Julie Czech Republic 7 Comments

Prague is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. This was the only large Eastern European city to survive WWII without being destroyed by bombs. With gothic towers, ancient cathedrals, and the largest castle in the world, Prague is one of Europe’s great cities to visit.

The list of sites to visit in Prague is long. So long, in fact, it would take days to see all of them. Here is our short list of essential experiences to have in Prague, a good starting point for having the best holiday here.

Stroll Across Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge (Karlov Most) is one of the most famous pedestrian bridges in the world, connecting the Old Town to Mala Strana. It’s gorgeous at sunset, it’s crowded midday, and it is always a joy to stroll across.

Charles Bridge

Lesser Town Old Tower

View of the Lesser Town Tower at the end of Charles Bridge

Visit the Old Town Square

The Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti) has been the market square for Prague since the 11th century. Now it is a landmark of the city and a popular tourist attraction.

Old Town Square Prague

This is a colorful, vibrant, busy place, day and night. Go shopping at the market, visit the iconic Tyn Church, and ogle at our next must-have experience, the astronomical clock.

Watch the Hourly Show at the Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock is a complicated mechanism that shows several different versions of time. Every hour, the clock puts on a brief show: a skeleton rings his bell, twelve apostles walk by, a rooster crows, and then the clock chimes.

Astronomical Clock

Old Town Clock Prague

Crowd at the Clock

The astronomical clock draws quite the crowd of people!

We didn’t think the show quite lived up to the hype, but even so, it is still one of those things that you must see while in Prague.

Climb the Towers of Prague

Prague is called “The Golden City of A Hundred Spires” and there is no better way to view this cityscape than from the top of its many gothic towers.

The Old Town Hall

Tyn Church

For the best view over the Old Town Square, climb to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower. The Old Town Hall is located next to the astronomical clock.

Old Town Tower Bridge

Charles Bridge View

Golden City of Spires

This tower is located at the end of the Charles Bridge closest to the Old Town Square. From the top of this tower, the views of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle are unbeatable.

Lesser Town Bridge Tower

Lesser Town Tower View

St Nicholas Church

This tower is located at the other end of the Charles Bridge, closest to Mala Strana. It offers another unique perspective of the Charles Bridge.

Powder Tower

Powder Tower View

Of all of the towers we climbed, the Powder Tower was the least crowded. Located a short walk from the Old Town Square, this tower once served as an entrance gate in Prague’s Old Town wall.

Wander through Mala Strana

Mala Strana, also called the Lesser Town, is home to some of Prague’s most famous sites, including the Prague Castle and St. Nicholas Church. This is a lovely place to go for a stroll, go window-shopping, and take more photos of this gorgeous city.

Mala Strana

The Lennon Wall

When John Lennon was killed in 1980, this wall was covered with memorial graffiti overnight. Every night the police would paint over the graffiti and the next day it would reappear. John Lennon’s ideas gave the Czech people hope during communist rule, so this wall became a symbol of freedom.

Lennon Wall

Lennon Wall Prague

Visit Prague Castle

Prague Castle dominates the skyline of the city. It looms over Charles Bridge and Mala Strana, forming one of the most recognizable views of Prague.

The Prague Castle complex is the largest castle in the world. It is still in use today and is one of Prague’s most visited landmarks.

Prague Castle

Hours: Castle: 6:00 – 22:00; Historical buildings: 9:00 – 17:00; reduced hours in winter
Cost: prices vary depending on the tour you choose. Visit the official website for full details.

St. Vitus Cathedral

Tucked away inside the Prague Castle is St. Vitus Cathedral. This gothic cathedral dates back to 1344 when construction first began. The St Vitus Cathedral is the site of coronation of Czech kings and queens and the place of burial for saints and noblemen.

St Vitus Cathedral

For those who want another bird’s eye view over Prague, climb the 287 steps to the top of the spire of the cathedral.

St Vitus Cathedral View

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church is a beautiful, Baroque church. It is located in Mala Strana just down the hill from Prague Castle.

For us, the highlight here was the view from the bell tower. In fact, this was one of our favorite viewpoints of the city. From here, you have an excellent view of the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral.

View from St Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Bell Tower

Prague Street

Try a Trdelnik

This was our favorite snack in Prague. Similar to a cinnamon roll, a trdelnik is dough that is wrapped around a pole, grilled, and then topped with sugar. It’s a delicious treat and it can be found all over Prague.

Trdelnik

Visit the Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter, also called the Jewish Ghetto or Josefov, is a small area near the Old Town where Jewish people were permitted to live in Prague. At one time, it is estimated that over 18,000 people lived in this small area. Buildings, synagogues, and tombstones crowded together in this small space.

Now, the Jewish Quarter looks much different. Several of the old buildings stand among the more modern architecture. The best place to get an idea of just how crowded it was in the Jewish Quarter is at the Old Jewish Cemetery. Tombstones are literally stacked on top of one another.

Jewish Cemetery

Don’t miss the Old New Synagogue. Built in 1270, it is the oldest synagogue in Eastern Europe.

Old New Synagogue

Enjoy a glass or three of Czech Beer

The Czech Republic is known for brewing some of the world’s best beer. There are numerous pubs and beer halls to visit in Prague. We tried U Fleku and U Medvidku, but the list is endless.

For more recommendations, check out this list on the Prague Stay website.

One Final View of Prague at Petrin Tower

As you can tell by now, we are big fans of climbing towers for the best views over the city. There’s just something about gazing out at a city skyline that excites us.

Petrin Tower looks like a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower. Climb the 299 steps to the top for another spectacular view of the city.

Prague Castle View

Petrin Tower View

Where We Stayed

We stayed at Hotel Paris, a beautiful, 5-star hotel located within walking distance of the Old Town Square. The hotel is a historical monument in Prague and filled with Art Nouveau accents.


Have you been to Prague? What was your favorite experience? Comment below!

Are you planning a trip to the Czech Republic? Read all of our articles about the Czech Republic in our Czech Republic Destination Guide.

 

Prague Best things to do

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Comments 7

  1. Oh on my last visit to Prague I visited most of the places you mentioed but left few like Petrin Tower, Jewish quater and Lenon wall. I just stayed for 2 days and I didnot plan well that’s why I missed those places. What about dancing house? Did you go there ?

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      Author
  2. Hi Julie!
    Loved Ur Prague itinerary.we plan to be here fr 2 and a half days.

    cud u help me with info as to which attractions/places / sights it’s necessary to book tickets to in advance?
    Is buying a transport pass necessary to move around in the city?
    Thnks

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      Author

      Out of everything on this list, the Prague Castle would be the only thing that I would recommend reserving in advance. As for the tower climbs, I do not think that you can purchase your tickets in advance. The Old Town Tower Bridge and the Lesser Town Tower Bridge would have the longest lines, I would imagine (when we did this there were no lines, but it was May 2011 so it’s been awhile). We got around mostly by walking, with an occasional ride on the metro, so a transport card is not necessary in my opinion, unless your hotel is not centrally located. Cheers, Julie

  3. Hi
    I very much enjoyed your information on Prague and other parts of the country.
    I am spending 14 days in Prague to relax and just see the sites along with several day trips.
    Thank you for all the information and I will put it to good use!!
    Tim

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      Author

      If you will be in the Czech Republic for 5 nights, you could stay in Prague the entire time and use this as a home base. Prague needs at least two full days. Cesky Krumlov is a great day trip from Prague. Other ideas for day trips include Bohemia Switzerland National Park (located on the border with Germany, good if you like hiking and being outdoors), Kutna Hora and the Sedlec Ossuary, or Karlovy Vary. Cheers, Julie

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