Castles and Chateaus to Visit in Winter

Castles and Chateaus to Visit in Winter

Enjoy the fairy-tale atmosphere of Czech sights in winter

The majority of Czech castles and chateaus close their gates for the winter season. But there are some historical pearls that welcome visitors all year round, even without any prior booking. They include palaces in city centres or chateaus and castles in small villages. We have some tips for the most interesting sights across the country.

Prague Castle                                                                                  

The buildings of one of the largest castle complexes in the world, Prague Castle, do not close in winter. You can visit the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, the Picture Gallery of the Prague Castle and the Imperial Stables with exhibitions, or St. Vitus Cathedral. The opening hours usually end at 4 p.m.

Křivoklát Castle

Křivoklát Castle in Central Bohemia was one of the representative seats of Bohemian kings and it contains a lot of valuable late-gothic spaces. There is a library with over 52 thousand volumes, a torture chamber with instruments and a prison where the English alchemist Edward Kelley was forced to stay for two years. The castle is open on the weekend in winter.

Karlštejn Castle

Majestic Karlštejn Castle near Prague was built by Emperor Charles IV as a dignified seat for the placement of the Czech crown jewels, collections of holy relics and for receiving noble guests. In winter (from Friday to Sunday), you can visit the private and representative rooms of Emperor Charles IV.

Mníšek pod Brdy Chateau

The classicist chateau in Central Bohemian Mníšek pod Brdy was a mansion occupied until mid-20th century. And that is the period atmosphere that you can enjoy at the chateau. The tours will take you through the representative halls and private rooms of the last owners. When to visit? Weekends are the best and if your group has less than five people, you don’t need to make a reservation.

Dobříš Chateau

The spectacular interiors of the Central Bohemian chateau in Dobříš won’t let you down if you are interested in history and arts. The chateau exposition includes a tour of 11 rooms furnished in the rococo and classicist styles. The chateau is still owned by the Colloredo-Mansfeld family and you can visit it anytime except Mondays. It is open all year round and the chateau hotel offers accommodation as well.

Dětenice Chateau

Northeast of Prague, in a region called Bohemian Paradise, you can visit the baroque chateau of Dětenice. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and the chateau offers fairy-tale tours for children. Apart from the chateau, you can also visit the popular medieval tavern that will take you from the 21st century to the Middle Ages, and you can also spend a night in a medievally-styled hotel. The historical building of the brewery near the chateau has been reconstructed and beer is brewed there.

Loučeň Chateau

You can visit the Central Bohemian baroque chateau of Loučeň all year round. The chateau is surrounded by a large landscaped park, a maze area and many more points of interest. The chateau is related to the noble family of Thurn-Taxis, famous for organising postal and personal transport. It was visited by many notable guests in the past – the Austrian emperor Francis I, American writer Mark Twain or Czech national composer Bedřich Smetana. Visit the chateau to find out why taxis are called taxis and how the most difficult obstacle in the Velká pardubická horserace got its name.

Zbiroh Chateau

The Zbiroh chateau hotel between Prague and Plzeň offers the Chateau Tour in winter. The tour will take you through the chateau history, the Masonic lounge, or the hall where Alfons Mucha painted the famous Slav Epic. You will learn about the history of the Order of Knights Templars and see some truly unique exhibits. The tours are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

Loket Castle

The gothic castle of Loket in West Bohemia near Karlovy Vary is one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. It was built on a rocky point of land surrounded by the Ohře River on three sides. Emperor Charles IV used to stay there quite often. He was there for the first time at the age of 3, when he was imprisoned there. The castle exposition includes a vast porcelain collection and a collection of antique firearms. There is also a meteorite there; it fell on Loket in 1422. It is open daily until 4 p.m. in winter.

Rožmberk Castle

The medieval castle of Rožmberk in South Bohemia forms a large complex on a rock above the Vltava River. The winter tours will take you to the private rooms where the Buquoy Earl family, the last owners of the castle, used to live. The winter tours are available from Tuesday to Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Hluboká nad Vltavou Chateau

The romantic South Bohemian chateau in Hluboká nad Vltavou is one of the most beautiful chateaus in the Czech Republic. The winter tours will take you through the private rooms of the last four generations of the Schwarzenberg family, including the hunter’s dining room, the servery or the flat of the last owner of the chateau, Dr. Adolf Schwarzenberg. There is a technical curiosity there: a personal and service lift. Hluboká is open daily in winter, except for Mondays.

Český Krumlov

If you find yourselves in South Bohemian Český Krumlov in winter, you will discover that the chateau is closed. However, do not despair. You can still visit the Castle Museum that will take you to the era of the lords of Krumlov, the Rosenberg family, and other distinguished noblemen who have lived in the town over the centuries. There are paintings of noblemen, important documents, as well as curiosities, such as the funeral banner of Jan Kristián of Eggenberg. And last but not least, you will definitely enjoy the hitherto unknown views of Český Krumlov from the chateau tower. Opening hours – daily, except Monday.

Děčín Chateau

The Děčín chateau, owned by the Thun-Hohenstein family for a long time, looms over the confluence of the Elbe and Ploučnice River, on a high rocky point of land, in North Bohemia. The tour will take you to the private rooms of František Thun, or you can walk through the chateau in the period of its greatest boom as a lot of distinguished people that stayed there, such as Frédéric Chopin or Emperor Franz Joseph I. The chateau is open daily until 4 or 5 p.m. in winter.

Sychrov Chateau

The neo-gothic Sychrov Chateau near Liberec in North Bohemia used to be the residence of the French Rohan family. The chateau rooms are furnished with original furniture, paintings and other accessories; most rooms are notable for their rich wood-carving decoration. One of the best-known personalities who stayed at Sychrov was the famous Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. Many films have been made there. The chateau is open daily, except Monday, until 2 p.m. in winter.

Lednice Chateau

The South Moravian chateau in Lednice is one of the most visited sights in the Czech Republic. It used to be the representative summer house of the Lichtenstein family. The chateau is a part of the Lednice – Valtice Landscape Area, recorded in the UNESCO World Heritage list. In winter, it is open on the weekend, except in January. What can you see during the winter tours? The representative halls on the ground floor with ornamental ceilings, wooden wall panels and beautiful contents of the chateau that has no parallel in Europe. These spaces were used for social events and balls attended by European nobility.