The Castle Trakošćan

The most famous castle in Croatia is Trakošćan, this Gothic palace is bordered by a lake and acres of forest inside a lovely remote section of the Varaždin region. The castle property consists of a park, Gothic church, additional buildings and forest around the lake. The archeological monument is home to a Croatian government run museum. Visitors can stay at the Trakošćan Hotel for all-inclusive ease and a fabulous spa. Tourists flock year-round to see this beautiful area in remote forest beauty.

The castle’s backdrop is hillside vineyards and forests just an hour north of Zagreb. The fairy tale castle was sculpted from yellow stone, it ascends above a lake, chapel and 215 acres of estate.

Visiting is easy for a road trip, just 23 Km northeast of Krapina and 40 Km southwest of Varaždin, you can drive, or take the bus to see this majestic castle.


The museum includes preserved historical artifacts from the past owners. The oldest layers of the castle date back to the 13th century when it was used for defense of north western Croatia.

Juraj Drašković transformed the castle into a residence for his family when he included an estate with forests and an artificial lake. The castle was successively passed down until 1945 when the government took over ownership and turned it into a museum in 1950. Two hundred oil paintings, 16th century armor, reconstructed furniture in the authentic neo-Gothic, Baroque and Rococo styles decorate the castle rooms.


How to Get There

If you’re driving, coming from Zagreb take the E59 highway north to 508, there are signs. If you want to go out of your way a bit, take the backroads to Varaždin to see the Varaždin castle before heading back to Zagreb. The Varaždin region has a lot of farms and some wineries along the way, Vuglec Breg is in the area. Also, find the Klenovnik Castle which houses a hospital today, Klenovink winery is nearby too.

If you aren’t driving there are buses from Varaždin. You can take a bus from Zagreb to Varaždin then bus to Trakošćan. There are no direct buses from Zagreb to Trakošćan.

Where to Stay

Onawa outside of the Trakošćan Hotel

When visiting the castle there are some charming cabins across the street, or the Trakošćan Hotel which is fantastic. We stayed two nights during January 2021. They are pet friendly, kid friendly, all-inclusive with a big indoor pool, hot tub, saunas, fitness room and spa services.

The coolest aspect of the spa is the outside sauna, while sitting in the cozy traditional sauna look outside the window for the best view of the castle in the whole place.

There is a breakfast and dinner package on Booking, the food is delicious. Once you book they will e mail asking if you want a castle view table, take the offer and it will be reserved for you the whole stay.

We loved it and Onawa had fun running around playing with other dogs around the property. There are so many dogs, it’s so fun!

Opening Hours:

Summertime (1st Apr-31st Oct) 9-18 pm
Winter (Nov 1st-31st Mar) 9-16 pm

Ticket prices:
Adults 30.00 kn ($4.80)
Children 15.00 kn ($2.40)

The park is 1 kn entry, but during the pandemic it’s free to walk around the castle estate. Dogs are allowed on the castle grounds, but not inside the museum. Be sure to bring good hiking shoes because there is a lot of area to walk. The castle is on a hill, there are about 100 steps to walk to it, or along the side of the castle there is a sloped walkway which takes a bit longer to get up there, but it’s easier for people who need assistance. Taking pictures is not allowed in the castle, but there are plenty of lovely places to take pictures outside of the castle.