I’m sure you all know by now just how obsessed I am with city breaks, and in particular cities in Europe. So when I started doing some freelance travel writing for a client all about Prague, my interest was instantly piqued.
I messaged Matt saying that we should go to Prague before Christmas and before I knew it we’d booked flights and a gorgeous apartment for four nights all for less than £400 each…
With that in mind, I wanted to share with you the best things to see and do in Prague as we did so much while we were there.
From stunning castles and cathedrals, to gorgeous streets and pieces of art, here’s an extensive list of the best things to see and do in Prague. P.S. this post is incredibly photo-heavy but Prague was just so picturesque and photogenic, it was hard not to include so many photos!
Stroll across the Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge is one of the most popular things to see and do in Prague. It dates all the way back to the 15th century and spans across the Vltava river; it was actually the only means of crossing the river up until 1841, so it was an integral means of transport for accessing Prague Castle!
We walked across the bridge multiple times during our trip to Prague but never quite found a time where it was quiet. I’d recommend visiting pretty early in the morning if you want to get great pictures of it, otherwise you’re just going to be swarmed by tourists all fighting to get their perfect shot!
The bridge itself spans 10m wide and 621m long and is the perfect place to capture stunning views of Prague castle and the river. The statues that line either side of the bridge are also a welcome feature and you could literally spend ages trying to work out what they mean.
Marvel at the complexity of Prague Castle
Did you know that Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world? It’s set over an area of more than 70,000m² and offers spectacular pieces of architecture, views over the city and an abundance of historic stories to tell.
The walk up to the castle complex itself is a true wonder to marvel at; you’ll wander through the beautiful streets of Mala Strana and up towards the castle where you’ll be greeted by a plethora of palaces and churches.
You can pay to go inside some of the churches and buildings, or you can just enjoy a lovely leisurely stroll around the complex (like we did).
One fascinating thing to see while you’re at Prague Castle is to watch the Changing of the Guard; it’s super official and you’ll see all the guards donning their finest outfits in order to be as representable as possible. The area of Prague Castle is usually always teeming with tourists so try and go as early as possible if you don’t want to queue too long to get inside. The views from the top of the complex are truly worth it for the queue, and there’s even a Starbucks at the top where you can enjoy a rewarding hot beverage after your hike up the hill!
Enjoy the stunning streets of Mala Strana
I think Mala Strana was one of my favourite places in Prague (although I think I said that about pretty much every place we visited!). It was unbelievably Instagrammable, full of gorgeous little streets and beautiful boutique shops.
With it being autumn in Prague, many of the streets were also covered in stunning leaves of varying colours which made the whole place even more spectacular. The above picture was taken right next to a little bar where we had the largest glass of wine in my life – my post all about food and drink in Prague is coming very soon!
Explore the Old Town Square
The Old Town Square of Prague is situated almost directly between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. It’s renowned for its stunning square (duh), gorgeous buildings and thriving atmosphere. Matt and I spent a lot of time in the Square during our trip and it’s definitely one of the best things to see and do in Prague.
The Old Town Square comprises of a number of the most visually pleasing churches and buildings in the whole of Prague, including the Church of Our Lady before Týn – one of Matt’s all-time favourite buildings, the Old Town Hall (complete with Astronomical Clock – see below) and St Nicholas Church.
There always seemed to be a number of incredibly cool and unique street performers in the Square too, including a giant panda (a man in a costume haha!) and people playing with fire and “floating” on a motorbike. The energy in the Square was always vibrant and eclectic, and was arguably even more beautiful at night (see below!).
Observe the wonder of the Astronomical Clock
The origins of the Astronomical Clock date all the way back to 1410, but it actually underwent a complete reconstruction and restoration earlier this year. The clock comprises of three main parts; the astronomical dial, statues of Catholic saints and a calendar dial that represents each month of the year.
While it’s absolutely fascinating and beautiful to look at, it all seemed very confusing to me and I could barely tell what time it was even supposed to be! The crowds surrounding the clock tend to get extremely busy so you may find yourself struggling to get a good picture of it, but it’s still worth seeing while you’re in the Old Town Square.
Get all the Times Square vibes at Wenceslas Square
I’m pretty sure you’re all aware of my intense obsession with New York, and everything that it has to offer, which is why I fell completely in love with Wenceslas Square while in Prague.
It’s actually more of a rectangle than a square and stretches out for more than 45,000m²! It reminded me somewhat of a much smaller, and slightly less hectic and vibrant, Times Square. It looks equally beautiful both during the day and at night time and Matt and I ate and drank very well while in the Wenceslas Square vicinity.
There’s an abundance of shops, restaurants, quirky bars and even a number of shopping malls to enjoy while in the Square. Make sure you grab some street food and sit on one of the benches and people watch for a little while; you won’t regret it!
Watch a football match
I certainly wouldn’t consider myself to be the biggest football fan in the world, but I do enjoy watching the occasional match, especially when it’s sure to be a lively and promising game!
When Matt first proposed the idea of going to a football match while we were in Prague, I was a little apprehensive at first. Primarily because he’d showed me videos like this, which meant I was a little nervous about attending!
However, I’m so unbelievably glad that we did buy tickets and go to the Sparta vs Slavia Derby match as it was SO much fun and so different to anything I’ve watched before. Apparently it’s not uncommon in the Czech Republic for football matches to be home to flares, fireworks and even sometimes actual fires so the match we attended certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard!
It was a little intimidating at first, and I’m sure it’s quite the fire hazard, but there was plenty of security to ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible. Another reason that the match we watched was so fascinating was the fact that it was the Prague derby (imagine a match between Man City and Man U or Liverpool and Everton) who are renowned to be intense rivals within Prague.
The match itself was heated and intense but the drinks were only £1 a pop and the atmosphere was absolutely eclectic so I’d definitely recommend attending a football match while you’re in Prague as it’ll give you a unique taste of the Czech culture.
Visit a rooftop bar
One thing I’ve always wanted to do in New York is to visit a rooftop bar but I’ve never been when I was the legal drinking age (sob), so when we discovered the perfect rooftop bar in Prague, I couldn’t wait to go!
Our rooftop bar of choice was at the Hotel U Prince, located right in the middle of the Old Town Square. We couldn’t believe our luck when we managed to get a table at 9.30pm on a Saturday night without pre-booking (I would definitely recommend booking however, as it can get extremely popular and busy and is well worth a visit).
We didn’t eat on the rooftop bar, but we did order a giant bottle of Prosecco as we were celebrating our anniversary of two years of living together! The rooftop bar is actually one of the top 15 hotel rooftop bars in the world so we felt incredibly lucky to be able to enjoy an evening there.
The views from the top of the hotel overlooked the Old Town Square and I did tear up quite a lot (read: I sobbed) when I saw just how stunning the views were. It really was the most magical evening to be with Matt, surrounded by delicious smelling food and wine (that was all cooked and prepared in the outdoor kitchen on the terrace!) with some of the most wonderful views in the world.
If you get the chance to visit a rooftop bar while in Prague, then definitely make it the one at Hotel U Prince; it’s absolutely one of the best things to see and do in Prague.
Enjoy being a child again at Hamleys
Of course, Hamleys isn’t something that’s unique to Prague and is probably most synonymous with London, but I think it’s probably the best toy store I’ve ever been in (including ones in America!).
Despite it only being the beginning of November when we visited, all the members of staff were dressed up as elves and there was Christmas music playing throughout the store which only added to the magic even more. Inside you’ll find a plethora of incredible toys and attractions, including a huge Merry-Go-Round and even a giant snake slide that’s suitable for everyone – yes, we certainly did go down it!
There are a number of other attractions inside the Hamleys store including a huge LEGO exhibition but some of them you have to pay for. The store was also remarkably quiet despite it being in the middle of the afternoon which is a stark contrast to the experience you have at the London Hamleys.
Go up the Old Town Hall for stunning views of Prague
On our first full day in Prague we made the most of the clear weather and ventured up the Old Town Hall for some of the most spectacular views over Prague.
Entrance to the Town Hall was 250Kč each (around £8) but you can get student tickets for around £5. The viewing platform offers 360° views all over Prague’s Old Town Square and beyond; the views are absolutely beautiful and well-worth the money to go up there.
It does get ridiculously busy on the viewing platform and people didn’t seem to quite grasp that you should only walk one way around to avoid clashing into people… However, it was still incredible and I couldn’t believe just how gorgeous Prague was from such a height.
Take pictures in front of the John Lennon Wall
Since the 1980s, the once normal wall has been covered in graffiti dedicated to the late Beatles singer, John Lennon. It first became popular after the immensely popular singer’s untimely death when someone painted a graffiti piece of art symbolising everything that John Lennon believed in.
Today, the wall is covered in a smattering of The Beatles lyrics, pictures and memories from fans all over the world. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of John Lennon or The Beatles, it’s still a great place to see while in Prague, and it makes for a wonderfully colourful backdrop.
Explore the city at night
Prague is arguably just as beautiful at night as it is during the day. We wandered around Prague pretty much every night while we were there and it’s definitely worth getting to know the Czech capital in a ‘different light’.
The Old Town Square was probably the most beautiful part of Prague at night time; the castles and churches were all spectacularly lit up and fit their Gothic personalities perfectly.
In my next Prague post, you’ll also get to see more about Prague nightlife so make sure you check it out when it’s live!
See the incredibly unique Dancing House
The Dancing House in Prague is also known as Fred and Ginger; a nickname it adopted after the iconic dancing pair. It’s one of the most modern and iconic pieces of Prague architecture and is home to an abundance of offices, a conference centre, a restaurant and an art gallery.
It can prove to be quite tricky to get a great picture of the Dancing House as there’s often a lot of traffic positioned in front of it so I’d recommend getting there as early as possible if you want to snap a picture with as minimal background noise as possible.
Ride a tram
Prague has over 500km of tram tracks in and around the city so you definitely won’t be short of a route to take while you’re there.
We used the tram quite a lot during our trip as we were lucky to have a metro station pretty much right next to our apartment. I’m gonna have a post all about my top travel tips for Prague, including valuable information all about public transport very soon so for now I’ll just say that it’s definitely worth making the most out of the tram system while you’re there.
There’s even some dedicated tram routes that are specifically intended to show you the best that Prague has to offer so make sure you do your research to see exactly where they can take you!
Fixate on the Franz Kafta Head
The outdoor sculpture of the Franz Kafta Head is 11 metres tall and comprises of 42 rotating panels.
We actually didn’t intend to see this; we just happened to stumble passed it while walking on our last evening in Prague but I’m glad we did come across it.
It’s incredibly unusual but exceptionally remarkable to see the massive structure rotate on a regular basis. It’s intended to depict the German-language writer, Franz Kafta and is one of the latest additions to Prague’s beloved architectural structures.
Eat and drink at the Výtopna Railway Restaurant
This point will make more sense when you read my food and drink post about Prague, but Výtopna is essentially a bar and restaurant that delivers your drink to you via a modern railway set.
It was one of the coolest (and nerdiest!) things I’ve ever seen but it was absolutely exhilarating seeing our drinks arrive by train! The food was good but pretty standard but it’s well worth a visit just for the awesome experience.
The queues get pretty busy so try and go as early as you can (or not at prime eating times) or book online in advance if you know exactly when you want to go.
Walk around Letenske Sady (Letna Park)
We walked through Letna Park on our way to the football match and it was one of the most beautiful parks I’d ever seen; especially during the autumn.
The whole area was smattered with autumnal leaves in all the most gorgeous colours and the views from the top of the hill over the Vltava river were absolutely beautiful.
There’s also a skate park in Letna Park and Matt and I spent a good 20 minutes watching everyone performing their impressive skills. I’m sure the park is just as glorious in the summer as it was in autumn so it’s definitely worth a visit while in Prague!
Admire all the fascinating architecture and buildings
I’m sure you’ve gathered from the abundance of images in this post already, that Prague is truly one of the most aesthetically pleasing and visually stunning cities in Europe.
I could stare at the vast amount of architecture for hours on end; from the various Synagogues, to the official buildings and beautiful apartment blocks, Prague has a building to suit everyone’s taste.
Other things to do in Prague (that we didn’t do!)
Wander around Wallenstein Garden
These gardens are only open until October so we only just missed out on the chance to see them while were we there but they’re known as one of the best things to see and do in Prague due to their sheer size and beauty.
Dating all the way back to the 17th century, the Wallenstein Garden consists of a number of ornamental pools, statues and garden area and I’m sure they’re utterly spectacular during the summer.
Investigate the KGB Museum
This museum is just one of 80 in Prague; ranging from sex machine museums to gingerbread museums to typically historic museums, you’ll never be short of some intriguing culture to indulge in!
Spend some time at the Farmer’s Market
The Farmer’s Market is another thing that we didn’t manage to get around to while in Prague but it’s something that’s widely popular with both tourists and locals for local produce, gifts and wonderful trinkets.
Take a cruise on the Vltava River
Matt and I are never really ones to explore a city via a river cruise but I have heard from a number of people that this is one of the best ways to see Prague.
Climb all the way to the top of Petrin Hill
The winding paths that lead up to the hill result in panoramic views of Prague when you eventually reach the top and there’s even a tower that offers even better views!
Writing this post has made me realise just how much we really did while in Prague and I’d go back in a heartbeat if I could! I don’t think I instantly fell in love like I did with New York or Budapest but upon reflection, it really does hold an incredibly special place in my heart and I would thoroughly recommend a city break there to anyone.
Have you ever been to Prague? Would you like to go one day? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.