Prague just may be one of the most spectacular cities in the world. It’s stunningly beautiful, but gorgeous architecture isn’t the only thing Prague has to offer. The city is an eclectic mix of culture, medieval history, nightlife, and one of Europe’s most affordable cities.
Moving to London, I knew I had to make it to Prague in my first year- it’s been on my ‘to travel’ list for so long. Near the end of summer, I decided to plan an early fall trip as my first jaunt to the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, when the weekend trip arrived, I found myself fighting a cold. Being sick meant I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted in Prague, but, I did see enough of the city to know it’s somewhere I’ll most definitely visit again.
During our weekend trip, we stayed in an Airbnb in the Zizkov neighborhood. We were about ~25-30 minutes walking distance to Old Town Square, but were happy to discover public transport was modern and cheap. Our neighborhood also had a bunch of great bars and restaurants in it, plus plenty of streets with pastel homes. 🙂
Prague’s metro system has three lines that cover most of the city’s main attractions. And, taking the bus/tram/subway is affordable- a day ticket costs roughly 4 EUR.
Need inspiration to plan a trip to Prague? Keep reading 🙂
5 Things You Must Do On Your First Visit to Prague
Take in the view from Charles Bridge
If you’ve seen any photos of Prague, chances are you’ve seen Charles Bridge. The famous bridge spans the Vitava river, connecting Old Town to New Town. While walking along the bridge, be sure to take in the baroque statues- there are 30 of them.
Everyone whose been to Prague will tell you walking across the bridge is a must for first time visitors, and while I agree, I’ve gotta say my favorite view is from the bridge tower in New Town.
Wander Prague Castle & the Surrounding Streets
Set atop a hill overlooking the city, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. It’s free to explore the castle complex, but some of the buildings inside charge a fee to enter.
Of note, the twin spire church, St. Vitus Cathedral is especially impressive with its Gothic architecture and abundance of gargoyles. Towards the back of the complex, there’s a stunning view of the city below, and the park around the castle is peaceful and the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.
We only spent a little over an hour at the castle, but if you want to get the most out of your visit, you can book a walking tour.
When you’ve finished exploring the castle, walk around the adjacent neighborhood, Mala Strana. One of the cities oldest neighborhoods, the cobblestone streets and spectacular building facades make it feel like you’re stepping back in time.
There’s so much to be discovered in this neighborhood- head down a few side streets to see some of the city’s most beautiful buildings. One street I loved in particular was Novy Svet. Near the castle and free of crowds, it’s one of Prague’s most picturesque streets.
Peruse Old Town Square
With Gothic buildings dating back to the 14th century, Prague’s Old Town Square is one of the most beautiful ones in Europe.
In the middle of the square, the Old Town Hall Tower houses one of Prague’s most visited sights, the Astronomical Clock. When I visited, the tower was under construction, which meant I couldn’t climb to the top for a view of the square or see the hourly show so many visitors flock to town square to see.
If you’re visiting Prague in fall or winter, don’t miss grabbing mulled wine or hot honey wine from one of the square’s vendors.
Since the town hall tower was closed for renovation when I visited Prague, I headed to the nearby Powder Tower, one of the city’s original gates, for a bird’s eye view of Old Town.
Try Czech Beer (Or Sip a Cocktail)
There are so many places to sit down and have a cheap beer in Prague, you’d be remiss to not try a pint. Regardless of where you kick back, make sure to try some of the local brews- the Czech Republic has the highest per capita consumption of beer in the world.
If you’re more into cocktails than beer, I understand- I’m the same way ;). Luckily, Prague has a great cocktail scene with world class mixologists. I enjoyed Bugsy’s and Black Angel, but Hemingway Bar and Cash Only Bar (the sister bar to Hemingway) were my favorites.
Cash Only Bar is cosy, relaxed and has great seasonal specials.
No trip to Prague is complete without a stop at Hemingway Bar, it’s iconic. Normally a whisky fan, I switched up my go-to to try their absinthe cocktail- such great flavor.
Indulge in Prague’s Foodie Scene
Changes are you didn’t come to Prague expecting to find a foodie paradise, and if that’s the case, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Doing the Taste of Prague tour was at the top of my list, but I decided to forego when I got sick. I’ve heard nothing but excellent things about the tour, so it’s high priority for my next visit.
Determined not to lose all hope (just because of a cold), I checked out the restaurant listings on Taste of Prague’s site and decided to check out a few of their recos.
Two of my favorite spots: Eska and Cafe Savoy.
I’d heard Eska had the best breakfast in Prague, and sure wasn’t disappointed. The fruit and cheese crepes were to-die-for, and the eggplant, tomato and feta toast was just as incredible. And, Cafe Savoy is practically a Prague institution. The dining room is beautiful, such lovely ambiance. I ate at Cafe Savoy for an early dinner, and couldn’t believe how great the cauliflower soup, and fruit and cheese curd dumplings were.
And, even I was surprised by how great the coffee scene was in Prague. A few of my favorite spots:
- Eska: Cold drip #PraiseHands
- EMA: Excellent espresso and cakes
- onesip: Superb flat white, also located on the cutest street with gorg pastel homes
- cafe jen: Great espresso, also awesome for weekend brunch (rhubarb mimosas!)
More ‘Can’t Miss’ Things in Prague
I may have only been in Prague for two days, but I managed to see and do a lot during my weekend visit. There were so many things I didn’t have time for though, that I’m already excited to do on a return trip to the Czech Republic.
- John Lennon Wall: The Lennon wall is Prague’s most photographed attraction. The graffiti wall, inspired by John Lennon, is covered with song lyrics and peace signs
- Letna Park: Perched above the city, this park is a the place to take incredible pictures of the city
- Josefov Neighborhood: Located in Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, is filled with historical buildings, the perfect place to get lost in side streets
- Sedlec Ossuary: Also known as the Church of Bones, Sedlec Ossuary is one of the most unusual chapels you’ll ever see. In the suburbs of Kutna Hora, it looks like an average gothic church until you walk inside and see it’s decorated by more than 40,000 human skeletons
- Cesky Krumlov: Ideal for a day trip, this countryside town is a great way to see and experience more of the Czech Republic
Have you ever been to Prague? What would you tell first time visitors they must do?