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Charles Bridge

This bridge connects the Lesser Town with the Old Town, and is the picturesque essence of Gothic Prague.

TravelCurious Tip

A great time to visit is at sunset, for a spectacular view of Prague Castle lit up against the sky.

Bridging the gap

There has long been a bridge across the Vltava river of Prague: records as far back as the 10th century talk of a wooden structure there. The first stone one was completed in around 1170 and named the Judith Bridge after Vladislav II’s wife. The Charles Bridge was built as a replacement when the Judith was badly damaged by floods (of which the Charles has itself since weathered its fair share). The first stone was laid in 1357, and the last finally in 1402. The name comes from King Charles IV, who ordered its construction - although it was simply called the Stone Bridge until 1870.

Linking the two halves of Prague, the bridge is a majestic walkway, ten metres wide and stretching over half a kilometre in length. It sits atop sixteen massive arches, and walking along you are flanked by thirty baroque sculptures of various saints, added between 1683 and 1928 (although most are replicas, the originals being held in the Czech National Museum for safekeeping). The most famous is also the oldest, commemorating Saint John of Nepomuk, a patron saint of Bohemia whose death in the Vltava - he was thrown off the bridge at the orders of King Wenceslaus in 1393 - led to him being seen as a protector from floods and drowning.


From old to new

The bridge is guarded by three towers. Two are at the Lesser Town end, and the other, a magnificent Gothic civic building, creates an arched entrance to the Old Town. All three can be climbed for a vista over the bridge. A popular attraction for its wonderful views of the river and Prague Castle, the bridge itself is a busy place: tourists jostle for good vantage points as painters, jazz bands and hotdog vendors vie for their custom. The early hours tend to be quieter.

Far more than a piece of magnificent civil engineering, a visit to the Charles Bridge is an essential part of any trip to Prague: with an aura of Gothic grandeur, it truly captures the sense of the city as a medieval metropolis.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Prague
Clementinum
An ancient place of learning, Baroque Clementinum is today the Czech national library.
John Lennon Wall
Covered with Lennon-inspired graffiti, this wall has stood as a symbol of love, peace and hope even through the Communist regime.
Lesser Quarter
On the left bank of the River Vltava, Prague's Malá Strana is one of its most historic and beautiful areas, dominated by Baroque buildings.
Mánes Bridge
The Vltava's ninth bridge connects the Rudolfinum with the Lesser Quarter, and embodies the spirit of Czech Modernism.
Cruise on the River Vltava
Enjoy the panoramic views of the City of a Thousand Spires. Admire Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Kampa Island and other highlights of Prague from the water on a popular Vltava River boat trip.
Old Jewish Cemetery Prague
The Old Jewish Cemetery is a Jewish cemetery in Prague, Czech Republic, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe

Related Tours

Prague Private Full Day Highlights Tour inc Tickets
Visit the most iconic and impressive areas of Prague, with your expert city guide informing you of the complex history, culture, and revolutionary ideas for which this great city is famous. 

  • Commence your tour in Old Town Square, where you will find the medieval Astronomical Clock 
  • Explore the Jewish quarter, originating in the tenth century 
  • Learn about Prague's Art Nouveau movement, see Wenceslas Square 
  • Cross the stunning Charles Bridge, as you head towards Mala Strana 
  • Enter Prague Castle, snap pictures of the fine architecture, and learn about Charles IV 
  • Discover the variety of artistic and cultural treasures inside the castles collection of historic buildings, museums, and galleries 
  • After your tour, enjoy an evening cruise of the Danube River.
Medieval Prague 

Your tour will start in one of Prague’s busiest areas; Old Town Square, where you will learn about the religious symbolism of the the medieval Astronomical Clock and its fascinating historical influences. You will then move on to explore an integral part of Prague- the Jewish community- whose history and influence dates back to the tenth century. 

Art Nouveau  

You will then venture on to explore Prague’s unique Art Nouveau movement, which sprung up at the beginning of the 20th century, and brought about a copious wave of intellectual insight. Beautiful examples of Art Nouveau are displayed throughout the splendid Wenceslas Square, in the centre New Town, where your expert city guide will help you understand this fascinating art movement.  You will have ample time to stop at a local eatery to have a chance to relax and sample some of the delicious traditional Czech fare on offer. 

Magnificent Prague Castle

Your stroll will continue to Malá Strana, but before entering Prague’s Lesser Side. Later, you will discover the life and times of the enigmatic Charles IV, the 14th century Holy Roman Emperor, as you enter Prague Castle. 

Looming above the Vltava's left bank, with its many beautiful fairytale-like spires and towers, the awe-inspiring Prague Castle is one of the most famous and imposing buildings in Europe. Within its walls lie a fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries that are home to some of the Czech Republic's greatest artistic and cultural treasures.

After a full day spent exploring the city, your guide will drop you off for an hour river cruise (tickets included) of the majestic Danube River. 
The Best of Prague Private Walking Tour
Explore the highlights of Prague in just half a day, with a private guide giving you the rich and complex history for which the city is known. On your private tour, you will: 

  • Meet your private guide at the Old Town Square, stroll through Old Town, and see the medieval Astronomical Clock
  • Explore the Jewish Quarter’s highlights, including the famous Hebrew clock
  • Explore the gothic quarter, known as Lesser Town and Malá Strana
  • Learn about the architectural influences behind the iconic medieval Nerudova Street 
  • Finish your tour on Prague Castle’s grounds, where entry is free. 
  • For the morning tours, you will have the chance to the once-daily changing of the guard. 

See the heart of Prague, Old Town Square, where you will learn about the religious symbolism of the absolutely stunning medieval Astronomical Clock and its longstanding historical influences. Then, your guide will take you wandering through the Old Town, where you will be able to experience what ‘Old Prague’ must have been like 500 years ago. Be immersed in the layers of history and cultural influences that are around every corner. Your private guide will be more than happy to field any questions you may have on the history of this great city and the changes it saw, set in motion by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. 

Crossing over to the Lesser Quarter of Prague over the Vltava River, your guide will show you the Gothic masterpiece of the Charles Bridge, which dates back to the 14th century.  It was key in creating Prague’s New Town area, as it linked the established parts of Prague with new innovation and development. 

Looming above the Vltava's left bank, with its many beautiful fairytale-like spires and towers, the stunning Prague Castle is one of the most famous and imposing buildings in Europe. Within its walls lies a fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries that are home to some of the Czech Republic's greatest artistic and cultural treasures. For those who book the morning tour, you will have the chance to see the daily changing of the guard, which happens at noon each day. 

The Prague Castle Private Tour (with tickets)
On your private Prague Castle tour, your guide will help you immerse yourself in the history of the fascinating city through the history of the castle. On this tour, you will:

  • Explore Prague Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with tickets included and a private guide throughout your tour.
  • Learn about the Czech monarchy and the architecture, some parts which date back to the 9th century, when the castle was first founded. 
  • Explore St George’s Basilica and St Vitus Cathedral while learning about the history of Prague as the capital for Holy Roman emperors throughout the Middle Ages. 
  • Visit the famed chapel where Saint Wenceslaus’s tomb is. 
  • Stroll down idyllic Golden Lane, where you will get a sense of life behind the castle walls. 
  • Finish your tour outside the castle. If you wish to see the changing of the guard, please book the morning tour for the best chance to make this happen. 
Prague Castle looms above the Vltava River’s left bank and is adorned with many beautiful fairytale-like spires and towers. Within its walls lies a fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries that are home to some of the Czech Republic's greatest artistic and cultural treasures. Prague Castle is an absolute must for anyone visiting the Czech Republic.

The castle has long been the seat of Czech monarchs, as well as the official residence of the head of state. Its construction has been on a monumental scale and is famed across Europe; with Prince Bořivoj founding a fortified settlement here in the 9th century. It grew sporadically as monarchs made their own additions to the castle complex. There have been four major reconstructions, from that of Prince Soběslav in the 12th century to a classical facelift under Empress Maria Theresa (r 1740–80). 

Your expert city guide will help you to unravel the fascinating history of this enigmatic building in the heart of Prague. The Castle also provides a breathtaking, royal view over Charles Bridge, the Vltava river and the rest of Prague. Exploring the Castle complex will help us to discover more about the fascinating life of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, and his contributions to his Empire. 
Private Tour of Prague with a Local
Travel isn’t just about travel, it’s people, faces, food and cultures, fresh perspectives, discoveries and different ways of life - it’s about uncovering the city’s soul. It’s about connection. On your private, guided tour of Prague with a local: 

  • Enjoy meaningful insights from a Prague local.
  • Hear how locals describe Prague - the experiences that have shaped their worldview.
  • Spend a few hours walking around the city’s highlights with a private, local guide.
  • Pick up invaluable recommendations, advice, tips and reassurance as you explore highlights and off-the-beaten-track side streets.
  • Grab a Pilsner - or a coffee - in your local guide’s favourite haunt.
  • Learn first-hand what locals love about Prague from someone who knows the place inside-out.
The Czech Republic’s compact capital - with its vibrant, historical and beautiful streets - has witnessed everything from Old Bohemia to 2004 entry into the EU. A city made for walking, easily navigable districts makes orientation a breeze. A glorious mix of architectural styles provides a stunning visual history with magnificent castles, monuments, and buildings spanning Romanesque to Communist-era designs. An annual festival draws millions to the city to celebrate its fine beer, but in Prague, you’ll find free-flowing Pilsner in lively watering holes year-round. 
 
Enjoying a private, guided tour with a local will help you discover the sights that tourists so often miss. Hear the intriguing backstories and learn the neighbourhood’s contextual backstories and rumours which bring Prague to life, from the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the contentious issue of the origins of the chocolate-and raspberry Prague Cake.  

There are no substitutes for anecdotes and first-hand insight – which is why we’ve built this tour: so that you can have a local’s insider knowledge to help you swerve tourist traps, lengthy queues and over-priced nonsense. While you walk the city, you’ll uncover its authenticity through the eyes of a Prague local. 

Your tour is immersive - bringing meaningful and like-minded interesting people together that would never meet if you stuck to the main tourist drag. Experience the practical good-naturedness of a local over a Pilsner beer or coffee at a local pub, and then jot down your guide’s version of  "must do Prague".
The Best of Prague Live Virtual Tour
Discover the best of Prague, one of the most popular destinations in Eastern Europe on this Live Virtual Tour which will be the perfect introduction to the city!  On your virtual tour, you will:

  • See the Prague Castle
  • Walk the Charles Bridge
  • Walk the Old town Square
  • Learn amazing facts about Prague’s history
  • See interesting details on buildings and beautiful Prague’s architecture
Prague is known for its centuries of history and cultural heritage. It's the medieval heart of Europe the beat of which can be felt in its narrow cobblestone streets.

You'll hear about Prague’s history and be led passed the city's iconic landmarks on this live virtual tour a perfect introduction to the city. 

You will be taken on a walk through the pretty narrow streets of Prague, one of the most popular destinations in Eastern Europe known for its historic baroque architecture, friendly people, and delicious food. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague is known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic centre, with its baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated display every hour.
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