Updated: Jul 10, 2019
A city where beer is cheaper than water...literally. It has survived wars, invasions, floods and fires, proving time and time again it’s resilient, passionate and culturally equivalent to its neighbors to the west.
Set on the Vltava River, Prague is the 5th most visited city in Europe and the 14th largest city in the European Union. It contains the world’s most pristine collections of architecture from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras.
Prague is an excellent walking city, so stumbling upon one of these beautiful buildings is quite easy. Whether you hire a local guide or wander the cobbled stone lanes, the architecture will not disappoint.
And what should you do in Prague, you ask? Here are my essential Prague things to do:
1. Charles Bridge
This iconic bridge was built in 1402 and has since served as the link between Prague Castle and Old Town Prague. The bridge is one of the most visited sites in the city, so to avoid crowds, go early in the morning or very late at night.
2. Old Town Square
This square is always full of tourists, street performers and vendors as it’s in the center of the Old Town quarter of Prague. There are loads of restaurants surrounding the square where you can grab a bite to eat and a lovely Czech Pilsner.
3. Prague Castle
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this is the largest ancient castle fortress in the world. You can easily wander the grounds for a couple of hours admiring the palaces and buildings and stunning gardens. The castle complex is easily accessible by public transportation. The easiest and most convenient way is to take tram No. 22 to stop Pražský hrad, turn left and within 5 minutes you will arrive at the 2nd courtyard of Prague Castle.
4. St. Vitus Cathedral
Enclosed within the Prague Castle complex, this impressive cathedral is the largest and most important religious institution in Prague. Coronations of kings and queens have taken place here and it’s the burial place of patron saints, noblemen and archbishops. The stain glass windows are quite the vision and I highly recommend walking around the cathedral grounds taking in the splendor of the Neo-Gothic architecture.
5. Jewish Quarter
Josefov as it’s often called, is surrounded by the Old Town square. The quarter is worth a visit because it contains the Jewish Museum, the oldest Jewish Museum in Europe, the Old-New Synagogue, the oldest, most active synagogue in Europe, and the Jewish Cemetery, a layered cemetery with 12,000 markers.
6. Prague Astronomical Clock
Over 600 years old, located in the Old Town Square, this clock puts on a little show every hour of the day from 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM. Groups of people gather in front of the clock tower to view the Twelve Apostles complete their rotation by peeking out the windows. Below them, a skeleton, the miser, vanity and The Turk all come out of their windows to nod at each other.
7. Black Angels Bar
If you are looking for a sophisticated experience with timeless drinks, then you will want to check this cocktail bar out. Located in the stone vaulted basement of the hotel U Prince, this 1930’s speakeasy beckons you to come in and enjoy drinks from another era. However, there are a few rules to adhere to before you enter this establishment. First, you need a reservation – this not a typical bar where you can sit on a barstool and strike a conversation with the bartenders and order a drink. You will need to check-in with the hostess and she will show you to your table. Then you are given the rules of the bar – no photography, no speaking to other bar patrons, no hats and you can’t bring in outside food or drinks. If you break any of these rules, you will be asked to leave. After, you have confirmed your understanding of the rules, you are given a large leather-bound drink menu. It can take a while to read through the whole menu as every drink has an accompanying story of how it’s made, who originally created the drink, what the creator was thinking, etc.
8. Hemingway Bar
Another great choice if you are looking for a nice place to have quality made cocktails. This bar excels in making creative drinks using interesting drinking vessels. Each drink is expertly crafted with care and precision. This is another bar that has a set of rules to adhere to or you will asked to leave.
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