Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a city known for its history, culture, and unique architecture. It is a fascinating city to visit with plenty of things to see and do during your stay in this city. To make sure that you get the best experience of this city possible, you should put some thought into the activities and attractions you intend to include in your vacation before leaving home. To help you choose which activities will best suit your interests and contribute to the type of vacations you desire, the following are the 20 best things to do in Prague for first-timers.
20. See a Puppet Show
Puppets are something that is associated with Czech culture, so you should try to see a puppet show during your visit. Puppets have been used as a form of entertainment in the Czech Republic since the 12th century when puppeteers put on shows at royal feasts and ceremonies. Now, you will see puppeteers on the streets of Prague putting on fun performances for people walking by. You can also catch a puppet show at either the National Marionette Theater or the Theatre Spejbla and Hurvinek. This is one of the top activities to enjoy in Prague for those traveling with children.
19. Take a Cruise on the River Vltava
The River Vltava is probably the most significant natural feature of Prague as it divides the city into two halves. It is the longest river in the Czech Republic, running along the Bohemian and then merging with the River Elbe in Melnik. A fantastic way to enjoy the city is to take a cruise along the river to see sights along both sides of the riverbanks. There are many companies offering boat cruises along the river and some of these offer packages that offer food and drink. Some cruises take place at night when the city is lit up and looks completely different from in the daytime.
18. Learn About Political History at the Communism Museum
An unusual museum to visit while you are in Prague is the Communism Museum. Communism has played an important part in the political history of the Czech Republic, as this was a communist country from 1948 until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. During the period of communism, 327 Czech people were shot dead and more than 200 thousand were arrested as they tried to flee the country. The Communism Museum takes a deeper look at this part of Czech history, and the exhibition includes photographs, sculptures, films, and documents.
17. Try Some Czech Cuisine
During your visit to Prague, you should try to absorb yourself in the Czech culture. One of the simplest ways to do this is to try the local cuisine. Visit traditional restaurants and try some of the street food throughout your time in Prague. One of the best dishes to try is koleno, which is a pork knee that has been marinated in beer, It is usually served with Czech bread and pickled vegetables. While walking around the streets, you will see vendors selling sweet bread covered in sugar that are like donuts. These are a tasty snack to try while you are sightseeing.
16. Explore the KGB Museum
There are some unusual museums in Prague, and one of these is the KGB Museum. This is a small museum that was opened by a Russian enthusiast. Inside the museum, there is a variety of memorabilia relating to the Soviet Union’s secret police. Some of the items on display include photographs of Prague taken by a KGB officer, an assortment of spy cameras, interrogation equipment, and secret weapons.
15. Visit the St. Vitus Cathedral’s Treasures
When thinking of landmarks in Prague, it is often St. Vitus Cathedral that comes to mind. Boasting Gothic architecture and breathtaking spires, various parts of the cathedral were built over a 600-year period. This structure has played a pivotal role in religious and cultural life in Prague. It is home to many interesting treasures, says Lonely Planet. These include the art nouveau stained glass by Alfons Mucha, the 14th-century mosaic of the Last Judgement Day, and the toms of St. Wenceslas, Charles IV, and St. John of Nepomuk. St. Vitus Cathedral is located on the grounds of Prague Castle.
14. Visit the Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Quarter is a particularly fascinating part of Prague to visit, and it was formerly a walled ghetto. It is home to the oldest kosher restaurant in the Czech Republic, six beautiful synagogues, Franz Kafka’s birthplace, the Jewish Museum, and the Old Jewish Cemetery. Jewish history in this city is very interesting, so you should take the time to visit this part of Prague. It is free to visit most parts of the Jewish Quarter, although you will need to buy a ticket that will give you access to both the museum and the cemetery.
13. See the Infant Jesus of Prague
An interesting attraction to visit is the statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague, says The Crazy Tourist. Although the origins of the statue are unknown, it is believed that it dates back to the 16th century. It is used as a shrine with hundreds of visitors arriving to pray in front of the statue each day.
12. Stroll Around the Markets
There are various markets that take place in Prague, including some where stallholders sell their crafts and handmade items that make perfect souvenirs of your time in Prague. The Culture Trip recommends that you also visit the farmers’ markets so that you can sample some of the local produce and absorb yourself in the Czech way of life.
11. Visit Karlsejn Castle
Karlsejn Castle is a large Gothic castle that Charles IV, the King of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire-elect, founded in 1348. Not only was this one of his residences, but it also served as a place to keep holy relics, royal treasures, the Imperial Regalia. And the Bohemian/ Czech crown jewels. This castle is one of the most famous and the most frequently visited castles in the Cech Republic.
10. Take a Tram Ride
A brilliant way to get around the city is on the trams. Not only are they a useful and practical form of transportation, but they are also an experience that will add to your vacation. They are a fantastic way of getting around the city and seeing the sights from a different perspective. Riding on the trams is very cheap, so you won’t break the bank by taking a tram instead of walking. Many of the locals use the tram as their main form of transportation for getting around the city, so you will ride alongside the locals and get a true feeling of living in this wonderful city.
9. Have a Few Drinks in the Bars
Prague has a vibrant nightlife, and this is something that you should experience while you are visiting this amazing city. Many of the streets in the city are lined with small bars, most of which serve Czech beer, wine, and spirits. Some also host live entertainment for you to enjoy, and some serve food. You can also visit the bars in the day, but you will have the best experience in the evenings as this is when the bars come alive.
8. See The John Lennon Wall
Although the Beatles hail from Liverpool in England, the people of the Czech Republic are huge fans of this pop group, especially of John Lennon. There is a wall devoted to Lennon and the Beatles in the city. It is covered in colorful graffiti depicting quotes, lyrics, and images relating to the group. Many tourists head to The John Lennon Wall to have their photograph taken by the street art.
7. Take a Stroll Around Wallenstein Garden
One of the prettiest spots in Prague is the Wallenstein Garden, which is a Baroque masterpiece. Located in Mala Strana, it offers stunning views of the Prague Castle and the river. The park is also home to Wallenstein Palace. As you wander around the landscaped gardens, you will see statues, a koi pond, and white peacocks. Visiting this garden is a free activity to enjoy in Prague, so it is a good option for people who are traveling with a limited budget.
6. Wenceslas Square
Sometimes referred to as the Times Square of Prague, Wenceslas Square is located in the Prague 1 neighborhood. It is a busy consumer hub that has played various roles in the history of the city. It is now a recognized World Heritage Site as it is home to many historical buildings, despite being part of the New Town. The historical elements of the square stand proudly beside the modern business and retail buildings. In the square, you will find the National Museum, which is the oldest museum in Prague. Walking around Wenceslas Square is free, although you may need to pay to enter some of its historical buildings.
5. Visit Petrin Tower and Petrin Hill
Petrin Hill is considered one of the most beautiful parks in the city, and the hill is the highest in Prague at 320 meters. Visitors can hike up the hill or take a ride in the funicular. At the top of the hill is Petrin Lookout Tower, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in Prague. You can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy the views across the city. When you head down to the park’s lower levels, you can explore the five gardens, the mirror maze, and the observatory.
4. Spend Time at Letner Park
Although there are many parks in this city, Letner Park is probably the one that offers the best views of the city. It has particularly nice views of the bridges along the River Vltava. Other than the views, another reason why this park is popular among the locals and with tourists is that it is home to one of the best beer gardens in the city and there are vendors selling traditional Czech snacks. This means that visitors can enjoy Czech street food washed down with Czech beer while enjoying their surroundings and views.
3. Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock
Consisting of Gothic buildings, this square is one of the most impressive squares in Europe, and it is steeped in centuries of history. Many of the buildings date back to the 14th century. One of the most important landmarks to see in the square is the Old Town Hall Tower, which sits in the middle of the square. Not only is this a magnificent structure to see but it also boasts the Astronomical Clock, which is one of Prague’s most identifiable icons. When the clock chimes every hour, its movements are like watching a small show with mechanical dancing dolls.
2. Go to Prague Castle
The most renowned landmark in Prague is Prague Castle, which is the oldest ancient castle in the world. It is located on a hilltop overlooking Vltava River, and it boasts impressive architectural design. Visitors can wander around the castle grounds, which are magnificently landscaped and very peaceful. Along with the cathedral, which is in the castle grounds, this is probably the most famous landmark in Prague.
1. Admire the Views from Charles Bridge
According to Just a Pack, the first thing you should do when you visit Prague is to take a walk over Charles Bridge. This is one of the most famous bridges in Europe, and it is almost 700 years old. It crosses the Vltava River, connecting Old Prague to Mala Strana. The cobbled walkway will take you past three imposing Gothic towers, and you will also see 30 statues and statuaries. One of the best aspects of the river is the views of the city.