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From a Local

Prague  City of 1000 Spires

When most people visit Czech Republic, they start in the city’s iconic capital Prague.  Nicknamed the City of a Thousand Spires, this cradle of Czech culture is home to countless treasures and historical sights… So much so that I often recommend tourists spend at least two or three full days in the capital to truly experience all the best places to visit in Prague (though if you DO just have a day or two, Thanks to the city’s central European positioning, there’s plenty of things to do in Prague, no matter your interests. 

1. Charles Bridge

To this day, it remains one of the most picturesque parts of the city — and the perfect spot to snap those postcard photos. If you’re looking for a bird’s eye view, make sure to climb up the tower and take in the view.  It’s worth the extra 20 minutes on our way through the city. When it comes to things to do in Prague Czech Republic, this should be your first stop!
If you’re looking for a tour that covers all the Prague highlights, including Charles Bridge, I recommend this walking tour — which includes a typical Czech lunch and hour-long boat cruise, too! There’s no better way to visit the best places to visit in Prague in one tour.
Insider tip: Charles Bridge is going to be super crowded, especially in the summer! The only way to avoid those crowds? A sunrise walk. But if you still want that tourist-free photo, step off the main road and take a left, heading to Restaurant Mlýnec. You’ll find a nice lookout spot to get the perfect view of the bridge and Prague Castle.

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3. Klementinum

Klementinum has my heart! This often-overlooked spot in Prague, located right by Charles Bridge, remains one of my favorite places to visit in Prague. Be sure to stop inside and buy a guided tour of the Baroque Library and tower (and purchase earlier! It books up!).
A guided tour is the only way to visit the historic library, which was established in 1722. The library is home to 20,000 volumes of mostly foreign theological literature. There are few places as magical as this library. Afterwards, admire the view at the top of the tower. It’s a 360 view of both Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge. It’s my favorite view in Prague, easily.

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5. Visit the National Theater

Prague has a thriving arts scene, and I’m constantly impressed with the sheer amount of performing arts playing at any given time. The city has THREE (!) historic theaters, plus the philharmonic, several musical and play venues…and that’s just scratching the surface. 
If you want to soak up some of Prague’s arts scene, you need to visit the National Theater. The National Theatre, The State Opera and the Estates Theatre play ballets, operas, plays and performing arts almost year-round. I’ve visited each of these gorgeous theaters, but my favorite is the iconic National Theater by the water, which was built with funds from a nationwide collective. 
I’d recommend visiting an opera or one of the many ballets in town. You can’t go wrong. The National Theater sells tickets up to six months in advance. You can check out the schedule here

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7. Stroll Vyšehrad

Many tourists visiting Prague will often skip Vyšehrad. But this neo-Gothic structure shouldn’t be missed. Vyšehrad is made up of the Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul, perched on a hill overlooking the lower city. This historic fort was built in the 10th century and became the seat of the first Czech ruler, King Vratislav II of the Přemyslid dynasty, a century later.
Nowadays, you can visit Vyšehrad and walk through the adjacent cemetery, home to famous Czechs like composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák, as well as the renowned writers Karel Čapek and Jan Neruda. 

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9. Admire the John Lennon Wall 

The John Lennon Wall is an easy stop if you’re visiting the Charles Bridge or nearby Prague Castle. This colorful wall lies behind a small church courtyard. It first started in 1980, shortly after Lennon was killed. John Lennon never visited this location, but the wall quickly became a symbolic burial site by the youth of Prague. During Communist times, the wall symbolized freedom of speech and the non-violent resistance. The wall now constantly changes with the times – in fact, drawing on the wall is encouraged. 

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If you’re visiting Czech Republic, there’s a good chance you might not know much about Czech food. And who can blame you? Czech food hasn’t been popularized like Italian food or Spanish food. That’s because Czech food often takes hours upon hours to cook and perfect – and many Czech restaurants traditionally make enough for lunch, and then the meal sells out. 
Many Czech traditional dishes feature soups, sauces, dumplings, and local ingredients. Think roast duck with cabbage and dumplings, roasted pork with dumplings, hundreds of different soups and fruit-filled dumplings to start. You can’t leave Prague without trying at least ONE of these phenomenal dishes. 
Of course, eating a good meal isn’t exactly a thing to do in Prague…but it is a quintessential part of visiting this country. Where should you stop? Try ossegg in Vinohrady, U Bansethu in Nusle, Vycep in Holesovice, Café Savoy,  Café LouvreLokal, or Čestr restaurant for some of the best Czech food in Prague. If you want to explore Prague’s best food, I always recommend booking this foodie tour for the full experience, which tackles some of the city’s BEST food with the most knowledgeable tour guides.

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13. Stroll through Wallenstein Garden

Wallenstein Garden is one of my favorite things to do in Prague – and one of the often-overlooked sights to visit. Wallenstein Garden, or Valdštejnská zahrada in Czech, is a Baroque masterpiece sitting right below Prague Castle. It’s not the most serene park, but it is one of the most impressive parks in the city. It’s a great pick if you have two days in Prague or more as it’s not as historically significant as some of the other sights.

Visit this park for beautiful views and a nice stroll – and some peacocks! Yup, the park has live peacocks just walking around (which isn’t uncommon in Czech Republic). 

Local tip: This park is closed from mid-October to early April, so double check the dates before you go. 

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15. Visit a classic Czech cafe

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17. Grab a beer, with a view

On a sunny summer day, there’s no better place to grab a beer than Letna Beer Garden. This beer garden may be home to one of the most beautiful lookout spots in Prague, too (that’s the actual view, above!!). During the summer, you’ll find locals and tourists alike under shady groves of trees, nursing local beers.

Choose from Pilsner, Master’s amber lager, Kozel’s dark lager, and the usual Gambrinus, depending on the stand you visit, for your brew. The beer gardens have your usual sausage-and-bread snacks as well as a bigger variety of tasty treats. It’s truly a serene place to soak up the view and think, wow, am I truly here right now? I promise it’s just as magical in person.

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2. Prague Castle

If you’re visiting Prague, you CANNOT miss Prague Castle (Pražský hrad). The Prague Castle is enormous…In fact, it’s been in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ancient castle in the world. Don’t expect to cover all the ground in one morning or afternoon. I’d plan to spend the better part of a day here, seeing all the castle grounds have to offer. Prague Castle — and especially the stained glass at St. Vitus Cathedral — remains one of my favorite things to do in Prague.
So what do you visit when you go? These are my highlights:

  • The Old Royal Palace (Starý Královský Palác) 

  • The Czech Republic’s largest Christian building, the Roman Catholic St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrala St. Vita)

  • Golden Lane (Zlatá ulicka)

If you’re looking for a tour that covers it all, this is the one I always recommend — it covers Old Town Square, Prague Castle and the John Lennon Wall, the perfect combo for first-time visitors. Trust me, you’ll want a tour guide for Prague Castle to truly experience all the best of Prague.

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4. Old Town Square & the Astronomical Clock

Can you even visit Prague without visiting Old Town Square? Old Town Square may be one of the most touristy spots in town, but it’s totally worth the visit for a quick walk through and it’s a must on the list of the best places to visit in Prague. This 12th century square is home to Old Town Hall, the Church of Our Lady before Týn, the Baroque Church of St Nicholas, the Rococo Kinský Palace, the Gothic House at the Stone Bell and the monument to Jan Hus. You can go up the stairs to the top of Old Town Hall, which gives you a beautiful view of the square. 

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6. Explore Petřín

The beautiful Petřín sits opposite Prague Castle, overlooking the entire city. Take a nearby bus or tram to Petřín, one of Prague’s best lookout points. If you want the more traditional experience, you can walk about 20 minutes to the cable car, which makes for a truly unique experience (make sure it’s in operation that day).
What is there to do in Petřín? Stroll around the park, take in the view…there’s even a mirror maze, and a memorial to victims of communism. At the end, take a second to stop and enjoy the Beer garden Petřín. It’s truly one of the most scenic places to enjoy a drink and relax after a long and busy day – and one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path things to do in Prague.

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8. Letna Park

Prague is well-known for its ample amount of green space, and Letna Park just might be one of the best-known parks in the city. Letna Park, or Letenske Sady in Czech, offers a stunning view of the Vltava River and its many bridges. 
This park is also home to one of the best beer gardens in Prague, the Letna Beer Garden. Stop by this shady spot to drink some fantastic Czech beers on draft and test out some of Prague’s best street food – all while soaking up the spectacular views. This activity is, of course, best on a beautiful, sunny day. Don’t be surprised to see locals at Letna Park, either, especially during the summer. If you’re looking for fun things to do, flag this one!

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10. Take a boat cruise along the Vltava

Those boat cruises seem touristy… right? I can’t help but admit that the boat tours can be touristy, but it doesn’t mean you should skip them. I’ve done two boat tours down the Vltava now, and each time has been spectacular. This is the boat tour we did for our Valentine’s Day, and it was honestly perfect (and the food wasn’t bad either!).
If you visit in the summer, opt for a shorter, one-hour ride with some sort of open space. There’s truly nothing like seeing Prague from the water, especially at sunset! If you’re going at sunset, consider bringing a light cardigan for your trip to avoid freezing at night.

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12. Stop by the Jewish Quarter

Prague’s Jewish Quarter sits in the city’s Josefov area – and for centuries, the area was widely regarded as a ghetto. In the late 1800s, this area transformed into one of the city’s most interesting and important regions. When you make your list of things to do in Prague, make sure to stop by the Jewish Museum in Prague (Židovské muzeum v Praze). This museum includes the Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall and the Klaus Synagogue. 
If you’re looking for one of the best free things to do in Prague, look no further than the Old Jewish Cemetery. The cemetery has weathered tombstones, often packed on top of each other in a disorderly fashion. It’s an important piece of history, located in one of Prague’s most beautiful areas.

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14. Stop by the National Museum

The National Museum (Národní Muzeum) is Prague’s most prominent collection of museums, and its biggest museum is located at the top of Wenceslas Square. The museum houses an impressive collection spanning across a multitude of fields, from mineralogy, zoology, anthropology, and archaeology, to the arts and music. In fact, their entomology collection alone has more than five million specimens. This museum is perfect for kids, too!

If you’re more interested in technological advances, head further north to the National Technical Museum (Národní technické muzeum). This renowned museum houses exhibits related to the country’s impressive technological advances, from machinery to automobiles and aircraft. You’ll be surprised to learn more about the many groundbreaking advances made by Czech inventors and innovators. 

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16. Take a day trip outside of Prague!

If you’re visiting Prague for an extended period of time, why not consider taking a day trip outside of Prague? Tourists spending more than three or four days in Prague should consider getting outside of the city (in fact, that’s one of my top recommendations for visitors!). After all, there’s only so much you can see in Prague.

There’s a couple ways you can explore the rest of Czech Republic. For many people, I recommend either a tour, public transit or a car rental. Some visitors find public transit overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to pick the best option for you, your family, your travel plans and your needs. And don’t forget to check out my packing list if you are planning day trips, as different regions can vary in temperatures.

Many people opt to visit one of Czech Republic’s most beautiful castles because so many of them lie nestled in the countryside around Prague. You can plan one of these trips yourself with a train or rental car, or you can opt to visit with a tour. I personally recommend visiting with a tour as many of the historical guided tours at the castle are not in English — or operate at a reduced schedule in English. Plus, guided tours help coordinate transport and fees to streamline a stress-free experience, especially when public transit may not always be direct to select parts of Czech Republic.

Some of my favorite Prague day trips include:

  • Bohemian Switzerland National Park. This area is hard to access unless you have a car — but absolutely BREATHTAKING and worth the trip! This tour is a fantastic option because you can tailor your trip to exactly what you want to see.

  • Cesky Krumlov, one of the most magical cities in Czech Republic (it’s probably one of my favorite spots in Czech Republic, to be honest).

  • Konopiste Castle, the last home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne (you may know him from your history books — his assassination in Sarajevo triggered World War I). I personally love this tour because Lucy is really well educated on the castle — you spend a lot of time exploring the Castle!

  • Hluboka Castle and Cervena Lhota Castle, two of my favorite castles in the south of Czech Republic (and two of the most BEAUTIFUL castles, hands down). This tour combines the two, which is a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to rent a car and drive through windy roads.

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16. Grab a beer, with a view

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