First mention about Karlino comes from 1240, and it informs that the town was a part of the so-called Duchy of Kamien Pomorski. The earliest record is dated back to 1299, when civis in Corlin was first mentioned. At the beginning, the surroundings of Karlino belonged to the dukes of Pomerania, and later bishops of Kamien Pomorski ruled over them in approximately 1280, when they inherited the western part of Kolobrzeg lands from Warcislaw III. In a document from 1308 issued by the bishop of Kamien Pomorski, “our Karlino castle” was mentioned. Most probably, Karlino was then a small wooden town between the Parseta and Radew Rivers.

In 1372, the bishop’s seat was moved to Karlino. A fortified castle was being built there, and bishop Filip von Rehberg borrowed 350 coins of local money (called in Polish grzywna) from the town council of Slupsk. The same bishop gave Karlino a Lubeck town charter and an emblem. Probably then, the streets plan in the centre of Karlino was made. In 1409, the town was conquered by a Pomeranian army, which burnt it down completely. The castle, which was surrounded by water, survived the siege, and managed to not be conquered by Boguslaw VIII. However, all of Karlino, the castle included, was destroyed in 1481.
The Reformation changed the town’s situation in 1534. Subsequent bishops changed the castle into a beautiful Renaissance residence; they simultaneously cared about the economic development of the town. A sawmill was founded, and a local brewery was given special privileges. The 17th century was a turbulent time for Karlino.

During the Thirty Years’ War, the town was plundered by tsar military units under Joachim Krockow, and the town area of Karlino became a Prussian national possession in 1668. That was a result of a slowdown in its economy, which had been caused by two big fires. In 1721, Frederick William, a Prussian King, who often travelled through Karlino, ordered to build a house near the castle. It was meant to be a place to stay overnight.

Thirty years later, Karlino was occupied by the Russians. That meant the end of the castle, which had been plundered and burnt by the army of general Romacow. It was never rebuild. Despite difficulties, Karlino managed to survive hard times, after which a remarkable economic and spacial development was noticed. A brewery was founded at the place of the former castle, and the first brick multi-story houses were being built in the town centre. Unfortunately, the development in the 18th century was hastened again by the Napoleonic Wars. In February of 1807, Karlino became the main quartermaster centre for military units which were besieging Kolobrzeg.

The arrival of French soldiers to the town caused a dysentery epidemic, and one-third of Karlino inhabitants died as a result. Although the time of the Napoleonic Wars made Prussia more modern and numerous reforms were introduced, inhabitants of Karlino did not experience those changes. First signs of the economical recovery could be noticed as late as the 1830s.

Between the years of 1846 and 1849, a road connecting Karlino, Kolobrzeg and Szczecinek was built, and the first train arrived to Karlino ten years later. A trade and small industry boom and the town’s growth began in the 1870s, after Prussia had gained victory over France. High contributions paid by France enriched poor Pomerania. In 1873, Karlino County, which was the smallest in Pomerania, was liquidated, and Kolobrzeg-Karlino County was founded instead. It existed until 1946. Also in 1873, the first secondary school was founded in the town, and the small garrison, which was stationed in Karlino, was relocated to Bydgoszcz in 1724. A year later, some works to regulate the river Parseta began. The first concrete bridge was built over it.

On the basis of mills from the 18th century, an industrial complex arose: a big sawmill and a mill, a specialized mill for grinding oak bark, a huge carpenter’s workshop and an oiler. At the place of the former castle, a big granary was built, and it still exists nowaydays. At the end of the 19th century, Karlino’s plant of agricultural machines, which was called Maschinenwerk Körlin, became well-known and appreciated. Although the town kept developing, its inhabitants migrated to rich West Germany.

The birth rate was high; nevertheless, the population decreased from 3,183 to 3,108 people. The end of the First World War and a new territorial division, which was unfavourable for Germany resulted in the fact that a small group of newcomers appeared in the town. They were people who could choose their citizenship. Karlino did not suffer very much from the crisis in the early 1920s and 1930s, and a sport centre and a modern youth hostel were built at the end of the interwar period. When the French offensive ended, a group of French prisoners came to Karlino in 1940.

In January of 1945, the decision to evacuate the civilian population was made. But that order reached Karlino inhabitants as late as the 3rd of March. Civilians, soldiers, forced workers and prisoners set off to Kolobrzeg following the route through Dygowo. They did not manage to cross the Paseta because Russians had bombed the bridge. In the morning of the 4th of March, Soviet units came to the town while heading to Kolobrzeg. Although people who were coming back to Karlino experienced plunders and violence, the town did not suffer much damage. Soviets appointed a commanding officer who seized valuable goods for spoils.

Because Kolobrzeg had been destroyed, the seat of Polish county authorities was temporarily organized in Karlino. Consequently, the population grew to more than 5,000 people. Only after the county authorities were moved to Kolobrzeg in 1947 and it was being settled, the number of Karlino inhabitants decreased to 3,000. In 1958, the town became a part of Bialogard County.