On our first full day of adventure in the Czech Republic we started out or day at Velka Amerika. After we enjoyed a nice walk and a picnic lunch we headed to the near by Karlstejn for the afternoon. We have seen a lot of castle in the past few years! In fact, I was hesitant to go to yet another castle at first. However, I decided that it would be fun to visit a castle in a country outside of Germany (We have also visited Chateau Vianden in Luxembourg.) So away we went! I am so glad that we did!
Karlstejn Castle was built in the mid 1300’s and is a gothic style castle. It was founded by the Bohemian King Charles the IV and served as a place of safe keeping for holy relics, crown jewels, and other items of importance. The castle has changed hands and been reconstructed and renovated over the years, but it still holds quite a lovely charm!
The town of Karlstejn is also quite lovely as well! We decided to pay to ride a horse drawn carriage up the castle itself. With our three girls and the hiking we had done earlier in the day this proved to be a smart move as the walk is kind of long and uphill. However, if you were trying to be more on the frugal side the walk is do able. We did walk back down and it was a lot of fun. There are a lot of little shops and cafes surrounding the main road and the girls really enjoyed looking at all the various items. We even enjoyed a nice ice cream treat at one of the cafes!
The castle itself is only explorable via guided tour. One of my biggest tips about traveling with kids is know your kids. Our kids and guided tours do not mix. We did the guided tour at Burg Eltz last summer and while I am glad we did it was a little long (and boring) for the kids. So as a general rule of thumb we save the castle exploring for castles we can explore with out a tour. On the bright side, you can access a large portion of the outer areas of the castle with out being part of the tour and I felt like we really good a good feel (and amazing views!) with out having to endure restless kiddos!
It was such a fun afternoon exploring! We finished off our first full day in the Czech by sitting in insane amount of traffic and never really getting to see much of Prague. We did wind up at a rest stop restaurant and had some seriously delicious Czech Food, though. All in all, it was a great first day! We have absolutely fallen in love with the Czech Republic!
To see more of our time in Karlstejn you can view the entire album HERE on our photo share site!