What to do in Prague? Today I’m sharing my best tips for Prague based on out long weekend there in the beginning of June. I must say that we enjoyed Prague a lot. It is a very beautiful, old and well maintained / preserved city. and it was just a perfect location for a quick 4 day visit. It was just small enough to mainly go around by walking. Though when needed, the public transportation was also well organized and convenient to use. We also had some luck with the weather as every day was sunny and warm, but then again not too hot to be in a city. If anyone is planning a visit in Prague, at least I can warmly recommend it and share my best tips what to do while in town!
Panoramic views / Parks:
1: Vhyserad is an areas south of Prague which has beautiful park, Prague’s oldest building (small round tower) and an old church. Bets part of the area is the old castle wall is surrounding the park and you can walk all a way around it and at the same time enjoy the panoramic scenery. Vhyserad is a bit further away form the city center and we took a metro there and walked back. Route back to the city goes along the river bank and is thus nice to walk and works as nice afternoon walk (roughly 3km). One good thing in the slightly more distant location is that this area had clearly less tourists compared to other areas!
2: Petrin hill is a nice park located on eastern side of the city center. This park has nice views opening up to the old town. If you are interested to hike even higher there is a replica of an Eiffel Tower on top of the fill against a small fee. We skipped this one though as I think the same scenery can be seen already from several other spots. Walking up and down the hill is again nice activity for the day in order to get some exercise. You can also take a funicular a.k.a. small tram up to the hill if walking is not your thing – but just be aware of long queues : ) Also a tip when visiting the park: On top of the park there is a nice green garden area, but due to many trees, the scenery isn’t that great. The actual views come when you walk down the pathways and when you hit the north-west area of the park. In that area you have a nice view to the old town and it’s also very popular picnic area by locals. During the afternoon there were several couples and families having picnic on the lawn with good food and wine.
3: Shooter’s Island is an island located in the river Vltava. This was one of our favorite spots in the city during the warm afternoons. Island is located in central place of Prague having direct view e.g. to Charles Bridge. We sat down on the river bank during several days. On one day we also visited the near by grocery store and picked up picnic snacks, enjoyed nice views and gave a well deserved rest to our poor feet after all the walking : ) There are also few café’s on the island and a stage where seemed to be frequent activities during summer time. E.g. on one day local dancing school was presenting their courses and there was short shows all the way from pole dancing to traditional Irish river dance.
Museums / Places to visit:
4: Prague Castle is one of the top sightseeing in Prague and not without a reason. Castle forms a great view when looking it from distance, but additionally it’s interesting to pay a visit also inside the castle area. You can buy different combination tickets to the castle so it’s worth planning it a bit in advance to decide how much you want to go around. Combination ticket is also handy from the point of view that you can use it in two consecutive days in a row meaning that you don’t have to run around the whole area in one day if you don’t want to. We took the smaller combi-ticket which enabled us e.g. visit to the old castle, cathedral and “Golden Lane” –street. Out of these I think the Golden Lane was the most interesting one. It’s and old handicraft street inside the castle where you can visit inside the small apartments where people with different professions lived. Additionally it has large armor museum with some very interesting form and sculptures. In addition to these ticket-only areas, I recommend taking a walk in the part surrounding the castle which again has nice panoramic views to the old town.
5: Naruda –street is an old street that starts from the eastern end of the Prague Castle. This area is one of the oldest in Prague. Street if very picturesque and well preserved. The interesting fact on the street is that some of the buildings still have the old identifications of the houses. Before taking the numbering into use, houses were known by they names and the logos / pictures representing the name were e.g. painted on the house. It was fun to guess the names of different houses, e.g. Golden Horseshoe, Red Eagle, Three Little Fiddles etc. To read more about the house names and which house number they belong to, check e.g. this site.
6: Central square / Astronomic clock tower locates in the hearth of the old town and is with the Prague Castle one of the most known sightseeing. Area is very old and pretty so worth checking despite the tourist masses. It’s worth also to schedule your visit to even hour as that’s when the old clock rings and has a small puppet show. We though missed this one as the clock was under renovation. In addition to this square, I recommend walking around the hearth of the old town as it has plenty of atmospheric small streets and buildings.
7: Jewish cemetery is part of Jewish museum entity. Cemetery is very small are in the whole museum, but it’s something nicely different. In this small area there is literally thousands of gravestones placed on small area surrounded by green grass and trees. Time seems to be paused in this spot and the atmosphere is very calm and beautiful. With the same ticket you can also visit the museum which has some interesting cultural history.
8: Beatles memorial is a wall in Kampa Island painted fully with colorful graffiti. It has quotes of Beatles songs, pictures etc. It’s a nice place to take few artistic photos either with or without yourself in them : )
Shops / Activities
9: Cinnamon Cookie shop is a cute small shop in Kampa island. According to it’s name the shop is full of nicely decorated cookies. It also works as a cafe and in the backyard they have few chairs and tables to sit down on a sunny day. This works also very well as inspiration to the traditional cookie-decoration that we do every Christmas ; )
10: Renting a boat at Vltava was a nice activity during a warm afternoon. And when looking the queues we weren’t the only ones thinking that way! Along Vltava river there are few spots where you can rent the boats for an hour or two.
Finally a general tip when planning your days: there seems to be plenty of tourists in Prague (or at least was in the beginning of June) so I recommend preparing to queue in the main tourist attractions. Tip to avoid queuing is to head to the main attractions early in the morning as based on our experience there is mush less people during 8-10 in the morning compared to the rest of the day. For example arrived to the Prague castle 9am sharp when it opened and there was pretty much no one there. When we left the castle around 11am the queue was h u g e, I bet the last people in the queue must have had to wait 1-1,5 hours in order to get in. And that queue was only to get to the castle area – most likely they needed to wait immediately in another queue in order to buy the tickets!
So, this sums-up my tips to Prague! I will share some restaurant tips in another post as none of the above will be fun unless you don’t fuel yourself properly during the day ; )