Are you going to get to know the Czech Republic and thinking about visiting its capital? We bring you inspiration for things to do in Prague. Historical monuments, cultural activities, a number of museums, the largest castle complex, an aqua park and a zoo – there is really a lot to see.
Prague is called the heart of Europe, because it lies in its center. This town is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic and at the same time the 13th largest city in Europe. It is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful cities. This ancient place has a long history behind it, so it is no wonder that in its center you will find a number of wonderful monuments, breathtaking panoramas and the largest castle complex in the world, which is listed on the UNESCO list.
In the past, the route of coronation processions of Czech kings, today a route that introduces visitors to Prague to the most important monuments of the Old Town. It starts at the Municipal House and leads through Powder Gate Tower and Celetna Street to the Old Town Square. From there, it heads across SSmall Square to Karlova Street, passes Klementin and leaves the Old Town on Charles Bridge to continue through “Malá Strana” to Prague Castle. The Royal Route is one of the most popular tourist routes and offers a quick introduction to the most valuable monuments of the historic center of Prague.
Old Town Square
If you take the Royal Route to discover Prague, you will pass through it, if not, you must not miss it anyway. Old Town Square is one of the most beautiful places in Prague. Regular and annual markets were held in the square. Both bakers and potters sold their goods at the stalls, and game, vegetables, wreaths and other goods were also available for purchase. But the most beautiful are the Christmas markets, where there are no shortage of wooden stands where you can buy mulled wine, the traditional Czech sweet delicacy “trdelník” that smells even from afar, and other snacks and products. There are also Christmas decorations and a Christmas tree.
Among the monuments on the square, the astronomical clock on the facade of the town hall stands out, a technical marvel that people from all over the world have been coming to admire here for over 600 years. Worth seeing is the Church of St. Nicholas as a representative example of the Prague Baroque, the Týn Church and the House near the Stone Bell, one of the oldest and most remarkable monuments in Prague.
Charles Bridge is the second oldest bridge in the Czech Republic and the oldest surviving bridge over the Vltava River in Prague. The bridge, finished on both sides by watchtowers, was founded by Charles IV. in 1357. And until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the only “land” communication link across the Vltava in Prague. Thanks to the stone bridge, Prague became an important stop on European trade routes. The bridge was gradually decorated with 30 statues and sculptures.
From the bridge there is not only a beautiful view of Prague and Prague Castle. Walking along the bridge, you will not only come across many sculptures, but also all kinds of artists, mainly landscape and portrait painters.
Prague Castle, which is the traditional seat of Czech monarchs and since 1918 also the seat of the President of the Republic, is the most visited monument in the Czech Republic. Successive additions and modifications to Prague Castle created one of the largest castle complexes in the world, which is visited by thousands of visitors every day. Prague Castle is open to visitors all year round and they can see: the Old Royal Palace, the permanent exhibition The Story of Prague Castle, the Basilica of St. George, the Institute of the Nobles, the Golden Lane with the Daliborka Tower, the Prague Castle Picture Gallery, the Powder Tower and the St. Wenceslas Vineyard.
Prague Castle was probably founded around 880 by Prince Bořivoj from the Přemyslov family. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest continuous castle complex in the world, covering an area of almost 70,000 m², and is also inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.
The ceremonial changing of the soldiers of the Castle Guards with fanfares and the exchange of standards always takes place at 12:00 in the 1st courtyard, the changing of posts takes place every full hour from 7:00 to 20:00.
Magical fortress “Vyšehrad”
On the opposite bank of the Vltava opposite the Prague Castle, a dark silhouette of slender towers rises on a rock above the river, which is an inherent part of the Prague landscape. It is a mysterious fortress Vyšehrad preserves a magical atmosphere and mystery.
The place is a popular place for walks offering breathtaking views of Prague and a number of other important monuments. The history of Vyšehrad is closely connected with the development of the cities of Prague and the history of the Czech nation. However, we have the first reliable documents about the existence of the Vyšehrad castle from the middle of the 10th century. Since then, Vyšehrad has changed its function and form several times. It was a royal castle, for a short time even a royal residence. It became a city and later a baroque fortress, the form of which it has retained to this day. At the end of the 19th century, it acquired the role of a national symbol and the burial place of Czech greats.
In addition to relaxing and taking a walk in the park, you can also visit Vyšehrad: Exhibition of the Historical Appearance of Vyšehrad in the Gothic Cellar, Sightseeing tours of the Face of Vyšehrad (according to the current program), Casemates, Gorlice Hall, Vyšehrad Gallery, Vyšehrad Cemetery, Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul and others.
The small romantic island of Kampa on the Vltava River in Prague offers a tour of a place with picturesque houses and ancient history. Nepravý ostrov is separated from Prague’s Malá Strana district by an artificial mill channel called Čertovka. The group of houses between which the Čertovka flows is referred to as the Venice of Prague.
The earliest written mention of Kampa dates back to 1169. The first gardens were created on Kampa itself, and mills and mill gardens began to be built on the island from the 15th century. Sova’s mill was one such mill, which today houses the Kampa Museum with collections of 20th-century works of art.
There is a large garden, a beautiful park full of modern and classical art installations around the Sova’s Mill. The so-called John Lennon wall is painted on the outskirts of Kampa on Velkopřevorské náměstí, where young people come every year on December 8, the day of his tragic death, to light candles and honor his memory.
You can also enrich your visit to Kampa and the historic center of Prague with a pleasant sightseeing cruise. From the deck of the ship, you will see not only the Charles Bridge – the oldest bridge over the Vltava River, but also the magical panorama of Prague Castle, the National Theatre, the Straka Academy or the giant metronome on hill Letná.
Petřín – the perfect place for lovers
Petřín is a 327 meter high hill in the center of Prague. The dominant feature of Prague is mainly from the right bank of the Vltava. At its top stands the Petrín Lookout Tower – the younger and smaller sister of the Eiffel Tower, which is surrounded by a vast romantic park. The most popular way to get to Mount Petřín is by cable car. It is the oldest cable car in the Czech Republic and measures 510 meters.
But Petřín is not just an observation tower. There are several places that you cannot miss on this hill. Whether it’s a walk through a romantic park with lakes, fountains and a waterfall, or fun in a mirror maze, or exploring the night sky in a local observatory.
On the slopes of Petřín, you can also visit one of the most beautiful baroque gardens in Prague, the Vrtbovská garden. The garden is accessible from Karmelitská Street and is made up of cascading gardens. And on the opposite side of the hill, the blooming Rose Garden.
In Petřín, we can also find the Strahov Monastery with a historical library or the Kinsky Summer Palace with an ethnographic exhibition. There are two churches here – the baroque church of St. Lawrence and the wooden church of St. Michael.
Prague is nicknamed the city of a hundred towers, the sight of the red roofs of the local buildings interwoven with a nest of towers and turrets is unforgettable. It is worth stopping for a while and sitting in one of the romantic cafes and restaurants. This is one of the must-do things in Prague.
Thicker soups and many types of sauces with stewed meat are typical for Czech cuisine, in both cases based on boiled or stewed vegetables, often with cream, and roasted meat with natural sauces. The Czechia has a rich selection of field crops, fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, freshwater fish and game. But if local cuisine doesn’t appeal to you, you don’t have to worry that you won’t find your favorite tastes here, restaurants of all kinds are on every corner. Enjoy your meal!
Boat cruise on the Vltava
Another thing on the list of things to do in Prague that can be extremely romantic is a boat cruise on the Vltava River. As if in the palm of your hand, we will have the greatest gems, such as the panorama of Prague Castle, the wonderful scenery of Kampa, Charles Bridge, the National Theater and, of course, all the historic bridges connecting both banks of the Vltava. All this without the ever-present crowds of tourists on the mainland. We have a choice of cruises, cruises with refreshments or directly with a romantic dinner.