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Living in Prague is pretty useful if you like travelling as much as we do. Being pretty central we can get to any major European city within a couple of hours. Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Bratislava to name a few are only a few hours drive away. Sticking closer to home we decided on a day trip to Karlstejn Castle.
Located about 30 km west of Prague Karlstejn is a cute little town with an incredible Gothic castle founded 650 years ago by Charles IV, King of Bohemia and of the Roman Empire. Its an impressive fairy-tale looking castle, and being the most beautiful in the Czech Republic means it has been exploited by the tourist industry. The village below the castle is filled with tacky souvenir stalls, very expensive restaurants, and to complete the carnival an ‘erotic city’ porn shop.
If your taking a day trip here I’d recommend walking outside the village. There are some great hiking trails in the area as the village is set amongst protected forests. All of the tacky shops aside, the castle is magnificent. Once you arrive at the castle you can enter within the walls for free but access to the inside of the castle requires paying for a guided tour (220 Kč). There are several tours in different languages during the day.
I really enjoyed it here. We have visited a couple of castles in and around Prague and this one definitely has the most fairy tale feel of them all!
HANDY TIP: The castle is closed on Mondays so don’t waste a journey! Also I wouldn’t recommend eating in the village as you’ll pay an extortionate amount to eat even a simple small dish. Also a bottle of water here can be anything up to 45kč (normal price is 12kč)! so stock up on water before you visit.
You can drive to Karlstejn or take a train (line S6) from the main station (Hlavní nádraží) or the Smíchov station. Journey takes 40 minutes and return ticket from the main station costs CZK 95.