Prague (Praha)

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Tyn Church, Prague

Tyn Church, © Can Stock / Anita_Bonita

Visit Prague – Old Town Square

Most people visit Prague to see the Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge.  The Old Town is on the east side of the Vltava River near the Charles Bridge.  You can reach the Old Town Square on metro Line A at the Staromestska station.  At the center of the Old Town Square is a memorial to Czech Protestant martyr Jan Hus.  Facing the square are the Old Town Hall Tower, the Tyn Church and Kinský Palace.

For a fee, ride by elevator to the top of the Old Town Tower.   On the side of the Old Town Hall is the Astronomical Clock, which has been there since the 1400s.  The remains of astronomer Tycho Brahe are buried in the Tyn Church.  The National Gallery is inside the Kinský Palace.

Astronomical Clock, Old Town Square, Visit Prague

Astronomical Clock, © Can Stock / Eishier

Royal Route Walking Tour

You can do your own Royal Route Walking Tour when you visit Prague.  Start at the Powder Tower, which is beside the Municipal House.  Next walk past the cube shaped House of the Black Madonna.  Then see the sights at the Old Town Square.  After that, head down the Karlova alleyways to the Charles Bridge, which takes you over the Vltava River.  Along the way, you will pass the National Library (Clementinum).

The Charles Bridge is very popular with tourists for its statues and towers.  After crossing the Charles Bridge to the west bank of the Vltava, take a two block side trip to the John Lennon Wall, where graffiti has been honoring him for decades.  Next head to the Lesser Town Square and see St Nicholas Church.  Then walk up to the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral.

Vltava River, Prague Castle Hill

Prague Castle Hill, © Can Stock / scanrail

Visit Prague Castle Hill

Prague Castle Hill (Hradčany) is an extensive fortification overlooking the city and the Vltava River.  The castle hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes St. Vitus Cathedral, the Royal Palace, the Golden Lane, Vladislav Hall, All Saints’ Church, Queen Anna’s Villa in the Royal Garden and Geroge’s Basilica.  The Lobkowicz Palace on the castle grounds has one of the largest art collections in Europe.  Consider taking a guided walking tour of Prague Castle.

Wenceslas' Square, Visit Prague

Wenceslas’ Square, © Can Stock / GeorgeDolgikh

Visit Prague – Wenceslas’ Square

Wenceslas’ Square is more like an avenue than a square.  It is named after St Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia.  The National Museum and the Prague State Opera are on Wenceslas’ Square.  The square is the site of the 1989 revolt against communism, known as the Velvet Revolution.  You can start your tour of Prague by walking from the train station to Wenceslas’ Square and then walk north to the Old Town Square.

Lesser Town, Prague

Lesser Town, Prague, © Can Stock / interlight

Visit Prague – Lesser Town

The Lesser Town is just below the Prague Castle.  The Lesser Town is known for its architecture, especially the street of Nerudova where Mozart lived.  St Nicholas’ Church is on Lesser Town Square.  Wallenstein Palace, where the Czechis senate meets, is at the foot of the Prague Castle near the Lesser Town Square too.  From Lesser Town Square, you can walk up to Prague Castle, south to the funicular to Petřín Hill or east across the Charles Bridge to the Old Town.

City of a Hundred Spires, Visit Prague

City of a Hundred Spires, © Can Stock / MadrugadaVerde

Visit Petřín Hill

Petřín Hill is in the Lesser Town within walking distance south of the Lesser Town Square.  At the base of the Petrin Hill, see the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.  Then ride the funicular up Petřín Hill.  Sights to see includee Petřín Tower, Strahov Stadium and the Stravhov Monastic Library with over a million volumes.  Stop for lunch at Nebozízek Restaurant on the first stop of the funicular on the way up.

Vltava River Bridges, Prague

Vltava River Bridges, © Can Stock / Josefhanus

Vltava River Cruises

Take a Vltava River Lunch Cruise.  Cruise past St. Agnes Monastery, the Rudolfinum which hosts the Czech Philharmonic orchestra, the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the National Theatre and the area of Vysehrad featuring St Peter & Paul Cathedral.  Or try a Night Tour and River Vltava Dinner Cruise.  During the tourist season, take a steamboat ride on the Vltava River to the Prague Zoo.

Charles Bridge, Visit Prague

Charles Bridge, © Can Stock / bloodua

Visit Prague – Hotels

Strahov Monastery, Prague

Strahov Monastery, © Can Stock / SergeyAK

Visit Prague – Jewish Quarter

Take a Jewish Quarter Walking Tour when you visit Prague.  Walk through the walls of the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) just north of the Old Town Square.  Visit the Old New Synagogue established in 1270.  Beside the synagogue are 12,000 tombstones in the Old Jewish Cemetery.  See writer Franz Kafka’s house and visit the Jewish Museum.

Charles Bridge, Visit Prague

Charles Bridge, © Can Stock / bloodua

Visit Prague – More Sights

National Gallery, Kinský Palace, Prague

National Gallery, Kinský Palace, © Can Stock / artush

Elbe River Castles

On a 3 hour one way trip from Prague along the Elbe River, you can stop to visit at least 8  Elbe River Castles.  Plan your route carefully, as it’s not always easy to find a bridge across the Elbe River to a castle on the opposite bank.  The most interesting stop is the Bastei.  Walk along the ramparts high above the Elbe River, crossing the Bastion Bridge.  Then take a short hike to the Neurathen Castle Ruins at the site.

From the Bastei head to Pillnitz Castle and then to Dresden and the Dresden Castle.  On your return route to Prague you can visit Weesenstein Castle and the Königstein Fortress.  If you extend your trip, then continue up the Elbe River past Dresden to Albrechtsburg Castle, Moritzburg Castle and Hartenfels Castle.  Check out our map of Elbe River Castles.

Tyn Church, Old Town Square, Prague

Tyn Church, Old Town Square, © Can Stock / rudi1976

More Sights near Prague

Dancing House, Visit Prague

Dancing House, © Can Stock / anvodak

Savor the Tastes of Prague

The tastes of Prague are heavily influenced by the German border being just over an hour away.  Czech people like pork knuckle, roasts, raw beef, dumplings, sauerkraut, pickled sausage and potato pancakes.  They also like their beer.  Try a Czech Beer Tasting Tour or a Beer and Czech Tapas Evening Walking Tour.  Other favorites include:

  • Absinthe – a strong liquor that Czechs love.
  • Head cheese – meat in a consume gelatin.
  • Guláš – Czech goulash.
  • Cold smoked mackerel.
  • Palačinky – the Czech version of crepes.
  • Smažený sýr – fried cheese sticks with a side of fries.
Prague Castle, St Vita Cathedral

St Vita Cathedral, © Can Stock / MadrugadaVerde

Get to Prague

Václav Havel Airport is the way many international travelers get to Prague.  The Airport Express runs every 30 minutes from the airport to downtown.  The bus trip  to town takes just over a half hour.

Prague is connected to the rest of Europe by rail at its Main Train Station.  You can start a walking tour of Prague by visiting Wenceslas Square, which is only a few minutes from the main train station.

St Vitus Cathedral, Prague

St Vitus Cathedral, © Can Stock / serrnovik

Get Around Prague

You can get around Prague on an excellent metro system with 3 routes criss-crossing the downtown.  There is also a reliable bus and tram transit system.  To access Petřín Hill, take the funicular.  Bus passes can be purchased at vending machines and are valid on buses, trams and the Petrin Hill funicular.

Charles Bridge, Prague Castle Hill

Charles Bridge, © Can Stock / connect

Prague Weather

The Prague weather is a continental climate with warm summers and cold, snowy winters.  Expect average summer highs from June to September of around 22 C (70 F) and average lows of about 10 C (50 F).  Average highs in winter are barely above freezing, while lows average about -4 C (25 F).  Rainfall is highest in the summer months, while snowfall is heaviest from December to February.  September is a good choice for a visit to Prague.  The main factor for planning to visit Prague is avoiding the crowds in the height of summer.

Visit Prague – Background

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic (Czechia) and its largest city.  About 1 million people live there.  Prague is sometimes called the City of a Hundred Spires.  The city is in a region known as Bohemia.  In the 1300s Charles IV ruled in Prague as the King of Bohemia.  Prague was a popular spot for the Hapsburg’s, who rule much of Europe in the 1500s and 1600s.  Many buildings have survived and give Prague a very traditional European appearance with lots of museums.  Today Prague is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

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