The Royal Route
The Royal Route is a great walkthrough Prague’s historical core up to the castle. Along the way, you can admire Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicist, Art Nouveau and Cubist architect buildings and see the best of what Prague can offer.
This walk follows the processional route taken by the kings and queens of Bohemia at their coronation, starting with George of Poděbrady in 1458. Carriages would travel down Celetná, through Old Town Square and along Karlova, before heading across Charles Bridge, then along Mosteká into Lesser Quarter Square before making their way via Nerudova to St. Vitus Cathedral in the castle compound where the new monarch would be crowned. The Royal Route used to link the gates of Old Prague, the Jewish Town, Lesser Quarter and Prague Castle.
This historical walk cannot be missed by anyone walking in the old centre of Prague, as it has been marked with a silvery plate, which can be still seen on the sidewalk and bears the inscription ‘Silver Line’. The Silver Line starts at Powder Tower just in front of Municipal House and goes through Celetna Street down to Old Town Square.
Municipal House, a beautiful Art Nouveau house or Náměstí Republiky (Republic Square), is the Royal Route’s starting point. Stroll through Powder Gate and then down Celetná Street. Celetná is one of the oldest streets in Prague, with beautiful historic houses decorated with breathtaking murals, house symbols and facades. Interesting facades to admire are At the Three Kings, At the White Lion, At the Black Sun, House of the Black Madonna and At the Vulture; then swing north up to Králodvorská, past the Hotel Paříž to the Kotva shopping mall. Turn left into Jakubská and walk down to St. James Church, then cross Malá Štupartská and stroll through Týn Court. Exit at the western end and go past the northern door of Týn Church into Old Town Square. Veer southwest to emerge into Malé Náměstí. Bear left, then right into Karlova. Karlova is a quaint, twisting street lined with galleries and souvenir shops. Follow Karlova to Charles Bridge. Before crossing Charles Bridge, stop at Klementinum. Get through the tourist crowds and cross the Vltava river to Mostecká into the bustle of Lesser Town Square to see the Baroque St. Nicholas Church. Cross to the square’s northern side and turn left into Nerudova. There is quite a steep climb to the hill which leads to Prague Castle.
Distance: 2.5km (1.5 miles)
Time: at least 1.5 hours without stops
Start point: Powder Gate or Municipal House, New Town
Endpoint: Prague Castle, Hradčany
Other names: Kralovská Cesta; The Royal Route; The Royal Way; Coronation Road.
Tip: Guided Royal Walk