Prague is a beautiful city in the Czech Republic! I ended up LOVING the city and I want you to understand why. So let me share with you my top 13 best things to do in Prague, so you can see what I saw!
So what is Prague famous for? When I first Googled this, the internet mentioned the Powder Tower, a cathedral, a 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; they just leave me amazed at how much is kept from the original pieces and the sizes of the properties themselves!
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.
Now, back to my list of where to go in Prague:
- 1. Start with 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
- 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 the city from the top of Petrin Tower
- 10. Live the local history at the Národní Museum
- 11. Try the local 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: 5 Day trips from Prague
- Practical information on visiting Prague
1. Start with 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, Prague Castle is one of the best Prague sightseeing points in the city because of its majestic presence high on the hill, the surrounding gardens, and also for the picturesque landscape view!
The castle complex was built in the 9th century and is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic! In the past it served as a seat of power for the kings of Bohemia and the presidents of Czechoslovakia.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a complex of palaces and great buildings of different architectural styles from remains of Romanesque-style sites up to 14th century Gothic improvements.
The 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 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 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, I recommend going for an organized Prague Castle tour which starts with a fun trip up the hill to reach the castle and gives you a different view of the Prague grounds. You then hear stories of princes and kings that once lived there and the traditional ceremonies they had on the property.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday 6AM – 10PM (Castle Grounds), 9AM – 4PM (Castle building). Check the updated opening hours here.
2. Marvel at the St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral is the most important temple in Prague because its initial purpose was to be a coronation church, family crypt and treasury for the valuable relics of the kingdom. It was also a place of burial for patron saints like Wenceslaus, sovereigns, noblemen and archbishops.
The cathedral is a great example of Gothic architecture but due to restorations the final version of the Cathedral is more representative of the Neo-Gothic style. The history does not stop there; on their bronze doors you can see reliefs with scenes from the Cathedral history and legends about St. Adalbert and St. Wenceslas!
On the inside you will get to admire the stained glass windows and up on the high altar see the Royal Mausoleum under which is the royal crypt.
NOTE: The Cathedral is a must stop on your way to Prague Castle (more about it below). 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.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday from 9AM to 4:40PM, Sundays from 12PM to 4:40PM. You can view the updated opening hours and religious services times here.
3. Walk around Mala Strana to St. Nicholas Church and St. George’s Basilica
1) St. Nicholas Church in Malá Strana is among the most famous churches in Prague for being a Baroque building up on the north of the Alps. The construction itself lasted about one hundred years and at least three generations of Baroque architects worked on it. You must go inside to see the beauty in the design and paintings, and, if you are lucky enough, to hear the historic 18th century organ played. There are also some concerts held here throughout the year with that organ that has more than 4,000 pipes of up to six meters in length!
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 9AM to 4PM. Check the updated opening hours here.
PRICE: CZK 104 (€4). You can book your tickets online here.
2) St. George’s Basilica is the second oldest church, founded back in 920 AD and is an important part of the Romanesque monuments. The building grew with the construction of Benedictine St. George’s Abbey and it was rebuilt in 1142 after a big fire. It has a great baroque façade, the chapel has a gothic style, and the entire building now houses the 19th century Bohemian Art Collection. This is one of those Prague attractions you have to see because of its antiquity and the historic impression it leaves on you starting with its majestic doors and the interior décor.
To visit St. George’s Basilica, your best option is joining the Circuit B Prague Castle tour. You get to learn about the castle’s history, see the interior designs of the Prague Castle, go over to St. Vitus Cathedral and after the Basilica you finish at the great Golden Lane.
NOTE: You cannot pay for individual admission to St. George’s Basilica. All tickets to the Basilica are included in a combo pass to the Castle, Cathedral, and Golden Lane called “Prague Castle Circuit B”.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 9AM to 5PM. You can check the updated opening hours here.
4. Join a walking tour in Prague
On my latest backpacking and solo-traveling adventures, I have learned that the best and most interactive way of getting to know a new city is by taking walking tours, and of course, it never hurts when it’s free! You can find many small booths that offer free walking tours and some are even in the same Old Town Square in Prague. It’s up to you which one you choose, as it mostly depends on the time you have and which attractions you want to see!
As part of this Prague city tour you will be shown new and modern construction and neoclassical architecture such as the Czech National Museum. The tour also goes by the Old Town Square and, if you are lucky, you might even catch the Astronomical Clock right before the hour when the bells ring and you see their 1-minute show. After this, you will be heading towards the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague that is located in the Jewish Quarter (also known as Josefov), and is also very well known for being Franz Kafka’s birthplace!
But the tour does not end there! The entire itinerary is too long to share but those were a few of the highlights. Here are some more and this list is enough for a 3-hour walk:
- Wenceslas Square
- National Museum
- Mozart Theatre
- House of the Black Madonna
- Powder Tower
- The Golden Route
- St. Nicholas’ Church
- Týn Church
NOTE: Don’t forget to leave the guide a tip for their patience and dedication in sharing their knowledge of the grounds.
Alternatively, if you are a bit tight on time and would rather go with an organized tour group to the main highlights previously mentioned while also seeing more of the city, I suggest you take this walking and river cruise tour on the beautiful Vltava River.
And a personal favorite for sceptics and believers, this 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 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 clock when the hour is about to ring; 5 minutes is enough to admire the figurine procession!
PRO TIP: The “show” can be seen from around the Old Town Square but to get a better and closer look, the best idea is to go over to the Old Town Hall and admire the show from up in the tower’s chapel.
Maybe you are asking yourself what the big deal with this clock is, and for that I will give a brief intro on what it means. Unfortunately, when I went there it was under maintenance so I never got to see the show, but it was still awesome, plus the tour guide was the best I could have! =)
So, the Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj is over 600 years old and is a piece of medieval engineering that has a special stone chamber on the tower to oversee and maintain the mechanical parts. The clock consists of an astronomical dial that shows the position of the Sun and the Moon, a mechanism that puts the twelve apostles’ parade in motion, a calendar with medallions that shows the months, and a figure of a skeleton representing death that strikes the time. There is also a legend that says the town will suffer if they neglect the clock, so… keep an eye out for any ghost that might appear!
If you want to see more of the tower than just the hourly clock show, you can get these basic entry tickets for CZK 250 (€10) at the entrance or pay CZK 415 (€16) for skip-the-line tickets and go up the tower to see the Old Town Square from above, the view is gorgeous!
OPENING HOURS: Mondays from 11AM to 7PM, the rest of the week from 9AM to 7PM. You can check the updated schedule here.
PRICE: Free to watch the hourly 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
Back in 1342, the bridge that stood over the Vltava River was named the “Judith Bridge” but it ended up getting too damaged by floods. Charles IV ordered a new bridge, which was finished in 1402, hence the new name, “Charles Bridge”. The bridge is made of sandstone blocks and has the Lesser Town Bridge Tower and Old Town Bridge Tower on each of its sides.
Czechs simply love Charles. You will see many buildings and monuments named in his honor in Prague!
While walking along the bridge you will see that some of the sculptures are made of sandstone, marble, and even bronze. The 30 sculptures and statues of saints were carved between 1683 and 1928 as decorations. The statue of St. John of Nepomuk is the oldest, original standing statue. By the way, some of the sculptures were destroyed by the floods and other weather conditions, so they were replaced by contemporary copies while the original pieces were placed in the National Museum’s Lapidary.
Through time, they realized that all the different kinds of transportation, including horses, electric line, and even buses, were destroying the bridge, so the bridge has been used for pedestrians only since 1965.
You can walk on the bridge and be amazed by the attention to details on every piece of stone along the way! This is also a great excuse to go over from the Old Town side to the Prague castle side.
7. Visit the historic Vysehrad fort
Vyšehrad is a historic fort no more than 3 km away from Prague Castle, right over the River Vltava bank. Within its grounds you will find the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul and the Vyšehrad cemetery, which has the remains of some of Czech history’s finest like Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana.
Once every hour the Vyšehrad area draws attention with the sound of bells from the Basilica. It has been renovated and now has a neo-Gothic appearance while having many ornaments and wall paintings on the inside. The treasury has an exhibit of jewelry and rare textiles from when the fort was still functional.
If you want to visit the main Vyšehrad sights, the Basilica basic entrance ticket costs CZK 50 (€2), while the Casemates underground spaces ticket which includes Brick Gate and Gorlice Hall cost CZK 60 (€2.50).
If you want to take an organized tour around the fort with a guide that knows the local history and will answer all the questions you might have I recommend this 2.5hours Vyšehrad Castle tour. It includes the tram tickets from Prague center, the Basilica history, and walking through the famous casemates.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 10AM to 5PM. You can check the updated schedule here.
PRICE: from CZK 50 (€2) 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 Prague city style.
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 at the time.
The building itself is a beauty on the outside, leaving you amazed by how they came up with the design and managed to build it with such care and precision. 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 that showcases contemporary and international art!
OPENING HOURS: Everyday 10AM – 10PM. You can check the updated opening hours here.
PRICE: The entrance to the gallery is CZK 198 (€7.50). Check the updated price here.
9. Enjoy the city 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 you’ll get a beautiful landscape view of the city, and might even get to see all of Bohemia if the sky is really clear. Don’t be scared about the height because the climb is about four minutes, not more!
By the way, Bohemia is the largest historical area of the Czech Republic, one of the regions that is now part of it and which was formerly part of Czechoslovakia.
The tower is located on top of Petrin Hill which used to be part of King Charles’ vineyards, and has other attractions great for people of all ages. You can head over to the mirror maze that has a hall full of distorting mirrors, or go over to the Observatory or Rose Garden, each one with its own beauty.
How to get to Petrin Tower
By foot: If you are up for a good walk, you can go up the wooden path and stop at the statue of the great Czech poet Karel Hynek Mácha on your way to the top.
By funicular: If you go for the funicular, it’s departing point is on Újezd street. It runs from 9AM to 10:20PM every 15 minutes. Purchase a public transportation ticket for this ride, and get off at the very top which is the second stop.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 10AM to 6PM. Check the updated opening hours here.
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 best museums in Prague I highly recommend is a stop at Národní Muzeum.
Národní Muzeum, also known as the National Museum, is in a Neo-Renaissance building designed by Josef Schultz back in the 19th century. It was reopened in October 2018 after an extensive renovation as part of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. 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!
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 10AM to 6PM. You can check the updated opening hours here.
PRICE: CZK 130 (€5)
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 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 per capita than any other country. It is such a big difference in the amount produced, that beer is cheaper to buy than water. There is a wide range of local beers coming from 50 breweries and 70 mini-breweries in the country, with the following favorites: Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Budvar, Staropramen, and more.
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 regional beers while also having a selection of 30 beers brought from microbreweries from around Czechia. Other than beer, you can also find ales and ciders on the menu which you can combine with some snacks like pickled Hermelin cheese. And you can also go for a craft beer tasting tour at the Museum, where you can even create your own label and bottle!
Some great bars and restaurants where you can find these beers are:
- Výtopna – it is a railway style restaurant where you get your meal served by model train cars. You can ask for some of the best local beers and have it delivered by model train to your table.
- Lókal – this place not only serves the best traditional dumplings, but also a great variety of regional beers for you to enjoy.
- U Kunštátů – Craft Beer In Old Prague – it’s one of the best craft beer bars in the area, where you can find the best Bohemian craft beer and enjoy every sip while having a side of local beer delicacies.
NOTE: Another local alcoholic drink is Becherovka. It used to be known as Karlsbader Becherbitter and it is an herbal drink, usually drunk for digestive aid. The recipe created and produced in Karlovy Vary has a mix of more than twenty herbs and spices, but people usually say its ginger and cinnamon flavor are the predominant ones.
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 Bodleian Library in Oxford.
1) Clementinum Library
Clementinum is a historic complex of buildings (one of the largest in Europe!) that was built between the 16th and 18th century to serve as a Jesuit dormitory. It is now mostly used and known as the National Library of the Czech Republic and it holds many beautiful frescoes and collections such as Mozartiana, Comenius, and historic samples of Czech literature.
As part of its additions, in the Astronomical Tower you can find meteorological measurements collected since 1775, and the Mirror Chapel is a great place to see classical music concerts.
This Clementinum guided tour can be booked on the spot 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 and takes you through the Baroque Library hall where you see the paintings, over to the Meridian Hall which was used to determine noon time, and finishes at the Astronomical Tower that has a wonderful view of the city center.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 10AM to 6PM. Check the updated opening hours here.
PRICE: CZK 300 (€12) entrance fee. You can book your online ticket here.
2) Strahov Monastery Library
Strahov Monastery Library is another baroque library in the city of Prague, and it has served as home to monks since the 12th-century. It is one of the most valuable and perfectly preserved historical collections with more than 200,000 volumes. This beauty of building will leave you impressed not only with the amount of books in each hall, but for all the paintings, frescoes, and sculptures that decorate the interiors.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 9AM to 5PM. Check the updated opening hours here.
PRICE: CZK 120 (€5) 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 200 (€8) ticket that includes visiting the Strahov picture gallery, the Convent building, and the Strahov Library.
13. Visit your favorite animals at Prague Zoo
Are you curious about some fun things to do in Prague with kids? If so, I am here to give you some great ideas on what activities to enjoy with the entire family, like this zoo where you get to see animals and have the chance to pet or feed them!
Prague Zoo has 24 areas where you can find animals in the best replicated habitats to make them feel like they are in their natural environments. The zoo workers are very conscious of conservation and protection inside and outside of the zoo and they try to make people aware of the endangered animals while also working to protect all species!
The petting activities are found over at the Children’s Zoo where you have a pond and next to it a yard where you can find a dovecote for birds, rabbit hutches, stables, and other homes of domestic animals.
The Zoo is on the banks of the Vltava River, only 20 minutes from the city center, 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.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 9AM to 4PM. Check the updated opening hours here.
PRICE: CZK 200 (€8) adults / CZK 150 (€6) 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, Prague has an almost unlimited amount of things to do. 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
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. It has been covered with a variety of John Lennon-inspired graffiti, lyrics from Beatles’ songs, and paintings that mention local and global causes.
There are continuous additions to the wall so the original portrait of Lennon and the first messages are long lost under the many layers of paint. The main idea is that this canvas is a representation of global ideas such as peace and love.
There is almost always some street musician 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 town 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.
Going to Kampa Island is a perfect way to slow down from a hectic day. You can also go to a local café for some fresh brewed coffee, or go to the park that is great for summer picnics while viewing the towers of Old Town on the other side of the river. You can also go by the Lennon Wall to admire the variety of messages and art designs posted daily on it.
And don’t forget to make your walk around Kampa complete by going to the Kampa Museum to see the collection of Central European modern art. The babies without faces by David Černý and a glowing colony of penguins are part of the museum’s outdoor exhibits.
The Island is right on the Vltava River and next to the Mala Strana side of Prague. To get there from Prague city center it is only a 15-minute walk.
OPENING HOURS (Museum): Everyday from 10AM to 6PM. Check the opening hours here.
PRICE: Visiting the island is free. The entrance fee to the Kampa Museum is CZK 300 (€12). Check the updated prices here.
3. Awake your inner child at LEGO Museum
Go to the Lego Museum if you love Lego’s, it is personally one of my favorite fun things to do in Prague!
Of course, you don’t have to go with a child, as you can actually enjoy it with your inner kid! But, if you are visiting Prague with kids, this will be a good addition to a Zoo and other places you usually take your kids when traveling.
You will see the traditional LEGO constructions but also a great variety of animated characters and world-famous structures like the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all made out of LEGO pieces!
The museum has a 340 m2 surface with more than 2500 models divided into 20 sections based on their themes. Oh, and by the way, more than 1,000,000 bricks were used to create everything! There is even a kid’s area for them to make their own inventions while playing with some LEGO trains and interactive activities.
NOTE: Another alternative would be to go to Hamleys, a famous local toy store that is filled with characters and fun games from world-known animated series and others known to Czech citizens. But all-in-all, it’s a big place full of games and toys, some to try out and others to purchase. There is even a small playground inside, and from time to time there is a musical show outside of the store to catch your attention!
OPENING HOURS: The museum is open everyday from 10AM to 8PM
PRICE: CZK 207 (€8) + CZK 20 (less than an extra €1) to be allowed to take pictures inside.
4. Go for a boat ride along the Vltava River
Take advantage of the wide and beautiful Vltava River and opt for a boat ride along it. The best way to really enjoy the ride and scenery is with a tasty meal while moving along the currents. 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; your decision is mostly based on the time you want to be on board the boat. They are both good options, but my preference is mostly for the night cruise because you’ll get to see the city and castles with all their lights giving them a magical touch.
PRO TIP: If you want a more adventurous activity, you might want to try water zorbing! You’ll be inside a big transparent bubble but won’t be getting wet. The best plan is to book this activity for 30 minutes so you learn how to move with the bubble and have some fun!
TOUR PRICE: from €34 to €49.
5. Immerse yourself in Kafka’s world at Kafka Museum
Franz Kafka was a Czech writer born in Bohemia which is why he was german-speaking and his significant works were written in German. The Franz Kafka Museum is located in the Lesser Quarter of Prague, 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.
The main museum exhibition has two sections:
- The Existential Space, where you will see how Prague made an impact on Kafka’s life as a child and while growing up, through the letters he sent to his family and his diaries.
- The Imaginary Topography, where through his work you will learn how Kafka referred to many local places without actually mentioning names.
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 city streets to the sites where Kafka got his inspiration and spent most of this days such as the Jewish Ghetto, the apartments where his family lived, and even his old university.
NOTE: To book a guided tour around the museum, it is best to do it at least 7 days in advance to ensure your spot.
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Check the updated schedule here.
PRICE: CZK 260 (€10) entrance fee + CZK 800 (€31) for a guided tour. Book your online tickets here.
6. Learn more about the communist history of Prague
The Czech territory was ruled by the Communist Party between 1948 and 1989 but it was later ruled that the Communist government was illegal, therefore, the Communist Party had been a criminal organization.
There is also a Memorial to the Victims of Communism over at the base of Petrin Hill, finished in 2002 by the Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek. They are six bronze sculptures that are descending the stairs and each of them is more “decayed” symbolizing how the prisoners were affected.
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 290 (€12), or with a guided tour for CZK 1790 (€70).
OPENING HOURS: Everyday from 9 AM to 8 PM. Check the updated schedule here.
PRICE: from CZK 290 (€12). To book your online ticket to the Museum, contact the reservation office here.
BONUS 2: 5 Day trips from Prague
The Czech Republic is a country full of beautiful scenery, impressive architectural buildings, and exciting activities, all of which can be found in and around Prague!
Regardless of how long your stay in the city will be, there are some things that you should include in your itinerary in case you have more time. I hand-picked these 7 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 style castle built back in 1348 by Charles IV, the King of Bohemia and it was used to house the crown jewels, and other royal treasures.
The castle is located 30 km from Prague which is about a 45-minute train ride and is above the village of Karlstejn.
PRO TIP: If you go by car or train, it is better to stay awake so you can catch a glimpse of the castle on the hilltop while you are getting closer to the destination!
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.
Don’t worry, there are some establishments and street vendors along the way up for a small bite or a drink before finishing the trek. You should climb up at your own pace and pause to take some pictures while ascending because the scenery is simply breathtaking!
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. Once at the castle you will walk past the crown jewels, see the massive walls at the Chapel of St. Nicholas, and go through the Hall of Knights.
OPENING HOURS: Every day from 9:30AM to 5PM. You can check the updated schedule here.
2. Kutná Hora
Kutná Hora is a former silver mining city located a one-hour drive (84 km) from Prague which was called the “national treasury” and said to have helped the Czech kingdom grow.
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 a town that used to be the richest in the Bohemian Kingdom and has an out of the ordinary burial ground. You will find a diversity of townhouses, from Gothic, and Renaissance to Baroque styles, and even a 15th century stone fountain before heading over to the Sedlec Ossuary chapel with over 40,000 human bones in it.
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 nature activities.
This Prague to Karlovy Vary day trip tour is one of the best Prague excursions that takes you to the legendary spa town known as Karlovy Vary down in the West Bohemian region of the country! The most famous sights here are the hot springs and the 12 natural mineral springs that are said to have curative effects.
I definitely recommend trying their local wafers and the traditional Becherovka liqueur that is made by combining herbs and spices.
Dresden is on the Elbe River, and is a German industrial, governmental, and cultural center located an hour and a half (147 km) from Prague.
Go over to the capital of Saxony on this 11-hour Prague to Dresden day trip and meet with German culture and architecture. You will travel past the lovely scenery of the Central Bohemian Uplands before you reach the final destination and you will get a historical summary of how it went from being a great artistic point to almost disappearing during World War II. Have I got you interested enough in joining a tour? =)
This Vienna one-day tour departing from Prague is a fun ride into the Austrian capital city filled with historic monuments and fun sights, good for a travel group or with your family. The tour includes the 4-hour bus ride from Prague to Vienna as well. Once you arrive in the beautiful city of Vienna you get to have a tour of St. Stephen Cathedral, go around the Albertina Gallery or Museum Quarter, and more while also stopping for a traditional “Sacher” cake at a local café.
NOTE: The entire tour is about 14 hours, of which almost 8 hours are only to head to and from the cities while the remaining 6 are for city sightseeing. If you are sure this is not enough time to really enjoy the Austrian city, go there for a longer stay and check my article on Things to do in Vienna to fully enjoy the trip.
Practical information on visiting Prague
I gave you the main attractions and reasons 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 – best accommodation options to stay in the city, food to try (and where to try it), internet, prices, currency exchange and much more!
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 city
The Vaclav Havel Airport Prague is about 17 km from the city center and takes about 25 minutes to get there. There are many ways to get there, from bus and airport shuttle to taxi.
Let’s see which are the best ways of getting from the airport to the city:
By bus combined with metro line
- Bus 119 -> get off at Nádrazí Veleslavín -> change to metro LIne A -> get off at Straromestska (Old Town). The trip is altogether about 20 mins (5 by bus and 15 by metro).
- Bus 110 -> get off at Zlícín -> change to metro Line B -> get off at Mustek. The trip is altogether about 45 mins (15 by bus and 30 by metro)
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 that is walking distance to the Wenceslas Square.
The bus run from 5:30AM to 9PM and the travel time takes about 33 minutes for the ticket price of CZK 130 (€5); 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; plus, they speak English or another language if requested. The price is between €17 and €27, the final fare depends on which part of the city you are going to and the type of car requested. You can book your taxi ahead of time online on either of their websites.
- 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
There are many options of accommodations around the city that will fit your budget, ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
UPDATE: If you want a wider range of hotels to choose from, I recommend reading my article on the Best hotels to stay in Prague.
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 best 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. They also offer the use of their Boccaccio ballroom, which is a historic neo-baroque venue!
- 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 include antique furniture to keep the history of the building alive. You can rent a bike at the hotel to ride around the city in a more local way =)
Middle-priced (from €50 to €150):
- Hotel Dependance Golden Crown – It is a modern and elegant accommodation in the city center that has rooms with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a wardrobe, and a lovely city view. All the rooms also include a seating area, a small but comfortable and useful desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. The airport shuttle service is available for a small price, for your convenience.
- 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. All the rooms have a minibar, satellite TV, a kettle, and free Wi-Fi, as well as elegant decor with a classic vibe and modern appliances!
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. All the rooms have basic furniture with modern shared or private bathrooms, depending on your booking. Guests are invited to take part in activities like free tours, beer pong, or Sunday free dinner.
- 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. Guests can go for the on-site restaurant or make use of the common kitchen that includes a microwave, fridge, and stovetop. Each guest has a locker with a key that you can make use of to keep some belongings.
How to get around Prague
Prague is a very pedestrian-friendly city, this is why I recommend walking around the city if you can – it’s the best way to come across new stores, local streets, and impressive street art! But if you are not sure you will be able to walk around all day, 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 buses, trams, and metro lines that go around the entire city, making it very easy to change vehicles and arrive at your destination.
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 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!
It currently costs 62 EUR for 2 days and 72 EUR 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):
You can purchase a card for anywhere from 2 to 4 days and the price will vary based on the time requested. For a 3-day card you can save about €70 if you purchase it instead of getting individual tickets for each attraction.
You can go to the Prague Castle, Jewish Museum, National Museum, Prague Zoo, Powder Tower, and so much more! There are about 60 free attractions on the list of affiliates of the card and another 50 locations that will give you a discount because of the card.
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 the total of €116, while the 2-day 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). The 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 (2 day card), €72 per person (3 day card), €83 per person (4 day card)
Where to Change money in Prague
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).
Some big stores will accept Euros but your change will be given in crowns, and the conversion rate will be based on them. This might not be the most convenient situation for you, which is why I recommend changing money at a local establishment.
Here is a general idea of what the conversion rates are (click on the link to see up-to-date rate):
NOTE: If you don’t want to get all mixed up with the currency exchange places, you might want to use ATMs and withdraw money from your personal card to get the amount in local currency. Although you don’t know the ATM fees for using a foreign card the final results will most likely be beneficial for you as you will avoid any possible scam.
What to eat in Prague and where to eat it
Here are some local dishes and foods that I recommend you try while you are on your Prague holiday and some amazing options on where to find them:
- Czech kulajda – a creamy mushroom and potato soup, a very traditional dish in many homes! It sometimes has sour cream or poached eggs on top. Café Imperial is one of the best restaurants where you can find this classic and warm dish perfect for the winter season.
- Knedle (Knedlíky) – is a boiled potato-dough dumpling usually filled with plums that is served as dessert covered in sugar, a main dish, or even a side dish covered with breadcrumbs and fried in butter. Although the best knedlíky will be the homemade version by grandma, Café Savoy is very close to the best as this restaurant serves these delicious fruit dumplings.
- Nakládaný Hermelín – hermelín is a Czech cheese similar to camembert with a coat of white mold, and the Nakládaný Hermelín (meaning pickled cheese in English) is this cheese pickled for a couple of days in oil, peppers, garlic and paprika. U Fleků is a great option to try this spicy yet tasty Czech snack with a good beer.
- Koleno – means roasted pork knee/knuckle, and is usually served with mustard sauce, cabbage salad and horseradish. Head over to Kolonial Bar for a tasty and crunch koleno meal, you will definitely want to go back for more.
- Svícková – braised beef with dumplings. Lokál is a great choice of a restaurant if you are interested in trying it or going for a homemade Czech meal, all made with fresh ingredients provided from regional suppliers!
- Trdelník (also known as chimney cake) – best dessert choice! You can find it anywhere, at local street stalls or at small shops; you can eat them just like dough bathed in sugar or filled with a variety of flavors. I went over to Good Food Coffee & Bakery but you can find many other shops that are really good also!
- Czech gingerbread – it comes in various shapes, tastes and scents such as nuts, chocolate, lemon icing, and more. Perníčkův sen “The gingerbread man’s dream” is a small and lovely shop full of ginger products that will have you excited to taste everything!
You might even want to add to your nights in Prague by heading over to an unlimited drinks medieval style dinner, a totally different kind of entertainment to start your night. For Hard Rock fans, you can purchase this fast pass so you can get priority seating and enjoy your favorite meal!
If you don’t want to go from one place to another in search of these and more local dishes I recommend you join a 7-food tasting tour around the best hidden and popular venues.
My other recommendation is going for dinner with a traditional folklore show. For you beer lovers, there’s this awesome craft beer and tasting experience around the Old Town that you will totally enjoy!
Nightlife in Prague
For some travelers, visiting a new city would not be a complete experience if you didn’t go out and see the local nightlife at its peak. Most of the great variety of pubs and clubs are set in the Stare Mesto area in the city center but you can find options throughout the city if you decide to go somewhere closer to your chosen accommodation.
If you are going to Prague for only a couple of days and want to enjoy the entire time you are there, I will share some great places you should visit to see the local nightlife at its best:
- U Marčanů – a restaurant and local entertainment location that has been open for over 100 years. Their main entertainment is folk evenings, so you can go there to enjoy a folklore presentation while having a traditional dinner.
- Hemingway Bar – clearly the first stop for any Hemingway fan but still open for any person wanting to try out different drinks. It is a fancy place but with a cozy atmosphere where you can get fresh cocktails, pick from over 200 varieties of aged rum, and even sample some rare absinthes that cost about €10.
- La Macumba Music Latino Bar – opens at 5PM until 3AM on weekdays (until 5AM on weekends) and has a variety of DJs playing every night. It is your best option if you are looking for Salsa lessons or are in search of a place to try out your Latin steps!
- The Chapeau Rouge – a three floored bar and club near Old Town Square that has been running since 1919 and is still one of the great local spots. You can go there to find modern pop and house music, among others, which each DJ that steps onto the platform plays. It’s a great place if you are not looking for a specific kind of music and the drinks are reasonably priced.
Getting a SIM card in Prague
If you are in need of a SIM card while you are in Prague, these are the best phone companies to pick from:
- Vodafone – it has a prepaid SIM card option exclusive for traveling visitors where you can get 10GB for €31 or 20GB for €51.
- O2 – has prepaid plans that start with 500MB for €6 until you need to recharge more, 1.5GB for €12, or even 5GB for €22.
Is Prague Expensive?
Have you been wondering how much you need to pay per day in Prague? The answer just depends on which accommodation you choose to stay at, if you opt for a transportation ticket or would rather walk around the city, and also if you go for a 5-star restaurant, or a less starred one with amazing food.
Let me share an idea of how much you would approximately pay for 2 people:
- Accommodation for 2 – €120 per night
- The 24-hour transportation ticket for all types of public transportation – €4.30 per person
- A classic cup of coffee in a café – €2
- Meal for 2 – up to €20
- An average museum entrance fee – €10 per person
PRO TIP: If this feels a bit expensive for you, you might want to pick walking instead of using the bus and if you like going to museums, the Prague City Card is your best solution to saving some money.
When to visit Prague
There is no perfect time to visit Prague; I think it just depends on your preference for weather! Just consider that the months of summer are considered high season, which means all the hotels will be charging a higher fee than usual.
Spring is a great season to visit Prague because the weather is not too hot or too cold to walk around the city and get to see nature in blooming. Aside from the Easter fairs and traditions, this season is recommended because of the Marathon Music Festival for all sport-lovers, and the music lovers can join Prague Spring International Music Festival.
Some of the things to do in Prague in winter not previously mentioned (visiting museums, going to the Zoo, climbing up Petrin Hill) are to going to the local ice skating rink and listening to Christmas carols.
December is a beautiful month filled with Christmas traditions and local main square fairs that offer tasting a variety of traditional holiday dishes as well as options to do some handmade decorations shopping! Christmas markets in Prague are extremely beautiful too!
All in all, the best time to visit Prague will mostly depend on your budget and preferences!
PRO TIP: For local events, you can check the updates on concerts, fairs, and exhibitions here.
How many days to spend in Prague
I recommend you stay at least two days, which will be enough to visit the main sites, enjoy some great meals, and see the city at dark with all the castles and main squares beautifully lighted!
But, of course, the number of days you spend in the city will be related to your general travel plan, your budget, and the amount of attractions you are interested in seeing. If you are just stopping by and have less than a day before leaving for your next travel destination, you might want to jump on the hop-on hop-off bus around the city or join a 4-hour walking tour to the main sites to get a flavor of Prague.
Besides having a wall dedicated to the great John Lennon and a Hemingway-inspired bar, there is a lot of history and culture on Prague’s streets that makes it a destination worth visiting!
In this article I covered the top things to do in the city, as well as some bonus activities if you have more time. In the end, I also gave you some useful information on how to get there, hotel recommendations, how to get around and more, which I hope you will find useful in planning your vacation.
I hope this article is a great starting point for you to create your perfect itinerary to Prague and I wish you a great vacation in this amazing city!
If you have any questions or want to share some other activities to do in Prague, please post them in the comments below, I am always happy to answer!
Pin it for later!
Pin it for later!