Best ways to get to Karlstejn Castle from Prague by train, car and on foot in 2024, including train times, ticket cost, parking and walking routes to the castle.
Karlstejn Castle is a great day out from Prague, because you can easily fit it into half a day, but equally, there is enough to do for the whole day if you want to visit other museums, take a walk in the countryside or have a leisurely lunch or a coffee break.
This trip is perfect if you are short of time, or don’t want to travel too far from Prague. It’s also great for your first independent venture out of Prague as there is very little that can go wrong – there are no complicated travel arrangements, trains run frequently and the journey takes only 40 minutes from the Main Train Station in central Prague close to the Wenceslas Square.
Karlstejn is one of the first castles I’ve ever visited as it’s very close to where my family lives and I grew up. We often cycled to Karlstejn through steep and narrow roads or walked through the forest to get there. It was also our ‘stomping ground’ and I walked the paths around the castle many times, often going to the nearby ‘Velka Amerika’ quarry at the time when there were no marked tourist trails as it wasn’t exactly an official tourist attraction. There are some great country walks around Karlstejn, so if you fancy taking a different approach to getting to Karlstejn, keep reading…
Best way to get to Karlstejn Castle from Prague
The best way to get to Karlstejn Castle from the centre of Prague is to take a direct train from Hlavni Nadrazi – Main Train Station. There are no buses from Prague.
You’ll also need to walk from the train station to the castle and this is about a 2.5 km walk, mostly uphill. Karlstejn village is traffic-free, so no cars are permitted to drive through, but you can take a horse carriage ride from the station if you wish. The cost is about 120-150 CZK per person.
The official taxi service is run from the main car park, which you can find when you cross the Berounka river and follow the road along (it will be on your right). Taxi is usually around 120 CZK per person.
How long is the journey to Karlstejn caste from Prague?
It’s only 40 minutes on the train, but you also need to add the walk time from the train station as there are no buses that would take you up to the castle. The walk is about 2-2.5 km and it can take 30 min or 40 minutes (if you are stopping to look at shops or having an ice-cream). The walk is uphill most of the time, so add more time if you prefer to walk slowly.
How to buy your train ticket
The Main Train Station ticket offices are located below the main train station area and they are well signposted. The office staff might not understand English, but you can write ‘Karlstejn’ on a piece of paper and show them. It’s best to buy a return ticket (‘zpatecni listek’ in Czech) and that way you don’t have to buy the ticket again. If you travel together with somebody or buy a return ticket, you only get one piece of paper, so look after it well!
You can also buy a train ticket via the official train app – Muj Vlak, but you need to download it and make sure that your phone is on so that you can show the QR code when the ticket inspector asks at the train.
Because Karlstejn is on a commuter train line, the train ticket is valid on any train on that day.
The trains leave every 30 minutes or so and you’ll want a train that heads towards ‘Beroun’. Karlstejn should be listed as one of the stations.
The train stations are also clearly displayed on the train and announced at each station (and the next station is announced too).
The journey takes 40 minutes and the stop before Karlstejn is ‘Hlavni Treban’.
How much does the ticket cost?
The train ticket costs 71 CZK for a one-way ticket for an adult – so 142 CZK for the return ticket. This is about £5 for a return ticket or $6 or 6.50 euro.
Children, students and those over 65 have a 50% discount, but make sure you have a passport or other official ID card to claim your discount when you buy your ticket.
How frequent are the trains to Karlstejn?
The trains from Prague Main Train Station to Karlstejn station and back run fairly frequently – at peak times this is every 30 minutes. Karlstejn station is on the commuter line so trains run usually without any delays, but it could be also quite busy at times.
Train times to and from Karlstejn train station
The current train times from the Main Train Station in Prague (Hlavni Nadrazi) are at 21 and 51 minutes past each hour.
Returning back to Prague, trains leave from Karlstejn train station at 28 and 58 minutes past each hour.
How to get to the castle from the train station at Karlstejn
To get to the castle from the train station, you basically just need to follow the yellow tourist-marked trail. It will first lead you through a small road across the bridge over the Berounka River and then turn right and up the hill towards the castle.
From the bottom of the Karlstejn village, it’s quite a steep hike, but there are plenty of coffee places, ice-cream shops, museums and souvenir shops to stop and take a break.
The whole walk is only about 2.5 km, but make sure you allow yourself at least 30-40 minutes to walk up if you’ve purchased a timed ticket to the castle in advance and need to be there at a particular time.
You can also take the horse carriage ride (about 150 -200 CZK per person) or walk over to the official car park across the bridge and take an official taxi (which is allowed to enter the pedestrian area only). Taxi is about 120-150 CZK per person.
Visit Karlstejn with an organised tour
You can also take an organised tour from Prague to Karlstejn Castle. This is usually a half-day tour. The organised tour will, of course, be much more expensive than a return train ticket. The cost varies, but I’ve seen prices from 500-750 CZK as a minimum, which often don’t include the entrance fee to the castle itself.
Also, if you think that the organised tour bus or car will be able to take you all the way up to the top of the castle, please check that with the tour company; because the chances are that they won’t be able to do that. Large buses will have to park close to the Berounka River at the bottom of the village and you’ll need to walk up the same way as if you were to take the train.
The main route through the village is pedestrianised and driving cars, buses or bikes is strictly prohibited. Your bus company might be able to drop you off at the bottom of the castle, if they drive up to the castle from the other side, but there is still a fair bit of the steep walk up to the castle left (and there is no really good place to turn there as the roads are quite narrow). I’m only mentioning this so that you double check with the tour company in case you have any mobility issues or concerns about the access to the castle.
Travelling by car
Driving from Prague will depend on where you are starting from, but most people use the 4 dual carriageway out of Prague towards Dobris and Pribram and then the 115 road through Radotin, Cernosice, Dobrichovice (turn right to 116 road) to Hlasna Treban and Karlstejn. Once you are on 115 road Karlstejn is signposted. The 116 road will take you directly to the bottom of Karlstejn village and the parking area. If you want to use the unofficial drop-off closer to the castle then turn to Morinka just before Karlstejn village.
I personally think that if you can avoid driving to Karlstejn, you’ll probably enjoy your trip better, but I appreciate that there might be a good reason why you’d like to take a car. The journey from Prague is not much faster by car than by train (about 40 minutes and more if you are starting on the wrong side of Prague). The parking area is always very busy at peak times and since it’s the only place to park, you will not have a lot of options if there is no space when you arrive.
Parking in Karlstejn village
There is only one designated parking in Karlstejn close to the bridge over the Berounka river. The parking costs 200 CZK for 4 hrs (per car). There is a designated taxi company, which is allowed to drive up to the castle, but it costs a further 100-150 CZK per person.
Please don’t try to park elsewhere in the village, because you might get a parking ticket. Plus there is really no other space to park – there are no quiet side roads as the village is squeezed into a steep valley.
How to get the closest to the castle with a car for anyone with mobility issues
You’ll need to walk from the car park from the bottom of the village to the top of the castle after you’ve parked your car.
If you have a designated driver, who is happy to do the walk from the official car park, you can be dropped off at the top of the castle walk on the 11619 road just before you see the signs for Karlstejn pedestrianised area. You can walk up the rest (about 500 m up the steep hill). The car driver will have to do a sharp 3 point turn and drive back through Morina to Hlasna Treban and then to the official car park at the bottom of the Karlstejn village, park the car and then walk up (2,5 km) to join you. This is the only way to get closer to the castle at least for some of you in your group, if you have for example mobility issues.
Please bear in mind these are not official drop-off points and the roads are very narrow, so please be careful when you are doing the 3-point turns.
The other unofficial drop-off point could be on the 11620 road (also from Morinka), but that’s under the castle and the walk is very steep and much longer than on the 11619.
The pedestrianised restrictions are in force every day from 9 am until 6 pm, so theoretically, if you are very early (well before 9 am) you can drop everyone off at the top of the castle and drive down through the village to park at the bottom (without having to drive round back up to Morinka).
Best country walks to get to Karlstejn Castle
All walks are well marked with specific colours (the markers are usually on the trees), but to help you plan your journey you can download Czech walking map to your phone (it works even without phone data). I use it all the time for my walks, as it’s great to see any shortcuts or pinpoint exactly when I’m not sure exactly where I am.
Hlasna Treban to Karlstejn Castle – Yellow Tourist Trail (4 km)
This is one of my favourite walking paths, which is only slightly longer than the walk from Karlstejn train station. To start the walk get off one stop before Karlstejn at Hlasna Treban train station and find the yellow marked trail from the train station.
The beauty is that it will take you through an old village called Hlasna Treban with some newly restored baroque farmsteads and then through meadows and forests to Karlstejn castle. The path is going uphill most of the time, but it’s a fairly gentle incline. You’ll first see the castle nestling in the valley and trees and no signs of busy streets, crowded souvenir shops or people! I always think this is the view that Charles IV (one of the most important Bohemian kings) might have had when he arrived at the castle in the Middle Ages and why he enjoyed staying there so much.
You’ll then join the main red tourist path to take you to the top of the castle hill and the castle grounds. After you see the castle, it’s quite nice to walk down Karlstejn hill through the shops and to the Karlstejn train station (add another 3 km from the castle to the train station at Karlstejn).
Beroun – Karlstejn Castle – Red Tourist Trail (14 km)
This is a much longer route, but it goes through some lovely woodland areas around the castle. You’ll see the King’s water well, spring waterfalls, old monastery at St.Jan pod Skalou and have great views of Beroun valley as you are starting (or finishing) your walk.
To start your walk take the same train as for Karlstejn and stay on until Beroun (make sure you buy the ticket there as well). This walk is more suitable if you don’t want to see the castle inside, because, by the time you arrive, it will be probably closed. You can also do this walk in reverse and visit the castle early in the morning and then do the walk to Beroun.
Srbsko – Karlsten Castle – Blue + Red Tourist Trail (7 km)
This is a slightly shorter version of the Beroun-Karlstejn red trail, because you start at Srbsko. Use the same train, but stay on for another stop and get off at Srbsko train station. Pick up the blue trail which follows a lovely valley with a stream running through it and at Kubrichtova Bouda take the red tourist trail that will take you to Karlstejn castle. At ‘Strom u Sedmi Bratri’ you have a choice to make a detour to the Velka a Mala Amerika quarry, but the whole trail there and back is about 8 km long. The Mala Amerika quarry is closer, so the detour would be only about 3 km.
Radotin – Karlstejn Castle – Red tourist trail (20 km)
To start this walk, you can take any bus from Smichovske Nadrazi to Radotin. Radotin is still part of the Prague integrated ticket system, where you only need the basic ticket – 40 CZK for 90 minutes. Your ticket is also valid on the same train that goes to Karlstejn, but the journey takes only 15 minutes from the Main train Station. There will be also more trains going to Radotin.
You can also join the walk from Cernosice or Dobrichovice and just follow the joining paths (blue from Cernosice or green from Dobrichovice). Both stations are on the same train line.
This is the original walk that we used to take to get to Karlstejn. It goes through forests, valleys, a few villages, and a forgotten castle called Karlik and then it drops down to Karlstejn castle, so you’ll be arriving from a completely different direction than most people.
This blog post was originally written on 5 November 2023 and last updated on 5 November 2023
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