As one of the largest cities in all of Europe, Prague continues to draw yearly crowds for its breathtaking architecture, historical sites and lively entertainment. With some of the best preserved sights in the Czech Republic, it can be hard to narrow down the list of all of Prague’s attractions, if only there for a limited amount of time. Here are the 9 top must-see tourist attractions when visiting Prague:
1 . Prague Castle
Serving as Prague’s most popular tourist attraction, Prague Castle is a must for your things to see in Prague list. This breathtaking castle is located in Hradcany, also known as the castle district. It is filled with rich history and is now home to the country's president. When visiting this attraction, entrance into the castle grounds is free. However, entering some of the buildings such as Golden Lane and the Basilica of St George will require a purchased ticket.
2. The Lennon Wall
Pay respect at this shrine to one of the most famous bands of all time, The Beatles. This large wall has been covered with graffiti of lyrics and quotes honoring the well known band members. This colorful backdrop provides a great photo opportunity. Expect to hear a range of musicians along the wall covering some of the Beatles’ most popular songs for all to enjoy. Sing along and transport back in time.
3. The National Gallery
Home to some of Europe’s most well-noted art collections, the National Gallery in Prague is spread across many of the city’s landmarks. Sternberg Palace holds many of the gallery’s most famous of pieces with artists such as Goya, van Goyen, and van Dyck. The Covenant of St. Agnes of Bohemia has a selection of European pieces from the Middle Ages and Kinsky Palace carries the theme of ancient Asian art. The bulk of the entire collection and even a few Monet and Picasso pieces are stored at Veletrzni Palace. Here Czech artists are well displayed and respected throughout the gallery in their fashion, photography, sculpture, and other creations.
4. Petrin Hill
With 299 steps to the top, Petrin Hill offers green space and incredible views of the city of Prague. There are many benches on your climb up if a stop for rest is needed. If this sounds like too much of a challenge, there is a funicular railway that will transport you to the summit. At the top of Petrin Hill, there is a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. It serves as the perfect spot for a picnic and escape from the city bustle.
5. Astronomical Clock
Make sure to time this spot right. Plan your visit on the hour to watch the show this mechanical clock puts on. Every hour the clock comes to life and 12 apostles and other characters dance across the clock tower in Old Town Square. Constructed in the fifteenth century, the Astronomical Clock is known to be one of the best preserved mechanical clocks left in the world.
6. Jewish Quarter
Originally referred to as a slum, the Jewish Quarter has transformed over time. It first formed in the 13th century when Jews living in Prague were forced to vacate their homes and relocate. Also known as Josefov, It now is home to the Jewish Museum that contains many notable historical attractions such as the Spanish Synagogue, the Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Klaus Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall and the Jewish Cemetery.
7. The Infant Jesus of Prague
Originally a wedding gift from Spain to Duchess Maria de Lara, this tiny 19 inch wooden wax covered doll made its way to Prague in 1556. Lots of history is attached to this doll as it Carmelite Father Cyril found it missing both of its arms and hands in 1637 after the church was looted sometime in the Thirty Years War. You can now visit and witness the new arms that were made and attached courtesy of Father Cyril. In 1655 it was crowned the Bishop of Prague. If you’re in the area the first Sunday of May, join in on the feast-day anniversary celebration where the clothing of the Infant Jesus is switched out. Today the Infant Jesus is now housed in the Church of Our Lady Victorious. The entry is free! Great for those traveling on a budget.
8. Devil’s Stream
Devil’s stream can be found as a small branch off of the Vltava River. It creates the divide between the cobblestoned streets of Malá Strana and the peaceful atmosphere of Kampa Island. Stroll along this narrow channel and you will pass many notable sights such as the Lennon Wall, Park Kampa, the Charles Bridge, the Franz Kafka Museum and Grand Priory Mill. Don’t waste your time hanging “love locks” on any of the pedestrian bridges as the city removes the locks frequently to maintain the upkeep of the bridges.
9. Prague’s Narrowest Street
Not for those who get claustrophobic easily, Prague’s narrowest street makes for a fun photo location. This tiny stairway of less than 20 inches is squeezed between two buildings. Luckily, it’s a short street. On each end of the street there are traffic lights with buttons you can press. They indicate “walk” or “don’t walk” since there is not close to enough space for multiple people to pass by at once. However, not all tourists obey this rule of using the lights, so be ready to turn around if necessary. On one end of the street is a flight of stairs that connects to Čertovka restaurant. Be careful about eating too big of a meal because you may not be able to fit your way back! Remember to take a deep breath and suck in!
Whether you visit one or all nine, take in all the sights, smells and sounds of some of Prague’s best of the best. It’s truly a city that can be appreciated at all ages and at all times of the year.
Post written by: Kirsten Cusack