Prague has to be one of my favourite European cities I’ve traveled to: I completely fell in love with its baroque buildings, vivid culture, traditional food, and – of course – cheap beer. Another great thing about Prague is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to see and do everything that the city has to offer. In fact, this list is composed primarily of things that are, if not free, relatively cheap. Whether you’re there for one day or thirty, you won’t find yourself running low on things to do in Prague.
1. Charles Bridge
Arguably one of the most well-known points in Prague is the Charles Bridge. Formerly known as Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge up until 1870, this bridge was actually the only transportation route to cross the river Vltava. Today, the Charles Bridge is still an incredibly significant and famous part of Prague, connecting the Old Town to the New Town. During the day, the bridge will be lined with souvenir stalls while tourists take over the walkway. If at all possible, it’s best to avoid the bridge during the day. Instead, take a stroll down the bridge in the evening when you’ll find buskers giving small instrumental performances and singing.
2. Eat The Local Cuisine
Prague has some incredibly delicious traditional dishes that I could probably eat every single day. For lunch or dinner, you must try the goulash with smoked sausages and bread dumplings (the most authentic goulash I had in Prague was at Konírna Restaurant). Another must have is homemade potato pancakes, sauerkraut, and smoked ham found at Krčma. For a sweet treat, a traditional Slovak pastry called Trdelník can be found throughout the streets of Prague: they roll out dough, wrap it around a stick, grill it, and then add a sugar and nut mix. You can also add Nutella, ice cream, and other toppings.
3. Old Town Square
Quite possibly one of the most buzzing places in Prague, the Old Town Square is lined with colorful buildings whose ground floors are occupied by various cafes and restaurants. When the weather is nice, you can bet that almost every table and chair will be occupied with tourists wanting to enjoy a pint and a bite while they people-watch. At night, the square turns into a bit of a hang-out for younger tourists and locals who sit down in the open space and watch buskers sing, play instruments, or put on some type of performance.
4. Astronomical Clock
Also located in the Old Town Square is the Astronomical Clock, which puts on a show titled “Walk of the Apostles” that is bewilderingly popular with tourists. Hundreds of people squish together in front of the clock hourly to waste a few minutes of their lives watching some sculptures moving around and through the clock. Though I don’t think in any way it was worth it to watch the show, I would say you might as well check it out if you’re there so you can also be as baffled as I was when I watched it. Or, save some time and watch this video.
5. Prague Castle
Dating back to the 9th century, the Prague Castle is a castle complex and the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. Aside from the fact that it is one of the largest castles in the world with an area of almost 70, 000 m2, one of the best parts of Prague Castle is the incredible views of the city below with all of the house’s red roofs. There’s lots to see around Prague Castle, so take your time and stroll around the gardens, walkways leading to various buildings, and whatever else you might find along the way.
6. St. Vitus Cathedral
Conveniently located within the Prague Castle complex, St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest church in the Czech Republic and it contains the tombs of various Bohemian Kings and Holy Roman Emperors. This Gothic church is equally as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. If you can ignore the throngs of people within, there is a lot to be appreciated in the design and construction of the cathedral.
7. Sedlec Ossuary
Despite being a bit outside of the city center, the Sedlec Ossuary in Kutná Hora is well worth the trip. Essentially a small building filled with over 40, 000 bones put on display through various means, this tourist attraction will capture your attention instantly and have you wandering around in silent awe. For more information on the Sedlec Ossuary, read my previous post here.
8. The John Lennon Wall
While the wall itself likely won’t make you go “wow”, as it looks a bit like a graffiti mess, it is neat to walk down the wall and read all of the Beatles quotes and appreciate the Lennon-inspired artwork that has been put up since the 1980s. To this day, the wall is seen as a global symbol of peace and love and is constantly added to.
9. Cheap Beer
Prague has some of the cheapest pints of beer I have come across on my travels in Europe. If you head to a more local pub (one that isn’t in the Old Town Square) a pint of beer will only set you back around 3€, which is damn good compared to what it would cost you elsewhere. The price of beer in Prague is probably one of the reasons you’ll get an odd look if you don’t order a beer with your meal because everyone else is.
10. Old Jewish Quarter
Currently, this part of Prague is the most expensive area to live in, however, this was not always the case. Starting in the 13th century, Jewish people were evicted from their homes and sent to live here. Over time, more and more Jewish people from the country and from neighbouring countries joined them and the area became extremely run-down and filthy, with constant flooding from the river. In the Old Jewish Quarter today, you’ll get a peak into its history, as well as a look at what it has beautifully transformed into.
11. Free Walking Tour
In my last post on Prague, I wrote about the free walking tours that you can easily find throughout Prague. These tours are a great (and budget-friendly!) way to explore the city with a local. Equally engaging, informative, and fun, these tours will cover quite a lot of the sights I mention on this list. The free waking tours are a worthwhile way to spend a few hours getting a good feel of the city and some insider tips from the local guides.