Prague is one of the most popular European destinations in any season. There are many things to see in Prague and a weekend in this amazing city will only give you a taste of it. If you love architecture, you’ll be happy just wandering on Prague’s cobblestone streets and admiring the Gothic cathedrals, Rococo buildings, and bridges over Vltava river. Let’s take a quick tour of the top attractions in Prague.
One weekend in Prague will get you through the major attractions of the city but I guarantee that you’ll want to come back.
Prague has had a long and tumultuous history. It flourished during the medieval times as a trading center, benefiting from its position in the middle of Europe. It had its rough patch in the 17th century and was occupied by Nazi Germany during WW2. After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, Prague became a major tourist magnet. It is now visited by roughly 8 million tourists every year. That makes Prague the 4th visited city in Europe.
5 Top attractions in Prague
Top Attractions in Prague – Two Beautiful Squares
The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are the two main piazzas at the heart of Prague, just a few minutes away from each other. In the Old Town Square, you will find a few of the most popular attractions in Prague: the Astronomical Clock, St. Nicholas Church, and also the famous Tyn Cathedral.
Other beautiful Baroque and Romanesque buildings surround this stunning square. It is one of those perfect places where you can sit with a coffee, admire the buildings, and watch the world pass by.
Wenceslas Square, on the other hand, looks more like a boulevard, flanked by hotels and restaurants as well as shops and banks. This is one of the most sought after areas to stay in. It is also very easy to access by public transport using any of the three metro lines and a few trams.
Top Attractions in Prague – Tyn Cathedral
The full name of the most famous landmark in Prague is the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. The cathedral was built in the 14th century on the side of an older church in what is now the Old Town Square and hosts the oldest organ in Prague.
The Gothic church with its two towers can be seen from virtually anywhere in Prague. On a closer look, you’ll notice that the twin towers are not identical. They also have names, Adam and Eve, and represent the masculine and the feminine elements. Another surprise is that the interior of the church is decorated in a Baroque style, contrasting with the outside.
The church is open Tuesday to Sunday for two hours in the mornings (10:00 to 12:00) and afternoons (15:00 to 17:00) but on Sundays, it can only be visited in the morning.
Top Attractions in Prague – The Astronomical Clock
Just opposite to Tyn Cathedral in the Old Town Square, you will find another of the most well-known attractions in Prague. The astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall Tower is one of the oldest functional astronomical clocks in the world.
Crowds gather in front of the tower every hour of the day (9:00 AM to 11 PM) to see the show. Aside from telling the time and day, this special clock also shows astronomical and even zodiacal information.
You can visit the Old Town Hall Tower and see the complex mechanism from inside. Some great views of Prague from the tower are also included in the 10€ tickets. Buy them in advance here.
Top Attractions in Prague – Charles Bridge
The most famous bridge in Prague is truly spectacular, day or night. It is also crowded, day or night. Try to make it here early in the morning to admire each of the 30 statues and a great panorama over the Old Town and Prague Castle. Still, you should pass by in the afternoon too and see the artists at work right on the bridge.
Top Attractions in Prague – Prague Castle
One of the top attractions in Prague, the Castle dominates the city from Hradcany Hill. It survived 11 centuries and it still hosts the seat of government as well as the President’s office.
Prague Castle complex is open daily from 6:00 AM to 10 PM but the historical buildings are open from 9:00 AM to 4 PM in the winter season and until 5 PM from April to October.
There are various admission options with tickets starting from 350 CZR (just under 10€) for the B Circuit. See the full information on the official website.
The B Circuit includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, while the A Circuit also grants access to “The Story of Prague Castle” exhibition as well as to Powder Tower and Rosenberg Palace.
Being one of the most popular things to see in Prague, the Castle complex attracts a lot of visitors, especially during the summer months and it can get quite crowded. A good option to skip the entry line is to buy this 1 hour guided tour. It includes a B Circuit entry ticket as well as fast admission and, after the introductory tour, you will be able to explore the complex at your own leisure.
Other Things to See in Prague
Things to see in Prague – Mala Strana
Mala Strana district translates to the Little Quarter or the Lesser Town. It developed just under the Prague Castle complex as a residential area first. Now, Mala Strana is an area full of embassies, hotels, restaurants, and coffee shops.
You can easily spend a half-day exploring Mala Strana and it’s a good idea to have lunch in the neighborhood too.
Things to see in Prague – The Dancing Building
The Dancing House is the modern era symbol of Prague. The building was completed in 1996 on a spot left empty after the bombings in 1945. Its nickname is Fred and Ginger as it resembles a pair of dancers.
You can visit the art gallery inside the Dancing House and also access the rooftop terrace. Reserve your ticket here.
Food in Prague
Traditional Czech food is hearty and uses a lot of meat and dumplings. It has several things in common with Hungarian cuisine.
One thing that I loved to eat in Prague was the trdelník. It is impossible to pronounce but great to taste. The trdelník is a rolled pastry, roasted and dusted with sugar and cinnamon. You can find it everywhere in Prague and they also fill it with vanilla cream, chocolate or ice-cream.
It goes really well with a glass of spicy mulled wine as well as with a hot chocolate on a cold day.
Another attraction in Prague is beer. It comes in all shapes and sizes but you can always have a sampling from the local producers before deciding which one you like best.
The local breweries make mostly pilsner beer. However, they started producing other varieties as well as experimenting with some craft beers. I don’t really like lager beer but I do like a good IPA.
For a unique experience, try the Beer SPA. I think it makes a great birthday or anniversary gift for someone who loves beer! Here’s all you need to know about a beer SPA experience.
Where to stay in Prague
We had a very good stay in a cozy family-run hotel in the Old Town, Aurus Hotel. It is a historical building with large, stylish rooms. Also, the location is perfect, close to all the top attractions in Prague.
Another place I was looking at, and I’d like to stay there next time, is a Matylda boat hotel. It is a walk away from the Old Town, just in front of the Dancing House. It could be a good base to start the day with a morning run along Vltava River.
Disclosure: Some of the above may be affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Of course, I only recommend companies, activities, or products that I use myself.
Have you been to Prague? Tell me all about it in the comments below!