An aerial view of Bojnice Castle and the surrounding lake

Bojnice Castle: Slovakia's fairytale fortress

Planning to visit Bojnice Castle? Book a day tour from Bratislava.

Did you know that Slovakia has more castles per capita than any other country in the world? One castle that stands out is Bojnice Castle, also known as the Castle of Spirits. With its romantic architecture, it looks like it could be straight out of a Disney fairy tale. Not surprisingly, it's one of the most visited castles in Slovak Rebuplic. 

Bojnice Castle towers over the foothills of the Strážov Mountains. It’s surrounded by a stunning castle park with a more than 600-year-old lime tree, supposedly planted by King Matthias. It not only looks magical from the outside, but also has an equally beautiful interior and long history dating back to the 12th century.

Bojnice Castle served as the home of various aristocratic families throughout its history. While the castle was damaged by several wars, fires and earthquakes, it still stands strong to this day.

The castle is now part of the Slovak national museum and contains an extensive collection of fine arts and historical artifacts. Here’s what you need to know before you visit.

Looking ove the lake towards Bojnice Castle

Getting to Bojnice Castle from Bratislava

The most convenient way to get to Bojnice Castle from Bratislava is by car. the drive takes about two hours.

Another option is to travel by train from Bratislava's main train station to Prievidza and then take a bus from Prievidza to Bojnice. This route will take about three hours.

To make your life easier, you can book a special Bratislava Day trip to Bojnice Castle and Cicmany Village.

Cicmany Village is a picturesque little Slovak village located in the Kysuce region. It's known for its unique architecture and folk traditions. It features traditional Slovak houses built with wooden logs and painted with white ornaments that decorate the exterior walls.

Bojnice Castle and Cicmany Village make for a great day trip from Bratislava.

A room in Bojnice Castle, Slovakia

When to visit Bojnice Castle

The castle is open to visitors year-round and is especially popular in the summer due to the various festivals and special events that take place in its courtyard.

Opening hours

Opening hours vary depending on the season. During the main tourist season (June-September), the museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. 

In the shoulder season, the museum is open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.

Popular Castle Events

Valentine's Day (February) - guides dressed in period costumes, fun games and competitions

Fairytale Castle (June) - Slovak folk tales and fairy tales

The Haunted Castle (April/May) - international festival of ghosts and spirits. Get ready for spooky castle stories, legends, rumours, ghosts, witches, vampires and more

Trees growing over the walls at Bojnice Castle, Slovakia

Bojnice Castle tours

Bojnice castle has been featured in several movies, and its beautiful grounds are often used for weddings, concerts and festivals. There are several guided tours available to choose from:

Pálffy tour

The Palffy tour is a guided tour that walks you through the rooms of Castle Bojnice. 

You'll learn about the history and the construction development of the castle. 

The tour focuses on the last aristocratic owner - Jan Pallfy, who remodelled Bojnice castle into its current beauty. 

You can marvel at the housing decor and original furniture of the Count's private chambers, followed by a visit to the Palffy family's tomb and altar. The last stop is the natural travertine cave below Bojnice castle. 

Hunyadi tour

Learn more about three generations of aristocratic families who lived in the castle and enjoy romantic stories of the Middle Ages. 

The tour includes the Hunyadi Hall, three floors of the Middle castle and more.

From November to the end of March, the Winter tour temporarily replaces the Pálffy and Hunyadi Tours.

Night Tours

In the summer, the castle comes alive with special night tours.

The richly decorated interior of Slovakia's Bojnice Castle

A brief history of Bojnice Castle

Bojnice Castle was first mentioned in 1113. One of the first prominent owners was Matúš Čák Trenčiansky.

The castle has been under many different ownerships throughout its history and has been damaged multiple times due to wars and other tragic events.

However, it was later restored in the 19th century by its last aristocratic owner - Jan Pálffy. He remodeled Bojnice Castle into its current neo-Gothic style look.

In 1939, the castle was bought by the famous shoe-making company Baťa.

After World War II, Bojnice Castle was nationalized and became part of the Slovak National Museum.

In 1970, Bojnice Castle was declared a national cultural monument of Slovakia.

A view of Bojnice Castle over the water from the park

Other fun things to do near Bojnice 

Bojnice Spa

Just a short distance away from Bojnice Castle is the Bojnice Spa. Enjoy therapeutic thermal springs and spa treatments. It's a perfect spot to relax and recharge your batteries.

Thermal Pool Čajka

Go for a swim in thermal poo Cajka, overlooking the beautiful scenery of Bojnice Castle and Forest Park. There are five swimming pools with a pleasant thermal water temperature of 28-33 ° C, water slides, volleyball, football, and chess courts. 

Observatory Deck "Seagull in the Clouds" (Cajka v oblakoch)

The 30-meter-high observatory deck, the so-called "Seagull in the Clouds", has an impressive metal structure with a wooden boardwalk. It provides a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Bojnice, Prievidza town and its surrounding areas. There is also a large kids' playground.

The tower can be reached by following the yellow trail from Bojnice Spa. The walk takes about 30 - 40 min. Another option is to drive to the Autocamping Bojnice car park. The path from the car park to the viewpoint takes about 5 min. The Čajka lookout tower is open all year round.

Bojnice Zoo

The Bojnice Zoo is the oldest and most visited zoo in Slovakia. It's home to over 2,500 animals from all around the world. So enjoy a fun day out with your family as you spot exotic birds, reptiles, mammals and more.

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Kamila Jakubjakova

Author - Kamila Jakubjakova

Kamila is a freelance writer and blogger originally from Slovakia and now based in Canada. On her blog, she and her partner share useful tips for expat life in Canada. When she isn't writing, you can find her on a yoga mat or enjoying a cup of tea.

Last Updated 4 September 2023

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