One of Europe’s most magical and enchanting cities, Prague, the largest city and Capital of the Czech Republic is the perfect travel destination if you are looking for a stunning city break with a great assortment of things to do and see .
This enchanting city that can rival Florence for church domes, bridges and cathedrals has become a huge tourist destination for a good while now, with millions of people visiting the city every year. Although its architecture reflects its medieval heritage, Prague today is a vibrant modern city that has much to entertain the modern visitor.
The nickname that Prague goes by is ” The City of a Hundred Spires” and it is easy to understand why whilst in the city. Everywhere you look there seems to be another amazing view of a beautiful building, with a skyline to rival some of the best cities in the world. A favourite destination for pre-wedding parties this is a city that has a lot more to offer than a great place to go to drink and have fun.
This is a city that is rich in history, culture, stunning architecture and adventure. Here the traveller will find everything they could wish for in a city destination. A great place to visit at any time of the year but especially in the Spring and Summer months when the weather will be warm and sunny and ideal for walking around discovering all that Prague has to offer.
With so much to see and do its a good idea to have some trips planned before you arrive so as not to miss anything so here are 5 of the must do experiences whilst in this amazing city.
Prague Must See Attractions.
1. Prague Castle.
A great starting point for Prague is a visit to the 9th Century Castle in Hradčanské námĕstí. This huge, sprawling castle complex has an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest coherent castle complex in the world, measuring a whopping 70,000 m2.
This ancient castle is one of the most significant monuments in the Czech Republic and has been given A UNESCO World Heritage site award. The castle consists of various palaces and ecclesiastical buildings that all differ in their architecture which date from the 10th to the 14th Century. Even in modern times enhancements have been made to the structure of the palace. Amazingly just like most of Prague there was no damage done to any of the buildings during WW11.
The castle is the official residence of The President of the Czech Republic and has long been the seat of power for various kings of Bohemia, Presidents of the Republic and Holy Roman Emperors. In one hidden room inside the castle lie the Bohemian Crown jewels.
The Castle is Prague’s most popular tourist attraction. It rises over the River Vltava’s left bank and it dominates the city center with its array of church spires and towers. When walking around it puts you in a mind of a fairy tale setting from olden days. Inside the walls of the castle you will be able to see some of the Czech Republic’s most famous works of art and some of their greatest cultural treasures.
This is a must see when visiting Prague and although it is a mammoth place to walk around with so much to see you can get one of two types of tickets which are valid for two days, either a long tour or a short tour so whichever you take you will be able to see a good amount of all that is on offer.
2. Charles Bridge.
No doubt one of the most famous images of Prague is Charles Bridge that crosses the River Vltava. Work began on the bridge in 1357 under King Charles IV and was finished at the beginning of the 15th Century.
Although it was originally called the Stone Bridge or the Prague bridge, it was renamed in 1870 as the ” Charles Bridge”. The bridge was a massive undertaking when being constructed and is 621 metres (2,037 ft) long and nearly 10 metres (33 ft) wide. It rests on 16 arches and has three Bridge Towers which were built as a protection to guard any access to the Bridge.
Although there is a long and sometimes bloody history to the bridge, it has been the place for many fights and out breaks of violence, it is recognised today as being the bridge of statues with thirty to be precise lining the avenue on either side. Most of the sculptures on the bridge were erected between 1683 and 1714. The statues are of many famous Saints and Patron Saints including St Francis of Assisi and St John the Baptist.
Situated in the heart of the Capital it joins the Castle which lies on the West bank, to the Old Town which is placed on the East bank. It is well worth a visit to the Bridge for not only the sense of history that surrounds it but also to savour the medieval masonry and splendor of the bridge. Prague is a true reflection of a medieval city and the bridge encapsulates this beautifully.
3. Prague Old Town Square
This medieval settlement in Prague was once separated from the outside by a semi circular moat and wall, which was connected to the Vltava River. Although now long gone, the moat has been covered up by the streets of the Old Town.
Through the years the Old Town has seen many invaders coming into it but amazingly the Square is almost untouched from the 10th Century. Now it is a place to go for eating alfresco lunches and for looking at some of the most famous architecture of Prague such as the Gothic Tyn Cathedral.
This beautiful space is home to an array of colourful street entertainers and fashion shows and also political meetings and markets. This is the beating heart of Prague and has been since the 10th century when it was the main public square. A walk around the Old Town Square will give you the best place to soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful city with its colourful and ornate architecture and eclectic buildings.
4. Take a River Cruise.
A great way to view Prague is by taking a river cruise. The slow pace means that you will be able to take in many of the famous sights along the way such as Charles Bridge and the Castle. Whether you opt to do an hour cruise or a dinner cruise either way this is a great opportunity to sit and relax and unwind and view Prague from a slower pace.
Perfect for people who may have trouble walking through some of the more tricky cobbled streets that can prove to be a bit difficult at times or for those who have spent hours walking around in the sun and would like time out to reflect on all that they have seen.
5. View the Astronomical Clock.
Whilst in the Old Square you need to look out for the Astronomical clock. This is the third oldest astronomical clock in the world dating back to 1410 and is the oldest one that is still working. It is mounted on the Southern wall of the Old Town and has been seen as one of the greatest treasures of Prague for over 600 years.
Back in the middle ages the hourly performance of the clock was seen as one of the wonders of the world and even today tourists will gather in the Square on the hour to see a fascinating mechanical performance of a procession of 12 Apostles passing by the window of the astronomical dial and sculptures moving inside.
During the tourist season it does get exceptionally busy so a good time to see the performance is earlier in the morning or later in the day.