Prague: the capital city of the proud and friendly Czech people, a starling city that blends Old World and contemporary culture, the birthplace of the Bohemian lifestyle, and home to some of the most unique foods, drinks, and architectural spectacles in Europe. The question is often “Why not visit Prague” rather than the trivial “Why visit” because whether you are visiting the city for a day or seven, you are probably headed to your soon-to-be favorite city in the region (if not continent).
Maybe you have a visit to Prague planned or are currently deciding where to spend your next few days off. Well, let our experiences help you see what needs to be seen and make your decision a bit easier! Here are the five absolutely essential places you need to visit and things you need to try.
If you’ve seen a picture of Prague, chances are it was taken in Old Town Square. With notable sights around the square like Old Town Hall Tower & Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church and St. Nicholas Church, this historical center of Prague has a lot to offer to visitors. The square is also filled with restaurants, pubs, and people at any time of the day, with smaller roads extending out into some other sights and smaller shops. The Astronomical Clock, though known for its unspectacular clock show involving wooden saints emerging from the tour at the top of each hour, has numerous other beauties in its build and design, as do all of the structures that border Old Town square.
Beer & Cuisine
The Czechs regard their locally produced beers as a national treasure. The most popular beer in Prague is Gambrinus, but other very popular bears include Kozel’s Medium, a pale lager, and Pilsner Urquell, a favorite with the locals. Because of this focus on and love of beer and its craft, Prague is home to a number of bars that specialize in beer, offering a huge variety or a carefully chosen selection of top-notch brews. The same passion exhibited by the Czech people can be said the same for how they feel towards their native dishes. While the foods in Prague are unlike any other food in other regions of the world, the Czech people show excellence in the food that they consider local. Foods like beef goulash with dumplings (Hovezi gulas s knedlikem) and rolled up pastries called Trdelnik will have visitors discovering delicious meals they couldn’t even imagine.
The contemporary version of the Old Town square is the Wenceslas square, which is only a short 5 minute walk away from Old Town. This very popular and modern part of Prague is lined with world-famous clothing brand stores, numerous restaurants, and other smaller shops. At the end of the square is the marvelous National Museum of Prague, which won’t be open to the public for another few years. Wenceslas Square is the perfect place for any traveler wanting the feel of a big city while also wanting to see the architecture that Eastern Europe is known for. Grab a coffee, sit in one of the many seating areas around the square, and enjoy your day surrounded by a lively crowd of locals and travelers alike!
If you appreciate the pure beauty of rivers or the unchanging expressions of statues, then Charles Bridge is another must-see location. Crossing the Vltava River, the bridge supports thousands of people each day crossing over from both sides of Prague. The bridge itself has numerous statues with either religious or historical significance, and between those statues are many street vendors selling anything from souvenirs to caricature drawings. The bridge leads out on both sides to popular areas filled with shops and little eateries. If you enjoy the music of the iconic British rock band, The Beatles, the famed John Lennon Wall in Prague is located near the entrance of the bridge.
The final must-see location in Prague is one that you actually can see virtually from anywhere in Prague, that is, the Prague Castle. Though somewhat of a walk from the other popular Prague locations listed, the castle is by far the most spectacular. At the center of the royal compound sits St. Vitus’s Cathedral with towers that scrape the sky and architecture that takes your breath away. Also in the compound are the royal Paradise Gardens and Palace where you can take in more regal marvels. The castle sits atop a hill that overlooks Prague, which is both the reasons why it can be seen from almost everywhere in the city and why it provides visitors with the most spectacular view of the city. You cannot visit Prague without taking a stroll through the castle grounds!