It has always been my dream to wander around the jaw dropping streets of Prague. Prague is one of those cities that literally captures all of your heart and leaves you wanting to explore more. It is also one of those places that is 100 times better in real life than any photo could do it justice! Of all the Instagram photos that I have seen of Prague, not one could compare to the beauty of the city when you stand in the old town square embracing the stunning architecture. There were several times that I had to ask myself how a city so beautiful, yet medieval could even exist? How could everything be so well preserved and full of life? Well let me tell you, it is exactly that and so much more! If this is not convincing enough to put Prague on your bucket list, than continue reading on the top things to do and see in this one of a kind city!
I will start off by mentioning our hotel, Cosmopolitan Hotel Prague. This hotel could not have been in the more perfect location from the old town. A very short and easy 5 minute walk and you are in the center of the old town square, what could be better than that?? To make it even more appealing, breakfast is included in the room rate and there is a ton of food! The lobby is covered in white marble with stunning details, the staff is so friendly and very accommodating, and the rooms are very spacious, clean, and perfect to unwind in after a day of walking.
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Ok now back to what to see and do in Prague! Before I start my list, I have to mention that no matter what time of year you visit Prague it will be crowded. I went in January (off season) and there were still crowds of people! Thankfully, It was not nearly as bad as the Summer or during Christmas, but we still had to wake up early to get those “crowd less” shots! There were a few times when those were impossible especially in the old town square, but for the Charles Bridge it is an absolute must!
1. Walk to The Old Town Square
Definitely one of the prettiest town squares I have ever laid my eyes on. The square is covered with cobble stone, stunning colorful buildings with details that will keep your eyes looking up, adorable little cafes and restaurants, Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, St. Nicholas Church, and of course the most important attraction the Astronomical Clock! The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn is the stunning church that you see in all of the Prague photos, with its gorgeous medieval and gothic details rising above the square. It makes for a beautiful backdrop for any photo in the town square. The Astronomical clock is definitely one of the main and most important attractions in the town square with such a huge historical significance. Unfortunately for us, it was under restoration and I could not witness it in all of its glory. The old town square can get very crowded at any time of day because it is the meeting place for locals, tour groups, and just crowds of tourists!
2. Go Up to the Top of the Old Town Tower
The Old Town Tower undoubtably has the best 360 degree views of Old Town Prague and as far as the eye can see! From above you can see more gorgeous colorful buildings and the square itself is even more beautiful! It is about $10 USD a person to climb up (or take the elevator), but it is totally worth it! We did not go up at Sunset, only because winter in Prague can be quite gloomy. We went up early in the afternoon when the sun finally decided to show its face and it was just perfect. The blue sky plus the colorful buildings really made for a beautiful photo opportunity!
3. Get Lost in the Many Streets in Old Town
Prague is best explored without a planned daily itinerary. I found that by just wandering the many adorable cobble stone streets was much more satisfying than planning each hour out. All travel bloggers always say that getting lost is worth it or getting lost will lead you to an even more beautiful place, well in Prague that is completely true! Walk around and hop from cafe to cafe, have a mulled wine (if you are there in Winter), eat several Trdelniks (don’t worry that is on the list too), and eat as many bread bowl goulash’s as you possibly can! A simple stroll through the old town can get you all of those things plus much more!
4. See the Prasna Brana (Powder Tower)
The Prasna Brana is a medieval and gothic tower that separates the old town from the new town. This tower is one of the original city towers and was built in the late 1400s. The architecture, just like with everything else in Prague, is truly amazing. What is even more astonishing is how well preserved it is! You actually can go to the top of the Powder Tower as well to see another view of Prague, but we did not go to the top of this one. Our morning walk to the old town consisted of walking under the tower every day, and each day I found myself admiring it more and more.
5. Climb Up the Mala Strana Tower
As you are making your way to the Mala Strana area, take a few minutes to climb to the top of the tower. This tower, similar to the Powder Tower and Old Town tower, has beautiful Gothic details and displays wonderful views of Charles Bridge below and Mala Strana with the Prague castle in the back ground. There is a small fee to go up but it was probably around 5 USD per person. I think the views are totally worth it 🙂
6. Explore the Mala Strana Area
Mala Strana or “small side of the river” is located on the other side of Charles bridge over the Vltava River from old town Prague. This area is much quieter than the old town and more authentic. There is a lot of Baroque architecture on this side verses the more Gothic style in the old town. Either way the Mala Strana has some adorable little streets to wander down. Take time to just get lost in this area, enjoying a different vibe from the old town.
7. Walk to the John Lennon Wall in the Mala Strana Area
The John Lennon wall is covered with various colorful graffiti, messages, even a few images of John Lennon himself! The wall become a symbol against the oppressive authorities during the Communist era that banned free speech and ideas. Today, mostly tourists take photos of the wall or standing in front of the wall. There are constantly new artists replacing old artwork with new artwork.
8. Visit the Park located on the Right Side of the Charles bridge on the Mala Strana Side
This scenic little area is located directly across the Charles Bridge when you are heading to the Mala Strana area. Instead of going straight into Mala Strana you make the first right and wander all the way down. We actually just kind of walked around and happened to come across this small little park with tons of swans and the Charles bridge in the background! The swans plus the bridge make for some really amazing photos, especially at Sunset if you can get the sky to cooperate!
9. Walk Across the Charles Bridge (At Sunrise)
Probably my favorite spot in all of Prague is the Charles Bridge. The details of the statues lining the bridge is incredible! You almost feel like you have stepped back in time while walking on the bridge. I honestly feel like it may be the most beautiful bridge in the world, I have yet to find a bridge that even comes close in comparison to this one. My husband and I found ourselves on the bridge almost daily, we were literally drawn to it and sometimes a few times a day! The bridge like many attractions in Prague can get super crowded late morning, afternoon, and in the evening. Tourists I am sure make up the bulk of the crowd, but locals do use it to get to and from work. Sunrise was the best time to go to the bridge by far. There were very few people on the bridge, which made it really easy to truly enjoy. I recommend getting there early, because in the afternoon you will be dodging herds of people!
10. Visit Prague Castle
Prague Castle is very easy to walk to from the Old Town. Once you cross the bridge and head into the Mala Strana area you continue to proceed straight, there are signs also that point to the path that you need to take to the castle. Unfortunately for us, the garden was closed because it was January and every thing was dead pretty much. I have seen photos of the garden and it really is beautiful to walk through in the Spring and Summer seasons! Prague castle and the whole complex is pretty massive, its also the largest castle in the world! The President of the Czech Republic actually resides within the castle complex, pretty cool huh? Within the complex you have the castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Golden Lane, and a pretty cool tower that housed prisoners back in the day. You can do a guided tour or just buy tickets and walk around on your own. We bought tickets to include the Golden Lane (a street lined with colorful houses that were once home to the castle servants). The path to the castle is also very pretty and lined with many stairs, there are some great views along the way and at the top of the Prague Castle complex.
St. Vitus Cathedral itself is truly gorgeous. The details on the cathedral are amazing, a truly Gothic feel. It almost reminds me a little of the details of the Zagreb Cathedral but on a much much larger scale! Most tickets include the inside of the Cathedral too, which is obviously a must while visiting the complex.
11. See the Dancing House
The dancing house is located right by the Vltava River and is a cool example of modern Architecture. Did you know that the architect for the Dancing house is actually from Zagreb, Croatia? Cool huh?! Proud of my fellow Croatians! Anyway the dancing house also serves as a hotel! So not only can you walk by it, but you can also stay there.
12. Visit Vysehrad Fortress
This fortress is quite the hike from the old town, but definitely doable! We actually walked all the way from old town to the top of the fortress and it took maybe 20 minutes. The fortress is located on a hill above the Vltava River. It was built in the 10th century and houses some pretty famous Czech people from history in the cemetery. The fortress also houses the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. The main reason why I wanted to see the fortress was because of the pretty pink doors of the Basilica, I typically had to get that IG shot! Probably the prettiest doors I have ever seen, so detailed and so colorful, especially being on a church. I would say the hike was worth it for sure!
13. Go to the Teresa U Prince terrace for Lunch or Dinner
Teresa Au Prince is actually a hotel and a restaurant that can be visited by anyone! This hotel used to be an old monastery so there are a lot of really charming spots within the hotel. What really draws you in to this restaurant are the amazing views of the told town from the terrace! I believe it gets pretty crowded in the Summer and Spring, but in January I did not have to compete to get that so called money shot. We sat in the perfect spot on the terrace with a cappuccino in hand and the most stunning views, it really does not get better than that!
14. Eat a Trdelnik
Trdelniks are the way to my heart in every way possible! If you love sweets than this will be right up your alley. I am not even going to lie, but I ate one every single day! There are a ton of places that sell Trdelnik all over Prague, but my favorite one was from the Good Food Karlova 8 place right by the Charles Bridge. Trdelniks are basically rolled down that is grilled and than topped with sugar and walnut mix. You can get them filled with ice cream (my favorite), chocolate or Nutella, fruit with whipped creme, even with bacon and egg! I miss them just talking about them and would do anything to eat another one! I promise you, you will not be disappointed and go back for more!
15. Eat the famous Goulash in a Bread Bowl
I have never been a huge Goulash fan, even as a child when my mom would make it. In Croatia, Goulash is also a pretty common dish but I guess I never acquired much of a taste for it. That was all before I went to Prague and let me tell you that stuff is so good! I am not sure if its the bread bowl or what but I could eat it every single day especially in the cold of Winter. It does such a good job warming you up and giving you that nice hearty feel. Goulash in a bread bowl is sold all over Prague, you will see signs for it every where! For me it was best to just try a few places, read reviews online, and compare which I liked better. Either way it is a must eat when you go to Prague at any time of year!
So here are the top 15 things to do, see, and eat in Prague! I absolutely loved my 4 days in Prague and would love to go back one day, maybe in the Spring or Summer! Prague is any history lovers, photographers, and instagrammers dream location. If it is not already on your bucket list, than I hope that this list and photos quickly put it at the top!
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