Castles Near Prague

Karlštejn Castle - best castles near Prague

The Czech Republic capital city of Prague has grown in popularity over recent years, with all types of tourists, from families, to couples seeking a romantic getaway, all the way to groups of friends who are charmed by the beautiful and affordable beer. However, as well as the city of Prague itself having an abundance of charms to offer, its outskirts have even greater secrets just waiting to be uncovered, in the form of stunning castles that have a rich history spanning centuries. This list will highlight the best castles that are located near to Prague, that make for the perfect day trip and escape from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life; the list will document the key points of interest for each castle, as well as practical information, such as location and opening times.

11 Castles you should visit near Prague

1. Prague Castle

As stated by the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle, in the heart of the capital city, is the largest ancient castle in the entire world, spanning almost 70,000 square meters of land, and towering above the city skyline. Prague Castle is one of the highlights of the city, and it is incredibly popular with tourists, with approximate 1.8 million visitors annually. It has a long and vast history, beginning in approximately the year 870, where it’s the first building, the Church of the Virgin Mary was built. In the Medieval period, King Ottokar II of Bohemia reinforced the royal palace and strengthened key fortifications, and it was later rebuilt again into the Gothic style by Charles IV in the 14th century. There are so many layers and centuries of history present at this castle, that it is truly unmissable

Where: Prague, Czech Republic

When: 870 origins

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

2. Castle Ctěnice

Situated near the center of Prague lies Castle Ctenice, or otherwise known as Zamek Ctenice, which is a beautiful chateau that dates back to the medieval period. It is incredibly unique and architecturally gorgeous and charming and has its origins and roots in the farming industry. It was later renovated during the Renaissance into a more contemporary and grand Baroque style. However, the castle does have interesting, quirky and subtle features, such as its nod to the Late Gothic period, that was prominent in Europe during the mid to late 17th century. This is a great place to visit and experience a different side of Prague, and another layer of its complex and exciting history.

Where: Prague, Czech Republic

When: 15th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

3. Okoř Castle

Situated a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Prague, approximately 15 kilometers to the north-west of the city, lies the beautiful Okor Castle. The castle is layered with a rich and fascinating past, and has changed shape over the centuries; in the year 1228, the castle began as a stronghold, that was later renovated into a Gothic-style castle that was founded in the year 1359 by Franktisek Rokycansky, who originated from Prague. Again, it was later rebuilt in the style of the Late Gothic period, by the decree of the Lords of Donin. During the reign of Boritas of Martinice, in 1518, the castle was transformed into a Renaissance residence and adopted many grand features that were in line with the principles of the time. Sadly, the castle was largely destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, but later lovingly restored in accordance with the Baroque style.

Where: Okor, Czech Republic

When: 13th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

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4. Trojský zámek

This ruined castle lies in the south of the Semily Liberec Region of the Czech Republic, and it is one of the most easily recognizable, famous, and iconic castles of the country. It consists of two structures, that are each located on the peak of two basalt volcanic plugs; ‘Baba’, or ‘Old Woman’, is located on the lower summit, and on the larger one lies ‘Panna’, or ‘Virgin’. The castle was initially founded in the late 14th century, by Cenek of Vartenberk, and it later came into the hands of King of Wenceslas IV. Trojsky Zamek played a crucial role during the Hussite wars, as it was a center for the pro-Catholic sides, and was never fully conquered. Today, the castle is a popular site for tourists staying in Prague, who are interested in seeing another side to the country.

Where: Semily Liberec, Czech Republic

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

5. Karlštejn Castle

Karlštejn Castle - best castles near Prague

Founded in the year 1348 by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor-elect, and the King of Bohemia, is the stunning and striking Karlstejn Castle. Located in Central Bohemia, this large Gothic castle is an incredibly beautiful and important site; it has served as the place where the Imperial Regalia, Bohemia/Czech crown jewels, relics and other crucial items are kept here, which has inspired the imagination and interest of many tourists. The castle has a really interesting history, including many reconstructions and altering architectural styles that it endured; for example, the castle was modified into the Late Gothic style in 1480, renovated into the Renaissance style in the late 16th century, and many other additions, such as towers and stairwells were also added.

Where: Central Bohemia, Czech Republic

When: 1348

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

6. Křivoklát Castle

Best Castles in Czech Krivoklat Castle

Kricoklat Castle was founded in the 12th century, and originally belonged to the Kings of Bohemia; the castle was initially built during the reign of Premysl Otakar II, and served the purpose of a royal residence, that was to be grand in architectural style and nature. Like many of the castles on this list, Kricoklat Castle has changed shape, size and style over time, for instance, after its initial build, it was later renovated by King Vaclav IV, before again being enlarged by King Vladislav of Jagellon. The castle was later renovated into prison after being damaged by fire on several occasions, which had many notable prisoners, such as Edward Kelley and Burkhard von Berlichingen. Today, the castle houses a museum and is very popular with tourists.

Where: Central Bohemia, Czech Republic

When: 12th century

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

7. Český Šternberk Castle

Best Castles in Czech Cesky Sternberk Castle

This beautiful Bohemian castle was founded in the mid-13th century and is located on the River Sazava, in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. Cesky Sternberk Castle was originally built in the year 1241, by Zdeslav of Divisov; it was later realized in the 14th century, after the development of stronger firearms, that the castle simply not strong enough to defend itself, and it was later reinforced, and a three-story tower was added. The castle is built in the Gothic style, and it underwent many reconstructions over the centuries, in particular, its interior, which was modified into both the Baroque and Rococo styles depending on the era. Today, the castle is open to visitors and houses many fascinating collections and exhibitions, such as the 545 copper engravings that display the history of the Thirty Years’ War.

Where: Central Bohemia, Czech Republic

When: 1241

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

8. Castle Kokorin

Situated approximately 6 miles to the northeast of Melnik in the Czech Republic, lies the beautiful and fascinating Kokorin Castle. It was initially constructed in the first half of the 14th century, by the decree of Hynek Berka z Dube, who was a famous Bohemian knight and the founder of the Berka z Dube aristocracy line. During the Hussite Wars, like many castles in the Czech Republic, Castle Kokorin was heavily damaged and was left to turn to ruins for centuries. Between the years 1911 and 1918, there was a reconstruction campaign that sought to bring the castle back to its former glory, and takes ownership of the country’s heritage; in 1948, it was nationalized and has been recognized as a national cultural monument since the year 2001.

Where: Melnik, Czech Republic

When: 1321

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

9. Žebrák castle

Nestled in the depths of the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic lies the gorgeous Zebrak Castle, which towers above the small village of Tocnik, which is approximately 2 kilometers from the village of Zebrak. The castle was originally constructed in the second half of the 13th century, and was built by Oldrich Zajic III, from the Zajic family; however, the original family quickly moved away, and in doing so, sold the castle to the King. One of the pinnacle moments of the castles history dates back to the year 1336, where the House of Luxemburg bought the castle and began renovating it in approximately 1346. In 1532, the castle suffered a critical fire, and it was left alone until the year 1923, when it was acquired by the Czech Association of Tourists, and switched hands to the state ownership.

Where: Tocnik, Czech Republic

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

10. Průhonice castle

Pruhonice Castle and its surrounding park are a Czech National Historic Landmark, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a whopping total area of 250 hectares. The castle that stands today dates back to the 19th century, and is an architectural gem; for example, the Northern front of the castle is fashioned on the principles of the Romanesque movement, whilst the Southern front offers gorgeous and irresistible views of the lake beneath it, as well as many features being inspired by the Wallenstein Palace in nearby Prague. There are also many cellars in the castle, that are carved into the underlying rock, and are decorated with beautiful frescos by Schwaiger. This castle is a great place to visit if you are interested in the arts and culture of the Czech Republic.

Where: Pruhonice, Czech Republic

When: 19th century

Style: Romanesque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

11. Chateau Brandýs nad Labem

Situated in the town of Brandys nad Labem lies the gorgeous Chateau Brandys nad Labem, which originally began lies as a medieval castle dating back to the 14th century, before being expanded and adapted into a Gothic-style castle in the Renaissance era for Ferdinand I. Like many castles on this list, Chateau Brandys nad Labem also underwent many architectural renovations and modifications depending on the principles of the time, having converted to the Baroque style before being ‘re-Gothicised’ for the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Today, the castle houses a fascinating museum that highlights the key points of the castle’s history, as well as gorgeous parks and surrounding scenery.

Where: Brandys nad Labem, Czech Republic

When: 14th century

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

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