35 Things to do in Prague

35 things to do in Prague travel guide

35 things to do in Prague travel guide

35 things to do in Prague travel guide

With one week in Prague, we hit the ground running trying to see and experience as much as we could in the Golden City.  There were times when I was wandering down mazes of cobbles that I had to pinch myself.  Is this city even real or is it a dream? We had high expectations and Prague’s beauty and charm managed to exceed all of them.  Historical, bohemian, inexpensive and fun.  This is a city that is best explored on foot.  The swan-filled Vltava River divides this magical city filled with rustic bridges, ancient cathedrals and walled courtyards.  Chomping on hearty goulash and drinking a pint of Pilsner, which is cheaper than water, is your reward in the evening after your legs have turned to jello.  If you planned on only staying a few days that’s truly a shame.  After a full week we felt reluctant to leave.

The following is a list of the Top 35 things to do in Prague:

Prague Travel Video

Prague Photo Essay

View of Prague Castle

View of Prague Castle

1)  Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world and it is home to several palaces, as well as a cathedral, a basilica, and gardens.  Given the entire complex is over seven times the size of a sports stadium, this 13th century charmer would take days to properly appreciate.  Some of the top highlights include visiting St. Vitus Cathedral, the Golden Lane and the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk.  Although there are many activities in Prague that are free, a visit to Prague Castle is certainly worth the price of admission.

Novy Svet neighborhood firewood stacked

Novy Svet neighborhood firewood stacked

2) Novy Svet

For a quiet little escape from Prague Castle, I highly recommend wandering down Novy Svet.  At one time, this cozy little neighborhood was home to servants of the Castle.  With a lengthy winding cobbled street, you’ll be in the company of writers and artists who now call this neighborhood home.

Kafka Museum sculpture 'The Piss'

Kafka Museum sculpture ‘The Piss’

3)  Kafka Museum

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a German language writer of novels who lived mos of his brief, anguished life in Prague. This museum is dedicated to him and his work and you’ll find some of his letters, diary entries and photographs inside.  In the courtyard you’ll notice a rather strange sculpture entitled “The Piss”.  Inside you’ll find manuscripts, documents and first editions of his work displaying his often darkly paradoxical work.

People hanging out by the John Lennon Wall in Prague, Czech Republic

People hanging out by the John Lennon Wall in Prague, Czech Republic

4)  John Lennon Wall

Stroll along the John Lennon Wall and you’ll encounter portraits of Lennon and Yoko Ono.  At one time this was just a normal wall; however, since the 1980s it has been covered by images of Lennon with Beatles song lyrics. The graffiti is always evolving, so you never know what you’ll find.  The wall represents ideals associated with youth including peace and love.  Admire the wall slowly or stand in front of it to take a selfie 😉

Prague TV Tower with babies crawling up and down it

Prague TV Tower with babies crawling up and down it

5)  Prague TV Tower

One of the most distinct landmarks in the city is Prague’s TV Tower (CzechŽižkovský vysílač).  Kind of sticking out like a sore thumb, this modern tower stands tall over the city’s traditional skyline.  With an unconventional design resembling a rocket, you’ll notice that there are babies crawling up and down.  The local enfant terrible sculptor David Černy is also responsible for creating ‘The Piss.’

Czech Food - Goulash

Czech Food – Goulash

6)  Czech Food:  Goulash

Up next we have a heaping plate of Goulash.  Goulash is actually Hungarian but the Czech Republic does have its own variety. What differs between the two is that the Hungarian is usually served with meat, noodles and vegetables and the one from the Czech Republic only has meat.  I this at least once a day – while living in Prague – and it is the kind of hearty stick to your ribs meal that goes very well with a Pilsner beer.

Saturday Market - Farmarske Trziste Jirak

Saturday Market – Farmarske Trziste Jirak

7)  Saturday Market – Farmarske Trziste Jirak

You can’t visit Prague without checking out a local Farmer’s Market.  We just happened to stumble across Farmarske Trziste Jirak, where we were be able to pick up some pastries, cakes, street food and organic products. It was the perfect place for a  great leisurely brunch.  We ended up feasting on a Balkan burger while snacking on pastries for dessert while people watching.

Prague's Old Town Square

Prague’s Old Town Square

8)  Prague’s Old Town Square

Prague’s Old Town is a place you can’t miss. The elegant buildings in varying pastels are a place that you’ll want to photograph.  If you come early in the morning there is hardly anyone, which is in stark contrast to the afternoon when it is a sea of humans.

Saint Vitus Gothic Cathedral

Saint Vitus Gothic Cathedral

9)  Saint Vitus Gothic Cathedral

Saint Vitus (Czech: Katedrála svatého Víta is a Gothic cathedral located within the walls of Prague Castle. Inside you’ll be able to admire beautiful stained glass windows designed in the art nouveau style.  The cathedral houses the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors as main feature of the Prague Castle complex.

Audrey standing outside of a synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague

Audrey standing outside of a synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague

10) Jewish Quarter

If you keep going north from the Old Town Square you’ll find yourself in the Jewish Quarter of Josfov (German: Josefstadt).  Completely surrounded by the Old Town, this district was preserved during Nazi German occupation with the intention of being made into a museum of an extinct race.  Today, you’ll be able to many architecturally stunning synagogues.

11) KGB Museum

On a rainy afternoon you should consider the KGB Museum as one of the more quirky attractions in the city.  Inside the KGB Museum you’ll find old propaganda as well as some unusual pieces like a copy of Lenin’s death mask, the radio from Beria’s cabinet and Trotsky murder weapon.

Flowerpots along the Golden Lane in Prague

Flowerpots along the Golden Lane in Prague

12)  Golden Lane

The Golden Lane (Czech: Zlatá ulička) gets its name because legend has it that Emperor Rudolph was a fan of alchemy. He had alchemists working tirelessly to find a way to turn metal into gold, and to find the secret to eternal life.  Dotted with tiny colored homes, you’ll find a museum of armory as one of the top highlights.

Views from Charles Bridge in Prague

Views from Charles Bridge in Prague

13)  Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge (Czech: Karlův most) is one of the most popular historic landmarks in the city crossing the Vltava river in Prague. If you walk across during the day, you’ll find musicians, artists, and vendors selling souvenirs.  Marvel at the Old Town bridge tower, considered to be a magnificent example of civil gothic-style buildings in the world.  Also, be sure to compare and contrast the bridge early in the morning versus mid-afternoon.  It is astonishing how quiet and busy it is during these two distinct times in the day.

Prague's Museum of Communism

Prague’s Museum of Communism

14)  Prague’s Museum of Communism

Prague’s museum of Communism (Czech: Muzeum komunismu) takes a look at the post–World War II Communist regime in former Czechoslovakia. Expect to see lots of posters heavy on propaganda, genuine artifacts and multimedia presentations.  Fascinating is the origins of this museum founded by American businessman and Prague bagel extraordinaire Glen Spicker.  Much of the collection in the museum was gathered by him at flea markets around the city.

Views of the Astronomical Clock in Prague, Czech Republic

Views of the Astronomical Clock in Prague, Czech Republic

15)  Astronomical Clock

When in Prague you can check out the medieval Astronomical Clock (Czech: Pražský orloj) .  Founded in 1410, this third-oldest astronomical clock goes off every hour and it is right in the heart of the Old Town.  Most fascinating is the skeleton ringing the bell.

Czech Street Food: Trdlenik

Czech Street Food: Trdlenik

16) Czech Street Food: Trdelník

You can’t come to Prague and not sample the street food. One particularly popular item is the Trdlenik (Czech: Trdelník). You can order it with icing sugar, or if you’re feeling adventurous, ask for nutella on the inside.  It is fascinating to watch it made: rolled dough wrapped around stick, grilled and covered in a sugary walnut mix.  As one of the most popular street food snacks in Prague, you’ll have no problem finding a stall selling these.

Feeding swans in Prague

Feeding swans in Prague

17)  Feed Swans

Now one of the things I love the most about travel is the unexpected surprises. We didn’t have this particular activity on our schedule but here we are out feeding swans.  They’re obviously very used to human contact as we were able to get up close without them feeling intimated.

Taking the funicular up the hill

Taking the funicular up the hill

18) Funicular 

For really great views of the city you can consider taking the funicular up the hill.  However, we ended up walking because the line was really long at the time.  Whether walking or taking the tram, it is well worth your time making it to the top for some of the most spectacular views of Prague.

Scenic views of Petrin Tower from a distance

Scenic views of Petrin Tower from a distance

19)  Petrin Tower

Petrin Tower (Czech: Petřínská rozhledna) stands 63 meters high on a hill overlooking Prague. It strongly resembles the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and it’s a fairly easy climb to the top.  Once used as a lookout and transmission tower, it is now a popular tourist attraction.

Maze of Mirrors in Prague

Maze of Mirrors in Prague

20) Maze of Mirrors

Another activity to consider is the Maze of Mirrors. It is more geared towards children but it is still a fun thing to do.  As a quirky attraction it is certainly not a must see/do activity; however, if you’re nearby Petrin Tower it is worth a visit.

Vyšehrad historical fort in Prague

Vyšehrad historical fort in Prague

21) Vysehrad 

Vyšehrad is a historical fort located in the city of Prague. Here you’ll find the ruins of Prague’s other castle built in the 10th century, as well as a cemetery that’s the resting place for many of Prague’s artists and great thinkers.  Rotunda of St. Martin, just happens to be Prague’s oldest surviving building dating back to the 11th century.  According to some, Vysehrad is the first area of settlement in the city.

Views of the Vltava River

Views of the Vltava River

22) Vltava River Cruise

For a leisurely afternoon, hop on a river cruise and enjoy a scenic journey down the Vltava River.  Considering crossing one of its 18 bridges – the most famous being Charles Bridge (mentioned above).

Drinking Pilsner Beer

Drinking Pilsner Beer

23) Drink Pilsner Beer

Pilsner beer is a Czech institution. This pale lager is known for its golden color, high level of foam and a nice light taste.  Deriving its name from the city of Plzen, Bohemia when it was first made back in 1842, the original company is still making it today.  The best thing about it is that it is cheaper than water and cola.  You better believe I had more than just one 😉

Scenic Jeleni Prikop Park

Scenic Jeleni Prikop Park

24) Jeleni Prikop Park

After all that sightseeing around the city, you’ll likely want some time to relax. The Jeleni Prikop Park located right behind Prague Castle is a great place for a picnic or a little nap on the grass.  It is one of Prague’s many quiet ‘green escapes’ from the heavily frequented tourist attractions.

Fountain outside the National Museum

Fountain outside the National Museum

25) Concert at the National Museum

Here is a cool little fact. Even though the National Museum is currently closed you can still attend musical performances in the evening.  You can see if you’re interested in any of the concerts and that way you can get a peek inside of the National Museum.

Dancing House building in Prague

Dancing House building in Prague

26) Dancing House

The Dancing House (Czech: Tančící důmis) a building which stands out from the rest, done in the deconstructionist style.  Also known as the Fred and Ginger, it was completed in 1996 and is controversial for its non-traditional design in a city known for its Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles of architecture.

Absinthe poser in Prague, Czech Republic

Absinthe poser in Prague, Czech Republic

27) Try Absinthe

Anise is a  flavored spirit that is extremely popular in Prague.  This anise flavored spirit is potent coming in at 45-74% (90-148 proof) derived from flowers and botanicals. You can see it all over in all kinds of different stores.  My initial impression was that it was quite tasty.  I love any alcohol that tastes like licorice.

The Mind Maze in Prague

The Mind Maze in Prague

28) Mind Maze

There is an activity in Prague called Mind Maze. Basically, you’re locked in the Alchemist’s room for an hour and you have to go through clues to try and figure a way out. It is a mind game that involves a lot of teamwork and hashing out ideas together to solve the puzzle and get out of the room.  We ended up doing better than average (according to our guide at the end); however, we didn’t make it out of the room in 60 minutes.  Apparently, only 1 in 5 does.  Considering it was our first time playing I thought we did okay.

29) Segway Tour

If you tire of walking, Segways are a fun way to get around the cobbled streets.  This is especially a good idea if you’ve been walking around the city for a few days in a row and your legs are getting sore.

30)  Miniature Museum

Another cool thing you can do is visit the Miniature Museum where you can marvel at microscopic art miniatures by Anatolij Konenko.  By wielding a magnifying glass you’ll discover a three dimensional model of the Eiffel Tower and a caravan of camels, just to name a few.

Mucha Museum in Prague

Mucha Museum in Prague

31) Mucha Museum

The Mucha Museum pays homage to Alphonse Mucha, and it’s a must visit if you enjoy art nouveau.  Drawing from over 100 exhibits you’ll find paintings, drawings, pastels, photographs and more.

32) Take a Tram

The tram is an easy and inexpensive way to get around the city, plus if offers more of a local experience.  We used public transportation frequently as a way to conserve our walking legs.

Luxury Car Tour

Luxury Car Tour

33) Luxury Car Tour

If you want to explore the city in a more fashionable way we’ve seen people taking luxury car tours.  We noticed most 30 minute to one hour tours starting at around 40 Euros.

View from outside the National Museum

View from outside the National Museum

34) National Museum

One of the most important landmarks in the city, unfortunately the National Museum is closed until 2016 because it is undergoing renovations; however, the collection itself is spread across ten museums here in Prague so you can still visit those.

Views of the Strahov Monastery from a distance

Views of the Strahov Monastery from a distance

35) Strahov Monastery

It’s a bit of steep walk to reach the monastery, but the long climb offers great views of the city below. Also, the library inside the monastery is certainly worth a peek!

And that sums up our visit to Prague! Our 1 week in the city left us bedazzled and it’s a place that we’d be happy to revisit again in the near future.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the city? Please let us know in the comment section below.

 

34 Comments

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  • Andrea Gerak says:

    Hi Samuel, greetings from Prague 🙂 Excellent list! Indeed not too touristy. I am especially happy that you mention: Goulash is actually Hungarian food.
    And excellent photos!
    Would you please tell me what theme are you using? I am looking for something similar. Thanks in advance.

  • andrea says:

    Prague is a very beautiful city! I loved spending 4 days there but it seems that I missed a lot of things! great post, congrats :))

  • laura says:

    I’ve never been to Prague but its on our list for 2015 – I really want to go as it looks beautiful!

  • Frank says:

    Hey Samuel. Great list – we’ve been in Prague now for almost 2 months and the city has grown on us. Actually, our favorite thing to date, something you haven’t mentioned, was long the other side of the river started at the Letná Beer Garden: http://bbqboy.net/photo-essay-pragues-scenic-walk/. The views over the city are amazing and it’s a park-like atmosphere with few people. Especially gorgeous in the late afternoon.
    You suggestion of the Dancing House is a good one. I read that you need reservations just to get in the elevator (there’s a fancy restaurant and rooftop bar). We went to check it out and were able to get to the top without anyone stopping us – great views from the top of the river and the castle. Maybe we just got lucky. But I recommend to anyone that it’s worth a shot…
    Still working through your list. By the time we’re done here (a month left) I’ll be doing my own list of things to do here. Just a great city. And the transport is great (and, as you mention, tram rides especially are fun)
    Good job,
    Frank (bbqboy)
    PS. Some of the Czech towns great as well. Cesky Krumlov and Kutna Hora very pretty. And, costs about half of what they are in Canada…

  • tracy says:

    I actually agree with Marta. I went to Prague in the summer and found it beautiful, but too touristy for my taste. Perhaps your idea of visiting at another time of year would change my mind.

  • Prague looks like so much fun! I might be going at some point in the near future so this is definitely getting bookmarked, thanks for the tips! 🙂

  • Vlad says:

    Done, done…..damn, I miss Prague so much! One of the most charming cities I’ve visited with mouthwatering food, I definitely need to go back there. Beautiful photos! 🙂

  • Quite a list Samuel – makes me want to go to Prague even more!
    I have managed to visit a few Eastern Europen cities, my favourite so far being Tallinn; but I’ve not made it to Prague yet despite it being on my bucket list for years.
    Obviously it is no longer Europe’s great secret any more – just how touristy has it become these days?

  • noel says:

    what an excellent tour, there’s so many things to do and explore in Prague, will definitely make it there some day

  • Nick says:

    I really had no idea Prague had so much to offer, I’d often been told it was an amazing city but never had anyone elaborate on it.
    Thanks for an awesome list!

  • Andrea says:

    What a list! Many are already on my wish list for when I get to Prague, but it looks like I’ll need to add a few more.

  • Jayme says:

    Great list of things to do while in Prague! I’ve always wanted to go there – looks like such a beautiful city.

  • We’d love to visit Prague – especially the Prague Castle. And the goulash sounds very tasty too :-). Great list of things to do, which we’ve bookmarked for when we (hopefully) visit .

  • Ryan says:

    Ha, very nice…now that I’ve been I can relate to so many of these. Love wandering up the hill, though I went along the side of the wall up the steep hill trying to find a way on top (epically failed and cut up by thorns). John Lennon wall was really cool. Wandering around was just overall fun. The beer…YES the beer. Did you go to the Prague Beer Museum? Amazing. and my favorite as the bratwurst from the street stands.

  • For Prague born traveler and fan of yours is glad to hear you enjoyed it! Pretty impressive list for one week. There is much more hidden places to visit and be there just with locals.
    1. You can even visit same places but in different hour then travel agencies take groups there. Prague Castle is great about 9pm (close at 11pm) with beautiful view over night Prague.
    2. go to Slovansky ostrov (island on Vltava river) where is Zofin garden (and palace) and you can rent a small boat.
    3. great place for chill out is Naplavka. 5min. walk from Slovansky island (just turn right when you leave island and walk 5min, unce you get to white building Manes modern art galery go along the river and you´re there). Its great place just beside the river. You can walk, ride a bike or inlines, run, or just sit under the umbrella and enjoy your beer in Bajkazyl while you have your bike fixed.
    4. Unce you´re there you can take a boat ride to Prague ZOO (belong to top 10 ZOO in the world). Use this link and google translater 🙂 : http://www.paroplavba.cz/lodi-z-rasinova-nabrezi-do-zoo
    5. across the river on west river bank is small (200m long) sand beach. Use this link, info in from 2009 but the beach is still there: http://www.momondo.com/blogs/mashak/archive/2009/06/18/beach-life-in-the-metropole-prague.aspx
    and much much more you can do in Prague and feal like you´re between locals.
    (sorry for all those link, its easier then explain it)
    6. In Prague is also big Couchsurfing comunity. There is always someone to meet who will take you to places where the locals go.

    P.s.: just little correction about Franz Kafka. All Czech will tell you he was a Czech writer …..
    Hope it was helpful
    Enjoy it in Prague
    Vit

  • I did enjoy Prague, but I found it a bit too touristy to my taste. I do admit that I only spent 2 days there and it is not enough to explore the whole city (I haven’t seen at least half of the things you are writing about here), but since I love to photograph I found the crowds unbearable to take a good shot, unless it was late and night or early in the morning. If I ever get a chance I do want to come back, but I think I will pick winter to do so.

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