E' the largest castle in the world, erected at the end of the th century as an expression of the magnificence of the kings of Bohemia and, today, it is one of the main attractions of the entire European continent.
It is not just a simple manor, the Prague Castle it is much more. Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its 70 square kilometers, Pražský hrad is a veritable conglomeration of monuments, gardens and walls to be admired in awe. It stands on one of the nine hills that make up the splendid Czech capital and literally consists of a village in its own right that allows, at its access, to immerse yourself in another era: a real leap in time.
- Where is it and how to get there
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- What to see and how to visit Prague Castle
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Where is it and how to get there
From the center of Prague, the Pražský hrad complex can be reached by tram, bus, car or on foot. In the latter case, the journey could be quite long, but it could provide a truly unique opportunity for the tourist, that is to calmly enter the historical atmosphere offered by the Czech capital, before reaching the extraordinary attraction.
The journey by car, albeit shorter, is not recommended due to the reduced presence of parking lots near the attraction.
- On foot: Approximately 45 minutes heading north on Náměstí Míru towards Slezská from the city center - Get directions
- By car: about 16 minutes, from Wilsonova, but pay attention to the parking lots! - Get directions
- By bus: in 26 minutes from the Prague Florenc stop, bus 194 to the Malostranská stop; then continue on foot for a short distance
- By tram: in about 30 minutes. You must first travel a section by bus. From the Anděl stop, half B (yellow line), to Národní třída. From here, tram 18 to Malostranská, then continue on foot
Hours and prices
Prague Castle is practically accessible all year round, at different times depending on whether you decide to visit it in high or low tourist season. The high season includes the time period included between April 31st and October st (also called summer season); the low (ie the winter season) includes the rest of the year. Some attractions belonging to the Pražský hrad complex can be visited for free, but as regards the main attractions of the Castle, there are real routes, each with its own access ticket.
- Castle 06: 00-22: 00, Historic palaces 09: 00-17: 00 (Sun from 12:00), Cathedral St. Vitus 09: 00-16: 00 (Sun from 12:00)
- Best time to avoid queues: at opening or at lunchtime
- Buy online: Prague Castle: ticket and introductory commentary
* Discounts for children aged 6 to 16, high school and university students up to 26, over 65
** Family ticket for 1 to 5 children up to 16 years of age and maximum 2 adults
Free for children up to 6 years of age, holders of a document for severe disability with 1 companion, nursery school children with a companion
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- Castle tour with entrance ticket: from € 35,00 - Find out more
- Prague Card: 2, 3 or 4 days: from € 59,00 - Find out more
- Walking tour of the Castle and the old town: from € 25,00 - Find out more
What to see and how to visit Prague Castle
There are 3 different routes to visit the Castle:
- Circuit A: Includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, exhibition "The Story of Prague Castle", St. George's Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, Rosenberg Palace
- Circuit B: Includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower
- Circuit C: Includes Exhibition "The Treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral", Prague Castle Picture Gallery
Below is more information on the main areas of the castle.
1 - Cathedral of San Vito and Treasure of San Vito exhibition
The largest Christian building in the Czech Republic, the Roman Catholic St. Vitus Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague and contains the burial graves of many important saints and kings. The construction work began in 1344 but was only completed after 525 years, due to various interruptions mainly due to wars. Its architecture is therefore an eclectic mix of styles, including elements of modern Neo-Gothic and 14th-century Gothic, with a sprinkling of Baroque and Renaissance influences. Among its most interesting features are the splendid windows depicting the Holy Trinity, The Last Judgment and a fantastic mosaic from 1370 above the Golden Portal, without forgetting the chapel of St. Wenceslas with its jewel-encrusted altar, and numerous paintings dating from the th-th centuries.
In addition to the Cathedral of St. Vitus, the Treasury is also worth a visit, full of priceless artifacts dating back to the Middle Ages
2 - Ancient Royal Palace
The Old Royal Palace is one of the most interesting historical buildings in Prague. Although the current structure was built in the th century, some parts of it seem to date back to the th century. The most interesting part of the palace is the magnificent one Vladislav room from the th century, a huge structure used for coronations, banquets, markets and even jousting tournaments.
3 - History of Prague Castle Exhibition
It is a permanent exhibition that tells the story of the castle through superb exhibits, presenting the vicissitudes of the Czech people themselves, along with some topical characters who have shaped the nation's history (for better or for worse), including ancient kings and courtiers, famous artists and writers.
4 - Basilica of San Giorgio
Despite many restorations and modifications over the centuries, the Basilica of San Giorgio has managed to retain its fabulous Romanesque architecture. It is one of the oldest structures in the castle complex: the foundations of which date back to the th century, the towers date back to the mid-th century, while its beautiful facade was added in the th century. Don't miss the tombs of some important historical figures such as Vlatislav I, Duke Boleslav II and St. Ludmila.
5 - Golden Lane (Golden Lane)
Golden Lane is one of the finest collections of traditional medieval buildings in the Czech Republic, which has remained almost unchanged over the centuries. Eleven of these old buildings have survived intact and now house interesting displays of armor and textiles, scenes showing medieval life and shops selling local handicrafts. According to a legend, the name of the street is due to the fact that it was inhabited in the beginning by a group of alchemists capable of transforming iron into gold.
6 - Rosenberg Palace
It is a beautiful Renaissance building, located next to the Golden Lane at the exit of the castle.It was built between 1545 and 1574 by the lords of Rosenberg and transformed in the th century into theInstitute of Noblewomen, a reformatory for young women belonging to aristocratic families who have fallen into poverty. Inside, the beautiful chapel, the Renaissance hall and the exhibition are not to be missed which tells the life of noblewomen.
7 - Prague Castle Picture Gallery
The Pinacoteca exhibits about 100 paintings of the more than 4.000 that the castle owns. These paintings are simply splendid and constitute the precious collection of Rudolph II. The gallery displays works by Peter Paul Rubens, Girolamo Bedoli, Titian (rumored to be Rudolph II's favorite artist), Bartolomeo Spranger, Norbert Grund and Vivano Codazzi.
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
The purchase of the ticket to access the Prague Castle is valid for two days (the same day of purchase, plus the next). We always remember that, as for the main European attractions and beyond, there are rigid and sometimes long ones security protocols at the entrance, which provide for careful checks to ensure the safety of visitors, which even those who purchase priority tickets cannot escape.
- Get up early: Due to strict security controls, which can make the queues at the entrance longer, we recommend that you reach the attraction at least one hour in advance.
- Buy the city card: the Prague Card guarantees not only access to Prague Castle, but also reductions or even free admissions to the main attractions of the city.
- Priority ticket: the purchase of a priority ticket guarantees the prior choice of the preferred circuit (A, B or C). However, entrance checks will take place regularly.
- Watch out for restrictions: the restrictions on access to the Castle concern, above all, the possibility of taking photographs inside the complex. In principle, with a surcharge of around € 2,00 it is possible to immortalize the interiors of the attractions without the aid of flashes and tripods. In some areas, however, it is not possible to take photos. The off-limits exhibitions are: "The History of Prague Castle and The Treasure of St. Vitus" and in the Prague Castle Picture Gallery. It is also forbidden to carry bulky luggage inside the castle, which must therefore be left at the entrance.
- Minimum time: it takes more than 3 hours to visit the castle in its entirety.
- Guided tours: It is possible to book guided tours or use audio guides, with a surcharge of € 13,80 / 3 hours or € 17,75 / day. There are, of course, guaranteed accesses for the disabled, except in the following areas: the towers (Daliborka, White Tower, South Tower of the Cathedral) and the defense corridor of the Golden Lane.
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
Extended, magnificent, suggestive. The area of the Castle, whose construction began in 884 AD, experienced moments of absolute splendor (especially around the fourteenth century, under the aegis of Charles IV) opposed, unfortunately, to periods of looting and demolitions, especially during the Defenestration of Prague, In 1618.
The fortification was the first inhabited area of the Czech capital and was a tangible testimony of the splendor of the kings of Bohemia, but not only. The complex was also the residence of the Holy Roman Emperors and the Habsburg dynasty.
One of the most characteristic moments linked to the visit of the attraction is undoubtedly that of Changing of the guard: less pompous than its London namesake (at Buckingham Palace), but certainly not devoid of folklore and appeal. The ceremony takes place every hour, in front of the main door of the Castle.