The peaceful Prague Castle District (Hradčany) is situated in Prague 1 and occupies an elevated position over the city.
This picturesque district is one of the city’s four quarters along with the Little Quarter (Malá Strana), the Old Town (Staré Město), and the New Town (Nové Město).
The Prague Castle District offers visitors striking views, hidden gems galore, and access to the world’s largest castle complex.
Here are some of this popular district’s must-see attractions.
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Prague Castle is (unsurprisingly) one of the major highlights of the Prague Castle District. It’s an important symbol of the Czech people and renowned as the largest castle complex in the world.
Prague Castle originated in the 9th century and was once the seat of the kings of Bohemia. Today, it’s the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic.
However, it’s not a typical European castle that you might expect. Instead, it’s a complex of historical palaces, offices, churches, fortifications, courtyards, and gardens.
You can walk the castle grounds for free if you don’t wish to explore the interiors.
However, you’ll need to pay to visit the various buildings in the complex. Check out the available circuits and admission fees here to plan your visit.
In addition, review the hours here before you visit, as they’ll vary based on the season.
I recommend taking a tour to make the most of your visit. If you’re traveling solo like I did, this is also a great way to meet other travelers.
The Prague Castle and Interiors Half-Day Guided Tour costs 1,038 Czech Krowns (roughly $44.85 USD). I love this tour because it includes a convenient hotel pick-up service, available upon request.
This 3.5-hour tour includes admission to St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, and Golden Lane. You’ll also walk through the famous courtyards and the vineyards of St. Wenceslas.
Walking through Golden Lane was my favorite part of the tour. Golden Lane was formerly home to literary icon Franz Kafka, who lived in house No. 22 with his sister from 1916-1917.
He wrote some short stories here for what would later become his book, A Country Doctor.
There are plenty of other tours available for Prague Castle to suit your unique needs.
In addition, there are free tours that typically include a combination of the castle and other famous sites.
However, free tours tend to be more limited. Most will provide a general overview of the Prague Castle District but won’t usually include interior access. Therefore, read the tour itinerary carefully before booking.
I first discovered Nový Svět completely by accident. Luckily, it was one of the happiest accidents of the trip!
Nový Svět (New World) was formerly the outskirts of Prague Castle. Although it was once home to Prague’s poorest class, it become popular amongst artists and filmmakers after World War II.
Today, Nový Svět is commonly referred to as the Montmartre of Prague. It’s filled with cobblestone streets, picturesque cottages from the Middle Ages, and old-world charm. One could clearly see the similarities between Nový Svět and Montmartre in Paris.
This quiet area was a welcome change of pace, removed from the Prague Castle crowds. It was the perfect place to set up my tripod and capture some content.
I even enjoyed a chatting with a friendly local while shooting. Imagine living in a quaint neighborhood like this!
After wandering, take a neighborhood stroll to experience life in the Prague Castle District. If you need a pick-me-up, get your caffeine fix at the local café, Kavárna Nový Svět.
I’ll have to stop in on my next visit, as it was closed when I walked by.
Stand with your back facing the Prague Castle entrance. Cross through Hradčanské Square and take Kanovnická Street a couple of blocks until you reach Nový Svět street.
Beautiful Nerudova Street was named after famous Czech journalist Jan Neruda.
This historic street is also referred to as “Royal Way” and “Kings Road.” It links the Prague Castle to Charles Bridge through the Lesser Town (Malá Strana).
The view at the top of the street is a rich reward for the steep climb. In fact, I think it’s one of the most impressive views in Prague.
Arrive here prior to 9:00 AM for photos, before the castle doors open and tours begin. Crowds will also thin out again after 5 PM, as the tours die down.
Fortunately, Nerudova Street is quite close to Prague Castle. You’ll either walk up it as you head toward the castle or down it when you exit the main castle gate.
I recommend checking out both street views, as each is stunning.
Here’s the view leading uphill toward the castle:
The walk takes approximately eight minutes if you’re starting at the beginning of this street in Malá Strana. You can view the Google Maps route here.
Alternatively, this is the downhill view leading away from the castle:
Simply follow the above route in reverse to go this way.
I also recommend visiting Petrin Hill to escape the crowds. Here you’ll enjoy the tranquility of nature and experience some of the city’s best views.
This park is easily accessible from the Prague Castle District, although it’s technically a part of the Malá Strana district.
Petrin Tower is the major attraction here. This lookout tower is a 63.5-meter replica of the Eiffel Tower.
Visitors can climb the tower to enjoy striking city views, but I personally enjoyed capturing the views from below.
The walk up scenic Petrin Hill takes about 30 minutes and is a great way to enjoy some exercise.
Alternatively, you can catch a funicular on Újezd street if you’re not up for the steep walk. The 9, 12, 15, 20, 22, or 23 from Malá Strana will all take you to Újezd if you’re arriving by tram.
Travelers can use the same tickets on the funicular as on the tram or the metro. Head here for more information on the funicular’s hours of operation.
I recommend staying at Domus Henrici if you want to be in the quiet Castle District. This peaceful boutique property offers convenient access to the city’s historic Old Town, located only a 15-20 minute walk away.
Visitors will appreciate the duality of a tranquil property that’s close to major tourist attractions.
This intimate 8-bedroom property is nestled in the Prague Castle District and only two minutes from the castle by foot.
The property was first established as a house in 1372. In 1925, it was adapted for hotel use.
It was originally named Hotel Milan and run by the Karlasova family. However, in 1953, the family was forced out of Prague by the Communist regime.
Later, the building was nationalized and rebuilt for apartments. It was later returned to its previous owners in 1989. Reconstruction began anew in 1995 and Domus Henrici officially opened one year later.
I spent two relaxing nights in a charming room that resembled a cozy cottage.
My room overlooked a large and easily accessible terrace. I’m still dreaming about its unrivaled views of Petrin Hill and the sweet serenade of songbirds.
Domus Henrici provides a substantial and satisfying continental breakfast for their guests. This was a major plus, as I didn’t need to go in search of food.
Do keep in mind that there are no elevators, due to the historic origins of the property. However, the accommodating hotel staff will help assist you with your luggage.
Above all, I appreciated the hotel’s peaceful surroundings, the attentive staff, and the close proximity to Prague Castle.
The picturesque Prague Castle District deserves a place on every Prague itinerary. This beautiful quarter is a welcome escape from city crowds and offers access to some of Prague’s most beautiful gems.
This post was written in conjunction with Domus Henrici, who kindly provided me with a media rate during my stay in Prague. As always, all opinions are my own.