Before we went, I drafted up a complete program with things to do in Prague, Czech Republic for my mom and I. We ended up doing almost everything on the program and discovered a bunch of other things while we were wandering around the city.
Not to toot my own horn, but mom loved the program I'd made for her. We saw a lot without being exhausted every night and made plenty of cafe stops.
That's why I'd like to share some of the top things to do in Prague, Czech Republic with you, so you can use them when you're planning your own trip there.
- Top things to do in Prague Czech Republic
- 1. Visit Vysehrad
- 2. Walk through the Jewish Quarter
- 3. Watch Kafka's head turn
- 4. Dance in front of the Dancing House
- 5. Have a drink on a bar boat
- 6. Marvel at the astronomical clock and be underwhelmed when it rings
- 7. Research restaurant options
- 8. Get a view of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at night
- 9. Visit the Prague Castle Complex
- 10. Go on a food tour
- 11. Get freaked out by the babies at Kampa Park
- 12. Get a photo in front of the Lennon Wall
- 13. Visit the library of the Strahov Monastery
- 14. Check out Prague from above at Letna Park
- Where to stay in Prague
- How to get to Prague
- Save money on your trip to Prague
- Pin for later
Top things to do in Prague Czech Republic
1. Visit Vysehrad
Vysehrad was the first place we went to. It was recommended to me by my friend Talon from 1 Dad, 1 Kid and I'm glad we followed his recommendation.
Vysehrad, which means “upper castle”, is a historical fort located about a 25-minute walk south from the Old Town. Except for the walls, which you can walk on to get great views over the river Moldau, there's not much left of the fortress and so there's no Vysehrad Castle entrance fee
What there is to see, though, is a lovely park with walking lanes, the impressive St. Peter and St. Paul Church, the Rotunda of St. Martin, one of Prague's oldest buildings, and the Vysehrad cemetery.
You can see it all in about an hour unless you want to hang around the park for a bit.
2. Walk through the Jewish Quarter
I'd planned for us to walk through the Jewish Quarter Josefov but hadn't looked up any entrance prices to the synagogues and such.
Turned out that you can either buy an entrance ticket for one place or a ticket that lets you into several historical monuments. We bought one that gave us entrance to the Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Klausen Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall, the Spanish Synagogue and the temporary exhibitions and the Robert Guttman Gallery for CZK 300/person.
This was the most inclusive ticket, except for the one that also included the Old-New Synagogue.
When we bought the ticket, it came with a handy map indicating where all the sights were and so we just walked from one to the other. We did skip a few as after a while it was time to go to the meeting point for our Eating Prague food tour.
If you want to learn more about the Jewish history of Prague than what's displayed on the information panels in the synagogues, consider taking a guided tour which includes entrance tickets to all of the sites.
Click here for more information and prices.
3. Watch Kafka's head turn
At Charvátova 41/6 stands a giant, 39 ton heavy and 11 meters high statue of the head of Czech writer Franz Kafka. It consists of 42 moving layers of stainless steel that change the appearance of the statue several times a day.
We didn't know about the moving layers so you can imagine our surprise as we sat down at a cafe next to the statue and suddenly saw it moving. Our surprise was even bigger when we noticed upon leaving that Kafka was suddenly sticking his tongue out!
The head is a piece by the famous and controversial Czech artist David Cerny. He's placed a video on YouTube that perfectly shows how the head turns and changes:
4. Dance in front of the Dancing House
The Dancing House stands along the Moldau river in Prague's New Town and is known for its odd shape. It kind of looks like it's squeezing itself in between the buildings to its left and to its right.
Those of you who've seen other buildings by the Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, won't be surprised to read that he designed the Dancing House together with the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunic.
Gehry first called the house “Ginger and Fred”, after the famous Hollywood dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire but that name is rarely used.
The Dancing House is home to the Dutch insurance company Nationale-Nederlanden and can best be seen from across the river or from the Jiraskuv Most bridge. A restaurant and cafe are located on the top floor. Both are accessible to the public.
If you want to visit the Dancing House, entry is free with the Prague City Card.
5. Have a drink on a bar boat
Between Vysehrad and the Old Town, there's a boulevard that runs along the water. The area is called Naplavka and is known for the barge boat restaurants and hotels that are open all year and – more fun – the open barges and hole-in-the-wall bars that are only open from April/Muntil October-ish, depending on the weather. It's a fun place to go for a drink.
6. Marvel at the astronomical clock and be underwhelmed when it rings
It's true, the world-famous astronomical clock on Prague's Old Town Square is pretty impressive, especially when you know it dates back to the beginning of the 15th century. The noon ringing of the clock, however, which is a thing that always draws in a lot of spectators, isn't so much. There are a few moving figures, but if you're not standing right in front of the clock, you can hardly see them.
So my advice? If you want to visit the Old Town Square when there aren't a lot of people around, go very early in the morning. If you don't care about the people but just want to see the clock, go whenever you want, but not at noon. Avoid the fuss.
There's an option to climb the tower of the astronomical clock. You need entrance tickets to do this and the lines can be long all-year-round. If you want to avoid wasting time in line, consider getting a skip-the-line ticket instead.
Click here for prices.
7. Research restaurant options
If you're not a big fan fo the heavy Czech food, do a bit of restaurant research before you go. There are plenty of great restaurants that offer international and light cuisine, but you do need to know where to find them.
And even if you're a fan of the Czech kitchen, it doesn't hurt to check some TripAdvisor reviews, right?
8. Get a view of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at night
One night, after we had dinner at Lehká Hlava, we walk toward the river and suddenly saw the view pictured on the photo above. Prague at night is beautiful, but the view on Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge is still a level up. Make sure to check it out. We stood right by tram stop Karlovy Lazne.
9. Visit the Prague Castle Complex
Speaking of the Prague Castle, you should, of course, also visit it. Now, to be honest, I liked Vysehrad and Prague's Old Town better than the Prague Castle complex. Probably partly because of the crowds. It's an unmissable attraction if you're visiting the city for the first time, though.
Did you know, by the way, that it's the largest old castle in the world? You can read that and more facts about Czech Republic here.
The advice we got from our Eating Prague tour guide was to go late in the afternoon and not early in the morning when most tour groups go. We followed his advice and while it was still crowded, it's true that we only saw one or two smaller groups.
We wandered around and checked out the Old Royal Palace, the St. Vitus Cathedral, the St. George Basilica and the gardens. While I did want to visit the Cathedral and the Basilica, they just closed their doors when we arrived.
We didn't do the Golden Lane as I'd read it isn't that special and as the end of the day was approaching when we were there, mom and I agreed to skip it.
If you want to visit the castle complex a bit more properly than I did, be sure to plan ahead as it's huge. If you'd like to get some background information from an expert, consider taking a tour. There are many options and most also take you inside the buildings.
If you rather visit the castle complex independently, the Prague City Card gives you free access to several of its sights as well as discounts on activities at the castle.
10. Go on a food tour
I'm not big on doing tours unless they're food tours. Now, I have to say I've only ever done food tours with Eating Europe and I always love them. It wasn't any different in Prague. You can read about my experience with Eating Prague here.
11. Get freaked out by the babies at Kampa Park
At Kampa Park, you can find three giant bronze baby statues without faces. They're another creation of the artist David Cerny whom I mentioned above. The same babies, but made out of much lighter material “crawl” on the Zizkov Television Tower, a famous landmark in the city.
12. Get a photo in front of the Lennon Wall
Close by the Kampa Park, you can find the Lennon Wall. It was a regular wall until after John Lennon's death in 1980 someone painted his portrait on it, together with pieces of his lyrics.
Lennon was a pacifist hero for many young Czech who opposed the communist regime and if when that regime painted the wall white, it never took long for new Lennon lyrics and drawings to appear.
The wall currently belongs to the Knights of Malta and after several years of trying to keep it clean, they've bowed to its popularity and now leave it as it is. The original paintings have long disappeared and tourists have even started leaving their messages.
13. Visit the library of the Strahov Monastery
A visit to Prague Castle can easily be combined with one to the Strahov Monastery and I highly recommend you visit both places the same day. What we did was take the tram up to the monastery, visit it, then walk down to have lunch and visit Kampa Park and then walk all the way up again to visit the Castle.
A bit cray and it probably had been better if we'd went straight to the castle after we'd visited the monastery, but hey, you travel to learn, right?
The monastery has a nice little inner courtyard and the road just below it offers amazing views of Prague. You can also hike up to the Petrin Watch Tower, but the real gem here, I think, is the library.
The Strahov Library has two of the most beautiful book rooms I've ever seen. You can only take a photo if you pay for it, which I didn't do. I kind of regret that now, but I doubt I would've been able to get a great shot as there were quite a few people drumming to see the rooms. You can't actually enter them, only see them through an open door.
No, wait, that's not true. You can visit them with a guide but only if you make a reservation a few weeks beforehand. Admission is CZK 100 at the time of writing and highly worth it, as it probably makes it possible to maintain the place.
14. Check out Prague from above at Letna Park
Another thing to do in Prague when you're visiting the castle is walk to Letna Park. I didn't find the park to be that spectacular, but it does have a huge metronome and it offers some great views over the Moldau and the city because of its high location.
Where to stay in Prague
Boutique: Prague Inn
We spent three nights at the Hotel Prague Inn, a small hotel in the heart of the city, right by the famous Wenceslas Square. We had a very spacious room, an elaborate breakfast included and good working wi-fi. It actually was an ideal base for our trip.
Budget: Hostel Damiell
Damiell is a simple but effective what-you-see-is-what-you-get hostel. It’s situated on the western side of the river in the old town, not far from Prague Castle and picture-postcard views of river Vltava. Dormitories range from one to four beds, with free WiFi, a 24-hour reception desk and a fully furnished kitchen on each floor. Amenities are nearby, with a restaurant and supermarket just yards from the door.
Chain: Clarion Hotel Prague City
This modern Clarion Hotel is based in a popular location in Prague, just a five minute walk from Wenceslas Square and with a tram stop right outside taking you all round the city. Rooms include a coffee-maker, air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, minibar and WiFi, and guests are treated to a varied breakfast.
Luxury: BoHo Prague Hotel
BoHo Prague is situated in the heart of the city with easy access to all the most popular landmarks. The rooms are large, elegantly furnished and spacious that spare no expense, from stunning artwork to comfy modern furniture. Guests can visit the luxurious restaurant or wellness centre for a surcharge. Everything about this hotel spells ‘sophistication’.
Apartment: Remember Residence
Just a couple of minutes walk from the stunning Charles Bridge, located on the castle side of the river, Remember Residence is great value for money. Apartments are airy and bright with large windows and soft furnishings, all creams, whites, and wood – and a hammock! Guests benefit from a kitchenette including a stovetop, coffee-machine, microwave, toaster, fridge and more. One of its best features, however, is the charming garden area for taking a breather from busy city life.
There are plenty more apartment options on Airbnb. While I use Booking for hotels, I always check Airbnb for apartments as they have such a large selection.
If you'd like to try Airbnb but don't already have an account, I can give you a discount on your first booking if you book through my link. This is at no cost to you.
If you already have an account and found this post useful, please consider making your next Airbnb through my link. The price stays exactly the same for you, while I'll earn a small commission. Income like this helps me travel independently and create new content for you.
How to get to Prague
We flew from Brussels Airport to Prague and then had a transfer to our hotel.
Check Skyscanner for the best overview of your flight options.
If you also want to book a private transfer from the airport straight to your hotel, you can do so here.
For a more budget-friendly option, check out this shared shuttle service.
There is no direct train or metro line from Prague Airport to the city center, which is why booking a transfer directly to our hotel was extra practical. You can, however, take one of the regular buses that each go to a specific metro stop in the center.
- Bus 119 runs between the airport and the Dejvicka metro station.
- Bus 100 runs between the airport and Zlicin metro station.
- Bus 179 runs between the airport and Nove Butovice metro station.
And then there's also the Airport Express, which runs between the airport and Hlavni Nadrazi. This is Prague’s main train station and is located in the heart of the city. The bus takes about 35 minutes to get there.
When traveling through Europe, you can also get to Prague by train.
Click here for train options and prices.
Save money on your trip to Prague
Aside from getting the Prague City Card, there's another way to save money on your trip in Prague. Prague expert Jiri Moravic has written a book that allows you save on anything from meals to taxis, currency exchange, and shopping.
He's so certain his tips will help you save at least $60 that he offers a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you're not satisfied with the book.
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