If you’re looking for fairytale castles, you’ll see them everywhere in the Czech Republic. Travel the country roads, through meadows, woodland and forests to discover some of the most stunning castles in Europe. Many Czech castles have a Disney-like feel and are enchanting to see.
The country’s castles tell the story of its rich history. Before the Czech Republic was born, the Kingdom of Bohemia was a Central European monarchy and part of the Holy Roman Empire. But when the Holy Roman Empire dissolved in 1806, it became part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then when the Austria-Hungary empire collapsed, several provinces joined to form Czechoslovakia in 1918, only to split up into two – Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993. The last king, Charles I, was also the Emperor of Austria and the king of Hungary and Bohemia.
Nowadays, castles in the Czech Republic are used for private residences, estate buildings, museums, and hotels. Here are 20 of the best fairytale castles in the Czech Republic to visit.
- Czech Republic Castles
- 20 Fairytale Castles In The Czech Republic
- 1- Hluboká Castle
- 2- Karlštejn Castle
- 3- Český Krumlov Castle
- 4- Pernštejn Castle
- 5- Prague Castle
- 6- Bouzov Castle
- 7- Kost Castle
- 8- Trosky Castle
- 9- Lednice Castle
- 10- Orlik Castle
- 11- Křivoklát Castle
- 12- Litomyšl Castle
- 13- Valtice Castle
- 14- Loket Castle
- 15- Castle Frýdlant
- 16- Kokorin Castle
- 17- Zvíkov Castle
- 18- Castle Hruba Skala
- 19- Castle Benatky nad Jizerou
- 20- Castle Červená Lhota
- 20 Fairytale Castles In The Czech Republic
Czech Republic Castles
20 Fairytale Castles In The Czech Republic
1- Hluboká Castle
Hluboká Castle in South Bohemia is a magnet for history buffs.
The 13th-century castle started as a Gothic structure owned by the Schwarzenberg family, who expanded it in the Renaissance style.
During the 18th century, the building took on a Baroque appearance and it was modelled directly after Windsor Castle in England in the 19th century.
It’s now open to the public and has 140 luxurious rooms, 11 towers and extensive gardens.
It’s one of the Czech Republic’s most famous and frequently visited castles.
Hluboká Castle is at 373 41 Hluboká nad Vltavou, Czechia.
2- Karlštejn Castle
Emerging like a fairytale scene in Prague’s southwest region, Karlštejn is another beautiful castle in the Czech Republic.
Roman Emperor Charles IV built it to store treasures and holy relics, but despite its extensive history, Karlštejn is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its reconstruction in 1910.
The castle sits on the Burgenstrasse route that connects around 90 castles in Czechia and Germany.
Today, the estate owns the castle, and it operates as a museum that is open to the public.
Karlštejn Castle is a landmark in the Czech Republic at 267 18 Karlštejn, Czechia.
3- Český Krumlov Castle
Český Krumlov Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which sits on top of the gorgeous town of Český Krumlov.
This Gothic castle complex is one of the biggest in Central Europe and the second-largest in the country.
The complex comprises 40 buildings and palaces, around five castle courts and a 7 ha castle park.
The main castle tower has an eye-catching multi-coloured façade and its lovely Baroque garden date back to the 17th century.
The garden and its fountain, hedges and flowers are delightful to explore.
In 1989, this UNESCO-protected gem was named a National Monument for its historical significance. Today, its chambers and courtyards are open to the public.
Český Krumlov Castle is at Zámek 59, 381 01 Český Krumlov, Czechia.
Love castles? You’ll want to read about these:
4- Pernštejn Castle
Also known as The Marble Castle, Pernštejn is among the most impressive Moravian castles, which have stood in the forests of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands for nearly eight centuries.
The castle sits on the rock overlooking the village of Nedvědice and the Svratka and Nedvědička Rivers.
It was constructed in the 13th century in the Gothic and Renaissance style architecture by the Lords of Medlov.
Today, you can visit this well-preserved masterpiece to walk on spiralling staircases, gaze up at vaulted ceilings and see the Baroque chapel.
Pernštejn Castle is at 592 62 Nedvědice, Czechia.
5- Prague Castle
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the biggest castle complex worldwide.
This UNESCO World Heritage site was established in 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty and is a sprawling site with several buildings.
A mixture of different architectural styles can be seen within the fortress, including Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque.
The structure was once a seat of power for the kings of Bohemia and presidents of Czechoslovakia and is presently among the most visited attractions in the region.
Prague Castle is at Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1, Czechia.
6- Bouzov Castle
Bouzov Castle is a 14th-century fortress nestled over the hill between Hvozdek and Bouzov.
With its tall turrets and pretty colours, the castle looks like it has come right out of a fairytale.
It was built as a Gothic stronghold but was later rebuilt in the romantic style and became the summer seat of the Teutonic Knights during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Of all the parts of the castle, the most important is the neo-Gothic chapel.
At present, it serves as a national cultural monument and is open to the public.
Bouzov Castle is at Bouzov 8, 783 25 Bouzov, Czechia.
7- Kost Castle
Kost Castle is a Medieval castle located near Prague, making it ideal for a day trip.
The 14th-century castle has been renovated several times and is Gothic in style.
Also called Bone Castle, it’s set in a backdrop of charming woodlands and has an armoury with a fascinating collection of weapons, such as rifles and pistols.
It also has a Medieval torture chamber with a guillotine that still functions.
Kost Castle is open to the public at Zámecká, 284 03 Kutná Hora, Czechia.
8- Trosky Castle
All that remains of Trosky Castle are ruins that hold tales of its fascinating history.
The castle’s two Gothic towers are fairytale-like with a backdrop of scenic landscape.
The castle’s foundation is unique, as it’s made of volcanic rock caused by lava vents that erupted during the Tertiary Period.
The castle goes back to the Middle Ages and you can take a tour to climb Baba Tower and explore the castle’s grounds.
A good time to visit is in July and August, to enjoy theatrical performances in the second courtyard.
Trosky Castle is at 512 63 Rovensko pod Troskami, Czechia.
9- Lednice Castle
The UNESCO World Heritage site is a beautiful complex designed in the English neo-Gothic style in the region.
In Lednice village, Lednice Castle has been home to many aristocratic families across the centuries, including the House of Sirotci and the Lichtensteins.
The castle has a large garden with a greenhouse next to it. Explore the minaret, or hop on a boat or go on a horse carriage ride.
Lednicie Castle is at Zámek 1, 691 44 Lednice, Czechia.
10- Orlik Castle
Dating back to the 13th century, the grand Orlik Castle is an ideal place to step back into history, with its grand interior.
The castle is near the village of Orlík nad Vltavou and has been home to several Bohemian kings over the centuries, including Field Marshall Charles Philip.
Orlik Castle changed hands several times and was converted from a wooden fort to a Gothic stone castle and then to neo-Gothic style in the 19th century.
The castle houses artwork which shows historical events and personalities, the most extensive private collection of hunting rifles in the country, weaponry from the 16th to the 20th century, and gifts to Charles Philip from Napoleon.
You’ll enjoy learning about the castle’s impressive history while soaking up the fairytale ambience and picturesque surroundings.
Orlik Castle is at 398 07 Orlík nad Vltavou, Czechia.
11- Křivoklát Castle
Situated in Central Bohemia, Křivoklát Castle is among the oldest and most beautiful structures in the entire country.
Initially built in the 12th century during the rule of Přemysl Otakar II, many royals afterwards have made changes to the structure and appearance.
Many Czech rulers have lived here.
The building is now a museum housing old hunting weapons, Gothic paintings and a library with 52,000 volumes.
The view from the Great Tower is another of the castle’s impressive features.
Křivoklát Castle is at Křivoklát 47, 270 23 Křivoklát, Czechia.
12- Litomyšl Castle
Litomyšl Castle is among the most significant Renaissance structures in the Czech Republic.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site was established during the 17th century by Vratislav of Pernštejn as a present for his lovely wife, Maria Manrique de Lara.
Its Renaissance appearance went through some changes made by the succeeding owners Trauttmansdorff and Waldstein-Wartenberg.
Even today, the four-winged, three-storeyed structure is impressive to see, as is the castle’s southern wing with its double-storey arcaded gallery and enclosed square courtyard.
Litomyšl Castle is at Jiráskova 93, 570 01 Litomyšl, Czechia.
13- Valtice Castle
Valtice Castle is a beautiful example of Czech architecture constructed in the 12th century as a fortified residence.
It became a Roman-style castle later, hosting knight tournaments and games.
The castle was acquired during the 14th century by the Liechtenstein family, who owned it until 1945.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site survived many ownership changes and battles.
Today, you can admire the Baroque style rooms of the previous owners, the beautifully-painted ceilings and walls, and the 18th-century outdoor theatre.
Valtice Castle is at Zámek 1, 691 42 Valtice, Czechia.
14- Loket Castle
Another beautiful castle in the Czech Republic is the medieval Loket Castle.
It is located about 15 km from Karlovy Vary and 80 km from Plzeň.
Loket Castle was constructed during the second half of the 12th century over the rock hill near the Ohře river.
The castle is open to visitors and intriguing areas of this castle are the museum of medieval torture, the museum of weapons, and the porcelain exhibition.
Loket Castle is at Zámecká 67, 357 33 Loket, Czechia.
15- Castle Frýdlant
Castle Frýdlant is among the significant heritage sites in Northern Bohemia, constructed in the 13th century by the House of Biberstein.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, a Renaissance chateau and chapel became new additions.
The castle is adorned with original features and the antique furniture and artwork are impressive to see.
Today, it’s a museum that is partially open to the public.
Castle Frýdlant is at Zámecká 4001, 464 01 Frýdlant, Czechia.
16- Kokorin Castle
Constructed in the 14th century by order of Hynek Berka of Dube, the structure was damaged during the Hussite Wars.
This fairytale castle was reconstructed in the late Gothic style and had no owner until 1894.
Kokorin Castle has been designated a national cultural site since 2001 and is set in a picturesque landscape of villages and lakes.
It’s privately owned and is one of the major tourist destinations in the country.
Kokorin Castle is at 277 23 Kokořín, Czechia.
17- Zvíkov Castle
Zvíkov is a picturesque castle located where the Otava and Vltava Rivers converge.
There was a fort here before the castle and after the 13th century, a permanent castle was constructed.
The castle consists of a residential tower with a courtyard, thick walls decorated with black square stone.
Zvíkov Castle is at Zvíkovské Podhradí 1, 397 01 Zvíkovské Podhradí, Czechia.
18- Castle Hruba Skala
Castle Hruba Skala is worth visiting for its fairytale-like appearance.
It’s a 14th-century architectural wonder featuring towering turrets and beautiful views of the luscious green landscape.
Castle Hruba Skala changed hands several times, and today, it is owned by the state and operates as a hotel.
The compact structures form a small courtyard where a church is also located.
The viewing platform outside the castle walls is also used as an open veranda of the hotel and offers lovely views of the surroundings.
Castle Hruba Skala is at Hrubá Skála 1, 511 01 Turnov.
19- Castle Benatky nad Jizerou
Castle Benatky nad Jizerou is a cultural landmark constructed in the 11th century.
The buildings were rebuilt again when the ruler of this castle, Jan von Dražice, died. Thus, the architecture of Castle Benatky nad Jizerou is a blend from different eras, including the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Today, the castle remains partially open to the public and hosts exhibitions where you can learn about the area’s history.
20- Castle Červená Lhota
A unique and other-worldly water castle with beautiful surroundings, Castle Červená Lhota, is a must-visit place for any fan of Czech architecture and heritage.
The red walls and its location on a rocky island make it unique and unforgettable.
Located in Pluhův Žďár, the castle was built in the 15th century in the Gothic style but was renovated in the Renaissance style during the ownership of Káb of Rybňan families.
Castle Červená Lhota has changed hands multiple times, and in 1949, it was opened to the public.
Castle Červená Lhota is at Červená Lhota 1, 378 21 Kardašova Řečice, Czechia.