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
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.
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.
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
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.

Related Tours

Prague In a Day: Private Full-Day Walking Tour with Prague Castle
Discover the best of Medieval and modern Prague on this full-day private walking tour of the city’s most iconic sites including tickets and a guided tour of the fairytale castle, and a relaxing scenic river cruise along the Vltava at the end of the day. 

On your private tour your will:

  •  Discover the fairytale magic of Prague Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to some of the Czech Republic's greatest artistic and cultural treasures;
  •  Explore the rooms of the Old Royal Palace, including the opulent Vladislav Hall;
  • Hear the stories of Prague’s kings and queens, emperors and saints – in particular the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV;
  • Step inside the resplendent St. George’s Basilica and magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral and see the famous chapel and tomb of Saint Wenceslas – prince and patron saint of Bohemia, assassinated by his own brother in the early middles ages!;
  • Walk along Golden Lane and experience what daily life was like within the castle walls;
  • Enjoy watching the ceremony of the changing of the guard;
  • Exit the castle, walk by Nerudova and the famous John Lennon Wall before crossing Charles Bridge, and take a well-earned lunch break at a delicious local eatery;
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the rest of beautiful Prague, beginning with the historic Jewish Quarter, highlights include the Maisel Synagogue and the Hebrew Clock;
  • See Wenceslas Square, the Old-New Synagogue, and Jerusalem Synagogue;
  • Visit the Old Town Square and see the amazing Astronomical Clock and the Powder Tower;
  • Learn all about the Art Nouveau scene in Prague;
  •  End the tour at the dock where your guide will drop you off for your beautiful river cruise ride.

Prague is the beautiful, fairytale capital city of the Czech Republic, famous for its medieval gothic architecture, colourful baroque buildings, spectacular royal castle, and the River Vltava running through its city centre – the longest river in Bohemia and the lifeblood of the city. 

Nicknamed the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ for its breathtaking beauty, on your day-long private walking tour of Prague, you will explore the city’s iconic highlights, including a fully guided tour of the splendid medieval castle, a UNESCO world heritage site, including St George’s Basilica, and St Vitus Cathedral - with the changing of the guard ceremony in the morning. 

After a delicious local lunch, you’ll explore the Old Town, Jewish Quarter and famous monuments – both old and new – including the John Lennon Wall and the astounding medieval Astronomical Clock dating to the 1400s. 

You’ll walk through Wenceslas Square, across the old Charles Bridge built in 1402 and lined with Catholic saints, and marvel at the famous Jewish places of worship, including the Maisel, Jerusalem and Old-New Synagogues and the Hebrew Clock. 

Your guide will regale you with stories of the rogues and royals of the past, the development of Gothic architecture, the emergence of Art Nouveau and the history of the Jewish community in this fascinating and beautiful city. 

At the end of your walking tour, your guide will take you to the river for your relaxing, scenic cruise along the mighty Vltava. 
The Best of Prague: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Explore the best of Prague and its most popular highlights 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: 

  • Take a stroll through Prague's Old Town, a fairytale-like part of town with cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture;
  • See the medieval Astronomical Clock with over 600 years of history and one of the most photographed attractions in the city;
  • Walk across Charles Bridge, the oldest standing over the Vltava river connecting the Old town with Lesser Town;
  • Explore the Jewish Quarter located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River including the famous Hebrew clock;
  • Discover the Gothic Quarter, known as Lesser Town and Malá Strana with incredible gothic architecture;
  • Learn about the architectural influences behind the iconic medieval Nerudova Street;
  • Finish your tour on Prague Castle’s grounds, a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in around 880.

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 long-standing 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. 

Explore the Historic Prague Castle: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Founded in the 9th century by Prince Bořivoj, the historic Prague Castle holds the Guinness world record as the largest coherent castle complex with approximately an area of 70.000 m2. Your private tour guide will help you immerse yourself in the history of the fascinating city of Prague by learning the history of its beautiful castle. 

On this half-day walking tour, you will:

  • Explore Prague Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the top of Castle Hill and one of the most visited monuments in Central Europe;
  • Learn about the Czech monarchy and the castle's architecture which date back to the 9th century, when the castle was first founded;
  • Discover the Old Royal Palace, the seat of Bohemian princes and kings until the 16th century made of a mix of many architectural styles, particularly Gothic and Renaissance;
  • Explore St George’s Basilica, founded in 920 and the oldest preserved church in the castle, while learning about the history of Prague as the capital for Holy Roman emperors throughout the Middle Ages;
  • Visit St. Vitus Cathedral, the scenario for many coronations of Czech kings and queens and home to the tomb of Saint Wenceslaus, the most important Czech patron;
  • Stroll down idyllic Golden Lane, originally built in the 16th century where you will get a sense of life behind the castle walls;
  • End your tour outside the castle where your tour guide will give you great recommendations for the rest of your stay.

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. 
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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