Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and one of the top ten visited cities in Europe among London, Paris and Amsterdam. Alluring architecture, countless attractions, nightlife, and Czech beer are what invite people the most. No wonder, before the pandemic, over 8 million tourists visited Prague yearly without a doubt for its closeness to history, culture, and maybe a bit of unpredictability. Unfortunately, Prague with its 22 districts and 500 square meters is impossible to sightsee all at once. I’m pretty sure each and every district hides some real gems to discover, but this time let’s focus on things to do over the weekend.
One of the biggest castle complexes in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site with palaces, church towers, and beautiful gardens. Avoided by locals, beloved by tourists. During the peak season, it’s better to get up with a lark, take a solitary walk, and cherish the different architectural styles before everyone else turns up.
The oldest preserved Prague bridge from the XIV century, which connects Lesser Town (Mala Strana) and Old Town (Stare Mesto). It’s decorated with 30 sculptures of saints. The first one to stand on the bridge was Jan Nepomuk. The bridge is 9,5 meter wide, but it’s still not enough for all the tourists fighting their way through.
OLD TOWN SQUARE
And last but not least the most significant and the oldest square in Prague – The Old Town Square. It’s full of diversity and colours: Baroque Church of St Nicholas, the Rococo Kinský Palace, the Gothic House at the Stone Bell and the monument to Jan Hus. Everyone visiting Prague are also eager to take a look at the mysterious Astronomical Clock, so-called Orloj. It does make an impression, it’s situated on the Town Hall Tower, again one of the symbols of the city. During Christmas or Easter time, the Old Town Square is filled with stalls nestled around the Jan Hus statue. It’s so filled with people; you can barely walk there. But it doesn’t surprise me. Christmas markets in Prague belong to the most popular markets of their kind in Europe.
On the other side of the Legii or Jiraskuv bridge, you’ll find a Petrin hill. In order to get on top of the hill you may either take a stroll or use funicular, which in addition is quite a memorable experience. The ride again is included in the standard public transportation system. On top of the hill, you’ll feel like you were not transported half a kilometre, but to a completely different city. Away from the crowd, from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. To an oasis with a panoramic view of Prague, to a romantic garden, where you can forget about all the worries, and finally to the labyrinth, where you can lose yourself metaphorically speaking.
On your way down from the Petrin hill go through Kampa Island – by some claimed the most picturesque place in Prague. This island is a fantastic place for a summer picnic or for a break from sightseeing. Quite a famous restaurant there: Altany Kampa, although not my style, it does look inviting.
A walk by the Vltava River gives you a sense of peacefulness in the busy streets of Prague. Walk down the stairs to be closer. Look around to get a completely new perspective of the city. You can even take a ferry boat to travel from one point to another for a reasonable price – as a way of commuting with Prague Integrated Transport. Timetable and available routes here
Along the Vltava River in directions to Vysehrad you may spot a modern and dynamic building called Dancing House. It represents famous dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair, where the leaning glass building is a female and the stone tower is a male. It’s built in the years of 1992-1996 in cooperation with architects Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry. These days it houses a restaurant with an astonishing view, hotel, and gallery.
Only a few trams stop from Jiraskovo Square, where the dancing house is laid yet another old castle. Vysehrad overlooks the city from the high hill above the Vltava River. The dark silhouette of the two towers is an integral part of the Prague landscape. This place is very popular for its panoramic views of the city. Walking around the castle you may come across different architectonic styles like the unique Romanesque Rotunda of St Martin, the neo-Gothic Church of St. Peter and Paul, and the underground casements housing some of the original Baroque statues from the Charles Bridge.
It’s pretty amazing to see it. Metro station is called Vysehrad and the closest tram stop is Ostrcilovo Square.
TV TOWER ZIZKOV
When in Prague you cannot miss the infamous Zizkov Tower in Mahler gardens in the district of Zizkov. I admit, it’s a bit off the standard tourists’ route, but it’s so unbelievable you need to see it.
The tower, which belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers is the tallest building in Prague, it’s 216 meters high. Funny, it’s also declared one of the ugliest buildings in the World. It’s all because of the crawling babies. 10 enormous babies climbing up and down the tower, were initially just a temporary feature. But they stayed till this very day.
The TV tower serves as an observation tower, restaurant, and luxurious one-room hotel. The observatory platforms lay 93 meters above the ground and provide a one-of-a-kind view of the city and surroundings. With good visibility, you may see up to a distance of 100 km.
Inside you may find one platform with bubble chairs for relaxation, another with all the significant towers in the world, and another one, which is a gallery.
It’s Metro Station: Jiriho z Podebrad or Tram, stop with the same name. Another closely: Olsanske Square.
Prague is scattered around with different kinds of accommodation. Cheap budget hostels, cozy B&B, rooms for rent, expensive hotels, or luxurious apartments. Just enough to satisfy everyone. We stayed at the Novotel Praha Wenceslas Square, which is somewhere between all above. After a draining day full of walking, we got to go to the wellness centre to relax. The next day, after a delicious breakfast in the hotel, we were ready for another adventure.
IS THIS THE END?
The itinerary is pretty packed, but I’m sure you get the chance to grab a coffee in the city, take a moment and just stare at the walkers-by. If you feel like there’s more to see draw inspiration from this post.