As a traveler you hear hype all the time – this or that place is amazing – and sometimes it leads to disappointment, but this time I couldn’t agree more. While planning my European trip, I heard numerous people claim that Prague was their all-time favorite European city and decided I needed to see it for myself. I arrived in Prague from quaint Chesky Krumlov in south Czech and was already fond of the country. The towns and countryside were beautiful, the architecture stunning and well kept, and the capital far exceeded my expectations.
Prague has a pedestrian-only Old Town, which creates a refreshingly peaceful atmosphere. Old Town is spotless and there are lovely parks and squares to be discovered around every corner. It is an easily walkable city and I felt safe, even at night, walking on my own. Many of the attractions are historic or architectural in nature (and free) so you can busy yourself without spending much. Not to mention the city has great shopping, reasonably priced food and drinks, and other great sights nearby.
Here are some of the Best Things to See & Do in Prague:
Explore Old Town Prague
Old Town (aka Staré Město) is the very heart of Prague. It’s been Prague’s main public square since the 10th century and was the main marketplace until the beginning of the 20th century. This car-free area has lots of tiny cobblestone streets, shops, cafe’s, museums and the famous astronomical clock.
The medieval clock, also called the Prague Orloj, was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest clock still operating. It provides the time and date, and also shows astronomical and zodiacal information. It’s one of Prague’s main landmarks.
Visit Prague Castle
Probably the most recognized Prague icon – Prague Castle is a historical gem that is perched on a hill overlooking the city. The castle was first built in the 9th century and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, it’s the current official office of the President of the Czech Republic. It’s a composition of various buildings, including palaces and ecclesiastical buildings that have various architectural styles. The castle is also surrounded by lovely royal gardens filled with roses. Make sure to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy here.
Walk the Charles Bridge
Another stunning Prague landmark – the Charles Bridge connects the Little Quarter and Old Town over the Vltava river. It is famously lined with 30 statues, and is home to many buskers and artisans. When in Prague you must cross the bridge and experience this landmark. As such a tourist hot-spot however it does get oppressively busy, and pick-pockets are common, so make sure to visit in the morning or early evening when it’s less crowded.
Visit St. Vitus Cathedral
The largest and most important temple in Prague is St. Vitus Cathedral. Construction on the Gothic cathedral started in 1344, by Charles IV and it’s still an important space today. Aside from religious services, the Czech kings and queens are also has coronation’s here.
Day Trip to see the Bone Church of Kutna Hora
About an hour train ride from Prague is a very unique sight indeed. The Church of Bones, also known as the Sedlec Ossuary, is a small chapel located in Sedlec, in the suburbs of Kutna Hora. This fascinating church is artistically decorated by more than 40.000 human skeletons and the chandelier hung in the centre has at least one of every human bone in it. It’s a very interesting place to visit and gawk at the macabre artistry.
Prague is one of my favourite cities in all of Europe, and I highly recommend spending a few days exploring the capital.