What are the essential places to visit in Prague? Our starter guide to Prague’s sightseeing attractions should help make that answer very clear.
Prague is a beautiful city, but we think that if you have seen a few pictures you already know that. Hopefully, you are reading this because you are planning a trip to Prague, one of our favorite cities in the whole wide world.
Prague’s beauty has earned it many nicknames, including the “City of a Hundred Spires”, “the Golden City” and the “Heart Of Europe”. Over the past decade the Czech capital’s popularity has soared, making it the 20th most-visited city in the world as of 2017. So, that means you won’t be alone when visiting any of the incredible Prague attractions listed below.
Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Prague’s Old Town draws tourists from far and wide thanks to its rich history and numerous must-see attractions.
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Top 16 Places to Visit in Prague – Prague Sightseeing
While Prague remains a relatively average-sized city (with 1.3 million inhabitants), what it lacks in size it makes up for in spectacular sightseeing. Not to mention a rich culture and some of the world’s most stunning architecture.
To make the most of your time in Europe’s most spectacular medieval city, check out our guide to the top 16 places to visit in Prague, as listed and detailed below. These Prague attractions are pretty much the things you absolutely have to see in Prague, and skipping any of them is a no-no.
If you are looking for more information on visiting Prague and the Czech Republic have a look at some of our other articles.
Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links. These allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links enables us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge.
- Everything you need to know about Things to Do in Prague for a first time visitor.
- Once you have done all the typical sightseeing get off the beaten path in Prague.
- If you are looking for the best hotels and hostels in Prague read where to stay in Prague.
- Quench your thirst with this guide on 10 places to drink delicious beer in Prague.
As the crown jewel of Prague sightseeing Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) has literally stood the test of time since it was first built as a fortress in 970 AD. Throughout the centuries, it gained prominence as a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of former Czechoslovakia. Today, it is the official office of the current Czech president, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the largest castle complex in the world.
Popular sights, including St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, the Old Royal Palace, and Golden Lane can all be found within the walls of Prague Castle. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the castle grounds, stroll through the Royal Garden, and experience incredible views of the Vltava River and Prague’s Old Town.
Check out our complete guide to visiting Prague Castle for everything you need to know about exploring this amazing work of wonder, and one of the top attractions in Prague!
St. Vitus Cathedral
The massive Roman St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest most significant Christian church in the Czech Republic. Located on the grounds of Prague Castle, the cathedral dates back to the mid-13th century and took over 525 years to complete. As a result, its unique design is reflective of Neo-Gothic Baroque and Renaissance influences. It is also said to house the Crown Jewels of Czech kings in a special, highly-secured chamber.
Inside the church, visitors can view heavenly stained glass windows and the St. Wenceslas Chapel, which boasts an altar encrusted with over 1,300 precious stones. And if you’re up for a challenge, you can climb over 280 steps to the lookout atop the cathedral’s main tower. The birds-eye views are worth it!
This is, without a doubt, one of the top Prague attractions you will want to visit during your time exploring this city.
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The Charles Bridge
Spanning the width of the Vltava River is one of Europe’s oldest and most recognizable bridges. Constructed in 1357, Charles Bridge (Karlův Most) is famous for its intricate old statues, which line all 520 meters of the historic structure. Among the 30, mostly baroque figures, are the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and John of Nepomuk, the Czech Republic’s most cherished saint. In 1683, a plaque was added to the base of John of Nepomuk’s statue. Today, tourists and locals rub the plaque as a source of good luck.
Since the Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s top attractions it is usually crowded with tourists throughout the day, especially during high season. However, if you are an early bird or a night owl, you can have the Charles Bridge mostly all to yourself at night, or in the wee hours of the morning.
Regardless of what time of day you visit, the Charles Bridge is without a doubt a MUST-SEE attraction in Prague. We can’t imagine anyone visiting this city for the first time and NOT walking across this historic bridge. In fact, we recommend you do so at least twice, and at least once at night to see the beauty of Prague’s Gothic skyline all lit up.
Old Town Square
Prague’s historic Old Town (Staré Město) is one of the most beautiful, romantic city centers on earth. Located at the heart of Old Town, is the city’s prominent, picturesque Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí).
Old Town Square is one of the most recognizable places in Prague and home to many top-rated Prague attractions including the 15th-century Astronomical Clock, Old Town Hall Tower, and the remarkable Church of Our Lady before Týn (Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem).
Old Town Square is also known around the world for its extraordinary Easter and Christmas markets. If you’re visiting Prague for the holidays, you simply can’t miss it!
History buffs will appreciate the tumultuous and critical role Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) has played over the last century. Named after the patron saint of Bohemia, Saint Wenceslas, the square is part of Prague’s New Town (Nové Město) and is a recognized World Heritage Site.
While today it is a major center for business and retail, Wenceslas Square has been the historical site of many of the country’s most influential demonstrations, protests, and celebrations. It is also home to the newly re-opened National Museum, which is the oldest Museum in the Czech Republic.
Dating as far back as the 10th century, Vysehrad fortress, or “Hill Castle”, is one of the most splendid attractions in Prague. Overlooking the Vltava River from a rocky hilltop, the fortress is believed to be the oldest seat of Czech royalty and the original settlement of Prague.
Though largely in ruins today, guests can stroll the fort grounds and enjoy several must-see attractions including Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul and the Vyšehrad Cemetery.
Additionally, you can catch some really sweet views of Prague from the top of the wall. If you get thirsty exploring the park stop by the beer garden in Vysehrad (we love how much Czechs love their beer gardens) and have a nice cold delicious beer!
Check out our article for more places to drink amazing beer in Prague!
The John Lennon Wall
What began as a tribute to the late John Lennon after his death in 1980, has transformed into one of Prague’s most unlikely tourist attractions. The Lennon Wall, located across from the French embassy (not far from Charles Bridge), is an unassuming wall covered in colorful graffiti, lyrics and the sentiments of tourists from around the world. While it has grown into a popular photo op destination, dedicated fans still gather on the anniversary of Lennon’s death to pay their respects.
The Lennon wall is a cheery and colorful bit tribute, and as such is a pretty popular “Instagram” spot in the city.
Zizkov TV Tower
Many locals consider it an eyesore. In fact, its consistently been named the world’s second ugliest building in the world. However, the Zizkov TV Tower has become an unconventional feature on Prague’s otherwise pristine skyline.
Built during the communist regime, the 216-meter tower was originally built as a transmitter. Today, visitors can enjoy an observatory, a full-service restaurant and even a romantic, single-room hotel. The spaceship-like tower is also located in Prague’s slightly off-kilter Zizkov district, which is rumored to have more bars than any other neighborhood in Europe.
Check out our article for more information on getting off the beaten path in Prague, and exploring the Zizkov neighborhood.
The Dancing House
Often referred to as Fred and Ginger, the Dancing House (Tančící dům) is one of Prague’s most photographed attractions. Designed in 1992 and completed in 1996, the riverfront building is one of Prague’s first examples of modern architecture.
Many say that this building’s unique abstract shape resembles a man and woman dancing, hence the name “Fred and Ginger”, after the famous American actors of yore. Though mainly used as office space, visitors to the Dancing House can enjoy a very sweet birds-eye view and drink from its rooftop bar and restaurant. We highly recommend visiting this awesome attraction in Prague when the weather is nice!
Petrin Park and Petrin Tower
Petrin Hill, situated in the beautiful Petrin Park, is the highest point in Prague. Located directly on top of the hill is the aptly named Petrin Tower. Standing 63 meters high, Petrin Tower is a miniature replica of Paris’ Eiffel Tower and was built in 1891 as part of a major exhibition. In the 1930s, the giant structure was moved to Petrin Hill where it now serves as a popular tourist attraction.
Every day, visitors climb to the top of the tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city from one of its two observation platforms. Petrin Tower is accessible by funicular, which is part of Prague’s extensive public transport system, or on foot. If you don’t feel like climbing your way up to the tower we still highly recommend visiting this gorgeous Prague park, especially when the weather is nice during Spring, Summer, or Autumn.
Prague’s Jewish Quarter
Formerly the Jewish Ghetto, Prague’s Jewish Quarter, Josefov, is located in the city’s historic Old Town. Once considered a slum, the district was transformed during the late 1800s when large sections were demolished to make room for modern apartment buildings. Today, it is home to the Jewish Musem in Prague (Židovské muzeum v Praze).
Visitors can tour several of the neighborhood’s original structures, including the Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, and the Pinkas Synagogue. Tours also include access to the Ceremonial Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery, which holds over 100,000 burials dating back to the 1400s.
Just steps away from Prague Castle is the 12th-century Strahov Monastery. The sprawling complex contains the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Strahov Library, which houses a large number of medieval manuscripts, maps, and globes.
Visitors can also enjoy a fresh, Czech beer at the on-site Strahov Monastery Brewery (Klášterní pivovar Strahov).
Prague is full of beautiful, spacious city parks and squares, but not many can compare to the magic of Namesti Miru. Located just outside of the city center, Namesti Miru, or “Peace Square”, is the beating heart of Prague’s popular Vinohrady District.
At the center of the lush square stands the stunning, Neo-Gothic Church of St. Ludmila, which is open to the public. Namesti Miru is also a major transport hub and boasts the deepest metro station and longest escalator in the European Union. Take a ride and see for yourself!
The National Theater in Prague
Easily identified by its lustrous golden roof, Prague’s National Theatre is a symbol of Czech nationalism, cultural heritage, and art. Erected in 1881, the building has seen its fair share of adversity, including a devastating fire shortly after opening.
Today, after decades of reconstruction, the theater is home to the Czech Republic’s top opera, ballet, and musical performances. Tours are available in English and daily programs and tickets can be found here.
Where to Stay in Prague
Finding the best accommodations when traveling can take hours of research, especially in a city like Prague where there are hundreds of options! Luckily we can narrow down your options and point you to the best boutique hotels, luxury hotels, hostels, and holiday apartments to stay in with our complete guide on where to stay in Prague. If you’re not up for reading the entire guide here are a few recommendations from the article.
Best Luxury Hotel in Prague – The Alchymist Grand Hotel & Spa Prague
The Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa will make your stay in Prague even more special. This fabulous luxury hotel is located in the center of Prague, just a five-minute walk from Charles Bridge! Additionally, it’s a 5 star hotel located in a landmark Baroque building that dates back to the 16th century, the rooms are massive and fit for a king or a queen. Plus, the Spa may very well be the best in Prague.
Best Boutique Hotel in Prague – Palac U Kocku
U Kocku Palace is the perfect place to stay if you want to enjoy some of the finer things in life but on a smaller budget. The hotel is located in a newly renovated Baroque style building just a few moments from Old Town Square. Each room is decorated in a simple and elegant manner, is comfortable, and spotless.
So there you have it guys, 14 essential places to visit in Prague. This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course, and Prague offers curious travelers days upon days of exploration. Use this as a starter guide, check out our other articles on Prague, and plan your dream vacation to the City of 100 Spires!
As always, happy travels, and we’ll see you on the road!
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