10 Must-See Things To Do In Prague, Czech Republic
Let’s be honest, there are few things better than a weekend city break in Europe. In fact, there are so many beautiful cities that are a stone’s throw from the UK, and flights are pretty cheap to get to them, so there is no excuse not to pack your bags every so often and get out there.
One of the most beautiful cities that you can visit is Prague, in the Czech Republic. Prague certainly has that classic old charm of a city with cobbled streets and cathedrals, but it also boasts a forward-thinking, liberal feel, too. It’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for your next city escape.However, as with all long weekends away, you don’t have nearly as much time as you’d like to see all of the things that are on offer. Time is of the essence, so what should you do if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Prague? Here are 10 of the things that I’d recommend if you’re on a tight schedule…
#1: Walk over Charles Bridge
OK, going to be honest here. Charles Bridge is one of those things that is a bit of a tourist trap, and there are few opportunities to cross it without being surrounded by people shoving selfie sticks in your face. Not ideal, but nonetheless, it’s certainly one of those things that you just have to see for yourself, as it has all of the charm of Prague packed into one.
If you’re not a fan of this sort of stuff, there are plenty of other bridges that offer beautiful views of the city, so just head further down the river Vltava!
#2: Visit Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral
Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral reside next to each other, and that’s good news because there’s a pretty steep hill to climb before you get there. However, the Gothic architecture – and the sheer scale of St. Vitus once you’re inside – really isn’t to be missed. Make a day out of this, and head to one of the cafes that sit on the side of the hill on the way down, for a beautiful view of the city.
If you’re a student, you can get a ticket to the cathedral for around £6.50, which is a bargain (or I think so, anyway). Regular tickets aren’t much more!
#3: Spend a day in the Jewish Quarter
Prague is the site of a rich history for Jews, and there are six synagogues in total (alongside two Jewish cemetaries). You can get a pass to go to all of them, and this is definitely worth it, especially for the Spanish Synagogue which is just stunning. The Pinkas Synagogue is also sobering, as the names of 80,000 Holocaust victims are inscribed onto the walls as an ‘epitaph for those who have no grave.’
It’s a good idea to head to the Jewish Museum early in the morning to get your tickets, to avoid the queue that builds up over the day.
#4: Head to the Museum of Communism
Prague spent over 40 years under communist rule, and since the Velvet Revolution in 1989, they’ve been enjoying the democracy that they longed for. In fact, the Czech Republic has also suffered at the hands of Nazi occupation, so it’s understandable that they aim to inform people of the realities of life pre-1989. The museum of communism is certainly a great place to visit if you want to know the history of the city.
Whilst it can be pretty heavy at times, there’s also a fun gift shop that sells Lenin-shaped candles on the way out. Phew.
#5: Walk around Wenceslas Square
Whilst Wenceslas Square is more of a street than a square, we’re not going to be picky here. This seems to be one of the busiest places in Prague, and it’s lined with some high street shops, as well as a monument of… well, we’re guessing Wenceslas… in the middle. The Narodni Museum is at the top of the street, although it’s still under refurbishment, so you might want to read into this before you go.
If you’re one of those travel fanatics who loves a good Instagram snap, then checking out this place is certainly worth it.
#6: Go on a Franz Kafka tour
If you’re a literature fan, or more specifically, a Kafka fan, then there are plenty of interesting places to visit in Prague. From his home to the Kafka museum, you could easily do a bit of a tour as you try to get inside the head of this literary genius. Speaking of which, there is a huge moving statue of Kafka’s head, which is pretty cool (and super odd, probably just as the man himself would have wanted).
If you have time, a trip to the New Jewish Cemetery – particularly in the Autumn as it is mesmerising! – to see Kafka’s tomb is a must (especially if you’re a bit of a super-fan).
#7: Relax in a jazz bar
Prague is also known for its jazz, and there are plenty of jazz bars around if you want to enjoy some of the music on offer. You often have to reserve a table, but it’s definitely worth it, so check out whether you have to in advance. Many of the jazz bars around Prague still allow smoking indoors, so be wary of this if you’re a non-smoker (and, well, enjoy it if you are one). Again, this is worth checking out beforehand.
The events are often listed online, so make sure that you’ve picked out a good evening to get dressed up, head off and get jazzy!
#8: Frequent some of the city’s pubs
There are many reasons to visit Prague, but arguably one of the best ones is that you can get a pint of beer for as little as 71p. Yes, you read that right, 71p. The people of Prague are pretty proud of their beer, and there are many different types on offer here, so certainly visit one of the pubs after a long day of exploring the city. It won’t put you out a lot of cash!
In fact, you could splash out for luxury Prague airport transfers with all of the money that you’ve got left over, so that you can arrive and depart in style…
#9: Walk up to the National Monument at Vitkov
Due to the fact that this isn’t in the centre of the city, the National Monument at Vitkov rarely gets the attention that it deserves. However, it is an important part of Prague’s history, and has been used for different purposes over the centuries. In fact, it was even used as a mausoleum for some time, although it is now only known as the ‘laboratory’. Either way, it’s pretty creepy down there, so I don’t recommend a solo visit if you want to avoid getting the heebie jeebies.
Although it’s a bit of a walk out of the city, it can be done (you can also get the metro if you want to save time, so get your hands on a map and see how long it will take you to get there!).
#10: Check out the Dancing House
If you’re an architecture lover, or you’re just a fan of a bit of surrealism, then the Dancing House should certainly be on your list. I don’t know how it works, or how it’s been built, but it does look extremely cool, and you can have a bite to eat in the rooftop restaurant if you want to make the most out of the views over Prague. Apparently it represents a male and female dancer, but I’ll leave that one up to you.
The Dancing House is positioned by the river, so walking over the bridge after your rooftop meal is certainly recommended for a different view of the city!
If you’re thinking about heading out to Prague for a weekend, then there are plenty of things that you can do to occupy your time, and to get the most out of the city. Sure, you won’t be able to see everything over the space of a few days, but the vibe that Prague gives off, and the general exploring around those cobbled streets, will be enough to make you fall in love with this amazing city.
If you’re into history and literature, then there are plenty of museums here that are worth a visit, and the streets are home to Franz Kafka’s childhood, right through to his job in the city. If you’re interested in religious history, then there are many synagogues and cathedrals that must be on your list. And if you’re just interested in cheap beer, then you can get that here too.
Enjoy your weekend break in Prague; one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and one that you are sure to remember the magic of forever!