An impressive complex with over 1,000 years of history, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to the Czech government and the splendid St. Vitus Cathedral.
Prague Castle (Pražský Hard) is one of the world’s largest castles, officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an iconic feature of the cityscape. Dating back over 1,100 years, the castle has been the home of Bohemian kings, Roman emperors and Czechoslovakian presidents – and to this day remains in use as the home of the modern Czech government.
Head first to the Story of the Prague Castle exhibition where you’ll learn more about the complex and how it has grown and transformed from its 9th century origins. The exhibition will explain and point out the Gothic, Renaissance and modern features of the building.
When you go into the main complex, you’ll be taken aback by the sheer scale of the castle. At 570 metres long by 130 metres wide, the site spreads across some 70,000 square metres with many different buildings including four churches, four palaces, and pristine well-tended gardens.
Some of Prague’s famous religious figures are buried inside the castle complex at the St. Vitus Cathedral. You’ll also be able to visit St. Wenceslas Chapel, where the Czech crown jewels are housed.
If you’re at the castle at noon, head to the first courtyard where you’ll get to witness the changing of the guard ceremony. If you miss it however, you’ll also be able to see the guards changing at the castle gates on the hour. The Powder Tower, also within the castle complex, plays host to an exhibition telling the story of the castle guards.
For great stories and insights into the medieval weaponry on display and the ornate buildings themselves, pay extra for a guided tour departing from the Information Centre. You can also rent an audio guide.
Sitting atop Castle Hill in the Castle District on the west bank of the Vltava River, Prague Castle is at the top of many visitors’ itineraries. You can reach the complex by tram or metro from the city centre. Entry to the complex is free, but many attractions are open at different hours and charge to get in, so it’s best to check online before you visit.