In central Europe, the spectacular country of Slovakia is home to wonderful vistas and attractions to gaze upon. Among them, there are numerous magnificent castles in Slovakia to see. These castles allow visitors to take a step back in time while touring the grounds.
The country is a treasure trove of breathtaking scenery, delectable cuisine, rich culture, and exciting tourist attractions. Slovakia’s intriguing castles are must-see tourist attractions, and they are among the most popular in the world.
Check out these best castles in Slovakia, where you can learn about their history, see their collections, visit their displays, and admire their unique beauty.
Best Castles in Slovakia
1. Bratislava Castle
Address: Hrad, 811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
As mentioned above, Slovakia is home to some incredible old fortresses. The many Castles in Slovakia are sights to admire and among the best places to learn more about this fascinating country.
Bratislava Castle is easily one of the most magnificent Slovakian castles to explore, which is why it tops our list! Check out these other top things to do in Bratislava while you are in town.
The castle, a magnificent rectangular structure with four large turrets at its corners, lies on an isolated steep hillside of the Little Carpathians, commanding views over the Danube river.
The castle is an age-old symbol of the city of Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital city, and has seen (at least) eleven kings and eight queens’ coronations, and their courts reside here.
The place had particular strategic geographical importance in the period of the Empire of Moravian. Its stark beauty and fascinating history make the castle a popular stop on sightseeing tours of the city.
It is perched in a splendid location at an important intersection of historic routes. A strategically vital spot since ancient times, the first evidence of settlement on this hill date back to the Stone Age.
Aside from the beauty and grandeur of the castle’s exterior aesthetic, it offers exhibitions across its sizable complex. The castle houses exhibitions from the Slovak National Museum, notably featuring the Great-Moravian Basilica’s reconstructed remains. Check out these other best museums in Bratislava.
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2. Spiš Castle
Address: 053 61 Žehra, Slovakia
From a beautifully preserved castle, we now go to one in ruins, albeit the ruins of one of the largest castles in Europe. The Spiš Castle is in eastern Slovakia. Although a shadow of its former self, this ruined old fortress is still an imposing sight.
The ruins can be found near the town of Spišské Podhradie, and the village of Žehra in the Slovakian region of Spiš. Due to its magnificence and historical significance, the ruin was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1993.
Once a national cultural monument and as a significant political, economic, and cultural center of the region of the Hungarian Empire, the fort was constructed atop a travertine hill at the beginning of the 12th century. As the castle is perched atop a travertine hill, it provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the region.
Largely destroyed by a fire in 1780, rendering it uninhabitable, the castle began to see restoration efforts after the Second World War, as well as increasing numbers of archeological parties, uncovering relics from the castle’s heyday. The palace highlights several reconstructed rooms and chambers to explore.
You might already recognize this place as the castle is featured in several movies such as Kull the Conqueror, Dragonheart, and The Last Legion.
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3. Hrad Devín
Address: Muránská 1050/10, 841 10 Devín, Slovakia
For those only in Bratislava for a day, weekend, or a week, a trip to the ruins of Hrad Devín, (also known as the Devin Castle), is an essential activity. This striking ruin perched on a large sandstone outcrop has always maintained an important role in Slovak history.
The castle is divided into two fascinating sections. The first section located at the site of the original castle features a fantastic museum that requires a ticket to visit.
The second portion is a public walkway along the river’s edge that provides a tranquil stroll whilst letting you gaze at the great walls towering over the mighty sandstone bluffs. Built with defense as a priority, every nook of the massive castle grounds has a distinctive vantage point over the surrounding area.
The center portion of the complex, flanked by the Morava and Danube rivers, is almost panoramic in scope.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to climb to the topmost terrace in the building, or get some snaps of the haunting Maiden Tower, where the two rivers meet!
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4. Castle of Spirits (Bojnice Castle)
Address: Zámok a okolie 1, 972 01 Bojnice, Slovakia
Bojnice Castle, also known as the Castle of Spirits, is among the most visited and notable castles in the historical town of Bojnice, 167 kilometers northeast of Bratislava.
The exterior of this high-spired, spellbinding castle is utterly remarkable, and its interior is just as spectacular. Little wonder it is a frequently used shooting location for fairy-tale and fantasy films.
The castle includes well-maintained chambers that can be toured, and fantastic exhibits showcasing all sorts of medieval tools of an arsenal, including swords, armor, halberds, and maces. Other highlights include the enormous ceramics collection and beautiful hand-painted Turkish tiles.
A wonderful museum of art and local history is housed within the castle’s château. This exhibition includes authentic furniture, numerous artifacts, and artworks, such as the late gothic collection Bojnice Altar from the 14th century and many more hidden mysteries.
A tour of the castle includes a trip to the beautiful stalactite cave beneath the castle connected to the castle wall, which is 26 meters deep.
Another attraction of this fairy-tale castle is the castle park, which is home to the Bojnice Zoo, Slovakia’s oldest zoo. The castle park also leads onto a forest park in the nearby Strážov Mountains, which is great for keen hikers.
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5. Orava Castle
Address: 027 41 Oravský Podzámok, Slovakia
One fine castle standing over the lands of Oravský Podzámok is Orava Castle; a magnificent old castle perched on a high rock 112 meters above the Orava river. Orava Castle is an ideal destination for those who seek a scenic and historical adventure in Slovakia.
The fortress was constructed in the 13th Century while the region was under the reign of the Kingdom of Hungary. The castle is among the most remarkable landmarks in town. A blend of both beautiful and ominous, it is famous for its appearance in the classic 1922 vampire film Nosferatu. The castle is perched over the river and the town, offering a spectacular overlooking view of Oravský Podzámok.
The castle’s ownership changed hands many times over its long existence, and it has seen decades of damage, and reconstruction. The worst damage was by fire in 1800, which largely gutted the castle, causing it to fall into disuse.
The castle would undergo huge restoration efforts, finally being opened to the public in 1868, housing the Orava Museum, one of Slovakia’s oldest museums still in operation.
The castle is also a wonderful sight to behold from afar. The museum is home to various historical exhibitions within the complex, from its furnished rooms and chambers to massive halls, courtyards, and impressive arsenal.
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6. Nitra Castle
Address: Námestie Jána Pavla II. 1012/7, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia
The Nitra Castle is one of the most spectacular castles in Slovakia, surrounded by natural beauty. It was constructed in the 11th century on the ruins of a once magnificent Slav fort in the Old Town of Nitra.
The castle’s own striking beauty is enhanced by some of Mother Nature’s finest work, consisting of green meadows, rolling hills, and cloud-blanketed mountains.
If you hadn’t gathered already, this is an incredibly picturesque destination to visit when on vacation in Slovakia and a must for shutterbugs looking for the perfect postcard.
The castle’s heart is St. Emmeram’s Cathedral, which also houses a Bishop’s dwelling. It is composed of multiple distinct components. The oldest remaining section is the 11th-century Romanesque Church of St. Emmeram.
The cathedral’s remaining two sections are the 14th-century Gothic Upper Church and the 17th-century Lower Church. The castle of Nitra is considered to be one of the most magnificent historical sites in the entire country. The castle offers several tours around the complex, focusing on the castle’s history, and the culture of the city.
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7. Trenčín Castle
Address: Matúšova 75/19, 912 50 Trenčín, Slovakia
This majestic castle, looming over the charming town of Trenčín in western Slovakia is an absolute must-see attraction that should be included in your itinerary. The castle is protected as a National Cultural Monument of Slovakia and sees tens of thousands of visitors each year.
The spectacular Trenčín Castle, the unmissable face of the city of Trenčín characterizes the entire region of Povaie, distinguishable for miles around from its enormous, imposing keep in the center of the castle, known as the Máté Tower.
It is among the most significant and largest Slovak castles in Central Europe alongside Devín Castle and Spiš Castle. Originally a Roman army encampment on the edges of the town of Laugarito (the Roman name for Trenčín), the site saw significant development in the 11th Century, when a residential tower and dome were built, the remnants of which may be seen in the castle’s upper courtyard.
More additions were made in the 13th Century when the castle was made a more permanent fortress. More expansions were added in the 14th and 16th Centuries, due to the castle’s ongoing significance as a seat of power in a region vital to several nations’ economies.
The castle would serve as the primary fortress and camp that protected trade routes connecting the regions of Northern Ugria and coal mines in Central Slovakia with Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.
Today, it is home to the Trenčín Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of Trenčín and the namesake castle. There are several excellent exhibits featuring old furniture, small arms, paintings, and archaeological relics.
It is possible to take a tour of its chambers, however, it is currently only offered in Slovak. There are also frequent performances from a fantastic quartet of medieval musicians!
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8. Čachtice Castle
Address: Čachtický hradný vrch, 916 21 Čachtice, Slovakia
A castle ruin can be found in Slovakia, near the town of Archice. Because of its location on a hill with distinctive vegetation, Čachtice Castle was proclaimed as a national wildlife reserve.
The castle served as a home and subsequently a prison for Countess Elizabeth Báthory. Most of history’s most sensationalized serial murders are now mostly empty and damaged. The castle was frequently used as a location for filming.
Cachtice is sometimes used as the setting for the castle ruins in the opening sequence of Dennis Quaid’s fantasy film Dragonheart, released in 1996. It was also featured on the live album Channelling of Lady Elizabeth Bathory by Stefanik, Perny, and Kollar, including Kofi.
In 1708, the castle was abandoned, and it is now a ruin. Visitors can trek up to the ruins from Cachtice, which also has a small museum and the church where her body was initially placed.
The castle served as a home and subsequently a prison for Countess Elizabeth Báthory, a particularly nasty Hungarian noblewoman, who was convicted as a serial killer, torturer, and cannibal!
Modest restoration efforts lead to the castle being opened as a tourist attraction in 2014. Visitors can now trek up to the ruins from Cachtice, which now houses a small museum. Tourists can also walk around the chapel where the body of the cruel countess was initially placed!
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9. Stará Ľubovňa Castle
Address: Zámocká 769, 064 01 Stará Ľubovňa, Slovakia
Constructed in the 14th century to defend trade routes to Poland, this massive beautiful stone fortress is still standing today. It functioned as a vital administrative area and a shelter for the Polish crown and its jewels. In 1708, the castle was abandoned, and it is now a ruin.
Visitors can trek up to the ruins from Cachtice, which also has a small museum and the church where her body was initially placed. Explore the Stará Ľubovňa Castle, which has stood above Stará Ľubovňa since 1311, and uncover old mysteries, kings’ footsteps, and hidden corners.
The impressive castle, which stands on a limestone cliff and commands the northeastern part of Spi, can be seen from afar. The castle was part of a chain of frontier fortresses in northern Hungary when it was built. As a result, it guarded the Hungarian-Polish border, ensuring the safety of the trade route to the neighboring country. In 1768, Maurice Benyovszky, an adventurer, explorer, and eventually monarch of Madagascar, was imprisoned for ten months in the castle tower.
Permanent castle museum exhibitions are currently available to tourists at Stará Ľubovňa Castle. The castle chapel and open-air museum are both located beneath the castle. The tour of the castle lasts around 2 hours, and falconers perform during the summer season.
Explore the Stará Ľubovňa Castle, which has stood above Stará Ľubovňa since 1311, and uncover old mysteries, kings’ footsteps, and hidden corners filled with medieval mystery. The impressive castle, which stands on a limestone cliff and commands the northeastern part of Spi, can be seen from afar.
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10. Beckov Castle
Address: Beckov 180, 916 38 Beckov, Slovakia
This ruined castle near Beckov, in the Nové Mesto nad Váhom District, Trenn Region is a national cultural monument, that has seen recent renovations since 2002. This castle, perched on a cliff above the Váh River, served as a strategic stronghold in Great Moravia.
Legend has it, that one of the castle’s lords, Stibor of Stiboricz, threw his jester from the cliff because he had the audacity to protect his child from being mauled by the lord’s favorite dog.
According to another version, the castle’s lord threw his servant from the cliff because he protected his child from the lord’s favorite dog. The servant proclaimed a curse before his death, vowing that they would meet in a year and days, and the lord was bitten by a snake and plunged into the same abyss exactly after that time.
Tourists commonly visit the well-preserved ruins of the castle, which are now a National Cultural Monument, especially during the castle festival in July. The exhibition of local history is now housed in the ancient Ambro curia beneath the castle. The jester cursed the lord as he fell, screaming “a year and a day!”
Supposedly, a year and a day after Stibor of Stiboricz had murdered his jester, he was taking a stroll along the cliff when a snake(!) leaped at him out of nowhere, biting him in the eye and causing him to fall to his death in the same spot he had flung the jester.
Tourists commonly visit the ruins of the castle, especially during the castle festival in July. It is a ruined castle near Beckov, in the Nové Mesto nad Váhom District, Trenn Region, western Slovakia. It is a natural, cultural monument, and its contemporary look is the product of renovations carried out in the final quarter of the twentieth century and since 2002. The Váh River has exposed the Beckov Cliff, which is a klippe of the Hronic nappe.
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11. Primaciálny Palác (Primate’s Palace or Primatial Palace)
Address: Primaciálne námestie 2, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
The Bratislava Primate’s Palace is one of Slovakia’s most beautiful classicist buildings, located in the capital city of Bratislava. The palace was built between 1778 to 1781 and designed by architect Melchior Hefele for Archbishop József Batthyány. Today it is the seat of the Mayor of Bratislava and is one of Slovakia’s historical and architectural gems.
Hungarian kings throughout history that have been immortalized on canvas and in wonderful tapestries have their likenesses on display in the palace’s extensive gallery. Special attention is paid to a rare collection of six English tapestries from the 17th century.
Another point of interest is the Fountain of St. George and the Dragon, depicting the mythical knight defeating the dragon and slaying the beast with his lance. Among the palaces’ other claims to fame, it is where Napoleon signed the peace pact dubbed ‘The Fourth Peace of Pressburg’ in 1805.
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12. Kežmarok Castle Slovakia
Address: Hradné námestie 42, 060 01 Kežmarok, Slovakia
The castle, a charmingly crenelated structure, built by Italian workmen, dating from the 15th century, is Kežmarok’s main attraction. In great shape for its age, (were we all so lucky) Kežmarok Castle is home to a number of interesting antiques, and exhibits including those relating to the history of Tatry hiking, the history of Jewish cities, and some intriguing local specialties.
Its grounds, located at the northern end of pedestrianized Hlavné nám, are open to the public for photo opportunities and lazy strolls. Currently, the inside can only be accessed via an 80-minute guided tour, which is full of wonders and historical information.
The castle’s most renowned tenants were four generations of the Thököly noble dynasty, whose rich lifestyle is shown by the Hungarian-style decorations and weaponry on display.
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13. Castle Blatnica
Address: 038 15 Blatnica, Slovakia
The Blatnica Castle ruins are among the best tourist destinations and ruined castles in Slovakia. Located near the end of the Pleovica ridge in Velka Fatra, it divides the Turiec Basin from the Gaderska Valley. You can walk there from Blatnica village if you follow the yellow tourist trail that runs through the Gaderska valley.
It has been over a thousand years since this site was used as a fortification. The foundations of the castle date back to the second half of the thirteenth century.
When made a more permanent fortress, it was designed to guard and maintain control over the key Via Magna trade route, which passed through the region to the Baltic Sea.
Piotr of Brezowica originally owned this magnificent fortification, and it was later handed to the royal family. As a result of recurrent conquests and demolishments, the castle had lost all of its defensive significance by 1790 and was abandoned. Since then, it has been deteriorating.
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14. Červený Kameň Castle
Address: 900 89 Častá-Červený Kameň, Slovakia
Červený Kameň is a Renaissance castle nestled in the picturesque landscape of the Little Carpathians and is one of Slovakia’s most beautiful and well-preserved historical monuments, built in the 15th century.
The spectacular castle of Červený Kameň Castle was erected by the Thurzo family in the 16th century as a house with a spacious and secure built-in storage place for valuables. However, it was quickly sold to another noble family due to a change in fortunes, partly due to the high cost of construction. It became the powerful Palffys’ family seat.
Over the castle’s lifespan, it would suffer damage from several fires and more substantial damage in 1705 during the Hungarian Uprising against the Hapsburgs of 1703-1711.
Take a stroll through its beautiful encircling garden, learn about the eerie mythology of the place, or enjoy the various vintage paintings and aristocratic furniture that have been displayed.
Aside from that, the Slovak National Museum is one of the castle’s most visited museums. The permanent exhibition of the gallery emphasizes noble furniture from the Renaissance through the Art Nouveau era.
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15. New Castle (Nový Zámok)
Address: Novozámocká 22, 969 01 Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia
Nový Zámok (or New Castle) is a castle in Banská Štiavnica. The castle is located on a hill south of the city center at an elevation of 630 meters above sea level, which marks the highest point of the city center.
The castle was built in 1564 after a fire had destroyed an older fortification. It consists of two parts: the lower one which used to have prisons and storerooms, and the upper one with residential buildings.
The castle has no well-preserved towers or defense facilities. A unique keepsake is one of the doors, which was taken from the demolished St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice and later transferred to Nový Zámok.
The New Castle is the seat of Banská Štiavnica’s City Museum (Mestské múzeum). It contains information on city history and exhibitions about life in Banská Štiavnica during the Middle Ages. It also includes an exhibition of weapons, tools, and other items from medieval times.
A permanent exhibition is housed at the castle, which is called Anti-Turkish Wars in Slovakia. This permanent exhibit is installed on four floors of the castle. The highest floor of the castle offers a panoramic view of Banská Štiavnica, making it a great spot for photography.
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16. Castle Strečno
Address: Hrad Strečno, Hradná 1, 013 24 Strečno, Slovakia
On the route from Zilina to Martin in Strečno, the ruins of the fascinating old castle perched on a steep ledge above the river Vah are impossible to miss. The Castle Strečno has changed hands many times over the years, with each owner adding more fortifications.
The defender toll station, a modest fortress, has become a must-see tourist attraction in town. During the holiday season, the castle is particularly busy and filled with tourists.
Strecno castle, a well-preserved ruin with a year-round calendar of appealing and intriguing activities, watches over the narrow canyon of the Vah near Zilina. During the Middle Ages, a strategic route passed through the region.
The ruins of the castle still stand guard over a major road connecting the west and east parts of Slovakia. The view from the topmost tower is among the sight you need to see on your visit. It provides access to see the overlooking of its quaint town and the beauty of rolling greens surrounding the ruin.
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17. Budatínsky Hrad
Address: Zámocká 70, 010 03 Žilina-Budatín, Slovakia
A bit of a hodge-podge aesthetically Budatínsky Hrad is not the most spectacular castle in Slovakia, it is a trove of history and local knowledge that is worth visiting if you are in Zilina.
Budatínsky Hrad was constructed in the second half of the 13th century as a protective castle near the Kysuca and the Váh. At the beginning of the 14th century, Matthew III Csák acquired the royal fortress, and added to the fortifications, particularly the towers, and a new palace was built within the citadel.
The 13th-century Budatínsky Hrad was then further developed in the 16th century to give it a more Renaissance aspect.
The castle’s oldest portion is the four-story-tall Romanesque keep. It features a museum showcasing an incredible collection of metal and wire miniatures crafted by local tinsmiths. The castle park offers an educational tour of the local ecosystem.
It is the primary location for learning about the origins and culture of the people who have lived in Zilina up to the present day. It contains the entirety of the city’s history in a spacious museum.
A stroll in the park among the centuries-old trees will properly round out your tour, which can be enjoyed any time of year. English and Spanish versions of the tour are also available.
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18. Castle Likava
Address: 034 95 Likavka, Slovakia
Castle Likava is among the most fascinating and scenic castles in Slovakia. It offers wonders from its grounds and neighboring town as well as its majestic medieval interior. The ruins provide a spectacular view of the Slovak Tatra Mountains – don’t forget your camera! If you’re here for hiking, Likavka and the town of Ruomberok both have marked hiking routes.
Still a majestic structure, the castle is defined by a simple structure with vaults only in the cellar and timber ceilings in the rest of the rooms. Glass windows constructed by the castle’s glassworks during the Middle Ages are adorned throughout the castle and are a real gem.
Visitors can climb a tower that houses an exhibition of Castle Likava’s history as well as a lot of grisly torture equipment.
The castle’s simple architecture is quite magnificent, and the palace complex is one of Slovakia’s tallest structures. The castle’s entrance is guarded and laden with national and chivalric symbols. Unfortunately, this grand old set of ruins is only open to the public during summer.
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19. Old Castle
Address: Starozámocká 40, 969 01 Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia
When in Banská, make a point of visiting the Old Castle. The castle is an excellent location for viewing the recreations of royal life, which took place all across the halls and its expansive gardens.
The Old Castle is a multi-building complex located in the heart of Banská Štiavnica, immediately above Trinity Square. Through the artifacts on display at the Old Castle, visitors can look into the region’s history.
It served as a fortress, with many old weapons on display, including lances and cannonballs. Original baroque statues and the 13th-century chapel are some of the other highlights. Tours of the castle are available as guided group excursions and as self-guided tours.
From the commencement of the tour, a walk around the castle provides glimpses of history and the region’s early past. Numerous exciting festivals and live theater performances are held on the castle grounds throughout the year.
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20. Castle Lietava
Address: Lietava 614, 013 18 Lietava, Slovakia
The extensive ruins of Lietava Castle are among the most spectacular attractions and landmarks to see in Lietava, Slovakia. Lietava Castle is remarkable a sight to behold and a destination not to miss when planning to travel to the historic town of Lietava.
The ruined castle looks over the northern part of Slovakia in the Súľov Mountains. This beautiful ruin can be seen between the district of Zilina’s Lietavská Svinná-Babkov and the town of Lietava.
It is situated 664 meters above sea level, and it is considered the second-largest set of ruins in the country, its origins traceable back to the late 13th Century. The old four-story tower was believed to be constructed by members of the Balas bloodline. This tower was then extended throughout the years into a gigantic, three-tiered fortification.
As a result of its abandonment sometime around the middle of the eighteenth century, the castle has become a remarkably untouched ruin and become the region’s most well-known historic symbol and landmark.
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