Hluboká is a monumental Romantic chateau; originally a Gothic castle, it was remodelled in the Baroque style during the first half of the 18th century. It underwent a significant transformation in the 19th century, when it was remodelled in the English Windsor-style Gothic and became the official seat of the Schwarzenberg dynasty. The complex Hluboká includes a glassed-in winter garden, a riding hall, an English-style park (190 hectares) and a chapel. Sumptuously furnished period interiors feature unique woodcarvings and valuable collections.
It is possible to get three tours here, all of which are in English. Tour 1 (250/160 CZK) is a tour mainly of the public areas, while Tour 2 (230/160 CZK) shows you around the apartments. Tour 3 (170/80 CZK) is a tour of the kitchens. Tour 1 is by far the most popular and gives the best introduction to the castle.
Unless the castle is busy, tours do not operate between the times of 12:30pm and 1:00pm and the price is 100 CZK cheaper if you take the tour in Czech. For a cheap add-on to the day out, the surrounding gardens are free to visit. It is open 9am-5pm Tue-Sun May-Jun, to 6pm Jul & Aug, to 4.30pm Apr, Sep & Oct, 10am-4pm Nov- Feb, closed Mar.
Every summer there is also a music festival held in the grounds of the castle, encompassing a whole range of different musical styles. The South Bohemian Aleš Gallery next to the castle houses a stunning collection of Czech religious art from the 14th to 16th centuries, plus a collection of exhibits from 17th-century Dutch masters. Adult admission 80 CZK. Open: 9am-6pm, Apr-Oct. www.ajg.cz
Tourist Information Centre
Provides maps and can arrange accommodation. Address: Masarykovo 35. Open 9am-6pm; www.hluboka.cz.
Hluboká Chateau (www.zamek-hluboka.eu) is a great day trip out from České Budějovice or Prague. By bus or train from Prague. There is several bus companies serving Hluboká nad Vltavou via stop in České Budějovice. The journey takes about 3,5 hours.
Tip: If you wish to stay overnight, the Hotel Bakalář (www.hotel-bakalar.cz; Address: Masarykova 69; double room from 750 CZK per night) is centrally located, and has good rooms and a decent restaurant onsite, and rents out bikes.
Prague to Hluboká Transport. Alternative to train or bus. Book cheap door to door private minibus.