Prague, the city of a hundred spires, should be on everyone’s list to visit at least once.
The beautiful Gothic architecture of Old Town Prague wonderfully clashes with the modern restaurants and nightclubs.
This is what makes the city so attractive to a younger crowds and families a like.
If this is your first time visiting Prague, this post will give you the must visit places in Prague and the best hotels in town!
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A Guide to Your First Time in Prague, Czech Republic
What is the best time to visit Prague?
In Prague, each season offers something different and exciting!
If you enjoy mild weather and vibrant outdoor activities, the spring months of April and May are ideal. The city begins to bloom during this time, and you can witness beautiful blossoms and enjoy pleasant temperatures.
If you appreciate the colorful autumn foliage and a quieter atmosphere, September and October are the best months to visit Prague. The weather is generally pleasant, and you can explore the charming streets and parks with fewer tourists.
Winter in Prague, especially during December and January, offers a magical experience with its festive atmosphere and Christmas markets. Although it can be cold, you can warm up with a cup of hot mulled wine while strolling through the enchanting streets adorned with lights.
Generally I don’t suggest visiting Europe in the summer as it is peak tourist season, so crowds are larger and hotels are more expensive. However, if you prefer summer vacations and don’t mind crowds, June, July, and August are popular months to visit Prague. You can take advantage of longer daylight hours to explore the city’s historic sites and enjoy outdoor festivals.
We visited in the Spring, and loved the cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. I especially loved all the blooming cherry blossom trees!
How to get around Prague
Prague Airport to City Center
To get from Prague Airport to the city center, you have a few options:
- Airport Express Bus: The Airport Express (AE) bus service provides service directly from the airport to the city center and operates every 30 minutes. The AE bus stops at major locations in the city, including the main train station (Hlavní nádraží) and Náměstí Republiky. Tickets can be purchased directly from the driver or at the airport arrival halls.
- Public Transportation: A little cheaper option than the airport express bus is public transportation. However, you will need to use a combination of buses and the metro. To reach the city center, you can take bus number 119 from the airport to Nádraží Veleslavín metro station, and then transfer to the metro (Line A) to reach the city center. Make sure to purchase a valid ticket before boarding and validate it upon entering the bus or metro.
- Taxis or Ride-Sharing: For the fastest and most expensive options, grab a taxis or ride-sharing services right from the airport. However do be cautious and ensure that the meter is running when using taxis in Prague.
Getting Around Prague
Once you are in the city center, Prague has an efficient and well-connected public transportation system, including trams, buses, and the metro. If you are staying in the Old Town Prague, most of the top sights are walkable.
The Best Things to See for Your First Time in Prague
Walk Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge is one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in Prague. It is also completely free to visit, making it one of the most visited attractions in Prague!
The Charles bridge was completed in the 15 century and it was the only bridge crossing the Vltava River until the late 1800’s.
Charles Bridge is renowned for its stunning Gothic architecture. It’s adorned with 30 statues of saints, mostly Baroque-style, along its sides. These statues were added during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The most famous statue on the bridge is the statue of St. John of Nepomuk, known for bringing good luck if you touch it. The legend is that if you make a wish while touching the statue, it will come true.
If you want to enjoy the bridge without many other people around (this place gets seriously packed during the day) then come really early in the morning!
Old Town Bridge Tower
Located right at the base of the Charles Bridge when walking from the Old Town, the entrance to this tower can be easily missed in the crowd of people passing by.
However you don’t want to miss the view from the top!
In the summer the tower is open from 10AM until 10PM daily, however they stop selling tickets 30 minutes before closing. Without knowing that we bought a ticket at 9:29PM and got to enjoy this night time view of the Vltava and Prague Castle without much crowd.
If you want a night time view right before 9:30PM is a perfect time, if you want a day time view we would suggest going right around opening. On the opposite side of Charles Bridge, guarding entrance to the Lesser Town, is the similar looking Lesser Town Bridge Tower which can be visited as well.
Prague Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock in Prague is a medieval astronomical clock attached to the Old Town Hall in Prague.
What makes it so special? It is the old working astronomical clock in the world!
If you look closely you will see not only a clock, but also a moon and a sun orbiting inside the clock, representing their positions in the sky.
Below the clock in mostly gold is a calendar. If you are passing by on the hour (9am to 11pm), there are four figures on the clock which represent vanity, greed, death and lust and are set in motion on the hour. There is also a presentation of statues of the Apostles at the doorways above the clock.
Old Town Hall Tower
The Old Town Hall Tower is right in the Old Town Square and on the façade is the famous astronomical clock. In a city with so many towers, it is hard to decide how many to climb for a view.
If it were up to me only, I would climb them all, but the view from the Old Town Hall Tower is similar to that of the view from Terasa U Prince so I would do one or the other.
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square is just as it sounds, freaking old! It dates back to the 10th century which is completely mind blowing to me.
Here you will find the Old Town Hall, the Astronomical Clock, the Church of Our Lady before Týn, and the Jan Hus monument (pictured above).
St. Nicholas Belfry
The St. Nicholas church in the Mala Strana neighborhood can be spotted in the Prague Skyline by the three turquoise spires.
Personally, more impressive than paying to get into the church, is rounding the corner from the church entrance and climbing up the belfry for a fabulous view of Prague.
We spent about 30 minutes here because it was such a peaceful escape from the bustling streets and the view was unbeatable. The entire time we were there, we only saw one other person.
Dancing House Prague
The Dancing House in Prague is the nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building on the Rašínovo nábřeží in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Dancing House as it is today is set on a property of great historical significance. The site was the location of an apartment building destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945. The plot and structure lay decrepit until 1960, when the area was cleared.
If you want a peek inside, then it’s worth noting that only the top floor of the building is open to the public.
Floor seven houses the Fred and Ginger Restaurant, one of the chicest restaurants that the capital city of Czechia has to offer.
Smetanovo Nábřeží Street
Smetanovo Nábřeží is a stretch of road along the Vltava river starting south of the Charles Bridge which is a popular place to enjoy the transition of the Prague castle and the Charles Bridge from sunset to dusk.
For a cheaper alternative to cocktails on a restaurant patio, grab a wine bottle at a nearby shop and just sit here and enjoy!
You can’t go many places in Prague without seeing the Prague Castle perched atop the hill.
But is it worth going inside? I went inside on my first trip to Prague so I didn’t go again on our latest trip.
Based on my experience I would recommend going inside the castle and St. Vitus Cathedral at least once. Here are some good things to know:
- Prague Castle tickets cannot be purchased in advance through the official Prague Castle Website. Instead, you will need to purchase a skip the line ticket or a tour with a local guide.
- As with most tourist spots, we advise going early in the morning and knowing which type of ticket you want to purchase ahead of time if you plan to purchase at the ticket office
- Tickets are only required for specific historic buildings, so it is possible to see parts of the complex completely for free. General tickets to Prague Castle include entry to the St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica and the Golden Lane. It’s also possible to get tickets that include entry to the Lobkowicz Palace.
- Tickets are valid for two days and allow for one entry to each of the included historic buildings
- The Prague Castle complex is open from 6am to 11pm
- There is an additional fee for photographing of the interior of historical buildings without flash or a tripod
Also, if you are staying in Old Town Prague you will most likely walk across the Charles Bridge to Lessor Town on your way to the castle. From Lessor Town, two of the best and most scenic streets to get up to the Prague Castle are Nerudova and Thunovska.
Strahov Monastery and Library
After you spent time at the Prague Castle, it is a good time to also visit the Strahov Monastery and library (pictured above) as they are on the same side of the river.
Notably the monks have been brewing their own beer which you can enjoy outside in the beer garden on a nice day! Use the Uvoz street to descend from the Monastery back into Lessor Town Prague for gorgeous views!
The Patio at Terasa U Prince
From the patio of this restaurant you get a 360 degree view of the old town center including the clock tower, The Church of Our Lady before Tyn, and the Prague Castle.
This is one of the best views in Prague because it gives you a sweeping vantage point onto the square below where you can watch the hustle and bustle of people going by from a far with a drink.
Make sue to grab a reservation for a table on the patio in advance!
Paddle Boat on the Vltava
For a different, and less pedestrian obstructed view of the Charles Bridge you can pay about 70 CZK for an hour long paddle boat rental and explore the waters along the Vltava on your own.
We bought a couple of snacks and some champagne and waited till around sunset to hire a boat. Once in the paddle boat we queued up some music and had a nice, relaxing, romantic paddle boat ride under and around Charles Bridge, with great views of the Prague Castle at sunset.
The paddle boats fit 4 adults comfortably if you choose to do this with friends. The rental place we used was all the way through the Klub Lavka out on the dock overlooking Charles Bridge.
The Vrtba Gardens are located in Lesser Town Prague and encompass three different terrace levels each on the slope of Petřín Hill, which offers a new view of the city as you continue to climb.
The gardens are immaculately manicured and are a sanctuary in a busy city. I would say these gardens are somewhat of a hidden gem still in Prague. When we visited, I didn’t see many other tourists here.
The last admission is 30 minutes before closing (7pm in the summer) which seemed to be a good time to visit as we saw few other people in the garden.
John Lennon Wall
The John Lennon wall is near the Charles Bridge and right across from the French embassy building. This is only notable because the French Ambassador can be thanked for the existence of this wall today.
Back in 1988 after Lennon’s death, portraits of John Lennon appeared on this wall but were quickly painted over after discovery. Every time the graffiti was removed, a new tribute appeared the next morning.
It wasn’t until the French Ambassador supported the paintings that the graffiti remained. Today the wall represents respect for the legend of John Lennon as well as the triumph of creativity and self-expression in Prague.
Prague Christmas Markets
If you find yourself in Prague during the winter time, you will be pleased to know that The Prague Christmas Markets are open daily at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square from early December to early January.
Christmas Markets in Europe are the best way to eat local foods, shop handmade crafts, and enjoy the season!
Day trip from Prague to Český Krumlov
If you have some extra time in Prague, you should highly consider a day trip to Český Krumlov in the Bohemia region of Czechia. It is definitely worth the 2 hour trip out into the country side of Czechia to explore Český Krumlov with its gothic castle and panoramic views of the Renaissance-style city.
Best Hotels in Prague
The Augustine Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Prague is located next to the Wallenstein Gardens and The Charles Bridge and Prague Castle can be reached within a 5-minute walk. This hotel is one of the most historic places you can actually stay in Prague.
The hotel consists of 7 historic buildings, the most important being the 13th century Augustinian St. Thomas Monastery, after which the hotel is named. Several practicing monks still live in a separate part of the monastery!
A boutique hotel in the heart of Prague, The Emblem offers stylish and comfortable rooms, a rooftop terrace with panoramic views, and a great location near Old Town Square.
This unique and music-themed boutique hotel is located near Prague Castle. It offers individually designed rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a music library.
Nestled below Prague Castle, this boutique hotel offers romantic rooms with stunning views of the city at a very affordable price. The outdoor space and garden terrace are most visitors highlights.
Located in a 17th-century residential palace in the heart of Prague, The Grand Mark is a staple hotel in Prague with its timeless elegance.
What guests loved the most about staying here, besides the obvious opulence, was the kind staff that went above and beyond to make there stay wonderful.
This contemporary 4-star hotel is known for its sleek design and comfortable rooms. It’s centrally located, making it easy to explore the city on foot.
A historic hotel with a beautiful Art Deco interior, it’s located near Wenceslas Square. It’s a great option for travelers who appreciate classic elegance.
Situated right on Old Town Square, this boutique hotel offers rooms with charming views of the square and the Astronomical Clock. It’s a prime location for exploring Old Town.
If you’re looking for a trendy and unique experience, this hotel combines Asian-inspired décor with a lively bar and restaurant scene.
Best Places to Eat in Prague
Terasa U Prince – Rooftop Restaurant
In Old Town Prague right across from the Astrological Clock tower, you will find a quaint patio overlooking the center of historic Prague at Terasa U Prince.
The food was not anything special, so I would suggest making a reservation and only having some cocktails and an appetizer and/or dessert for the view.
There is also a bar on the ground floor which had a very cozy atmosphere!
Location: Staroměstské nám. 29
This Medieval style tavern in Prague is located right on your way to the Prague Castle from Old Town.
Supposedly this is one of the oldest taverns in Prague (open since 1375), with notable visitors such as Mozart, along with many others from different walks of life throughout the years.
We stopped in primarily for a beer, and were very impressed with how they managed to transform you back in time to the 14th century.
We read reviews that the food is pretty good, but overall it just seems like a nice place to stop in for a beer and a quick snack.
Location: Thunovská 184/20
Café Savoy – Brunch
While we did not have the time to stop in and enjoy this place ourselves, it was at the top of our list for brunch spots in Prague.
Café Savoy is located just across the Legions Bridge from Old Town, and serves up cakes, omelets, and different poached egg dishes such as a ham and gruyere open faced sandwich with a poached egg on top…yum!
Location: Vítězná 124/5, Malá Strana, 150 00 Praha-Smíchov
Las Adelitas – Mexican Restaurant
If you’re looking for the best and most authentic Mexican restaurant in Prague plan to visit to Las Adelitas. The head chef is originally from Mexico, so the authenticity and quality is definitely evident.
This was by far the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in Europe!
Location: Malé Nám. 457/13, 110 00 Staré Město
Here are some quick tips for visiting Prague.
What is the currency used in Prague?
The currency used in Prague is the Czech Koruna (CZK).
Is English widely spoken in Prague?
Yes, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.
What is the traditional Czech food I should try in Prague?
Some traditional Czech foods to try in Prague include goulash, svíčková (marinated beef with cream sauce), trdelník (chimney cake), and Czech beer.
Is Prague a safe city for tourists?
Prague is generally considered a safe city for tourists, but like any destination, it’s important to be cautious of pickpocketing and take normal safety precautions.
How is the nightlife in Prague?
Prague has a vibrant nightlife with numerous bars, clubs, and music venues, particularly in areas like Wenceslas Square and the Old Town.
I hope that you now have all the tools you need to plan your first time in Prague. If you are currently planning a trip to Czechia and have any questions, drop them in the comments below. For more travel inspiration and tips, follow me on Instagram for current updates.
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What Camera Gear Do I Use?
- Camera Body: Canon EOS 6D Mark ii
- Wide Angle Lens: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8
- Zoom Lens: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
- Super Zoom Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
- Portrait Lens: Tamron 35mm f/1.4
- Drone: DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro with RC Controller
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- Tripod: Manfrotto Element Traveller
- SD Card: SanDisk Extreme Pro 256 GB
- External Travel SSD: SanDisk Extreme Pro 4 TB