“Being in Prague feels like you are in a fairy tale, except for one key difference – the city of Prague is for real.”
Since no fairy-tale is complete without a castle, Prague has its own – the world’s oldest castle aptly named ‘The Prague Castle’.
The locals refer to the Prague Castle as Pražský hrad.
The Prague Castle has stood by the city of Prague since 880 AD.
1. How to reach?
2. Opening hours
3. Free entry
4. Best time to visit
5. Tour duration
6. Ticket discounts
7. Best Circuit
8. Buy Circuit ‘B’ tickets
9. Guided Tour
10. Combo tours
11. Concert at Castle
12. Must see
13. Castle map
14. Castle Guides
Where is Prague Castle?
One of the most significant monuments in the Czech Republic is the Prague Castle.
The famous castle, which also doubles up as the house of current Czech President is located in the district Hradčany (also known as the Castle district).
Standing on top of a hill overlooking Lesser Town, on the left bank of Vltava, the castle is Czech’s most significant historical and cultural treasure.
Prague Castle address
One can reach the Prague Castle at this address:
119 08 Prague 1, Czechia.
How to get to Prague Castle
Since it is a major tourist draw, the Prague Castle is well connected with every corner of the city.
One can easily reach the Prague Castle on foot, using a tram, or riding a metro.
The panoramic views of the city of Prague never fail to take the breath away.
For instance, a brisk 8-minute walk from Metro station Malostranská (line A) can get you to the Prague Castle.
If you are roaming around in the Lesser Town Square, you can find your way to the Prague Castle via Nerudova Street.
Although this walk is a bit steep, it is worth enjoying every moment.
At the end of your small trek, you will be standing in front of the front gates of the Prague Castle.
If walking isn’t your thing, or if you are travelling with seniors or kids, we recommend you take a tram to reach Pražský hrad.
Tram no. 22 will take you up the hill to the tram stop called ‘Pražský hrad’.
Once you get down, you turn left and start walking. In 5 minutes you will reach the 2nd Courtyard of Prague Castle.
You can board the tram at any station of your preference.
However, Národní Třída Metro stop; in front of the National Theater (Národní Divadlo); and Malostranská are the most convenient ones.
Unlike most tourist attractions, private transport can go up to the gates of the Castle.
So, if you want to avoid walking or the crowd of public transportation, we recommend you hire a taxi.
Prague Castle hours
Prague Castle is open for tourists daily.
However, the opening times get affected by the season.
You must also be aware that different parts of Prague Castle open and close at different times.
Summer season timings (1 Apr to 31 Oct)
During summers, the Prague Castle Complex remains open from 6 am to 10 pm.
However, to explore the historic buildings in Prague Castle you must visit between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm.
Wondering what the historical buildings at Prague Castle are?
1. Old Royal Palace
2. The exhibition “The Story of Prague Castle”
3. St. George Basilica
4. Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower
5. Prague Castle Picture Gallery
6. Powder Tower
7. Rosenberg Palace
St. Vitus Cathedral opens from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday.
On Sunday the Cathedral opens at 12 pm and stays open till 5 pm.
During summers, the last entrance to the St. Vitus Cathedral is at 4:40 pm.
Timings for Exhibition “The Treasure of St. Vitus” is from 10 am to 6 pm.
The Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral remains open from 10 am to 6 pm with last entrance at 5.30 pm.
The Exhibition Halls including, Prague Castle Riding School, Imperial Stables, Theresian Wing, Royal Summer Palace open at 10 am and close at 6 pm.
The opening hours of Prague Castle Gardens is from 10 am to 6 pm.
Timings for The Garden on the Bastion are from 6am to 10 pm.
Winter season timings (1 Nov to 31 Mar)
During the winter months also the Prague Castle complex opens at 6 am and closes at 10 pm.
However, the historic buildings within the Castle remain open from 9 am to 4 pm only.
St. Vitus Cathedral is open to the public from 9 am to 4 pm, from Monday to Saturday.
On Sunday the Cathedral opens at 12 pm with the closing time of 4 pm.
During this season, the last entrance to the Cathedral is at 3.40 pm.
Open hours for Exhibition “The Treasure of St.Vitus” is from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral remains open from 10 am to 5 pm with last entrance at 4:30 pm.
There is no change in the timing of the exhibition halls such as Prague Castle Riding School, Imperial Stables, Theresian Wing, Royal Summer Palace which continue to remain open from 10 am to 6 pm.
Except for The Garden on the Bastion, all other Prague Castle gardens remain closed for tourists during the winter tourist season.
Timings for The Garden on the Bastion is from 6 am to 10 pm.
Prague Castle free entry
Entry to Prague Castle is free.
Without buying any tickets, you can roam around in the corridors of the Castle and also the gardens.
However, there are lots of impressive buildings, exhibitions etc. which you can’t access without entry tickets.
Here is the list –
1. St. Vitus Cathedral
2. Old Royal Palace
3. The exhibition “The Story of Prague Castle”
4. St. George’s Basilica
5. Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower
6. Rosenberg Palace
7. Prague Castle Picture Gallery
8. Great South Tower with a View Gallery
If you are NOT on a budget holiday in Prague, we recommend you buy the Prague Castle tickets online and explore it to the fullest.
Free entry to ‘qualified’ tourists
To encourage visits, tourists who fulfil specific criteria can enter Prague Castle for free. They are –
1. Kids six years and below
2. Nursery school group and their teacher
4. Differently-abled tourists with a valid disability card
3. EU licenced tour guides with clients holding purchased tickets
Best time to visit Prague Castle
Prague Castle complex open at 9 am.
Arrive at the Castle before 9 am to get the most out of your visit without the crowds.
The crowds keep on increasing from 9 am and reaches a peak around 1 pm. By 3 pm, the lines at the Castle shorten again.
If you can’t make it to Prague Castle by 9 am, the next best time is after 3 pm.
A hidden perk of arriving at the Castle after the peak time is over is that you can visit the Golden Lane for free.
That is, after 5 pm in summer and 4 pm in winters you don’t need an entry ticket to explore the Golden Lane.
Golden Lane is a street inside the Castle, consisting of small houses, painted in bright colours.
Like any other tourist attraction, the Prague Castle sees the worst crowd during weekends.
How long does a tour of Prague Castle take?
Many tourists believe that “you could stay a whole day and still not see everything at Prague castle.”
As for the entry tickets, once you are in there is no time limit. You can spend as much time exploring the Castle, as you want.
If you are not travelling with kids or seniors, and want to quickly explore everything that’s on offer in Prague Castle, we think three hours should be enough.
In fact, Prague Castle’s audio guide is 3 hours long.
An ideal tour of the Prague Castle Complex where you explore the historical buildings, the cathedrals, the exhibitions, and also stroll in the gardens will take you at least five hours.
Prague Castle ticket discounts
Entry to Prague Castle is free, but you can only explore the gardens and the corridors.
This is why we highly recommend you buy Prague Castle tickets.
To encourage visitors, various discounts on the Castle tickets are offered.
You can get tickets at a discounted price if you fit in one of the following categories:
1. Youth aged between 6 to 16 years
2. Full-time secondary school and University students up to the age of 26
3. Senior Citizens over the age of 65 years
In all of the above scenarios, you will have to show a valid ID card to prove your age.
Note: Buying the Castle tickets online will help you save money and time (because you won’t have to wait in the long ticketing counter lines).
Understanding Circuits in Prague Castle
Once you decide to buy Prague Castle tickets, the first question that gets asked is, “Which Prague Castle ticket should one buy?”
Most tourists get confused because there are three types of tickets –
1. Circuit ‘A’ tickets
2. Circuit ‘B’ tickets
3. Circuit ‘C’ tickets
Prague Castle complex is so big that its organisers have taken two steps to make it easy for tourists:
1. They have increased the validity of the tickets for two days. Yes, that’s right. You can bring the same ticket the next day and explore the Castle for one more day.
2. The organisers have divided the points of interest in Prague Castle complex into 3 different circuits, making it easier for visitors to decide what they want to see.
Before we come up with our recommendation on which circuit ticket you must buy, lets first understand what each of these circuits means.
Circuit A of Prague Castle
A Circuit A ticket gives you access to all the historical buildings inside Prague Castle.
The buildings are St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, the Exhibition “The story of Prague Castle”, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower and Rosenberg Palace.
Circuit B of Prague Castle
Circuit B ticket includes entry to St. Vitus Cathedral, The Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower.
The only building missing in this Circuit is the Rosenberg Palace.
Circuit C of Prague Castle
With a Circuit C ticket in your hand, you can enjoy “The treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral” Exhibition and Prague Castle Picture Gallery.
Yes, that’s about it.
Which is the better Circuit at Prague Castle?
With three different types of tickets to choose from, it is natural to get confused.
Tourists who have been to Prague Castle say that the Circuit B tickets are the best – they cover the most important historical buildings.
The fact that Circuit A & Circut C tickets are costlier than Circuit B tickets also work in the latter’s favour.
Prague Castle Circuit ‘B’ tickets
These are online Prague Castle tickets, which means you don’t have to wait in the line at the Castle’s ticketing counter.
This Circuit ‘B’ ticket covers the best you can find in Prague Castle, which you can see over two days (if you prefer to).
On the ticket booking page, you will have the option of booking this Circuit ‘B’ ticket for three-time slots – 10.05 am, 11 am and 12.05 pm.
Adult (17 to 65 years): 422 CZK (16 Euros)
Youth (6 to 16 years): 211 CZK (8 Euros)
Child (<5 years): 106 CZK (4 Euros)
Guided tour of Prague Castle
If you can afford it, we highly recommend a guided tour of Prague castle.
This is a 2.5 hours long guided tour, in which a local expert takes the lead.
Your guided tour of Prague castle starts at the Charles Bridge.
While looking at the Castle from outside, your guide will give a historical overview of the attraction.
You will then cross the Charles Bridge and reach Lesser Town Square, from where you will take a tram to reach the Castle.
Moving on, hear stories of princes, kings and emperors in St. Vitus Cathedral.
Head on to the old castle, Vladislav Hall and then to St. George’s Basilica to hear about Czech saints.
While in the Prague Castle, learn about the lives of local residents in the area known as Golden Lane.
On the tour booking page, you can choose the language in which you want your guided tour.
The options are Spanish, Czech, English, French, German, Italian and Russian.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 924 CZK (35 Euros)
Child ticket (<15 years): 660 CZK (25 Euros)
Prague Castle combo tours
Since there is so much to see in the city of Prague, tourists prefer to book combo tours.
After all, combo tours are known to help save 15 to 20% of the ticket costs.
1. Guided tour of The Old Town and Prague Castle
This is a 3-hour guided walking tour through Prague’s old town, the Jewish Quarter and the Prague Castle.
If it is your first time in Prague, we highly recommend this tour.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 528 CZK (20 Euros)
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 53 CZK (2 Euros)
2. Lobkowicz Palace and Prague Castle tour
This is a self-guided combo tour.
With this tour ticket you can see five of Prague’s most important sites – St. Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica at Prague Castle, and the private museum in Lobkowicz Palace.
The majestic Lobkowicz Palace houses the most significant and oldest private art collection in Central Europe.
In the Museum you can see masterpieces by Brueghel, Canaletto, Velázquez and original scores and manuscripts by Beethoven, Mozart etc.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 554 CZK (20 Euros)
Student ticket (16 to 26 years): 369 CZK (14 Euros)
EU Citizens ticket (16 to 26 years): 369 CZK (14 Euros)
Youth ticket (7 to 15 years): 369 CZK (14 Euros)
Kids six years and below walk in for free.
3. Best of Prague: 5-Hours Private Guided Tour
If you are in a hurry, or in Prague for only a day, this is just the right tour for you.
This private tour tries to fits all that Prague has to offer in just five hours.
As part of this tour, you will see the Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge – with an optional boat ride.
This tour costs 3826 CZK (145 Euros) per head.
4. Full-Day Tour of Prague and River Boat Cruise
Travel the city of Prague by foot, riverboat and tram on this 6-hour tour with a typical Czech lunch break in between.
On this guided tour you will see the main attractions of Prague – the Old Town, Jewish Quarter, New Town and Lesser Town, and the Prague Castle.
Your riverboat cruise will be along the Vltava River, and during the trip, you will catch stunning glimpses of the city from the water.
This tour also includes a typical Czech lunch.
This tour costs 3166 CZK (60 Euros) per person who is 9+ years old. Kids below nine years can accompany for free.
Concert at Prague Castle
If you love concerts or if you are travelling as a couple, this can be an excellent experience for you to try.
This one-hour Prague Castle concert is conducted in St. George Basilica.
The program includes Pachelbel’s Canon in D major, Mozart’s Divertimento D-Dur KV 136 and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
The programme is performed by 6 musicians plus 1 violin soloist from the Prague Royal Orchestra.
The concert begins at 4:30 pm.
On the ticket booking page, you can choose between the VIP ticket, Category A tickets or Category B tickets.
Prague Castle concert prices
VIP Category (Rows 1 to 7): 1108 CZK (42 Euros)
Category A (Rows 8 to 13): 897 CZK (34 Euros)
Category B (Rows 14 to 18): 686 CZK (26 Euros)
What’s inside Prague Castle?
The Prague Castle covers a massive area of over 750,000 square feet.
Dominating the skyline of Prague, the Castle offers many attractions and sights within.
The must-see attractions inside the Prague Castle complex are –
1. Prague Castle church
There are two Cathedrals inside Prague Castle – St. Vitus Cathedral and St. George’s Basilica.
These are the oldest of the churches in the Czech Republic.
a) St. Vitus Cathedral
The St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and the most important church in Prague.
The Cathedral stands in the centre of the Castle with its oldest parts dating back to 14th century.
Tourists who have visited this cathedral, have marvelled at the intricate stained glass making up the windows.
b) St. George’s Basilica
It is the second oldest church in the Castle founded around 920 by Prince Vratislav I.
The Cathedral features a beautiful and colourful Baroque facade.
The facade dates from 17th century and is dedicated to Ludmila of Bohemia.
The building is now home to 19th century Bohemia Art collection and also serves as a concert hall.
2. Prague Castle Gardens
Founded in 1534, the castle garden was commissioned by Habsburg Ferdinand I.
Apart from the rare botanical specimens and exotic plants, the garden also has a few buildings built for the entertainment of the Royals who stayed here.
While in the garden, you can spot the Ball Game Hall, the Royal Summer Palace etc.
3. Golden Lane
Golden Lane is a street with small, colourful houses.
This street gets its name because it is believed that Goldsmiths (and alchemists) used to live on this street. Today these houses are mostly souvenir shops.
Among these houses, one of them is more popular than the rest – House No. 22 – for this is where writer Franz Kafka is known to have stayed.
He lived in House No 22 with his sister Ottla from 1916 to 17.
It is believed Franz Kafka got his inspiration to write his book titled ‘The Castle’ while living in Golden Lane, inside Prague Castle.
4. Rosenberg Palace
The Rosenberg Palace is situated in the Jirska street, inside Prague Castle.
This renaissance Palace was used as a residence for unmarried noblewomen.
The palace is small yet adequately restored and maintained.
5. Change of Guard
Presidential Guards stand at all three entrances of the Prague Castle and every hour they change without much of a show.
However, every day at 12 noon the first courtyard of Prague Castle sees the ceremonial change of guard.
If you can arrive at the courtyard by 11.40 am, you can get a vantage position for the best view.
Note: To see the change of guard you don’t need to buy any tickets.
6. Prague Castle Moat
If you are visiting Prague Castle in the summer months, don’t miss out on the moat.
Once you have seen the manicured gardens, get to the Upper Moat via the entrance in the royal gardens.
If you love walking, this is a great way to enjoy nature.
From the Prague Castle’s Upper Moat, you will find trails which will take you to the Lower Moat.
7. Vladislav Hall
Vladislav hall is one of the most magnificent structures within the Prague Castle.
It was built between 1493-1502 and today is used for large public gatherings such as coronations, banquets and other conferences.
The most striking feature of the hall is its ceiling, making it the largest secular vaulted room in Europe.
The Gothic ribbed vaulting of the roof ensured that the ceiling spanned over fifty feet.
8. Powder Tower
This tower dates back to the 15th century and served as one of the main entrances to the walled city of Prague.
This Gothic gate originally separated the Old Town from the New Town.
When it was built, it was called the ‘New Tower.’
However, since it was used to store gunpowder, with time, it got the nickname ‘Powder Tower.’
9. The Story of Prague Castle
This fantastic exhibit illustrating the history of Prague Castle is a must-see while visiting the Old Royal Palace.
The exhibit also displays the extensive and vibrant history of Prague and Czech.
Primary displays include the displays and artefacts related to Czech crown jewels and the treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral.
Prague Castle map
Stretching over 750,000 square feet and dominating the city’s skyline, Prague Castle is a vast and magnificent structure.
The largest Castle is the world holds stories of a Bohemian era dating back to thousands of years.
While trying to absorb this true beauty, one can quickly lose track of time and way.
Carrying a map of the Castle will not only save you from getting lost but will help you find the tourist attractions faster.
Prague Castle guides
If you are looking for a guide to help you explore Prague Castle better, you have two options.
Professional tour guide in the following languages – Czech, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian – are available.
A standard one-hour tour takes you to the St. Vitus Cathedral and The Old Royal Palace. You can arrange for both a personal or group trip.
If you want the Prague Castle guide in Czech language, it will cost you 50 CZK/ hour/person. Foreign language guides charge you double of that. Guided tour of Prague Castle
You can also have opt for an AudioGuide to explore the Castle.
They cover 95 points of interest within the Prague Castle complex, and the duration of this AudioGuide tour is 3 hours.
Hiring the AudioGuide for three hours will cost you 350 CZK per device. If you want it for the entire day, you will have to shell out 450 CZK per device.
Photography in Prague Castle
While you can take photographs in the Prague Castle, not all areas allow for free photography.
To take photos of the building interiors, you need to buy a Photography license.
If you are carrying a camera and love taking pictures, this is a small and quick investment in creating memories.
If you decide to not buy a Prague Castle’s photo license, keep an eye out for markings of where you can take free photographs and where you can’t.
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