Prague Castle#3 in Best Things To Do in Prague
Holding the record for the largest coherent castle complex in the world, Prague Castle serves double duty as the office of the Czech president and a popular tourist destination. The complex where it stands is also home to several other attractions.
Prague Castle has stood in this spot for more than a thousand years and covers a lot of area. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the grounds feature a variety of architectural styles, including everything from 10th-century Romanesque buildings to Gothic structures from the 14th century. Throughout its history, the castle and the area around it have gone through extensive restorations and renovations.
The grounds include St. Vitus Cathedral, the Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica and the Golden Lane – where homes have been converted into period scenes to show how artisans lived and worked in ancient times.
Some recent travelers were surprised that the castle itself isn't as large as they envisioned, but they added that the details of the palace and the surrounding buildings are impressive and worth the trip. Others warned that some parts of the complex are full of tourist traps; you may want to wait to eat or grab a drink in another neighborhood until you're done sightseeing. Some also warned that you'll have to pay to use the restrooms. To avoid sharing your visit with throngs of other tourists, plan to stop by in the morning when the complex opens.
Admission to the grounds is free, but some of the individual sites charge for entry. There are several types of combo tickets that will grant you entry into several buildings. Expect to pay 350 koruna (or about $15.50) if you want to access all of the buildings. Audio guides and tour guides are available at an extra cost. Prague Castle is accessible by subway from the Hradcany station or you can take Tram 22 to the Pražský Hrad stop. You could also make the half-mile walk to the area from Charles Bridge. The complex is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; other historic buildings hold different hours that vary by season. Click here for more information.
More Best Things To Do in Prague
#1 Old Town Square (Staromestské námestí)
Old Town Square is a popular spot in Prague, with travelers flocking here in droves for its beautiful architecture, colorful history and vibrant atmosphere. The square hasn't changed much since it was established in the 12th century when it functioned as the city's original marketplace.
The square is home to some of the most historic attractions in the city, including the Old Town Hall, one of the best places to get a bird's-eye view of the city and the Prague Astronomical Clock, a beautiful timepiece dating back to the 1400s. Other architectural highlights found within the square include the Church of St. Nicholas and the Church of Our Lady before Týn, instantly recognizable for its two Gothic spires. Meanwhile, the newest additions to the square include a monument erected in 1915 for the religious reformer Jan Hus. There are also several restaurants here that spill out onto the square during the warmer months as locals and travelers alike enjoy a coffee or a beer on the patios. And if you're visiting during the holiday season, expect the square to be filled with Christmas market shoppers.
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