Karlštejn Castle picture
PAUL BIRIS/Getty Images

Key Info

267 18 Karlštejn


Castles/Palaces Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
  • 3.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Located about 20 miles southwest of downtown Prague, Karlštejn Castle is an excellent daytrip destination for travelers hoping to get out of the city. Originally constructed in 1348 with Gothic architecture, Karlštejn Castle was reconstructed in the 16th century to sport the Renaissance style of the time, before being remodeled again with neo-Gothic architecture in the 19th century. Many original features of the castle have been preserved, while its continuous reconstruction makes the amalgamation of styles especially interesting for architecture enthusiasts. Regardless of your interest in buildings, the Karlštejn Castle offers a variety of interesting features for travelers to take in.

Many past visitors recommend taking a guided tour of the castle’s interior (the only way to enter the castle) to be sure to see everything noteworthy, as well as understand the castle’s historical context. Recent travelers also suggest taking the S7 train from downtown Prague (the ride is about 40 minutes) to get to the castle, but they warn that the 1.5-mile walk between the station and the castle is not for everyone, though you can take a taxi from the station.

Three different tours are available, and they run from roughly 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a lot of variety based on the day and season. Basic tours cost 320 koruna (about $14), extended tours cost up to 750 koruna (about $33) and the shortest tours cost 260 koruna (about $11). The shortest option takes travelers to the upper floors of the Great Tower and lasts roughly 40 minutes, while longer tours explore the castle’s various private and representative rooms or sacred spaces and range from 55 minutes to 100 minutes. A variety of discounts are offered for students and groups and families, while children 6 and younger can participate in any tour for free. Tour tickets are available through the Karlštejn Castle’s website, which is also an excellent resource for more specific tour hours and prices.

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Time to Spend
#1 Old Town Square (Staromestské námestí)

Old Town Square is a popular spot in Prague, with travelers flocking here in droves for its beautiful architecture, colorful history and vibrant atmosphere. The square hasn't changed much since it was established in the 12th century when it functioned as the city's original marketplace. 

The square is home to some of the most historic attractions in the city, including the Old Town Hall, one of the best places to get a bird's-eye view of the city and the Prague Astronomical Clock, a beautiful timepiece dating back to the 1400s. Other architectural highlights found within the square include the Church of St. Nicholas and the Church of Our Lady before Týn, instantly recognizable for its two Gothic spires. Meanwhile, the newest additions to the square include a monument erected in 1915 for the religious reformer Jan Hus. There are also several restaurants here that spill out onto the square during the warmer months as locals and travelers alike enjoy a coffee or a beer on the patios. And if you're visiting during the holiday season, expect the square to be filled with Christmas market shoppers.

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