Prague, considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and known as the city of 100 towers, is one of the trips you should do once in a lifetime. Its historic center, Staré Město, a World Heritage Site, is second to none, with the Old Town Square as a reference. In addition we can say that it is one of the most visited cities in the world, although despite the queues and the amount of people that are concentrated in the most important places, if you visit it at certain times of the day, getting away from the crowds a little, you can enjoy all its charm.
We have made a list of the 10 essential places to visit in Prague, based on our trip to the Czech Republic by rental car, in which we toured Prague in 4 days. Let’s start!
1. Old Town Square
The Old Town Square is the jewel of Prague, and the Astronomical Clock located in the Old Town Hall is the star of this square. This 15th century clock is one of the most famous in the world, where every hour you can see the figures of twelve apostles parading accompanied by 4 more figures: the Turkish, Greed, Vanity and Death. The highlight of the clock is the lower part, which represents the astronomical calendar. Although it is difficult to take a photo without people, it is not impossible, especially if you get up early.
Highly recommend the climb to the tower of the Old Town Hall from which you will have one of the best views of Prague and its historic center. You can book here the entrance to the Town Hall in advance.
To complete the visit of the square you only have to enter the Church of Our Lady of Týn, in the Gothic style.
Tower hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Entry included in the Prague Card.
Church hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Closed Monday.
2. Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge is another of the essential places to visit in Prague. This 14th century medieval bridge with 15 impressive statues on each side connects the Old Town (Stare Mesto) with the Little Town (Mala Strana). Among the 30 statues on the bridge, the one of San Juan Nepomuceno, the patron saint of Bohemia, stands out, located right in the place where it is said to have been thrown into the water by order of the king.
At peak times it can take a long time to cross this bridge over the Vltava, since the number of people coming from both neighborhoods is huge.
It is best to visit it at night or first thing in the morning, when travelers have already visited the city and it is practically alone for you.
A great option to learn about the history of the city and not miss anything from the historic center is to book this complete tour of Prague or this tour of Prague, considered two of the best tours from Prague with a guide in English.
3. Jewish Quarter
The Old Jewish Cemetery is one of the essential visits to the neighborhood, where you can see how in a small space, the stone tombstones accumulate on top of each other, arbitrarily. Another of the essential visits in this neighborhood is to see one of the 6 synagogues: Alta, Old-New, Klausen, Maisel, Española and Pinkas. We especially recommend visiting the Spanish Moorish Synagogue, or the Old-New Synagogue, one of the oldest in Europe.
If you are interested in the history of Josefov we recommend you book this tour of the Jewish Quarter with a guide in English that includes the entrance to the most important synagogues and the cemetery.
Visiting hours: Monday to Friday and Sunday from 09:00 to 16:30. From April to October it closes at 6:00 p.m. Saturdays closed. Entry included in the Prague Card.
The Clementinum is a large complex of historical buildings where, in addition to the Library, you can see the Chapel of Mirrors, the Astronomical Tower, the Meridian Room, the Treasure Room area, the Church of San Salvador and the Church from San Clemente.
Of particular note are the views of the Prague Castle from the Astronomical Tower, one of the best in this part of the city. The only problem with the site is that it can only be visited with a guided tour in English. They start at 10:00 a.m., take place every half hour and no reservation is necessary.Visiting hours: Every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. From April to October they close at 7:00 p.m.
5. Mount Petrín, one of the places to visit in Prague
The Petrín Tower is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower, and with its 63 meters high they allow you to have one of the best views of Prague both day and night. Another of the attractions of the mountain is the Mirror Labyrinth, especially recommended if you travel with children, and the impressive library of the Strahov Monastery.
Nearby is also the Church of San Lorenzo, and at the base of the mount it is interesting to see the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.Funicular schedule: every day from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with a frequency of 15 minutes.
Forest hours: every day from 10:00 to 18:00. From October to March it closes at 20:00. From April to September it closes at 22:00. Entry included in the Prague Card
6. Stare Mesto and the Powder Tower
Gothic in style, it was built in the 15th century and was originally called Torre Nueva and was one of the entrance gates to the great wall that surrounded the city. With the passage of time it became a warehouse for gunpowder, hence its current name. Inside there is an exhibition about the city although the most interesting thing is to go up to the top of the tower from where you will have panoramic views of the entire historic center of the city.Visiting hours: Every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. March and October close at 8:00 p.m. From April to September they close at 10:00 p.m. Entry included in the Prague Card.
7. Prague Castle
All this means that the visit can take you a little more than half a day, so if you do not have too much time to make a complete visit, we especially recommend a visit to the Golden Alley and the Cathedral.
The Golden Alley is a small and beautiful street, in which its colorful houses have been converted into puppet shops and handmade souvenirs. The Saint Vitus Cathedral, in the Gothic style with large stained glass windows, is one of the most important cathedrals in Europe.
You can book a guided tour in English so you don’t miss any detail and get to know its history better.
If you do not want to take a guided tour, you can book this ticket with which you will avoid the long lines that form at the access.Visiting hours: Every day from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., monuments from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. From April to October from 5:00 to 00:00, monuments from 9:00 to 18:00. Entry included in the Prague Card.
8. Mala Strana and Kampa Island
One of its jewels is the Baroque-style Church of San Nicolás, a visit that if you have time, you should not miss.
Near the Charles Bridge is the Kampa Island, one of our favorite places in the city, surrounded by the Vltava river and the Čertovka stream. This island was an old area of orchards and mills, where some are still preserved, such as the beautiful Molino del Gran Prior. Here you can not miss the John Lennon Wall, a tribute to the famous artist and symbol of the protests against the communist regime.
Although it is very close to the popular Charles Bridge, it is not part of the most tourist routes and you can walk it with few people, in addition to having good views of the bridge.
A good way to not miss anything in this neighborhood is with a visit with a guide in English, which also includes the Castillo neighborhood.
9. Nove Mesto and the Dancing House
Our favorite building is the Dancing House, which stands out among the classic architecture of the neighborhood, full of Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings. At first it was called the Fred and Ginger building, since the house represents two dancers, in this case the famous Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Finally the controversial architect of the movement Frank Gehry chose the name of the “Dancing House”. You cannot visit the interior since it is occupied by offices.
In Vyšehrad there is a large park where you can relax and unwind from the walk. You can also visit the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and next to it the Vyšehrad Cemetery, where famous figures from Czech history rest.