In Day 16 of our epic family travel adventure we took a half day trip to the beautiful Karlstejn Castle. This is a large Gothic Castle founded in 1348, which was home to King Charles IV, the King of Bohemia. The castle is conveniently located just 30km outside of Prague, near the township of Karlstejn. As well as housing King Charles IV, the castle was also home to the Crown Jewels and other holy treasures.

How to get there

The castle is easily accessible for anybody who has access to a car. But as tourists we had 2 options – catch the train or take a tour.

The train is very easy, just catch a regional train from Prague station to Karlstejn Station. They leave twice per hour and the journey takes just 40 minutes. The tickets are cheap, about 6 Euros when I researched. All the details can be easily found on the Czech Transport website here.

The option we took was slightly easier, we just booked a 4 hour tour through a local hire company. This was a very easy tour, we just had to show up at a certain address in central Prague at 9:00 am. They drove us to the castle and had us booked into a 50 minute English tour. That left us with about 1 hour to stroll around those parts of the castle accessible for free. We just booked online at at a cost of 70 Euros for 2 people. Our online booking was made at 7am for a 9am tour the same day, so it was very easy to book. No complaints with the tour, it all went seamlessly.

The Castle Tour

The castle was just amazing and everything I had hoped for. I was disappointed that I was unable to find any old Transylvania style medieval castles in Prague, so this castle fit the bill perfectly. The tour guide was very informative, and we learnt all about the King and his Castle. The furniture was fairly sparse but very authentic. We even got to see the original throne room complete with throne, as well as the King’s original bedroom suite.

The tour group was quite large, probably about 30 or so people. It was quite mad getting all those people funneled through doors into some quite small rooms, however some of the rooms were huge and had plenty of rooms. We probably went through about 10 rooms all up, so we had quite a good look around the castle. We did not however get to enter the Grand Tower or the Cathedral.

Was it worth the effort

I have heard that Germany is the place to see awesome medieval castles, however if you are visiting Prague I definitely recommend a visit to Karlstejn Castle. It is very authentic in a beautiful setting. I would however recommend taking the train rather that a tour. Why? Because on the walk up through the village there are many other tourist traps. A clock museum, a zoo, many restaurants. And countless souvenir shops along the way. The prices are very cheap compared to Prague as well. Our tour was quite rushed and we barely had time to stop and buy a quick snack. It would have been lovely to have a spare 2 or 3 hours to spend exploring this beautiful village setting. And it would have saved about 30-50 Euros. Either way, if you have a spare half day in Prague, it’s definitely worth the trip to Karlstejn Castle.

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