Prague, Czech Republic and the Castle

Prague Castle is the city’s number one tourist attraction and for good reason. It has a great density of attractions on the castle grounds. The castle is visible from almost any part of town due to its placement on the top of the hill on the north side of the Vltava river.

I set aside a good part of the early morning and the part of the afternoon to explore the castle grounds. From my hostel, I took the tram to the castle, which took about five minutes to get there. In the early morning, there were several tourists lined up at the ticket office. As I approached the vendor, I noticed that they sold two types of tickets. There is ticket A and ticket B. Ticket B gave you access to more of the attractions without paying individual ticket prices. I flashed my Cal ID and, boom, half-price. I’m glad I still look like I am college-aged. According to the ticket, my ticket B gave me access to St. Vitus Cathedral, which includes the crypt, tower, and choir. It also gave access to the Convent of St. George, Powder Tower, and the Prague Castle story exhibit.

St. Vitus Cathedral

Entering St. Vitus Cathedral is similar to entering Notre Dame in Paris. There are crowds of people gathered inside. However strong that similarity is, it probably ends there. St. Vitus has many unique relics to set it apart. Especially striking are the stained-glass windows and the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk made entirely out of silver.

I don’t exactly remember much about the crypt or the choir. But the tower is definitely worth the trek up the stairs. The view from the bell tower is absolutely amazing. You get a panoramic view of the entire city of Prague. I spent a few minutes soaking in the view and admiring the Gothic spires of the cathedral.

Castle Grounds

After a few more minutes of the religious aura of the cathedral, I stepped out into the castle grounds. The courtyards and gardens are free to the general public. Golden Lane, however, does require a ticket. It’s a ‘cute’ little alley filled with shops. I think it’s entirely miss-able if you don’t have the time, the money, or the interest. It’s made entirely out of shops selling tourist kitsch and curios. I only went because it was included in my ticket.

Overall, the castle is worth the time, effort, and money to get there. The cathedral is impressive and the collection of art and treasures are interesting enough for a few hours, though I don’t remember much of what I saw in the galleries.

At the end of my trip through the castle, I walked past the guard stations. They were wearing light blue uniforms and looked sharp. The walk down the hill is at a small incline into the Little Quarter. It contains several cafes where I grabbed a light lunch after a few hours of wondering the castle. I reflected on what a great way it was to spend the day in Prague.

Parting Words

Prague Castle is an imposing complex that hovers above the city. Aside from the Charles Bridge, it is the main tourist attraction. Compared to other castles in Europe, it is fairly intact and lively. Prague probably wouldn’t be Prague without the castle.

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.