Czech country has long history and there are almost 1000 castles and ruins throughout. Within reach half day trip from Prague are dozen really nice chateaux and castles. We are sure you will not wish to see all of them, but you should discover three of the most popular, at least.|
The castles and chateaux are usually open from the beginning of April to the end of October (from 9 am to 6 pm in May, June, July, August and from 10 am to 3 pm in April, September and October). Krivoklat Castle is open all the year round.
KarlstejnThe most photogenic and the most popular castle in the Prague neighborhood is located 28 km south-west of the city. Karlstejn was founded by Charles IV in 1348, remodeled in the 19th century. It is open daily except Mondays, from March 1 through November 11 and on weekends from November 11 through March 1. Foreigners are expected to buy an English guided tour at 270 Kc. Czech language guided tour is at 170 Kc but is not as good as the English one. The castle is about 30 minutes by train from Railway Station Smichov (Nadrazi Smichov). It is a really nice short day trip. There are a lot of shops on the way up to the castle from the village. You have a chance to buy Bohemia Crystal there much cheaper than in Prague. If you like delicious Czech cakes and pies visit the bakery in the left curve to the castle. You can't miss it, just smell :-)
KonopisteThe French style castle from 13th century got its neo Gothic face in the 1890s. It is open daily except Mondays, from April 1 till November 30. You can enjoy three really cool guided tours. For each you can join a Czech group for 150-220 Kc or take English tour for 220-320 Kc. The castle is located 44 km south-east of Prague. Take the train from the Main Railway Station (Hlavni Nadrazi) to Benesov. It will take an hour to get there. Benesov is nice small provincial and a kind of drowsy town. The castle is about 30 minutes walking distance from town in a beautiful park with a lake. It is a nice and calm long day trip particularly if the weather in summer is nice. If you are hurry or the weather is not the best, take a tour with a travel agency. Buy the tickets from the Visitor Center.
KrivoklatThe castle is located 40 km west of Prague and was built in the late 13th century. You can enjoy the prison, torture chambers and the second biggest non church Gothic hall there (after the Vladislav Hall in Prague Castle). Half the pleasure of going is getting there by train up the wooded valley. From Railway Station Smichov (Nadrazi Smichov) take a train to Beroun. Then transfer to the Rakovnik-bound one car train. Krivoklat is open all the year round from 10 am to 3 pm, in summer from 9 am to 6 pm. It is a romantic train ride and nice long day trip. On weekdays you will find none of the crowds associated with place like Karlstejn. If you are hurry or the weather is not the best, take a tour with a travel agency. Buy the tickets from the Visitor Center. Foreigners are expected to buy an English guided tour at 240 Kc. Czech language guided tour is at 190 Kc but is not as good as the English one.
Other Castles and ChateauxThere is the list of 41 the most popular castles in the country. It is the best idea to call them to make a reservation in advance as some castles may be busy particularly during the top season.
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