Best Castles in Czech Republic near Plzeň: they will impress you
Castles in Czech Republic belong to the best castles in Europe. They are usually situated in a beautiful nature, many of them are very well reconstructed and open for visitors.
Mostly of here listed castles are near Plzeň Czech Republic. Plzeň is the City in Western Czechia, close to Bavarian (German) borders and it is very popular goal of tourists because of the famous Pilsner Urquell Brewery. But Plzeň and Plzeň Region are full of historical landmarks, medieval castles and nice countryside. You can plan to see some of Czech castles near Plzeň that are definitely worth a visit. Mostly of them are also reachable by train from Plzeň.
Do you travel with children? That´s great! Your kids will love castles in Czech Republic. A lot of Czech castles have special guided tours for children.
Here is the list of best castles in Czech Republic you shouldn´t miss. Czech Castles will impress you!
Czech Castle Loket
Loket town is very often compared to Český Krumlov.
The medieval castle Loket belongs to best castles in Czech Republic. It is situated about 80 km far from Plzeň and only 15 km far from Karlovy Vary, the famous SPA town in Western Czechia.
The gothic-romanesque castle was built in the second half of 12th century on a rock hill surrounded by Ohře river. Such a great and save place for a fortress.
Loket castle is open for visitors; castle´s interiors offer many interesting expositions. To the most popular parts belong the old castle prison with an authentic museum of medieval torture, the museum of weapons and an exhibition of porcelain. For more information about opening times and prices go to the website of Loket castle.
Loket Castle is situated on a rock hill and surrounded by Ohře River.
The castle is situated in a very small town with the same name Loket. Narrow streets of Loket town, the curve of Ohře river and the impressive hill with Loket castle above create a beautiful composition.
I am sure that you will love this place; it is very similar to Český Krumlov (by UNESCO protected town in Southern part of Czech Republic) only with less tourists and lower prices.
The train connection to this Czech castle is very often from Karlovy Vary, but it is also possible to get there by canoeing on Ohře river or to come by bike: Ohře river bike trail is beautiful and very popular.
The Ruins of Radyně Castle
Czech Castle Radyně is situated just a few kilometers southeast from Pilsen, on a small hill called Radyně, therefore is the castle very well visible from Pilsen City and it is also a significant element of Pilsen Region.
Thanks to the care of nearby town Starý Plzenec it is very nice illuminated at night.
Actually, we can´t call it castle anymore; better description is ´ruins´ now. You have to understand that the castle was founded already in year 1356 by King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV to protect the borders and trade routes to Bavaria.
But the visit of Radyně castle is one of the MUST TO SEE in Pilsen region. And I tell you why.
Czech Castle Radyně from above, photo by Zbyněk Bartoš.
Radyně castle is hidden in the forest, so even the journey there is little bit adventurous. Of course, you can rich Radyně castle by car, there is a parking place in front of the castle, but we recommend you to walk from Starý Plzenec. From bus or train station in Starý Plzenec leads a good marked path for tourists. It has a big advantage, various cultural and music events take place in Radyně castle and probably many people will come by car there.
The castle is open for the public on weekends during April, May, September and October and from Tuesday till Sunday during June, July and August.
In front of Radyně castle is very nice reconstructed Info Center with access for handicapped people. You find a small restaurant, souvenirs shop, toilets, service for bikers and small children playground here.
For more information see the Website of Info Center Radyně Castle.
The closest possible accommodation to Radyně castle is in apartment house Penzion Pod Radyní. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Castles in Czech Republic are usually open from April to October, Mondays is closed. All the time please check the castle´s webstite.
Kozel Castle (Kozel Chateau)
Looking for the afternoon or an half-day trip from Pilsen? Thanks to the short distance from Pilsen is Kozel Castle popular goal of Pilsen citizens. If you use a train (from Pilsen to Šťáhlavy) you can combine the visit of Kozel with the 2 km long walk in a nice tree alley.
Kozel is the nearest Czech castle to Pilsen.
Kozel is the hunting Chateau. It was built as a country residence for the aristocracy at the end of 18 century. Kozel Chateau is a very simple ground floor building, which served as an accommodation of the noblesse during hunts in nearby beautiful forests.
Maybe you are asking why the name Kozel, which means ´he-goat´ in English language. It is because of the old pagan custom of the Slavs: our ancestors sacrificed the goat in the hope of a good harvest at the time of the Equinox right on this place.
You will find a chapel next to the castle: it is used for concerts and as wedding place until today.
This Czech castle is surrounded by a huge park (40 ha), which ensures that you will enjoy also the surrounding. For example you can borrow a boat and discover a small lake near the chateau Kozel called ´Lopatecký rybník´ or you can admire blooming roses and many kinds of ornamental trees.
The distance between Kozel Chateau and Radyně castle is only 6 kilometers. Close to both places is located town Starý Plzenec where you can spend a night for example in apartment house Na Jízdárně.
Castles in Czech Republic: Bečov nad Teplou
Czech Castle Bečov nad Teplou is situated near Karlovy Vary.
Plasy Monastery built on the water
Plasy is a town located 25 kilometers north from Pilsen in the valley of Střela river.
It is very good accessible by car or train (direct connection) from Plzeň. And we like to go there for one day every summer because this place offers the entertainment for the whole family.
Plasy is very small town but it lives with a rich cultural life. And here are the most interesting reasons why to visit this place near Pilsen:
- the unique monastery built on 5100 wooden piles
- many cultural events in front of the monastery and in the area of a brewery
- ZOO with a minigolf park
- a small lake for summer bathing
- a nice surrounding with bike trails
- the excellent restaurant Rudolf II. with children playground and an accommodation possibility in attached property Pivovarský Dvůr
Plasy monastery belongs to the most amazing castles in Czech Republic.
The Cistercian Monastery in Plasy was founded in 1144 and it is one of the oldest heritage sights in the Pilsen region. Its architect Jan Blažej Santini-Aichl got a difficult task: to build a monastery on the water. The monastery is built in the river valley which is very unstable and wet. This is the reason why Plasy Monastery is built on 5100 wooden piles.
Later on, monks built the water canal through the monastery area. The water actuated mill and the mill actuated the sawmill.
Plasy monastery is open for the public. Several times a year, there are special tours which lead visitors to the underground where you can see the water, air and heating system of Plasy Monastery. But you have to be older than 10 years and may not be scared. ☺ For more information about guided tours go to the website of Plasy Monastery.
I love Chotěšov monastery. It is a place with a rich and sometimes emotional history. The monastery is placed in big garden with a nice view to surrounding area. It is open for a public only occasionally: on Sundays from May till September at 2 pm and 4 pm.
The town of Chotěšov is situated 20 kilometers to the west from Plzeň on the main route from Plzeň to Domažlice. The Baroque nunnery (which means woman monastery) of Chotěšov was founded in the years 1202-1220. It was burnt down in 1421 during the Hussite Wars and during the Thirty Year´s War (1618–1648) it was plundered several times.
Chotěšov Monastery was reconstructed but last disaster followed in 1950; the Baroque convent used to serve as a casern for Czechoslovak Army between years 1950-1975. In this moment started the process of the devastation of cultural values, the equipment of the nunnery was burnt, destroyed or stolen.
Today the major part of the monastery belongs to the property of the town Chotěšov and the building is being with help of some donations and work of volunteers very slowly reconstructed.
Do you know that a short part of the movie ´Bad company´ with Anthony Hopkins was filmed in Chotěšov monastery?
Chotěšov monastery still need a massive reconstruction.
Water Castle Švihov
The journey by train took from Pilsen to station Švihov 45 minutes in a nice nature. From the railway station we followed the blue tourist mark and walked maybe 2 km when we reached the castle. The castle is surrounded with the blind arm of the river Úhlava. By the way, the castle and the city were terribly affected by flood in 2002.
Švihov Castle is situated on the way from Pilsen to Klatovy.
Tours take place an every hour and you have a several options, which tour to choose. The basic one: life in a late medieval aristocratic manor in the 16th century, then the visit of kitchen or the visit of the tower. We choose the tour for children, which was very simple and quite short (maybe 30 minutes) and I think my children would be able to enjoy even the longer tour.
Parking place, restaurant and icecream shop is nearby. You can combine the visit of Švihov castle with the visit of another interesting west bohemian town called Klatovy.
Křimice Castle: reconstructed thanks to the cabbage
The former village Křimice became a part of Pilsen City a few years ago. It is situated on the western part of Plzeň and it is famous in Czechia mostly because of cabbage. Does it sound strange?
Cabbage from Křimice is chopped cabbage that has been pickled in brine and stored in wooden barrels; this product is called Sauerkraut (from German language). You can also see cabbage plants on the fields around Křimice. The cabbage manufacture and Křimice castle belong to the property of Lobkowicz family.
Křimice castle is open for visitors only very occasionally.
Křimice castle was built in 1732. In 1830, the ancestor of family Lobkowicz inherited the castle. Unfortunately, the Křimice castle was nationalized by the Czech Communist party in 1950. After the fall of communism the destroyed castle was again returned to Mr. Jaroslav Lobkowicz in 1994.
The castle is continuously repaired, but it is open for public only on special occasions, for example on October 28, when the anniversary of the Czech Republic Foundation is celebrated, or for wedding purposes.
The castle is surrounded by a very nice park, which is open for public and which is used for concerts, theatre performances, summer cinema, kids day etc.
Křimice castle is very well accessible from Pilsen: of course by car, by bike (there is a very nice bike trail leading along Mže river) and by bus No. 35, which goes once or twice in every hour.
It was the tour through the most impressive castles in Czech Republic available as a one day trip from Plzeň. I hope that it was helpful for you and that you have an inspiration which Czech Castle to visit. I appreciate your comments on our Facebook page. Thanks!
Written by Šárka Novotná
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I'm Šárka and I'm so glad you've found this Website! I was born in Plzeň and from the love to my home city I launched PlzenGuide.com. I hope you will find important information and ideas about how to spend an incredible time in Pilsen Czech Republic.