Prague is the capital and a beautiful city in the Czech Republic! I ended up LOVING the city of Prague and I want you to understand why. So let me share with you my 13 best things to do in Prague, so you can see what I saw during my time there!
So what is Prague famous for? When I first Googled this, the internet mentioned the Powder Tower, a cathedral, Charles Bridge, a hill, and CASTLES! I clearly have a soft spot for castles and palaces and they’re definitely one of the most important Prague tourist attractions!
To actually show you the best of Prague and to convince you to include it as part of your next holiday, let me give you some top Prague tourist spots, some fun activities, and even a couple of tours outside the city in case you are staying more than three days in Prague.
Let’s get started with my list of what to do and where to go in Prague:
- 1. Start with the Prague Castle
- 2. Marvel at the St. Vitus Cathedral
- 3. Walk around Mala Strana to St. Nicholas Church and St. George’s Basilica
- 4. Join a walking tour in Prague, Czech Republic
- 5. Get some history out of Prague Astronomical Clock
- 6. Cross over Charles Bridge and see Prague from both sides
- 7. Visit the historic Vysehrad fort
- 8. Pay a visit to the Dancing House in Prague
- 9. Enjoy Prague from the top of Petrin Tower
- 10. Live the local history at the Národní Museum
- 11. Try the local Czech beer!
- 12. See the beautiful Clementinum and Strahov monastery libraries
- 13. Visit your favorite animals at Prague Zoo
- BONUS 1: Extra things to do in Prague
- BONUS 2: 3 Day trips from Prague, Czech Republic
- Practical information on visiting Prague
1. Start with the Prague Castle
Did you know that according to the Guinness World Records book, Prague Castle is the largest castle in the world?
Located up in Mala Strana, very close to Charles Bridge, Prague Castle is one of the best Prague sightseeing points! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best things to do in Prague and it has a complex of palaces and great buildings of different architectural styles!
Prague Castle itself and its grounds will leave you impressed from the outside façade! It is one of the largest castle complexes in the world that includes the following on its property:
Due to the entrance tickets to Prague Castle not being exactly straight forward, let me briefly explain the system here:
- Circuit A – includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, exhibition “The Story of Prague Castle”, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, Rosenbery Palace.
- Circuit B – includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower.
- Circuit C – includes Exhibition “The Treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral”, Prague Castle Picture Gallery.
Now, which one of them do I recommend choosing? The above mentioned buildings are included in the Circuit B ticket, which is coincidentally the cheapest option to purchase and it costs CZK 250 (€10).
NOTE: All the property tickets are part of a Circuit, no individual tickets are sold.
If you’d like to have a professional guide explain things as you go along with your visit at one of Prague most interesting attractions, I recommend going for an organized Prague Castle tour.
2. Marvel at the St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral is the most important temple in the city and another one of the top things to do in Prague that I can recommend!
NOTE: St. Vitus Cathedral is a must stop included in the Prague Castle site/circuit ticket. I suggest you go for the basic ticket that is €16 that includes the visit around the castle to the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica and the Golden Lane. All the property tickets are part of a Circuit, no individual tickets are sold.
3. Walk around Mala Strana to St. Nicholas Church and St. George’s Basilica
St. Nicholas Church in Malá Strana, not far from the Old Town Square, is among the most famous churches in Prague! The construction itself lasted about one hundred years and at least three generations of Baroque architects worked on it.
PRICE: CZK 100 (€4). You can book your tickets online here.
St. George’s Basilica is the second oldest church in the city, founded back in 920 AD and is an important part of the Romanesque monuments. This is one of those Prague attractions you have to see because of its antiquity and the historic impression it leaves on you, so you should definitely add it to your itinerary of things to do in Prague!
NOTE: You cannot pay for individual admission to St. George’s Basilica. All tickets to the Basilica are included in “Prague Castle Circuit B”.
4. Join a walking tour in Prague, Czech Republic
On my latest backpacking and solo-traveling adventures, I have learned that the best and most interactive way of getting to know a new place is by taking walking tours, and of course, it never hurts when it’s free!
As part of this Prague city tour you will be taken to the Czech National Museum, the Old Town Square (also known as Staré Město), Charles Bridge and, if you are lucky, you might even catch the Astronomical Clock right before the hour when the bells ring. After this, you will be heading towards the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague (by the way, the Old Jewish Quarter is also known as Josefov)! The entire 3-hour itinerary is too long to share but those were a few of the highlights.
NOTE: Don’t forget to leave the guide a tip if you liked the tour!
BONUS: Alternatively, I suggest you take this Prague walking and river cruise tour on the beautiful Vltava River or this Prague tour on the local ghosts and legends, so you can be part of the spooky side of history!
5. Get some history out of Prague Astronomical Clock
The main attraction and show of this Astronomical Clock located in the Old Town Square, close to the river, is that every hour (starting at 9AM and ending at 11PM) when the bell rings, there is a figurine procession of the 12 apostles up high like a cuckoo-clock. My main suggestion is to be near the Astronomical Clock when the hour is about to ring; 5 minutes is enough!
PRO TIP: The Astronomical Clock “show” can be seen from around the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square but to get a better and closer look, a good idea is to go over to the Old Town Hall in Prague and admire the show from there.
Unfortunately, when I was in Prague, the clock was under maintenance so I never got to see the show, but it was still awesome, plus the tour guide was the top I could have! 🙂
The Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj is over 600 years old and it has a special stone chamber on the tower to oversee and maintain the mechanical parts. There is also a legend that says Prague will suffer if they neglect the clock, so… keep an eye out for any ghost that might appear!
If you want to explore more of the tower than just the hourly clock show, you can get the basic tickets for CZK 250 (€10) at the entrance or pay CZK 415 (€16) for skip-the-line tickets and go up the tower.
PRICE: Free to watch the hourly Astronomical Clock show, CZK 415 (€16) per person to go up the tower. You can book your ticket online here.
6. Cross over Charles Bridge and see Prague from both sides
Czechs simply love Charles. You will see many buildings and monuments named in his honor in Prague, starting with Charles Bridge!
While walking along Charles Bridge you will see that some of the sculptures are made of sandstone, marble, and even bronze. Through time, they realized that all the different kinds of transportation, including horses and even buses, were destroying Charles Bridge, so the bridge has been used for pedestrians only since 1965.
7. Visit the historic Vysehrad fort
Vyšehrad is a beautiful historic fort right over the River Vltava bank. If you want to take an organized tour around the fort with a guide that knows the local history, I recommend this 2.5 hours Vyšehrad Castle tour. You will also enjoy some unforgettable views of Prague from up there!
PRICE: from CZK 90 (€3.50) basic entrance fee. Check the updated prices here.
8. Pay a visit to the Dancing House in Prague
The Dancing House was very controversial when created because its design clashes with the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings that dominate the town’s style. This is why you should add it to your list of top things to do in Prague!
FUN FACT: The building is also known as “Fred and Ginger” because of its resemblance to a pair of dancers; plus, these names were famous in the Czech Republic at the time.
The building itself is a beauty on the outside, but the other part of the magic is inside, where you can find the Dancing House Hotel, the Ginger & Fred Restaurant, the brilliant GLASS bar, a shop, and a gallery!
PRICE: The entrance to the art gallery and the rooftop is €8.75. You can buy your ticket here.
9. Enjoy Prague from the top of Petrin Tower
Petrin Lookout Tower is a great Prague landmark built back in 1891 to try to replicate something similar to the Eiffel Tower!
Once you get to the top of the Tower (which is located on Petrin Hill), you’ll get a beautiful landscape view of Prague and plenty of photo opportunities. Don’t be scared about the height because the climb is about four minutes, not more!
PRICE: CZK 150 (€6.50). You can book your ticket online here.
10. Live the local history at the Národní Museum
For local culture and history, among the top museums in Prague I highly recommend is a stop at Národní Muzeum. If you’re a museum lover, then this is one of those unmissable things to do in Prague, trust me!
Národní Muzeum is also known as the National Museum and the original intent was for it to hold and exhibit natural scientific and historical collections. Nowadays, it holds up to 14 million items of natural history, arts, music and more in the many buildings that are all part of the museum!
PRICE: CZK 200 (€8). You can check the updated price here.
NOTE: Admission is free every first Monday of the month and the museum is closed every first Tuesday of the month.
11. Try the local Czech beer!
It might be because the Czechs have produced beer since the 6th century, or just because their beer has a rich flavour, but a definite result is that they drink more beer than any other country.
Did you know beer in most Prague restaurants is actually cheaper than water?
The Prague Beer Museum is a great option to try a variety of Czech beers while also having a selection of 30 beers brought from microbreweries from around Czechia. And you can also go for a craft Prague beer tasting tour at the Museum!
Some great bars, restaurants and Czech beer gardens where you can find these beers are:
- Výtopna – a railway-style restaurant in the Old Town Square where you get your meal served by model train cars. They serve many types of Prague beer;
- Lókal – this place, also located in the Old Town Square and near the Old Town Hall, serves the most delicious traditional dumplings and a great variety of regional Czech beers. It’s also one of the top restaurants in Prague!
- U Kunštátů – one of the top craft beer gardens in Prague, located near the Old Town Square and Old Town Hall
NOTE: Another local alcoholic drink is Becherovka – it is an herbal drink, usually drunk for digestive aid.
12. See the beautiful Clementinum and Strahov monastery libraries
Many big publications like BuzzFeed and Independent.co.uk include these 2 libraries as the most beautiful libraries in the world! I agree; the only one I have seen that was more beautiful is the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
1) Clementinum Library
Clementinum, located in the Old Town Square of Prague, is a historic complex of buildings (one of the largest in Europe!) that was built between the 16th and 18th century and it is now mostly used and known as the National Library of the Czech Republic. It is definitely one of Prague’s top attractions!
This Clementinum guided tour can be booked at the place or online and you’ll be part of the “skip-the-line” group that immediately joins the booked tour time (the lines can be long otherwise!). The tour takes about 50 minutes.
PRICE: CZK 380 (€15) for the skip-the-line entrance fee. You can book your online ticket here.
2) Strahov Monastery Library
Strahov Monastery Library is another baroque library and it is one of the most valuable and perfectly preserved historical collections with more than 200,000 volumes.
PRICE: CZK 150 (€6) Library only fee. You can check the updated prices here. Tickets are purchased at the Strahov building.
PRO TIP: To really appreciate the Strahov art and décor, I recommend going for the CZK 280 (€11) ticket that includes the Strahov picture gallery, the Convent building, and the Strahov Library (only until 4 PM).
13. Visit your favorite animals at Prague Zoo
Are you curious about some fun things to do in Prague with kids? Prague Zoo has 24 areas where you can find animals in replicated habitats to make them feel like they are in their natural environments. There is also a Children’s Zoo there – perfect for the little ones!
The Zoo is on the banks of the Vltava River, only 20 minutes from Prague center and main square, but if you don’t want to stress about how to get there, you can go for an organized tour option that includes the Zoo ticket and vehicle transfer.
PRICE: CZK 250 (€10) adults / CZK 200 (€8) children. You can book your tickets online here.
BONUS 1: Extra things to do in Prague
If the above things were not enough to do and you are still craving more, no worries, here are some extra ones I would suggest doing if you have more time:
1. Go by the John Lennon Wall if you are a Beatles fan
I’m sure you’ve heard about the famous John Lennon Wall before, as it’s one of the coolest things to do in Prague!
It was around the 1980s, after his assassination, that the John Lennon Wall in Prague went from being a regular wall to a tourist stop. The John Lennon Wall has been covered with a variety of Lennon-inspired graffiti, lyrics from Beatles’ songs, and paintings that mention local and global causes.
There is almost always some street musician near the Lennon Wall playing some of Lennon’s songs, so I definitely recommend checking it out just for the atmosphere!
2. Take a break at Kampa Island
Kampa is a man-made island and because of its slight separation from the city and houses near the water, it has earned the nickname of “the Venice of Prague”!
To really enjoy the island views you can rent a rowboat or go on a romantic steamboat cruise down the Vltava River. The Island is right on the Vltava River and next to the Mala Strana side of Prague. To get there from Prague center it is only a 15-minute walk.
3. Go for a boat ride along the Vltava River
Riding a boat on Vltava is definitely one of the unmissable things to do in Prague in case you have more time on your hands on a sunny day!
I recommend you choose between going on a 2-hour lunch panoramic cruise along the river or enjoying a night time cruise with dinner included. They are both good options, but my preference is mostly for the night cruise because you’ll get to see the Czech landmarks and castles with a magical touch.
If you want a more adventurous activity, you might want to try water zorbing! My recommended plan is to book this activity for 30 minutes so you learn how to move with the bubble and have some fun!
PRICE: from €34 to €49.
4. Immerse yourself in Kafka’s world at Kafka Museum
The Franz Kafka Museum is located right above the shore of the Vltava River, and has an exhibit of many never displayed, first edition Kafka works from diaries to photographs and drawings.
If you want to learn more about Kafka, you might be interested in this “Prague through the eyes of Franz Kafka” tour. You will go for a tour around the streets to the sites where Kafka got his inspiration and spent most of his days, and even his old university.
NOTE: To book a guided tour around the museum, it is recommended to do it at least 7 days in advance to ensure your spot.
PRICE: CZK 260 (€10) entrance fee + CZK 800 (€31) for a guided tour. Book your online tickets here.
5. Learn more about the Communism history of Prague
The Czech territory was ruled by the Communist Party between 1948 and 1989. If you want to learn more about the Communism era and life at a nuclear bunker, I suggest taking this 2-hour tour through the dark Czech period.
If, on the other hand, you just want a general idea of what the Czech Communism period was like you will want to visit the Museum of Communism. The museum can be visited by yourself for CZK 380 (€15), or with a guided tour for CZK 1.500 extra to the entrance fee (€60). To book your online ticket to the Museum, contact the reservation office here.
BONUS 2: 3 Day trips from Prague, Czech Republic
I hand-picked these 3 great Prague day trips that I know you will find exciting and fun to do as part of your visit to Prague:
1. Karlstejn Castle
Karlstejn Castle is a Gothic castle located 30 km from Prague which is about a 45-minute train ride and is above the village of Karlstejn. The journey from the Karlstejn village up to the castle property is a 30-minute walk and at the castle you can buy tickets for the tours that take you through the interior of the building.
The most comfortable way of getting there and enjoying the castle though is taking an organized tour that takes care of the transport from Prague city center.
2. Kutná Hora
Kutná Hora is a former silver mining town located a one-hour drive (84 km) from Prague which was called the “national treasury”.
If you want to take a Prague to Kutná Hora day trip, I recommend this 5.5 hour tour which is quite a change from the typical tours around the city that used to be the richest in the Bohemian Kingdom.
3. Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary is a beautiful town, a 1.5-hour car ride (127 km) from Prague, perfect for anyone looking for a different destination to relax with a calm ambience and a diversity of things to do.
This Prague to Karlovy Vary day trip tour is one of the top Prague excursions that takes you to the legendary spa town known as Karlovy Vary! The most famous sights here are the hot springs and the 12 natural mineral springs.
Practical information on visiting Prague
I gave you the main things to do in Prague and my recommendations on what and why to visit during your Prague vacation and now I will add some practical information that I would have loved knowing before I started my trip.
Oh, by the way, if you want to know if it is safe in Prague, the answer is really simple – it is safe like most European cities, as long as you stick to not doing anything to highlight you are a visitor or break any rules.
How to get from the airport to the Prague center
Vaclav Havel Airport Prague is about 17 km from Prague main square and it takes about 25 minutes to get there. Let’s see which are the most convenient ways of getting from the airport to Prague:
By bus combined with metro line
- Bus 119 -> get off at Nádrazí Veleslavín -> change to metro LIne A -> get off at Straromestska (Old Town Square). The trip is about 20 mins in total.
- Bus 110 -> get off at Zlícín -> change to metro Line B -> get off at Mustek. The trip takes about 45 mins.
PRICE: CZK 32 (€1.25) – valid for 90 minutes after first use (the airport to city center journey takes about 45 minutes). You can purchase a ticket at the Public Transport counters, coin-operated vending machines, or from the bus driver. If purchased from the driver the cost increases to CZK 40 (€1.50).
NOTE: The last bus departs from the airport at 11:40PM, so public transport is not a good idea if your flight arrives after 11PM.
By Airport Express
Airport Express bus line has three main stops: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and the Prague Main Railway station.
The bus runs from 5:30AM to 9PM and the travel time takes about 35 minutes for the ticket price of €8 for the single ticket and €16 roundtrip; you can purchase online or once you board the bus from the driver.
- Rideways and Welcome Pickups are taxi services that must be booked ahead of time. Their effective system is designed in a way that the drivers know when your flight arrives in case there is any delay. The price is between €17 and €27, the final fare depends on which part of Prague you are going to and the type of car.
- You can also request an Uber once you arrive at the airport through the mobile application; their prices are about €16.
- If you want to go for a local taxi company, you can use AAA Radio Taxi through the site or by calling +420 222 333 222. Their fare is about €22.
By airport transfer
Where to stay in Prague, Czech Republic
Here are some options with great reviews and good prices I have found that you will love:
Luxury (€150 and up):
- Grand Hotel Bohemia – This is one of the top 5-star hotels in Prague, Czech Republic and it offers free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, modern furniture, and bathtubs in all bathrooms, all found in each of the spacious rooms. Plus, it’s also very close to Wenceslas Square and the bridge, two of the main points of the city!
- Hotel Waldstein – It is located very close to Prague Castle and is set in a 14th-century building. All the rooms have a flat-screen satellite TV, free tea/coffee making facilities, and more. Plus, it offers nice views of the city as well!
Middle-priced (from €50 to €150):
- Hotel Dependance Golden Crown – It is a modern and elegant accommodation in Prague city center (super close to Wenceslas Square, the bridge and the river) that has rooms with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a wardrobe, and lovely views of the city.
- Hotel Prague Golden Age – This hotel is in a UNESCO-protected 15th-century building and offers rooms all with original furniture and Renaissance frescoes, a very classic way to spend your stay. Nice views of Prague included!
Budget (up to €50):
- Hostel Downtown – It is a colorful and lively decorated hostel in the center of Prague that includes free Wi-Fi, a shared lounge for all the guests, and 3 computers if needed.
- Travel&Joy backpackers – It is a fun and warm hostel that offers different sized rooms all having private or shared bathrooms with showers and free toiletries.
How to get around Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a very pedestrian-friendly city, this is why I recommend walking around the town if you can. But here are the best ways to move around Prague:
By public transportation
The public transportation system is very good and complete in Prague – they have many buses, trams, and metro lines that go around the entire Prague, so you can efficiently save some time.
There is an option of purchasing a ticket for 24 hours or 72 hours starting at CZK 115 (€6) that can be used on all the public transportation systems – buses, trams, and subways. You can get your Czech transport tickets here.
You can get the tickets at any yellow ticket vending machine or go to a ticket office at the metro station.
- 30-minute ticket costs CZK 24 (€0.90)
- 90-minute ticket costs CZK 32 (€1.20)
- 24-hour ticket costs CZK 110 (€4.30)
- 72-hour ticket costs CZK 310 (€12)
You can check more details on public transport tickets here.
Prague City Card
The Prague Card is a perfect sightseeing pass and solution to save money if you are interested in staying for at least 3 days in Prague and want to visit most of the museums, castles, and attractions in the city in this limited time!
It currently costs 62€ for 2 days and 72€ for 3 days and it is a great money saver if you are planning to visit many of Prague’s attractions (see my sample calculation below):
There are about 60 free attractions included and another 50 discounted locations in Prague.
Let’s say you have 2 days in Prague and you want to visit the following attractions:
Jewish Museum (€14) + Petrin Observation Tower (€6) + National Museum (€17) + Prague Castle Circuit B (€10) + Dancing House Gallery (€8) + Prague Zoo (€8) + LEGO Museum (€8) + Lunch Cruise (€30) + Old Town Legend Tour (€15) = €116
All these add up to €116, while the 2-day Prague Card is 62€.
You save: €54
The only downside is that once you purchase the card you need to go to a collection point (there are quite a lot of them, though) and pick up your ordered card before using it (you cannot show it on your phone, which means you will waste a bit of time collecting it). Prague Card can be purchased online or at their tourist center selling points including the airport.
IMPORTANT: Prague Card does not include public transportation.
PRICE: €62 per person for the 2-day card, €72 per person for the 3-day card and €83 per person for the 4 day card
Where to change money in Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, although it is part of the European Union, does not use Euros because it has and uses its own currency which is the Czech Koruna also known as Czech Crown (CZK).
Here is a general idea of what the conversion rates are (click on the link to see up-to-date rate):