variety of residential and outhouse structures were erected, all protected by the three rings of reinforced walls. The lower peak, which is 47 metres (154 feet) high, hosts a two-story building named Baba, meaning ‘Old Woman’, while the upper peak, which is 57 meters (187 feet) high, is called Panna, meaning ‘Virgin’. 

With picturesque views and rich history, the site is a popular tourist destination in the country today.

7. Kost Castle

Looking up at the towering walls of Kost Castle.
Looking up at the towering walls of Kost Castle. Lukáš Kalista, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the Czech Republic’s major tourist attractions is Kost Castle, a well-preserved Gothic castle. Located near the city of Jičín, it was built in the 14th century as a defensive castle. It later changed hands several times, was owned by several Czech noble families and is now owned by the Kinský dal Borgo family.

A visit to Kost Castle is a must if you are in the country. You can tour the impressive interiors of the castle and learn about the history, lifestyle, and weaponry of the Middle Ages. Be sure to explore the trapezoidal White Tower that was constructed specifically to minimize missile damage. The medieval torture chamber will surely give you goosebumps. Breathtaking views and an atmosphere rich with history make this castle site a must-visit for tourists!

8. Pernštejn Castle

Pernštejn Castle basked in sunlight.
Pernštejn Castle basked in sunlight.Jaroslav A. Polák, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most beautiful Moravian castles, Pernštejn Castle is perched on a rock overlooking the village of Nedvědice, surrounded by lush green forests. The castle is a magnificent display of Renaissance architecture with some Baroque ceilings and decorative Rococo finishes.

No marauder has ever captured this striking-looking castle. Its strategic location and defense systems have kept it safe and secure from enemy forces. Although, the castle folklore says the ghost of the White Lady roams the castle. It is said that the White Lady is a maid who was cursed by a monk for being rude and now walks eternally through the halls of the castle!

In the present day, the castle is owned and maintained by the state. The site is open to the public, showcasing important historical developments of the country throughout the centuries.

9. Decin Castle

An aerial view of Decin Castle (and city).
An aerial view of Decin Castle (and city). Pudelek, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bohemian lords erected a wooden stronghold at the end of the 10th century as a precursor to Decin Castle. The province was first mentioned in writing in 993 A.D. Around 1305, the influential Wartenberg family took possession of the reconstructed fortress, which had been erected in stone in the thirteenth century as a royal palace.  In the first part of the 20th century, the castle site became state-owned until it was seized during WWII by the Germans. It was later captured and used by the Russian army until they vacated in 1991. In 2005, the Czech state undertook an extensive reconstruction project of part of the dilapidated castle site. Today, the castle is open to the public and houses a museum. Renovated areas of the site are also available for hosting events.

10. Český Šternberk Castle

The many walls of Český Šternberk Castle.
The many walls of Český Šternberk Castle. Evgeny L., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Český Šternberk Castle was erected in 1241 by Zdeslav of Diviov. It is still owned by the same family which bought it over 800 years ago. During a siege of the castle in 1467, it was destroyed and later rebuilt in the late Gothic style. 

Improved castle defenses included a “en bec” (with a pointed beak) bastion known as the Dungeon, which is now used as a lookout point for visitors. In the second part of the 16th century, when the castle was no longer necessary for defense, extensive early Baroque modifications were carried out to provide comfort to its occupants. 

A chateau has occupied this castle’s stone walls ever since. Electricity, indoor plumbing, and central heating were also installed in the castle in the early 20th century.

If you are a castle enthusiast, you must take out the time to visit these equally spectacular castles in the Czech Republic as well:

11. Kokorin Castle

Looking down at Kokorin Castle.
Looking down at Kokorin Castle. Jan Sovka aka sovicka, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kokorin Castle is a gorgeous destination for all travelers. The site is situated within twenty-five miles of the capital city, Prague.

The castle was erected in the early 1300s, only to be left in ruins and abandoned after the Hussite-Bohemian Wars in the region. An extensive and very costly reconstruction project was undertaken at the site between 1911-1918. The castle site became the Czech Republic’s property in 1948, and in 2001 was declared a cultural landmark of the country. 

Today, the castle site is open to the public with guided tours available.

12. Radun Castle

A waterscape of Radun Castle.
A waterscape of Radun Castle. Multimotyl, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Radun Castle is a magical site situated in the district of Opava. The site was described, in written works of the 14th century, as a medieval fortification. The site was restored as a Renaissance castle in the 16th century, with Baroque elements incorporated afterward. The castle was again transformed in the 19th century to its current Classic style.

The castle is open to the public in the present day. There are tours available of the south and north part of the castle. The lovely orangery and decorative garden may be explored with or without a guide. 

13. Litomyšl Castle

The beautiful detailing of Litomysl Castle.
The beautiful detailing of Litomysl Castle. Modris Putns, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Opulent and bold Litomysl Castle is known for being one of the largest Renaissance castles in the country. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.

The castle interiors and gardens were given a late Baroque style renovation in the latter part of the 18th century. The castle site has been well-preserved ever since.

The castle is open to the public in the present day with fantastic tours available. Tourists are also permitted to explore the gorgeous theater, billiard room, ceremonial parlors, and castle gardens.

14. Bezdez Castle

Bezdez Castle from across the forested valley.
Bezdez Castle from across the forested valley. Bjalek Michal, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bezdez Castle stands on a hill in the Liberec region. Construction at the castle site commenced around 1264. The site is a brilliant representation of Gothic architecture. 

The castle served as a prison and a royal residence before being obliterated during the Thirty Years’ War. Restoration work was carried out during the subsequent centuries. 

Today, sections of the castle site are open to the public. Visitors are permitted to tour around the royal palace, the early Gothic-style chapel, and burgrave’s house. The castle site has served as the inspiration for many artists. 

15. Castle Blatna

Gorgeous Blatna Castle encircled by water.
Gorgeous Blatna Castle encircled by water. Davik.ch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Blatna Castle is situated in Blatna town, in the district of Strakonice. Elevated on a rock and surrounded by water, the castle compound is the town’s main attraction and a protected cultural monument of the country.

The castle has an interesting and extensive history, withstanding turmoil and many upheavals throughout the centuries. The castle complex is a splendid blended display of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture.

Today, the castle is open to the public. There are tour options available, and the site includes a café.

16. Kroměříž Archbishop Castle

The various architectural styles of Kromeriz Castle.
The various architectural styles of Kromeriz Castle. Txllxt TxllxT, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kromeriz Castle is majestic and regal with stunning Baroque landscaped grounds, situated in the city of Kromeriz, Moravia. The castle is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Inhabited by successive bishops and archbishops through the ages, the site was established at the beginning of the 16th century as a main religious residence. The castle has been damaged and reconstructed quite a few times throughout the centuries.

The castle estate is open to the public nowadays, with guided tours available. Visitors are able to explore the fantastic castle gardens as well.

17. Orlik Castle

Orlik Castle standing tall.
Orlik Castle standing tall. Jerzy Strzelecki, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Orlik Castle is a magnificent site situated in the south Bohemian region. Believed to have been built as a royal residence in the 13th century, the castle has a fascinating lineage of owners throughout its existence. 

A fairy-tale stone bridge over the surrounding water is the only point of access, while the interiors feature mostly 19th-century Empire designs. 

Today, the site is open to the public with a magnificent tour available of the castle, landscaped gardens, and the historical tomb. The venue is popular as a backdrop for weddings and private events.

18. Rabi Castle

The remains of Rabi Castle overlooking the local town.
The remains of Rabi Castle overlooking the local town. Chmee2, later modified by Ximonic (talk) Simo Räsänen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rabi Castle ruins stand proudly on a steep hill around 81 miles from the capital, Prague. Its enormous area size makes it the country’s largest castle site. Since 1978, the site has been a National Cultural Monument.

The exact time it was built is unclear, but writings suggest it existed by 1380. The envisaged grand fortification was never completed, and the site was left in ruins after the Thirty Years’ War.

Today, visitors can enjoy a sightseeing tour of the site. Interesting artistic exhibitions are also available at the site.

19. Sovinec Castle

Sovenic Castle on a sunny day.
Sovenic Castle on a sunny day. Lehotsky, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On a hill in the rocky Bruntal region of Moravia, you can find the medieval Sovenic Castle. Constructed in the 13th century, the castle boasts a remarkable history.

The castle was neglected and damaged during the 17th century before considerable restoration work was undertaken during the 19th century. Tragically, the castle interiors were obliterated in 1945 by a suspicious fire.

Today, the picturesque castle site still stands in the densely wooded area. It is open to the public yearly between April and September. There is also a quaint restaurant that has operated since the ‘90s.

20. Bartošovice Chateau

The Renaissance facade of Bartosovice Castle.
The Renaissance facade of Bartosovice Castle. Kankovaa, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located along a popular nature route, Bartosovice Castle is a magical Renaissance-style site including lush, tranquil gardens.

The castle’s interior features the original wooden fixtures and fittings, including a magnificent staircase. A stately hall occupies what used to be the castle library. There are several exhibitions showcasing the history of the site and the region, such as illustrative displays of warfare scenes and exhibits of the old military hospital.

The castle and beautiful parks are open to the public to explore, a highly recommended tourist destination in the present day.

Conclusion

The Czech Republic has some of the most beautiful castles in the world. While some were used as royal residences, some played a big part in defense strategies. All have a rich history to tell.

Some of these castles are now museums, some are exhibition halls, and some even are hotels. Sprinkled across the country, these castles are once in a lifetime experience. Have fun exploring this beautiful country and its breathtaking castles!

For more information, general guidelines, advice, and recommendations, feel free to browse around our website and contact us for any assistance.

Charmaine Waterston
Charmaine Waterston
After studying Law and Industrial Psychology, I went on to start my own ICT data recovery business. Some years later I qualified locally as a Financial Advisor and ran my own business with a portfolio of clients. Throughout my life, I traveled extensively to many interesting countries around the world. While enjoying my life’s adventures, I absorbed the rich history of various cultures and experienced the beauty of so many different places! Today, I am an author. I combine my career and travel experience with my thirst for knowledge about our captivating world and the remarkable people in it. My writing is an expression of my passion for personal growth and my love of communication. I am truly fulfilling my dream through my work!

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