With its beautiful bridges, charming castle, and spry squares, the Czech Republic’s Prague is one of Europe’s most magical cities. Prague is known for its Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and Old Town Square, all incredibly historic and stunning spots throughout the city. Nicknamed the Golden City of a Hundred Spires, Prague is the historic capital of the state of Bohemia and the current capital of the Czech Republic. In this post I’ll be writing the ultimate guide to this charming Czech town, with info on transportation, accommodation, and attractions in the city.
Along with most other European cities, the centre of Prague is very walkable. Most of its top attractions are within ten to fifteen minute walks of each other, so you probably wont find yourself needing public transportation or taxis much while visiting. However, if you do end up using the city’s public transportation system, you’ll find that it is very advanced and enjoyable. First opened in 1974, the system, which includes metro, trams, and buses, is very fast, clean, and efficient. Both its metro and tram systems cover large areas of the city, while its bus system covers the outskirts and all spots of Prague that the subways/trams don’t. As for taxis in the city, they have a pretty bad reputation for overcharging customers – therefore, I’d suggest either relying on walking or just public transportation while in Prague.
For the three nights I spent in Prague, my family and I stayed at the Casa Marcello Hotel. This hotel is located in the historical heart of Prague, just a quick walk away from the Old Town Square. It is made up of the former St. Agnes Convent, two 13th century Gothic style buildings, giving it a very interesting vibe. I’d definitely suggest staying there if you’re looking for a place to stay in Prague, as it has great rates, and is very pretty, clean, and comfortable. It was probably even my favourite hotel I stayed at throughout the two weeks I spent in Europe this winter!
An icon of Prague, the Charles Bridge was the only way to cross the city’s Vltava river until the 1840s. Its construction began in the 14th century, and it is often also known as the Stone or Prague Bridge. Protecting Charles bridge are its three bridge towers, two in the Lesser Quarter (left bank), and one in the Old Town (right bank); and the continuation of Baroque statues that line the bridge. The Charles Bridge is one of the most popular tourist spots in Prague, due to how photogenic and beautiful it is.
Prague’s Dancing House is another iconic building in the city. It was completed in 1996, and at the time was very controversial due to its contrasting look against Prague’s many traditional and historic looking buildings. However, it is now very well known worldwide for its unique architectural design, and is visited by thousands of tourists annually. Plus, it is also now a hotel, making it one of the coolest places to stay in Prague.
Located in Republic Square, next to the 15th century Powder Gate, Prague’s Municipal House is one of its most important civic buildings. It is home to Smetana Hall, a very well known concert hall, and also served as the site of the Czechslovak declaration of independence. While in Prague, I saw a concert by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in the Municipal House’s Smetana Hall – click this link to see some videos I took during the concert!
Old Town Square
Prague’s Old Town Square, often considered the heart of the city, is very right, colourful, and lively year round. Old Town Square is home to many important buildings – St. Nicholas Church, an 18th century Parish Church; the Church of Our Lady before Týn, a huge gothic church; and Old Town Hall, a complex of historic houses that make up the home of Prague’s city government. Also located within the square is the Prague Astronomical Clock, the oldest astronomical clock in the world still in operation. This square is without a doubt a must visit spot for anyone visiting Prague, as it is one of the most iconically Prague spots in the entire city.
Petřín Lookout Tower
Very similar in style to the Eiffel Tower, Petřín Tower was built in 1891 and is 63.5 metres tall. It is located on the top of Prague’s Petřín hill, making the top of the tower the perfect spot to get stunning views over the city. Unfortunately I didn’t get to actually go up or see the tower up close while I was in Prague, but one day I hope to get to!
Visible throughout most of the city, Prague Castle is without a doubt Prague’s most iconic attraction. It is officially the largest ancient castle in the world, and being built in the 9th century it has over a century of history behind it. Made up of an abundance of palaces, churches, and gardens, this castle is home to Czech President as well as the Czech Republic’s largest cathedral, St. Vitus Cathedral. One could spend days exploring the castle to see all of it, from the dozens of stained glass windows in St. Vitus to the huge museum exhibit found within the castle. To read more about Prague Castle, check out my entire separate blog post about it here!
Prague’s Jewish Museum, established over a hundred years ago, is one of the city’s main museums. It is made up of four synagogues, a cemetery, a hall, and a gallery; all located throughout Prague’s Jewish Town or old Jewish Ghetto. Again, you can read about this museum more in depth in my separate post all about it here!
Wenceslas Square is Prague’s other main square, located in the centre of the Old Town. Wenceslas Square has been through a very rocky history – throughout the second world war the Nazis would use the square for huge demonstrations, Jan Palach set himself on fire in the square in 1969 to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and huge Velvet Revolution protests took place there in 1989. However, it is now lined with many modern shops, cafes, hotels, and restaurants, and is dominated by the Czech National Museum at its north end.
That brings us to the end of my guide to Prague! I hope you enjoyed. Have you ever visited Prague? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!