Prague is a town that comes alive with vibrancy; the liveliness that runs within the pulse of the ancient city is palpable, bringing together the chic with the medieval in a very classy form. Walking through the city and enjoying its Renaissance architecture while taking a break to sip on a glass of wine at one of the patio cafes or chugging down a beer at the famous beer halls is what a vacation in Prague is all about. Here are 10 things in Prague that you will fall totally in love with. The best part is - the most interesting and fascinating places can be walked to, from the Old Town. So gear up, put on your most comfortable walking shoes and get ready to experience some amazing sights.
#1 Old Town Square
Probably the most charming part of this city is the Old Town. Picture this – narrow cobbled stone streets lined with alfresco restaurants and cafes, live music and entertainers creating their magic, horse-drawn carriages in the background of gothic churches and ancient buildings with no vehicles but only people; and lots of them!
The historical square is also where you can view the astronomical clock. This is an iconic landmark because of the 12 wooden apostles that pass by the window above the dial and other sculptures also move harmoniously in the clock. Every day, thousands of people gather around waiting for the clock to strike. If that is not enough entertainment for you, live instrument players and singers will definitely steal your interest at this popular square. The area also becomes beautifully lit at night, especially with the incredible Rococo Kinsky Palace, the Gothic Tyn Cathedral, and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church.
#2 Sunset at Charles Bridge
This 14th-century bridge has been featured in many movies because of how gorgeous it is! A simple walk across this bridge will be one of the best things you will do in Prague - be it any time of day. Capturing the sunrise here has been one of my dreams which I am yet to fulfill. However, the sunsets are equally spectacular.
With the sky turning pink and the Vltava river below reflecting the lovely colours, as boats sail across in the background of the Prague Castle, the scene is one you'll never forget. The statues on the pillars add to the brilliance of the architecture of this bridge, which is undoubtedly one of the prettiest in the world.
#3 View from The Old Town Bridge Tower
This tower is the gateway to the Charles Bridge. For super views, climb 138 stairs inside the tower to the top and you will be rewarded with a birds-eye-view of the surrounding landmarks such Church of St. Nicholas with its green copper dome and the Old Town on one side, the Lesser Town or Mala Strana on the other, and the Charles Bridge, Vltava River and Prague Castle on the third side.
#4 The red rooftops of Mala Strana from the Prague Castle
Walk up to the Prague Castle and enter the grounds, free of charge. The views of Lesser Town or Mala Strana from here are absolutely breathtaking, with thousands of red rooftops laid out one after the other. Even on a cloudy day, the pictures we captured were so amazing!
The Castle, St Vitus Cathedral and Basilica of St George are all located within close proximity to each other; the area is known as Hradcany (the Castle District). Although entering the grounds of the castle is not chargeable, however, if you want to visit inside the castle and the other monuments, you can buy a combined entrance ticket.
#5 The very ancient (looking) St Vitus Cathedral
This is one of the oldest-looking buildings I have seen, owing to the blackened, aged walls of the cathedral. However, it is said that it is not really that old and was only completed in early 20th century. The architecture, however, is extremely fascinating.
#6 A walk up Petřín Hill
Although you can take a funicular ride up the hill from Mala Strana (Lesser Town), there is no fun like walking all the way up for rewarding panoramic views of the city from this green place. The walk to the top is quite pleasant and the landscaped gardens with benches to rest on, ice cream carts and playgrounds at the summit make for an enjoyable few hours to be spent while looking over the city.
Click here to read about some fantastic day trips from Prague.
#7 A stroll across Lesser Town (Mala Strana)
Although I love the Old Town for its charming narrow cobbled strong streets and its medieval architecture, the Lesser Town, only a 5-minute walk from the Old Town, also has its own charm. Not as ancient as the Old Town but equally vibrant in its ambiance, with alfresco restaurants and cafes, wider streets and more modern buildings on its sides, Mala Strana is across the river from the Old Town and boasts of shops, bars and cafes on the riverside with fantastic views of the Charles Bridge.
#8 Chug down a beer at one of the Beer Halls
Beer aficionados! This one is for you - Prague claims to have some of the best beers in Europe and the beer halls usually have more than 20 types on tap. The most popular ones are U Medvidku and U Vejvodu. These large areas with hundreds of people chugging down beer are unique and deserve a visit if you're in Prague.
#9 Nightlife at Wenceslas Square, New Town or Zizkov District
If you happen to be in Prague on a weekend, do not expect to sleep at night! The city rocks with its nightclubs, bars and strip clubs that stay open all through the night until wee hours of the morning. A very vibrant place not just during the day but also during the night is the Wenceslas Square, where you'll find most of the nightclubs and strip clubs. If you're looking particularly for a good strip club, Goldfingers Prague is one you might want to visit (free entry, only drinks are chargeable). Wenceslas Square is a part of the New Town and hardly a 5-minute walk from the Old Town.
Another area known for its nightlife is Zizkov Square. There are pubs every few square meters and some hidden in basements even! It is a great place to explore, during the day as much as during the night.
#10 Stay in an inexpensive Boutique Hotel
Staying in the heart of The Old Town has its pros and cons - the nights can get very noisy because people are out on the streets until 5 am. However, there is fun only if you can be at the center of the action! Although staying in the Old Town can be a little expensive, it might be worth shelling out a few extra pennies for some cozy and cute boutique hotels. We stayed at one such hotel Prague Boutique Residence, with absolutely lovely interiors and in the heart of the Old Town. The best part? It costs just about USD 120 a night!