A Guide to Loket: Czech Republic’s Fairytale Town

Loket is a beautiful small town located in the Karlovy Vary Region in the Czech Republic. It is located close to the border of Germany in West Bohemia. The town is very picturesque with the Loket Castle being the focal point of this enchanting village. Many people overlook visiting here from Prague and instead head to Karlovy Vary. However, I encourage you to not miss this hidden gem! You’ll likely have the chance to visit with very few tourists around which adds to its charm. Here’s your full guide to Loket, Czech Republic’s fairytale town.

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In 2023, the Czech Republic proudly celebrates 30 years of existence! #Czech30. This post is sponsored but all opinions are my own.

About Loket

📸: Marek Boura on Unsplash

Loket is a small town located in the Karlovy Vary region. It’s uniquely set between 2 rivers, the Ohře and Teplá rivers. Its name, “Loket,” translates to “elbow” in English, which is fitting due to its location at a bend in the Ohře River.

The beautiful town dates back to 1234, although it was settled by Slavic inhabitants around the 6th century. The stone castle is the center of the town with origins tracing back to the 12th century. Loket and its castle held strategic significance within the Czech Kingdom’s defense system, garnering privileges and rights from Czech monarchs.

However, Loket endured conflicts during Emperor Sigismund’s era, the impacts of the Thirty Years’ War, and subsequent changes in ownership. Through centuries, the town witnessed industrial developments including the establishment of a porcelain factory, railway construction, and the preservation of its historic center.

Loket Castle

📸: Martin Gril

Loket Castle is the main draw to a visit to Loket and why most people come to this picturesque town. The castle stands atop a rocky hill overlooking the town, creating an imposing presence. As one of the most well-preserved medieval castles in the Czech Republic, Loket Castle offers visitors a glimpse into the past. It was built in the 12th century and was founded as a frontier fortress. The castle was built to serve to kings, Lords of Schlick, and Lords of Plauen. It was once used as a prison too during the 19th and 20th century. Starting in 1989, it was opened for the public to visit.

Visiting will really allow you to feel the medieval grandeur of this fairytale castle in Eastern Europe. The castle’s architecture showcases a blend of styles, from Romanesque to Gothic and Renaissance influences. Its cylindrical tower, known as the “Black Tower,” is a prominent feature that has become an iconic symbol of Loket. The Black Tower was built as guarding tower in the area of the lower castle. 

To explore Loket Castle, entry tickets are required. Tickets are €10 for adults and €8 for children. It is open daily from 9 to 6:30 pm with the last entry 1 hour before closing. There are options for guided tours and self-guided tours. Inside, you’ll discover a range of exhibitions that delve into the castle’s history, including its role as a fortress, a royal residence, and a place of cultural significance.

As you wander through the castle’s courtyards, climb its towers, and explore its rooms, you’ll be transported to a different era. The panoramic views from the tower provide a breathtaking vista of Loket and the surrounding landscape, offering a unique perspective of the town and its natural beauty.

Loket’s Old Town

📸: Jim Linwood

Wander along Loket’s cobbled streets, lined with colorful buildings and charming facades. The old town’s ambiance will transport you back in time. Marvel at the distinctive Black Tower (Černá věž), which is Loket’s most recognizable landmark. This cylindrical tower is a symbol of the town and offers stunning views from its top.

The Old Town also features the Loket Town Hall, an impressive building with an elegant clock tower. It’s a noteworthy example of Gothic architecture and serves as a reminder of the town’s administrative and historical importance.

You’ll find many souvenir shops and boutiques offering traditional Czech crafts, artwork, and goods within the Old Town.

Loket’s Riverside

Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Ohře River, enjoying the scenic beauty around. It’s a great place to relax and soak in Loket’s charm. Loket’s riverside is a photographer’s dream, offering stunning viewpoints with the town’s architecture reflected in the water. The river and its surroundings provide a postcard-perfect representation of Loket.

Where to Eat in Loket

In every city I visit, I try to make it a point to try the local cuisine. Sample local dishes such as goulash, dumplings, and hearty meat dishes.

Restaurant & Pension Atmosféra: a family restaurant located in the center of Loket.

Old Slavic Cuisine: A place to try authentic Czech cuisine. Located near the castle.

Galerie Café: A family cafe connected to an art gallery. Go here for breakfast or a coffee break.

How to get there

Most visit Loket from a day trip from Karlovy Vary as it’s only a 10-minute drive away (9 miles /14 km). I use a website called Rome 2 Rio to find directions easily to places I’m unfamiliar with initially.

From Prague

The nearest major airport to Loket is the Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) in Prague. From the airport, you can take a train or a combination of train and bus to reach Loket. An easier option would be driving. You can rent a car via Discover Cars which finds the cheapest prices.

There are not many tours that take you to Loket but there is this Private Tour: Karlovy Vary And Loket Castle from Prague you can take.

From Karlovy Vary

The quickest way to get to Loket from Karlovy Vary (aside from driving) would be to take the bus. It takes 22 minutes and you can find the bus schedule online here. There is also the option to take the train but you have to change stations at Nove Sedlo U Lokte. Once changed you will need to exit at Loket Train Station.

Where to Stay

If you can stay in Loket, it would be a nice quiet getaway and an experience like no other. However, you can also stay in Karlovy Vary like many do and day trip there. You’d likely find more options and things to do as it’s a bigger city.

Best Accommodation in Loket

Pension & Restaurant Atmosféra is a highly rated family-run guest house in the historical center of Loket next to the castle.

Hotel Císař Ferdinand is located in Loket town center. It features a beer pub and restaurant with a terrace too.

Best Accommodation in Karlovy Vary

Spa Hotel Imperial is a 5-star hotel featuring an award-winning spa center. Karlovy Vary is known for its amazing spas so staying here would be a treat. The prices are very reasonable for a 5-star hotel too.

Hotel Romance is in a beautiful renovated Art Nouveau building from 1899. It is located in Karlovy Vary’s spa district. You can also get Spa and Wellness treatments here.