The Czech Republic is a country full of castles, chateaus and ruins. In total, there are around 2000 castles in the Czech Republic, and many of them would not be out of place in a fairytale. If you love castles. you will be amazed by the early medieval to 20th century castles this country has to offer.
Having grown up in Germany, I have seen my fair share of fortresses and castles, and yet, I was blown away by the beauty of the Czech castles and the castle gardens.
Be it Lednice Castle, Zámec Rájec nad Svitavou or the ruins of the once impressive castle of Boskovice: all of them are worth a visit. But given that you like do not have the time to visit every single castle in the Czech Republic, this list will introduce you to a selection of different castles. They are among the best castles that the country has to offer.
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Best Czech Republic Castles: South Moravia
Lednice Castle, also known as Lednice Chateau, was once a summer residence of the Liechtenstein family. It is among the most visited castles in the Czech Republic. Originally a Baroque castle, it was reconstructed to its current Neo-Gothic appearance in the mid-19th century.
In total, there are eight different tours and English guided tours are available. There are no tours in December and January. The most popular ones are those of the representative halls and the 92 meters long greenhouse full of palm trees.
The highlights of the representative halls are the elaborately decorated ceilings and the spindle-shaped staircase of the library that is said to have been made from one tree.
It is part of the Lednice-Valtice Complex UNESCO World Heritage Site and connected with Valtice Castle by a 7 km long avenue that is lined by trees.
Both castles are located inside one of Europe’s largest parks. Said park, has replicated elements of different epochs and cultures such as a Venetian Fountain, a Roman Aqueduct, a Chinese Pavilion and a minaret.
This fairytale castle in the Czech Republic can be reached by train. First, you have to take the train from Brno to Breclav, where you have to catch another train to Lednice. Due to the waiting time, the train journey takes around 1.5 h.
While this castle can be visited as a day trip from Brno, it is best to stay in a nearby hotel if you want to visit a winery in Lednice or if you want to explore the dual-castle complex extensively. Hotel Galant is only a short 300 meters away from the castle complex.
Špilberk Castle dates back to the 13th century and was built on a hill next to Brno’s historic city center. Over the course of its history, it has many uses. The castle’s appearance has changed a lot to suit these ever-changing purposes.
It started out as a royal castle and the seat of margraves, but in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was turned into a military fortress. Then, it was turned into the heaviest prison of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 18th century. Afterwards, it was turned into barracks. Today, it houses the Brno City Museum and is an event location.
Given its intense history, visiting this national heritage monument is one of the best things to do in Brno. Aside from being a location of historic significance and the exhibitions, it is also one of the best viewpoints in Brno.
You do not have to pay to enter the courtyards, but there are entry fees for the exhibitions, the lookout tower, the royal chapel and the casemates.
Given that it is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, getting to Brno is easy. The castle itself is located on a hill at the border of the historic city center. It is possible to walk up to the castle or to take a taxi. While Bolt and Uber are available in Brno, they are not allowed to drive up to this Czech castle.
Veveří Castle is perched above the Brno Reservoir and is among the largest castle grounds in the Czech Republic. Once a small hunting castle, it has changed its appearance a lot throughout its 800 years long history. Hereby, the biggest change was the expansion in the 14th century when it become one of the primary residencies of Margrave John Henry.
There is an ongoing restoration process of this Czech castle, as it deteriorated during the communistic era of the country.
Currently, you can join four different tours when visiting the castle. While one allows you to explore Prince Vasa’s Suite, two others focus on the history of the castle and its owners. You can only do a self-guided tour of the courtyards and climb one of the towers.
The castle is closed during the winter months.
Between spring and autumn, you can catch a boat ride over the Brno Reservoir to the stop at the foot of the castle and then walk uphill to the castle. The boats depart at the ‘Bystrc’ stop, which can easily be reached by tram line 3 and 10 followed by a short 500 m walk. Alternatively, you can also catch a bus to this Czech castle. If you drive there yourself, you can park on site.
Zámek Rájec nad Svitavou
Zámek Rájec nad Svitavou (‘Paradise above Svitavou’) is a rocco-classical palace. It was built for the Salm family between 1763 and 1769 and it’s architecture style is typical for the region at the time. Be sure to include a stop here if you are planning a weekend trip to the Moravian Karst.
It is best known for its collections that range from decorative chairs with intricate designs, to painting by famous European painters and its extensive library that is among the largest castle libraries in the Czech Republic. Said library consists of 60.000 books in 11 languages and includes a mythical section that is accompanied by quirky sculptures of posing skeletons.
It is surrounded by a 13 ha large castle garden that was originally started back in the 1790s. It was expanded in the early 19th century to a romantic landscape park that is full of rare trees and scrubs.
There is also a castle greenhouse, but it is only open to the public when the camellias inside it are in bloom.
Rájec nad Svitavou castle is closed from November to late February.
There is no public transport that will take you directly to this castle in the Czech Republic, but you can take the train from Brno to Rajec-Jestrebi. This train station is 2.2 km away from the castle, so it is best to take a taxi.
Hotel Sladovna in the nearby Cerna Hora is a great place to stay.
Chateau Vranov nad Dyjí
Chateau Vranov nad Dyjí is a beautiful baroque castle perched at the top of a hill in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic.
Originally, there was a medieval castle set in the location, as it was very strategic for controlling and overlooking the area. Later on, it was expanded and rebuilt into the fairytale-like castle it is today.
The owners were close with the Austrian royalty at the time, and thus the castle interior will remind you of that of the castles in Vienna; Schönbrunn and the Hofburg.
If you love lavish interiors and beautiful decorations, this is the perfect place to visit (and sample some Moravian wine from the region).
If you have a rental car, finding Vranov nad Dyjí is easy. It is located 93 kilometers northwest of Brno, and very close to the Austrian border. It is a 1 hour and 15-minute drive from Brno, and a 1.5-hour drive from Vienna. If you are traveling by public transport, take a train from either Vienna or Brno (or Prague) to the nearest ‘main town’ of Znojmo. From Znojmo, local bus 816 takes you to Vranov nad Dyjí in 30 minutes.
There is a little village surrounding this castle in the Czech Republic, and so there are a few options for accommodation to be found really close to it. Most of these are small, privately-owned hotels, such as Penzion Jelen and Penzion Anita.
Visited by Lisa of Fjords and Beaches
Mikulov castle, towering above the picturesque town of the same name, is one of the most impressive castles you can find in the Czech Republic. Located right at the border with Austria, Mikulov castle originally was built in the 13th century. However, the Baroque structure you can admire today dates to the first half of the 18th century, with the later post-war renovations.
Over the centuries the place used to belong to noble families Liechtensteins and Dietrichsteins, and eventually to the Czech state. Mikulov castle is home to the Regional Museum presenting art collections and artifacts from the region, including the local wine production that this area is known for.
You can tour the interiors of the castle, and usually a few tours per day are available in other languages than Czech. When visiting the castle don’t miss the small but beautiful garden that is located on its grounds too.
The best place to admire the grandness of the castle, as well as the beautiful panorama of Mikulov, is from the Svatý kopeček hill – it takes a bit of a hike to get there, but the views are definitely rewarding.
Getting to Mikulov is really easy. The town is located right next to the main road connecting Vienna and Brno, you can also reach the place by train (the train station is some 10 minutes walk from the castle). You can combine visiting Mikulov with the nearby Lednice-Valtice complex which is located only 15 km away.
Since Mikulov is a popular destination, especially among local tourists, there are plenty of accommodation options in Mikulov to choose from.
Recommended by Kami of My Wanderlust
Best Castles: Central Bohemia & Prague
Prague Castle is one of the most famous castles in the Czech Republic and rightfully so. It creates Prague’s skyline and together with the similarly picturesque Charles Bridge, offers one of the most typical views of Prague.
The complex is officially the largest castle complex in the world. It’s made up of different buildings and structures constructed throughout the centuries. While the base for the castle was laid in the 8th century, most of its current edifices come from the 14th century onwards. St. Vitus Cathedral is the most visible part of Prague Castle with its tall tower and gothic features. It’s as majestic as it gets and makes visitors’ jaws drop in awe.
You can stroll through the castle complex freely, after passing through security frames. An entrance ticket then gets you inside as well. With a ticket, you can see not just the St. Vitus Cathedral, but also the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, and Golden Lane. There are tours available and they come highly recommended for anyone interested in history.
If you can, plan your visit outside of peak times, i.e. not on the weekend and not on a weekday afternoon.
There are more ways to get to Prague Castle with the easiest one being taking the tram no. 22 or 23 to a stop called ‘Pražský hrad‘ (= Prague Castle). Cross the road to the left and a signed path will lead you straight to the entrance.
You can stay in the Castle district, even though the accommodation prices are a bit higher. Consider e.g. the highly-rated Design Hotel Neruda.
Suggested by Veronika of Travel Geekery
Karlstejn Castle has all the elements of a fairytale’s setting: it looms high on a hill over a picturesque village in a dark forest, surrounded by crenelated walls, seemingly impregnable. It includes the required turrets and towers as well.
Karlstejn Castle dates to the 14th century, built by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place to store and guard the imperial jewels and relics.
It’s most known for two chapels with gold-covered walls set with medieval frescoes and precious gems. You can see them if you sign up for the “exclusive” tour.
The best time to visit Karlstejn Castle is May to September because you can only see the castle on a tour, and there are no tours from October to May. Tour times vary, so check their website. The “exclusive” tour must be booked ahead.
Karlstejn is an easy day trip: take a tour from Prague, or a train will get you there in about 40 minutes, after which you’ll have about a half-hour’s walk to get to the castle. You can drive there from Prague in about an hour.
If you’re going to stay in Karlstejn, the 4-star Hotel Karlstejn is quite near the castle, but there are also many small pensions along the main road through the village.
Recommended by Rachel of Rachel’s Ruminations
South Bohemia Castles
Hluboká Castle comes straight out of a fairy tale. Without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic and the third most visited one. The castle itself is open for visits. You can book an audio tour or visit the castle on your own.
The original castle dates to the early 13th century, but today’s appearance is thanks to the renovations carried out in the second half of the 19th century. The owners of the castle, the Schwarzenberg family, attended the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838 and were highly impressed by the romantic appeal of Windsor Castle and other Gothic Revival masterpieces in Great Britain.
Upon their return, they ordered the reconstruction of the castle and the laying of an English park and an English garden to go with it.
The best way to get to Hluboká Castle is by car. The castle is a short drive from České Budějovice (12 km) and about 145 km from Prague. If you decide to use public transportation, you can easily get by train from České Budějovice to Hluboká and Vltavou. České Budějovice on its turn is well-connected with Prague and other large cities in the Czech Republic.
The castle is situated just a short walk from the lovely town of Hluboká and Vltavou, where you can choose to stay. Another option will be to stay in České Budějovice – the capital city of South Bohemia, thus you can visit the castle on a day trip from České Budějovice.
Czech castle explored by Daniela of Ipanema Travels
Cesky Krumlov Castle
If you’re searching for one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic then plan to visit Cesky Krumlov. Not only is this home to a beautiful 13th-century castle, but the whole town looks like it’s been plucked straight from a fairytale.
Cesky Krumlov Castle is the second-largest castle in the Czech Republic after Prague Castle. It features a whole range of architectural styles. While it started as a Gothic castle, there are Renaissance and Baroque additions.
Two of the most striking things to see at the castle are the rotund Bell Tower, which also offers great views over the city and the multi-arched Cloak Bridge. You can view a lot of the castle from the outside, but you need to purchase a ticket to visit the museum and climb the tower.
The town of Cesky Krumlov is one of the most visited in the Czech Republic, so during peak season (July and August), it gets insanely busy. The best time is to go out early in the morning before the crowds arrive. Alternatively, visit the town in the shoulder season.
It can also be visited on a day trip from Brno, Vienna and even Prague (although this takes a couple of hours by car).
Cesky Krumlov is geared up for tourism, and there are plenty of places to stay in the historic centre. Pension Adalbert is one of them.
Visited by Becki of Meet Me in Departures
Castles in the Liberec Region, Czechia
Located in the Bohemian Paradise in the Liberec region, Sychrov Castle is one of the finest examples of Neo-Gothic architecture. Originally built in the Baroque style, the castle was reconstructed in the middle of the 19th century in the Neo-Gothic style.
Sychrov Castle was the residence of the aristocratic Rohan family from France, who left their home country after the French Revolution. Even though the Rohan family had the option to return to France during Napoleon’s era, they preferred to stay in Bohemia instead.
Apart from its gorgeous interior, one of the highlights of Sychrov Castle is the English garden that inspired the owners of other castles in the Czech Republic to build a similar one. There is a guided tour of the castle’s interiors but also a self-guided tour if you want to wander around the castle and the splendid park.
The best time to visit Sychrov Castle is spring so you can enjoy a pleasant walk when the English garden is in full bloom.
You can get to Sychrov Castle by bus from Liberec, but the best way to get there is to rent a car. The drive from Liberec City to the castle takes about 20 minutes.
The best place to stay near Sychrov Castle is the city of Liberec. One of the top-rated hotels in Liberec is Pytloun Grand Hotel Imperial, a 4-star hotel within walking distance of all Liberec attractions, restaurants, and bars.
Explored by Katerina of It’s All Trip To Me
Castles in the Pardubice & Moravian-Silesian Regions
Svojanav Castle, Pardubice
Svojanov Castle is one of the oldest castles in the Czech Republic. It is the only castle that combines Gothic with the empirical style and the Middle Ages and the 12th century. Svojanov Castle was founded in 1224 for the burgrave Svéslav of Bořitov.
You can choose one of the three sightseeing routes:
- Route A – Interiors of the castle palace + outside area – a pillared hall, an exhibition about the history of the castle, a kitchen with a pantry, and rooms on the first floor)
- Route B – Gothic castle grounds (two stories of cellars under the castle palace – exposition of legends about the castle, torture chamber, lapidarium, and interior of the shooters’ house)
- Route C – Outside area
As in every castle, you can discover a lot of legends and stories. Some say it is the most haunted castle in the whole Czech Republic. The number of crimes and intrigues over the years has accumulated quite a lot.
You can also visit the castle tower, which offers an extraordinary view of the surrounding area, and if you are coming with children, they will surely be interested in animals living in the park – goats, chickens or peacocks.
Svojanov Castle is located in the Pardubice Region, and the closest big cities are Brno (approx. 60 km) and Pardubice (approx. 80 km). The best way to get there is by car.
Castle Svojanov offers accommodation in the castle. You can stay overnight in the castle’s chambers and relax looking out of the window at the tower or the surrounding forests surrounding the castle.
Recommended by Jakub Juszyński of tymrazem
Štramberská Trúba, Moravian-Silesian Region
Tucked away in the tiny town of Štramberk, you’ll find the Štramberská Trúba – a beautiful, historic monument dating back to the 12th century. Definitely one of the least-known castles in the Czech Republic, this Medieval gem is great for those who love getting off the beaten track. Occupied by local aristocrats and knights in the 13th century, it then passed into the hands of the Czech king Jan Lucemburský.
The castle’s most striking feature is its Gothic tower, which offers amazing views over the cute town below and the stunning Czech countryside around, including the Beskydy Mountains. You can also wander the fortifications here and enjoy the semi-ruined, enchanting ambiance.
Definitely one of the top things to do around Ostrava, the castle is open between 9 AM and 6 PM in the summer months, and 10 AM and 4 PM in the winter months.
Tickets to climb the tower can be purchased in the café / shop at the foot of the castle.
There aren’t any tours here, but a useful free pamphlet gives you plenty of info.
Štramberská Trúba is best accessed by vehicle. Park in Štramberk, wander its historic cobbled streets on foot, and then make the climb up to the castle which sits on a hill at the edge of town.
If you want to stay in the area, then rooms at the cute Penzion v Podhradí come highly recommended. Close to the castle, cozy and clean, this is a peaceful spot to take in the rural Czech atmosphere.
Suggested by Steph Parker of Big World Small Pockets
Other Interesting Castles in the Czech Republic
There are many stunning chateaus, ruins and castles in the Czech Republic. These are the best ones if you are looking for a fairytale castle.
Moravsky Krumlov Castle — Once a medieval castle turned into a Renaissance chateau, this castle in the Czech Republic is now the location of the Slavic Epic exhibition. Restoration efforts are still ongoing, but since the summer of 2022 you can climb the tower for a great view of the surrounding village. Additionally, you can also join a tour of the noble chambers. Be sure to look up the tour times in advance.
Boskovice Castle — Boskovice Castle might be one of the castle ruins in the Czech Republic, but still worth a visit. It dates back to the second half of the 13th century and was once an imping sight. Today, it is the location of concerts, events and a beer garden. Be sure to visit the cistern with a pedal wheel that dates back to 1671 when touring the ruins.
Plan a Czech Republic Castles Road Trip
If you love castles and also want to see more of what the country has to offer than just Prague, a Czech Republic castles road trip might be perfect for you.
While you could visit two or maybe even three castles in the Czech Republic in one day, I don’t recommend filling your itinerary only with castles. After all, many of them are located in charming villages that are well worth a visit too.
So be sure to also check out what else these villages and cities have to offer aside from the castles.
Here are two possible castles road trip routes departing from Brno:
- Brno — Mikulov Castle — Valtice Castle — Lednice Castle — Brno
- Brno —Veveri Castle — Zámek Rájec nad Svitavou — Hrad Boskovice — Svojanov Castle — Brno
Roundup: Best Castles in the Czech Republic
As you can see, the castles in the Czech Republic are very diverse and all have unique features. Therefore, I recommend visiting at least two or three during your Czechia trip.
Be sure to join tours of the interior of the castles. or you will out on half of the experience. After all, many of the castles have more than impressive libraries, reception halls, art collections, decorative ceilings and so much more.
More about Czechia
If you want to see castles in the Czech Republic, you might also be interested in these Czechia travel guides:
South Moravia Activities
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