First of all, what can you expect from a trip to Prague?
Prague in Czech Republic is one of the most popular cities in Europe and it‘s on most travel itineraries… and for good reasons.
For many visitors it’s known for one of the most popular bridges, the Charles Bridge. Then you have sights like the castle, the Petrin tower, the Astronomical Clock and the Narodni museum.
And yes, you should make sure to see those, but then you should also consider experiencing a bit more of Prague, maybe a bit like a local.
When I’m traveling, for me it’s the mix of visiting the tourist sights and then giving it a bit more of a local touch as well. The well known sights are well known for good reasons. But paying triple the price for food and drinks in an average or sometimes even low quality restaurant, only because it’s next to an iconic sight – that’s not needed.
Quite often you just need to walk around that next corner and you find that “normal” or “local” experience. Walk a bit further and it shall get even better.
That’s what I did during my trip to Prague. It was excellent weather and I walked until my feet hurt, then I jumped onto the tram (here’s our guide on Prague public transport) and hopped on scooters, so that I’m able to share the following recommendations with you. Also check out the VisitCzechRepublic tourism website for more info, who we partnered up with to do this trip.
My recommendations for your trip to Prague
There are some incredible Prague sights around the city, here’s my guide on how to include all of them (and some lesser-known ones) during your trip to Prague.
Old Town Hall with the Astronomical Clock Tower
This is a must-visit place on your trip to Prague and you won’t miss it anyway when you like exploring a city on foot. The Old Town Hall is right in the center and at the Meridian square.
Take a look at the Astronomical Clock and try to figure it out. I wasn’t. Each hour you will see many people lining up at the facade to see the twelve apostles, who will appear.
Then also make sure to go inside, as you can take a look at the Council Chamber, which has beautifully decorated doors and you can feel the history in it.
There is also a small gothic chapel, which was partly destroyed and which got renovated. Take a look at the colorful windows.
From the chapel you can also spot the twelve apostles, who wait to show themselves to the audience every full hour.
It’s definitely worth walking up the clock tower, not only because of its view (check out some of the other best views in Prague). There is an elevator which could bring you up, but when you enter that one, you’ll miss its style. If you don’t walk up, remember to walk down.
And from the top of the Clock Tower, you have a great view over Prague.
Take a look towards the East and you’ll spot the Church of Our Lady before Týn. What do you spot? What’s unusual? Can you name one church which stands at the main square and where its entrance is blocked by other buildings?
I was told that those buildings were built by merchants who wanted to show their power towards the church.
Then also take a look at the two towers. Do they look the same? No, one of them is a bit bigger, but they are more or less the same height. Each of them has those eight beautiful spikes. So beautiful and blocked by buildings… also quite a story.
Walk into Celetna street, to the right of the “Church of Our Lady before Tyn” (such a long name. Let’s call it Church Tyn from now on in this article). Stay on Celetna street, until the next street turns right. Stop and look up to see the…
In general, it’s always worth looking up when on in Prague. The architecture alone will regularly surprise you with murals and other little highlights.
The statue is located at the right corner of the building. The house itself is also of interest, as it looks different from the others, as it’s a cubist building. Characteristics are the dominance of the surface and the clear edges reminiscent of a cube.
Keep this spot in mind to come back to, as it’s for sure an experience to sit on the balcony on the first floor and to have a drink while you watch the people pass by.
Walk a bit further down Celetna street and you will spot…
The Powder Tower
This is a beautiful gothic tower and it’s one of the old and original city gates. When walking the distance towards it, you get a feel for the size of the city in the past. Nowadays it separates the Old and the New Town. You will see similarities to the tower of the Charles Bridge, which was used as inspiration to build this one.
Walk through the Powder Tower onto the Republic Square and then turn to your left to spot the…
It was closed when I was there, but I’m sure it’s worth going inside, as the outside is already stunning.
The Art Nouveau building is now a venue for events, exhibitions and concerts. The Municipal House is also the seat of the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
Do you have time for a coffee? Then visit Kavarna Obecni dum inside the Municipal House. Looks impressive, right? It’s one of the most beautiful cafes in Prague. And this looks like a perfect place to have a Sunday morning breakfast, if you ask me.
Just a bit further you’ll find the Cerveny Jelen / Red Stag restaurant and the Manifesto Market Florenc. If you are hungry, check our post on where to eat in Prague for more info.
Are you still fit? Walk (10 minutes) towards the North (North-West) or take the tram 6, 8, 15 or 26 for two stops. Then it’s only a five-minute walk to the West to visit the…
National Gallery Prague – Convent of St. Agnes
The Convent of St. Agnes is directly opposite of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, which is also an impressive building.
It’s a Monastery complex from the 13th century in Prague’s Old Town. Here you’ll find a permanent exhibition on medieval sacral art of Bohemia and Central Europe. Maybe you like to see things like that. I’m not into it, but it was still nice to stroll through, especially on a hot day, as it’s nice & cool inside. And you can feel the history when walking through the cloisters.
By the way, at the East Entrance, at the corner of the Ministry building, you can spot the Rasnovka street. This is a nice little photo spot.
From here you could walk back towards the Old Town Hall with its Astronomical Clock which is a 15 minute walk. Or you go back to the tram stop and take the tram 3, 14 or 24 and get out at…
No idea why it’s called a square, which should have four sides with the same length. The Wenceslas ‘Square’ is definitely a boulevard, as it’s 750 meters long and ‘only’ 60 meter wide.
Let’s ignore this little detail, as it’s one of the largest urban ‘squares’ in Europe.
When I was there, they were busy renovating it and you could already see that it’s going to look really nice. So make sure to visit it.
From here you also get a good view of the…
The National Museum is the leading museum in the Czech Republic on cultural and natural history. It has numerous collections and exhibition buildings. It is itself also a historically significant building. As you are close by, take a look and walk inside.
Very close to the Wenceslas Square you’ll also find the Lucerna Passage. The cinema entrance looks good and just in front of it you’ll find the statue ‘Kun’ (horse), made by the artist David Cerny.
On the Wenceslas square you’ll find a statue of St. Wenceslas (the duke of Bohemia) on a horse. David Cerny decided to let him ride on a horse as well, but the rider (St. Wenceslas) is mounted on the belly of an overturned horse, holding a standard in his right hand. The ensemble does not rest on any base and it is high up, attached by ropes to the ceiling of the dome.
And while you are already that close visit the Lucerna Rooftop bar. Check out more info in our food and drinks in Prague post.
National Theatre, Prague
Right next to the Vltava River (Moldau) you’ll find the National Theater. This is an impressive building, from the inside & outside. The National Theater (Národní divadlo) is the most important theater & opera house in Prague.
It was opened in 1881 and its cultural and symbolic importance is central to the last hundred years of Czech national history, especially in the second half of the 19th century during the Czech National Renaissance.
Check it out on your visit!
The theater closed in 2016 and builders & restorers started their work for 42 months. It was worth it. Parts of the stage can be lowered, so that more seats can be added, depending if not all the space is needed. Pretty cool, but the best was the atmosphere in it. You could feel & see the history.
Kayaking on the Vltava River
Looking onto a city from the river gives you a completely different perspective. It does not matter if it’s from a ship or from a kayak.
I’ve chosen the kayak, as it’s a lot of fun and it’s up to me where to go and for how long.
You can rent kayaks and also Stand-Up-Paddles (SUPs) at the Kayak Beach Bar. This also makes a great spot to enjoy a drink afterwards.
The Vltava river is dammed up at several locations, which narrows a bit the area where you can paddle, but there is still enough to explore.
First I paddled North beneath three bridges towards the city center. Take a waterproof bag / drybag with you, so that you can bring your phone or camera. Then hold still and take a nice photo.
Along the bank you’ll find several ships, which are restaurants or bars now. The waterfront is a popular spot for locals and tourists. Glide past the boats and enjoy the atmosphere.
The Vltava River didn’t have a lot of current when I was there, so it was pretty easy to paddle also against the stream. So I headed towards the Yacht Club Cere Novy Prostor. The moment you pass the Vyšehrad National Cultural Monument (East side), it feels like you are out of town. It gets quiet and the hectic noise of the city is gone.
When you pass into the calm side arm at the Yacht Club, you should be able to find the muskrats. Stay very quiet and approach them very slowly and you should be able to take a nice photo of them. But respect them and don’t stay too long, so that they can go ahead with what they do.
This little kayak trip is easily done in 1.5 – 2 hours, if you go slowly and take your time.
Nákladové nádraží Žižkov
Explore the largest and best preserved industrial monument in Prague. This was an old Freight Station of the First Republic Czechoslovak State Railway.
The individual buildings have been preserved and are now on the list of national cultural monuments.
The site is now partly abandoned and dilapidated. The complex consists of an administration building and two perpendicularly connected warehouse buildings.
Let’s swap the side of the river Vltava and head to the East & North bank.
The John Lennon Wall is a street art and graffiti wall in Prague, inscribed with love poems and political messages since the 1960s and painted with John Lennon inspired street art and parts of John Lennon and Beatles song lyrics, since the 1980s.
First the wall was inscribed with love poems, short messages against the communist regime and the Russian occupation since the 1960s.
Then it got further decorated after the assassination of John Lennon. He stood and still stands as a symbol of freedom, western culture and political struggle. An unknown artist painted a single picture of the singer-songwriter and some lyrics.
The anniversary of Lennon’s death, December 8, became a day of unofficial meetings that increasingly turned into protests against the regime. So this is more than just a colorful wall.
St. Nicholas Church
The St. Nicholas Church is an impressive Baroque church in the Lesser Town of Prague. You can get there with a nice walk over the Charles Bridge.
The monumental building is one of the most important baroque church buildings in Europe. The magnificent interior represents a high point of Baroque art and was intended to symbolize the power of the Catholic Church.
Vystaviste Praha Holesovice
The area serves as a venue for fairs, concerts, cultural events and the spring fair. On my visit there was a very nice design market. Each of the stalls offered unique products.
There is also the Krizik Fountain, which is a large outdoor amphitheater. Here you can watch some live music and other shows like operas & ballets.
I then decided to visit the Gauč na Výstavišti beer garden (one of many that I enjoyed during my trip to Prague). 🙂
Take a look at our travel guide for the best beer gardens in Prague.
Luxury: Hotel Smetana
I stayed in the 5 star Smetana Hotel, which is located right next to the Vltava river. They have several rooms which offer spectacular views over the Charles Bridge. The charming private garden in the courtyard is an ideal place for breakfast or to drink a coffee in the afternoon. For an extra special atmosphere, ask for one of the rooms which has frescoes. Those were uncovered during a renovation. They also have spacious and magnificent suites on the second floor of the palace which are thematically decorated. And if you are interested, you can book history here. Mozart composed his Six German Dances and you can book exactly the same room.
Boutique Hotel: Three Storks
Apartment: Honest Apartments
Hostel: The Roadhouse Prague
Check out our other Prague tips
- Prague Travel Guide: What you Need to Know
- Best Day Trips From Prague
- Best Things to Do in Prague
- The Perfect 3-day Prague Itinerary
- Tips for Holidays in Prague with Kids
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