How to Visit Prague Castle: Timetables, Tickets and Tours

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Aina Martin
@ainamartin
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

For its fascinating history and centuries-old architecture, visit the Prague Castle always tops the list of things to do in Prague for anyone visiting the city.

The Castle is certainly the most famous tourist attraction in Prague: this architectural complex, which stands on a hill above the Vltava and dominates the city, is considered the largest in the world in its style.

The Castle complex has so many impressive things to see such as the Vitus Cathedral, Vicolo d'Oro, Old Royal Palace Basilica of San Giorgio Daliborka Tower and Palazzo Lobkowitz.



Once home to the rulers and emperors of Bohemia, today Prague Castle is the official residence of the Czech president and is one of 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Czech Republic.

As for the sights and attractions of Prague, it is difficult to visit this city for the first time and NOT go to visit its castle!

Plan your Visit to Prague Castle in less than 2 minutes!

  • Find here the skip-the-line ticket for circuit A
  • Find the online skip-the-line ticket for Circuit B here  -> RECOMMENDED
  • You can book the Prague Castle guided tour in ENGLISH here This guided tour in English lasts 3 hours and costs 30 euros
  • Buy the Prague Card which includes the entrance ticket to Prague Castle and much more

Based on my experience, I leave you all the information on like visiting Prague Castle, with details of the best tickets, timetables and prices.



Are you ready? Let's start!

  • Prague Castle
  • Visiting routes
  • Tickets, Prices and Tours
  • Visiting hours
  • How to get to Prague Castle
  • Prague Castle: What to see and visit itinerary
    • 1 - First court and second court
    • 2 - Cathedral of San Vito
    • 3 - Great south tower of the cathedral
    • 4 - Royal Palace
    • 5 - Basilica of San Giorgio
    • 6 - Golden Lane in Prague
    • 7 - Daliborka Tower
  • Useful Tips for Visiting Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle was founded as a fortress in the XNUMXth century by Prince Bořivoj, the first Christian prince of Bohemia. Built on top of the hill and dominating the surrounding lands, the Castle was a real checkpoint.

No enemy army could approach Prague without being seen!

The Castle was not born as we see it today: over the centuries, the various rulers who succeeded each other, added, destroyed, rebuilt and expanded the complex with churches, towers and magnificent gardens.

For this reason, during your visit to the Castle, you will see buildings of different eras and styles, and this is why makes it one of the best things to see in Prague.



Visiting routes

The first and most important thing is to know that the entrance to the site is free but the access to the buildings is paid. With that in mind, you have 3 different types of routes and tickets that allow you to see different things: circuit A, circuit B e circuit C.

Circuit A - is the most complete, that is, the one that allows you to see the most things. All buildings are included in the ticket for circuit A:

  1. Vitus Cathedral
  2. Royal Palace
  3. Castle History Museum
  4. Basilica of San Giorgio
  5. Vicolo d'Oro
  6. Daliborka Tower
  7. Palazzo Rosenberg

Circuit B - is the one for those who have less time for the visit. Includes the buildings seen above except the Castle History museum and the Rosenberg Palace. The ticket for circuit B therefore includes:

  1. Vitus Cathedral
  2. Royal Palace
  3. Basilica of San Giorgio
  4. Vicolo d'Oro
  5. Daliborka Tower

Circuit C - This ticket only includes the Treasury of San Vito and the Pinacoteca: this is the reason why I recommend it only to those who have already done one of the two circuits above and to those who are particularly passionate about art and painting.

In addition to these circuits, you can also access the Exhibition on the History of Prague Castle, To Exhibition of the Treasure of San Vito, To picture gallery and South Tower of the St. Vitus Cathedral, paying an extra ticket.



Tickets, Prices and Tours

I ticket prices for Prague Castle are the following:

  • Circuit A - ticket price: 350 Czech crowns (about 14 euros)
  • Circuit B - ticket price: 250 Czech crowns (around 10 euros)
  • Circuit C - ticket price: 350 Czech crowns (around 14 euros)

You have several options for buy tickets for Prague Castle:

Ticket: Tickets can be purchased in various points of the castle: the information centers of Prague Castle (second and third courtyard), at the ticket office of the Court of the Foundry, in the Picture Gallery, in the Old Royal Palace and in the ticket offices located in the Vicolo D'Oro, near the Daliborka tower.

Online: another option, if you want to buy the ticket is to buy them online.

Find here the skip-the-line ticket for circuit A

Find the online skip-the-line ticket for Circuit B here

Guided tour: This is the most recommended option. Choose a guided tour of Prague Castle with an expert guide it's a great way to learn all about the history of Prague Castle and the surrounding area without having to worry about missing a thing.

You can book a guided tour of Prague Castle in ENGLISH

This guided tour in English lasts 3 hours and costs 30 euros (bring a bottle of water, you'll need it)

Prague Card: in case you purchased the Praga Card, the ticket for the attractions included in circuit B is included.

In addition to these tickets it is also possible to buy single tickets for the Photo Gallery, the exhibition of the Treasure of San Vito and for the Museum of the History of the Castle.

Children under the age of 6 enter for free.

There are reduced tickets for children up to 16 years, over 65 and students up to 26 years (you must present a valid document that proves that you are a student, for example your badge)

combined ticket for families (two parents + a maximum of 5 children).

Visiting hours

- entrance times to Prague Castle they are longer than the entrance hours to the buildings and there are also variations according to the seasons:

Winter opening hours (1st November - 31st March):

  • Prague Castle from 6:00 to 22:00 -
  • Entrance to the buildings from 9:00 to 16:00

Summer opening hours (1st April - 31st October):

  • Prague Castle from 6:00 to 22:00
  • Entrance to the buildings from 9:00 to 17:00

More information on timetables and visits can be found on official website of the Prague Castle

How to get to Prague Castle

The Prague Castle complex, also known as the Castle District, located above the Malá Strana district in Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1.

You can get there on foot or by public transport, both options are good. Since the Castle is located on the hill in an elevated position, I recommend that you take the tram to go up and then walk down again towards the Charles Bridge.

On foot

From the Malostranskà metro station, you can take the staircase of the old castle (Staré zámecké schody) towards the eastern side. The route offers romantic views of Prague that will make you forget how hard the climb is

If, on the other hand, you want to get there from the Charles Bridge, after crossing it from the Old Town, take and go up the picturesque Nerudova Street and once you reach the top, turn right towards Ke Hradu. You will find yourself in front of the main entrance of the Castle.

Con i mezzi pubblici

If you prefer to save energy, public transport also offers panoramic views on the way to the castle. Fortunately, public transport in Prague works very well and is really cheap to use.

Don't worry about tram times, at rush hour they go back and forth quite frequently.

  • Option 1 (fast): Take tram 22 to the Pražský hrad stop. Once there you have to turn left and walk for about 5 minutes.
  • Option 2 (Relax!): Take tram 22 from Národní třída or Malostranská metro station. But instead of getting off at Prague Castle's main stop (Pražský hrad), stay on board until you reach Pohořelec. From here you can take a leisurely walk downhill to the Castle Square ((Hradčanské náměstí), passing through charming streets and historical monuments.
  • Option 3 (challenging but overlooking the rooftops of Mala Strana): Take tram 22 to the Malostranské náměstí stop. From there you should take Nerudova street and when you get to Zámecká street, walk 50 meters and turn left to get to Thunovská street. Once here you have to climb the Staircase of the New Castle until you reach the Plaza del Castillo, from where you can enter the enclosure. If you are fit, our advice is to opt for this option.
  • Option 4 (Overview): Take metro line A (green) stopping at Malostranská. From there you have to walk up to the stairs of the old castle (Staré zámecké schody) and climb them until you reach the Na Opyši gate, from where you will have a wonderful viewpoint over the rooftops and the city of Prague.

Download a more detailed version of the Prague Castle map HERE

Prague Castle: What to see and visit itinerary

You don't have to be a history or architecture buff to find things to see in Prague CastleThere are fortifications, palaces, gardens and galleries that could take days to fully explore.

In winter, climb to the top of the old castle staircase and enjoy views of the town's traditional red roofs dusted with snow. In summer, escape the crowds and stroll through the magnificent gardens.

Visit the Vicolo D'Oro on a silent winter morning with the fog that recreates that muffled and mysterious atmosphere that has made Prague one of the Magical Cities of the World.

In case you want to visit all the things to see at the Castle, try to plan at least 3 hours or half a day while if you want to know only the most famous places you can opt for the Cathedral of San Vito and the Vicolo D'Oro, which will take you a couple of more or less hours.

If you want you can follow this tour itinerary of Circuit B which for me is the one recommended.

Start your visit from Hradcany Square and goes through its gates to enter the first court or court of honor.

1 - First court and second court

At Prague Castle it is held every hour (from 5 to 23) on changing of the guard, but try to be here by noon for the official ceremony which also includes an exchange of flags and fanfare.

from first court you enter the second courtyard where you can observe the beautiful baroque fountain of the seventeenth century. The buildings of the second court are those of the seat of the Government.

From here you can also access the Chapel of the Holy Cross, where some of the most precious pieces of the Treasure of San Vito.

Crossing a passage surmounted by arches you will arrive in the third courtyard of the castle: here you can observe a statue of St. George, but who dominates the court is the splendid Vitus Cathedral, the centerpiece of Prague Castle.

2 - Cathedral of San Vito

The Cathedral of San Vito is where the bodies of monarchs and bishops rest and probably it is the most important monument in all of Prague.

This religious building already amazes for its size: 124 meters long and 60 meters high, with vaults reaching 33 meters and towers from 82 to 100 meters high (central tower).

Despite being a predominantly Gothic structure, there are multiple architectural influences represented in this monument, including Baroque, Renaissance, and Romanesque. No surprise considering that Emperor Charles IV began construction in 1344 and this went on for nearly 600 years.

Among its highlights from the outside are the Golden Gate and South Tower (extra entrance), from which you will have a unique view of the castle and the city.

Inside, the Chapel of San Wenceslao, the High Altar, the choir and the stained glass window stand out.

In the heart of the cathedral is precisely the Chapel of St. Wenceslas, where you can find the tomb containing the relics of the iconic Czech patron saint.

Take the time to admire the details in the carved doors, arches and gargoyles that decorate the exterior of the cathedral.

3 - South tower of the cathedral

If you're willing to test your stamina, be sure to climb the 287 steps to the top of the South Tower of the Cathedral.

Left unfinished in the 100th century, the XNUMX-meter-high tower is also known for its iconic bell known as Zikmund (the largest in the Czech Republic).

4 - Royal Palace

Leaving the Cathedral of San Vito and crossing the courtyard, another super visit awaits you: The Royal Palace.

Palazzo Reale is one of the oldest structures of the Castle, dating back to 1135. Here you can find a complex of halls, corridors and buildings, all designed in Gothic and Renaissance architectural style.

Originally used by Czech princesses in the 12th century, it eventually became the king's palace from the 13th to the 16th century.

Among the most important places you can see are the Vladislao Room, where you will not be able to remain indifferent in front of its windows and at the time.

Built by Benedikt Ried at the end of the XNUMXth century, Sala Vladislao is the largest room in medieval Prague, with late Gothic elements. The most notable feature is the ribbed vaulted ceiling with five domes and Italian Renaissance windows.

Starting in the XNUMXth century, the Vladislaus Hall hosted all occasions of the Bohemian court, including tournaments, banquets and coronation ceremonies. Today it still hosts various celebrations and events on important dates in Czech history.

Another area of ​​great historical interest in the building is the Lodovico, from the Renaissance period, where the Bohemian Chancellery, which in 1618 was the theater of the Defenestration of Prague.

In response to a Protestant rebellion, Emperor Ferdinand II had two of his royal governors and their secretary thrown out the window (defenestration is the actual act of throwing someone out the window!)

SPOILER: they survived, falling on a pile of dung, but not without having ignited the spark for the famous 30 Years War.

5 - Basilica of San Giorgio

Leaving the Royal Palace you arrive in the square of San Giorgio, where the Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio and the homonymous basilica stand.

St. George's Basilica was built in 920, but like the rest of Prague Castle, it has had some work over the years.

Its two white marble towers and Romanesque windows date back to the XNUMXth century, while at the beginning of the XNUMXth century they saw the addition of the Baroque chapel.

One of the tombs inside the basilica belongs to Prince Vratislav, father of St. Wenceslas.

Today it also serves as a concert hall and you can book tickets to see live classical music.

6 - Golden Lane in Prague

Located in the northeast corner of the Castle District, Vicolo D'Oro is a charming cobbled street lined with tiny XNUMXth-century houses.

The Golden Lane is one of the most visited and known points of Prague Castle.

This alley, which owes its name to the guild of goldsmiths who lived in its colorful and graceful houses, was initially built to be the residence of the castle guard and as a curiosity and valuable detail, at number 22 there is a library that was once Franz Kafka's house.

This is one of the must-see places in Prague Castle as most of the houses have exhibitions, charming souvenir shops and the Dalibor Tower. Please note that outside business hours you can visit it for free.

Inside some houses are period scenes filled with antiques and artifacts, reconstructed to show the life of their famous homes. Some of the most notable include author Franz Kafka and Nobel laureate Jaroslav Seifert.

As I told you before, being one of the most beautiful and photogenic places in Prague Castle, the Golden Lane is also terribly crowded. Visit it early in the morning or towards night, when the shops, exhibitions and souvenir shops close: in the silence you will experience that feeling that only Prague can give and that has earned it the reputation of magical city!

7 - Daliborka Tower

Now we move on to the Dalibor Tower (Daliborka).

Prague is chock full of legends and one concerns the Daliborka tower.

According to legend, the tower takes its name from the Dalibor knight and originally a prison, a role it held for 3 centuries. Legend has it that the knight Dalibor was imprisoned here, after a revolt, awaiting his death penalty by beheading.

Just waiting for this, in his melancholy, the knight learned to play the violin: he played every day and his enchanted music spread through the streets of Prague.

His music was so beautiful and melancholy that people ran to listen to him.

He had become so famous that no one dared to announce the day of his death by beheading: but people understood why the music of his violin no longer spread through the streets of the city.

The tower can now be visited and in addition to the cells there is also an exhibition with instruments of torture.

Useful Tips for Visiting Prague Castle

Before I finish, I'd like to leave you some I recommend to visit the Prague castle.

Plan to visit Prague Castle early in the morning. If you go early, you will be able to escape the crowds. Prague Castle opens at 9am. Plan to arrive a little before 9am. You will notice that the crowd gradually builds up over the next hour or two.

You should at least concede 2-3 hours to visit Prague Castle. However, if choose the ticket for circuit A, seeing the Prague castle complex may take longer. You can have lunch in the vicinity of Prague Castle after your visit and digest everything you've seen with hot dumplings and cold beer.

Remember that the castle park is free and you only have to pay to enter the buildings or exhibitions.

In my experience, thethe most recommended option is to buy a ticket for Circuit B, which includes i most important points. The total visit will last you just under a morning, although we recommend that you reserve that time to also make the transfers and see the points of interest with peace of mind.

To photograph inside the buildings of the Prague castle you will need to purchase a license or photo pass. I strongly advise you to buy it and not to try to be smart, if they catch you (and they catch you) you make a bad impression and beyond that, you would be really disappointed not to have photographs of the interior of the castle.

St. Vitus Cathedral is one of the most interesting and beautiful buildings in the Prague Castle complex. Visit the Cathedral before seeing anything else. The castle is big and after a while you will be tired. So try to see it first when you are still full of energy.

Wear comfortable walking shoes. Besides the fact that on the paved streets of Prague you could get stuck with your heels in the cracks between one stone and another, when it rains or snows they can get very slippery.

Look to visit Prague Castle on a weekday. Weekends at Prague Castle are packed with tourists.

Plan your Visit to Prague Castle in less than 2 minutes!

  • Find here the skip-the-line ticket for circuit A
  • Find the online skip-the-line ticket for Circuit B here
  • You can book the Prague Castle guided tour in ENGLISH here This guided tour in English lasts 3 hours and costs 30 euros
  • Buy the Prague Card which includes the entrance ticket to Prague Castle and much more
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