Tired of squeezing through narrow streets while sharing the cobblestones with about a million other tourists?
Take a break and find Prague’s second castle, Vysehrad, and soak in views of the Prague skyline with plenty of room to breathe.
History of Vysehrad
Although legend has it that the area has been occupied for longer, official records date the Vysehrad castle to around the mid-10th century but it wasn’t until Vratislav II, king of Bohemia and Poland, moved in, in 1085, that the place rose to prominence; and got a face-lift.
The king improved its defenses and beefed up the walls. It remained a royal home until King Charles IV had Prague Castle expanded and remodeled to his liking, but he still had Vysehrad renovated and repaired.
During the Hussite Wars (1419-1434), King George of Podebrady’s army destroyed it and it lay in ruins for years until the Habsburg’s took over and had their own little episode of ‘This Old House.’
Their tastes were a little more baroque and so the buildings took on a new form.
Vysehrad is home to what is quite possibly Prague’s oldest rotunda, that of St. Martin, which is in excellent condition as is the church of St. Peter and Paul.
The cemetery at Vysehrad might just be worth the visit alone. It’s the final napping spot for many famous Czech’s like Antonin Dvorak, Karel Capek and Bedřich Smetana to name a few.
What? You don’t know these household names? What’s the matter with you?
Getting to Vysehrad from Prague City Center
To get there, take trams #3 or #7. Or it’s an easy walk from the Metro C (the red line) – get off at the Vysehrad stop, and it’s about a ten-minute walk. Click to use the Prague Metro trip planner.
The area around Vysehrad Castle is beautifully kept and makes for an enjoyable afternoon walking around the grounds. There’s even a beer garden if you get thirsty!
Entrance to the grounds surrounding Vysehrad is free, but entrance to buildings and tours require a fee. However, if you purchase a Prague Card, admission is included.
Vysehrad is open every day of the year. The opening time varies from 8-9:30 AM and the closing time varies from 5-6 PM, depending on time of the year. Check their website for the current hours.
Taking a Tour of Vysehrad
Booking a guided tour is a great way to experience Vysehrad Castle. There’s so much to explore, and a local guide will make sure you don’t miss any of the amazing details.
Even if you prefer to tour on your own, getting entry tickets in advance can save you time and money. Here are our favorite options for seeing Vysehard Castle.