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Your In-Depth Guide To Prague Castle

CHLOE Miki

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:CHLOE Miki

Last updated : May 28, 20248 min read

Things To Do

Prague is a center of culture, history, and economics in Central Europe, as well as home to some of the most beautiful and grand sights in the world. Many monuments and buildings in the capital of the Czech Republic were saved from destruction during some of the turbulent years in Prague’s history. This has made the city an important symbol of ancient days and a testament of the rich history that has transpired in it.

 

Sitting in the midst of Prague is a complex so monumental, it is a sin to miss. Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world. Inside this jewel in the heart of the city are various significant landmarks that could well form a small town of its own. If it is your first time visiting this historical depository of a city, a trip to Prague Castle is a must. 

 

There is so much to see and do in the castle complex. Because of this, our local guides have teamed up and written down everything you need to know before touring Prague Castle with us. From important facts, ticket options, opening hours, how to get there, and more, here is your in-depth guide to Prague Castle. 

 

History

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Ever since its genesis in the 9th century, Prague Castle has been a seat of power for many kings, queens, presidents, and rulers. To this day, it is the residence of the President of the Czech Republic, and serves as the shelter of the famous Bohemian Crown Jewels. Not only is it politically important, but the castle complex is also rich in history, art, and architecture. 

 

Because of the castle complex’s long history, it is reasonable that different styles of architecture can be seen throughout. The first walled building to be constructed was the Church of the Virgin Mary. It was later followed by St. George’s Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Vitus, two Romanesque landmarks we recommend you visit. 

 

The royal castle was built by King Ottokar II of Bohemia, but it was during the reign of King Charles IV when the palace and other buildings were rebuilt and redesigned to the Gothic style of architecture, as we know it today. After a large fire in 1541 destroyed many landmarks in the area, the Habsburgs, the ruling dynasty at the time, rebuilt the castle in the Renaissance style. Today, we are favored to see and admire the changing architectural trends throughout the millennium.  

 

Must-See Attractions

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In truth, one could visit Prague Castle (and the city of Prague, really) and stay for days without having the chance to fully appreciate its greatness. This may be because of the dozens of historical landmarks sprinkled throughout the city. Depending on your inclinations, the amount of days you will need for your trip will vary. Ask our professional guides for advice and recommendations to make sure your holiday is everything you want it to be. For now, our guides have given us a sneak peek into the must-see attractions of Prague Castle. 

Old Royal Palace

If you are looking for a place with history and purpose, then the Old Royal Palace is the first place to head to. Since the 10th century, kings and queens have been crowned and all presidents sworn into office here, specifically in Vladislav Hall. The Hall’s interlaced vaulted ceiling is its crowning glory, so make sure to look up and look out for it. 

Basilica of St. Vitus

The Basilica of St. Vitus is right next to the Old Royal Palace. Prague is blessed with a lovely number of beautiful churches and architecture, but surely none beats the Basilica of St. Vitus. Don’t be fooled by its imposing size - as you step inside, you will be dazzled by the amazing mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements complementing each other. 

St. George’s Basilica

One thing St. George’s Cathedral has one up on the Basilica of St. Vitus is its age. It is one of the oldest churches in Prague, founded in 920, yet attracts much fewer visitors than its counterpart. Having been destroyed in a fire, it had to be rebuilt in 1192. The renovated building is what we see today: bright and beautiful. 

Golden Lane

In days of old, the cobblestone street making up Golden Lane was occupied by goldsmiths, soldiers, and servants attending to the needs of royalty. Many renowned names lived in the very buildings lining the street, one of whom was Franz Kafka. Today, you can stroll through the lane and browse the numerous souvenir shops and little museums. 

Castle Gardens

After all that sightseeing, a quick rest off your feet and a bit of nature would do some good. Prague Castle is equipped with lovely sprawling gardens to lounge in. With handfuls of prim, proper, and well-manicured gardens that are easy on the eyes, a walk through one of them is like a mini-adventure of its own. 

 

Important information

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It is free to enter the castle complex grounds, but be aware that landmarks inside the complex may have separate fees. To learn more about ticket options, ask our local guides for up-to-date information.  

 

When 

The castle complex grounds are open every day between 6 am and 10 pm. Do note that the summer and winter season opening times may differ. If you are wondering which season is the best to visit, our guides recommend absolutely any season, as the castle complex is bustling and busy throughout the year. 

 

Of course, like many other landmarks, the complex is packed on the weekends. It is best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you do not want to get lost in the crowds. 

 

How to Get There

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Because Prague Castle is in the city, it is accessible on foot, by tram, by metro, or by taxi. The closest tram stations include Pohorelec, Kralovsky letohradek, and Prazsky hrad. On the other hand, Malostranska and Hradcanska stations are the nearest for the metros.

Tips

As Prague Castle is part of the capital, we suggest ditching the car and using public transportation. If you are uneasy using public transportation in a foreign country, you can book a private tour with one of our professional guides to ease your worries. In this way, you will receive a customized and unique travel experience of Prague. 

Conclusion

Prague is filled to the brim with historical gems and hidden surprises. You can go days exploring the capital and still find something new every time. To make the most of your visit, GoWithGuide can connect you with the friendliest and most professional local guides to tour you around this ancient city. Take it from us, Prague Castle is well worth the trip. 

Written by CHLOE Miki

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GoWithGuide’s writers are passionate travel specialists sharing unique tips and essential information for global explorers.

Prague Tour Guide - Muriel P.

Muriel P.

Czech Republic

Hi, I'm Jana. I focus on tailor made and culturally oriented tours. I offer private tours not only in Prague, but also in the most interesting Czech and Moravian "tourist" sights (and some galleries). I arrange transport services as well, if needed.                                                                                                                                 

Prague Tour Guide - Ondra N.

Ondra N.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)
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Hello! I finished my studies in Prague, used to sell educational products in Colorado, walked doggies in Brooklyn and then somehow, I got into tourism and plan to stay :) Me and my team of expert guides, we have years of experience in Prague city tourism, we operate different types of walking tours, e-scooters and segways. Our 4 main pillars are: local guides, long experience, private groups & more personal approach, perfect location right in the heart of the main historical part of Prague. Our #1 goal is a satisfied customer. On our tours, we like to cover main sights, but also off-the-beaten-path. We were never fans of "umbrella tours" approach and we know we have a much better experience to offer. Please go through my tours, we are flexible and able to adjust everything. We look forward to meet you and show you the best of Prague! Ondra                                                                                                                                 

Prague Tour Guide - Miriam A.

Miriam A.

5.00 / 5
(4 reviews)
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See Prague through the eyes of a local! My name is Miriam, and not only am I a guide certified by the Ministry of Regional Development, but I also have a true passion and enjoy sharing the beauty and history of my vibrant hometown with anyone and everyone. Born and raised in this beautiful city, you will find no better person to show you all the secret nooks and crannies as well as the most famous sights of Prague. In my seven years of experience as a private guide, I have had the pleasure of sharing Prague's secrets with people from all walks of life. Whether you are interested in going off the beaten path or seeing Prague in all its grandeur, I will know where to take you and what there is to see.                                                                                                                                 

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