The Golden Lane Prague is a fairytale-like street of colorful homes and cobblestoned streets that are sure to capture your imagination. It's located within the walls of Prague Castle and is said to have housed alchemists and fortune-tellers. Whether you're looking for a unique experience or just to take in the beauty of the area, the Golden Lane is sure to captivate.

Golden Lane Prague, is a fairytale street consisting of colorful houses, situated in the heart of the city. It has become a popular tourist destination for its stunning architecture, vibrant and romantic atmosphere.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. In case you purchase something through one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost for you. Thank you for helping us keep creating the free content on this website!

Golden Lane Prague
Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička) | Source: Malkovskyjan via

The Story of the Golden Lane Prague

The Golden Lane dates back to the 16th century and was originally inhabited by the castle’s guards and small artisans, who were attracted by the proximity to the castle.

Nestled within the ancient stone fortifications of Prague Castle lies Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička), its very cornerstone laid on the 16th of September, 1597. This iconic thoroughfare has stood the test of time, its quaint rowhouses snugly abutting the castle's northern ramparts and the venerable Supreme Burgrave's House since the late 1500s, providing haven to families, artisans, and castle personnel across centuries.

Legends and fables shroud its inception, with tales of gold production intertwining with its genesis, yet scholars refute claims of goldsmiths ever inhabiting these dwellings.

Originally named Zlatnická, Zlatá ulička traces its roots back to the 16th century, purportedly inhabited by goldsmiths. However, historians cast doubt on this theory, considering the lane's location within the impoverished quarters of Hradčany. Another tale suggests it housed castle guards adorned with gold insignias, though many believe the name to be ironic, mocking the alley's destitution.

The houses are small, painted in bright colors, and each has its own unique charm. The street is so narrow, it was once called the "Street of Small Gables". The cobblestone path is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafés, making it a great place to spend a day exploring and enjoying the sights.



The first stones of Prague Castle were laid in the 9th century, but the site has seen many changes since then. During the rule of Emperor Rudolph II (1552-1612), the Golden Lane was constructed as a housing area for the castle's finest archers and as a guard for the fortified wall. As time went on, the area surrounding the Golden Lane was populated by an assortment of people, including astrologers, alchemists, magicians, fortune hunters, tricksters and charlatans from across Europe.

Rudolph II is renowned as a renowned champion of modernity. He not only championed the arts but also granted patronage to musicians such as Arcimboldo and scientists from all corners of what was called Natural Philosophy, which included mathematics, astronomy, botany and more speculative disciplines such as astrology, magic and alchemy.

After the conclusion of World War II, the Czechoslovakian President's Office initiated the acquisition of homes from their owners. In 1955, architect Pavel Janák was tasked with supervising the comprehensive renovation efforts. Notably, painter and filmmaker Jiří Trnka contributed to the restoration by conceptualizing captivating facade color schemes. Interestingly, despite the commencement of the renovation process, residents continued to inhabit the area until 1953, marking a unique juxtaposition of renewal and ongoing habitation.

The Golden Lane of Prague has become known for its historical significance, as the proliferation of laboratories seeking to convert lead into noble gold, the focus of alchemists' work, gave this street its name. Additionally, the presence of goldsmiths and the small population living in the area when the House of Habsburg vacated the castle and moved to Vienna, further contributed to its name. In the early twentieth century, Prague’s artists and intellectuals moved to the street in search of inspiration, leading to its popularity.

The House of Franz Kafka on Golden Lane Prague

Nestled within the charming cobblestone streets of Golden Lane in Prague lies the iconic House of Franz Kafka, standing proudly at number 22. This quaint abode holds profound significance, as it once served as the residence of the renowned writer during his formative years. Today, it stands as a poignant homage to Kafka's life and literary legacy, drawing visitors from far and wide to delve into the enigmatic world of one of literature's most influential figures.

The House of Franz Kafka
The House of Franz Kafka nr. 22 Golden Lane | Source:

Stepping into the House of Franz Kafka is akin to embarking on a journey through time, as the interiors are adorned with a rich tapestry of photographs and artifacts dating back to Kafka's residency. Each corner whispers echoes of the past, offering visitors a glimpse into the everyday life and surroundings that shaped Kafka's intricate psyche and literary vision. From the modest furnishings to the intimate details preserved within its walls, the museum invites guests to immerse themselves in the world of this enigmatic wordsmith.

Beyond its historical significance, the House of Franz Kafka serves as a cultural beacon, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Kafka's literary oeuvre. Visitors have the opportunity to explore exhibits dedicated to his most celebrated works, gaining insight into the themes, motifs, and philosophies that permeate his writing. Whether one is a seasoned Kafka enthusiast or a curious newcomer, the museum offers a captivating window into the complexities of his mind and the enduring relevance of his literary contributions.

In essence, the House of Franz Kafka stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of one of literature's most revered figures. It is a place where the past converges with the present, where the spirit of Kafka's genius continues to inspire and intrigue generations of visitors. Amidst the picturesque backdrop of Golden Lane, this humble abode serves as a timeless monument to the enduring power of literature to transcend time and space, inviting all who enter to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery.

Site location: Zlatá ulička u Daliborky 22, 119 00 Praha 1-Hradčany

GPS coordinates: 50.091989, 14.404003

Google Photos: Click here

Golden Lane Prague
Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička)

Fairytale Sites

Tucked away behind the castle's ancient fortifications, this cobblestone alleyway exudes a magical allure that transports visitors to a bygone era. Each quaint, pastel-hued house along Golden Lane seems plucked from the pages of a storybook, their miniature facades adorned with colorful shutters and blooming flower boxes.

Legend has it that Golden Lane derived its name from the alchemists and goldsmiths who once inhabited the street during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II in the 16th century. However, its true magic lies in the captivating stories woven into its very fabric. One cannot help but feel the whispers of history echoing through its narrow passageways, where knights, artisans, and noblewomen once roamed.

Among the fairytale sites that dot Golden Lane, perhaps the most famous is Franz Kafka's former residence, now transformed into a museum dedicated to the iconic Czech writer. Visitors can step into Kafka's world, exploring the rooms where he lived and worked, and gain insight into the creative genius behind literary masterpieces like "The Metamorphosis" and "The Trial."

Other notable attractions along Golden Lane include the quaint shops offering traditional Czech handicrafts, from delicate lacework to intricate glassware, as well as the medieval armory showcasing an impressive array of historical weaponry and armor. As visitors meander through this magical thoroughfare, they are transported not only through time but also into the realm of imagination, where the lines between reality and fantasy blur, and every corner holds the promise of a new adventure.

Golden Lane in Prague is indeed a fairytale come to life, inviting all who wander its cobblestone paths to be swept away by its enchanting allure.

Nestled at the lane's conclusion lies the tiniest dwelling among the array of 24 houses, a historic gem identified by scholars as Prague's smallest abode. Its compact confines encompass merely a solitary room, snugly occupying the alcove formed within its ancient walls upon construction.

Unveiling the Stories Behind Golden Lane's Colorful Facades

Golden Lane is more than just a quaint street of colorful houses; it's a haven rich in literary history and inspiration. Franz Kafka, one of the most celebrated figures in literature, resided at number 22 during 1916-1917. This humble abode belonged to his sister, Otília Davidová, and within its walls, Kafka penned many of his timeless works, including a significant portion of his short story collection, "The Country Doctor." The echoes of his existential themes and haunting narratives still linger amidst the cobblestones of Golden Lane.

But Kafka's presence is just the beginning of the street's literary tapestry. Number 12 served as a meeting ground for luminaries of Czech literature, where poets like František Halas, Nobel laureate Jaroslav Seifert, and Vítězslav Nezval convened. Here, amidst the cozy confines of these historic dwellings, they exchanged ideas, shared verses, and contributed to the rich cultural fabric of their time.

However, Golden Lane's literary allure transcends national borders. Gustav Meyrink, the German novelist renowned for his occult themes and mysticism, chose this very street as the setting for his mythical work, "At the Last Lantern." In the winding alleys and hidden corners of Golden Lane, Meyrink wove tales of mystery and the supernatural, adding another layer to the street's mystique.

In Golden Lane's winding alleys, nestled within the cobblestone streets, once resided the enigmatic figure of Matylda Průšová, renowned as Madame de Thébes, a revered fortune teller. Her dwelling, marked by the distinctive signboard adorned with an owl, crystal ball, and cat, became an emblem of mystery and insight. Prior to the eruption of World War II, Madame de Thébes captivated the imagination of locals and visitors alike with her uncanny ability to foresee the future.

The Room of the Golden Lane's fortuneteller
The Room of the Golden Lane's fortuneteller | Source:

Despite the mystical allure surrounding her, Madame de Thébes was not immune to the turmoil of the times. Her predictions, including the foreboding downfall of the Third Reich, attracted unwanted attention from the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police. In a tragic turn of events, she was apprehended and subjected to interrogation. The details of her fate remain shrouded in the shadows of history, but it is known that she met a grim end during the relentless questioning by her captors.

The story of Matylda Průšová, the illustrious fortune teller of Prague, serves as a poignant reminder of the perilous realities faced by those who dared to speak truth to power in a time of tyranny. Her legacy endures, etched into the annals of history as a testament to the enduring spirit of resilience and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of freedom and justice. Though her physical presence may have faded from the alleys of Prague, her spirit lingers, a beacon of hope amidst the darkness of oppression.

Legends and myths

As we mentioned above, Golden Lane derives its name from the rich tapestry of legends surrounding the alchemists who purportedly inhabited the street during the reign of Rudolf II. In this era, tales abound of these enigmatic figures fervently seeking the fabled philosopher's stone and the elixir of youth, while also endeavoring to transmute base metals into gold. While these narratives may be more fiction than fact, a compelling real-life account from the early 20th century lends credence to the mystique of Golden Lane.

At the turn of the century, one of the street's inhabitants was Dr. Uhle, a philosopher by trade, who poured his fortunes into acquiring ancient tomes on the arcane arts. His residence doubled as a clandestine laboratory, where he conducted secretive experiments shrouded in mystery. The tranquility of Golden Lane was shattered in 1831 when a resounding explosion echoed from Dr. Uhle's abode, drawing the attention of startled onlookers.

Responding swiftly, firefighters braved the chaos and discovered Dr. Uhle's lifeless form amidst the aftermath. Clutched tightly in his hand lay a curious yellow stone, later confirmed to be gold. The circumstances surrounding this astonishing discovery remain shrouded in ambiguity. How had Dr. Uhle achieved what so many alchemists before him had failed to accomplish? The enigma persists, leaving Golden Lane steeped in an aura of intrigue and wonder, where the boundaries between legend and reality blur, and the alchemical dreams of centuries past seem tantalizingly close to realization.

Where is Golden Lane (Zlatá Ulička) located?

The Golden Lane Prague, known as Zlatá Ulička in Czech, is located in the far northeast corner of Prague Castle. It is situated on the opposite side of the main entrance in Hradčany Square, being part of the inner perimeter of the northern wall.

Opening hours of Golden Lane Prague

Opening hours (paid entrance):
April – October daily 9:00 – 17:00
November – March daily 9:00 – 16:00

Opening hours (free entrance):
April – October daily 5:00 – 24:00
November – March daily 6:00 – 23:00



Good to know - tips and tricks

  1. Golden Lane is located within Prague Castle, so if you want to explore the street you’ll need to go up to the castle.
      • By Metro. Malostranská station (Line A) which is a 7 minute 500m walk to the Castle. Traveling via metro is quite popular in the city as it is a convenient way of traveling from one corner of the city to another and is one of the fastest ways to reach Prague Castle.
      • By tram. Take the Line 22 or 23 to Pražský hrad or Pohořelec. Tram is probably the best and the easiest way to get to Prague Castle. The easiest way is to get down at the Pražský hrad tram stop, and you will reach the 2nd Courtyard of the Castle after a short 5 min walk.
  2. The Golden Lane can be accessed through one of the Castle’s two entrances (Circuit A, 350 CZK [14 euros]; Circuit B, 250 CZK [10 euros]).
  3. The Golden Lane is open every day of the year. Between April and October, it is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Between November and March, it is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  4. The Golden Lane is usually rammed with tourists, so we recommend heading there as soon as it opens at around 9:00 AM. We also recommend visiting it outside of business hours, when entrance is free. We suggest strolling along Golden Lane during witching hour (as night falls), as the street, free from heaving crowds of tourists, becomes a magical place. If you visit during business hours, please be cautious of pickpockets. Just like the alchemists of yesteryear, they’re also looking to strike gold on this street.
  5. Buy your skip the line tickets if you would like to avoid the long ticketing queues.
  6. There are no restaurants within Golden Lane or Prague Castle. However you could visit some of these restaurants in the Prague Castle district for an authentic taste of the local food. They are all known for their delicious food and lovely ambience:
      • U Černého Vola
      • Lo Veg
      • Kavárna Nový Svět
      • Villa Richter


For more information about Golden Lane Prague: click here and here.

For more fun and program opportunities visit our website regularly where you will find constantly updated content! For more things to do in Prague click here.

You may also be interested in...

The Golden Lane Prague is a fairytale-like street of colorful homes and cobblestoned streets that are sure to capture your imagination. It's located within the walls of Prague Castle and is said to have housed alchemists and fortune-tellers. Whether you're looking for a unique experience or just...
The Žižkov Tower Prague is the perfect place for a family day out! Located in the historic center of the city, this remarkable tower offers incredible views of Prague and the surrounding area. The tower offers a café, a bar, and a restaurant. Visitors can also take a walk up to the top of the...
Prague Zoo is a great destination for families with children. It is home to over 5,000 animals, including elephants, lions, giraffes, and much more. There are also plenty of interactive activities, such as a petting zoo, a mini-train, and a playground, to keep the little ones entertained. With its...
The John Lennon Wall in Prague is one of the most iconic walls in the world, gaining international fame since the 1980s. The wall is adorned with graffiti, messages and artwork dedicated to the memory of the late Beatle, John Lennon. The wall has been a symbol of hope, love, and peace since its...
The Astronomical Clock in Prague is a unique and beautiful clock located in the Old Town Square. It was first installed in 1410 and still operates today, showing the time, the position of the sun, and other astronomical features. The clock has become a popular tourist attraction and symbol of...
Sea World Prague is a great place for families to have a fun day out. This unique park offers a variety of activities for all ages. There are also shows featuring exotic animals, interactive exhibits and educational activities. With plenty of shopping and other things to do, Sea World Prague is...
The DinoPark Harfa in Prague is a great destination for families who are looking for an exciting and educational experience. The Dino Park Prague officially opened to the public in May 2021, and visitors can explore the park from dawn until dusk. With a variety of activities and attractions, the...
The Lego Museum in Prague is the perfect place for a fun, educational and memorable day with your kids. With over a million pieces of Lego on display, the museum has something for everyone. Kids will have a blast exploring the various exhibits, playing with their favorite characters, learning...
Prague is home to one of the best water parks in Europe. Water World Prague is located in the heart of the city. It offers a wide variety of water attractions and activities that the whole family can enjoy. Whether you want to take a leisurely ride on the lazy river, race down one of the many...
Madame Tussauds Prague is a world-renowned wax museum located in the heart of Prague, Czech Republic. Visitors can get up close and personal with some of the world’s most famous figures from politics, entertainment, sports, music, and more. From Albert Einstein and Václav Havel to Salvador Dalí...
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Every year, millions of people visit Prague to experience its rich culture, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife. One of the best times to visit Prague is during the...
Prague boat trip is a great way to explore the city in one day. It offers a unique and enjoyable experience, allowing visitors to sail along the Vltava (Moldva) River and take in the sights of Prague from the comfort of a boat. The tour includes stops at many of the city's most famous and iconic...
The Prague Castle is a must-see for anyone visiting the Czech Republic. Located in the heart of the city, the castle is the largest ancient castle in the world and one of the most impressive palaces in Europe. Visitors can explore the castle’s grounds, take a tour of the interior and marvel at the...
Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the magnificent Charles Bridge in Prague! In this article, we'll take you on a journey across the Charles Bridge Prague, sharing captivating details and insider insights to help you experience its romantic charm. So, let's embark on this adventure together!...
Welcome to Wenceslas Square Prague, a historic landmark nestled in the heart of the capital city of the Czech Republic. With its rich history and architectural splendor, Wenceslas Square offers visitors a captivating journey back in time to the city's old days. In this article, we invite you to...