Karlstejn Castle is one of the most famous of its kind in the Czech Republic. This guide will help you plan your visit.
Visiting Karlstejn Castle
Located 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the Czech capital, Karlstejn Castle makes a great day trip from Prague.
Karlstejn is a medieval castle that dates back to the 14th century. Built by Charles IV, the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, it was commissioned to guard the crown jewels.
The most famous part of Karlstejn Castle is the Chapel of the Holy Rood, which boasts of a gallery with panel paintings by the master Theodoricus and more than two thousand precious and semiprecious stones covering its walls.
Tours of Karlstejn Castle
There are three tours available for Karlstejn Castle:
Tour 1 (50 to 60 minutes): Imperial Palace, lower floors of the Marian tower, Courtier’s Hall, Hall of Knights, St. Nicholas Chapel, Chapter Deanery, Royal Bedroom, Audience and Banquet Halls, Hall of Ancestors, Treasury and Jewels Hall, and the former castle prison.
Tour 2 (100 to 110 minutes): Marian and Great towers, Church of Our Lady, Chapel of St. Catharine, former Sacristy, wooden suspension bridge, lapidary museum, castle picture gallery, library, and the Chapel of the Holy Rood.
Tour 3: 3rd, 4th and 5th floor of the Great Tower (no Chapel of the Holy Rood).
Note: Reservations for touring the Chapel of the Holy Rood (Tour 2) must be made ahead of time.
The castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday between March and mid-November, as well as on some weekends throughout the rest of the year. From February to April, the only tour that is available is Tour 1.
Transportation from Prague to Karlstejn Castle
Trains from Prague to Karlstejn Castle: Trains run every 30 to 60 minutes from Prague’s Hlavni Nadrazi train station to Karlstejn. The train stops approximately 3 kilometers (2 miles) away. From the station, you can walk up the hill to get to the castle. Trains from Prague to Karlstejn take 40 minutes each way.
Driving from Prague to Karlstejn Castle: Take the D5 and follow the signs to the castle. There is a parking lot in the village, which is a 15-minute walk away. Driving from Prague to Karlstejn takes approximately 45 minutes each way.
Private Tours of Karlstejn Castle: The easiest way to get to Karlstejn is to take a tour from Prague. The driver will take you to the castle (usually in a van) and pick you up at a specified time.