Updated on July 9, 2019
As I mentioned in a previous post, in my opinion is not worthy paying to visit the castle interiors, but for those who want to do it, here’s how.
First thing is to identify it. At first glance, there is castle nowhere. This is because where the walls have been replaced by buildings, so at first all you see are many buildings, with different styles and colors, and a cathedral in the middle. Technically it is the third largest castle in the world, being 66,761 square meters. Built in the ninth century as the residence of the kings of Bohemia, high dignitaries of the region they have inhabited it until today, since it is the residence of the president of Czech Republic.
HOW TO GET THERE
- On foot: from Mala Strana , streets Nerudova (steep) and Zámecká (stairs) lead to the main entrance, or from Malostranská subway station, Staré Zámecké (old staircase) leads to the east entrance. The walk is about 10 minutes long but is so steep that it seems longer.
- Using tram lines number 22 or 23. They have several stops around the complex, stop number 1 is closest to the main entrance.
- From 1 April to 31 October, daily:
- Exteriors 6 am to 10 pm.
- Interiors from 9 am to 5 pm (the cathedral on Sundays from 12 pm to 5 pm).
- Gardens and Deer Moat 10 am to 6-9 pm, depending on the month.
- From November 1 to March 31, daily:
- Exteriors 6 am to 10 pm.
- Interior from 9 am to 4 pm (the cathedral on Sundays from 12 pm to 4 pm).
- Gardens and Deer Moat closed.
The tickets are valid for two consecutive days. The exteriors are free. Adult prices are displayed:
- Tour B (short): 250 Kc. Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane and Daliborka tower. This one I bought.
- Tour A (long): 350 Kc. Tour B plus History of the Castle, Castle Exhibition, Powder Tower and Rosenberg Palace.
- Tour C: 350 Kc. Cathedral Treasury and Castle Photo Gallery
- Exhibition of History of Prague: 140 Kc.
- Photo Gallery 100 Kc.
- Powder tower: 70 Kc.
- Cathedral Treasury: 250 Kc.
- Great South Tower and Views: 200 Kc.
50 Kc extra if you want to take pictures indoors, although I do not remember anyone paying much attention to it.
You have to pay to use the toilets too. “Coincidentally” when I was going to use them, I only had a Kc 2000 bank note; as they had no change, they let me pass without paying.
I include the buildings visited, the short tour. The main entrance is on the west. In its yard is done every day the change of guard at midday (beware of pickpockets here).
Crossing the main courtyard leads to St. Vitus Cathedral, 14th century, which is certainly good, but I do not recommend paying to get in if you have visited other gothic European ones such as Burgos, Leon or Cologne. It has a third tower side facing south, which is the most ornate, and you can climb to the top. I did not visit the treasure. In the back there are some curious gargoyles, my favorite is one that looks like a shrimp.
Facing the south tower, across the courtyard is the Old Royal Palace, where the highlight, which is not that much, is the main hall Vladislav, now completely empty.
Then, with white and red facade, is the small St. George’s Basilica. Founded in 920 in Romanesque style, it is the second oldest religious building in the city. It is almost entirely rebuilt.
Passing the basilica, to the left is the Golden Lane, a very overrated alley in my opinion, with small colored houses that are now shops; there is a small medieval museum on the top floor of some, with some nice armour. At number 22 Kafka lived for a year.
Daliborka tower is also included in tour B, but I don’t even remember it.
Both times I’ve been to Prague Castle, the gardens and Deer Moat were closed.
Don’t ever think about having lunch in the castle, restaurants are a scam.