There’s a reason why Prague is ALWAYS filled with tourists.
It’s full of culture, it’s delicious, it’s beyond beautiful. Prague just small enough for travelers to walk everywhere without ever feeling overwhelmed. The city has been the trending destination in recent years, so what are you waiting for?
1. Night stroll through Prague Castle.
Wait until after sunset, when large groups of tourists have gone away. The walk on Castle grounds underneath the night sky is incredibly peaceful and gorgeously romantic even for those traveling alone. The Castle remains open to the public at night, except for the interior of St. Vitus Cathedral, which is open from 10am – 6pm. Inside the Cathedral is definitely worth a look (we recommend heading there at 5pm), take lots of photos of the incredible stained glass windows!
2. Drink lots and lots…and LOTS of beer. Point taken?
Unless you’re not a beer lover, Pilsner Urquell will be your best friend on this trip. Every night. No big deal. Most Czech beers are light, naturally brewed. Although in recent years, more breweries are producing darker ales but locals do like them chilled, light with a tall head. If you’d like to try something other than a “Pivo”, there’s Staropromen, Bernard which is cheaper from East Bohemia, Velvet which is creamier and Kelt – a darker beer.
3. Early birds get the best view! Cross the Charles Bridge at 7am.
Yes, 7am! Avoid massive tourists during the day. Trust us, it’s completely worth it getting up early to experience the real beauty of Charles Bridge. Construction of the bridge began in 1357. It became significant throughout history, linking the Prague Castle to Old Town and elevated Prague as a vital trade connection between Western and Eastern Europe.
Check the bridge and the clock off your list by seeing them bright and early in the morning.
5. Oh, that famous clock is a sight for sore eyes.
On the way to the Bridge and back, make sure to pass by the medieval Prague atronomical clock (or Prague orloj), which also becomes a tourist attraction during the day with far too many crowds. In popular belief, the clockmaker, Hanuš, was blinded because Prague Concillors at the time did not want him to repeat his work anywhere else. Hanuš broke the clock so no one was able to fix it for the next 100 years. Legend has it that Prague would suffer if the clock doesn’t function properly.
4. Pig out with goulash and all the hearty, saucy Czech cuisine has to offer!
Whether it’s svíčková na smetaně (beef sirloin is doused in gravy), trdelník (Czech’s version of cinnamon) or tatarák (Czech version of steak tartare), Czech cuisine is hearty, saucy packed with so much deliciousness. Most of all, make sure to eat as much goulash as you can. They’re truly the ultimate comfort food.
5. Sunset and BYOB at Riegrovy Sady Park is how locals do it, and you should too.
You just can’t go wrong with watching the sunset and a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) picnic at Riegrovy Sady Park! Check out locals with friends or families who lounge on grass, all admiring the magnificent Prague skyline fading from orange to violet. It’s truly an unforgettable and relaxing experience. If you get hungry or run out of alcohol, there’s also Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden within the park that serves local beers and delicious snacks (sausages and Camembert)!
6. Bring some bling home, shop for icy crystals!
Prague is famous for its crystals, and you’ll probably want to bring some home while you’re here so make sure to bring an extra luggage if you suddenly decided to invest in a chandelier. Note that crystals might not be cheaper in Prague but shopping and browsing for them is oh-so-fun in this city.
Some stores may trigger your interest: Celetna Glass located between Old Town Square and powder gate has a huge selection and will deliver to your hotel without added charges so you don’t need to lug the purchase around all day. Shopping mall Kotva’s prices are less but you’ll need to ask if they deliver to your hotel.
7. Spend an afternoon in the Jewish Quarter.
Six synagogues, a museum, a Jewish Town Hall and a solemn cemetery all add up to a somber reminder that the Jewish Quarter, or Josefov, boasts an important part of the Czech history. Ironically, it was the Nazis who prepared for an “Exotic Museum of an Extinct Race”, and collected Jewish artifacts in preparation for the museum. It’s interesting to walk around the neighborhood but be prepared to shell out $20 or so for the entire tour to see all the synagogues in the area. Today, the neighborhood has been refurbished with alleys of older establishments next to charming streets of high-end boutique. Josefov is also the famous existential writer, Franz Kafka’s birthplace, make sure to check out his bronze statue!
8. Snap a photo of the Dancing House, even if you’re not an architecture fanatic.
Nicknamed “Fred and Ginger,” Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić and Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the Dancing House was made in 1992 and completed in 1996. The nickname came from Gehry’s idea that the two building look like a pair of dancers. Controversial at the time since it contradicts with Prague’s Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings but the project was positively supported by former Czech president Václav Havel who lived next door and hoped the building would be the center of the city’s cultural activity.
9. Check out the Lennon Wall while humming to your favorite Beatles’ tune.
Street art becomes ultra meaningful especially for Beatles fans. Since 1980s, this wall was originally “normal” but has been covered with Lennon-inspired graffiti. During 1988, the Lennon Wall became a form of release for Czech students who opposed Communist regime. today, the wall has inspired other Lennon Walls in various countries, including Hong Kong.
10. Explore the artist in you at DOX – Centre for Contemporary Art.
Prague is filled with some of the best museums in the world: National Museum, National Gallery, Naprstek Museum…etc. Jetset Times contributors have loved the AMoYA – Czech Republic’s youngest and largest non-for-profit art museum. We also think, you should definitely pay a visit to DOX, which is widely considered as the most progressive art institution in the country. Though it’s fairly new with an industrial setting, DOX has already presented numerous exhibitions since 2008. Even Praguers are never bored. If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path or something to fix an industrial, artistic craving…then be on your way to DOX.
11. Take in the nightlife scene, which is one of the best in Europe.
Prague is known for endless options when it comes to its hoppin’ nightlife. The scene varies from tank pubs for beer lovers, casual bars for local minglers, larger-than-life clubs for dancing machines, karaoke bars for aspiring idols and cocktail lounges for the chic and the sophisticated. Absinterie, AnonymouS Bar…and just some of our favorite bars. Check out this list for more!
12. Either ride on a river boat at night or paddleboat on the Vltava River!
As the longest river in the Czech Republic,Vltava River runs north from German border in Šumava through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice, Prague then merges with the Elbe at Mělník. On a gorgeous sunny day, you can take in the breathtaking view from a paddleboat on the river! You can rent the boat on the island of Slovanský ostrov, located close to the National Theatre. If paddleboat isn’t your jam, then book a ticket on a river cruise. We highly recommend doing this at night after dinner, you’ll get a glimpse of Prague by night and maybe catch a group of swans floating on the river.
13. Spend a day doing your own version of a museum tour…it’ll be a strange but fun!
Art and history museums are great, but while in Prague, do something a little more alternative. Sex Machine Museum, Museum of Communism, Museum of Medieval Torture, KGB Museum are just a few to provide a totally different museum experience than ones you’re used to.