Golden Lane Prague
A Brief History of the Golden Lane
Golden Lane was built by soldiers who were working in the defense wall on the northern side of the Prague Castle. They were allowed to build their humble dwellings in the arches of the wall, which was convenient for their occupation. Later the small houses were rented to independent goldsmiths. That's where the original name, Goldsmith's Lane, comes from.
According to the popular legend, however, Golden Lane received its name from the Alchemists who used to inhabit it. Alchemy was a predecessor of modern Chemistry. Among the alchemist's tasks was trying to make gold from lead. That is why Golden Lane was wrongly assumed to be home for Medieval Alchemists.
Fun Facts about Golden Lane
- Golden Lane used to have two rows of houses on opposite sides of the street, which means it used to be even narrower than it is now! Well, all Prague travelers would not fit there, so its goog Golden Lane is a bit more spacious these days ;)
- Another origin of the name "Golden" comes from the fact there were no toilets in the humble houses of the lane. Ew!
- A famous writer Franz Kafka lived in house 22 on Golden Lane. Even though it is tiny and you can barely fit through the small door, he, apparently, loved it there because of its peaceful atmosphere. A true introvert, what can we say.
- The corridor that leads to the Torture Chamber exhibition has writings on the walls that were left by the soldiers who worked there in the 17th and 18th centuries. You could say it is one of the oldest examples of graffiti in Prague!
Things to see in Prague Golden Lane
- The Alchemist Chamber
- The Torture Rooms
- The Armor and Weapons Exhibition
- House #22 where Franz Kafka used to live
- The smallest house in Prague Castle, which is now a charity shop
- The house of the clairvoyant woman, Madam de Thebes
- Daliborka prison tower
How to Get to the Golden Lane?
Golden Lane is located inside the Prague Castle complex. The closest gate to Golden Lane is the eastern one, located at the Black Tower. There are two ways of how to get there from the city.
- Walk up the stairs from "Klarov" (Malostranska metro exit). It's cardio but it's the most direct way.
- Take the 22 tram to "Prazsky Hrad" station and walk through the Castle complex.
Is Golden Lane for free?
It is for free only after 5 pm in summer and 4 pm in winter. However, you can only get a preview of Golden Lane for free, because most of the houses close, as well as the exhibitions. Any other time you need a ticket.
Golden Lane entrance fee and opening hours
Nowadays, Golden Lane is open for visits with a Prague Castle ticket and has multiple exhibitions and stores in its houses. We recommend purchasing the B circuit that also includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, and St. George's Basilica. Golden Lane is opened daily from 9 AM till 4 PM in winter and from 9 AM till 5 PM in summer. The opening hours might be affected by public holidays and special occasions, so please check out Prague Castle's official website to make sure your visit goes smoothly.
Our Local Guide Tip
- When you enter Golden Lane, go left and all the way to the back. You will see a few canons standing there and behind them a small metal door. The door leads to the most magical spot of Golden Lane: a recreation of an alchemist chamber. Make sure to check it out, a lot of people miss that during their visit.
See more of our Prague Travel Tips.
Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.