Most individuals kick off a go to to the Czech Republic in Prague, the cradle of Czech tradition and one in every of Europe’s most intriguing capitals.

Well-known for its Gothic structure and the unbelievable Prague Fortress, that is additionally a vibrant metropolis with beer gardens, trendy in addition to conventional cafes, and a creating foodie scene. Begin planning your journey with this information to the perfect issues to do.

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1. Stroll the enchanting Charles Bridge

Whether or not you go to alone within the early morning mist or shoulder your means by the afternoon throngs, crossing Charles Bridge is a quintessential Prague expertise. Constructed in 1357, this picturesque bridge connects the Previous City and the Lesser Quarter. Native legend says eggs had been used to create the mortar for its development holding its 16 elegant arches collectively for 500-plus years. Climbing the bridge tower on the Previous City facet gives a hen’s-eye view of this intricate bridge with the Prague Fortress rising above it within the background.

2. Recharge at a conventional coffeehouse

Prague has turn into a haven for specialty espresso lovers. Sluggish drip, nitro brew, chemex – espresso followers have all bases lined. The favored Vinohrady district comprises the very best focus of up to date cafes, however you’ll discover good espresso all around the metropolis. 

Nonetheless, it’s possible you’ll be extra inquisitive about experiencing the allure of days passed by, at one in every of Prague’s extra conventional coffeehouses. Grand Cafe Orient, positioned in a surprising cubist constructing close to the Previous City Sq.. Café Imperial, brings you again to the time of the First Republic. And Kavárna Slavia, as soon as a preferred hangout spot of the late Czech president Václav Havel, has knowledgeable pianist taking part in dwell each night from 5pm.

Panorama of Prague, Czech Republic
Climb the bridge tower for one in every of Prague’s finest views in the direction of the fortress © Xantana / Getty Photos

3. Discover Prague Fortress

Greater than 1000 years of historical past is cradled inside the partitions of Prague’s hilltop fortress, a posh of church buildings, towers, halls and palaces that’s virtually like a village in its personal proper. This Unesco World Heritage-listed web site is the cultural and historic coronary heart of Czechia – an enormous retailer for collections of bodily treasures in addition to having served because the backdrop for a lot of vital historic occasions such because the election of Václav Havel as president in 1989 and the coronations of the kings of Bohemia. The jewel within the crown, St Vitus Cathedral is a powerful show of Gothic structure.

Planning Tip: Additionally make time to wander the charming, if touristy, Golden Lane. This vintage path is lined by small colourful homes, initially constructed as residence for the fortress guards. Later it accommodated native goldsmiths, thus its identify right this moment.

4. Admire historic structure

Baroque constructions are plentiful in Prague, particularly within the Lesser Quarter space. The St Nicolas Church is a tremendous instance. With wealthy frescoes adorning its partitions and its giant inexperienced dome, this cathedral represents one of many grandest Baroque shows present in Central Europe.

The period of Cubism could have been short-lived, however Prague discovered a particular affinity for this model. The angled traces of Prague Cubism may be studied on the Home of the Black Madonna within the Previous City, that includes a small Museum of Czech Cubism, in addition to the cubist-designed Grand Cafe Orient.

A damp city square in the evening with an ornate astronomical clock in gold and blue
Prague’s Previous City Sq. is dwelling to the world’s oldest functioning clock © Luciano Mortula – LGM / Shutterstock

5. Watch the Astronomical Clock 

Prague’s masterpiece Astronomical Clock was first constructed in medieval occasions: it’s the world’s oldest functioning clock. On the prime of each hour, 12 mechanical apostles parade between small doorways above the face of the clock. Crowds of tourists begin to collect hourly to observe because the playful spectacle unfolds.

Native Tip: Whereas everybody is concentrated on the spectacle, that is additionally a time to be conscious of the potential for pick-pockets.

6. Bask in hearty Czech delicacies

By hearty we imply Czech classics reminiscent of svíčková (sirloin beef and bread dumplings generously topped with a creamy sauce), vepřo knedlo zelo (roasted pork with sauerkraut and bread dumplings), fried cheese, and some extensively adopted staples from neighboring international locations, like goulash and schnitzel. These conventional meals may be tasted at an area chain of pubs referred to as Lokál, which serves dishes ready so properly that they might please even essentially the most finicky Czech elders. Don’t overlook to scrub all of it down with a crisp beer to assist your digestion like a Pilsner Urquell, a Prague-brewed Staropramen, or a malty darkish Velkopopovický kozel.

Native Tip: Smaller breweries have taken Prague by storm too. An area’s favourite, the Dva Kohouti (Two Roosters) mini-brewery is positioned within the once-industrial-now-hipster neighborhood of Karlín.

People sit on the deck of a boat on a river enjoying drinks on a sunny day
Náplavka is an excellent place to hang around on sunny days © Ivana Larrosa

7. Chill by the river at Náplavka

On sunny afternoons you’ll discover many Czechs enjoyable alongside the Náplavka riverbank space. It’s lined with barges promoting refreshments, from traditional sausages to beers and cocktails – each day and evening. At sundown it’s an particularly beautiful spot to hang around in Prague. If you wish to do it within the Czech model, take a bottle of wine, a few fellow vacationers and a blanket to sit down on. Dangle your toes over the water watching the swans and geese float by. 

Planning Tip: On Saturdays the farmers market is one other nice time to go to, with natural produce, contemporary bakery gadgets and dwell music.

8. Journey the funicular to Petřín

Not the Eiffel Tower, however the lookalike construction on Prague’s horizon is a metal remark tower referred to as the Petřín tower, atop Petřín hill. In the event you fancy a exercise, you’ll benefit from the stroll up Petřín hill with loads of spots to cease and admire the gorgeous views of Prague. The opposite, softer choice is to journey a small funicular to the highest. Because it’s a part of the Prague transportation system, you should use the identical tickets for the funicular as you do for the trams and the metro. 

Planning Tip: When you’ve reached the highest of the hill, climbing the precise Petřín tower may be fairly vertigo-inducing. In the event you’re up for the problem, you’ll be rewarded by marvelous views.

People enjoying the sunset from the hilltop of Letna Park Prague
Watch the sundown from Letna Park one of many many much-loved inexperienced areas in Prague © Petr Pavlica / Shutterstock

9. Unwind in one in every of Prague’s lush parks and mountaineering spots

Prague is dwelling to many inexperienced areas, with loads of shaded resting areas. Plus beer gardens are a giant pull, particularly within the warmth of summer season. Hilly parks such because the one in Letná or Riegrovy Sady additionally provide views over town. 

In the event you crave a wilder nature escape, Prague has some improbable mountaineering alternatives only a stone’s throw away from town heart. One of the fashionable mountaineering getaways for Prague locals is the Prokopské údolí valley, that includes winding trails by forests and meadows. Divoká Šárka is one other nice, wilder space to discover with creeks and marshes.

10. Behold Vyšehrad, the primary seat of Czech royalty

These two neo-Gothic spires a part of the defining form of Prague’s skyline belong to the Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul, perched atop the Vyšehrad hill. The historic fort of Vyšehrad was constructed in the course of the tenth century and have become the seat of the primary Czech ruler, King Vratislav II of the Přemyslid dynasty, a century later.

A stroll by the adjoining grandiose cemetery, will take you previous the ultimate resting place of many well-known Czechs, such because the composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák, in addition to the famend writers Karel Čapek and Jan Neruda.