The capital city of the Czech Republic was historically the capital of the Bohemia region in Central Europe. Prague was founded in the 5th century and is a city with an incredibly rich history. It has been one of the most important cities in Europe for numerous centuries.
This importance was emphasized by the fact that it was the main residence of multiple of the Holy Roman Emperors, resulting in numerous amazing structures being constructed within the city walls. It was also of high importance for the Habsburg rulers as they ruled over the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Today, the city has a population of about 1.3 million inhabitants, and its numerous culturally important landmarks have turned it into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best things to do in Prague so you can make sure not to miss out on any of these during your stay in this fascinating city.
1. Old Town Square
Old Town Square is literally the heart of the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the most famous landmarks in Prague. Numerous historically important buildings can be found here, including but not limited to the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn, the Baroque St. Nicholas Church, and the Old Town Hall.
As the name of the square implies, it’s situated within the Old Town quarter of the city which is basically the medieval settlement of Prague. This section was fortified by both a defensive wall and a moat during the Middle Ages, both of which have disappeared over time. This square is the perfect place to start your journey in Prague because many of the most famous tourist attractions are located within walking distance of this beautiful public space.
Official website: Old Town Square
2. Charles Bridge
Just near Old Town Square, crossing the Vlatava River which flows through the city, we can find an iconic bridge in Prague called “Charles Bridge.” This fascinating bridge was built during the Middle Ages between 1357 and 1402 and was named after King Charles IV (1316-1378) who commissioned it.
It didn’t get its current name until the year 1870, though, as this stone arch bridge was originally called “Stone Bridge.” That’s because the other bridges before were made of wood. This amazing structure is 516 meters (1,693 ft) long and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. Walking across this iconic bridge is simply a must-do experience when visiting Prague.
Official website: Charles Bridge
3. Prague Castle
Prague Castle is the most important building in the city and has been since the 9th century. The construction of the original version of this castle started in the year 870 and was completed in the first half of the 10th century. It has been the official seat of power of both the kings of Bohemia and the Holy Roman emperors ever since
The castle didn’t lose its significance in modern times and was the official seat of the presidents of Czechoslovakia as well. Today, it serves as the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. This enormous structure is considered to be the largest ancient castle in the world as it has a length of 570 meters (1,870 feet) and a width of 130 meters (430 feet). With nearly 2 million yearly visitors it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country as well.
Official website: Prague Castle
4. St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral is the common name of the church official known as “The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus, and Adalbert.” It’s one of the most iconic Gothic Cathedrals in the world and the largest cathedral in the Czech Republic as well with dimensions of 124 x 60 meters (407 × 197 feet).
This amazing structure is situated just near Prague Castle in an elevated position in the city and is part of the castle complex. This in combination with the fact that its main tower reaches a height of 102.8 meters (337 feet) makes it one of the most imposing landmarks in the city.
Official website: St. Vitus Cathedral
5. Prague Astronomical Clock
The Old Town Hall is located on Old Town Square in the center of the city and has a remarkable feature attached to its main tower. The Prague Astronomical Clock was first installed here in the year 1410, which makes it the third-oldest clock of its kind in the world. What’s even more remarkable is that this clock still works, which makes it the oldest operational astronomical clock in the world.
This remarkable clock is locally known as the “Prague Orloj” and features an astronomical dial that represents the location of the Sun and the Moon in the sky. Every hour, statues come out in a show referred to as “The Walk of the Apostles.” The highlight of this show is a skeleton representing death striking the clock to mark the time, quite a fascinating tourist attraction in the heart of Prague, that’s for sure!
Official website: Prague Orloj
6. Petrin Tower
Did you know that Prague has its own version of the Eiffel Tower in Paris? This tower is known as the “Petřín Lookout Tower” and stands about 63.5 meters (208 feet). Even though it’s far from being as tall as its larger brother in Paris, it’s located in an elevated position known as Petřín Hill. This means that it provides some of the most amazing views of the city you can get.
This remarkable structure was built shortly after the completion of the tower in Paris in 1891 and has been used as both an observation tower and transmission tower in its history. Today, it’s one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Prague and one of the most popular attractions in the city as well with well over half a million yearly visitors.
Official website: Petřín Lookout Tower