Prague is one of Europe's most beautiful cities, offering numerous fun attractions and activities for all kinds of visitors, including digital nomads. Spending a few days in the city is just not enough to see all the fascinating things it offers. I have created the Prague Travel Guide with my top 13 things to see and do.
As the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague is a massive city home to around 1.3 million people. It has a temperate climate with warm summers and chilly winters, making it a great destination to visit all year round.
Home to one of Europe's best-preserved historic city centers, Prague's charming Old Town boasts spectacular squares lined with historical buildings that are a joy to explore.
If you're looking for a comprehensive Prague travel guide, you've come to the right place. Below, we've rounded up the top things to see and do in Prague.
1. Wander Along Charles Bridge
The impressive Charles Bridge is one of Europe's most recognizable old bridges. Boasting unique points of interest in its more than 500-meter length, the bridge was constructed in 1357 and has long been a subject of myths and legends.
One of the statues you'll find on Charles Bridge is that of St. John of Nepomuk, which locals call the Good Luck Statue. According to a legend, St. John of Nepomuk was tortured to death when he refused to reveal the queen's confessional secret. His tortured body was thrown off the bridge, causing one of the arches to collapse. Yet, every attempt to fix the arches has not been a success, so locals believe it was a punishment for St. John's fate.
It's easy to locate Charles Bridge. If you are from Prague Castle, you can walk towards Mostecká street, coming from the Malostranské náměstí square to get to the bridge. You can also get here on a tram.
2. Explore the Old Town Square
Head to Prague's historic Old Town center, also called “Stare Mesto,” where you will find the bustling Old Town Square or Staromestské námestí. It's a great base to start exploring the city since many of Prague's attractions are only a walking distance from here.
Some famous attractions in the Old Town are Tyn Church and Clementinum. You will also find numerous beautiful old churches and some old structures dating back to as early as the 11th century. Go for a short walk up north, where you will find Josefov, the Jewish Quarter.
In the center of the square, you will find the statue of religious reformer Jan Hus, whose body was burned in Konstanz due to his beliefs. His death led to the Hussite Wars. Known as “Jan Hus Memorial,” it was built on July 6, 1915, to mark Jan Hus' 500th death anniversary.
3. Admire the Hourly Show of the Astronomical Clock
Another popular attraction in Prague's Old Town Center is the Old Town Hall or Staromestská radnice, where you will find the 15th Century Astronomical Clock. Seeing the clock is the highlight of your visit to the square. Every hour, the clock springs to life as the 12 apostles and other figures appear and march in procession across the face of the clock.
Another highlight of the Old Town Hall is the Gothic doorway leading to the town hall's fascinating art exhibits and displays. You will also find a 13th-century chapel and an old prison as you get inside the door. Climb to the top of the Old Town Hall using the stairs or elevator, where you can marvel at the city's most panoramic views.
4. Stroll Around Mala Strana
Mala Strana, or the “Little Quarter,” is a picturesque district with beautiful Renaissance palaces and gardens in an idyllic riverside setting. Home to the magnificent baroque church of St Nicholas, the majestic Wallenstein Garden, and fantastic museums, it is a fun place to stroll around. You will also find great restaurants and cafes in the area, where you can stop for a break to enjoy refreshments.
As the center of Prague, Mala Strana is an ideal base for exploring some of the city's top attractions. It's where you will find Charles Bridge, linking Malá Strana to Staré Město on the river's far side.
Mala Strana is also home to St Nicholas Church, one of Europe's finest baroque buildings. The other attractions in the area are the Museum of the Infant Jesus of Prague, Petrin hill, and the John Lennon Wall.
5. Discover the Prague Castle
Your visit to Prague won't be complete without discovering the magnificent Prague Castle, the city's top attraction. Set in the neighborhood of Hradcany, it used to be the residence of Bohemian kings. The castle is now the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic.
Built in 870 AD as a walled fortress, the Prague Castle has significantly changed over the years and features some of the finest architectural styles from the last millennium. When strolling within the castle walls, you will find numerous tourist attractions, including the St George's Basilica, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Powder Tower, Golden Lane, and the Old Royal Palace.
As one of the world's largest castle complexes, exploring the vast area of Prague Castle requires a considerable amount of time, but it's worth it, especially since it overlooks the stunning views over the Vltava River and the Old Town.
6. Visit St. Vitus Cathedral
One of the attractions you'll find within the grounds of Prague Castle is the St. Vitus Cathedral, considered the largest and most significant Roman Catholic Church of the Czech Republic. It's the seat of the country's Archbishop and houses numerous tombs of saints and three Bohemian kings.
St. Vitus Cathedral was built on the site of a Romanesque rotunda in 925 AD. Constructed started in 1344, taking more than 500 years to complete. The cathedral features a mix of modern Neo-Gothic and 14th Century Gothic styles with Baroque and Renaissance influences. Among its prominent features are the impressive gargoyles flanking the cathedral's exterior. Inside, be sure to check out the stained-glass windows depicting the Holy Trinity.
You should also check out the St. Wenceslas Chapel, which has a magnificent jewel-encrusted altar with over a thousand precious stones. Although rarely displayed, you will also find the Czech crown jewels in the cathedral, exhibited once every eight years. Make your way to the cathedral's tower, where you can admire the splendid views of Prague.
7. Climb The Towers of Prague
One of the best things about Prague is you'll find many places to enjoy a bird's eye view of the city. The city has many towers that are worth the climb. Each one opens to magnificent views, including Prague's historic squares, beautiful mosaic of roofs, lovely bridges, and the scenic Vltava River. In addition, the towers feature different architectural styles.
Some of the best towers worth climbing in Prague are the Lesser Town Bridge Towers, the Mirror Maze, Old Town Bridge Tower, New Mill Water Tower, and the Old Town Hall Tower.
8. Check out the Dancing House
One of Prague's most captivating buildings is the Dancing House, a modern architectural marvel built from 1992 to 1996 by famous architect Frank Gehry. The building consists of two adjoining towers featuring unique curves that resemble two dancing figures. One of the towers looks like a woman wearing a skirt. Thus, it's also called “Fred and Ginger,” named after famous American dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
As a commercial building, the Dancing House consists mainly of offices. There's also a hotel in the building, with a top-floor restaurant where you can enjoy great city views. At the main level is a café to indulge in refreshing drinks and snacks.
9. Join a Food Tour
Over recent years, Prague is becoming a popular destination for foodies. People from different walks of life would come here to sample its delectable favorites, such as pork and beef dumplings and the classic fried cheese. The best way to discover the city's dynamic food scene is to join a food tour. From indulging in delicious beers to gorging on the most delectable Czech foods, the dining scene of Prague has so much to offer.
Joining a food tour is the best way to learn about Prague's fascinating food culture. Led by a local foodie, the culinary journey will take you to the city's top neighborhoods, where you can partake different traditional Czech foods. You will also learn some interesting insights about the places you pass by and the food you get to taste along the way. Some food tours will take you to bustling markets and the city's top restaurants and cafes.
10. Visit the Jewish Quarter
If you want to learn more about Prague's Jewish community, visit Josefov, the Jewish Quarter. Originally it was established in the Castle District and later spread to the Josefov area around 1200, and for many centuries, it was regarded as a ghetto. Its transformation into one of Prague's most significant districts happen around the late 1800s when large sections of the area were demolished and replaced by Art Nouveau apartment buildings.
Nowadays, Josefov is a lovely area to stroll around. Here, you'll stumble upon the Jewish Museum, the Spanish Synagogue, Ceremonial Hall, and the Pinkas Synagogue. You should also check out the Old Jewish Cemetery, with its weathered tombstones. Many of them are in a disorderly fashion due to old age. Those looking to dine at a kosher restaurant will find plenty of options in this neighborhood.
11. See the Strahov Monastery and Library
Built around the 12th century, the Strahov Monastery and Library is Prague's second oldest monastery and an impressive attraction to explore. The beautifully decorated Baroque libraries house a collection of extraordinary furnishings, including a gorgeous ceiling with paintings by Franz Anton Maulbertsch.
The other library, called the Theological Library, has a splendid Baroque room with a beautifully painted ceiling along with superb frescoes framed by beautiful stucco work. These libraries hold many rare old manuscripts and volumes, including the 9th-century Strahov Gospel. The cellars have old printing presses along with the remains of St. Norbert, who founded the Premonstratensian Order. Check out the cloisters, which hold a beguiling art collection and treasury, and the captivating Strahov Cabinet of Curiosities, recognized for its remarkable historical artifacts.
Visitors can join English-language tours when exploring the monastery. After exploring the monastery, visit the Great Monastery Restaurant to relax and enjoy some meals.
12. Try the Czech Beer
As the birthplace of Pilsner, Prague produces some of the world's best beer. If you're a beer lover, trying Czech beer should be on top of your list of things to do in Prague. You can also join tours centered around the city's thriving beer culture, where you venture off the tourist path and connect with locals over a glass of ice-cold beer.
The beer tours of Prague are also a great way to learn about the history of craft brewing in the city dubbed the world's beer capital. Some of the highlights include visiting local microbreweries, beer bars, and medieval buildings that have been brewing beer for centuries.
13. Book a Scenic River Cruise
One of the best ways to explore Prague is to cruise down the majestic Vltava River. At 270 miles long, it is the longest river in the Czech Republic, joining the Elba River along its course and originating from a confluence of two streams. You will find numerous sightseeing river cruises in Prague, such as an hour-long river cruise with lunch or a sunset cruise with a sumptuous dinner. Some of the evening cruises include live music, although the highlight is the spectacular views of Prague that look even more magical at night when illuminated with lights.
Enjoy the numerous architectural marvels along the river, from pastel-colored buildings adorned with lavish ornaments to historical baroque architecture. Some of the famous attractions you could see are Prague Castle, the Astronomical Clock and the church of Our Lady Before Tyn. These cruises also include audio commentary in various languages, such as English, French, and Spanish.