Located in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the entire world. It has over a thousand years of history behind it, with its beginnings leading all the way back to the 9th century. Made up of 70,000 square metres of an assortment of palaces, churches, and gardens, this castle complex is collectively known as Prague Castle. Home to the nation’s president, largest cathedral, and one of its oldest churches, Prague Castle pretty much has it all! To start off my Prague series here on my blog, today I’ll be sharing with you the ultimate guide to Prague Castle, with info on everything you’d ever need to know about the astonishing attraction.
Prague Castle is located on the west/left bank of the Vltava river, in the city’s Prague 1 district. Visible from pretty much anywhere in the city, its not hard to locate at all. It can easily be reached by foot, car, or tram, from anywhere in Prague or its surroundings. The castle is open year round, from 6AM to 10PM. For more specific info on how to get there click here, and for more info on the castle’s hours click here.
Simply exploring the castle grounds/courtyard is free, though you must have a ticket if you’d actually like to go inside some of the castle buildings. There are three main tickets options available, which can be purchased either online or on site at the castle. Circuit A, which includes admission to St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, the Old Royal Palace, Rosenberg Palace, Golden Lane, and ‘The Story of Prague Castle’, is 350 Kč (€14 for comparison). Circuit B, which includes the same as A minus ‘The Story of Prague Castle’ and Rosenberg Palace, is 250 Kč. Finally, Circuit C, which includes admission to ‘The Treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral’ and Prague Castle Picture Gallery, is 350 Kč. Check out the castle’s official website (click here) for more info on tickets (click here).
Often considered the most important church in the Czech Republic, the biggest pull of the castle for most visitors is St. Vitus Cathedra. St. Vitus Cathedral, situated completely within Prague Castle, is truly breathtaking at first glance – it is absolutely huge! This gothic style church was originally founded in the 10th century, and later completed in the 20th. The cathedral’s nearly 100 metre tall clock/south tower can be climbed to the top, where, at the top, you’ll be met with stunning views of the castle and the city. I wish I had got to climb the tower, though unfortunately I didn’t know that you could until after we left.
With its magnificent stained glass windows, soaring high ceilings, and huge royal tombs, the cathedral’s interior is just as impressive (if not more!) as its exterior. Many Czech coronations have taken place within St. Vitus, and it is also the burial place for many other important Czechs. Plus, the Bohemian crown jewels are kept within the cathedral!
Out of all the cathedrals and churches I’ve visited throughout Europe (which is quite a lot!), St. Vitus is without a doubt one of the most memorable and remarkable ones I’ve seen – if you ever get the chance to visit or if you have visited in the past you’d know how truly impressive it is in person!
Another church found within Prague Castle is St. George’s Basilica, a moderately sized Romanesque style church (though very small in comparison to St. Vitus Cathedral!). St. George’s Basilica dates back to 920, and currently houses an art collection while also serving as a concert hall.
Built back in the 16th century, Golden Lane is a small, picturesque street located within Prague Castle. It is lined with tiny, charming houses, originally on both sides of the street but now only on one. The homes are now a mix of museums and shops. I didn’t get to see Golden Lane for myself while in Prague Castle, so the photos above are from online, but I have heard that is very colourful and pretty!
‘The Story of Prague Castle’ is Prague Castle’s main and permanent exhibition, that tells the story behind the long history and creation of the castle. It is located within the Old Royal Palace’s gothically floor, and is home to many significant pieces, including artifacts, models, and heirlooms all relating to Prague Castle. If you’re looking to learn about the interesting history of the castle, this exhibit is definitely a must visit spot while there.
From November to January, Prague Castle is home to an enchanting Christmas Market. It is located in the castle’s St. George’s square, a small area between St. George’s Basilica and the eastern facade of St. Vitus Cathedral. This market is small yet satisfactory, with over 30 stalls. From glühwein, mulled/hot wine, to Troll, a popular Czech holiday dessert, there’s a ton to eat, purchase, and see in this market. Plus, its much less crowded than Prague’s other more popular Christmas markets, like the Old Town Square market and Wenceslas Square market.
That’s all for my first Prague blog post! I hope you enjoyed. Have you ever been to Prague? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.