Why You Need to Visit Prague
Often referred to as the City of a Thousand Spires, Prague is one of Europe’s architectural gems. From Gothic and Baroque to Renaissance and Art Nouveau styles, the city has been an important UNESCO World Heritage Site. The narrow streets of Prague open up onto fantastic squares which are also home to medieval-looking homes and historical buildings waiting for you to explore them. With a wide range of things to do, here are the top reasons why you need to visit Prague.
Top things to do in Prague
1. Explore Prague Old Town
The first thing tourists do when they arrive in Prague is head to the Old Town Square, which has been the city’s main marketplace for more than a millennium. Not only is it beautiful to look at with the breathtaking architecture, but it is also home to some of Prague’s major sights, including the popular astronomical clock dating back to the 15th century. The clock is famous for its procession of the twelve Apostles when the clock strikes the hour between 9 am and 11 pm. Apart from the clock, the square itself is a perfect place to visit Prague Town Hall, the Týn Cathedral and the monumental Church of St Nicholas.
2. Visit Prague Castle
One of Prague’s most popular attractions is Pražský hrad, standing tall above Vltava’s left bank, the castle’s spires, towers and, palaces dominate the city skyline like something lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Within the castle walls, you can see a fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums, and galleries that are home to some of the country’s best artistic and cultural treasures. Traditionally, the castle was the seat of Czech rulers, and today it’s the official residence of the Czech president. You can visit the castle grounds for free, but if you wish to visit the St Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane or Basilica of St George, you can purchase a combined entry ticket.
3. Stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge
While the Charles Bridge in Prague is free to visit, yet priceless. This 14th-century bridge is one of the best things to do in Prague, a simple walk to the other side is enough to make you fall in love with the city. The bridge was commissioned back in the 1300s by Charles IV to replace an older Judith Bridge which had been washed away by floods. Even though the bridge was completed in the 1300s, the 30 striking statues, including the most famous statue of St John Nepomuk, were only added to the bridge in the 17th Century.
4. Visit Prague’s Jewish Ghetto – also the birthplace of Franz Kafka
As known by the locals as Josefov, the Jewish Quarter is located between the Old Town and the Vltava River. It all began back in the 13th century when Jews living in Prague were ordered to leave their homes and settle in this area. The Jews were prohibited to live anywhere else in the city and they were joined by other exiled Jews from the rest of Europe. Today Josefov is home to the Prague Jewish Museum, The Museum of Decorative Arts, high-end shopping and is also the birthplace of famous of the great Franz Kafka.
Franz Kafka was born and grew up on the streets of Prague, not far from Old Town Square. Kafka was born into a Jewish, German-speaking family. He was a lawyer working in an insurance company, despite having a true passion for writing. Kafka’s books tell the tales of the fantastic and the realities of turn-of-the-century Prague. If you wish, you can visit Kafka’s resting place in New Jewish Cemetery.
5. Alternative things to do: Take a cruise on Prague’s Vltava River
See the medieval buildings and monuments of Prague from a completely different perspective on a Vltava River Cruise. You can even get lunch or dinner served on the cruise. The best time to go is at night when the water reflects the city’s light sand the castle rises high above in the west. The perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Prague’s city.
6. Admire the John Lennon Wall
Even though Prague is a long way from Liverpool, the hometown of The Beatles, any fan should certainly head to Prague to visit the shrine of one of the most popular bands of all time. The wall has been covered top to toe in John Lennon and The Beatles graffiti, lyrics, and quotations since the 1980s and is very popular among tourists and young fans paying homage to John Lennon and the rest of the group.
Many of our pre-designed packages include the amazing city of Prague, and it is one of the most popular choices for an interrailing stop!