Renowned for its beautiful architecture and deep-rooted culture, there is no shortage of things to do in Prague. Along with iconic architectural marvels like Charles Bridge and Prague Castle, the city has a lively, cosmopolitan side, with chic cafés and restaurants nestled alongside cutting-edge contemporary art galleries.
Get fuel for the day at an eco-café
Make your way to the west side of the Vltava to the hilltop neighbourhood of Letná. Stop by The Farm Urban Kitchen and Coffee for an early morning caffeine kick and a spot of breakfast. This chic yet extremely welcoming café is an eco-friendly venture, decked out with reclaimed furniture items. It also operates a dog-friendly policy and serves some of the most delicious breakfast and brunch items in the capital – their pancakes are particularly popular.
Enjoy panoramic vistas and explore Prague Castle
Take a tram from Korunovacní to Ujezd where the funicular railway will take you up to the summit of one of Prague’s most picturesque parks, Petřínské Sady. This beautiful, wooded expanse, which was formerly the site of one of King Charles’s vineyards, is home to the 63.5-metre-tall (208.3 feet) Petřín Tower, which offers awe-inspiring panoramic views across Prague from its highest observation deck.
For any vertigo sufferers, the park below offers plenty of entertainment, including a vibrant rose garden (obviously best viewed in bloom), and Bludišté, a beautiful labyrinthine hall of mirrors built in 1891. A short journey away is Prague Castle, the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic and one of the country’s most outstanding cultural monuments. With parts of the castle dating back as far as 870, the UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see for any history buff visiting Prague.
Discover the quaint ‘Lesser Town’
After walking the castle grounds, take a stroll down to Malá Strana. Roughly translated as “Lesser Town”, it is one of Prague’s most picturesque neighbourhoods and is typified by its beautiful baroque architecture and quaint cobbled side streets. If you need a snack, pop into the Cukrkávalimonáda patisserie for a slice of cherry cake or a light and fluffy meringue kiss. While on this side of the river, it’s worth heading along the riverside to Holešovická Tržnice, a colourful marketplace boasting Prague’s largest farmer’s market, souvenir shops, antique dealers and clothing stores.
The stalls and shops at Holešovická Tržnice sell products at far lower prices than can be found in more central areas. Lovers of designer labels should, however, exercise caution – there’s no shortage of fake merchandise here, so stick to the more upscale stores if you prefer your labels to be genuine.
Relax in the Letenské Sady park
You will need some sustenance after a busy morning of sightseeing. Heading back along the river, you will find another one of Prague’s beautiful parks, Letenské Sady. The park is home to Letenský Zámaček, a charming chateau housing a number of restaurants. These include the Garden Restaurant, where light snacks like pizzas and salads can be enjoyed on the tranquil patio. In the grounds of Letenské Sady, visitors can also see the Prague Metronome, a towering kinetic sculpture by Czech artist Vratislav Karel Novák.
Get a taste of creative Prague
After so much outdoor sightseeing, head into one of Prague’s many contemporary art galleries. In the Holešovice neighbourhood stands the cutting-edge alternative arts institution DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, which in its six years of operation has become a top destination for art lovers. Alternatively, head over to Žižkov to visit the Hunt Kastner Gallery, which showcases the work of talented emerging artists from the Czech Republic.
After taking in some thought-provoking works of contemporary art, pop into U Slovanské Lipy, a popular Žižkov pub serving a variety of Czech beers from local breweries and traditional snack foods like kuřecí řizek (chicken schnitzel) and zavináč (fish pickled in vinegar and oil).
Check out the National Museum
A whistle-stop tour of Prague should also include the old National Museum, founded in 1818 by Kaspar Maria von Sternberg and housed in a monumental building overlooking Wenceslas Square. The collection’s recent growth has recently forced the museum to spread out into a new building, which in the past was home to the Prague Stock Exchange and a radio station.
Admire the Astronomical Clock
Familiarise yourself with what to see in Prague’s Old Town by starting in one of its most popular and historical areas, Staroměstské Náměstí (Old Town Square). As it’s filled with restaurants, bars and pubs, the square always pulls in a sizeable crowd, no matter the day of the week. Here you will find the Astronomical Clock, which was first placed in the clock tower in 1410, and is the oldest working clock of its kind in the world. Just a short walk away is the beautiful Charles Bridge, constructed between the 14th and 15th centuries. The bridge is adorned with 30 statues, one of which is an effigy of the martyr St John of Nepomuk – legend has it that touching the statue will bring you good luck.
Immerse yourself in Prague’s buzzing bar scene
Head back along the Charles Bridge and across to the east bank of the Vltava River. Overlooking the bridge, you will find Mlýnec, a restaurant serving a modern interpretation of classic, traditional Czech cuisine. Dine on updated local dishes like duck leg confit and beef tartare while taking in spectacular views of the Vltava. Close by and just off the Old Town Square is Black Angel’s. This beautifully decorated bar is perfect for a nightcap made by one of its masterful bartenders – try an old fashioned or margarita.
The food and beer stalls at the gorgeous but nonetheless touristy Old Town Square can be a little pricey. Going into a bar or restaurant a few streets away will save you a few korun and probably taste a lot nicer, too.
If you’re in the mood to party, Prague has a great selection of nightlife options. To experience a legendary Prague night out, head to Lucerna Music Bar right next to historic Wenceslas Square. On weekdays, local and international bands thrill crowds of music lovers, while the weekends see the resident DJ hosting ’80s- and ’90s-themed parties. Alternatively, experience Europe’s self-proclaimed largest club at Karlovy Lázně. Set in a 14th-century bathhouse, the nightclub is now home to five dance floors, each of which plays a different style of music.