There’s no doubt that Prague is one of the rising stars of European travel destinations. There are plenty of fun things to do in Prague, and we’ll take a look at 15 of them in this post.
One word that often comes up when describing Prague is “fairytale.” For most, this is due to the fact that there’s literally a castle on a hill here. My reason for describing Prague as something out of a storybook has more to do with the scenic hikes, mouth-watering food, and tasty draft beer that’s almost as cheap as water.
In all seriousness, though, this is an absolutely stunning city. Prague somehow managed to escape World War II relatively unscathed. While many of Europe’s cities were left in ruins after the war, the historic center of Prague remained intact. Here you’ll find Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Romanesque styles present in the architecture.
Adding to the enchantment is the city’s location along the Vlatva River and the rolling hills that are indeed home to a castle. If there’s a better-looking city out there, I haven’t been there yet. One of my favorite things to do in Prague is just walking around with a camera and admiring the beauty that’s around every corner.
As far as what to do in Prague, you’re really spoiled for choices here. In addition to exploring the famous Old Town and all its landmarks, there’s an abundance of museums, some great opportunities for enjoying nature, and plenty of excellent places to eat and drink. Did I mention that the beer is practically free here?
Let’s get to it and Czech out all that Prague has to offer. Here are the top 15 things to do in the city that you won’t want to miss.
1. Join a Free Walking Tour
There’s no better way to get to know Prague than by joining a free walking tour. In just a few short hours, you’ll visit some of the most famous places in the city while learning a bit about the history and culture along the way.
I’ve been on several of these in the last few years all over the world and the one I took here was easily one of the best. It was really interesting to learn random tidbits about the city. For example, if you were born in Prague 100 years ago, you would have lived in eight different countries by now!
I won’t go and spoil the rest of the tour for you, though. The team at Sandeman’s New Europe run free walking tours of the city several times a day, so go to their website to check out the available times.
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2. Visit The Old Town Square
While you’ll visit it briefly on any walking tour, it’s well worth it to return to Old Town Square at your own leisure. This is the most historic part of the city and is a beautiful place to wander around for a while.
Within the square, you’ll find the Old Town Hall, Týn Church, the Jan Hus Memorial, and a whole lot more. There are several architectural styles on display here, as well as the 600-year old medieval astronomical clock. Every hour between 9AM and 9PM, you will see a parade of the 12 apostles appear in the window.
Since this is the center of tourism in the city, there are also plenty of cafes, shops, and street performers vying for your attention and Czech Crowns (they don’t use Euros here, by the way). As you may expect, prices here are a bit higher than in other parts of the city. Best to take your photos and move along if you ask me.
The Old Town Square is fun to visit both day and night, so you’ll probably end up making at least a few trips here. Plus, it’s always a good place to regroup if you get lost wandering around Old Town. Click here to get directions.
3. Check Out The Prague Castle
One of the most popular things to do in Prague is visiting the city’s iconic castle on a hill. This UNESCO listed ancient castle dominates the skyline of Prague and can be seen from all across the city.
This historic landmark dates back to the 9th century and it has served many purposes over the centuries. It’s a vast and sprawling complex full of palaces, churches, gardens, and more. You can easily spend an entire day here and just barely scratch the surface of all that there is to see and do.
The Prague Castle complex is open from 6AM-10PM year-round, but the various sites have different opening hours. There are a variety of ticket options depending on what you want to see. There’s this 2.5-hour tour that has thousands of positive reviews, or this skip-the-line admission ticket.
Since the castle complex is quite large and sprawling, there are a few different ways to come and go. The most popular seems to be taking tram #22 to arrive and then walking down the stairs to catch the metro after visiting. Click here for directions to the Prague Castle.
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4. Dig Into Czech Cuisine
We can’t talk about what to do in Prague without mentioning Czech cuisine. You wouldn’t want to travel all the way here and end up eating a disappointing, overpriced cheeseburger in a tourist trap restaurant, would you?
One of the quintessential Czech dishes is Svíčková. Don’t worry, I have no idea how to pronounce that, either. It’s a heaping plate of sirloin steak in a cream sauce served with bread dumplings and cranberry sauce, and it’s delicious! This city is also famous for its pork knuckle, sausages, as well as its pickled cheese.
It can be intimidating figuring out where to eat in a city, and Prague is no different. The Prague Foodie Map is a great resource for finding the best places to eat here and you can download it for just $6.
If you’d prefer to dive into the culinary scene here and make friends at the same time, there are plenty of excellent food tours available in Prague. Eating Prague has a great half-day tour where you’ll sample 7 authentic foods while learning about the city along the way. Click here to learn more.
5. Walk Across The Charles Bridge
One of the most iconic landmarks in Prague is Charles Bridge. This beautiful stone bridge spans the Vlatva River, with impressive Gothic towers on both ends and an array of statues in between.
The bridge dates all the way back to 1357 and the rule of King Charles IV. It replaced a bridge that had been destroyed by a flood and has managed to withstand many subsequent floods. One urban legend says that egg yolks were mixed in with the mortar during construction to make it stronger.
Taking a walk across Charles Bridge and admiring the scenery is definitely one of the top things to do in Prague. Just be aware that you won’t be the only one with this bright idea! If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, try to get here early in the morning or later at night.
Both day and night, the bridge is bustling with activity. There are usually artists, musicians, vendors, and other street performers on the bridge, which makes for a very lively and interesting scene.
6. Walk Up Petrin Hill
For some absolutely stunning views of Prague from above, head to the top of Petrin Hill. You’ve got several options for getting to the top of the hill, including a steep but relatively easy 30-minute hike. If you’re not up for the challenge, you can take a ride on the funicular or you can catch a tram. Both are included in a public transport ticket for the city.
Atop the hill, you’ll find the Petrin Lookout Tower — Prague’s tribute to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. While it’s not quite as impressive as the original, its hilltop location provides some superb panoramic views of the city. Tickets cost about $6.50 for adults and $3.50 for children.
There’s more to the hill than just the tower. While you’re up here, you can also take a walk in a rose garden, get lost in a mirror maze, and visit a monastery with a brewery. Be sure to add a trip up to Petrin Hill to your list of what to do in Prague. Click here to check the location on the map and get directions.
7. Explore The Jewish Quarter
A trip to the Jewish Quarter, also known as Josefov, is a must when visiting Prague. This was once home to the city’s Jewish ghetto, which was one of the largest in Europe.
During World War II, Hitler had plans for Prague to be a cultural center of the Third Reich. Jews were forced to wear the Star of David and were deported to concentration camps shortly thereafter. It was a dark time in the history of not only the city but the entire continent.
Surprisingly, most of the buildings here survived through the war. This was because Hitler had an idea for a “Museum of an Extinct Race” here. He even had his Nazi forces gather up Jewish artifacts from other parts of Europe to send here.
Today, these monuments form the Jewish Museum of Prague. This includes four synagogues, the Ceremonial Hall, and the Jewish Cemetery. Join this walking tour to explore the area and learn more along the way. The ticket price includes entrance fees as well.
8. Go Museum Hopping
There are several other museums that are worth visiting in Prague. In addition to the usual art and history museums, the city is also home to museums on Communism, public transportation, Apple (the company, not the fruit), and sex machines. No, that last one wasn’t a typo…
The Czech National Museum should be high on your list of things to do in Prague. It’s actually several buildings in and outside of the city, with the main Historical Building as the main attraction. It re-opened in October 2018 after some massive renovations and is more impressive than ever.
Tickets for the main building cost $11 for adults and $7.50 for children. It’s open daily from 10:00-6:00pm and deserves at least a few hours of your time. Their current “2 x 100” exhibition celebrates 200 years of the museum and features a vast collection of artifacts, many of which are on display for the first time.
Another must-see is the Kafka Museum. It’s all about Franz Kafka, one of the most famous writers from Prague. The museum houses some of his original manuscripts, photos, diaries, and more. Before you head in, be sure to check out the odd sculpture titled “Piss.” It’s a fountain shaped like the Czech Republic with statues of two men urinating on the country. You can even request them to write something by sending a text message (the number is written near the sculpture).
The Kafka Museum is also open every day from 10-6. Tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for children. Click here to get directions.
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9. River Cruise (One of the Most Relaxing Things to Do in Prague)
Enjoying a cruise on the Vlatva River is definitely a must-do in Prague. There are plenty of options for cruising along the river and taking in the scenery of this beautiful capital city.
A standard one-hour river cruise costs around $15 and includes refreshments. You’ll get to enjoy the views of the historical center from the deck as you move along the river. For a little bit extra, you can add a tasty glass of Prosecco.
That’s not all, though. You also have the option of taking a lunch or dinner cruise of the river. Music lovers may opt for a ride on the jazz boat instead, where you’ll get to enjoy some live tunes along with your dinner. These range in price from around $30 up to $100 depending on the type.
If you happen to be in Prague at the end of the year, you may want to ring in the New Year with one of the special river cruises. You can get more info about all the various options on this website.
10. Hang Out on the Island
There are actually a few islands in the river here, and they make for a great place to hang out and enjoy a leisurely afternoon. You can choose between Strelecky, Slavonic, or the so-called Children’s Island.
All three islands are in a little cluster in the river just south of the Legions Bridge. They’re all easily accessible and each island offers something different. Strelecky often hosts cultural events, Slavonic is home to the Zofin Palace, and the Children’s Island features a fun playground for kids.
You can find a few cafes and restaurants on each island as well as restrooms. There are also paddle and rowboats available to rent, so you can make your own river cruise! Click here for directions to Strelecky Island. You can easily visit them all in an afternoon if you want.
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11. Check Out The Local Markets
Perusing the many local markets is easily one of the top things to do in Prague. From flea markets to farmer’s markets to the very festive holiday markets, there are plenty of choices!
One of the oldest markets in the city is Havel, which dates all the way back to 1232. Here you can shop for fresh produce, arts & crafts, wooden toys, jewelry, souvenirs, and much more. It’s open from 6 AM-7 PM during the week and gets going a bit later on the weekend. Click here to get directions.
If you love finding random things and a good bargain, then be sure to squeeze in a trip to the flea market. It’s located in U Elektry and only open on the weekends from 6:00am-2:00pm. Just get yourself to the Hloubetin metro station and there’s a free shuttle that will take you to the market.
Last but not least, there are the magical holiday markets in Prague! Around Easter and Christmas, the number of outdoor markets in the city skyrockets. Visiting these holiday markets is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Prague, and many people plan their trip here just to visit them. Some of the best include the markets in Old Town Square and at the Prague Castle.
12. Drink Czech Beer
There’s no doubt that beer is an important part of Czech culture. People here enjoy a nice cold glass of pivo to go along with their meal, even if it’s lunchtime on a Monday. Actually, beer is considered a food in the Czech Republic! That’s why it’s so cheap here, as it’s not taxed like it is in other countries.
The most popular brand of beer here is definitely Pilsner Urquell, which was actually the first pilsner ever brewed. Another go-to brew here is Budweiser Budvar, which used the name long before the American brand even existed. The local beer of choice is Staropramen, as it’s actually brewed in Prague.
As you may expect, there are plenty of places to wet your whistle with a cold one in Prague. You can check out the brewery at the Strahov Monastery, hit a local watering hole like the Golden Tiger, enjoy an outdoor beer garden, or even soak in a tub full of suds in a beer spa. I guess you can say that Czechs love their beer!
I consider myself an avid beer drinker, and I found the beer in Prague to be some of the best I’ve ever had. Best of all, a half-liter of crisp, refreshing draft beer only costs about $1.50 here, so drink up. This article lists several of the best beer halls and pubs in Prague, and if you want to join an informative beer crawl, check out this informative tour which includes 3 large beers.
If you find yourself in Berlin, drinking beer is definitely one of the top things to do there as well!
13. Visit Letna Park
While we’re on the topic of drinking beer in Prague, one of the best places to enjoy a cold one is Letna Park. There’s a large beer garden here that boasts some incredible views of the city thanks to its hillside location.
In addition to the beer garden, you can also enjoy a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined paths in the park. It’s a popular place for locals to go jogging, have a picnic, or play sports. We saw a pretty intense pick-up game of roller hockey on our visit as well as a group of kids ripping it up on their skateboards.
Not too long ago, there was a memorial to Stalin atop the hill in Letna Park. It was blown up in chaotic fashion with dynamite and eventually replaced by a large metronome, which serves to remind people of the past. It’s a common hangout spot for both locals and tourists alike, especially as the sun is going down over the city. Click here for directions to Letna Park.
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14. Explore Mala Strana
Across the river from Old Town is the area of Prague that’s known as Lesser Town. Don’t let the name fool you, though — this is a beautiful corner of the city that’s well worth exploring.
Locally known as Mala Strana, this is the area on the west bank of the Vlatva River just below the Prague Castle. The name actually translates as “Little Side,” which makes sense seeing as how this side of the river is much smaller due to its hillside location.
After visiting the castle, you can head down the stairs and begin your exploration of Mala Strana. There’s plenty to see and do here, including a few of the city’s most important churches. You’ll find the stunning St. Nicholas Church and the Church of Our Lady Victorious, which is home to the famous statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. Roman Catholics from all over the world travel to Prague to see this image of baby Jesus.
Other must-sees in Prague’s Lesser Town include the scenic Wallenstein Garden and the John Lennon Wall. The former surrounds a Baroque palace that’s home to the Czech Senate, while the latter is a colorful memorial to the legendary musician. You’ll also find plenty of excellent shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars, so go ahead and make a day out of your trip to Mala Strana.
15. See A Show
Winding down our list of things to do in Prague is seeing a show in one of the city’s countless venues. Whether you’re interested in classical music, opera, jazz, ballet, rock, or electronic, you can probably find it on a night out in the Czech capital.
One of the best places to catch a show in Prague is the Rudolfinum. This 19th-century concert hall is said to have perfect acoustics, making it the perfect place to catch a performance by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Click here to view their schedule and see what’s playing while you’re in town.
Another popular way to spend an evening in Prague is by experiencing the city’s unique black light theater. Using black curtains, UV lighting (black lights), and fluorescent costumes, the result is an ongoing optical illusion on stage.
A good place for first-timers to start out with black light theater is at IMAGE. Their “Best of Image” show lasts 90 minutes and showcases highlights from 30 years of shows. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $17.50 for children. Head to their website to check showtimes and book your tickets online.
Ready For Prague?!
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to book my flight to Prague after writing about all the fun things to do there. I mean, where else in the world can you visit a castle in the morning, take a river cruise in the afternoon, see a black light theater show in the evening, and party it up in a beer hall at night?
I did a pretty good job exploring the city en route to the World Cup in Russia, but a few days there was just a tease. I’m hoping to head back there soon and stay for at least a month next time to really dive into all that this incredible city has to offer.
Have you visited Prague? Got any tips on some other awesome things to do there? Don’t be shy, leave a comment below and let us know about it!
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