Prague, also known as the ‘city of a thousand spires’ is the beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic. Split by the Vltava River, Prague is adored for its Renaissance architecture, incredible history, baroque style churches and bridges. In recent years many tourists have preferred going to Prague because it’s less expensive in comparison to other cities in Europe and it’s just as beautiful and picturesque. Curious to know what to do in Prague? This article covers the best places to visit in Prague.
1. Prague Castle
Constructed in the 9th century, Prague Castle is a castle complex located in Prague’s Hradcany neighborhood that serves as the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world and one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions. Additionally, within the castle walls are other famous tourist sites like St. George’s Basilica, St. Vitus Cathedral, and Golden Lane. While at the castle be sure to explore the Old Royal Palace’s main hall, the Vladislav Hall, and the Royal Garden.
2. Charles Bridge
A stroll across the 14th Century bridge is one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of visiting Prague. Charles Bridge, built in 1357 over the Vlatava River, is one of the most recognizable old bridges in Europe. Named after King Charles IV who commissioned it, the bridge is 516 metres long and nearly 10 metres wide connecting Old Town (Staré Mesto) and Lesser Town (Malá Strana). Charles bridge is adorned by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style.
3. Old Town Square
Old Town Square located between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge, is a wonderful historic square in the Old Town quarter of Prague. The square is lined with many of Prague’s attractions like Tyn Church, the Clementinum and the Old Town Hall that houses the great astronomical clock. Every hour people gather at the clock to see it spring to life as the 12 Apostles and other figures appear and parade in procession across the clock face. The tower of the Old Town Hall is open to the public and provides incredible views of the Old Town.
4. Dancing House
Sometimes known as Fred and Ginger, The Dancing House is a Nationale-Nederlanden building designed in 1992 by architect Vlado Milunić in cooperation with architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot. Frank Gehry was the one who first named the house Fred and Ginger after dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as the house resembles a pair of dancers but this nickname is barely used nowadays. The building mainly consists of offices, a hotel, a cafe on the main level and a restaurant on the top floor restaurant. The dancing house is a must-visit sight in Prague.
5. Wenceslas Square
The amazing Wenceslas Square houses the National Museum and other architectural gems and is one of the main city squares and the center of the cultural communities and business in the New Town of Prague. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia and is the place where numerous historical events took place and is a traditional setting for celebrations, demonstrations, and other public gatherings.
6. Strahov Monastery and Library
Strahov Monastery in Strahov is a Premonstratensian abbey founded in 1143 by Jindřich Zdík, Bishop John of Prague, and Vladislaus II, Duke of Bohemia. Despite having a spectacular gateway and magnificent churches, its the Strahov library that catches the attention of many. The Strahov Library is the largest monastic library in the country with 2 baroque halls the Philosophical Library and the other is the Theological Library. The libraries have many rare old volumes and manuscripts, while in the cellars are old printing presses along with the remains of St. Norbert, founder of the Premonstratensian Order.
7. St. Vitus Cathedral
Situated within the grounds of Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral is a Roman Catholic metropolitan cathedral in Prague and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The cathedral is also Czech Republic’s largest and most important Christian church as it is where we find the tombs of numerous saints and three Bohemian kings. St. Vitus cathedral is the perfect embodiment of Gothic architecture, was started in 1344 and took about 525 years to complete. Inside, you’ll see awe-inspiring stained-glass windows that potray the Holy Trinity and a mosaic from 1370.
8. Municipal House
The Municipal House is a civic building home to Smetana Hall, a celebrated concert venue and greatly regarded as one of the prominent examples of Art Nouveau in Prague. The interior is very impressive as its garnished with mosaics, murals, paintings, stucco and metalwork. After experiencing its art, explore the House’s shops, restaurants and event spaces. Their restaurant and cafe feel like walk-in museums of art-nouveau design and upstairs, there are 6 beautifully decorated halls that you can visit by going on a guided tour.
9. Petrin Tower
Often drawing comparisons to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Petřín Lookout Tower is a steel-framework tower 63.5 metres tall named after the Petrin hill on which it stands on. Its primary function is being an observation tower that offers breathtaking views of Prague but is also a transmission tower. The 2 observation platforms are accessible via 299 stairs in sections of 13 per flight running around the inside of the structure. A pair of staircases form a double-helix structure allowing visitors travelling up and down at the same time. Visiting Petrin Tower is one of the best things to do in Prague.
10. Prague Zoo
Prague Zoo is a ravishing zoo opened in 1931 with the aim of advancing the study of zoology, protecting wildlife, and educating the public in the northern part of Prague. Occupying 140 acres, the zoo has a big adventure playground, a chance to pet and feed animals making this attraction a popular attraction for kids. Some fun things to do in Prague Zoo are riding a chairlift with splendid views of many of the animal enclosures, visiting the giraffe exhibit, exploring the salamander display, and the steamy indoor tropical jungle.