Prague Travel Guide
Prague is a city of incredible wealth. Nicknamed “the city with a hundred towers,” the Czech capital is today a touristic attraction and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The beauty and variety of its cultural, historical, artistic and architectural heritage, the multitude of activities, leisure options and outings make it a city as exceptional as it is incomparable. Prague is a city in constant motion, day and night. Prague by night is quite a scene, especially considering the number of pubs, cafes, discos and cabarets!
Prague has everything to please and attract a wide range of travelers; from novice tourists to curious wanderers and discoverers. More than an open-air museum, Praha is an experience in the heart of Central Europe. Prague’s charm is active all throughout the year and in all seasons. Under the sun and heat of continental summers as well as beneath the snow that sometimes adorns the pavements and roofs of its immaculate mantle, or under the mist and a gray and rainy sky that would be depressing everywhere else. Prague is always able to reveal, like no other, its shadows and its lights, its mysteries and its legends, its treasures and its facets.
What to see in Prague
The significant advantage of Prague is the relatively small size of its historic center. This radiant “Golden Prague “unfolds around three central districts. The district of Hradcany Castle, with its impressive palace (the largest castle complex in the world) and St. Vitus Cathedral which dominates the city from a hill. The district of Mala Strana “the lesser town” with its German influence; the district of Stare Mesto, where we find the old town known for its narrow streets, churches of Our Lady on Tyn and Saint Nicolas, its old town hall, its old square, and its astronomical clock which dates back from the XV century, where every hour people gather to watch “The Twelve Apostles’ Parade”. At every street corner, with every facade or church, you will be amazed, surprised or attracted by a discovery. Start with a tour of the sights and monuments of the old town and then hike up to the castle by crossing Charles Bridge. That’s an excellent intro to get acquainted with the heritage and richness of Prague.
The old town of Prague is connected to the Castle and Mala Strana by Charles Bridge which is a vital link as much as it is a work of art with its magnificent sculptures. Very close to the old town is another neighborhood not to be missed, Josefov. It is the former Jewish quarter of Prague and the birth place of the famous writer Franz Kafka. Renovated in the late nineteenth century, for sanitary reasons, Josefov has since been transformed into a bourgeois district, especially following the terrible events of the Holocaust. Here you will find sites such as the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Old New Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, and the Jewish Museum.
What to do in Prague
Walk along magnificent Charles Bridge: the view is spectacular. Along the entire bridge you will find painters, musicians, dancers and other artists and entertainers. Walk around early in the morning or at sunset for the best experience.
Hike up Petrin Hill: If this tower seems rather familiar to you, this is because it actually represents a small replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Although it is only 60 meters high, there is an unforgettable view of the city from the top.
Visit the wall of John Lennon: A mural was painted as an homage to the late pop star, with thousands of scribbles, pieces of poetry, and all sorts of political graffiti.
Daze in Czech architecture: In Prague, magnificent buildings can be found all around from different epochs and styles, ranging from Romanesque and Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque and even medieval! You can spend days on end marveling at the city’s architectural treasures.
Visit Prague Castle: This castle dates from the year 870 and was the seat of the former Czech kings. Today it’s a famous tourist attraction and the site of many events, concerts, etc. Also popular is the changing of the guards that you can witness every day.
Check out the Czech Museum of Music: The music museum is located in the baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene where there is a unique collection of musical instruments. Every first Thursday of the month, the entrance to the museum is free!
Visit the Church of Our Lady on Tyn: This church is the most remarkable building on the Old Town Square. It has two recognizable towers and a Baroque style interior. Some say that this church was an inspiration for Walt Disney’s castle.
Make a pit stop at a local pub: If you have not yet loved Prague for its culture, you will love it for its nightlife, and when you find the right pub (Hint: keep away from the main squares), you will be able to drink delicious Czech beers at prices that are significantly lower than in other European capitals.
Have a Beer: Yes Beer! The other jewel in the crown of Prague. This city is a true beer paradise, and if you’re a beer enthusiast then you’ve come to the right place, not only because it is delicious and there’s a wide variety to choose from, but also because it is very cheap!
And finally, but perhaps the most important thing, get lost in the charming narrow streets of Prague, because in every corner you will find something to fall in love with, something to take a picture of, a sculpture to discover, or a cozy spot to simply watch people passing by…
You can also visit the main Bohemian crystal factory Nizbor in the vicinity of Prague, the mining town, or Kutna Hora with its famous bone church and cathedral, or one of the renowned spa towns like Karlovy Vary or Marianske Lazne, which are all viable options for day trips.
Yes, Prague is a fairy-tale town. Its churches, bridges and towers seem to have been torn from history and glued into our present day. Prague is culture, it is romanticism, it is mystery, and it is gastronomy… But above all, it is magic.
Recommended places to stay
– Post Hostel Prague: Located in the outskirts on the city, this modern hostel has plenty of elbow room and a friendly helpful staff who will go out of their way to accommodate and insure a comfortable and memorable stay. Impeccable cleanliness. Cozy and bright rooms, a large common area and a delightful decor. Would recommend this place to anyone looking for a relaxing yet eventful stay in Prague.
Recommended things to do
–The Prague All Inclusive Tour: This comprehensive, informative and fun tour simply gives you the best of Prague in a day starting from the castle all the way down to the old town square with even a boat ride along the river giving you an overview of its history, its gems and all its main sights as well as a taste of the local food and culture!
–Alchemy and Mysteries Walking Tour: Prague was actually home to plenty of Alchimists back in the day. Spend a couple of hours exploring this mysterious side of Prague and it’s castle district with Mysterium Tours and their awesome Alchemy and Mysteries Walking Tour.
–Absolute Hidden Prague: Move away from the crowds and explore hidden alleyways and neighborhoods, quiet streets, secret gardens, tucked away corners and a giant rotating Franz Kafka head with Absolute Tours on their incredibly interesting, fun and informative Absolute Hidden Prague Tour.
–Communism and Nuclear Bunker Tour: Get an insight into the history of Czech Communism, cold-war era and life behind the iron curtain on this excursion, which is full of info, interesting tidbits and humor. The final stage of the tour is a Descent into an actual 1950’s bunker, 4 floors under the city, complete with tunnels, decontamination, rooms, and a command center.
–Prague Evening Food Tour: An outstanding evening of culture, conversation, and excellent food. A great way to experience the city on the one hand and to experience the Czech cuisine on the other as you stroll around some authentic restaurants, cafes and landmarks around town. Our guide Jan was incredibly informative, funny and knowledgeable.
–Kutna Hora Tour: Head over to the Czech mining town of Kutna Hora and its Bone Church on this was a really unique experience. the bones of about 40000 people who died from the plague and war arranged in the most fascinating patterns and used to decorate the interior of this church, including an amazing chandelier. Intriguing , creepy and definitely worth a visit!
–Bohemian Switzerland: Spend the day walking around the incredible nature of The Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland National Parks. The views were absolutely breathtaking, so expect beautiful scenery, an active day, a fantastic lunch with beer, dessert, and a great guide who’s easy going, accommodating and really knowledgeable about all the sites, being a native of the area.