Things to do in Prague

Plan your visit to Prague Castle with this handy guide

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Prague Castle is a massive ancient fortress and a must-visit spot in Czechia, attracting around 1.8 million visitors every year. Built back in 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty, this castle has hosted kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and even Czechoslovakian presidents. For helpful tips and tricks on planning your visit to this historic site, check out this blog.

Prague castle

Before you visit Prague Castle

The Prague Castle complex comprises the St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, Basilica of St. George, Golden Lane, and the Royal Garden, showcasing Baroque and Mannerism styles. It serves as the official residence of the Czech Republic's president and houses the Czech crown jewels and various historical and artistic treasures. Exploring this 70,000 square meter complex typically takes 2-3 hours, with guided tours recommended for a deeper understanding. Tickets are available for different circuits offering access to specific areas of the castle.

Prague Castle is a perfect destination for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and those fascinated by royal heritage. Families with children will also enjoy exploring the castle's vast grounds and learning about its rich past. Photographers will find plenty of opportunities to capture stunning shots of the castle's exterior and interior details.

Did you know?

  • The Prague Castle Guards' uniforms were designed by Theodor Pistek, an Oscar-winning costume designer known for his work on the film "Amadeus" in 1984. 

  • Princess Diana and Charles were the last members of the Royal Family to stay at the castle in 1991.

Best time to visit

The castle complex is open daily from 6am to 10pm, but the hours for the historical buildings and gardens inside may vary. The ideal time to visit Prague Castle is from April to October when the weather is pleasant, and the gardens are in full bloom. To avoid crowds, it's best to visit early in the morning or the late afternoon instead of during peak midday hours.

tourist in front of the Vitus cathedral in the old town of Prague

Recommended tickets to Prague Castle

Opening hours

1. Summer Season, April 1 till October 31:

  • Prague Castle operating hours: 6am - 10pm.
  • Historical buildings open from 9am - 5pm include Old Royal Palace, The Story of Prague Castle, St. George's Basilica, Castle Guard Exhibition, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, and The Picture Gallery at Prague Castle.
  • St. Vitus Cathedral hours: Monday to Saturday 9am - 5pm; Sunday 12pm - 5pm.
  • Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral and Exhibition Halls open from 10am - 6pm.
  • Prague Castle Gardens hours vary by season: April to June 10am - 7pm, July to August 10am - 8pm, September 10am - 7pm, October 10am - 5pm.
  • The Garden on the Bastion is open from 6am - 10pm.

2. Winter Season, November 1 till March 31

  • Prague Castle Complex: 6am - 10pm
  • Historical buildings: 9am - 4pm
  • St. Vitus Cathedral: Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm; Sunday 12am - 4pm
  • Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral is open from 10am - 5pm and the Exhibition Halls are open till 6pm.
  • Prague Castle Gardens: 1st to 12th of November 10am - 4pm. The gardens are closed to the public from 13th November till 28th of February. March 10am - 5pm.
St. Vitus Cathedral

Tips for visiting Prague Castle

  • Plan to spend 2-3 hours or half a day at the Prague Castle complex.
  • Explore key sights like St. Vitus Cathedral, The Golden Lane, The Old Royal Palace, Basilica of St. George, and Royal Garden. Consider a guided tour for more insights.
  • For a more self-guided experience, follow a walking route within the castle complex to ensure you cover all significant areas efficiently. Start at Matthias Gate, enter through the Garden on the Bastion, and proceed through the courtyards.
  • Entry to Prague Castle grounds is free, but buildings require ticket purchase.
  • Climb the South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral for stunning views of Prague. Know that this requires it's a hefty stair climb but totally worth it!
  • Witness the daily Changing of the Guard at noon for a glimpse of the castle's military history.
  • Discover peaceful gardens with winding pathways, ideal for quiet exploration.

Getting to Prague Castle

🚇 By Tram:

Take tram 22 to stop Pražský hrad. From there it's a 5-minute walk to the castle. It’ll take approximately 15 minutes to get here from the city center (Wenceslas Square).

🚌 By Bus:

Take bus number 192 from Wenceslas Square and you’ll reach Pražský hrad (Prague Castle) bus stop in about 15 minutes.

🚆 By Metro

By metro, you can take the metro to station Malostranská (line A/green line), and from there, it's a pleasant 15-minute walk up to the castle grounds. If coming from the city center (Wenceslas Square), the journey takes about 20 minutes. Another option is to use the funicular railway from Újezd up to the castle hill, providing a scenic route and a shorter walk. The nearest stop to Prague Castle is Petrin Hill.

Amenities and accessibility

  • Prague Castle offers wheelchair accessibility, with ramps and lifts available at most sites. However, some areas like White Tower, Powder Tower, Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral, Daliborka Tower and defence corridor in Golden Lane have limited access due to the complex's historical nature.
  • Restrooms are located throughout the grounds, and there are also several cafes and restaurants for refreshments.
  • You cannot carry bags, umbrellas, and similar items inside any building. Check for the cloakroom before entering.
  • You can rent audio guides or join guided tours in various languages. The castle also has a souvenir shop where you can purchase gifts and mementos related to the castle's history and architecture
  • Photography and filming are prohibited in the following areas: the permanent exhibition "The Story of Prague Castle," the exhibition "The Treasury of St. Vitus's Cathedral," the Powder Tower, and the Prague Castle Picture Gallery. In other historical buildings, photography and filming are permitted only with a purchased license.

What to see at Prague Castle

Prague Saint Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral

Here you can see the intricate stained glass windows which depict scenes from the Bible, impressive sculptures, and the ornate St. Wenceslas Chapel. The cathedral also houses the Czech Crown Jewels and the final resting place of many Bohemian kings. Make sure to explore the grand interior, including the Golden Gate, the south entrance to the cathedral.

The Old Royal Palace
The Old Royal Palace

The Old Royal Palace within Prague Castle is a significant historical landmark showcasing stunning architecture and fascinating exhibits. You can explore the grand interiors, including the Vladislav Hall where notable events took place like the 3rd Prague Defenestration.

Great South Tower
Great South Tower

The Great South Tower offers scenic views of Prague from its top. Climbing the tower involves a steep ascent of stairs so be prepared for a bit of a workout on the way up.

St. George's Basilica
St. George's Basilica

This basilica is one of the oldest churches in Prague and features stunning Romanesque architecture. Inside, you’ll get to see the intricate frescoes and historical artifacts on display.

Daliborka Tower
Daliborka Tower

Daliborka Tower is a prominent feature at Prague Castle, known for its historical significance as a prison tower. The tower provides fantastic views of the castle grounds and the city of Prague. It’s here where you'll get to learn about the castle's rich history and admire its architectural beauty.

Also visit

Charles Bridge

If you're in Prague, visiting Charles Bridge is a must. Dating back to the 14th century, this iconic bridge spans the Vltava River and connects the Old Town with Lesser Town. Admire the impressive Baroque statues that line the bridge as you stroll across it. Take in the charming atmosphere with street musicians, artists, and vendors along the way.

Dancing House

Dancing House, a modern architectural masterpiece, is a unique building that stands out with its unconventional design, resembling a pair of dancers in motion. It offers a striking contrast to the historic buildings surrounding it and provides a refreshing perspective on Prague's architectural landscape. Inside, you can enjoy a meal at the top-floor restaurant with panoramic views of the city.

Jewish Quarter

In the Jewish Quarter, delve into centuries of Jewish history and culture through its synagogues, cemetery, and museums. Visit the Jewish Museum to explore artifacts, documents, and exhibits detailing the rich heritage of the Jewish community in Prague. See the Old Jewish Cemetery with its crowded tombstones and gain insights into the lives of the Jewish inhabitants.

Prague Castle - Plan Your Visit