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What To See and Do in Prague, Czech Repubic

Updated on September 06, 2013

A Tip About Where to Stay

Hotels are fairly easy to get, especially with the internet these days. However, a really awesome and cost effective experience is to rent an apartment flat. They cost less than, if not equal to a hotel, and you get to stay in a complex where residents actually live. It's great because you have the comfort of having a home away from home, which can often include a dishwasher, washing machine, and your own patio to relax on at night. While there is no room service, it's an extremely fun way to experience your trip. Also, Wi-Fi is usually available in the flats that you stay in.

PRAGUE

Prague is the most well known city in the Czech Republic, as well as the country's capital. There is so much rich history in this city that it's hard not to be entertained and amused, even if you aren't much of a historian. From the cobble stone roads to the Gothic-style buildings, you will find this city to be breathtaking and make you feel like you have gone back 200 years in time. The nice thing about Prague is that there is no one season that is the best time to go. Every time of year holds special events, and the city gets dressed up according to the season. For example, in the summer there are lots of wine and beer festivals, and in the winter the Christmas markets bring that holiday feel to Old Town Square. Along with this, Prague is always a very busy tourist city at all times during the year. But from my experience it is always worth it. I also have never felt so safe walking through a large city at all hours of the night. While pickpocket-ers do exist, the overall feel of the city is generally pretty safe.


Get to know the Czech Republic!

How to get around....

  • By Foot: The best way to get around is by foot if you can help it. Arrange to get a taxi ride from the airport and stay within the down town area, is the best way to do it. Relying on walking allows you to see the sights at a nice pace, and get to know the area! Also, it is far more convenient than dealing with the hassle of parking.
  • Trains : Train stations are all over the place, and they are fairly easy to use. You can take trains as far as another city, or as close as a few blocks. It is extremely convenient and a popular way to travel.
  • Taxis : A warning about taxis! Taxis are a good way to get to a specific location in town, or across town, and you will see a bunch of taxi drivers waiting on sides of the road to get passengers. If you can help it, don't use these guys! They hike the price up big time, so the best way to get a taxi in Prague is to ask a local for a number to call. The taxis businesses that you can call to come get you will give you a much more reasonable price than the ones geared towards picking up lost tourists.
  • Buses : A great way to get from city to city is also by bus. There is a company I'd like to recommend called "Student Agency", and despite it's name, it is NOT just for students :) It is a first class way to travel to the cities outside of Prague in comfort. Similar to an airplane, it has staff that serves beverages and they often play a film. Also, these buses generally have Wi-Fi on the bus itself.

The lucky dog on Charles Bridge
The lucky dog on Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Originally constructed in 1357, the Charles Bridge is one of the most well known icons of Prague and the Czech Republic. This has always been one of my very first stops every time I have gone to Prague. This is not your average bridge, as it is often filled with street vendors, musicians, painters, and tourists of all kinds, and at all hours of the day. Before the crowds hit the bridge, try taking an early morning walk over it, as it is one of the most peaceful places you will find in Prague. On a typical afternoon, however, it really comes to life filled with vibrant entertainment. The view of the Prague Castle is most optimal on the bridge as well, and if you walk across it you will find yourself on the path towards the castle grounds. The other most notable thing about this bridge is the 30 statues which live upon it. Most sculptures were erected between 1683 and 1714, (and have a familiar Gothic or baroque style to them) and are depicted after various saints that were patronized at the time. There is one statue on the bridge that tends to be more popular than the others, the statue of John of Nepomuk, and it's not hard to find at all. It comes with a metal plaque of a dog, and from the looks of it he tends to be more polished than any other statue on the bridge. This is because it is believed to be lucky to rub the dog and make a wish, a good luck stone of a sort. You may have to wait a minute in line to do it, but it doesn't cost anything! So give it a try :) Overall, Charles Bridge is definitely a must-see when traveling through Prague.

Probably my favorite picture I took on my last trip....Old Town Square in action!
Probably my favorite picture I took on my last trip....Old Town Square in action!

Saturday nights in Old Town Square...

On Saturday nights, I believe around 9 or 10pm, there is an amazing light show projected right onto the Astronomical Clock. It shows a very visual and impressive history of the Czech lands, Czech culture, and the clock through the past several decades. You will have to ask someone to be sure of the schedule they play it on, but it is VERY worth it! Below is a video of the show.

WATCH HERE! The Prague Clock Tower Light Show :)

Old Town Square

The Old Town Square (Stary Mesto) is probably the most famous locations in Prague. Not only does it have St. Bethany's Cathedral (Which is shown in practically every postcard), but it is also home to the Astronomical Clock which is recognized world wide. One the hour of every hour, the clock goes off and the 12 saints come out to wave to the public, two by two. If you happen to arrive into Old Town Square at least 10 minutes before the hour, there is no way you will not notice the massive crowds gathering beneath the clock to watch the show, and it usually follows with a great applause. There is quite an array of shops in Old Town, and I would also recommend taking the tour of the clock tower. You can climb all the way to the top, and if you are lucky enough, you get to see the action from the inside! One of the most impressive views I had was seeing all the people gather below to watch the clock go off.

Another fun thing to do in the night time are the ghost tours. You will see certain men and women standing around the area dressed like crypt creepers. Now even if you aren't a believer or anything, it is a lot of fun. They talk a lot about some of the more sinister history of the area, as well as the old myths and legends...which to me, has always been an entertaining spin on learning anything historical. The tour also involves going into the old prison beneath the clock tower, which had only recently come to my attention that it even existed.

And if you are in the mood to do some walking, explore the streets and alleys! It will seem like you are in a maze at times, but there are so many tiny shops, bakeries, and pubs that you may have never seen otherwise. There are also a couple awesome street markets where you can buy anything from fresh produce to clothing, to trinket souvenirs.

A view from the top of the clock tower....all the people below!
A view from the top of the clock tower....all the people below!

Pubs and Beer

Ok, let's face it....people associated beer with the Czech Republic. And for good reason too! The Czech Republic consumes more beer per capita than any other country in the world. It would be a crime to visit the place and not have a beer, even if drinking is not your thing. Not only is the beer of great quality there, but you really can't complain about the price either. One of the stories I like to tell people about my visits there is how I happened to stop by a convenience store only to find that a bottle of water cost almost twice as much as a bottle of beer. Neither of which were all that expensive anyway, but if a bottle of water cost about $1.00 USD, a beer cost about 46 cents. It was great, and also kind of funny. Czechs take pride in their beer culture and manufacturing history. After all, it is said the original Budweiser came from the Budvar province. And if you are not a fan of the famous Pilsner Urquell, there are so many other varieties that have never hit shelves outside of the country. Also, a lot of restaurants in down town Prague will often include beer as part of the price of a meal. Sounds like a good deal to me! I would definitely recommend exploring the beer scene, including the massive number of pubs. As they say, when in Rome....do as the Romans do!

Fun Fact!

The Prague Castle has been around since the 9th century, and it has a secret room somewhere inside it where the Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept! The ones on the display are duplicates for their safety.

A view of the castle at sunset
A view of the castle at sunset

Prague Castle

Prague Castle, or Prazky Hrad, is one of the most beautiful and famous castles in the world. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records has labeled it to be the " largest ancient castle in the world." Now that alone makes it worth a visit, but there's so many other reasons. Aside from how well it has been maintained, it's incredibly large and manicured environment gives it's tourists an authentic visit to the past. Not only can you see several artifacts that have been around since the castle was in it's prime, but they have set up several stations They give you a map with about 8 or 9 places, and explain the significance of each one. And in the areas outside the castle itself they have replicated rooms and exhibits to show you what life was like during different periods of history in the Czech lands. This is an attraction that does involve a lot of waking, so be prepared to wear good footware. Another cool thing about the Prague Castle is you can walk down the stairs down to the modern city area (it is a very grueling uphill walk on the way up, but good exercise!). The Prague Castle has not only been where the kings of the past of ruled, but is also the current location of the Czech President these days, which makes it still an important venue to the Czech government!

How to Find the Prague Castle

A markerPražský hrad, 119 08 Praha 1, Czech Republic -
Obrazárna Pražského hradu, Pražský hrad, 119 08 Prague 1, Czech Republic
get directions

St. Wenceslas Square
St. Wenceslas Square

St. Wenceslas Square and the Museum of Communism

St. Wenceslas Square: St. Wencesleas Square is consider the "New Town" part of Prague. This part of town has just as much history as the rest of it, however some of it's history is more recent. You may have seen footage from the 1980s of riots and tanks fighting people off in this square. It was a popular place to protest the communist government. It is also where the National Museum is located, and has a wide variety of artifacts that speak for the history and changes of the country throughout the ages. Also nearby is the the Museum of Communism, which ties in to this area specifically as mentioned above.


The Museum of Communism: This was quite an experience to visit. It may not be the first thing that pops up in your book of tourist attractions, but it is by far a must see place. For those who don't really enjoy the typical museum, not to worry, this is by far it's own animal! Communism is not something that is yet openly spoken about among the Czech people, so this museum in a way speaks for them all. I personally know that my Czech family (both in the USA and that still live in Czech Republic) like to avoid the topic like the plague. It is still too fresh in their minds to explain what life was like during the time the communists were in charge. The museum, though, really gets into the depth of it. There are artifacts, life-like displays, and written excepts that tell the story of how the average person experience life during this hardship. Some of the displays include a section of the fallen Berlin Wall and even a statue of Josef Stalin. The "Propaganda Restaurant and Pub" in Prague is closely related to the museum, so if you happen to visit one, you will surely hear about the other! Anyway, this was a far more interesting experience than I thought it would have been....even if you have no relation or knowledge of it beforehand.

Where to find the Museum of Communism

A markerNa Příkopě 852/10, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic -
Na Příkopě 852/10, 110 00 Prague 1-New Town, Czech Republic
get directions

The Jewish Cemetary

In the Jewish Quarter of Prague is the Old Jewish Cemetery, another iconic spot of the city. The jagged and un-uniformed placement of the tombstones have made it a popular place to visit and photograph for decades. The oldest tombstone inside is from 1439, and was in it's prime use during the 15th century, but has graves as "new" as the 1700s. What's interesting is that no one knows exactly how many people are buried in the cemetery, due to bodies being placed on several layers (as many as 12 layers of people per grave). Although, it is speculated to have at least 12,000 people laid to rest there....which is extraordinary when you see how small the area is! While this may seem like a semi-dismal place to visit, it still holds a lot of historical value and the tours given tell you a lot about the Jewish culture in the Czech Republic.

The Old Jewish Cemetery on the Map!

A markerŠiroká, 110 00 Prague, Czech Republic -
Široká, 110 00 Prague-Prague 1, Czech Republic
get directions

Some horses I ran into during the forest portion of my bike ride
Some horses I ran into during the forest portion of my bike ride

Biking From Prague to Karlstejn!

One of the most exciting experiences I had during my last visit to Prague was a day-long bicycle ride. I had been well aware of the how popular bike riding is in Europe, and as a fan of biking myself, I decided to look into it. I did my research online to find a few places that offered bike rental services, and the one I found even came with a guide and the option of doing a group ride. Being as I had never done one before, I chose to do the group ride. If you choose to ride alone, they even offer maps and a GPS system to help you stay on track! Although, I was in Prague during September and apparently I happened to be the only biker that day, which worked out fine. The service sent a taxi (paid for by them) and brought me to their office where they set me up with a bicycle and a guide. We rode down the banks of the river, through the forest, and through small villages where we found interesting places to stop for snacks and photo opportunities, etc. I was extremely impressed on how the bike paths were set up, with almost zero interaction with car traffic. The ride started in Prague as I said, and ended at Karlstejn Castle which was a few hours away. As part of the package, they bought me lunch and a train ticket back to Prague since it would be too dark by the time we rode back. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who has the urge to do outdoors things on vacations...it was a great experience to see the land and other areas not in the metropolitan city.

A view from my biking route....beautiful! This photo was taken on a bike bridge, which only allowed riders on bicycles to pass through on.
A view from my biking route....beautiful! This photo was taken on a bike bridge, which only allowed riders on bicycles to pass through on.

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    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 3 years ago from Mumbai

      I have always been fascinated about the beauty of Prague. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. Really liked your hub :)

    • tastiger04 profile image
      Author

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      Thank you, Toytasting! Prague is indeed a gorgeous place, and I hope you get to go someday (or, go again if you have already been!). I really appreciate the feedback and you stopping by :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This is an awesome hub that is chock full of useful, interesting information about Prague. You've made me want to go there! The photos are striking and the descriptions of things to do are different than your average tourist traps. Very enjoyable hub. Voted up and more. Sharing.

    • tastiger04 profile image
      Author

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      Thank you so much, FlourishAnyway! I do hope you get to go, it really is such an interesting city and so beautiful. That clock is surely one of a kind! I never have a bad time there, ever...it's extremely hard to get bored. I really appreciate the feedback, and I am glad you liked it! :)

    • buydigiatlcamera profile image

      buydigiatlcamera 3 years ago

      great tips. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures

    • emilynemchick profile image

      Emily Nemchick 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Prague is an amazing city. I lived there for a year and enjoyed all the things you mention above (I took a train to Karlstejn and hiked from there to Beroun).

      The best way by far to get around Prague (where most of the places you mention are) is by tram - it's super cheap especially if you get a month or 3 month pass and a great way to see as much as possible. I also did lots of walking in the city.

      Ah, man I miss Prague!

    • tastiger04 profile image
      Author

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      Me too, emiynemchick! I would love to go visit my family in Chrudim again soon....would love to spend a year there! I hope we both get to go back in the very near future :)

    • jenslibra profile image

      jenslibra 3 years ago

      Amazing hub! My fiancee and I hope to travel in the near future and you provided a great breakdown of must-see locations and traveling tips for Prague.

    • tastiger04 profile image
      Author

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      Thanks for coming by the hub, jenslibra! I hope you have a great time when you go...Prague is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I have been to...I feel lucky to be Czech! My mom is an immigrant from there :) If you end up going and would like other suggestions, let me know! Congrats on your future wedding too!

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 3 years ago from Texas

      My son is going to Prague on business next week. I forwarded him this Hub.

    • tastiger04 profile image
      Author

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      Hi johnr54, I hope your son has a blast! What a great city to go to for business! :) Thanks for sharing and for the comment! :)

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Beautiful! Great hub!

    • tastiger04 profile image
      Author

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      Thank you IslandBites! :) I am glad you stopped by! I appreciate the feed back too!

    • profile image

      Joseph 2 years ago

      Looking across the sea of domes, seiprs and red roofs towards the graceful towers of the St. Vitus cathedral, I think I've just fallen hopelessly in love with . In the short time since the Velvet Revolution and the fall of Communism, Prague has become one of the premiere destinations in Europe. What stands out most here is the , so diverse, so beautiful, and so concentrated in one place that you can easily be overwhelmed. But unlike other top cities in Europe, Prague doesn't strike you as shrewd, calculating, or out to get your money, food and are still cheap and at good value. There is still certain innocence, something that does much to relieve the occasional annoyance. Of course Prague is overrun with tourists, who like you are eager to explore its charms. But there are ways to beat the crowds or avoid them altogether, and there are still many places off the beaten paths awaiting discovery.

    • profile image

      Rasha 20 months ago

      Hello, I am going to Prague in few days and I would like to thank you for making the effort and sharing all of this information ... It's really helpful and for sure that was useful what you gave from details and advises thanks again ..

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 16 months ago from Essex, UK

      This is a really useful and informative page. I've long thought of visiting Prague, probably as part of a tour which includes Budapest and Vienna, but this page alone convinces me that maybe I should make a longer visit just to the Czech Capital. Most of all, I must see that light show on the Prague Clock Tower!

      A well laid out page tastiger04, which I would recommend to anyone thinking of visiting the city. I notice you haven't written on HubPages of late - I hope all is OK and that you are simply using another outlet for your writing, because readers will, I'm sure, benefit from your writing. Alun

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