Things To Do In Prague
- Entrance to the castle grounds is free and tickets to individual buildings are sold at several spots around the grounds.
- History buffs may want to allow an entire day to take everything in.
- Interior photography is prohibited in certain exhibits and allowed only with a permit in others.
- Don’t miss the ceremonial Changing of the Guard, which takes place daily at noon.
- Be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes to go through security upon entering the castle grounds.
Forming a grand walkway between Prague Old Town, and the Lesser Town and Castle District, the 15th-century Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) is one of the city’s most striking landmarks. The magnificent Gothic bridge features 16 stone arches, two watchtowers, and 30 blackened baroque statues depicting various saints.
- The Charles Bridge is a pedestrian-only footbridge—bikes, Segways, and vehicles are prohibited.
- Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to explore Prague on foot—the city is full of cobblestone streets and hills.
- The bridge is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus (or Katedrála svatého Víta) is the biggest and most important church in Prague, the pinnacle of the Castle complex, and one of the most knockout cathedrals in Europe. It’s broodingly Gothic, with a forest of spires and a rose window to rival that of Notre Dame.
Enter by the Golden Portal to take a look at the stunning Last Judgement mosaic. Inside you’ll find the final resting places of both Charles IV (who gave his name to Charles Bridge) and Saint Wenceslas. The chapel containing Wenceslas’ remains is a stunner, encrusted with semi-precious stones.
The cathedral also contains the crown jewels of the Bohemian kings and an Art Nouveau window by Mucha. Climb the tower for a stunning view of the Castle District.
St. Vitus crowns Castle Hill. If the climb looks too daunting, take a tram to stop 22.
Prague Astronomical Clock
One of Prague’s biggest visitor attractions, the ornate 15th-century astronomical clock is found on the southern side of Prague’s Gothic Old Town Hall. Gilded and complex in design, the clock was made by Czech master clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň in 1410 although it has been repeatedly restored and added to over the centuries. Its upper face shows the time and day of the week, the lower one reveals delicately painted signs of the zodiac. Every hour, on the hour, hundreds of tourists gather around the clock to witness the figure of Christ emerge from tiny trap doors above the upper dial of the clock, followed by a collection of wooden Apostles, to act out a mini-medieval morality tale, while the skeletal figure of Death strikes a bell, Greed counts out his money and Vanity worships his reflection.
The Old Town Hall itself was built in 1338 and is today a popular venue for Prague weddings as well as home of the city’s main tourist information center. Trips up its medieval tower reveal superb views of Old Town Square, the sinister twin spires of Baroque Týn church, and the bronze statue of medieval Czech reformer Jan Hus, which lies at the heart of the square. A series of palatial medieval halls are also open to the public.
Prague Old Town
The center of ancient Prague, the Old Town (Stare Mesto) makes a popular starting point for walking tours of the city, sprawled along the eastern banks of the Vltava River and connected to the Lesser Town by the grand Charles Bridge. A key part of the UNESCO World Heritage city, the Old Town’s medieval churches, ancient buildings and maze of cobblestone lanes is historic Prague at its most picturesque, with many structures dating back to the 13th century.
The Old Town Square is the focal point of the district, presided over by the Lady Before Tyn Cathedral, the central Jan Hus statue and the Old Town Hall with its Astronomical Clock tower – one of the most iconic landmarks of Prague, dating back to the early 15th century. The square’s mix of distinctive pastel-shaded buildings and fine Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture has long provided the backdrop for city life, and the public square, once a medieval market, is a popular venue for national celebrations, protests and political events.
Other notable buildings in the Old Town include the 13th century Convent of St Agnes, Prague’s earliest example of Gothic design; the Baroque Church of St. Nicholas; and the exquisite Art Nouveau Municipal Hall, a masterpiece crafted by some of the most prominent Czech artists of the 19th century. Just north of Wenceslas Square, the boundary point of the New Town, the Carolinum, part of the Charles University (the oldest university north of the Alps), and the 18th century Estates Theater, Prague’s oldest theatre, are also worth a look.
Prague New Town
Much more than just a pretty façade, the Prague National Theatre (Narodni divadlo) is one of the capital’s most important and culturally significant buildings, celebrated as a symbol of Czech cultural and political independence. Completed in 1883 while the country was under Austrian rule, the National Theatre was originally refused funding by the government of Vienna but after a nationwide appeal and a flood of financial contributions from Czech citizens, building commenced in 1865. It’s unique funding means that, more than any of the city’s historic buildings; the Prague National Theatre really does belong to the people.
Taking 16 years to finish, the theatre is the masterwork of Czech architect Josef Zítek, who crafted a dramatic neo-Renaissance façade reflective of the artistic liberation of the Czech National Revival. In 1983, a modernist glass annex – the ‘New Scene’ – was also added to the theatre, the work of architect Zdeněk Vávra, designed to mark the building’s 100th anniversary.
Standing proud by the riverside in the Old Town, with its golden rooftop shimmering in the sunlight, the National Theatre remains one of Prague’s most instantly recognizable sights and those lucky enough to catch one of its many drama, opera and ballet performances will be captivated by its equally impressive interiors.
- Entry to the castle is by paid ticket.
- All visitors must join a tour to see the castle.
- Discounted tickets can be purchased for seniors, students, and children under 15.
- With steep steps and uneven floors, the castle is not suited to people with limited mobility.
- Horse-drawn carriages can be hired to transport you from the village to the castle.
- A number of cafes and restaurants offer refreshments on-site.
- Try a glass of Karlstejn wine—grapes have been grown here since the 14th century.
- Click here for Karlstein Castle’s website
The magnificent headpiece of Prague’s historic Wenceslas square, the Prague National Museum (Národní Muzeum) is the largest museum complex in the Czech Republic, encompassing five specialized departments. The History and Natural History museums are the most sizable, housing an enormous permanent collection of prehistoric remains, archeological artifacts, rock specimens and other items from all over the world. The National Museum Library, Czech Music Museum and the National Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, are also part of the complex.
It’s not only the exhibitions that warrant attention – the museum itself is a glorious homage to the Czech National Revival, adorned with the busts of Czech historical figures and fronted by a commandeering statue of St Wenceslas on horseback. The inescapable domed structure is an elaborate feat of neo-Renaissance architecture, featuring over 10 adjourned buildings designed by famous Czech architect Josef Schulz and dominating the Prague skyline since it opened its doors in the 1880s.
The museum is currently undergoing major redevelopments and much of the old buildings is set to remain closed until 2015. Despite the significant closure, visiting the museum is still possible with the Museum’s newest building, erected in 2009, showcasing a small selection of the vast permanent collection and the grounds remaining open for visitors to admire the spectacular architecture.
Metro: Muzeum (lines A & C), Tram: Muzeum (11), Bus: (504, 505, 511)
- The Dancing House is a must-see for architecture lovers.
- There’s no fee to enter the building, but there’s a small fee to enter the gallery.
- When the building was completed, its nontraditional aesthetic initially caused much controversy in Prague.
- There is an admission charge for visiting Sedlec Ossuary, and combination tickets for other Kutná Hora attractions are available.
- Although there is no official dress code, modest attire is recommended when visiting the church and cemetery.
- Sedlec Ossuary is wheelchair accessible via an elevator.
Nizbor Glass Factory
- Nizbor Glass Factory is a must-visit for those with an interest in craft and heritage.
- The factory has a showroom where you can purchase crystal at a discount.
- Tours of the factory typically last around 45 minutes.
- Some organized tours from Prague include also visit to the nearby Pilsner Urquell Brewery.
- Click here for the Factory website
Museum of Communist
How To Visit Prague
In terms of tariff the area of the City of Prague is divided into two zones, i.e. P and 0 (in total the area of Prague is counted as 4 tariff zones). Zone P has a double tariff value; Zone 0 is divided into Zones 0 and B – a border stops zone.
Zone P includes the metro, trams, city buses (lines Nos. 100 – 299 and 901 – 930), the Petřín funicular, ferries and the selected railway sections.
Zones 0 and B include suburban bus lines (lines Nos. 300 – 420 and 951 – 979) that are operated in the area of Prague and the selected railway sections.
The quoted ticket prices are inclusive of VAT 15%. Fare and travel information within the PID system are provided as guidance only; more details can be found in an up-dated full wording of the PID Tariff (available in the Download Files box).
The information concerning the procedure for obtaining a simplified tax document for a ticket purchased in vending machines, metro operators and drivers of urban and suburban bus lines operated by the Prague Public Transit Company can be found here.
For more information see The PID Tariff and The PID Contractual Transport Conditions.
1 day tycket 110czk ($ 5)
3 days ticket 310czk ($14)
Basic 90 min 32czk ($1.50)