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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
Church of St. Nicholas
The very best of Prague Baroque, in the heart of the city's Lesser Town.
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.
Jewish Quarter
Formerly the Jewish Ghetto, this historic enclave is surrounded by the Old Town.

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. 
Private Half-Day Highlights of Prague
On this comprehensive half day tour your expert city guide will be helping you to uncover the soul of Prague in just four hours. 

  • Commence your tour at the Old Town Square, pass by the medieval Astronomical Clock 
  • Walk across the beautiful Charles Bridge, which offers views of the city 
  • Explore the Lesser Quarter of Prague 
  • Learn about the architectural influences behind the iconic medieval Nerudova Street 
  • Journey towards Prague Castle and snap photos of the exterior
  • Learn about the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV
Medieval Prague

Your tour will begin in 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. Journeying inside the Old Town will help you to get a sense of what ‘Old Prague’ must have been like 500 years ago. 

You will feel absolutely immersed in the layers of history and cultural influences that are around every corner. Indeed your expert city 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. 

Magnificent Prague Castle

Crossing over to the Lesser Quarter of Prague, you will take a moment at the 14th century Charles Bridge to enjoy the magnificent views over the Vltava and the rest of the city. This Gothic masterpiece was key in creating Prague’s New Town area, as it linked the established parts of Prague with new innovation and development. Later, you will endeavour to decipher the architectural influences behind the iconic medieval Nerudova Street, as you journey to the awe-inspiring Prague Castle. 

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. Indeed Prague Castle is an absolute must for anyone visiting the Czech Republic.
The Prague Castle Private Tour
In this comprehensive three hour walking tour you will endeavour to uncover the fascinating history of one of  Prague’s most visited attractions- Prague Castle. On this tour, you will:

  • Cross over the stunning Charles Bridge 
  • Explore the exteriors and interiors of the Prague Castle 
  • Learn about the Czech monarchy and their architecture 
  • Visit the collection of buildings, museums and galleries at the castle 
  • Enjoy breathtaking views over Charles Bridge and the Vltava river, as well as Prague's Old Town
Fairytale Castle

Prague Castle looms above the Vltava's left bank, with its 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. Indeed Prague Castle is an absolute must for anyone visiting the Czech Republic.

Facets of Prague Castle

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. 

Please note in the summer months, even with skip-the-line tickets, there are still queues which cannot be avoided.
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 favorite 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 rumors 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’.
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