Prague – the city of a thousand spires. And for each and every spire, there are a thousand tourists craning necks and extending selfie sticks for that perfect proof-of-Prague memento. The Czech capital is without question a gorgeous place, hence the many foreign visitors. The cobblestone streets of Old Town ooze fairytale thanks to the many Renaissance and Baroque buildings still magically intact.
As the city’s clever neighborhood numbering system suggests, there are many other areas to explore than just Prague 1. There’s Prague 2, 3, 6, 7…the list goes on. Limiting yourself to the confines of the Old Town means you’ll have company, and lots of it. For those up for covering a wider area than just picture-perfect Old Town, here’s our hit list of the best sightseeing in Prague.
National Memorial on Vítkov
There seem to be many opportunities for a scenic view over Prague, but the one afforded by the National Memorial on Vítkov hill is one you can’t pass up. In addition to the killer outlook over Prague’s Karlín and Žižkov neighborhoods, the national memorial on Vítkov hill houses a fascinating exhibit on the history and formation of Czechoslovakia, marching through the national narrative of the Czech people. The monument can be accessed at any time, but for exhibit and observation deck opening times, check here.
U Památníku 1900, Praha 3
It’s hard to imagine any more foot traffic on the historic Charles Bridge than one finds during the everyday hustle and bustle of Prague sightseers crossing the Moldau. Although due to it being the only connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town up until the late nineteenth century, apparently the bridge has just always been the place to be. It’s still the natural connector between those two districts, so it’s relatively inevitable that you’ll end up crossing the bridge without going out of your way to see it. To really enjoy it though, we recommend early in the morning or later in the evening when crowds have thinned out.
Karlův most, Praha 1
Old Town Square
Essentially the center of Prague’s Old Town, one single stop here can knock off quite a bit of sightseeing from your list. There’s a pretty wide array of architecture represented – the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn, the Baroque St. Nicholas Church, and of course the collection of Rococo buildings lining the square. A climb up the Old Town Hall tower provides a nice view of the square and surrounding Old Town.
Staroměstské nám., Praha 1
Just over the river from Old Town to the north, the Letná district is one of Prague’s more alternative neighborhoods. The large Letná Park is a great opportunity for a break from the overly touristy stuff of Prague 1. Check out the Prague Metronome, a massive working timekeeper built to take the spot left vacant after the destruction of a giant statue of Stalin. Near that is the Letenský profil, a scenic overlook providing an incredible look down the Moldau and the various bridges that connect the city on both sides. When the weather is nice the Letná Park Beer Garden is an absolute must. Cold Czech beer – need we say more?
170 00 Praha 7
Žižkov Television Tower
Consistent with the intrusive style of Communist-era architecture, the Žižkov TV Tower stands in stark contrast with the rest of Prague’s old-world charm. The 216-meter structure can be seen from all over the city, and also provides a chance to see all of Prague in panorama.
Mahlerovy sady 1, Praha 3
In the Vršovice district of Prague 10, there’s an incredible park still showing signs of its fruitful past. Previously covering the park entirely, the historic Grébovka Vineyard is now contained to a hillside segment running from the park’s center to its eastern edge. It’s a beautiful place for enjoying warm days and provides plenty of spots throughout perfect for having a picnic. The park was inspired by the Italian Renaissance meaning there are various fountains and pavilions to be found – most notably the Grotta, an artificial cave that seems whimsically out of place against the colorful residences behind it.
Havlíčkovy sady, Praha 2
St. Vitus Cathedral
Located high on a hill across the river from central Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest church in the country, and as the seat of the Archbishop of Prague, it’s also the most significant. The Cathedral is a beautiful example of the Gothic architectural style and everything that goes along with it – ornate stained glass and high vaulted ceilings.
III. nádvoří 48/2, Praha 1