Golden Lane in Prague


Golden Lane in Prague

Golden Lane is a charming street within the Prague Castle area in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Originally built in the 16th century to accommodate the castle’s guards, it later became home to goldsmiths in the 17th century. 

Today, this street is known for its small, brightly painted houses and is a favorite spot for Prague tourists.

Thanks to a thorough renovation, the houses now feature displays that show what life was like there over the last 500 years.

Walking down Golden Lane feels like stepping into a storybook, with its colorful, fairytale-like houses leading to the Dalibor Tower, once a prison. 

The lane is steeped in legends and stories that have captivated writers and artists for centuries. 

Notably, the celebrated writer Franz Kafka lived at 22 Golden Lane during World War I.

This article will tell you all about the Golden Lane in Prague, covering history, facts, directions and ticket prices.

Golden Lane “The Alchemical Street”

Often referred to as the “Street of Alchemists,” many people believed that a secret organization of sorcerers and astrologers operated here instead of goldsmiths.

Why? Emperor Rudolf II was widely known as a progressive ruler of his day. 

He frequently hosted strange and sometimes contentious artists at his court and was interested in the experimental sciences, including magic, astrology, and alchemy.

Alchemy mythology also claims that King Rudolf II tasked his wizards with creating an elixir of youth similar to Harry Potter’s Philosopher’s Stone!

Although there is no proof that this occurred in Golden Lane, their laboratories were undoubtedly real and located in the Mihulka Powder Tower, a medieval structure.

Where is Prague’s Golden Lane?

The Golden Lane, or Zlatá Ulička in Czech, is located on the northern side of Prague Castle, a short walk from the main entrance in Hradčany Square.

The entrance is near Café Galerie and opposite the Toy Museum in Prague. 

To reach St. Vitus Cathedral from the main plaza, walk past St. George’s Basilica and turn left onto Zlatá ulička u Daliborky, opposite the Rosenberg Palace.

Visitors can also access Golden Lane from the Malostranská metro/tram station by taking metro line A or several tram lines stopping there.

Prague Castle is fairly clearly sign-posted, so you should have no trouble finding it.

Golden Lane Prague Address: Hradčany, 119 00 Prague 1, Czechia

Golden Lane Prague Directions: 

These directions provide a clear understanding of how to access Golden Lane, allowing visitors to explore this historic street within the Prague Castle complex.

Quick Facts About the Golden Lane

Official name: The Golden Lane 

Location: Czech Republic’s Prague, Prague Castle 

Built-in: 16th century 

Opening Hours: 9 am to 4 pm in the winter and 9 am to 5 pm in the summer.

Little-Known Information:

House number 13 on Golden Lane in Prague resembles a sixteenth-century home. Red Musket, one of the guardsmen, lived there. 

The history of House No. 14 is fascinating. Madame de Thebes, a well-known fortune teller, lived there. She served both domestic and foreign clients.

History of Prague Castle Golden Lane

Prague Castle’s foundation stones were laid in the ninth century. But since then, the site has undergone a number of changes. 

The Golden Lane Prague, Czech Republic, is part of a more “recent” era in the history of the fortification. 

Initially, during the time of Emperor Rudolph II (1552–1612), the alley was opened with the intention of housing the castle’s best archers.

They would control that side of the fortified wall around the clock.

But soon, a variety of inquisitive individuals from all over Europe, including fortune tellers, charlatans, magicians, alchemists, astrologers, and con artists, settled near the Golden Lane.

The court of Rudolph II was a supportive base for modernism, inviting artists like Arcimboldo and those who promoted what was called natural philosophy at the time.

The latter included a variety of fields, such as the more speculative sciences—astrology, magic, and alchemy—that were taken very seriously at the time.

Prague Castle Golden Lane Today

Today’s Golden Lane remains as enchanting as ever, becoming even more popular and significant over time. 

Many of the houses on Golden Lane are souvenir shops, and there is an accessible museum of medieval armory within the former 14th-century fortification. 

Golden Lane Shops Prague sells traditional Czech products, such as puppets, glass, and other souvenirs. 

These shops offer a great opportunity to purchase unique and authentic souvenirs to take home.

The lane is part of the Prague Castle complex and is included in the admission ticket

Whether you love history, appreciate art, or are just looking for an interesting place to visit, Golden Lane offers a wonderful experience. 

Take the time to enjoy the colorful houses and their flower boxes, making every view look like it’s straight out of a postcard.

Golden Lane Prague Hours

Golden Lane in Prague Castle is open for visitors during the following hours:

1. Summer Hours: From 9 am to 5 pm.

2. Winter Hours: From 9 am to 4 pm.

However, visiting Golden Lane outside of business hours (after 5 pm) is recommended when entrance is free. 

The best time to visit Golden Lane is in the evening or early in the morning, as on weekdays. 

Also, we recommend visiting during the off-peak winter months (November- February).

This will allow you to experience the history and atmosphere of the street with fewer crowds.

Remember that the castle complex is open until 10 pm daily, and Golden Lane stays open until then. 

If you visit during the exhibition, you can spend around two hours looking around the exhibitions and shops.

If you want to take photos, you might need to wait around a little, as people always want to take pictures in front. 

At other times (when the shops and exhibitions are closed), you can walk through the lane within 10-15 minutes. 

Prague Castle Golden Lane Highlights

Once you get your castle ticket, head to the Golden Alley on the north side.

The security guards will ask you to show them your ticket at the entrance. 

Then, you can begin exploring the city’s most beautiful street, which appears to have been frozen in time. 

There is so much to see there that is included in your entry ticket, so allow plenty of time to explore. 

Here are all the activities you can do in Golden Lane Prague!

Historical Displays

Golden Lane is lined with small, colorful houses that were originally built in the 16th century to house the castle guards. 

You can discover the intriguing displays highlighting various facets of Prague Castle’s history at the little houses lining Golden Lane. 

Each house offers a different window into the past, from ancient crafts and alchemical laboratories to medieval armor and weapons.

Today, these houses have been restored and converted into museums, shops, and cafes.

The House of Franz Kafka

Visitors can see this house, where the famous writer Franz Kafka lived from 1916 to 1917, at number 22. 

The house is now a museum dedicated to Kafka’s life and work.

You can explore the Kafka-focused exhibition and visit his modest residence. 

Picture the well-known writer reflecting on his works of literature while seated at his desk.

The Daliborka Tower

At Daliborka Tower, you can experience the exhilaration of entering a genuine medieval jail. 

This tower, named Dalibor after the renowned hero, served as a prison. 

Climb the historic spiral staircase to visit the spooky chambers that still include the old torture implements and jail cells.

Handcrafted Items and Memorabilia

Located in the former 14th-century fortification, the museum showcases a collection of medieval weapons and armor.

You can explore traditional crafts and souvenirs to satisfy your inner shopaholic. 

Choose from exquisite ceramics to handcrafted jewelry as the ideal keepsake to remember your visit. 

Visitors can also see a goldsmith’s workshop and learn about the history of goldsmithing in Prague.

Legends & Mysteries

Golden Lane is associated with several myths and legends, including the legend of the alchemists who once lived there.

By booking a guided tour, you can hear the fascinating myths and legends about the Golden Lane from a local expert guide. 

This cobblestoned street is full of mystery, from stories about well-known inhabitants to unexplained events. 

Nearby Places 

These attractions are all within walking distance of Golden Lane and offer a range of cultural, historical, and outdoor experiences for visitors to Prague.

Prague Castle

1. Prague Castle

The Prague Castle complex is the largest ancient castle in the world and is home to several landmarks, including St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, and the Lobkowicz Palace.

St. George’s Basilica

2. St. George’s Basilica

A Romanesque church in the Prague Castle complex features a beautiful interior and stunning city views.

Petrin Hill

3. Petrin Hill

A hill in Prague’s center offers panoramic views of the city and various outdoor activities, including hiking and picnicking.

Charles Bridge

4. Charles Bridge

A historic bridge spanning the Vltava River connects the Old Town and Lesser Town of Prague.

Old Town Square

5. Old Town Square

A historic square located in the heart of Prague’s Old Town, featuring stunning architecture, street performers, and the famous Astronomical Clock.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Golden Lane

What is The Golden Lane?

The Golden Lane is a picturesque street located within the Prague Castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic. 

It’s known for its charming, brightly colored houses and its rich history dating back to the 16th century.

Where can I buy The Golden Lane tickets?

You can purchase Golden Lane Prague tickets online by booking a guided tour of Prague Castle. 

If you want to explore the area for free, you can visit it after 5 pm. But you will not get access to some areas.

When was The Golden Lane built?

The Golden Lane was built in the late 16th century, around the 1560s. Its original purpose was to house the castle guards of Prague Castle.

It later transitioned into housing for skilled goldsmiths in the 17th century, giving rise to its iconic name.

Why is it called Golden Lane?

The name “Golden Lane” (Zlatá ulička in Czech) earned its name in the 17th century when it became home to skilled goldsmiths.

These artisans worked with precious metals like gold and silver, and their presence contributed to the street’s reputation and the eventual adoption of the “Golden” name.

Where is Golden Lane situated with Prague Castle?

The Golden Lane sits on the northeastern side of the Prague Castle grounds, close to the Black Tower entrance. 

If you enter the castle from the main entrance at Hradčany Square, it’s a bit further in, near the Daliborka Tower.

Who designed The Golden Lane?

Jiří Trnka, a well-known artist, had a big influence on Zlatá ulička (Golden Lane) as it exists today. 

The residences’ façade were painted in accordance with his 1950s design.

Who were the famous residents of Golden Lane?

Golden Lane is linked to many literary works. 

From 1916 to 1917, Franz Kafka resided at number 22, the home of his sister Otília Davidová, where he composed the majority of his collection of short stories, The Country Doctor. 

Poet Vítězslav Nezval, Nobel Prize winner Jaroslav Seifert, and lyric poet František Halas gathered at number 12.

Who currently resides at Golden Lane?

Currently, no one resides in the Golden Lane. 

The houses, while meticulously restored and showcasing exhibits about life in the lane, are not used as personal residences today.

Do my Prague Castle tickets provide access to Golden Lane?

Yes, your Prague Castle guided tour includes access to the Golden Lane, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, and Daliborka Tower.

Are guided tours available for Prague Castle?

Yes, you can purchase a guided tour of Prague Castle for 35 euros and cover the castle with an expert guide.

How long does it take to explore Prague Castle & Golden Lane?

Allow at least 2-3 hours to see the major sights, but you can easily spend a full day exploring in detail and admiring the architecture, exhibitions, and stunning views.

How to get to Golden Lane?

Golden Lane is located within Prague Castle, so if you want to explore the street, you must visit the castle.

• By Metro. Malostranská station (Line A).
• By tram. Take Line 22 to Pražský hrad or Pohořelec.

What are the visiting hours for Golden Lane?

Golden Lane is open from 9 am to 5 pm from April to October. It is open from 9 am to 4 pm from November to March.

When is it better to visit the Golden Lane?

Since Golden Lane is frequently clogged with visitors, we advise going there as soon as it opens, which is usually about 9 am.

It is also free to enter after business hours, so we suggest dropping by then. 

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