List of the top 28 must see attractions that you can’t miss during your visit to Prague, including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Lennon Wall, Vysehrad and more.
There are so many attractions in Prague that’s nearly impossible to list them all, so in this blog post I’ve decided to pull together a list of the top 28 must see attractions that you simply can’t miss during your visit to Prague.
I tried to keep this list to 28 well-known attractions because I don’t want you to miss anything, but if you have the time you can also check out my suggestion list for non-touristy attractions in Prague and off-the-beaten-path tips.
Also, to be honest, I don’t always think it’s worth visiting inside some of these attractions – definitely to see them and walk around them – yes, but unless you have a lot of time on your hands, you’d be hard-pressed to see them all in 2-3 days, which seems to be the average amount of days that tourists spend visiting Prague.
Whether you are a history buff, an art lover, or simply looking for a fun and unique travel experience, Prague has it all. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to explore the best of what this wonderful city has to offer!
Charles Bridge is a medieval stone bridge that crosses the Vltava River and is one of Prague’s most iconic landmarks. It was built between 1357 and 1402, during the reign of King Charles IV, and was originally called Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge. It was the only bridge over the Vltava River until 1841 and played a vital role in the city’s trade and commerce.
The bridge has over 30 places with statues of saints and a total of just over 70 different statues. The statues are gradually being cleaned and restored – the bright pale sand statues are newly renovated and the black ones are yet to be restored.
I have to say that I’ve only only known the statues to be black, so seeing them cleaned up feels a bit out of place! The bridge has two main towers, the Old Town Bridge Tower and the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, which you can climb and view the bridge and the city from a high up.
Prague Castle Area
Prague Castle is not just one building, but a large complex of palaces, houses and churches.
Prague Castle was founded around 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Přemysl dynasty. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, covering an area of almost 70,000 m², and is also listed as one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Czech Republic.
When you visit, you can see Old Royal Palace, the permanent exhibition “The Story of Prague Castle,” St. George’s Basilica, the Institute of Noblewomen, the historic Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, the Picture Gallery of Prague Castle, Powder Tower, and St. Wenceslas Vineyard.
The Prague Castle Riding School is also very popular and is currently an important Prague exhibition hall where exhibitions of the most prominent artists are regularly held.
The ceremonial changing of the Castle Guard with its fanfare takes place every day at 12:00 in the first courtyard, with changing of the guard stations every full hour from 7:00 to 20:00.
The dominant structure of the Prague Castle complex is St. Vitus Cathedral, which is also the resting place of many Czech kings and where the Czech crown jewels are kept.
The foundation stone was laid in 1344 by Charles IV in connection with the elevation of the Prague bishopric to an archbishopric. The chief architect was Matthias of Arras, later succeeded by Peter Parler after his death, but the cathedral wasn’t finished until the middle of 20 century.
The Loreta Church in Prague Castle is a Baroque complex that has been a place of pilgrimage since 1626, when it was endowed by a Bohemian noblewoman, Kateřina of Lobkowicz.
The Loreta church has a tower with a clock that plays a pretty tune every hour. The tune is actually played by 27 differently-tuned bells. When these were installed at the end of the 17th century, there were deemed a true wonder!
The Loreta Bells were donated by the wealthy merchant Eberhard from Glauchova. The author of all thirty signed bells is the Amsterdam city bell founder and clockmaker Claudy Fremy, who made them between 1683-91.
The bells were installed at Loreta in 1695 and big celebrations were held to mark the occasion. Each bell had its godfather from the ranks of the high nobility, and even the Bohemian Emperor Leopold I took patronage over the first bell.
New World Area of Prague Castle
The New World is a historic part of town very close to Prague Castle. It was built between the 16th and 18th centuries and is one of the most charming and romantic parts of Prague. The area was originally home to craftsmen and artisans who worked for the castle, but it gradually became a popular spot for artists and intellectuals.
Apart from the lovely streets, you can also see the Military Church of St. John of Nepomuk, which was built by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. The church was consecrated in 1729, shortly after the canonisation of John of Nepomuk. There are some beautifully painted ceiling vaults by V. V. Reiner. The church is open to the general public, but its purpose is to provide pastoral care for the Czech military and is a place to pray for fallen soldiers and world peace.
You can explore the narrow streets, little park and quiet corners that are lined with colourful houses, small cafes and restaurants.
The Strahov Monastery is the oldest Premonstratensian monastery in Bohemia, founded in 1140, and one of the most significant architectural landmarks of the Czech Republic. The monastery includes the famous Strahov Library and Picture Gallery.
The Premonstratensian monastery was founded in 1140 by Olomouc bishop Jindřich Zdík and King Vladislav II. The current Baroque appearance dates from the second half of the 17th and 18th centuries. The monastery was restored after 1990.
The complex includes the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Church of St. Roch, the monastery buildings, the library, and the economic buildings. Abbot Ziedler founded the Strahov Picture Gallery in the monastery complex. Today, the gallery houses works of art from the 14th to the 19th centuries. This collection of paintings is considered the most valuable monastery collection in Central Europe.
In addition to the picture gallery, the monastery building also houses the Strahov Library and Theological Hall. In 2017, a new exhibition of the treasury was opened, where visitors can see a hundred exhibits representing collections of liturgical arts and crafts. The exhibition includes monstrances, chalices, and reliquaries from the Middle Ages to the present day, as well as liturgical vestments, richly decorated and embroidered paraments from the 17th century.
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square is one of the must-see attractions in Prague and with good reason!
The Old Town Square is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It is the oldest and most important square in historical Prague and has always been a busy marketplace at the crossroads of European trade routes.
Just outside the square, you can find the old customs house (Ungelt Square), where goods imported by foreign merchants were taxed. To accommodate the foreign trade, buildings such as a hospital with a church, inns, and stables were founded here as early as the 10th century.
In 1338, King John of Luxembourg granted permission to the Old Town to build its own town hall. The core of the new town hall was the Gothic house of the wealthy merchant Wolflin of Kamene, to which a tall tower was added in 1364. The famous Old Town Astronomical Clock with moving figures of the apostles was made in 1410 by Master Nicholas of Kadan.
Next to the Old Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady before Týn, the dominant feature of the square is the Baroque Church of St. Nicholas by architect K.I. Dienzenhofer, the Rococo Kinský Palace, which now houses the Graphic Collection of the National Gallery, the House at the Stone Bell – a Gothic town palace from the 14th century, now a concert and exhibition space of the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague, and the monument to Master Jan Hus from 1915 by Ladislav Šaloun.
The location of the execution of 27 Czech lords (June 21, 1621) and the Prague Meridian are marked on the pavement of the square.
Originally, the square was called the Great Square, in the 13th century the name was changed to Old Market. In the 14th century, the square was designated as the Old Town Market, and the current name dates back to 1895, when it was renamed based on the area where the square is located.
The Old Town Square Clock in Prague, also known as the Prague Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj, is a medieval astronomical clock that is built into the Old Town Tower. It was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest clock still in operation.
The clock features an intricate design with moving figures and symbols that represent various astronomical and cultural themes. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Prague and a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
The Josefov district is the smallest official area of Prague. Until 1850, Josefov was called the Jewish Town, and before that, this area was referred to as the Jewish Ghetto. Today, it is a preserved complex of significant Jewish buildings and monuments of European importance.
The original Jewish Ghetto was condemned to “sanitation” as a poor district at the end of the 19th century. Only a few buildings remain from the ghetto, including the Jewish Town Hall, the Old Jewish Cemetery, and six synagogues: Klaus, Maisel, Pinkas, Staronova, Spanish, and High Synagogue.
I love walking in the cobbled narrow streets of the Lesser Town – directly under the Prague Castle – there is always something new to discover and once you leave the main streets, it’s surprisingly crowd free.
The heart of Lesser Town is the Lesser Town Square with the Lesser Town Hall, a row of palaces and charming houses, as well as the most beautiful Baroque church in Prague, St. Nicholas Church. You can reach Prague Castle either through Nerudova Street, lined with picturesque houses, including the House at the Two Suns, or through Thunovská Street, which leads to the famous Castle Steps.
You can also admire the famous Vrtba Garden, climb the St. Nicholas Church or visit the Alchemist Museum.
John Lennon Wall
The John Lennon wall is accessible any time of the day and it’s free for everyone to see. Come early in the morning for the best photo without too many people. If you are visiting during the day, have a look behind the wall.
You will find a quiet garden with a hidden art gallery where you can buy modern art or just sit in front to have time to take everything in. The whole area belongs to the order of Maltese knights and I always find it’s such a contrast to the John Lennon wall on the outside.
Kampa Island is directly next to Charles Bridge, so it’s the perfect place to relax after all that walking on the cobblestones! Kampa Island is part of a cluster of Vltava River islands which are all accessible and perfect to cool off, especially in the summer heat wave.
Shooters Island has great views of Charles Bridge, at the Slavic Island you can borrow the pedal boats to cruise the river and the Children’s Island has one of the largest children’s playgrounds. Each island had some refreshment stalls and also toilets.
Did you know that right next to the Wallenstein Palace, which is where the Czech Parliament meets, you can find the stunning Wallenstein Garden? This garden is truly hidden and you can’t see it until you step in through a small wooden gate.
This early Baroque garden was built way back in the 17th century and boasts a strictly geometric garden design which is surrounded by high walls on one side and palaces on the other side.
You’ll be blown away by the numerous sculptures scattered throughout the garden, as well as the grotto, aviary, large pond with an island (and fish!), and a sala terrena with beautifully decorated ceilings that connects the palace and the gardens. Plus, the view of Prague Castle up ahead is absolutely breathtaking!
This garden is free to enter and it’s usually open every day during the main season (spring – late autumn) until about 7 pm. There are no refreshments in the garden area, but you will find public toilets there (payable). Look out for free music concerts during the summer.
Originally called Horse Market, Wenceslas Square was designed at the request of Charles IV along with the Cattle Market and Hay Market. It was not until 1848, on the proposal of Karel Havlíček Borovský, that it was renamed St. Wenceslas Square.
In 1918, the independence of Czechoslovakia was declared here. On January 19, 1969, student Jan Palach set himself on fire here in protest against the “friendly” invasion of Czechoslovakia by other states in August 1968.
During the Velvet Revolution in 1989, “Václavák” became a key location for mass demonstrations. From the balcony of the Melantrich publishing house, Václav Havel and other well-known personalities spoke to the people.
Today, Wenceslas Square is the commercial centre of Prague. It is home to the most famous hotels, shops, and luxury restaurants.
The Dancing House, also known as the Fred and Ginger Building, is a modern building that looks interesting from any angle. It’s lit up at night with different colours and is a great place to take photos. It looks really fun when you stand in front of the building (where the traffic lights are) and lift your leg to make it look like you are kicking the building (and the building is bending a little).
The Dancing House was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić and completed in 1996. The building is named after the famous American dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and the building is designed to look like a couple dancing.
The Municipal House was built between 1905 and 1912, and it’s one of the best examples of Art Nouveau building style in Prague.
The Municipal House was built on the site of the former Royal Court Palace, which was destroyed in the 19th century. The building was designed by a team of leading Czech artists and architects, including Antonín Balšánek, Osvald Polívka, and Alfons Mucha. The exterior of the building is decorated with allegorical sculptures and stucco, and the entrance has a beautiful mosaic called Homage to Prague by Karel Špillar.
The Municipal House was originally built to be used for civic and cultural events – for example for the declaration of Czechoslovak Republic independence in 1918.
Inside the building, you will find a concert hall, a ballroom, several restaurants and cafes. The tours of the building are payable, but you can look around the public areas of the building for free, which gives you a good inside into the beautiful style of this building.
Klementinum is another building close to my heart as its main purpose is a large library. I used to study there for my exams at Charles University back in the day and now come back to spend time reading rare books on Prague history. When I sit in the main library, I feel so privileged to be there and it really inspires me to learn more about Prague and also write this blog.
The Klementinum is the second largest complex of buildings in Prague after Prague Castle. For over two hundred years part of the complex has been used by the National Library, which has the most valuable manuscripts and all books published since 1807 in the Czech Republic (or Bohemia).
The most attractive places in Klementinum include the Astronomical Tower, 68 meters high, which offers a beautiful view of the historic centre of Prague, the Mirror Chapel with a richly designed interior and mirrors and the Baroque Library Hall with its beautiful frescoes and several historically valuable large globes.
The history of Vyšehrad dates back to the 10th century when it served as a fortified settlement and a seat of the Czech princes. In the 11th century, it became the residence of the first Czech king, Vratislaus II, who built a basilica dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul.
During the reign of Charles IV in the 14th century, Vyšehrad was abandoned as a royal seat in favour of the newly built Prague Castle. In the following centuries, the fortress was used for various purposes, including as a military garrison and a prison.
In the 19th century, Vyšehrad was transformed into a public park, and many of its historic buildings were restored. The fortress became a symbol of Czech nationalism and a place of pilgrimage for Czech patriots. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Czech artists and intellectuals, including Antonín Dvořák and Alfons Mucha, were buried in the Vyšehrad Cemetery.
Vysehrad is great to visit if you want to escape the crowds of central Prague, and you get some beautiful views of Prague from the top of the park. Whilst the original castle is long gone, you can still see the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, visit the Vyšehrad Cemetery, and see of the oldest buildings in Prague – the Rotunda of St. Martin.
Petrin Hill Park, also known as Petřínské sady, is very close to the centre of Prague in the Lesser Town area. The park covers an area of approximately 200 hectares and it’s set mainly in the hilly area opposite Prague Castle (or next to it, it depends on how you look at it).
The history of Petrin Hill Park dates back to the 12th century when the hill was used for defensive purposes. In the 14th century, a castle was built on the hill, which was later destroyed during the Hussite Wars.
There is plenty to see and do at Petrin Hill, including the Hunger Wall, which was built in the 14th century to protect the city from invasion and was later expanded in the 19th century to provide work for the poor.
In the 20th century, the park was further expanded, and several new landmarks were added, including the famous Petrin Tower, which was built in 1891 and was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Mirror Maze.
Climbing the 299 steps up to the Petrin Lookout Tower is a great exercise and you can also take a great photo of Charles Bridge from the top.
Letna Park, situated in the Prague 7 district, is a true gem among Prague’s parks and one of the largest parks in the city. The park was founded in 1860 on the site of a former vineyard, and it has since become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
While the park is most famous for its ticking metronome, it also has a fascinating history – from 1955 to 1962, it was home to the world’s largest monument of Joseph Stalin.
For those who enjoy biking or roller skating, special paths have been built here, making it the perfect place to enjoy some outdoor exercise. Families with children will also love the many playgrounds scattered throughout the park.
And for beer lovers, there’s no better place to be than under the shade of the park’s beautiful chestnut trees, where you can enjoy a cold Czech beer in the Letna Beer Garden while taking in the stunning views of Prague.
From here you a get a great view of all the bridges in the centre of Prague, Vltava River and the Vitkov Hill on the other side.
Prague Zoo is pretty special and I remember visiting it as a little kid with my mum and on school trips and then again as an adult and it still feels quite magical.
The Zoo is set over a large area, which in some places is quite steep – so much so, that there is a short chair lift that takes you to the top level! The new areas include large areas for zebras, elephants and also new pavilions for sea animals.
The zoo was opened to the public on September 28, 1931, and in 1938, the first artificially bred Andean condor in the world was hatched and reared. The first artificially bred polar bear, a female named Ilun, followed in 1942. In 1959, Dr. Zdeněk Veselovský was appointed as the director of the zoo and he has done a lot for the development of the ZOO and its conservation and research projects.
Today, the Prague Zoo is a municipal zoo that occupies 58 hectares (140 acres) and houses more than 5,000 animals of almost 700 species.
Stromovka Park is the largest park in central Prague and it’s laid out on an impressive area of 105 hectares. The park dates back to 1266 when it was originally used for breeding and hunting deer and was owned by the Bohemian King.
Today, it is a popular destination for anyone who likes cycling, rollerblading, sports games, and walking dogs. You will also find several ponds and plenty of benches to sit on and admire the views. My favourite place is the wooden bookcase, where you can borrow a book and enjoy reading it sitting on a swirling bench.
In one corner of the park, you’ll also find a planetarium and there are several places where you can get refreshments (make sure you don’t miss the little take-out window place that sells really good hot chocolate and coffee).
The Žižkov Television Tower is not only the tallest building in Prague, but also the highest observation deck in the Czech Republic, standing at 216 meters. The structure consists of three cylindrical steel tubes reaching a height of 134 meters together. The main tube, containing two high-speed elevators, then transitions to an antenna mast reaching a height of 216 meters.
The decision to build it was made due to the city’s continued expansion and increasing interference with television signals. The weight of the entire structure is around 2,200 tons and when it’s a clear sky you can see mountains as far as 100 km away. The tower also features 10 giant babies, sculptures by artist David Černý.
The technical museum is definitely one of my most favourite museums in Prague. I’m a total nerd when it comes to industrial history and old-fashioned technology, like old cars, trains and planes and if you like this kind of stuff, then the Technical Museum should be on your must-see attractions list in Prague. I have to warn you; you can easily spend a whole day there!
The National Technical Museum in Prague is the largest institution dedicated to preserving information and artefacts related to the history of technology in the Czech Republic.
The museum was established in 1908 in a building near Letná Park. During the Second World War, the museum was closed, and many of its exhibits were lost or destroyed. After the war, the museum was reopened, and its collections were gradually restored. In the 1960s and 1970s, the museum’s collections expanded to include new technologies, such as electronics and computers.
Today, the National Technical Museum in Prague has a collection of over 60,000 items, including historic cars, trams, aeroplanes, locomotives (you can see the first Czech Republic’s president Thomas Garigue Masaryk train compartments), and industrial machinery. The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from mining and metallurgy to telecommunications, space exploration and domestic appliances.
Farmer’s Market at Naplavka
This is one of the biggest farmer’s markets in Prague, currently around 90-100 stalls every Saturday. Apart from the usual fresh vegetables, fruit and organic meats, you can also buy bread and cakes from various regions of the Czech Republic.
There are also plenty of freshly made traditional foods such as ‘topinky’ (toasted sourdough bread with garlic) or fried savoury potato pancakes (Bramboraky) as well as yeasted sweet pancakes called ‘Livance’.
Apart from the food produce, you can also often see stalls selling local crafts, handmade products, natural soaps and cosmetics.
Since this is the biggest and most known farmer’s market in Prague, it’s also the busiest one, so it’s worth getting there a bit earlier in the day. There is often live music and many people use the market as a social get-together on Saturday morning.
Troja Chateau (Gallery)
Troja Chateau is a Baroque palace located in the Troja district of Prague. The palace was commissioned by Count Wenzel Adalbert of Sternberg in 1679 and designed by French architect Jean Baptiste Mathey. The construction of the palace was completed in 1691, and it became one of the most significant architectural landmarks in Prague.
The palace was built in the French and Italian Baroque styles, and its design was influenced by the Palace of Versailles in France. The palace features a grand entrance hall, a two-armed staircase leading to the garden, and a series of grand rooms decorated with frescoes and stucco work.
The palace was owned by the Sternberg family until the early 20th century when it was acquired by the city of Prague. In 1922, the palace was opened to the public as part of the Prague City Art Gallery, and it has since housed a collection of 19th-century Czech art.
Whilst I think that visiting museums is a worthwhile thing to do, I would suggest that you visit the National Museum if you are particularly interested in any of the exhibitions, are interested in seeing the building itself from the inside (it’s pretty impressive!) or it’s raining and you’ve seen everything else in Prague!
This might sound a bit harsh, but to see everything in the National Museum you really need a whole day! There are permanent exhibitions, such as history, and mineralogy, but also temporary exhibitions, which are always really interesting. The last time I visited, there was an exhibition on the fashion of the first ladies of Czech Presidents. The exhibitions are well presented and there are always signs in Czech and English language.
The National Museum in Prague is the largest museum in the Czech Republic and was founded in 1818 by Count Kašpar Maria Šternberk, the first president of the Society of the Patriotic Museum.
The museum’s collections were originally housed in the Klementinum, a historic complex of buildings in Prague’s Old Town. However, by the mid-19th century, the collections had outgrown the space, and plans were made to construct a new building for the museum.
Construction of the National Museum building began in 1885 and was completed in 1891. The building was designed by Czech architect Josef Schulz and is considered one of the most significant examples of Neo-Renaissance architecture in the Czech Republic.
The National Museum played an important role in the country’s history, particularly during the Czech National Revival in the 19th century. The museum’s collections were seen as a symbol of Czech national identity, and the museum’s curators played an active role in promoting Czech culture and history.
Prague Castle Gardens
These gardens include Ledeburg, Pálffyov, Kolowrat and the Small Fürstenberg Garden. The gardens are built into the terraces of the castle hill and form many smaller gardens, secluded areas with different plants and decorated with statues.
These gardens are one of my favourite ones (together with the Furstenberg Garden next door) and I always find a part that I’ve not seen before. There is also a beautiful view of the houses and palaces below the castle and Petrin Hil.
These gardens have an entry fee of 140 CZK and are open daily until late during the main tourist season.
This blog post was originally written on 4 July 2023 and last updated on 4 July 2023
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