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  • Prague-Castle-Czech-Republic - Prague Castle in Prague. Dating back to the ninth century, the castle is still the official residence and office of the Czech Republic's president.
  • Czech-Prague-Horse-statue - "Horse," a statue of Good King Wenceslas at Prague's Lucerna Palace shopping area, was created by David Černý, a Czech sculptor known for his provocative work.
  • Prague-Czech-Republic - Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and a stopping point for many river cruise ships.
  • River-Vitava-Czech-Republic - River Vltava near Prague, the Czech Republic.
  • Czech-Prague-Charles-Bridge - The medieval Charles Bridge in Prague, the Czech Republic, at sunrise,
  • embankment-Prague-Czech-Republic - Prague embankment on a beautiful summer evening.
  • Astronomical-Clock-Prague - Astronomical clock in Prague, the Czech Republic.
  • Czech-Prague-Kovarovic-Villa - Kovarovic Villa, located in Prague's New Town on the Vltava River, is a masterpiece in cubism design.
  • Old-Town-Prague-Czech-Republic - Buildings in Prague, the Czech Republic.
  • Czech-Prague-Old-Town - The cityscape of Old Town Prague in the Czech Republic.
  • square-Prague-Czech-Republic - Old Town Square in Prague, the Czech Republic.
  • Czech-Prague-Christmas-Markets-2 - The renowned Christmas Markets of Prague, the Czech Republic, are centered around the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
  • charles-bridge-prague.jpg - The historic Charles Bridge in Prague, the Czech Republic.
  • Czech-Prague-Black-Madonna-museum - The House of the Black Madonna, built in the early 20th century as the first example of "cubist" architecture in Prague, is now home to the Czech Museum of Cubism.
  • Czech-Prague-Charles-Bridge-statues - An alley of 30 baroque statues decorate the beautiful 15th-century Charles Bridge in Prague, the Czech republic.
  • Czech-Prague-Christmas-Markets - Christmas is a magical time to visit Prague and the Czech Republic. Christmas market cruises often fill up a year in advance, so book early.
  • Czech-Prague-Christmas-St-Ludmila-Church - Christmastime near the Church of St. Ludmila in Prague, the Czech Republic.
  • Czech-Prague-countryside - A distant view of Prague, one of Europe's most beautiful cities.
  • Czech-Prague-Powder-Tower - A view of Prague's Old Town and the 11th-century Powder Tower, one of the original city gates.
  • Czech-Prague-St-Nicholas-Church-view - A view of the 18th-century St. Nicholas Church in Prague, the Czech Republic. Classical music concerts are held almost daily at the magnificent baroque church.
  • Czech-Prague-St-Vitus-Cathedral - The Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, at the Prague Castle complex, contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman emperors.
  • Czech-Prague-Town-Square-astronomical-clock - The 600-year-old astronomical clock (left) in Prague's Old Town Square is a medieval world wonder.
  • Czech-Prague-view - Prague, capital of the Czech republic and the historical capital of Bohemia, is arguably the most beautiful city in Europe.
  • Czech-Prague-Grand-Cafe-Orient - The Grand Café Orient, in the House of the Black Madonna, the renowned cubism museum in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Prague travel guide: Top things to do & see

our guide

The vibe

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is a stunning European city where dropping by a corner pub for a locally brewed Czech beer is just as impressive as taking a stroll down the street to see the architectural marvels, like the Dancing House or famed Astronomical Clock. The sights and sounds of this gorgeous city fill visitors with nothing short of history and whimsy. Although Prague is chock-full of extravagant shopping malls, designer restaurants and glowing martini bars, there is another side of the city that gives way to local heirlooms such as the Old Jewish Cemetery and the postcard-perfect Charles Bridge.

Though Prague can be a confusing city to navigate, most travelers don’t seem to mind, as each district is peppered with a mélange of historic castles, churches, pubs and cafes.  Mindlessly ambling around this city is bound to bring you to the doorsteps of an unforgettable museum or the windows of an artisan boutique.

The dominating presence in the skyline is the Prague Castle (Praysky Hrad), which is a massive complex of houses, churches, galleries, courtyards and gardens. Old Town Square is a focal point for all tourists, with its horse-drawn carriages, churches, monuments and outdoor restaurants, along with the city’s largest Christmas Market in December each year.

In addition to the dozens of museums, including the Czech National Gallery, Kafka House, Czech Museum of Fine Arts and the Jewish Museum, attractions like the Prague Zoo and the Charles University Botanical Garden are draws for tourists from across the globe.

River cruise ships that call on Prague

Top reasons to go

  • The delicious Czech beer brewed locally
  • The historic castles, churches and museums
  • New eateries offering a variety of ethnic cuisines
  • The local artists and musicians that entertain at Charles Bridge
The medieval Charles Bridge in Prague, the Czech Republic, at sunrise,
Courtesy of CzechTourism The medieval Charles Bridge in Prague, the Czech Republic, at sunrise,

Top things to do & see

Prague Castle

The biggest ancient castle in the world according to Guinness World Records, Prague Castle rises above the city featuring beautiful views of the areas below. You can explore the St. Vitus Cathedral with its lookout tower, the Castle Picture Gallery, several palaces and museums and the beautiful Royal Garden, among others. You can also watch the Presidential Guard, and the changeover of the guards on duty on the hour.

Charles Bridge

The picturesque bridge connects Old Town with Lesser Town. Its construction started in the 14th century, and it is one of Prague's most famous structures. During the day, it is a bustling place of trade and entertainment, as musicians busk and artists sell their paintings and jewelry. 

Josefov

This historic Jewish ghetto is interesting for its well preserved synagogues. The Old New Synagogue is Europe's oldest active synagogue and it is rumored to be the resting place of the famed Prague Golem. Another interesting synagogue is the Spanish Synagogue, a highly ornamental building of Moorish style.

Shopping

There are several large shopping malls in Prague. If you take "Na Prikope" street, the 18th most expensive street in the world (measured by the price of property), you will find famous shopping arcades "Cerna ruze" (Black rose) and "Palac Myslbek" and many shops. If you are looking for souvenir shops, you will find them in the city's historical center, mainly around Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and Prague Castle. In December, the squares host Christmas Markets, selling a mix of arts, craft, food, drink and Prague memorabilia.

Old Town Square in Prague, the Czech Republic.
Thomas Depenbusch / Creative Commons BYOld Town Square in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Don't miss

Old Town, Prague's historic center, includes numerous historic buildings and monuments, most notably the famed Astronomical Clock, the pure Gothic Tyn Church, the mural-covered Storch building and the Jan Hus monument. Nearby, the Estate Theatre is a neoclassical theater where Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni" was first performed. Old Town features many historical churches and some other interesting historical buildings like the Old Town Hall.

Inside tip

Take a day or dinner cruise on the Vitava River, or book a longer cruise, which almost invariably includes Prague on a Danube cruise whether you start in Germany, Austria or Hungary.

Best bets for dining

With a national diet largely based around pork and beef, Prague cuisine is hearty and always filling. Though largely European in restaurant variety, in recent years the city has started to expand and diversify with new eateries popping up serving Belgian, Mexican and vegetarian fare. Beyond the sidewalk cafes, corner pubs, neighborhood joints and high-end restaurants, the people of Prague love their late-night, street-side fast food vendors. Instead of McDonald's (which is also available), the Czechs opt for hot dogs, pork sausage and other varieties of meat. The city also has a love affair with beer and it’s for good reason: It’s made locally and exceptionally well. 

Fun facts

  • The Czech Republic has the greatest number of castles per square mile of any country in the world – about 1,800. Many are within driving distance of Prague.
  • Lunch is traditionally the main meal in Prague, and is typically based around pork or beef with a starch side dish of dumplings or potatoes.
  • Prague is the historical capital of Bohemia and served as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire for a time. 

Best time to go

Prague has a temperate climate with warm summers and cold, often snowy winters. The average high temperature for the warmest month of August is 75.9° F (24.4° C), while the coldest month of January has an average low of 30° F (-1.1° C). The best time to visit Prague is during the spring and summer months, though it is also beautiful in the wintertime, with its snow-capped churches and festive spirit, if you don't mind the chill. 

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and a stopping point for many river cruise ships.
Ricardo Liberato / Creative Commons BY-SAPrague, capital of the Czech Republic and a stopping point for many river cruise ships.

When you arrive

Docking information

Prague often serves as a transfer destination for Danube River cruises, so passengers often stay overnight before journeying by bus to meet their ships.

Getting around

Prague is renowned to be a highly walkable city, as many attractions within Old Town, the Palace District and Wenceslas Square are all within short distances from each other. The main forms of public transportation are the tram and metro, and tickets are sold at kiosks and within terminal stations. Taxis are available, but prices should be negotiated beforehand. Many parts of the city have cobbled streets, so other preparations for handicapped and elderly travelers should be made ahead of time.

Need to know

Documents: If you're coming from overseas, a valid passport and, depending on where you're coming from, a visa is sometimes required.

Language: Czech, a Slavic language, is spoken in Prague. English is becoming more common, as it is often spoken in more well-established hotels and restaurants and is currently taught to younger generations in schools.

Currency: The currency in Prague is the Czech Crown (czk). Some restaurants, hotels and shops have begun to accept Euros as well, especially after the Czech Republic became a member of the European Union in 2004.

Wikivoyage contributed to this guide.

Your take

How about you? Have you been to Prague, or planning to go? We'd love to hear about your experience.  

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Overheard

“Wedged in the bend of the Vltava River, the Old Town Square is my favorite place to start exploring Prague's treasures. The vast square is ringed with colorful buildings, dotted with Baroque towers, steeples, and statues, and alive with people.”

Rick Steves

“One of my most treasured items brought back from a trip is a collection of hand-painted wooden blocks shaped like houses and handcrafted from the wood of the oldest homes in Prague, which I framed in shadow boxes. I spent hours in this wonderful tiny antiques shop, handpicking each one. Looking at them transports me back to that little undiscovered crooked street by the Prague Castle at a time when Prague was still an undiscovered destination.”

Condé Nast Traveler

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