Visible from all over town, hilltop Prague Castle (Pražský Hrad) is one of the city’s most memorable landmarks. The castle is just one part of Prague’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Castle District (Hradčany), a vast complex of palaces, cathedrals, and royal buildings, including some of Prague’s finest works of architecture.
Most city tours make a stop at Prague Castle, and many combine a visit to the castle with attractions such as the Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge. A walking tour allows plenty of time to explore the hilltop castle complex and enjoy stunning views over the city below.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Walking around the Castle District is free, but entrance fees apply to most of the buildings and museums. Combination tickets are available.
- Allow around three hours to visit the district’s main buildings, more if you want to explore the surrounding parks and palaces too.
- Wear comfortable shoes to explore Prague’s Castle District—it’s full of hills, cobblestone streets, and steps.
- St. Vitus Cathedral and many other Castle District attractions are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The easiest way to reach Prague Castle is to take tram 22 to the Pohořelec stop, then walk the short distance downhill to the castle. The closest metro station is Malostranská, and it’s a short uphill walk to the castle from there. Alternatively, the most scenic but challenging route is the walk from the Lesser Town up the Old Castle Stairs. It takes around 20 minutes, but leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the views.
When to Get There
It’s almost impossible to avoid the crowds at Prague Castle, especially during the peak months of July and August, but an early morning or late afternoon visit offers the best chance. For the most impressive views, time your visit for sunrise or sunset.
Architectural Highlights of the Prague Castle District
The centerpiece of the Castle District is magnificent Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, surrounded by the Old Royal Palace, the Powder Tower, the Imperial Stables, and 10th-century St. George’s Basilica. Golden Lane is the former goldsmiths’ district, known for its picturesque medieval houses. Nearby palaces include Rosenberg Palace; Czernin Palace; Sternberg Palace, now the Museum of Military History; and Schwarzenberg Palace, now home to part of the National Gallery.