There are hundreds, possibly even more than a thousand, castles in the Czech Republic. This all depends on who you ask and what they consider a chateau or a castle or a palace or a fort or a…you get the idea. We’re not here to argue what’s a castle and what’s not but rather give you some great spots to look for these beautiful buildings that are scattered throughout the Czech Republic.
Our adventure began in Brno, a great base to explore the wine happy region of Moravia as well as castle-filled South Bohemia. We didn’t see all of these castles in the Czech Republic in one day. Rather, it took a few days, some wrong turns and good fortune to find these gems.
We’d like to share a tip for driving aimlessly through the Czech Republic, which you should totally do. If you see a sign that says “hrad” or “zámek” then follow it! Hrad means castle and zámek means chateau.
Ok, we’ll share one more tip. Find a bakery, called Pekárna in Czech, and grab yourself a chlebíčky. You might have to hit up a few bakeries to find them but if all else fails, find a supermarket. Your road trip through the Czech Republic will be that much better and your taste buds will be satisfied.
Side note: present day Czech Republic is actually called Czechia. It doesn’t seem like word has gotten out about this and no one realizes it (the name changed in 2016). So we’re going to refer to the country as the Czech Republic.
Also called Lednice Castle, it’s less than an hour drive from Brno. Not only is the architecture breathtaking but the gardens are absolutely lovely to walk through. Even on our windy and overcast visit in February, Lednice Chateau was truly stunning.
These ruins overlook the town of Pavlov and the picturesque Thaya River. Dating back to the 1200s, this castle endured hard times such as the Thirty Years’ War. You’ll also notice the seemingly infinite fields of vineyards near the castle. Taste some famous Moravian wine during your castle adventure.
Unfortunately, Bítov Castle was closed during our visit in February. This castle dates back to the 13th century, eventually updated in a baroque style, giving it its pristine look at present day. There is a retreat hotel nearby with bowling and there’s also a small farm. The countryside here is so peaceful.
Hluboká Castle was the original name but it’s now referred to as the State Chateau of Hluboká. Seriously, this is one of the prettiest castles in all of Czech Republic. Mentions of this castle go date back to 1100, where it originally served as a sentry. It, of course, went through many changes and updates through the centuries.
This castle offers one tour during the winter months so we were fortunate enough to see the interior. No pictures allowed though, sadly. We highly recommend if you see one castle outside of Prague or Brno or anywhere else in the Czech Republic, that Hluboká Castle is the one you see. The grounds are perfect for an afternoon picnic (in the warmer months, of couse)!
Mikulov Castle bears the name of the town it overlooks, Mikulov. You can find fantastic views of the Moravia region here. Try some wine, check out the library, and have a stroll in the town square. Mikulov is one of those towns you happen upon and never forget. We visited on a Sunday so many things were closed, but there’s a delicious gyro stand open in the town square. Just follow your nose!
These castle ruins are a sight to see, especially for those interested in medieval times. It’s wonderful to just walk around the grounds but don’t miss out on getting a great view of these ruins from a distance. Down the hill from the castle there is a large bridge. It’s the perfect spot to park and take in the views.
Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau
Situated on the edge of a national park, it’s no wonder that Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau is so beautiful. It sits upon a tall hill, overseeing the river and village below. There are many great spots to grab some photos of the chateau and tours are offered in warmer seasons. Adding the neighboring Podyjí National Park to your day trip, this chateau would make for an amazing day in southern Czech Republic.
Summary for Castles in the Czech Republic
These castles were some of our favorite sites during our day trips in Moravia and South Bohemia. The Czech Republic is full to the brim of these castles and chateaus and it’s amazing that we’re able to see them standing there today. If you’re in the Czech Republic, escape from Prague and Brno and see these beautiful pieces of history. If looking for more day trip ideas, check out our post on a Brno day trip that took us to a well preserved Renaissance town as well as a unique and historically rich church.
Happy castle hunting!