Covering 196-square miles, the city of Prague in the Czech Republic continues to be a major urban city, just like it has been for the last 1,000 years. The city was home to Mozart, and you can still feel an artistic flair in many parts of the city. Following World War II, city developers were conscientious about restoring the city’s center to keep the area’s rich history alive. That area of the city is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Jewish, Japanese, and Czech influences can be seen in the architecture throughout this city. There is an excellent reason that Prague is nicknamed the City of a Hundred Spires. The city has a unique food heritage, and its beers are known around the world. If you have never been to Prague or it’s been a while, then consider planning your next visit to Prague very soon.
Flights to Prague are available from most major UK airports, with a flight time of just 1hr 55 minutes, giving you just enough time to sit back and relax with a drink before touching down in this historic and beautiful city. Shop around and be flexible because there are always cheap deals to be had, although the London airports seem to be the cheapest.
Reaching the city center from the airport is very simple and takes about 30 minutes by bus, maybe a little longer in rush hour. You could take a taxi, this will take you about 25-30 minutes, but taking the bus is far cheaper and a no brainer if your on a budget.
A taxi will cost you roughly €30, the bus will cost you roughly €1.30 for a single adult return. Taking a taxi is obviously the easier and more convenient way, but you are paying much more for this service.
Getting Around Prague
Once you arrive in Prague, you can take the public bus to your hotel. The airport is located about nine miles from the center of the city. The buses can be crowded during peak times, so if you have a lot of luggage, then you may want to consider alternative transportation, like a taxi or arrange to be picked up by your hotel. All buses leave from outside the arrivals terminal. If your accommodations are in Old Town, Lesser Town, New Town, or in the Prague Castle area, then you will need to take the bus to the Nádraží Veleslavín Metro Station. You will have six to eight stops before you reach this metro station, where you can transfer to another bus to reach your accommodations. If you are staying in the Smíchov District, near Charles Square, along Národní Avenue, at the bottom of Wenceslas Square or near Republic Square, then you need to take bus 100. This bus will go to the Zličín Metro Station, where you can transfer to another bus to reach your accommodations. You can also take the Airport Express bus to the main train station. This bus is timed to coincide with the running of the SuperCity (Pendolino), EuroCity and InterCity trains. Most airport buses stop running about 11 PM and do not run again until about 5 AM, so if you need to get from the airport to Prague in the middle of the night, you will need to take Bus 510 to the Divoká Šárka where you will need to transfer to Night Tram 51.
Top 10 Attractions to See in Prague
While this city of 1.3 million people offers plenty to do, here are 10 that you will want to consider visiting in Prague.
1. U Fleků Brewery
U Fleků Brewery is the only brewery in Central Europe where beer has been brewed for more than 500 years. Visit their museum during the day to see how the making of beer has changed over time. Then, sit at one of their long wooden tables in the beer garden or one of the three historical rooms and have a drink of their dark lager, which is the only beer this company has needed to survive over the company’s long history. Listen to the accordion and tuba players play Czech folk tunes while the crowd joins in with the singing. If possible, time your visit to coincide with one of their cabaret shows.
2. Old Town Square
One of the most picturesque and beautiful town squares in Europe, located between Wenceslas and Charles bridge. Dating back to the 10th century, the Old Town Square was originally an important trading area. By the 14th century, this area had become an important political center with several important executions occurring here along with coronations passing through the square. Twenty-seven of the protestors from the Czech Revolt were killed here, and these men are memorialized with stones in the sidewalk in front of the Old Town Hall. In 1918, a rally was held here to request a free Czech Republic. In 1948, Prime Minister Klement Gottwald stood on the balcony of Golz-Kinsky Palace and announced the government’s socialism plan. This square contains several important buildings, including:
- The Old Town Hall including its Gothic tower where the astronomical clock plays on the hour with 12 apostles appearing from the clock.
- Golden Angel House with its glazed galleries by the courtyard was once a hotel where Mozart stayed.
- Vilímek’s House has been remodeled several times, and its façade was installed in the 1830s.
- At the Ox House was originally constructed about 1540 and its Baroque gable was added about 1740.
- Štěpánovský Corner House was originally constructed about 1170, and its early baroque façade is from the 17th century.
- Church of the Virgin Mary before Týn was built on this site during the 14th century, and you will want to see the Parlar Gothic sculpture on the northern portal.
- Stone Bell House was first referenced in literature in 1363, and you should pay attention to the stone statues on the western façade.
- Kinsky Palace was constructed about 1775, and it contains Romanesque and Gothic cellars.
3. Prague Castle
This castle complex covers more than 70,000 square meters, making it one of the largest castle complexes in the world. It is the official office of the countries president. The current Royal Garden was started in the mid-19th century, but it contains elements from the earlier gardens. You can also visit the Garden of the Bastion on the west side of the castle. This 20th-century garden contains Japanese and Italian elements. The Prague Riding School is an exhibition venue while its terrace offers a beautiful place to rest and enjoy the scenery. Take time to tour Vitus Cathedral with its beautiful artwork before walking through the castle itself.
4. Josefov (The jewish quarter)
One of the most popular areas of the city with tourists, and a neighborhood that suffered its fair share of horror during the reign of the Nazis. A former Jewish ghetto located between the old town square and the river Vltava. During the 13th century, Jews were ordered to abandon their homes around the city and move to this neighborhood. Much of the city, including this neighborhood surprisingly survived without ant damage to its beautiful architecture. There are several attractions that you will want to visit as you walk approximately one-half mile through this neighborhood, including
- Maisel Synagogue- This synagogue contains many exhibits about Jewish life from the 10-to-16th century, and at night it is often transformed into a performance space.
- Pinkas Synagogue- This synagogue serves as a memorial to the almost 80,000 Shoah Bohemian and Moravian victims.
- The Rudolfinum Art Gallery- This gallery hosts many international art exhibitions, has an interactive art park and is home to the Czech Philharmonic.
- Jan Palach Square – This square, formerly called Red Army Square, is a memorial to the student who killed himself protesting the Soviet Union’s occupation of Czechoslovakia.
- The Museum of Decorative Arts- This museum contains one of the largest glasswork collections in Europe, along with many other types of applied arts.
- Ceremonial Hall- This building features exhibits on the Prague Burial Society.
- Klausen Synagogue- This synagogue features exhibits about Jewish rituals.
- The Old-New Synagogue is the oldest preserved synagogue in Europe.
- High Synagogue- This synagogue was built in 1577, but its current façade was installed during the 19th century, and it now serves as a place of worship.
- Parizska Street- This street is filled with luxury shopping opportunities.
5. Museum of Communism School
The communist museum gives an insight into what life was like in the communist era of Czechoslovakia post world war two. Using things like photos, interviews, historical documents, and reconstructed rooms like classrooms and bedrooms the museum gives a real sense of what life was like in the city. This museum chronologically presents the rise of communism in the Czech Republic starting in 1918. Learn about how common people lived during the period and how they interacted with the police and secret police. Then, learn the impact that Prague Spring had on the residents of this historic community.
Entrance to the museum will cost
- €14 per adult
- €10.50 for students
- €11.70 for seniors
- €30 euros for a family ticket, consisting of 2 adults and 2 children under 18.
6. Vltava River Cruise
Every visit to Prague is emotional because of the rich history of this country. Take time to reflect on all that you have seen by taking a two hour or longer Vltava river cruise. You can find a variety of options, with many serving lunch or dinner aboard. When you opt for the longer cruise, you will find yourself escaping from the city’s hustle and seeing the beauty of this city and its surroundings. The river cruise is a fantastic way to see the city from another view, jump on board, sit back, and relax. The prices below are based on a 1-hour sightseeing cruise but there are lots of other types of trips available, ranging from rafting on the river to my personal summer favorite, the wine cruise.
- €14 per Adult
- €8 per child
7. Dine 5 star at the Medieval tavern
Prague is a city rich in history and still has a very medieval feel and there is no better place to sample medieval dining than this place. Diners will be taken back through the ages with the setting, the entertainment, and the menu and the live music. Eat by candlelight while fire blowers, belly dancers, and swordsmen entertain you (safely of course). Enjoy a 5-course menu, with many options available, with unlimited drinks. Booking is essential as this is an entry by ticket. Prices for adults start at €36.
8. World war two walking tour
This 3-hour walking tour takes you on a journey into Prague’s dark past during world war two. Visiting some of the buildings and landmarks associated with not only the dark past but also the heroics of world war two. See some of the underground tunnels hidden under the old town hall, the place other tourists don’t get to see. Learn about Operation Anthropoid, the operation that killed Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler’s most evil henchman. Guests will learn how life in the city was affected by the Nazi occupation.
The tour is priced at €22 per adult and €20 for students and seniors.
9. Charles bridge and bridge tower
Charles Bridge is a famous bridge that crosses the Vltava river in the city, dating back to 1357 when construction started. Until 1841, the bridge was the most important connection between the old town and Prague castle. One of the city’s most beautiful and historical points, the bridge has 32 unique statues along its 516 metres. The bridge stands on 15 pillars and 13 metres high and 9.5 metres wide.
The best time to visit the bridge is early morning or early evening to avoid the crowds and see the bridge lit up and looking spectacular.
10. Sample Pragues nightlife
There is a reason Prague attracts so many stag and hen dos, the city’s nightlife is famous for being one of the best in Europe. The city is known for its cheap beer, but just because it’s cheap it doesn’t mean its a bad beer, quite the opposite in fact, Czech beer is one of the best beers around, just ask the locals, after all the Czechs are the highest beer consumers per capita in the world. There are tons of beers halls and traditional pubs to choose from serving the local beer, priced at €1.30. Whatever sort of night out your looking for you are sure to find it here, Weather its a night of banging house and techno music and flashing lights, a sophisticated jazz night or simply chilling down by the river Vltava. But don’t think you are too old for a night out here, you will find generations of all ages out enjoying themselves. So make a night out here a priority, you will be talking about it for years to come. (especially if you are drunk under the table by a local in his twilight years!)😂😂