I’ve been dreaming of visiting Prague for a few years now. During the Christmas break, S and I decided to visit since it’s only a 3 hour drive away from his hometown in Bavaria, Germany where we were visiting family for Christmas. We happened to be in Prague during the first snowy spell of the season which made for an atmospheric (if chilly) winter getaway.
We managed to fit in a lot of sightseeing during our 4-day trip to the Czech capital. There’s so much to see and do in this UNESCO World Heritage Site – we’ll certainly have to come back again! Here are some of my personal sightseeing recommendations:
Sightseeing in Prague
The historic centre of Prague is the Old Town Square. We caught the last few days of the Prague Christmas Market when we were there so the square was decorated with Christmas booths selling souvenirs and snacks as well as an enormous decorated Christmas tree.
We also couldn’t miss the famous Astronomical Clock located on the Old Town Hall. The Prague Astronomical Clock is the third oldest in the world and the oldest one still in working order. Despite being named one of the most overrated sights in Europe, we found the clock to be lovely indeed and definitely worth a look. You can also climb the tower for 360 degree views of the city, but the weather wasn’t so great when we were there so we skipped it.
The Jewish Quarter of Prague is located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River. Known as Josefov, this quarter dates back to the 13th century and is home to 6 synagogues, including the famous Spanish Synagogue and the Old New Synagogue, as well as the Old Jewish Cemetery.
Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral
Not to be missed is a visit to Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The castle is really more of a walled complex and offers lovely views of the river and city below.
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The Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral is the star of the castle complex and boasts stunning stained glass windows as well as the tombs of many Bohemian Kings and Holy Roman Emperors.
Later, we went to the Lobkowicz Palace Museum, home of the private collections of the Lobkowicz family. The family had all their property and belongings taken from them during World War II and the Communist Regime, but has since gained it all back. Notable items in their astounding collection include artworks by Brueghel the Elder, Cranach, and Velázquez, as well as original scores and manuscripts by Beethoven and Mozart. We had the museum to ourselves the afternoon when we went and it was a truly memorable visit.
Prague is absolutely brimming with music and musicians, as well as gorgeous concert and opera venues – the Estates Theatre (where Mozart premiered the opera Don Giovanni in 1787), the Prague State Opera, the Klementinum and many, many more. We attended a fantastic Hollywood Movie Music concert by the Prague Symphony Orchestra in the Municipal House, Prague’s foremost Art Nouveau building, as well as a Pearls of Czech & World Classical Music concert at the Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle. The venues were stunning. Definitely try to see a concert during your time in Prague!
Probably the best-known sight in Prague, the 14th century Charles Bridge connects the Old Town of Prague with the castle side of the city across the Vltava river. Arrive early to admire the bridge before the crowds arrive!
Short on time but still want to see as many sights as possible in Prague? I highly recommend the Royal Walk Free Tour with Discover Prague. This 2.5 hour tour takes you to all the key sights in the city and offers a great overview of the history of Prague. This tour was a wonderful introduction to the city on our first full day.
More Prague posts to come, including our amazing food tour with Eat with Locals and my favourite Prague eateries and cafés.
Have you been to Prague? What were your favourite city sights? Did you manage to get a crowd-free shot of the Charles Bridge (because I sure didn’t!)?