The trip was good. The guide was very nice and informative, very interested in getting to know everyone and able to explain everything in multiple languages. The bus driver was equally helpful and friendly and allowed my friends and I to stow our luggage on the bus for the duration of the trip, which was very nice. Keep in mind, however, these buses are small most are converted Mercedes Sprinter vans and people carriers, so don't come with more than a backpack and expect them to have room for it.
The Karlstejn Castle was okay, but nothing to write home about. The castle is mostly barren and you only get to see one of the two towers, so almost half the castle is off-limits. While we were inside, we were quite hurried along by the local guide and we were always with another group in the same room, meaning that both guides were speaking at the same time and it was hard to hear and make out what they were saying. Overall not very impressed by the castle visit itself.
If you are booking this tour, please keep in mind that the castle is on a mountain and you will have to climb a bit of a slope to get to it. This climb is not as exerting as other castle climbs in the region, but if you have trouble walking for long distances or tire very easily, you may want to choose something else.
I would recommend Viator or the local providers for the great service, but I would not recommend this castle visit. If you're looking for a good day trip from Prague, might want to look at other tours from Viator.
Unfortunately, I would say we were pretty disappointed by this trip. Firstly, I was trying to stay away from Martin tours as they did not get great reviews on tripadvisor and upon boarding found out that we were boarding a Martin tour. The tour guide was monotone and not interesting. The castle employee who opened the doors to each section of the castle got so frustrated that in her limited English tried to correct our guide and give us some interesting information such as descriptions of the crowns. Multiple times while our guide was talking, the castle employee was shaking her head and saying no that is not true quietly. Also, it takes 30 minutes to walk from the castle to the bus, which was hot - poor ac at best. She gave us 50 minutes to buy lunch, use the bathroom, shop and walk back. Essentially, 20 minutes to do everything else. The prices on souveniers, esp crystal was much better at these merchants 40 less than in Prague and we could not do any shopping. Very frustrating and disappointing. They really should add at least another 1/2 hr to the return to the bus time. I hate to complain and would normally not but I wanted others to know what to expect. Outside of this trip, our vacation to Prague was perfect and amazing.
Good trip and the guide was great. The hike up the hill to the castle was a workout but it was worth it to see the castle up close. However, we did not get a chance to climb up to the tower as it was not included in this tour. Climbing to the tower must be arranged in advance for groups of 12 people maximum and there is no way for the tour company to know in advance how many people will sign up for any particular day. Not many relics to see in the castle itself and the crown displayed is only a replica. Still, a nice excursion outside of the city.
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