Architecture and Sights

Prague Castle

Prague Castle Prague Castle is the most popular and visited sight in Prague. Its history goes back to the 9th century and has always been the seat of the Czech rulers. Nowadays it is the seat of the president. The castle has three courtyards. There are the information office, restrooms, post office, money exchange, emergency, restaurant and shops. Do not miss to visit St Vitus Cathedral (Gothic landmark), beautiful gardens Na valech and Rajska zahrada (go down the stairs from the third courtyard in the corner), Zlata ulicka (Golden Lane). The castle is open daily from 5 am to 11 pm (to midnight from April to September). Most sights are open from 9 am to 5 pm except Monday. Find the castle on the map.

St Vitus Cathedral
When you are in Prague Castle do not miss to visit this Gothic cathedral. It is the spiritual symbol of the country, founded by Charles IV in the place of the original Romanesque rotunda in 1344. Details were added in Renaissance and Baroque styles. Traditional glass windows enhance beautiful interior. Watch the Chapel of St Wenceslas, built by Petr Parler. In the Royal Crypt are remains of Charles IV, Wenceslas IV, George of Podebrady and Rudolf II. Enter the cathedral from the western main entrance, through the doors on the left, exit through the doors on the right. From the Great Tower is fabulous panoramic view. Enter the tower from the southern entrance. Toilets are located next to the western entrance on the right.

Old Royal Palace
One of the oldest parts of the castle, built on ruins of Romanesque place, reconstructed in Gothic and Renaissance styles. In famous Gothic Vladislav Hall are held presidential elections and other the most representative events.

St George's Basilica
Founded 920 by Prince Vratislav I (father of St Wenceslas), rebuilt in the 12th century and in 17th century. The oldest sacral building in the castle.

St George's Convent
Founded 973 by Prince Boleslav II. The oldest monastery in the country. Excellent collection of Czech Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art.

Golden Lane
Zlata ulicka (Golden Lane, also known as Goldsmith's Lane) is located in eastern part of the Prague Castle. Its tiny colorful cottages were built in the 16th century for the castle guard sharpshooters, later used by goldsmiths, later by artist (Franc Kafka, Jaroslav Seifert). Recently there are gift shops. At the west end is Bila vez (White Tower), at the east end is Daliborka Tower (former prison).

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Small Quarter (Lesser Quarter, Lesser Town, Little Town)

Small Quarter Small Quarter (Mala Strana) is squeezed on the hill between the Prague Castle and Vltava river. Narrow streets, Renaissance buildings and palaces, Baroque churches and palaces give Mala Strana its present charm. Do not forget to visit the St. Nicholas Church, beautiful church with huge green cupola. It is open from 9 am to 5:30 pm in summer, to 3:30 in winter. Do not miss to visit the tower. It is accessible not from the west through the church, but around the corner from south. View from upper level is amazing. Find it on the map.

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Kampa

Kampa Kampa is the most picturesque part of Mala Strana. As a matter of fact it is an island. Tourists often call it Prague's Venice because buildings rise straight out of water. Take the stairs down off the Charles Bridge to get there, walk south through little square Na Kampe, and turn left to the viewpoint to take pictures of Vltava River and Charles Bridge panorama. Walk back and go south to the Kampa Park. There are a lot of young foreign people lying on the grass and playing music every weekend in summer. Also there is Jan and Meda Mladeks' Kampa Museum (modern art included Frantisek Kupka and Otto Gutfreund) by the river.

From Na Kampe square walk west through Hroznova Street to little bridge with nice view to the water wheel. Walk west to Velkoprevorske Square. There is John Lennon Wall opposite the French embassy. After his death, Lennon became a pacifist hero for Czech youth. This place served as a monument to him, his ideas and to the freedom while communism was drawing to the end 1980-1989 in Eastern Europe.

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Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge The most famous bridge in Prague was completed in about 1400. It is really nice walk across the bridge. You could admire Baroque statuary, grand views up and down the river. There is an army of tourists squeezing on the bridge in summer the whole day. To have the bridge to yourself you should get there by about 8 am. In summer you can climb up into the two towers at the ends of the bridge (Small Quarter Bridge Tower on the west and Old Town Bridge Tower on the east). Find it on the map.

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Old Town

Old Town Old Town has been working heart of Prague ever since the 10th century. Many of buildings have Gothic insides and Romanesque basements. Many of buildings received its Baroque face in rebuilding in 17th and 18th centuries after a huge fire. Do not forget to walk through the Royal Way from Powder Tower, down Celetna to Old Town Square along Karlova and over the Charles Bridge to Mala Strana and Prague Castle. Find it on the map.

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Old Town Square

Old Town Square Square has always been Prague's heart since the 10th century and was its main marketplace until the beginning of the 20th century. Do not forget to visit Old Town Hall (open daily from 9 am to 5 pm except Monday) with its Astronomical Clock. Enjoy beautiful view from its the 60 meter tower. Visitor Center is located next to the astronomical clock. Do not miss the gothic Church of Our Lady Before Tyn.

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The Old Jewish Quarter (Josefov)

Jewish Quarter Prague's former Jewish ghetto is located in the Old Town within Kaprova, Dlouha and Kozi streets. The Jewish community was wiped out by the Nazis during World War II. Today a few thousand Jews live in Prague, compared with some 50.000 in the 1930s. Do not miss the Old-New Synagogue, High Synagogue and Old Jewish Cemetery. You can also visit Jewish Town Hall, Klaus Synagogue, Ceremonial Hall, Pinkas Synagogue, Maisel Synagogue and Spanish Synagogue.

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Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square The square has always been the center of cultural, financial and everyday life. There are a lot of theaters, cinemas, restaurants, shops, stores and banks around. Do not miss to visit St Wenceslas Statue near metro station Muzeum and enjoy the view on the square from the stairs in front of the National Museum. Find it on the map.

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Petrin Hill

Petrin Hill This 318 meter hill is actually a network of eight parks. It is great for cool, quiet and romantic walks and for jogging. Petrin is easily accessible by foot from Hradcany and Strahov or by the cable car (daily from 9:15 am to 8:45 pm every 10 or 15 minutes) from Ujezd. There is the Petrin Tower, the Observatory and The Maze at the top of the hill. In summer, do not forget to visit the rose flower garden next to the Observatory. It is beautiful in May and June. Find it on the map.

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Petrin Tower

Petrin Tower From many parts of Prague you can see the Eiffel Tower silhouette on the horizon. This small copy of Eiffel Tower is located on Petrin Hill. Tower was built for the Prague Exposition in 1891. You can climb its 299 steps daily from 9:30 am to 6 pm. Some of the best views of Prague are from here.

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Vysehrad

Vysehrad Vysehrad is wonderful place for sitting in the park and watching Prague panorama. Back in the 9th century there were two Slavic tribes camps in Prague, one at the Prague Castle hill, another at the Vysehrad hill. Nowadays Vysehrad Complex is fortressed with high walls. There is large peaceful park, Rotunda of St Martin (oldest building in Prague), Church of St Peter & St Paul and Vysehrad Cemetery (the most famous national cemetery) inside. Do not miss to walk around the fortress and watch the Prague panorama. You can also step down the stairs to the river and walk along the river north to the Prague Castle. It is nice 90-minutes trip.

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Prague Towers Self Guided Tour

Prague is known as The City of Hundred of Towers. It is very good idea to make Prague Towers Self Guided Tour and climb up nine or at least two of them. Towers are usually open from 10 am till 6 pm, each for 2-5 Euro and are easy to climb up. Prague Towers Self Guided Tour is the best way to discover the city of Prague as you will walk around the most famous places.


Show the detailed map of Prague Towers Self Guided Tour

The whole nine tower tour takes from 6 to 8 hours, depending how long you stay on each tower. If you have less time,
- either walk the whole tour except the last Petrin Tower (it will take from 4 to 6 hours)
- or walk only from C to H, but climb up only C and F (it will take 3 hours)

A) Jindrisska Tower *
Start your trip at Jindrisska Vez (Jindrisska Tower). The 46 meter high gothic style tower was built 1472-1476, rebuild 1876-1879. There is coffee, gallery, museum, restaurant and viewing terrace. Enjoy * view from there. There is the elevator.

B) Powder Tower **
Continue through Senovazne Square and Senovazna Street to Prasna Brana (Powder Tower). The 65 meter high gothic style tower was built 1475-1592, rebuild 1875-1876. There is gallery and viewing terrace. Enjoy ** view from there. There is no elevator.

Next to the Powder Tower find Obecni dum (Municipal Hall), one of the most remarkable constructions of Prague Art Nouveau. Building was built by architects Antonin Balsanek and Osvald Polivka and was open in 1912. Unfortunately you do not have enough time to go inside the building within this tour, but you can come back in the evening for the classical music concert or for dinner.

C) Old Town Hall Tower *****
Continue through U Prasne Brany Street and Celetna Street to Staromestska Vez (Old Town Hall Tower) at Old Town Square. The 60 meter high gothic style tower is part of Old Town Hall and was built 1338-1364, rebuilding 1848. There is visitor's center, gallery and viewing terrace. Enjoy ***** view from there. There is the elevator. Use the toilet in the basement next to the elevator, there are no public ones within the next hour.

Unfortunately you do not have enough time to make detailed inspection of the Old Town Square within this tour, but you can come back the other day and visit particularly St. Nicholas Cathedral, Mr. Jan Hus Monument, Stone Bell House, visit stores in Parizska Street and look through the Jewish Quarter.

D) Tyn Church ***
Just across from Old Town Hall is Tyn Church. The 80 meter high gothic style church was built 1360-1511, rebuild 1876-1895. Tower with viewing terrace is accessible through the church. Enjoy *** view from there.

E) Old Town Bridge Tower ***
From Old Town Square follow the crowds to the west to Male Square, through Karlova Street to Charles Bridge. There is Old Town Bridge Tower on the eastern bank of the Vltava River. The 47 meter high gothic style tower was built 1357-1380. There is gallery and viewing terrace; enjoy the stunning *** view to Prague Castle Panorama. There is no elevator.

F) Little Town Bridge Tower ****
Cross the famous Charles Bridge to the Little Town Bridge Tower on the western bank of the Vltava River. The 45 meter high gothic style tower was built 1357-1411. There is gallery and viewing terrace. Enjoy the stunning **** view to Prague Castle, Little Town Roofs and Old Town from there. There is no elevator.

Continue through Mostecka Street. If it is lunchtime and you are in a hurry have a fast food in McDonalds in Mostecka Street. To get to the toilet follow the signs, it is just around the corner. And do not forget to ask the toilet coupon when purchasing your menu. Otherwise pay 5 Kc. If you are not in hurry go ahead towards the next tower and have lunch in some restaurant in archway.

G) St. Nicholas Church **
Continue to Malostranske Square. There is St. Nicholas Church with accessible tower. The baroque style church was built in 1775. Enter the 74 meter high tower not from the west through the church, but around the corner from south. On the first level there is the viewing terrace, on the second one is the spy nest from where the police had been watching the American and British embassies during cold war. Enjoy ** view from there, especially Strahov Monastery panorama. There is no elevator.

Good idea is to come back to listen some classical music concert in St. Nicholas Church in the evening.

H) St. Vitus Cathedral ****
Walk up the hill through Nerudova Street to Prague Castle. There is St. Vitus Cathedral with accessible tower on the third courtyard. The 96 meter high gothic style cathedral was built 1344-1929. Tower with viewing terrace is accessible not through the cathedral, but around the corner from the south. Enjoy **** view from there.

Unfortunately you do not have enough time to make detailed inspection of the whole complex of Prague Castle within this tour. Best idea is to come back the other day and make detailed sightseeing. By the way the toilets are next to the cathedral and there are no public ones within the next hour.

If it is late, finish your tour there and walk through the second courtyard to the north to take tram number 22 to Malostranska metro station.

J) Petrin Tower ****
If it is early and you are OK for another walking go ahead through Hradcanske Square and Loretanska Street. You can see the Loreta Church on the right just across from Department of Foreign Affairs monumental building. Walk up through Pohorelec Square to Strahov Square and watch the Strahov Monastery (I). If you go down through the east gate to the view point, you will have great chance to watch the whole Prague Downtown panorama from there. Unfortunately you do not have enough time to go inside the Strahov Monastery within this trip, but you can come back the other day. The Strahov Monastery Library is really great place.

If you are OK for another walking, come back and leave the Strahov Square through the west gate and walk up to the Petrin Tower (J). The 60 meter small copy of Eiffel Tower was built in 1891. There is museum and viewing terrace. Enjoy the panoramic **** view from there. There is the elevator just only for persons with disabilities. The toilets are in the basement.

That is the end of your Prague Tower Self Guided Tour. To get back downtown, walk to Cable Car Station (K) or walk back down to Pohorelec Square and take tram number 22 to metro station Malostranska. And if you made the whole nine tower trip in one day, write us your experience and recommendations.

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