Charles Bridge is the oldest bridge in Prague and a renowned national monument connecting the Old Town and the Lesser Town. It stands on the site of the former Juditah’s Bridge, which was destroyed by floods in 1342. Commissioned by King Charles IV, construction of the new bridge began in 1357. It was known as Prague Bridge or Stone Bridge until 1870 when it was officially renamed Charles Bridge.
Useful information for visitors
GPS coordinates: 50.0864092N, 14.4119353E
Getting there on public transport
These stops are all within a few minutes walk of Charles Bridge:
Old Town: Karlovy Lázně tram stop (trams 17, 18 and night tram 53), Staroměstská bus stop (bus 133), Staroměstská metro station (line A, green line).
Lesser Town: Malostranské náměstí tram stop (trams 12, 20 and 22)
Opening hours and admission
Travellers can visit Charles Bridge anytime throughout the year. Admission is free. For those who are interested, an 18-minute film about the bridge is shown inside the Old Town Bridge Tower. More information about the bridge’s history and sculptural decoration can be found in the Charles Bridge Museum located in Křižovnické náměstí, close to the Old Town Bridge Tower.
Charles Bridge audio-guides are available at Malostranská station and the Old Town Bridge Tower for a fee of 100CZK. These are available i Czech, German, English, French, and Italian
The closest public toilets are located in Malostranské náměstí, the Municipal Library, and the Municipal Authority of the city of Prague (Magistrát hlavního města Prahy) which is situated close to the Staroměstská stop.
Interesting facts about Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge is an historic monument, well-known for its 30 statues of saints erected between 1683 and 1928. To prevent damage, the originals have been replaced with replicas. However, the original statues are now displayed in the National Museum’s Lapidárium. A tower stands on each side of the bridge: the Old Town Bridge Tower to the east and the Malostranská Bridge Tower to the west. The bridge is 515.76 metres long and 9.5 metres wide.
Charles Bridge was the only connection across Vltava River until 1841 and was used by both the public transport system and automobiles. However, the load was proved too much and the public transport route across the bridge was closed after the Second World War. In 1965, vehicles were forbidden to pass. Since then, Charles Bridge has been accessible to pedestrians only.
Charles Bridge and its surroundings
Charles Bridge is surrounded by many other historic monuments and interesting places to visit. The most notable are Old Town Square, Clementinum, Bethlehem Chapel, Lesser Town Square, Kampa, Lennon’s Wall, and Prague Castle.
The Royal Route
The Royal Route, the traditional coronation route of Bohemian kings, is a three-hour walk leading across Charles Bridge. The Route starts at the Powder Gate in Náměstí Republiky and continues through Old Town Square, Karlova Street, Charles Bridge, and Malostranské náměstí to Prague Castle.