Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful and elegant cities in Europe. It has several nicknames, the most popular of them being the “Heart of Europe,” “Mother of Cities,” “Golden City of One Hundred Spires” and more. Culture, nightlife, shopping, art and heritage – you name it and Prague represents all of these elements! One trip is never enough to cover the entire beauty of Prague, as the city houses too many historic buildings, cathedrals, museums and other things to explore. However, some of the top things that you could do on your first trip here, are listed in the following sections.
Top 10 things to see and do in Prague
If you are looking to visit a top tourist attraction in Prague for free, you have to take a walk along the historic Charles Bridge, an iconic structure in the city. Charles IV commissioned this bridge in 1357. Known for its intricate statues and scenic beauty, this bridge has inspired countless poets and authors for many centuries. Stretching all the way from Prague Castle to the Old Town, this walk is best enjoyed at night or during sunrise.
St. Vitus Cathedral
Located right in the Prague Castle, the St. Vitus Cathedral was constructed in 1929. The stunning Gothic architecture of this cathedral makes it visible from anywhere in Prague. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete the viewing of the entire place, as it houses many treasures. The most famous of these treasures are the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk, St. Wenceslas Chapel and the stained glass structures constructed in Art Noveau style.
During the 9th century, the Prague Castle used to be the seat of power for emperors who ruled the Czech Republic. Today, it is the house of the President. The massive structure of the castle has many treasures that will require you to spend an entire day here.
So, if you don’t have the luxury of time, you can plan to visit the top attractions of the castle-like Golden Lane houses, the Roman-style façade of St. George’s Basilica, and South Gardens landscapes.
Old Town Square & Clock Tower
If you are a history buff, you have to visit the Old Town Square in Prague right away. With its historical streets from the 10th century still untouched, this place is a great photogenic point with its massive structures of architectural brilliance. The streets are filled with performers, musicians and markets that will keep you entertained all day long.
While you are here, you have to visit the Astronomical Clock, built in the 15th century. Despite undergoing many repairs, it still strikes every hour, attracting many tourists. Today, it is the world’s best-preserved mechanical clock.
Infant Jesus of Prague
The Infant Jesus statute, located in the main city, is one of the top tourist spots in Prague. Encased in a shrine made of gold, this 16th-century statute, is believed to bring good luck to devotees. Every day, thousands of people visit the statue with bowed heads to offer their prayers and wishes. They believe that baby Jesus will make all their wishes come true.
A visit to Prague cannot be complete without visiting the local Farmer’s Market that is set up every Saturday. Located beneath the Vysehrad fortress, this market is the best place for you to experience the local foods and lifestyle. Don’t forget to taste the fresh bread, pickles, seasonal vegetables & fruits, cakes, meats and sausages sold in this market. You cannot find the food better than this in Prague city.
Prague is symbolic with its puppet shows. Though this art form has almost become extinct in most parts of the globe, it still lives in all its glory in Prague. In the 12th century, puppet shows were the main sources of entertainment during royal ceremonies. Today, the city is home to over 20 puppet shops, 30 puppet makers and a puppet museum. You have to visit the National Marionette Theatre and Spejbla & Hurvinek Theatre for the most amazing puppet shows.
Vltava River Cruise
If you want to visit all the tourist attractions and historic buildings of Prague without bustling through crowds and heavy traffic, you can opt for a cruise tour on River Vltava. A two to three-hour cruise tour gives you a beautiful glimpse of all the must-visit places of Prague. Most of these tours take care of your lunch or dinner, as well.
Wenceslas Square is a huge shopping destination in Prague. It also hosts many public ceremonies, speeches, protests and celebrations. The place rose to prominence when the Czech locals threw their keys in the air in a massive gathering, when the country got its independence during the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
The beer gardens of Letna Park get crowded during the evenings, when people come here after work for relaxation. With a beautiful view of the Old Town Square and the Vltava River, the Letna Park is a famous place for dog walkers, students, tourists, locals and older adults. The huge kinetic sculpture with a moving metronome is a structure you cannot miss when visiting Letna Park.
Prague Travel Tips
- Don’t forget to try out the vegan delicacies while in Prague, as it is one of the best places in the world for vegan food.
- The restaurants and bars found in Prague City Centre are very expensive; you can avoid them.
- The Czech Crown is the local currency here, as the place has not yet adapted to using the Euro.
- Use public transportation, wherever possible, to avoid paying the huge prices charged by taxi drivers.
- You can take the road less traveled, and visit the quieter monuments and buildings to avoid crowds.
When to visit Prague
The early spring season (between May and June) and fall (September) are the best times to visit Prague. In the winter, the temperature gets very cold, making it uncomfortable for you to walk around the city.