Karlstejn, Czech Republic

Perhaps the most famous settlement located near Prague is Karlštejn (the name in translation means “Karlov stone”). This town is familiar to all lovers of Gothic architecture thanks to the castle of the same name. Karlštejn, proudly towering on a rock overgrown with thorns above the Berounka River, looks exactly as tourists expect from every ancient castle. Perhaps that is why the flow of people wishing to visit this symbol of the Czech kingdom does not dry up all year round.

How to get to Karlstejn

According to toppharmacyschools.org, the town and the castle are located about 30 km from the capital of the Czech Republic, and it is very easy to get there from Prague. The most convenient way to do this is by train: the road to the village of Karlstejn will take you 45 minutes at the most. Trains run back and forth every half an hour, the last flight to the capital departs around 22:00.

All trains to Karlštejn leave from Prague’s main train station, Hlavni nadrazi, but at the same time they stop at the capital’s Smichov railway station (Smichovske nadrazi), so you can get on there as well.

The train is the most convenient way to travel to the castle. The bus service to Prague is not very good, the flights are not frequent and go to the village of Morina, which is 2 km from Karlstejn. You can join a sightseeing bus in Prague, but it will be much more expensive than a trip on a local train, and will not add comfort. The thing is that buses and cars are supposed to be left in the parking lot in the city center, 2 km from the fortress and then go up to it on your own. Well, or hire a horse-drawn carriage (they are here instead of a taxi) – after all, the road is royal, and kings do not go to castles on foot.

How to navigate in the city

The town is small and it is impossible to get lost in it. The only difficulty could be the path to the castle from the station, since the fortress is not visible from there. But the locals have foreseen this too: the tourist just needs to follow the red or yellow markers, read the numerous signs, which will eventually lead to the destination. The whole way to the town takes about 20 minutes and the route looks something like this: get off the train, go back in the direction you came from, to the bridge, cross it to the other side of the river, turn right and then follow the signs.

Shopping and shops

In fact, the whole road to the castle is one big continuous souvenir shop, in two rows. The standard set of T-shirts, towels, souvenir mugs, magnets and figurines is diluted with products made of Bohemian crystal and Czech garnet. Prices for all this splendor are much lower than in Prague. But really interesting purchases can be made in the castle. A blacksmith usually sits at the entrance, who, in front of you, makes bells and other chased souvenirs. In the same place, in the castle, you can buy unique ceramic products.

Entertainment and attractions in Karlstejn

Despite the picturesque surroundings, where you can walk absolutely free, people go to Karlštejn to see the castle. It is open all year round until 15:00-18:00, depending on the season, on all days except Mondays and Christmas holidays.

There are two options for excursions around it, a sightseeing tour, which passes through the main objects of the fortress with an entry into the treasury (and Charles IV, who founded the castle, collected various relics) and a more detailed one, with a visit to the chapel of the Holy Cross and familiarization with the collection of easel painting.

In addition to the castle and numerous architectural monuments on its territory, in the city of Karlstejn you can visit the wax museum, the nativity scene museum (they are called betlems in the Czech Republic) and the clock house. Also, if it happens in September, you should definitely stay for a noisy and cheerful Grape Harvest Festival.

Karlstejn, Czech Republic