To get to Konopiste by bus is a bit confusing. We did it as the cheaper option, but the train was less hassle.
The bus leaves from Roztyly metro station . The timetables listed were confusing, but we somehow got on a bus that left at 10.55. We arrived around 11.20, it’s a 40 minute trip. A bus ticket cost 56 crowns.
An older couple who didn’t speak much English were also heading to the castle and the woman was adorable as she wanted to help us. Through hand gestures and a few words in English/Czech we understood the directions.
From the bus or train station we walked 2 km or about a mile to the castle. It’s a pretty walk, some of it being in the woods around the castle. It’s more of a chateau- a small palace, as I view castles as more medieval structured while this one had running water and electricity.
The last and most famous owner was Archduke Franz Ferdinand. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because his assassination sparked World War 1 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He was a big fan of hunting and this could be seen in all his “trophies” through the chateau.
It is also tradition to have a bear in the moat surrounding the castle. There are two bear rugs inside that the audio guide unemotionally said were shot by the Germans in World War 2.
There are several guided tour options. I have heard Tour 3 of the private rooms is worth going to. 1 and 2 are of the random other rooms in the different wings. Tour 4 was geared to hunting. Unfortunately, we arrived too late for any English tours. Either reserve ahead or come early as there are few English tours.
We bought tours to number 2 in Czech and paid an extra 50 crowns for the English audio guide. This is actually a lot cheaper option. There are 2 prices. One for Czech tours and another for all other foreign languages. Adult tickets for foreign language is 300 versus 170 crowns for Czech.
We were lucky to get the student discount of 120 having us pay 170 for the tour and audio guide. It also appeared that we didn’t miss much between the audio guide and the human guide. It budget is tight, I would suggest doing this option.
The inside of the castle is very beautiful and a bit creepy with all the animal heads and weapons through the ages. They give you a brief history on the Hapsburg’s and their empire, but fortunately, I knew a lot due to visiting Vienna and other parts of the Austrian Hungarian empire.
We walked around the grounds, which were in bloom and beautiful! There’s a lake near the castle, but unfortunately it was very dry.
We tried getting the 16.33 bus back to Prague, but no bus came and we were quite confused. So we headed to the train station and paid 76 crowns for an hour ride. Which worked out in the end as the train station is pretty central in Prague versus the bus station Rotztly, which is outside Prague a bit.
I liked Konopiste better than Karlstejn, but they are different types of castles. I highly recommend it.