Full of character and grandeur, the city of Prague is one that’s hard to resist. You can easily spend a few days sightseeing in Prague as its eclectic mix of historic and quirky modern attractions make it a fun place no matter what you’re into. But if there’s one landmark in the Czech capital that everyone should see, it’s Prague Castle. This enormous castle complex is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest ancient castle, and it features a fine collection of attractions for visitors to explore.
Because visiting Prague Castle is such a highlight of a trip to Prague, it couldn’t be more important to properly plan your visit to get the most from the experience. One essential step in that planning is sorting out your Prague Castle tickets. We’ve created this guide full of useful information on how to buy tickets for Prague Castle to help you prepare for your visit.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to Prague Castle: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Prague Castle tickets in advance here or book a guided tour of Prague Castle. Out of these two, the guided tour is the better option as you get to learn about the history of this beautiful castle from an expert guide.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to Prague Castle
As Prague Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, it makes sense that there are a number of different ways to experience it. Your options are also influenced by where you get your tickets to Prague Castle, which is why below we explain where to buy tickets for Prague Castle depending on the kind of visit you have in mind. That way, you can make an informed choice and pick whichever approach best works for you and your Prague plans.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
Unless you actually enjoy standing around in lines, there’s really no reason to wait until you arrive at Prague Castle to get your tickets. The castle complex is one of the most popular sights in the city, and an adored destination like Prague means there’s bound to be plenty of other people waiting in line with you. Now, if you decide at the very last minute to visit, then this is your only option to buy tickets to Prague Castle; but otherwise it’s worthwhile planning ahead.
2. Book Online
Rather than wait in line, a much better approach is to book tickets to Prague Castle online well in advance of your visit. The tickets you get online are actually skip-the-line Prague Castle tickets, saving you all that time standing around in line waiting to get them. There’s also the peace of mind you get from knowing that you’ve already organized that aspect of your trip so that you can focus on other things when you’re there.
The one catch, though, is that you can’t actually book through the official Prague Castle website. As such, we recommend getting your tickets through this link for regular Prague Castle tickets and through this link if you also want to see Lobkowicz Palace. These tickets cost nearly the same as the ones you buy from the castle ticket office and come with the added benefit of allowing you to cancel them up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund.
3. Book a Guided Tour (Recommended)
A guided tour of Prague Castle is a great idea for tourists looking to get a little more out of the attraction. The complex is home to a variety of different attractions and plenty of history, so having someone who is extremely knowledgeable as you tour Prague Castle obviously makes a big difference.
It’s possible to book a tour guide when you arrive at Prague Castle, but there are some downsides to waiting to organize it, like having to wait in line at the ticket office. Instead, we recommend booking this guided tour of the castle that includes an expert local guide, skip-the-line admission to the castle, and even your tram ticket to get there.
4. Purchase a City Card
If you are planning on doing a lot of sightseeing during your time in Prague, then you might want to consider getting a Prague City Card. This handy tourist pass provides you with free entry to all sorts of attractions and museums around Prague at a much lower price than you’d pay for individual tickets. Among the attractions in the Prague City Card are Prague Castle, Lobkowicz Palace, the National Museum, and the Charles Bridge Museum. The card also includes a free sightseeing tour and free river cruise, spoiling with you options for how to fill your time in the city.
Useful Information for Visiting Prague Castle
What’s the Best Time to Visit Prague Castle?
With so many tourists to Prague wanting to come explore the castle complex, you can bet there are some better times to visit. Generally speaking, the quietest time at Prague Castle is first thing in the morning, so we recommend you aim to arrive before the buildings are open to explore the grounds and then head inside as soon as you can.
Prague is extremely busy from June through September, and that’s also when the castle is at its busiest. Instead, consider coming in spring or autumn when the city is less crowded and the weather is still comfortable.
Avoiding crowds isn’t the only factor that affects when it is best to visit, as some seasons will allow a better, more complete experience at Prague Castle. The low season for tourism in Prague is during winter but, unfortunately, that’s not an ideal time to come as parts of the castle like the castle gardens are closed to the public at this time.
Prague Castle Hours of Operation
Prague Castle is open every day of the week throughout the year. Its opening hours are divided into a Summer Tourist Season and a Winter Tourist Season, with each building open at its own times. Year-round, the Prague Castle complex is open from 6:00 to 22:00.
During the busy Summer Tourist Season from April to October 31, the main historical buildings like the Old Royal Palace and Golden Lane are open from 9:00 to 17:00. The St. Vitus Cathedral is open from 9:00 to 17:00, except on Sundays when its hours are reduced from 12:00 to 17:00. Finally, the Prague Castle Gardens are open from 10:00 to 18:00.
The castle has its Winter Tourist Season between November 1 and March 31. Historical buildings are open from 9:00 to 16:00, while the St. Vitus Cathedral is open from 9:00 to 16:00 from Monday to Saturday and from 12:00 to 16:00 on Sunday. The Prague Castle Gardens are closed during winter.
Last entrance to the St. Vitus Cathedral is always 20 minutes before closing time.
How to Get to Prague Castle
Finding your way to Prague Castle when visiting the city shouldn’t be difficult as the large hilltop complex is hard to miss. But you still may be wondering what the best way to get there is, so we’ll cover the options for getting there by public transport. Of course, the best route will always depend on from where in the city you’re coming.
Many tourists find themselves coming to the castle from either the Malá Strana area or the Old Town across the river. From Malá Strana, you can take the 22 tram up the hill to the Pražský hrad stop, just a five-minute walk from the northern entrance of the castle complex.
When coming from the Old Town, you can either walk across the Manes Bridge and then get the 22 tram from Malostranská or take the 15 tram to either the Malostranská or Malostranské náměstí stops and walk into the castle grounds from there. Bear in mind, however, that it’s a significant uphill walk from the Malá Strana.
How Do Prague Castle Tickets Work?
It’s important to understand how tickets to Prague Castle work to ensure you have the best time there. This means understanding which areas require tickets, how long tickets last, and other specifics that you might need to be aware of.
Right off the bat, it has to be said that not everywhere in the Prague Castle complex requires a ticket. Tickets are only required for specific historic buildings, so it is possible to see parts of the complex completely for free. General tickets to Prague Castle include entry to the St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica and the Golden Lane. It’s also possible to get tickets that include entry to the Lobkowicz Palace.
Tickets are valid for two days and allow for one entry to each of the included historic buildings. When tickets are booked online, you can either present them on your smartphone or print them out.
How Much Do Tickets for Prague Castle Cost?
Prices for Prague Castle tickets are relatively straightforward, which should make deciding which ones to get an easier choice. Since the cost of tickets depends on where you get them, we’ll cover the general ticket prices according to the official website. As you can imagine, prices for skip-the-line tickets cost more.
Full admission to Prague Castle costs 250 CZK for adults and 125 CZK for those eligible for concession tickets; youths aged 6 to 16, students aged 26 or under, and seniors over 65 are entitled to the discounted price. Family tickets are also available for 500 CZK and cover two adults and up to five children. Children under the age of six, as well as visitors with a disability and their carer, enter for free.
Admission to Prague Castle and Lobkowicz Palace costs 490 CZK for adult tickets and 290 CZK for discounted tickets and children under the age of six.
Extras that you can purchase on top of tickets to the castle complex include:
- an audio guide for 200 CZK
- a tour guide for 100 CZK per person per hour
- an nterior photography permit for 50 CZK
Entrance to the entire Prague Castle complex is free between 10:00 and 18:00 on March 7 and September 14 to honor the first Czech president.
Best Hotels for Prague Castle
With a wonderful selection of other attractions near Prague Castle, the idea of staying near the castle complex is definitely one worth considering. It certainly helps that the Malá Strana district below the castle is packed full of accommodation options that suit almost every budget, meaning you should have no trouble finding a place to stay that works for you. Here are a few of our recommendations across the different price ranges.
For a special experience during your stay in Prague, you couldn’t ask for more glamorous trappings than the Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa. Set inside a 16th-century heritage-listed building, this five-star hotel offers fitness, sauna, and pool facilities, all a five-minute walk from the castle.
A great pick if you want both comfort and affordability is the four-star Golden Star hotel sitting just below the castle in Malá Strana. Its location lets you easily get to Prague’s sights, and you will no doubt enjoy its sleek, modern design that hints at the building’s significant history.
Prague is an excellent destination for budget travelers thanks to places to stay like the Charles Bridge Hostel & Apartments. This boutique hostel is conveniently situated just off the famous Charles Bridge and provides both uncomplicated facilities and great service. For other hostel recommendations, be sure to check out our dedicated Prague hostel guide.
Security Process at Prague Castle
To ensure you have no problems when you arrive at the Prague Castle complex, it’s worth knowing the rules involved with the castle’s security. It’s highly recommended that you don’t bring luggage with you to the castle as there are no storage lockers available on-site.
Visitors to the complex will need to undergo a security screening at the entrance to ensure they are not carrying any prohibited items. Items that are prohibited and that will prevent you from being allowed in include weapons, explosives, flags, or any sort of banners.
There are also rules for entry inside the historic buildings of the castle, with food and drink not allowed inside and dogs not permitted either. Finally, drones cannot be used in the castle area.
FAQ – Facts About Prague Castle
What Is Prague Castle?
Prague Castle is a historic castle complex that hosts the official office of the President of the Czech Republic and the Bohemian Crown Jewels.
When Was Prague Castle Built?
Construction on Prague Castle started in 870 with the Church of the Virgin Mary, and the first palace of the castle was added in the 12th century.
How Old Is Prague Castle?
Prague Castle was built across hundreds of years, and many of its buildings went through multiple redesigns. However, the oldest section is over 1,100 years old.
Who Built Prague Castle?
The founding of Prague Castle is attributed to Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty.
Why Was Prague Castle Built?
While the origins of Prague Castle are not well known to historians, the reason Prague Castle continued to expand was that it became the seat for the Dukes of Bohemia.
Where Is Prague Castle Located?
Prague Castle is situated on a hill overlooking the Vltava River in the northwest of the city center.
With all that covered for you, it should be plain as day why getting skip-the-line tickets for Prague Castle is such a great idea. You now should be totally prepared to organize your visit to this Prague icon and experience it however best suits you.