First of all, what can you expect from a trip to Prague?
Prague in the Czech Republic is one of the most popular cities in Europe and on most travel routes … and for good reasons.
For many visitors it is known for one of the most popular bridges, the Charles Bridge. Then you have landmarks like the Castle, Petrin Tower, Astronomical Clock and Narodni Museum.
And yes, you should definitely see them, but then you should also experience a little more of Prague, maybe a little bit like a local.
For me, when traveling, it’s the mix of things visit the tourist attractions and then make them a little more local. The famous sights are known for good reasons. But paying three times the price of food and drink in an average or sometimes even inferior restaurant just because it’s next to an iconic landmark – that’s not necessary.
Often you just have to go around the next corner and find this “normal” or “local” experience. Go a little further and it will get better.
I did that during my trip to Prague. In beautiful weather, I ran until my feet hurt, then I jumped on the tram (here is our guide to public transport in Prague) and jumped on scooters so I can share the following recommendations with you.
My recommendations for your trip to Prague
There are some incredible Prague attractions all over the city, here is my guide on how to include them all (and some lesser known ones) during your trip to Prague.
Old town hall with the astronomical clock tower
This is a must do on your trip to Prague and you won’t miss it if you want to explore a city on foot anyway. The Old Town Hall is right in the center and at the Meridianplatz.
Take a look at them Astronomical clock and try to find out. It was not me. Every hour you will see many people lining up on the facade to see the twelve apostles who will appear.
Then be sure to go inside too, because you can take a look at the Town Hall Hallthat has beautifully decorated doors and you can feel the history inside.
There is also a small one Gothic chapelwhich has been partially destroyed and renovated. Look at the colorful windows.
From the chapel you can also see the twelve Apostleswaiting to show themselves to the audience every hour on the hour.
Definitely worth going up the clock tower, and not just for its views (check out some of the other best views in Prague). There is an elevator that could take you to the top but once you step into this you will miss its style. If you don’t go up, remember to go down.
And from the top of the clock tower you have a great view over Prague.
Take a look east and you will find that Church of Our Lady before Týn. What do you see? What’s unusual? Can you name a church that stands in the main square and the entrance of which is blocked by other buildings?
I was told that these buildings were built by merchants who wanted to show their power to the Church.
Then take a look at the two towers. Do they look the same? No, one of them is a little bigger, but they are about the same height. Each of them has these eight beautiful spines. So beautiful and blocked by buildings … quite a story too.
Walk down Celetna Street to the right of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn (such a long name. Let’s call it Tyn Church in this article). Stay on Celetna Street until the next street turns right. Stop and look up to see the …
In general, it is always worth looking up in Prague. The architecture alone regularly surprises you with wall paintings and other small highlights.
The statue is in the right corner of the building. The house itself is also interesting as it looks different from the others as it is a cubist building. The dominance of the surface and the clear edges, which are reminiscent of a cube, are characteristic.
Think of this place to return to as it is sure to be an experience to sit on the first floor balcony and have a drink while you watch the people go by.
Walk a little further down Celetna Street and you will …
The powder tower
This is a beautiful gothic tower and one of the old and original city gates. Walking the route there will give you a sense of the city’s past size. Today it separates the old and the new town. You will see similarities with the tower of the Charles Bridge, which was the inspiration for the construction of it.
Walk through the Powder Tower to Republic Square, then turn left to see the …
It was closed when I was there but I’m sure it’s worth going in as it’s already breathtaking from the outside.
The Art Nouveau building is now a venue for events, exhibitions and concerts. The parish hall is also the seat of the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
Do you have time for a coffee? Then visit Kavarna Obecni dum in the parish hall. Looks impressive, doesn’t it? It’s one of the prettiest cafes in Prague. And this looks like a perfect spot for a Sunday morning breakfast if you ask me.
A little further you will find the restaurant Cerveny Jelen / Red Stag and the Manifesto Market Florenc. If you’re hungry, check out our post on restaurants in Prague for more information.
Are you still fit? Walk north (northwest) (10 minutes) or take tram 6, 8, 15 or 26 for two stops. Then it’s only a five-minute walk to the west to …
National Gallery Prague – St. Agnes Monastery
St. Agnes Monastery is right across from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, which is also an impressive building.
It is a 13th century monastery complex in Prague’s old town. Here you will find a permanent exhibition on medieval sacred art in Bohemia and Central Europe. Maybe you enjoy looking at things like that. I don’t like it but it was nice to stroll around anyway, especially on a hot day as it is nice & cool inside. And when you walk through the monasteries, you can feel the history.
By the way, at the East Entrance, on the corner of the Ministry building, you can see Rasnovka Street. This is a nice little photo spot.
From here you can walk back to the old town hall with its astronomical clock in 15 minutes. Or you go back to the tram stop and take tram 3, 14 or 24 and get on …
I have no idea why it is called a square that should have four sides of equal length. Wenceslas Square is definitely a boulevard, because it is 750 meters long and “only” 60 meters wide.
Let’s ignore this little detail because it is one of the largest urban “squares” in Europe.
When I was there, they were busy renovating and you could already see that it will look really nice. So be sure to visit it.
From here you also have a good view of the …
The National Museum is the leading museum in the Czech Republic for cultural and natural history. It has numerous collections and exhibition buildings. It is also a historically significant building in itself. If you’re around, take a look and go inside.
The Lucerna Passage is also very close to Wenceslas Square. The cinema entrance looks nice and right in front of it is the statue “Kun” (horse) by the artist David Cerny.
There is a statue of St. Wenceslaus (Duke of Bohemia) on a horse on Wenceslas Square. David Cerny decided to have him ride a horse too, but the rider (St. Wenceslaus) is sitting on the belly of an upside-down horse and is holding a standard in his right hand. The ensemble does not rest on a pedestal and is high up, attached to the domed ceiling with ropes.
And while you’re that close, visit the Lucerna Rooftop Bar. For more information, see our post on Food and Drinks in Prague.
National Theater, Prague
The National Theater is located right next to the Vltava (Moldau). This is an impressive building, inside and out. The National Theater (Národní divadlo) is the most important theater and opera house in Prague.
It was opened in 1881 and its cultural and symbolic significance is central to the last hundred years of Czech national history, especially in the second half of the 19th century during the Czech National Renaissance.
Convince yourself of it during your visit!
The theater closed in 2016 and builders and restorers started their work for 42 months. It was worth it. Parts of the stage can be lowered so that more seating can be added, depending on whether all of the space is needed. Pretty cool, but the best part was the atmosphere in it. You could feel and see the story.
Kayaking on the Vltava
When you look at a city from the river, you have a completely different perspective. Whether from a ship or a kayak.
I chose the kayak because it’s a lot of fun and it’s up to me where to go and for how long.
At the Kayak Beach Bar you can rent kayaks and stand-up paddles (SUPs). This is also a great place to have a drink afterwards.
The Vltava is dammed in several places, which narrows the paddling area a bit, but there is still enough to discover.
First I paddled north under three bridges towards the city center. Bring a waterproof bag / drybag so you can bring your phone or camera. Then hold still and take a nice photo.
Along the shore you will find several ships that are now restaurants or bars. The waterfront is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Glide past the boats and soak up the atmosphere.
The Vltava didn’t have much current when I was there, so it was pretty easy to paddle against the current as well. So I went to the Yacht Club Cere Novy Prostor. As soon as you pass the Vyšehrad National Cultural Monument (east side), you feel like you are out of town. It becomes quiet and the hectic noise of the city is gone.
If you go down the quiet arm of the yacht club, you should be able to find the muskrats. Stay very calm and approach them very slowly and you should be able to snap a nice picture of them. But respect them and don’t stay too long so they can move on.
This little kayak tour is easy to do in 1.5-2 hours if you proceed slowly and take your time.
Nákladové nádraží Žižkov
Discover the largest and best preserved industrial monument in Prague. This was an old freight yard of the Czechoslovak State Railways of the First Republic.
The individual buildings have been preserved and are now on the list of national cultural monuments.
Today the site is partially deserted and in a state of disrepair. The complex consists of an administration building and two storage buildings connected at right angles.
Let’s switch sides of the Vltava and head to the east and north banks.
The John Lennon Wall is a Street art and graffiti wall in Prague, inscribed with love poems and political messages since the 1960s and painted street art inspired by John Lennon and parts of John Lennon and Beatles song lyrics since the 1980s.
At first the wall was inscribed with love poems, short messages against the communist regime and the Russian occupation since the 1960s.
Then it was decorated further after the murder of John Lennon. It stood and stands as a symbol for freedom, western culture and political struggle. An unknown artist painted a single picture of the singer-songwriter and some lyrics.
The anniversary of Lennon’s death, December 8th, became a day of unofficial meetings that increasingly turned into anti-regime protests. So this is more than just a colorful wall.
St. Nicholas Church
The St. Nicholas Church is an impressive one Baroque church in Prague’s Lesser Town. You can get there with a nice walk over the Charles Bridge.
The monumental building is one of the most important baroque church buildings in Europe. The splendid interior represents a high point of baroque art and should symbolize the power of the Catholic Church.
Vystaviste Praha Holesovice
The area serves as a venue for trade fairs, concerts, cultural events and the spring fair. When I visited there was a very nice design market. Each of the booths featured unique products.
There are those too Krizik fountainwhich is a large outdoor amphitheater. Here you can see live music and other shows like operas and ballets.
I then decided that. to visit Gauč na Výstavišti beer garden (one of many that I enjoyed during my trip to Prague). 🙂
Take a look at our guide to the best beer gardens in Prague.
Overnight in Prague
Here are some places to stay in Prague.