Out of all the European capitals you should visit, Prague should be at the top of your list. The capital of the Czech Republic can be revisited many times and will still remain as beautiful, charming, and impressive as the first time you saw it. There’s always something new to discover in this magical city, no matter how many times you’ve been there. But if you’re a first-timer there, here are 9 essential things to do in Prague.
1. Spend a day in Prague Castle.
From all the things to do in Prague, visiting Prague Castle is the most essential activity. Called Pražský hrad in Czech, it is the largest ancient castle in the whole world. In reality, Prague Castle is not just one castle – it’s a huge complex of buildings that represent nearly every architectural style from the last millennium. There are 4 churches (+1 convent), 4 palaces, 3 halls (+1 gallery), 5 gardens, 2 towers, and many, many tourists. But Prague Castle is so magical, really, that you don’t notice all those people.
Things not to miss: the gorgeous stained glass windows in St. Vitus Cathedral; the Czech Crown Jewels (the fourth oldest in Europe); Golden Lane (Zlatá Ulička).
2. Walk around the historic centre of Prague.
Prague is the rock star of medieval urbanism. Its historic centre radiates magic and makes you feel lost in time. Prague centre is probably one of the most beautiful and wonderful places you can ever find yourself visiting. Everything there is so gorgeous, that I’m afraid my vocabulary is too limited to describe it. So I better not try, and you better go there and see it for yourself.
Things not to miss: Astronomical Clock; Charles Bridge; Minorite Church of St. James; Church of St. Nicholas; Lesser Town District.
3. Go to the top of the Hall Tower for a stunning view.
When you’re done admiring the Astronomical Clock, go up the Old Town Hall Tower. The view over Prague that opens up before your eyes is something worth climbing up the steps for.
Things not to miss: Messages people write on the walls inside the Tower.
4. Drink the best beer in the world.
They say the best beer can be found in only three countries: Germany, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. Having been to all of the three, I have to say that Czech beer outshines (or, rather, outtastes) its main competitors. It’s a-ma-zing. And even if you’re not a beer drinker (like me), I still advise you to go for some beer tasting in Prague – it’s definitely a worth-while experience.
Things not to miss: dark (Tmavé) or black (Černé) beer.
Trdelnik. Image source: here
5. Eat amazing Czech food.
Czechs know how to eat right. They don’t simply eat – they celebrate food in old Eastern European traditions: with huge portions, lots of cream, and lots of butter. I should warn you, by the way, that if you’re a vegetarian, or, God forbid, a vegan, it can get quite difficult to navigate around Prague because the locals love meat. But if you don’t have anything against eating meat, Prague is the right place for you. You should definitely try traditional Bohemian food, always accompanied by dumplings, and yummy marinated beef in cream sauce.
Things not to miss: (Street food) Trdelnik, Sausage with cabbage, Chlebičky; (Restaurants), Guláš, Koleno, Tatarák, Svíčková na smetaně, Vepřo-knedlo-zelo.
6. See the Jewish Quarter.
Prague Jewish Ghetto, also called the Josehof, dates back to 13th century, when the Jews were ordered to leave their houses in the city and settle in this one area. After certain time, when the Jewish people were banned in most of the countries in Europe, more and more of them came to live in Prague. Now, the Czech Jewish Quarter is considered to be the most well-preserved complex of historical Jewish monuments in Europe. Also, the synagogue which is located there is the oldest one in Europe. And finally, the Jewish district is a hidden gem of Art Nouveau architecture.
Things not to miss: the Old New Synagogue; the Old Jewish Cemetery; the Klausen Synagogue.
The Vltava River, which flows across Prague, is what gives a romantic allure to Prague. But simply admiring the scenery can kill the romance if you don’t add a healthy portion of fun into it. So when in Prague, have a ride on the Vltava River on a paddle boat! It’s a great opportunity to explore the city from different angles, burn all those calories acquired over the restaurant table, and keep the love alive.
Things not to miss: the Dancing House.
8. Visit Mucha museum.
Speaking of Art Nouveau, it would be immoral not to mention Alfons Mucha, a brilliant Czech painter famous for his decorative style. The museum, however, is for real connoisseurs of art: it’s quite small and quite expensive for a place that small. But if you love Mucha’s sophisticated paintings, you will enjoy it. Plus, the exhibition is organized in a very clever way, allowing you to learn how Mucha’s artistic tastes and standpoints on life changed over the years.
Things not to miss: The Seasons (series); Zodiac.
9. Get goose bumps in Kutná Hora.
Kutná Hora is a lovely place but it wouldn’t be that famous if it hadn’t been for Kostnice. In English it’s referred to as The Sedlec Ossuary, but its more famous name is the Kostnice Bone Church. And indeed it is! This little chapel contains the skeletons of around 70,000 people, whose bones are used for decoration purposes. Garlands from skulls, enormous chandeliers arranged from shins, the Royal Emblem made entirely from bones… who on Earth came up with this idea? But as creepy as Kostnice is, there’s something majestic about it, too, which makes it worth the 1 hour drive from Prague.
Things not to miss: Bones and skeletons.
Top 25 Things To Do In Prague (Author: The Crazy Tourist)