Karlštejn Castle is one of the Czech treasures. Every year, about 200,000 visitors from the Czech Republic and abroad come here to admire the place. Do not miss this seat of Charles IV, the sovereign of the Czech lands. Czech history was written here in the golden Middle Ages.
Karlštejn as the Royal Treasury
Karlštejn had its outstanding role since it was built in 1348. Charles IV, the Czech King and Roman emperor, founded it as a safe place for his royal jewels and collections of holy relics. The monumental castle, the building of which was supervised by the Emperor himself, was completed in 1365 by the consecration of the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Karlštejn has kept the original staircase layout of the buildings to this day. The operational parts of the complex, The Well Tower and the Burgrave House, are situated in the lowest parts. The Imperial Palace with the dominant Marian Tower is situated a bit higher. The castle is dominated by the Big Tower with the Chapel of the Holy Cross, decorated with late Gothic paintings, and a massive fortification.
Opening hours and guided tours
The interiors of Karlštejn Castle are accessible only with a guide. You can choose from three different sightseeing tours of various lengths and commentary languages for the admission from CZK 150 to 330. Detailed descriptions of the tours can be found on the Karlštejn Castle website. The castle is open from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Unlike other Czech castles, Karlštejn is open to the public throughout the week, including Mondays.
How to get there
Karlštejn castle lies on the top of the village of the same name near the Berounka River, about 40km south west of Prague.
By car: Beware of poor parking
If you go by car, park in the central car park in the village – it is a 15-minute walk from the castle. The township of Karlštejn is officially a pedestrian zone during the day and bad parking is heavily penalized.
By train: Walk along the river
The Protected Landscape Area of Český Kras, interwoven with beautiful hiking trails, extends around Karlštejn. You can combine the castle tour with a hike in the forests. From Prague or Beroun, you can take a train directly to Karlštejn, or you can go to the more distant village of Srbsko and walk to Karlštejn along the Berounka River. Watch out for traffic closures though.
By bike: Don’t ride the bike in the village
Cyclists are also welcome, and they can leave their bikes in the castle courtyard in racks; in the pedestrian Karlštejn zone; however, the same rules apply to cyclists and cars.