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What to do in Prague, Czech Republic: City Guide

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Prague is one of the most popular European cities for a city break in Europe, so it was time to see the city with our own eyes. The historic center of the city with the famous Charles Bridge and the Prague Astronomical Clock is a must-see on a city trip, but we discovered that there are many more cool, hip sides of Prague to discover. In this article we tell you all about the best things to do in Prauge. Not only tips for the most beautiful places and sights, but also information about the best up-coming neighborhoods, our favorite craft beer bars and restaurants where you can eat deliciously – and affordably – in the Czech capital.

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Stroll across the famous Charles Bridge

One of the most famous and iconic sights in Prague is the Charles Bridge (Karlův most). The Charles Bridge has a total length of over 500 meters and is without a doubt the most beautiful bridge in Prague. The bridge is only accessible to pedestrians, which is why it is used extensively. The Charles Bridge is not for nothing one of the busiest places in the entire city. What makes the bridge so special? Mainly the two imposing towers that enclose the bridge on both sides. But also the thirty statues scattered across the bridge are one of the main eye-catchers. During your city trip Prague you can not avoid walking across the famous bridge. Seen from the center, important sights are located on the other side of the bridge, such as the Prague Castle and Prague Cathedral.

Charles Bridge Prague

Visit Prague Castle and Prague Cathedral

After your walk across the Charles Bridge, you’ll arrive in the Hradčany district, or Prague’s castle district. Prague Castle is a huge complex whose first stone was laid in 870. Today, the complex includes several churches, gardens and Prague Cathedral. All entrances to Prague Castle are well secured and long lines often form. If you want to admire Prague Castle, I recommend purchasing Prague Cards or buying a ticket online in advance. It is also possible to book a tour with a guide to learn more about the gigantic complex and all the special buildings.

Prague Castle

Climb the Petřín Tower for the most beautiful views

As far as I’m concerned, one of the best things to do during a city trip is to admire a city from the top. In Prague you can do this by climbing the Petřín Tower on Petřín Hill in the Malá Strana district. Known as “Prague’s Eiffel Tower,” the Petřín Lookout Tower has a total height of sixty meters. You can reach the watchtower by taking a nice walk through the park or opt for a ride on the little train (get off at the Újezd stop). The ride on the train takes only a few minutes and you can use the same ticket as you use for other public transport.

The entrance fee for climbing the Petřín View Tower is 150 czk per person (almost €6).

Extra Prague tip: Are you planning to visit many museums and sights during your city break? Then purchase a Prague Card. The Prague Card gives you free admission to many of the city’s attractions, such as the Petřín View Tower and/or high discounts. Unfortunately, travel by public transport is no longer included.

Visit the Štefánik Observatory

Once you get off the little train that takes you to the top of the 318-meter-high Petřín Hill, you can turn right to the Petřín Observation Tower. However, I recommend you turn left first to visit the Štefánik Observatory. Founded in 1928, the observatory specializes in popularizing astronomy and natural sciences. Here you can take a look at the museum and peep through the two mega telescopes. A visit to the Štefánik Observatory is fun for both children and adults.

Your Prague Card entitles you to a free visit to the Štefánik Observatory. Don’t have a Prague Card? Then the entrance fee is 90 czk per person.

Štefánik Observatory Prague

Admire the John Lennon Wall

Those who love street art should definitely visit the colorful John Lennon Wall. This colorful wall is located near the Charles Bridge and is one of the most popular attractions in this part of the city. The artwork on this wall was created in the 1980s after John Lennon’s death as a protest against the communist regime. Regularly the paintings and various slogans on the wall changed and today the wall has become a real attraction. If you visit Prague more often, you will see that the wall looks slightly different every time.

Visit Holešovice; One of Prague’s hippest districts

Although the historical center of Prague is of course the most popular neighborhood, there are many other neighborhoods in Prague that are worth visiting during your city break. The city is getting hipper and hipper and that is especially evident when you take the streetcar or metro to the suburbs. One of the nicest up-coming neighborhoods is Holešovice in the north of the city. In Holešovice you don’t have to worry about running into hordes of tourists and that’s exactly what makes the district so fun. But also the special street art works and trendy concept stores and food truck points make the district extra special. One of the places in Holešovice you should definitely visit is the concept store Vnitroblock. This is the place where the youth comes together to flex, drink, network or drink coffee. What a wonderful place!

Another fine place in Holešovice is the Food Truck Point located at the old market halls. The old market halls of the district have been transformed into a place where you can find trendy cafes, galleries and the cozy Food Truck Point. The Food Truck Point takes place every day – except Sundays – and is the place to plop down for a nice drink and/or street food snack.

Holešovice Prague
Food Truck Point Holešovice

Cycling in Prague

A great way to see more of Prague in a short time is by taking a bike tour of Prague’s most famous attractions. Cycling in Prague is incredibly fun and easy to do and even more fun with a guide who can tell you everything about the city.

Enjoy the atmosphere and delicious street food at the Manifesto Market Florenc

The Foodtruck Point in Holešovice is not the only market in Prague that is fun to visit. In the Florenc district, south of Holešovice, the Manifesto Market Florenc is open every day from 11 to midnight. On this cosy market you’ll find lots of stalls with food and drinks from all over the world. A wonderful place to end your day in Prague with a snack and a drink.

Manifesto Market Florenc

Admire the Astronomical Clock of Prague

Those who thought that Prague’s most famous landmark would not be featured are wrong. During your city break Prague, you should of course not miss the extraordinary Astronomical click of Prague. The Astronomical Clock of Prague is super special, because it not only shows the time, but also the position of the sun and the sidereal time. But the most special thing is the scene that occurs every hour. Every hour shutters open and all kinds of things can be seen on and around the clock. And if you’re there anyway you might as well go inside and climb the tower of the Town Hall.

The Old Town Square in Prague

Although if you ask me there are more beautiful squares to be found in Prague, you should of course take a short walk around Prague’s Old Town Square. This is the square where you will find, among other things, the Astronomical Clock. In addition, the square is bursting with terraces and coziness. Do you want to plop down somewhere for a snack or a drink? Then you better turn into one of the side streets.

Enjoy the best Trdelník

Good food and drink in Prague can be found in almost every street, but there is one place you really have to visit. Trdelník is a traditional (sweet) treat in the Czech Republic and you can try them on almost every street corner. However, we had the tastiest one at Trdlo near Charles Bridge.

Trdelník

Go in search of the most beautiful works of art in the city

One of the best things to do in Prague is to look for the most special pieces of art in the city that are hidden everywhere. For example, you can find Franz Kafka’s spinning head and a statue in his honor, but also special works of art by David Cerny. David Cerny is famous and infamous in the Prague art scene and his artworks often have activist undertones. For example, the unusual babies with a barcode on their heads can be found on Kampa Island, as can the unusual yellow penguins.

Take a ride in the streetcar

Many of Prague’s sights can easily be discovered on foot, but if you want to venture out into the suburbs – such as Holešovice – it’s quite handy to use Prague’s public transport system. And the streetcar is in my opinion the best option! Streetcars are running all over the city to take you from A to B. I recommend you to buy a day ticket for public transport for 120 czk (€4.70). This card allows you to use all types of public transport in Prague for 24 hours.

Tram in Prague

Walk through Prague’s Jewish Quarter, Josefov

One of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Prague’s historic center is the Josefov Jewish Quarter. In Josefov you can visit no less than six synagogues – of which the Old New Synagogue is the most beautiful – and the Jewish cemetery. You will also find stately mansions, the statue in honor of Franz Kafka and fine restaurants and bars.

Want to get to know more about the Jewish Quarter? Go on an Old Town and Jewish Quarter Guided Walking Tour and learn more.

Strolling along the Moldau

The Vltava is the river that runs straight through the city of Prague and over which, among other things, the famous Charles Bridge was built. In the evening the quays of the Moldau are filled with locals who gather here for a drink or a party on one of the party boats. Super nice to do during your city break Prague, strolling along the river Moldau.

Moldau Prague
Moldau Prague

Admire the Dancing House

During your walk along the Moldau you can admire the most beautiful, stately buildings, but there is one particular structure that catches the eye. The Dancing House (Tančící dům) is a deconstructivist office building in the New Town that is photographed hundreds – if not thousands – of times every day. In addition, the Dancing House houses a gallery and you can choose to have a drink on its special roof terrace for a beautiful view of the river and the city. For access to the roof, you can reserve a ticket online.

Dancing House Prague

Visit some of Prague’s lesser-known neighborhoods

In this article full of our Prague tips, we’ve already mentioned some of Prague ‘s special neighborhoods, like Josefov and Holešovice, but there are many more up-coming neighborhoods to discover. If you have enough time, I definitely recommend taking the streetcar to neighborhoods like Žižkov (street art) and Staré Vršovice. We ended up in Staré Vršovice by accident when we were looking for specialty beer bars and this turned out to be one of the best neighborhoods in Prague for us. You won’t find any tourists here – which makes it fun – and you notice in everything that the district is undergoing a major transformation. Dull East Block flats are transformed into colorful buildings and the hippest bars and restaurants are springing up like mushrooms.

Drinking beers in the best specialty beer bars in the city

Prague is an incredibly hip city with a number of hip neighborhoods, such as Holešovice, Staré Vršovice and Žižkov. And with a hip city comes hip specialty beer cafes, of course. Those of you who have been following Travelaar for a while know that Erick is fond of craft beers, so we also went looking for the best bars in Prague. Below you will find our favorite spots for the best craft beers in Prague including the exact locations.

Tips for the best restaurants in Prague

Wherever you are in Prague, you will never have to search long for a nice restaurant. We stayed in Prague for two and a half days and of course during this trip we searched for the best places to eat and drink. Below are a number of Prague restaurants (with exact locations) that are definitely worth a visit.

Visit Karlstein Castle (Hrad Karlštejn) from Prague

Are you making a round trip through the Czech Republic and/or have you planned extra days for your city trip to Prague? Then be sure to visit the nearby Karlstein Castle. Karlstein Castle is a 14th-century Gothic castle in the village of Karlštejn. From the village you can take a nice walk to the castle. From Prague you drive to the castle in about forty minutes. Of course it is also possible to book a day tour from Prague.

Karlstein Castle (Hrad Karlštejn)

Where to stay in Prague

During your city break in Prague there is a lot of choice in terms of accommodation. We made a road trip in the Czech Republic with our camper van and therefore we chose to stay at one of the city campsites on the island of Císařská louka. You can choose between two campsites here, Caravan Park Camping (about €21 per night, without electricity) and Praguecamp.

We personally chose the first option, as it is closer to the boat that takes you to the center of town. From the island, this is the fastest option to reach the city center. The boat leaves every full and half hour and a ride costs 30 czk. Your ticket is then valid for thirty minutes. If you bought a day ticket for public transport in Prague like we did, you can also use this boat. Take into account is that the boat sails back from the center for the last time at 20.00 hours. If you want to go back later you can take streetcar 5 to the south and walk from there. The walk will then take between twenty and thirty minutes.

Not traveling with a campervan, caravan or tent and want to stay in the city center? Then the choice of hotels, hostels and guesthouses is huge. Below we have listed a few for you.

Camp site in Prague

Prague on the Map

On the map below you can find all sights in Prague mentioned in this article.

Combine your city break Prague with Bohemian Switzerland and/or Bohemian Paradise

I recommend extending your city trip with a stay in one of the most beautiful natural areas in the country, Bohemian Switzerland or the Bohemian Paradise. In both nature reserves you can make beautiful walks, admire special castles and enjoy the tranquility. Therefore, I recommend you – if you are not traveling with your own car – to rent a car in Prague. From Prague you can drive to the most beautiful nature and hiking areas in one to two hours. It is also possible to book a day trip to Bohemian Switzerland.

Tips for other day trips from Prague

Above you have already read that you can perfectly combine a city trip to Prague with hiking in Bohemian Switzerland or the Bohemian Paradise. But there are more destinations in the Czech Republic that are easy to visit on a day trip. For example, have you ever heard of Theresienstadt, the former concentration camp and ghetto? Or how about a city trip to Kutná Hora, Karlovy Vary or Český Krumlov? All these cities are located in Bohemia and are easy to visit from Prague, especially with your own transport.

Do you have any additional tips for Prague?

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