When you think of the Czech Republic you may not think of castles, but this charming central European country has one of the highest densities of castles in the world. There are more than 2,000 castles in the Czech Republic.
You might not have time for all of those castle tours on your next visit to the Czech Republic. So, we narrowed down the list for you to the Top 10 Must Visit Castles in Czech Republic!
Czech Republic Castle FAQ
Q: How many Castles are there in the Czech Republic?
A: There are more than 2,000 castles in the Czech Republic
Q: What is Castle in Czech translation?
A: Hrad is the Czech word for castle, and it can be found in the names and signage for many castles in the Czech Republic
Q: What is the most famous castle in the Czech Republic?
A: The Prague Castle is the most famous castle and aside from being a stunning piece of architecture, it is still an important part of the government in the Czech Republic.
1. Prague Castle
The largest and certainly one of the most impressive castles in the Czech Republic has to be the Prague Castle. Located in the heart of the capital city, the Prague Castle can be seen from many spots all around the city. However, the best way to experience it is to take a guided tour of the grounds and important rooms. If you are short on time or would rather explore on your own we also have an extensive guide to Prague Castle.
The size and scale of Prague Castle are not just immense when comparing it to other Czech Republic Castles, but it’s one of the top 3 largest castles in the entire world. Plan on spending a better half of your day here if you want to see most of the highlights.
Don’t miss the city views from high on the castle walls for some unique perspectives looking back toward Old Town Square.
- Address: Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1, Czechia
2. Cesky Krumlov Castle
Situated in the heart of Cesky Krumlov, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cesky Krumlov Castle is the second-most visited castle in all of the Czech Republic. Although the origins of the castle date back to the mid-1200s, its current Baroque appearance was completed in the 1600s.
It’s hard to miss this towering castle as it looms over the entire historic city center. As you approach the front of the castle, you’ll walk over the Bear Moat Bridge. This leads directly to the Lower Castle, the oldest remaining structure on the property. Then, you’ll need to cross the five-story Cloak Bridge to reach the Upper Castle, which contains the beautiful Cesky Krumlov Baroque Theater. The theater was built in 1767 and is one of the last remaining Baroque theaters in Europe.
After touring the interior of the castle, make your way to the stunning gardens. At the center of the gardens is the cascading fountain, built in the 18th century in a Baroque style. You’ll also find a revolving auditorium that was recently built in 1959.
- Address: Zámek 59, 381 01 Český Krumlov
- Nearest city: Cesky Krumlov
- Nearest castle: Hluboka Castle
3. Hluboka Castle
With its white stone facade and lush rose gardens, the Hluboka Castle looks as if it belongs in a fairytale. Originally built in the 13th century, the Hluboka Castle has been through several reconstructions during its lifetime. The current building was constructed in the 18th century by the aristocratic Schwarzenberg family, who lived in the castle until the start of World War II. Now, the Hluboka Castle is a designated National Cultural Monument; it is considered to be one of the most spectacular castles in the Czech Republic.
Inside the castle, you’ll find ornately decorated libraries, dining rooms, smoking rooms, and more. It’s also possible to visit the private apartment that once belonged to Jan Adolf II Schwarzenberg, the man who restored the castle in the 18th century. As you walk through the castle, take note of the portraits hanging in the different rooms – many of them are paintings of the Schwarzenberg family members.
- Address: 373 41 Hluboká nad Vltavou
- Nearest city: Ceske Budejovice
- Nearest castle: Cesky Krumlov Castle
4. Lednice Castle
Although the Lednice Castle dates back to the early 1200s, the current castle as it looks today was built in the mid-1800s. Prince Alois II, the Prince of Liechtenstein at the time, built the palace as his summer retreat. With its stately spires and marvelous entertainment halls, the Lednice Castle can easily be classified as an English Neo-Gothic building.
Besides touring the interior of the castle’s grand halls and apartments, it’s also worth taking the time to enjoy the manicured gardens surrounding the castles. A tranquil lake sits at the front of the castle and is dotted with small islands and narrow river channels. On the lake, it’s possible to rent a boat to take you to the park’s towering minaret. A luxurious alternative is to hire a horse and carriage, which will take you around the castle grounds instead.
The castle grounds include a palm-tree greenhouse, Masonic wall, and even a Roman aqueduct. With so many things to see and do, it’s recommended to spend at least a full day exploring everything the castle has to offer.
- Address: Zámek 1, 691 44 Lednice
- Nearest city: Brno
- Nearest castle: Bouzov Castle
5. Kost Castle
Founded in the 14th century by Beneš of Vartemberk, the Kost Castle is one of the best-preserved Gothic castles in the Czech Republic. Most of the castle’s outer structure remains in its original form, although different buildings, like the Renaissance Bibrštejn and Lobkowicz Palace, were added over the last few centuries. Overall, it’s the trapezoid-like floor plan and massive stone towers that make it’s one of the most impressive fortresses in the country.
The most stunning feature of Kost Castle is the five-story White Tower, which was used as a defense lookout tower. You’ll also find the smaller, cylindrical Hungary tower nearby built in the 14th century. The castle is encircled by thick stone walls, which added an extra level of protection to the defense fortress.
During your guided tour of the castle, you’ll also be taken into the underground torture chamber, used to hold prisoners during the 16th, 17th, and 18th-centuries.
6. Karlstejn Castle
Nestled between tree-lined forests and rolling hills, the magnificent Karlstejn Castle boasts panoramic views of the village of Karlstejn. It was built as a treasury in 1348 by King Charles IV, who used the castle to hold his royal treasures and crown jewels from the Roman Empire. These treasures were located in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which can be found in the castle’s Great Tower. Although the crown jewels were removed for a short period during the Hussite Wars, they remained in the Chapel of the Holy Cross until the 17th century.
As with most castles in the Czech Republic, the Karlstejn Castle has seen many phases of reconstruction during its lifetime. Originally built in the late Gothic style, it was remodeled in a Renaissance style during the 16th century. The present-day castle is now a neo-Gothic building.
Although many of the rooms are off-limits to visitors, you’ll see the Imperial Palace, Hall of Knights, Chapel of St. Nicholas, the Royal Bedroom, and the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Inside the chapel, you’ll find a collection of 129 14th-century paintings by Master Theodoric – the largest portrait gallery in the country.
- Address: 267 18 Karlštejn
- Nearest city: Prague
- Nearest castle: Konopiste Castle
Related: Top 10 Best Castles in Germany
7. Konopiste Castle
Famed for being the last residence of Franz Ferdinand, the Konopiste Castle is as rich in history as it is in beauty. It was originally constructed in 1280 in the style of a French castle with cylindrical towers, ornate gates, and even a drawbridge. Throughout the centuries, it went through different Renaissance, Baroque, faux-historical phases.
Franz Ferdinand bought the property in 1887 and heavily remodeled the castle and surrounding area. One of his most notable contributions was with the remodel of the castle gardens; he added greenhouses, rose bushes, and several Italian-style statues. After his assassination in 1914, the castle was taken over by the government and turned into a public monument.
The castle remains in the same condition as Franz Ferdinand left it. Visitors can see his private rooms, including his apartment, hunting collection, and a shooting hall with moving targets. There’s even the Obizzi-Este collection, the third-largest collection of medieval weapons and armory in Europe.
- Address: 256 01 Benešov
- Nearest city: Prague
- Nearest castle: Karlstejn Castle
8. Orlik Castle
Perched high atop a rocky cliff, the Orlik Castle looms over the peaceful Vltava River. The first recorded mention of the castle dates back to 1230 when it was just a simple wooden castle. Several centuries later, it was converted into a stone castle and handed over to the wealthy Schwarzenberg family, who used it as their main residence. To this day, the Orlik Castle is still managed by the Schwarzenberg family.
You can access the castle by crossing a stone bridge that extends across a moat. The interior of the castle was built in an Empire style, except the Gothic style Hunter’s Hall and chapel. The most impressive rooms, including the Greater and Lesser Knight’s Halls, the Empire Saloon, the Library, and the Gun Corridor, are located on the castle’s main level.
Next to the castle, you’ll find the spectacular English park, which covers approximately 350 acres. In addition to the lush gardens, Orlik Castle also features an exotic fuchsias greenhouse.
- Address: 398 07 Orlík nad Vltavou
- Nearest city: Ceske Budejovice
9. Bezdez Castle
Bezdez Castle is considered one of the most influential Gothic structures in the Czech Republic. It’s situated atop the phonolite hill of Velky Bezdez, almost 2,000 feet above sea level, and boasts sweeping views of the lush, green valleys below. Throughout its history, it’s been a prison, a Benedictine monastery, and most recently, a pilgrimage retreat during the Romantic movement.
Like many castles in the country, most of the rooms are off-limits to visitors. However, the royal palace, burgrave’s house, and the unique early Gothic Chapel are some of the highlights that remain open to the public. The chapel is of classic Hessen style. At the time, it was believed to be one of the most impressive artistic structures in the country.
For some of the best views of the surrounding landscape, you can also visit the Knight’s Hall on the top floor of the great tower. From here, you’ll be treated to dramatic views over Macha Lake, the Krkonose Mountains, and even the spires of Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral (on a clear day, of course.)
- Address: Bezděz 144, 472 01 Doksy
- Nearest city: Mlada Boleslav
- Nearest castle: Kokorin Castle
10. Bouzov Castle
The history of Bouzov Castle may not be as remarkable as other castles in the Czech Republic, but its stately structure and ornate interior make it one of the best castles in the country to visit. Built in the early 14th-century, Bouzov Castle was used as a fortress to monitor the incoming trade route. Unfortunately, the castle’s main structure was burned to the ground in 1558 and remained uninhabited for over 100 years.
Currently, the Bouzov Castle is of the Romantic Neo-gothic style. The buildings on-site are clustered in a horseshoe shape, with a 190-foot watchtower protruding from the center of the complex. On the inside, it’s furnished with lavish artwork and custom-made furniture, sourced from a private collection from Eugen von Habsburg and the Teutonic Knights. The entire castle is protected by a moat and can only be accessed when the drawbridge is down.
If you think Bouzov Castle looks familiar, you aren’t wrong: the castle’s impressive, fairy-tale-like structure can be seen in dozens of Czech movies and TV shows.v
- Address: Bouzov 8, 783 25 Bouzov
- Nearest city: Brno
- Nearest castle: Lednice Castle
11. Kokorin Castle
Despite its small size, Kokorin Castle is one of the most beautiful castles to visit in the Czech Republic. Located in the middle of a nature reserve surrounded by the Kokorin Valley, the Kokorin Castle boasts dramatic views from every corner. Although it was originally built in the 14th-century, it was destroyed during the Hussite Wars. Reconstruction of the castle didn’t take place until the 1900s (several centuries later.)
The castle itself is only two stories tall, but the imposing cylindrical defense tower is noticeably taller. Due to its young age, the interior of the castle only contains replicas of traditional furniture. However, the artwork, weaponry, and ceramic decorations are considered to be originals. After the short tour, you’ll be able to spend a few hours soaking in the spectacular landscape or hiking along the rocky outcrops surrounding the castle.
- Address: 277 23 Kokořín
- Nearest city: Prague
- Nearest castle: Bezdez Castle