With its unique mix of grand spired buildings, an opulent castle, cobblestoned streets and cheap beer, Prague is one of the gems of Central Europe. Here’s 10 things to do in the enchanting city of Prague.
1. Visit the Astronomical Clock on the hour
Prague’s well preserved Old Town dates back to the 12th century and is a good place to start your adventures in the Czech capital. Top of your list should be the centrepiece of the Old Town - the fascinating and detailed Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall. Parts of the clock date back to the year 1410.
Every hour on the hour between 9am and 9pm, the Prague Astronomical Clock puts on a show with bells and wooden figures including a skeleton moving around the dials to mark in the hour.
2. Check out the view from the Old Town Hall
Head up to the Old Town Hall tower for great city views. I’ve done the tower view both in summer and winter – and I have to say winter is my favourite with a view over the snow laden red roofs. After checking out the view, head back down to the Old Town Square with its spired buildings in Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles.
There’s plenty of restaurants and cafes spread throughout the Old Town to soak up the atmosphere. From the square, ditch the map and wander down the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town and feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
3. Walk through the Powder Tower entrance
Not far from the Old Town Square is the imposing black Powder Tower. The 213 foot tower used to be one of 13 entrances into the Old Town. It’s known as the Powder Tower because it was once used to store gunpowder.
4. Take a stroll along the Charles Bridge
One of my favourite parts of Prague is the Charles Bridge and Charles River. Walk around the river promenade, cross the famous bridge and check out the 30 Baroque statues spread along its length. Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the Lesser Town.
It’s a popular tourist spot so head here early in the morning for an uncrowded stroll or it’s also a nice walk in evenings. Head further up the river to one of the other bridges to get a great view back to the Charles Bridge.
5. Ride the funicular up Petrin Hill
For an expansive view over Prague, take a half hour walk up Petrin Hill or ride the funicular. The funicular leaves from the Lesser Town (Mala Strana) and you can get there by the metro. At the top of Petrin Hill is a mini Eiffel Tower and a rose garden. You can climb the 299 steps up the Petrin Lookout Tower for beautiful views.
6. Visit the huge Prague Castle
Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) is one of Europe’s biggest castles and dates back to the 9th century. You can get a good enough view from outside but if you haven’t yet got castle fatigue from other travels in Europe, it’s worth a look inside. Tours to visit the castle start from $10.50 for adults.
7. Down a few beers at the Prague Beer Museum
The Prague Beer Museum is actually a pub – but the beer is cheap and is a popular haunt for tourists and locals. There’s 30 Czech beers on tap including chocolate, honey, cherry and blueberry flavoured beers! This is the go to for the beer lovers.
8. Wander through the Jewish Quarter
Prague’s Jewish Quarter features six synagogues, a town hall and cemetery. The Jewish Cemetery is haunting, but an interesting feature in Prague. It’s said the crowded cemetery goes 12 levels down into the ground.
9. Fill up on hearty Czech food
There’s no shortage of hearty restaurants in Prague and you’ll get your fill of meat (typically beef or pork) and potatoes. Onion soup and fried cheese are also popular meal offerings, and for dessert, try some Czech pancakes (palačinky). If you’re on a budget, avoid the Old Town restaurants and head over to the bohemian Zizkov district.
10. Take a day trip out to the Bone Church
From Prague it’s about a 90 minute train journey out to Kutna Hora to see the infamous bone church. The Sedlec Ossuary is a chapel decorated with human bones. Entry is $1.50. Kutna Hora is also well known for its silver mines and you can visit the Silver Museum and tour a silver mine during your day trip.
Things You Should Know:
- It’s easy to get in and out of Prague by train with international trains to destinations in Germany and Poland leaving regularly. To get to and from the airport, you can take a combination of bus and metro. From the airport, catch bus 119 to Nadrazi Veleslavin and get onto the Line A metro. Popular stops on the metro line are Staromestska (Old Town), Mustek or Muzeum for Wenceslas Square, or Malastranska for the Lesser Town.
- There’s plenty of budget accommodation in Prague. I recommend Sophie’s Hostel in the New Town. It offers stylish, modern and large dorms – some with ensuite and your own kitchen facilities. If you’re more the hotel type, head across the street to Miss Sophie’s Hotel.
- Prague is a good city to wander, however it also has an easy to use metro system.
- The currency is the Czech Koruna. $1 roughly equals 25 Czech Koruna.
- Beware of pickpockets in popular tourist spots such as the Astronomical Clock and Charles Bridge.
Lisa Owen is a pint-sized Australian following her dreams to travel to as many places as she can, and loves to share her photography, travel hacks, hiking adventures, and food discoveries along the way. At last count, she has travelled to more than 40 countries in between working in public relations and discovering hidden gems in Australia's great outdoors. Instagram: @_thelittleadventurer Facebook: The Little Adventurer Australia
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.