Visiting Prague – A City Guide
With its cobble-stoned streets and squares, romantic hilltop castle and charming River Vltava, Prague is a scenic, vibrant city full of panoramic views and hidden corners to discover. This historic city is celebrated for its hearty cuisine, world-famous beer and diverse, lively nightlife.
Prague: city layout
At Prague’s heart is the Old Town (Stare Mesto), and tourists flock to its square for open-air dining, horse-drawn carriages and Gothic buildings.
The River Vltava winds its way through the city, carving it in two, leaving charming bridges to cross the divide. The most noteworthy of these is the 14th-century Charles Bridge, which connects the Old Town with Little Quarter (Malá Strana), a peaceful neighbourhood full of gardens, churches and palaces to explore.
New Town (Nove Mesto) is the most modern neighbourhood in Prague’s historic centre. Built around bustling Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí), it’s where you’ll find plenty of places to eat, drink and shop.
Making memories in picturesque Prague
Prague’s aesthetic makes it an ideal place to explore on foot. Take a stroll along the river, through the Old Town’s narrow, winding streets or explore vast, leafy Letná Park, which offers excellent views across the city’s red-tiled rooftops. You can even cruise down the river on a boat while enjoying live music and a delicious meal.
Known as “the city of a hundred spires”, there are many exquisite buildings to discover – from Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral in Hradčany to Prague City Hall with its Astronomical Clock, which draws large crowds to the Old Town Square every hour when it chimes.
The concierge recommends…
Hotels in Prague
Prague’s historical centre is a lively place to stay, but if you want to know what life is like for the locals, try a few subway stops out of the city. Prices are lower and streets are quieter.
Prague’s Stare Mesto is a vibrant district centred around the Old Town Square, where you’ll find outdoor markets and dining, and medieval buildings. The city’s main attractions are right on your doorstep. Staroměstská subway station is a short stroll away.
Vysehrad is a peaceful, historical neighbourhood away from crowds. There’s a medieval castle, which offers tranquil gardens and a graveyard to explore, plus views of the city and river.
Nove Mesto is a buzzing part of Prague with Wenceslas Square at its heart. National Museum of Prague, the country’s oldest museum, plus a wide range of shops, bars and restaurants for all budgets are here.
Eating Out in Prague
Prague visitors can taste hearty Czech cuisine – such as bread dumplings, fried cheese or garlic soup – or enjoy other dishes from around the world, as far flung as Brazil, India or the US. Regardless of what you’re seeking, you’ll find it Prague.
Prague’s Old Town is the tourist heartland, where you’ll find elegant alfresco dining and a wide range of international cuisine. In its main square, you can expect to pay a little more for the ambiance. Wenceslas Square, on the other hand, has fast food and budget bites.
If you want traditional Czech cuisine, we recommend you do as the locals do, and look beyond venues aimed squarely at tourists. Lokal is one such place in Old Town, serving Czech food with a modern twist, plus superb beer. Alternatively, jump on the subway and head away from the inner-city tourist trails. Vegetarians can try Clear Head (Lehká hlava) in the Old Town, which has inventive dishes in quirky surrounds.
A foodie movement is growing in Prague, with delis, espresso bars and restaurants offering international cuisine popping up all over the city.
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Shopping in Prague
Prague offers a range of shopping experiences, from small boutiques in the Old Town selling Bohemia crystal, souvenirs and designer goods to large, modern shopping centres. You can explore outdoor craft and food markets, as well as Wenceslas Square’s busy shops and restaurants.
Prague also has major shopping complexes near the historical centre. The largest is Palladium, a smart, modern centre with 200 shops, bars and restaurants to discover. If you’re after a new outfit, Myslbek and Černá Růže are virtually next door to each other, and have several fashion stores where you can browse and buy.
Wenceslas Square has large chain stores – like Marks & Spencer, Zara and H&M – fast food retailers and banks.
Pařížská Street in Old Town is lined with luxury – international boutiques including brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Christian Dior.
Interesting shopping trips
Culture & Nightlife in Prague
For a city famous for its beer, it should come as no surprise that Prague’s nightlife is vibrant and varied. Many of its museums, galleries and historical buildings offer free admission certain days each month.
Czechs drink more beer per capita than any other nation, and you’ll find lively bars and beer gardens dotted all around the city. Riegrovy Sady and Letná Beer Gardens are two of the city’s finest.
Prague hosts a diverse range of museums, exploring everything from Jewish and Communist history to torture and decorative arts. The Old Town has the city’s highest concentration of museums. The National Museum of Prague over at Wenceslas Square is worth a look just for its architectural value.
Prague is a popular destination for partygoers, with Mustek, Petrská čtvrť and Old Town being key destinations for bars and nightclubs.
Unique cultural experiences
Visiting Prague with a Family
With a wide range of theatres, museums and fun outdoor activities, Prague is a magnet for families. Sightseeing in the Old Town can sometimes involve a lot of walking, sometimes difficult for young children. Thankfully kids can take a break at a number of parks and playgrounds.
Rest your legs and enjoy the views by riding the funicular train up Petřín Hill. Once at the top, you can go even higher with a visit to the Petřín Observation Tower, which also has relaxing gardens and a fun mirror maze. Children can ride a pony, too!
The Toy Museum at Prague Castle is the world’s second-largest toy exhibition – well worth a look, as it contains an impressive Barbie doll collection, Star Wars figurines and teddy bears.
Fancy a day at the beach? In summer months, part of Prague’s riverbank turns into Vltava Beach, with sand, deckchairs, a swimming pool and a children’s playground.
Fun family days out