Do you want to experience a city that will transport you back in time to the romantic fairytales your grandmother told you? Do you want to get lost in cobblestone alleys, framed with flowerbox windows and layers of architecture that tell a story hundreds of years old? Do you want to experience the rich history, cheap beer, churches built upon bones and walk the steps that inspired many of the great authors and composers of our time?
Then please, book a trip to the Czech Republic right now, because time spent wandering the streets of Prague or driving around the Czech countryside will leave you breathless!
Get Yourself Lost In Prague’s City Center
Prague is one of my favorite cities in Europe, it is easy to simply wander around while never really feeling lost.
When you plan a trip to Prague, find a hotel to stay in near the city center. I would recommend the U Zlateho Jelena (translation: The Golden Deer). This sweet boutique hotel has an excellent location tucked into an alley off the Old Town Square and serves a good breakfast.
From Old Town Square you are in the perfect location to walk around all of Prague’s top spots and easily navigate your way back home. Some of the “must-sees” sites to include on your day of wandering are the following:
Prague Astronomical Clock
Located right across the square from the Golden Deer Hotel, this clock is over 600 years old and still works! Its gorgeous and detailed craftsmanship makes it one of the most photographed icons of Prague.
At the base of Prague Castle is Mala Strana, a hillside district you’ll want to get lost in.
This area is still boasting the historic cobblestones of the middle ages, really is like stepping back in time. You won’t have to wander far to stumble across beautiful churches and displays of historic Prague architecture.
Also known as ‘New Town’ (fun fact: this square was established in 1348 making it over 400 years older than the oldest thing in the United States), this square has been the host of important political demonstrations and celebrations including the Prague Uprising of 1945 and Velvet Revolution of 1989.
A bit of a heavy corner of Prague but dripping in history, this neighborhood hosts the Jewish cemetery, six synagogues, and several monuments. A tour in this district is a must to understand the history and plight of the Jewish citizens of Prague throughout the centuries.
I am not sure if there is anything more romantic than wandering across the Charles Bridge. Dating back to the 1300s, this bridge crosses the Vltava River, providing exceptional views of both sides of the city.
I recommend making a point of crossing the bridge both during the day to take in the statues, street musicians, and merchants, but crossing at dusk offers a chance to see a different side of this beautiful city lit up with street lamps – don’t forget your camera!
Prague Castle And St. Vitus Cathedral
Crossing Charles Bridge you’ll find yourself among some of Prague’s most famous monuments including the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. The gothic architecture of St. Vitus is mesmerizing – be sure to give yourself time to just stand outside and take in the impeccable detail.
Other Things To Do In Prague
You could spend the entire day exploring the sights in Prague’s city center, but there are plenty of other things to do in Prague as well!
Cruise Down The Vltava
After a day of walking throughout the city, give yourself a break and take a boat cruise down the Vltava for a different perspective on the city, including can’t-miss views of the famous St. Charles Bridge and Vltava Swans.
Prague has many 2 hour cruises offered throughout the day, and getting to the dock is an easy walk from Old Town Square.
For those of you visiting in the summer, make sure to grab a Czech beer from the bartender and sit outside. If you are there in fall or winter, a glass of Gluehwein (warm mulled wine), is the perfect cozy treat as you relax and see the city from the water.
Read Books In Romantic Bars
No trip to Prague would be complete without ducking into one of the many bars or coffee shops to simply enjoy a coffee and read while the world goes by.
If you are looking to really lean into the Prague cafe experience, be sure to bring your copy of Kafka’s Metamorphosis (one of the Czech Republic’s most famous authors), or listen to Mozart (who made numerous trips and music debuts in the city).
Stumble Upon Weird Art
Now, everything so far has highlighted the picturesque, culturally dynamic, and historically significant side of Prague, but there is also a very funky and at times bizarre scene which brings a whole different dynamic to this city.
Now, I would say you must not leave Prague without seeking out this weird art, but It’s actually pretty hard to miss! One minute you’re leisurely strolling around the Vltava thinking you have fallen into a romantic fairytale when BOOM – naked, big-headed baby sculpture takes you by surprise!
These bizarre and strange sculptures are scattered throughout the city, so be on the lookout!
Funicular To The Best Views
Prague is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful city skylines, scattered with hundreds of spires, turrets, towers, and steeples (hence the nickname “City of a Hundred Spires). But for the most optimal view (and for a nice stroll among the Prague locals), you need to head up to Petrin Hill.
This public park is accessible by walking or if you want to avoid the steep ascent there is also a funicular that can take you up to the very top. However, even if you take the car up, I highly recommend taking the walk back down.
Winding around the hill through lush forests, you will see several perspectives of the city, framed through the trees, which make the walk completely worth it.
Best Day Trips From Prague
Ok, so to date, this has been focused on Prague, and to be fair, you could spend your entire trip in this incredible city and never get bored. But I would be remiss to leave out some of the most incredible spots in the Czech countryside.
I highly recommend a fantastic car service called, My Day Trip which provides private road trips from Prague to other major cities in central Europe. I used this service to get me from Prague to Vienna and cannot rave enough about the experience.
Not only do you get to weave in a few key countryside stops along the way, but you also get time with a Czech native to gain a more authentic perspective of the country. My driver regaled me with stories of Easter in his small town where the custom is for the young men to run around the village singing and switching the bottoms of all the women until they get decorated eggs (look it up, it’s a real custom).
But I digress, here are some of the most memorable stops in my visit to the Czech Countryside:
Quite possibly the most memorable site of my entire trip, Kutna Hora is a small town in the Central Bohemian Region east of Prague.
Historically a silver-mining town, it’s also known for a few very famous cathedrals including the gothic-style St. Barbara’s Church, and more morbid, the famous Sedlec Ossuary or “Bone Church”.
This church is adorned with the bone remains of between 40,000 – 70,000 people and is crowned with a complete bone chandelier. The church was decorated by a priest, paying tribute to those who had perished in a plague and is truly a sight to behold.
Lednice is a village in South Moravia and is an easy stop following Kutna Hora. The famous Castle Lednice is a UNESCO site and boasts phenomenal gardens and architecture.
The final countryside stop rounding out my road trip was the small village of Mikulov. The town is easy to spot from far away with its famous Mikulov Chateau (Zamek Mikulov), sitting high atop a hill over the village.
A steep walk to the top will reward you with panoramic views of the town and countryside. The chateau itself is open to the public and showcases the stunning Romanesque style of the Middle Ages.
Once you have had your fill of the views, the town square is scattered with lovely wine shops where you can rest and enjoy a glass or sampler of Czech wine this province is known for.
Prague Wrap Up
Ever since I visited the Czech Republic, I cannot get it out of my mind and it’s absolutely one of the places in the world I will return to spend more time.
For history buffs, lovers of architecture, fairytale fanatics, beer lovers, and connoisseurs of eclectic art, this country offers something special to every visitor and is a non-negotiable, must-stop visit in Europe!
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Prague, Czech Republic. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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