The Jewish Quarter in Prague is the best place to experience the culture of Jews and how they have lived over the years.
With time, the Joseph Jewish Quarter Prague has endured several structural changes, but it still stands testimony to the persecution of Jews over the centuries.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before visiting the Jewish Quarter in Prague.
Table of contents
- How to reach Jewish Quarter, Prague
- Jewish Quarter hours
- Self tour vs guided tour
- Tours of Jewish Quarter Prague
- What to see in Jewish Museum
- What’s not part of the Jewish Museum?
- Dress code at Jewish Quarter
- Jewish Quarter Prague map
- Jewish Quarter Prague history
How to reach Jewish Quarter, Prague
Joseph Jewish Quarter’s formal address is – The Jewish Quarter, Josefov, Prague 1, Czech Republic. Get Directions
Since the Joseph Jewish Quarter is near Old Town Square and the Vltava River, it has the advantage of being close to various tourist places.
Tourists have the option of going around on foot or public transport.
Bus numbers 194 and 207 stop at Staromestska Metro station, a three-minute walk from the Jewish Quarter.
Bus 194 also makes a stop at U Staré školy, which is next to the Spanish Synagogue.
Tram numbers 2, 17, and 18 can also help you get to the Jewish Quarter in Prague.
These Trams stop at Staromestska Metro station, which, as already mentioned, is a three-minute walk away from the Jewish Quarter.
Get onto any Line A train, and get off at the Staromestska Metro station.
If you’re near the Old town or at the Charles Bridge, the best option for you is to walk to the Jewish Quarter.
We don’t recommend private transport to get to Jewish Quarters.
While it is the most comfortable option, finding a parking spot can be difficult.
Even if you are traveling to Prague by car, we suggest you park your car outside the city center and use public transport to go further.
Jewish Quarter hours
There are two main attractions in the Jewish Quarter, Prague – the Jewish Museum and the Old-New Synagogue.
From Sunday to Friday, the Jewish Museum opens at 9 am. During the peak tourist season of April to October, the museum closes at 6 pm, and during the rest of the year, it closes at 4.30 pm.
The Jewish Museum remains closed on Saturday.
From Sunday to Friday, the Old-New Synagogue opens at 9 am. From April to October, the Synagogue closes at 6 pm, and during the rest of the year, it closes at 5 pm.
The Old-New Synagogue has an alternate schedule for Fridays – it closes an hour before the Sabbath. It remains closed on Saturday.
The Jewish Museum and the Old-New Synagogue are also closed on Jewish holidays.
For detailed information on the Jewish holidays and the Sabbath’s timing, click here.
Self tour vs guided tour
Visitors to the Jewish Quarter Prague have one question on their mind – should they walk around and explore it on their own, or should they book a guide?
The Jewish Quarter Prague can get confusing for the most seasoned of travelers.
That’s because there are so many different buildings, monuments and historical attractions which combine to become what is known as Jewish Quarter Prague.
One good thing is, the Jewish Quarter is a small area, and all the attractions are within walking distance of each other. Some even as close as 100 meters.
As a result, you can go on a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter in Prague yourself.
However, we don’t recommend that.
Jewish Quarter Prague reveals the 1000-year history of the Prague Jews.
If you don’t get the stories and anecdotes right, you won’t get the full impact of what has happened in the Jewish ghetto over the centuries.
That’s why we recommend you book this guided tour of the Jewish Quarter Prague.
A certified local guide can show you World’s most well-preserved Jewish dwelling place in the best possible light.
Tours of Jewish Quarter Prague
Important: All the tickets showcased below are smartphone tickets. They get emailed to you as soon as you make the purchase. You don’t need to take printouts. On the day of your visit, show the email in your inbox on your smartphone and join the tour.
There are many kinds of guided tours of the Jewish Quarter Prague.
We have identified the best four tours and detailed them out below.
Guided tour of Jewish Quarter
This visit is a complete tour of the Joseph Jewish Quarter Prague, where you can experience the culture and history of the Jews who have lived here for centuries.
It lets you explore the entire grounds of the Jewish Quarter, including the Synagogues and the Jewish Cemetery.
This two-and-a-half-hour-long tour is available in English, Spanish, Czech, French, German, Italian, and Russian.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 1,029 CZK (40 Euros)
Youth ticket (4 to 15 years): 765 CZK (30 Euros)
Children ticket (1 to 3 years): 633 CZK (25 Euros)
Jewish Quarter + Prague city tour + Cruise
This tour takes you through the whole city of Prague in a day.
This tour is a popular choice among tourists who don’t have much time or are in Prague on a short holiday.
During this six-hour guided tour, you will explore the city by foot, riverboat, and tram.
The highlights of this tour are your visit to the Old Town, Jewish Quarter, New Town, and Lesser Town, along with the Prague Castle complex.
This ticket costs 3,166 CZK (122 Euros) for every tourist who is 9+ years.
Younger ones can accompany for free.
Private guided tour of Jewish Quarter
If you prefer your own guide, we recommend this 3-hour private tour of the Jewish Quarter.
This tour also includes a pickup and drop from your hotel in Prague.
You will visit all the synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery.
On the ticket booking page, you can choose two starting times – 9 am and 1 pm.
For a group of three, this tour costs 3,166 CZK (122 Euros).
Private tour of Old & New Town, Jewish Quarter
If this is your first visit to Prague, and you don’t want to restrict yourself to just the Jewish Quarter, we recommend this tour.
The tour includes some of the fantastic sites of Prague, including the Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square, the Old town square, the New Town( or Nove Mesto), and the Prague Jewish Quarter.
A professional guide will narrate the rich history and the stories behind the structures during this four-hour tour.
Since this is a private tour, this ticket costs 2,902 CZK (112 Euros) for a group of ten tourists.
What to see in Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum consists of numerous Jewish Quarter sites, which narrate Jewish persecution over the centuries.
Ironically, a lot of credit for the Jewish Museum Prague must go to Hitler.
He wanted to create a memoir for the race he thought was going to become extinct.
And he ordered that Jewish exhibits which survived the destruction of the Jewish communities in Bohemia and Moravia be collected and put on display.
The below-mentioned monuments add up to become what is collectively known as the Jewish Museum.
Old Jewish Cemetery
Housing around 12,000 gravestones and even more graves, this Jewish Quarter Cemetery is the oldest surviving Jewish burial ground globally.
This cemetery was in operation from the first half of the 15th century to the second half of the 18th century.
It was declared National Cultural Heritage in 1995.
The Maisel Synagogue was built in 1592, making it one of the oldest synagogues in the Jewish Quarter.
It displays the history of Jews in Bohemia and Moravia from the 10th century to their emancipation in the 18th century.
The Spanish Synagogue
The Spanish Synagogue is one of the most popular synagogues in the Jewish Quarter and was built in 1868.
Its name was inspired by its Moorish design.
It exhibits the history of the Moravian and Czech Jews from the 18th century until today.
After the Old-New Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue is the oldest one.
It got built around 1535.
The Pinkas Synagogue is the result of the work and contributions of the Horowitz family.
After the Nazis lost the second World War, this synagogue was turned into a memorial for the Jews killed by the Nazis.
Around 80,000 names are inscribed on the walls of this Synagogue.
The Klausen Synagogue was built in 1694 and is at the entrance to the Old Jewish Cemetery.
It is the largest synagogue in the former Prague Jewish ghetto.
During its heydays, it was the seat of the Prague Burial Society.
Today it hosts a permanent exhibition titled ‘Jewish Customs and Traditions’.
The Jewish Ceremonial Hall
Jewish Ceremonial Hall holds exceptional cultural and spiritual importance.
Continuing from Klausen Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall hosts the second part of the exhibition ‘Jewish Customs and Traditions’.
Robert Guttmann Gallery
The Robert Guttmann Gallery is named after the Prague painter by the same name.
It presents temporary exhibitions on Jewish life, the persecution of Bohemian and Moravian Jews, Jewish monuments, and Jewish contemporary visual art.
What’s not part of the Jewish Museum?
The only significant monument in the Jewish Quarter which isn’t part of the Jewish Museum is the Old-New Synagogue.
Its construction was completed in 1270 in Gothic style, making it the first Gothic building of Prague.
You need a separate ticket to enter this Synagogue.
Yet another tourist attraction not to be missed while in the Jewish Quarter is Franz Kafka Monument.
It is a 3.75 meters tall statue of the famous German-speaking Jewish writer, Franz Kafka.
Dress code at Jewish Quarter
While entering the Old Jewish Cemetery, men must cover their heads.
There are skullcaps available at the Museum, or you can buy one at the entrance of the Old Jewish cemetery.
Women are exempt from covering their heads.
The tourists are free to bring their head covers as well.
Jewish Quarter Prague map
As a tourist, it is always sensible to carry a map around with you.
A map of the Jewish Quarter Prague will not only help you explore the tourist destination better, but it will also help you save time.
Ensure that you have at least a simple, well-defined map of the place before starting your tour. Map of Jewish Quarter
You can also follow the walking directions provided here.
However, the best way to explore the Jewish Quarter is by taking the help of a local guide.
Jewish Quarter Prague history
The Jewish Quarter Prague stands as a memory of the miserable conditions the Jews have had to endure for centuries.
It calls the world’s attention to the unfair society which slowly helped form such a magnificent part of the city admired by millions today.
In the 20th Century, when Hitler declared Jews as an ‘extinct’ race, the Jewish Quarter welcomed new changes to preserve the history and culture of those who resided there.
Many new sites were constructed by the Nazis, including the Jewish Museum, which houses the collective artifacts of the destroyed slums of the Jews.
The Jewish Quarter endured constant changes, with many buildings broken to the ground and rebuilt, disregarding the comfort of the inhabitants.
The last known changes to the Quarter got made between 1893 to 1913.
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