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The year 2021 is upon us, so why not make this your year to visit Prague? The Czech capital and its surroundings have a unique charm and historic beauty that attract millions of visitors every year. These are 21 of the must-do activities in and around the city to help ensure your 2021 trip to the capital of the Czech Republic is an unforgettable one.
From Prague Old Town and trendy residential neighbourhoods to the ancient castles and rock formations that lie beyond the city borders, Prague has something to offer every taste. Follow the old Royal Route through the heart of the historic centre, learn about the effects of Stalinism, enjoy some of the best brews in the country and find out why Czechs excel at ice hockey.
Whether it’s your first time in the Czech capital or you’re an experienced Prague visitor, this stroll is a must. Start in the Old Town, cross the fabled Charles Bridge spanning the Vltava River and ascend to Prague Castle along the route the kings of Bohemia took to attend their coronation in St Vitus Cathedral. This stroll involves a fair amount of walking, but the views are well worth it.
One of the best ways to see Prague’s top sights is from the Vltava River. You can pick up a boat cruise from the New Town embankment and follow a route past the Smíchov neighbourhood, under the medieval Charles Bridge. Other boats go along the river as far as the zoo. All of them offer breathtaking views of the city’s spires. This particular cruise offers a luxurious buffet on board, while on others you may simply get a glass of wine or beer. The live jazz music cruises are particularly romantic.
Back in the day when Prague consisted of five independent boroughs, the Old Town was the most affluent and imposing among them. Take a stroll through the maze of little cobbled streets and alleys, explore the majestic Old Town Square, climb to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower and observe the medieval Astronomical Clock. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of beer in one of the plentiful cafes, pubs and bars. Take a walking tour of the city and learn all about the history and culture of Prague from your knowledgeable guide.
Centuries of history have left deep traces in the Czech capital. Legend has it that at night, some of the historical characters come to life and haunt the streets that are bustling with life during the day. Visit a gothic church, a medieval cemetery and more on a night-time walking tour in Prague Old Town.
One of Prague’s most peculiar sites, the Vítkov National Memorial, offers a journey through the turbulent modern Czech history, from the formation of Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of World War I to the fall of communism in 1989. Built in the 1930s as a memorial to the Czech and Slovak soldiers who fought for independence, it was turned into a mausoleum for Czechoslovakia’s first communist president, Klement Gottwald. The building’s observation deck offers spectacular views of the city from an unusual perspective.
Search for the Golem in Prague’s Jewish quarter. According to legend, Rabbi Loew created the giant and terrifying artificial being from clay during the Renaissance era in order to protect the city’s Jewish community. When the Golem got out of control, he deactivated the monster and stored his huge body in the attic of the Old New Synagogue, the oldest functioning Jewish shrine in Europe. Explore the history of the Jewish community of Prague, and see the grave of Golem’s creator in the Old Jewish Cemetery.
Czechs are very proud of their classical music heritage, and Prague has a wide choice of venues to hear the masterpieces of Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček and other famous composers. Classical music concerts are held at the Lobkowicz Palace in the Prague Castle district, at the Municipal House, or in some of the many churches in the historic centre of the city. If you feel like an even more regal experience, check out performances at the Rudolfinum Concert Hall, the National Theatre or the Estates Theatre, where Mozart’s Don Giovanni premiered in the 18th century.
Experience the grim times of the Cold War when Prague was one of the capitals of the Warsaw Pact. Learn about the Stalinist era of the 1950s, and about the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Visit a nuclear bunker, explore the Museum of Communism and see some of the sights of the Velvet Revolution that toppled the communist regime in 1989.
In recent decades, several of Prague’s residential neighbourhoods just outside the city centre have undergone major transformation from shabby, poorly kept areas, into trendy zones with fashionable eateries, chic cafes and expensive apartment boutiques. Letná – on the left of the Vltava – and Vršovice – to the south of the centre and on the right bank – are places to visit if you want to experience the vibrant thrum of the new, more fashionable local scene.
In recent years, many restaurants in Prague have reinvented typical Czech food, which used to be seen as outdated and too heavy. Avoid the tourist trap restaurants and enjoy a new take on some Czech classics such as fried cheese, beef in cream sauce, and pork knee with dumplings.
Explore Prague’s food markets and stock up on delicious ingredients, before using your freshly bought produce to cook up a traditional Czech feast. Some popular Czech dishes are easy enough to make, and if you want to take home a special souvenir from Prague, why not make it a recipe that will amaze your family and friends.
No visit to the Czech Republic is complete without beer, arguably the country’s top product. There are dozens of large breweries and hundreds of craft brewers all around the country, including the capital, so when you want to sample some, make sure you go beyond the mass-produced commercial brands. There are hundreds of pubs in Prague that will help you navigate through the world of Czech beer.
Since the wild 1990s saw the return of artistic freedom to the country, and a major influx of influences from abroad, Prague has built up a lively club scene offering anything from electronica and rap, to jazz and folk music. Some of the best clubs are located in the very heart of the city, others are in former industrial sites that can be reached by public transport. Or you can take a tour of some of the trendy clubs in the capital.
Thanks to its long and layered history, the Czech Republic is home to a whopping 14 Unesco World Heritage Sites, which is twice the world average. Many magnificent monuments call the historic centre of Prague their home, but venture just an hour east and discover the medieval city of Kutná Hora. Once the seat of Wenceslaus II’s royal mint and a prospering royal city throughout the 14th century, this colourful city offers curious travellers a glimpse into an unfamiliar era.
Czechs love hockey, and the country has a thriving professional league. If you are here during the season and feel like watching some fast action on ice, Prague has one of the most modern hockey venues in Europe, home to the legendary Sparta Prague hockey club. Catch one of the home games against long-time rivals Brno or Kladno. Prague also has a number of ice rinks with skate rentals that you can visit all year round.
Whizz around the streets of Prague on this three-hour Segway tour of the city and visit many of the capital’s treasures, some of which you may not even know exist. From the historic Břevnov Monastery, founded in 993CE, to Ladronka Park, this is the ideal place to glide around on two wheels. You’ll be able to experience the natural beauty of the city while also getting top tips from your host on the best places to eat, drink and chill that are off the beaten track.
The Czech Republic is ready to welcome you with open arms in 2021. Get inspired by watching this video, which truly brings the country to life from your screen, and start planning your trip to Czechia immediately.