When planning what to do in Prague it is good to keep in mind that the capital of the Czech Republic is today one of the most sought after and visited cities in Europe.
So if you can avoid the peak summer months as the streets of Prague will be so crowded that the ride becomes a stressful marathon.
Other than that, Prague is an amazing and unique city. A city tour adds many tourist attractions as well as presenting one of the best-preserved historical centers in Europe.
Prague is much more than a medieval city
With its beautiful architecture, full of cultural life, museums and the largest castle in the world, Prague is a must-see destination for Eastern Europeans. Together with Budapest, Vienna, and Bratislava, it forms a perfect itinerary for the region.
The capital of the Czech Republic suffered little during the great wars compared to other major cities in Europe. In addition, it has been isolated for several decades in the Iron Curtain, so it keeps much of its buildings intact.
But it is wrong to think that the city has only ancient attractions because of its medieval buildings. There are also many modern sights such as the Franz Kafka Monument and Museum, as well as the intriguing Dancing House.
With the end of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe has returned to the tour route and today Prague is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Top 20 Things to Do in Prague
Although the capital of the Czech Republic is not such a big city, you have to plan very well what to do in Prague, as there are so many great places to visit that will take a considerable amount of time to visit.
Walking is the easiest and most enjoyable way to see a city, and it is no different in Prague, mainly because the attractions are not far from each other. Still, for those who have short time or difficulties in getting around, there is public transportation there such as the subway, buses and cable cars. For some places further away they are indispensable.
Is this your first time in town? Book your spot on a Free Tour to familiarize yourself with Prague’s attractions. It’s free and has three daily outings. Then visit the quieter places again on your own.
Even if Prague’s major attractions are nearby, we always recommend arranging the trip to make the most of it. Purchasing the Prague Card saves the visitor time and money.
The card can be used for 2, 3 or 4 days, so you avoid queues when buying tickets and entering affiliate museums and other attractions. Being a package, you also save on each entry. Planning is also easier when we already have a list of the places we want to visit and the tickets for them.
Below, we separate and explain the 20 coolest Prague attractions to include in your trip:
Old Town Square
Clock Tower and Old Town Hall
St. Nicholas Church
John Lennon Wall
Pinkas Synagogue and Old Jewish Cemetery
Basilica of St. James the Great
St. Cyril and Methodius Church
Kafka Head Monument
Park and Petrín Tower
1. Old Town Square
Prague’s Old Town is a charming region, practically an open-air museum where we can learn about Prague’s oldest history.
Old Town Square is the heart of the city and can be known on foot, as the attractions are all within the same perimeter.
There are also Easter and Christmas Fairs, with traditional food and drink stands, gifts and Christmas concerts.
There are at least four essential places to see on the square and learn about the history of Prague:
- Jan Hus statue
- St. Nicholas Church
- Church of Our Lady of Týn
- Stone bell house
The Jan Hus Monument was built in 1915 to commemorate 500 years of the priest’s martyrdom that gives the statue its name. He was an important theologian of the late fourteenth century.
It was burned in this same place in 1415, as it criticized the Catholic Church and proposed reforms such as speaking the local language and not Latin during Mass, for example. In the following century, he served as an inspiration to the leaders of the Protestant Reformation.
Speaking of Protestantism, St. Nicholas Church in the Old Town square is today a Protestant church of the Jan Hus segment called the Hussite. But originally the church was built as an orthodox building. Enchant by its gothic architecture mixed with baroque.
Like a large number of churches in honor of Our Lady, the Church of Our Lady of Týn has a Gothic style. It is the main church of the Old Town with construction started in the fourteenth century. To visit it is necessary to find the alley between the many houses built in the square, passing by an arch next to Ristorante Caffe Italia.
Still, in the square, Stone Bell House is named after a bell hanging on its outer wall. It is one of the oldest houses in Prague and once housed some Bohemian kings.
It has 3 floors and its style is gothic, like most buildings in the Old Town. It is currently home to the Prague City Gallery, with a number of exhibitions and modern works that contrast with the building’s original Gothic style.
2. Clock Tower and Old Town Hall
The Prague Clock opened in 1410 and still works today, but when we visited in 2018 it was under renovation.
The clock facade is actually made up of two clocks. There is an astronomical clock that shows the position of the sun, moon, and planets in the sky at the exact moment and another adorned with the zodiac symbols.
The gothic facade of the Clock Tower is made up of Catholic saints and around the main clock appear the 12 apostles of Jesus on the right and left every hour. The impression we have is that the 12 apostles are walking, this moment is called “the apostles’ walk.”
The Clock Tower was partially destroyed at the end of World War II but was all restored quickly.
Today you can climb on it to see how the clock works from within. To enter, you must access the Old Town Hall, also in the square.
Old Town Hall is the old city hall of the Old Town.
Its construction is different from traditional administrative buildings, as it is a junction of small houses where different sectors of government at the time were allocated.
Old Town Hall was built in 1338 and has since undergone many architectural changes. However, the original Gothic-style entrance portal is still preserved.
When it was first built in 1364, the Old Town Hall Tower was the tallest in the city.
3. Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge was built in 1357 at the behest of King Charles IV. It was he who laid the foundation stone of his construction.
The bridge connects Old Town with Malá Strana, the neighborhood on the other side of the Moldava River. It is 516 meters long and its walls are adorned with images of saints. The construction of the base is supported by 16 arches, which can be seen from other points and guarantee beautiful photos.
Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s biggest postcards, so get ready to visit it full of tourists, especially in summer. If you want to take pictures of her with few people, I suggest going near dawn or after nightfall.
4. St. Nicholas Church
In Malá Strana is located the beautiful St. Nicholas Church, one of the main in Prague. Built from 1673 by the Jesuits, its style is Baroque and its domes are adorned with paintings and all its interior with statues and paintings.
Malá Strana, by the way, means “Lower City” and the region is characterized by its buildings of Baroque architecture. When planning what to do in Prague, a stroll through its main streets is worth a full day trip.
Once at St. Nicholas Church, you can climb its tower to have a breathtaking view of the city.
5. Kafka Museum
Although his books were written in German, Franz Kafka was Czech. The writer is one of the most important authors of modern literature.
In the Kafka Museum, details of the author’s daily life and personal effects are displayed. But most important are the early editions of his novels and novels, photos, and the correspondences he exchanged with people who were immortalized in his books.
Following the assassination of John Lennon in the late 1980s, a tribute to the musician began to be made on a Prague wall.
At the time the city still belonged to the socialist regime and graffiti was classified as vandalism and erased. However, they painted again and every time the police went out, they painted over and over.
Today, the wall is a work in constant transformation, being modified at all times. That is, the wall will never be the same if you visit Prague more than once.
At first, the drawings and phrases were in honor of the Beatles, with excerpts of their lyrics and references to the hippie movement. Today we can read messages of peace and love, honors of current political events, and of course the classic image of John Lennon.
Worth the visit for the freedom it represents and also for the contrast with the baroque architecture of Malá Strana and the gothic Old Town.
7. Pinkas Synagogue and Old Jewish Cemetery
The Pinkas Synagogue was built in 1535 for the Jewish Horovic family. It is the second oldest Jewish temple in the city.
Today, in addition to still being active for religious events, the Synagogue serves as a memorial dedicated to Holocaust victims. The name of all Czech Jews missing and killed during World War II is written on the walls of the synagogue, and there is also an exhibition of drawings of Jewish children who were imprisoned in Terezin’s ghetto.
As it is still used for religious purposes, it is good to be aware of Jewish holidays before the visit.
The synagogue gives access to the Old Jewish Cemetery, which operated between the 15th and 18th centuries. As there was no more space, many graves were placed on top of others and today is one of the most impacting cemeteries we have ever visited. There are so many accumulated tombs that form a garden of deposits in a very dramatic way.
Both are part of the Prague Jewish Museum complex. Access is free with the Prague Card.
8. Old-New Synagogue
The Old-New Synagogue is the oldest in Europe, dating from 1270, and still functions as a religious site.
It is one of Prague’s first Gothic-style buildings, even though Jewish and non-Christian.
9. Spanish Synagogue
The Spanish Synagogue dates from 1868 and was built on top of the Old Synagogue of the city. Today is the newest synagogue of the Jewish Quarter, one of the main neighborhoods where tourists stay in the city.
It is named after the architectural style in which it was built, inspired by the Moorish buildings of southern Spain.
Today the synagogue belongs to the Jewish Museum in Prague and still functions as a religious site. Inside there are also musical performances.
During the Nazi occupation, it was used as a deposit by the Germans. Because of this, today there is a Holocaust memorial, which can also be seen on site. In it, there is an exposition about the Jews after World War II until the present years.
10. Basilica of St. James the Great
St. James’s Basilica is part of the monastery complex of the Franciscan Order in Prague. Baroque in style, the interior of the Church is striking for its artwork, Peter Brandl’s paintings and huge marble columns.
But what most attracts tourists is the mummified hand hanging inside the church. Legend has it that a thief broke into the church, and trying to steal the image of Our Lady, it held her until the next day when faithful returned to the church. His hand was severed and hung as a warning.