20 Unmissable Attractions in Prague
Prague is a city that attracts millions of tourists each year – and the number is consistently growing. The beautiful architecture, Baroque buildings, fantastic nightlife, quality food scene, and friendly locals make this a hot destination spot for people from all over the world.
The cheap prices, walkability and an almost unlimited number of attractions to see make this a hot spot f on most people’s summer travel plans. You can walk around the city with no plan, and be swept away by the magic of the city.
However, we recommend checking out these top 20 attractions that are absolute must-sees when visiting the country’s capital.
1) Prague Castle Complex
You’ve probably seen it in photos. The looming castle perched above a hilltop, looking at the red-roofed houses down below. This iconic castle is actually a massive complex, housing various historical buildings hid behind the tall walls. Walking to the castle, you trek up a sloping hillside and are able to catch some of the best vies of the city.
Once you enter the complex, you’ll be blown away by the sheer size of the castle itself, and all of the space inside. The complex is home to St. Vitus Cathedral, arguably the country’s most important shrine. Finalized in the 20th century, the top of the main tower gives unbeatable views of the city, and the underground tombs are where many of the Bohemian kings were laid to rest.
The Prague Castle now serves as the office of the Czech president, and is the largest castle complex in the world – you can easily spend a half-day wandering around here.
2) National Museum
This 19th-century foundation is housed in two buildings within Wenceslas Square, containing a historical building and a more modern one, which used to be the home of the Czechoslovakian parliament seat and Radio Free Europe. Open every day from 10 am – 6 pm, this is a great rainy day activity – or a normal day activity for the history buffs out there.
3) Žižkov Television TowerFor some more extreme views of the beautiful Prague architecture, head to this television tower. Located on top of a hill in the Žižkov district, this unique building is easy to spot. Finished in the early ’90s, the deck provides amazing birds-eye views over the city, and also houses an upscale eatery.
If you want to splurge for the night, there’s one exclusive hotel room – not for the budget traveler, or for those afraid of heights. Once you descend from the tower, you can check out the Jewish cemetery that was partially destroyed to make way for this structure.
Although this building was rated the second ugliest building in the world by an Australian website, we think you should go and see for yourself.
4) Wenceslas Square
Although overshadowed by the famous Old Town Square (we’re getting to that, don’t worry), Wenceslas has its own charm. Lined by beautiful flowers in the summer, and featuring sparkling lights in the winter, this square is the largest in the city, and features a massive statue in the upper section.
Holding a smaller Christmas market and farmers market in the warmer weather, this square can get just as busy as Old Town, making it a great spot to hit during the holiday and summer seasons.
5) Stromovka ParkAptly named Prague’s “Central Park,” this 250-acre green space is open every day for almost any activity you can think of. Head to this park to find people reading, napping under the shade of the trees, playing sports, running or biking on one of the many trails, or enjoying a picnic in the sunshine.
Popular with both tourists and locals alike, the mixture of people you find here give it the charm and good energy that you’ll definitely feel as you enjoy your time here. The park dates back to the 13th-century and has had numerous changes since then.
There is a Renaissance gate at the western edge of the park, the park was enlarged to a whopping 52 acres, and an island was created in the middle. With over 4 million visitors per year, this park is one you cannot miss while in the city.
6) Old Town SquareThe most famous square in the city, Old Town Square looks very similar to when it was created int he 10th-century – most of what makes this space so popular. Boasting old-world charm, with churches, buildings, and an ambiance that just resonates with a different time period, this square is almost constantly busy.
Despite being surrounded by many tourists, you’ll see the reason why. You can sit outside at one of the various restaurants and people watch for hours, gazing at the pedestrians walking by, the beautiful architecture, and the famous Astronomical Clock – you might even get to hear it chime on the hour.
Built in the 15th century, it is one of the most preserved mechanical clocks in the world. You also will have a chance to see Týn Church, towering above the buildings in the foreground. A place for visitors and locals to congregate at all times of the day, this spot is sometimes considered the heart of the city.
7) Charles Bridge
“Bridging” the gap between the Old Town and Mala Strana (Lesser Town), this pedestrian walkway over the Vltava river is iconic. Featuring Baroque statues lining the sides, unbeatable views of both sides of the city, and live music and vendors during most hours of the day, every visitor to the city needs to cross this pathway. Walking on the cobblestones, flanked by the beautiful statues and lights, we recommend coming here during sunrise – the view is spectacular.
8) Vltava River
Instead of just crossing the river, why not take a boat ride? You can enjoy stand-up-paddle-boarding in the summer, a rowboat, or a closed-in boat ride during the colder months, giving you a unique perspective of both sides of the city.
You also have the opportunity to explore the islands located in the middle of the river, checking out lesser-visited spots in Prague. If you’d rather stay on land, enjoy the trail next to the river to watch the boats, peek into some of the floating bars, and admire the view of the bridges.
9) Jewish Quarter
An important and historical part of the city’s life, the Jewish Quarter in Prague is full of incredible buildings, interesting history, and breathtaking stories that are just waiting to be told. You can head to the oldest synagogue in Europe that is still functioning – the appropriately-named Old-New Synagogue.
The oldest surviving medieval synagogue of twin-nave design, with two central parts to the church, this Gothic-style building must be seen. Once you leave the synagogue, head to the grave of one of Prague’s most famous writers – Franz Kafka. A Bohemian novelist, and one of the major figures in the 20th-century, combined realism with the impossible, securing his name in the history books.
If you’d rather be lead along your historical journey here, you can hire a guide or take a tour to learn more about the secrets hidden in the Jewish Quarter.
10) The Clementium
Home to the Nationa Library of the Czech Republic, these Baroque buildings are one of the largest collections of historic buildings in all of Europe. Now a property of the state, the library became public in the late 18th-century. Nowadays, the Clementium holds over 6 million books – including every published book in the country. Featuring a beautiful and exquisite Library Hall, this building is unmissable.
11) The National Gallery in PragueThis gallery is spread across a few different landmarks in the city, with historical buildings and modern buldings comprising the entire gallery. Most of the collection is housed in the Veletrzní Palace, a 20th-century building that holds mainly work from Czech artists, but also work from some foreign painters, photographers, and sculptors.
The Kinsky Palace houses Asian art, ancient art, and Baroque collections. Lastly, the Sternberg Palace houses some of the art from the Classical era and Italian pieces. Spread over multiple buildings, the uniqueness in each structure gives a different feel to the art, making this a great way to spend a full day.
12) Prague ZooLocated in a neighborhood outside the city center, the zoo is a great escape from the bustle of city life. In the Troja suburbs, where you can also catch a gerat view of the city, this establishment ranks among the world’s top zoological parks.
The 140 acres are home to more than 4,200 animals. The best part about this zoo is the efforts the institution has in saving the native and endangered Przewalski’s horse. Featuring a petting zoo, pony rides, a chairlift, and a gift shop, take the children here for a day of fun.
13) Strahov Monastery
This 12th-century architectural masterpiece is the second oldest monastery in Prague and houses two Baroque libraries. The Philosophical Library features exquisite furnishings, while the Theological Library boasts a full painted ceiling.
The libraries contain old volumes and manuscripts dating back to the 9th-century. The stacks and stacks of books, the ornate decorations, the Baroque-style architecture, and the Church of The Assumption all make this Monastery a good rainy-day half-day activity.
14) Petrín Lookout TowerYou wanted views? Well, here you go. This almost-64-foot tower is reminiscent of the famous Paris landmark, and offers panoramic views over Prague. Built in the late 19th-century, this imposing tower’s position on the Petrin Hill gives it a birds-eye perspective – which you can get to by funicular railway or a 30-minute trek up the Petrín hill. Climb the 299 steps to the top and soak in the sights.
15) The Lennon WallNow a symbol of peace, with various ethical causes being inscribed on the wall, this structure has stood since the late 20th-century as a tribute to John Lennon, The Beatles front-man. Rising during Communist rule, the police constantly tried to tame the graffiti and erase the messages – but the people were persistent, showing the need to push for peace, release their grief, and add heartfelt sentiments.
16) The National Theatre
For all of the theatre-buffs out there, you can’t miss this building – literally. This massive structure is situated right on the bank of the Vltava, boasting a convenient location that looks out on the flowing waters. Gome to the country’s top opera and ballet performances, this building opened in the late 19th-century to promote Czech culture. Even though this building has undergone many renovations, the symbol of cultural power and Czech nationalism remains.
17) Vyšehrad fortress
Situated on a hilltop, and with the nickname “The Hilltop Fortress,” this structure stands high above the Vltava and offers a great spot for a walk or a picnic. Standing since the 10th-century, this ancient fortress features walls carved into the rock and the hillside, blending in the fortress with nature, creating an exciting attraction to walk through, and a photogenic spot for the photo album.
18) Letna Beer GardenPrague is known for beer – cheap beer. Fortunately for us, there are numerous locations throughout the city to grab a good Pilsner. In the warmer months, head to Letna Park, past all of the skateboarders, and walk to the top of the hill. You’ll find a lovely beer garden with long tables, mugs of beer, and extensive views over the city. This can’t be missed on a sunny summer day.
19) Naplavka Farmers Market
Back down near the Vltava, you’ll find an open-air outdoor space that has live music, vendors, restaurants, and boats that act as floating bars. We recommend heading to this market in the morning, before the mid-day crowds hit, and come hungry – you’ll find numerous stalls that feature pastries and breakfast foods to start your morning off right.
20) Wallenstein Garden and PalaceLocated in Mala Strana, this building that houses the Senate of the Czech Republic is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The geometrically-designed layout, Baroque style, and huge pavilion for relaxing make this a great spot for a warm day. You may also get to see the white peacocks walking around the area, giving the gardens a whimsical and magical feel.
Break out the map, leave your phone at home, and get ready to explore this beautiful city…
Prague is a place where you can get lost – you can wander for hours, meet some locals and be given an impromptu tour, or follow a pre-planned itinerary to make the most out of your time. No matter what you choose, you should try and hit most of the 20 spots on this list – the variety between beautiful outdoor green spaces, incredible architecture, interesting museums, and entertainment make this a fantastic city to visit at any time of year.