10 things to do in Prague

As of June 2020: I travelled to Czechia amidst a life crisis. I chose to travel to be away from the house and my surroundings, which reminded me of what I had wanted to forget.

As a reflection of my soul, my photos were dull and sad, mostly in B&W with subjects like a lonely lamp in the old town or an angel statue in the cemetery on a rainy day…

It had been four years since, and I knew I’d be back in Prague one day.

Last March I spent one week travelling alone in the Czech. I had three days in Prague before heading to Český Krumlov for two days. Then I took the bus back to Prague for two days and then to Norway.

I did an enormous workload of searching, downloading guides, taking notes, etc. This was the best homework I’ve done so far!

Here is my final list of the top 10 things to do, see, and eat in Prague!

1. The Prague Castle and St. Vitus Church

Prague Castle is the largest ancient complex globally at 570m (1870 feet) long and, on average 128m (419 feet) wide. It’s also where the Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors, and presidents of the Czech Rep. have had their offices.

The main attraction is St. Vitus Cathedral, an interesting 14th-century Gothic structure with gargoyles that can be easily seen from ground level. Unfortunately, you can climb to the top of the bell tower, which I couldn’t do due to some renovation.

Entrance fees are required for a few selected areas, but you can walk freely through the grounds and into a large portion of the cathedral.

My advice: Buy the ticket! The most popular one is Circuit B – 250CZK (≈ 9.5€), including St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, the exhibition “The Story of Prague Castle,” and St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane & Daliborka Tower.

2. Take a stroll on the Charles Bridge

Strolling this charming 14th century Charles Bridge is everybody’s favourite activity in Prague.

The bridge, which is 516m (1692 feet) long, contains 16 pillars and three bridge towers. One of them, the Old Town Bridge Tower, is considered the most beautiful bridge tower in Europe due to its rich sculptural decoration.

The place on Charles Bridge, where St. John of Nepomuk was thrown in the river in the year 1393, is connected with a lovely legend. It is said that if you touch the brassy cross here, whatever you wish will come true!

My advice: To avoid the crowds you have to either wake up early or come late. I did both, and it’s worth all my attempts to wake up early and arrive late!

3. Watch the show of the Astronomical Clock

Prague’s Astronomical Clock is one of the oldest and most elaborate clocks ever built. The clock is composed of 3 main components:

  • The astronomical dial, representing the position of the sun and moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details.
  • “The Walk of the Apostles” – a clockwork hourly show of figures of the apostles and other moving sculptures.
  • A calendar dial with medallions representing the months.

You can watch “The Walk of the Apostles” every hour from 9 am to 9 pm in its upper section.

My advice: Beware of your belongings; since huge crowds gather well here with their heads up, it’s perfect for pickpockets to do their job! Also, buy the ticket and go to the top of the tower. Even though I didn’t do it, I bet you’ll get a stunning bird view from there!

4. Týn Church

This magnificent church dominates one side of Old Town Square. It has a rich Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque interior. The entrance of the church is through the passage from Old Town Square no. 14.

You may ask who could think about building houses in front of a church on Earth. But the truth is that the church was built behind those houses!

The guide from a free walking tour in Prague told us the story, but sorry, because of his strong Eastern Europe accent and the noise from other walking tours, I now can’t recall anything from his explanation!

My advice: Take a free walking tour in Prague if you wish to have a look at the Old Town and gain some interesting information about the city.

5. Old Jewish Quarter Josefov

(Due to some terrorism warning during my time in Prague, Easter 2016, I paid a rough visit to this area, not into any of the buildings.)

The Jewish Quarter is a small area known as Josefov, which contains the remains of Prague’s former Jewish ghetto between Old Town Square and the river Vltava.

Josefov is quite a heavily visited location in Prague. This area is small and compact, so a reasonably thorough tour should take less than half a day.

My advice is to buy a ticket for all sites, which cost 480CZK (18€). You then can enter The Old Jewish Cemetery, which is 4m higher than the street level and has 12 layers of tombs over time, High Synagogue, Klaus Synagogue and Ceremonial Hall, The Spanish Synagogue, Jubilee Synagogue, etc.

6. Enjoy the city’s architecture

If you’re interested in architecture, Prague is for you. Take a day walking around the city centre, the Old Town Square, and a stroll at Wenceslas Square; you’ll find many examples of different architectural styles.

Next to the Astronomical Clock is a Renaissance-era house named “At the Minute,” with black and white designs covering its façade. Grand Hotel Evropa at Wenceslas Square is an example of Art Nouveau. Figure them out yourself!

My advice: Invest in a good guidebook. Although you cannot get lost in Prague, it’s better to know where you’re heading to.

7. John Lennon Wall

The Lennon Wall is just an ordinary wall in Prague, and John Lennon didn’t even visit it in real life. However, Prague’s youth have covered it with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and the Beatles’ lyrics since his death.

My advice: Feel free to paint your graffiti on the John Lennon wall. I can say #7 is the most gimmick thing to do on this list, but it’s still fun to play a little bit with colours and sprayers.

8. Visit Vyšehrad Castle

Tired of the ultimate crowds in the Prague Castle?

Then visit Vyšehrad Castle instead, which I did on the last day I was in Prague, which turned out to be a massive mistake as it takes about 3 hours to visit this complex thoroughly, which is a reason for me to visit Prague (and Vyšehrad Castle) again!

Vyšehrad Castle was built during the 10th century on a hill over the river Vltava. Within the castle grounds is the Church of St. Paul and St. Peter, as well as Vyšehrad Cemetery, containing the remains of many famous people from Czech history.

It’s easy and quick to visit this complex from the city centre. Take tram line C to Vyšehrad (2 stations from the National Museum). You can walk about 10 minutes to Vyšehrad Castle’s main gate.

My advice: Don’t forget to buy a map of the complex. And if you wish, bring your food for a picnic.

9. Czech cuisine

I assumed that everybody knew about Czech beer. I drink beer but am not a great fan of it, so I have no beer preference. But food is another thing.

I fall in love with these Czech dishes: roasted duck with potato dumplings and cabbage (kachna s červeným zelím) and roasted pork knee with mustard (pečené vepřové koleno). They go well with a pint of beer, or two, or maybe three.

If you don’t have time to learn everything about Czech cuisine but still want to get the idea, try a Beer Walking Tour at just 16EUR/person or a secret food tour, starting from 70EUR/person.

My advice: Don’t go for a schnitzel. It tastes better in Austria. Don’t go for goulash, either. It tastes better in Hungary.

10. Trdelník

Originated from Hungary, trdelník is one of the most common pastries to find on Prague’s streets.

It’s a kind of cake and sweet (yes, very sweet, indeed) pastry made from rolled dough wrapped around a stick, then grilled on charcoal and topped with sugar, walnut mix, and filled with Nutella!

My advice: Try trdelník with sugar-coating and Nutella filling.

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