Prague is renowned as a city of culture and refinement — so much so that it can be easy to feel almost overwhelmed by the possibilities that await you, with thousands of years of history and refinement offering a stunning stock of world-famous sites. On the other hand, Prague is also a city of vibrant confidence, with cutting-edge music, art, and architecture. Here is our overview of ten of the highlights — from well-known to obscure, and with a couple of hidden gems snuck in along the way.
Let’s start with the obvious — the medieval treasure that is the Charles Bridge. This stone bridge is now into its seventh century of continuous use, having first been opened to the public in 1402. It has seen the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires, and its famous rows of baroque statues still welcome city-walking flâneurs to this day. It is well worth a trip at sunset — or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, at sunrise — to see a truly stunning view of the city.
Letna Beer Garden
We can’t talk about Prague without mentioning beer. The arguments over which beer is the perfect Pilsener are eternal — and where better to give your opinion on it all than at the Letna Beer Garden, high above the old town of Prague. The views down into the city are stunning, and the beer garden stays open from mid-spring right through the summer into late autumn, with outdoor tables shaded by chestnut trees. Best accompanied by traditional central-European sausages and bread, but there are plenty of other food and drink options available alongside the old reliables.
Cafe V Lese
Prague has a famously energetic cafe culture, and there are dozens of great options dotted throughout the city centre. Among these, Café V lese (“The Café in the Woods”) is absolutely worth a look. Fitted out in a retro 1970s style, the cafe is like a portal into another dimension. And it’s more than just a place for a coffee — they open late and keep a range of offerings from Czech microbreweries on tap. The rear rooms of the café also host concerts from local and touring musicians, along with occasional forays into theatre, design, contemporary visual art, and more. Definitely worth seeking out among all the other temptations that Prague offers.
City-centre tram ride
Some of the best attractions remain the simplest. Get a window seat on one of the central trams and gawk at the streets as you trundle along. Or maybe have your phone at the ready — Prague is an absurdly Instagrammable city.
The Astronomical Clock
Yes, this is the one that everyone tells you to go and see — but there’s a reason for that. The astronomical clock on the old town square has been marking time in the centre of Prague in its unique style for six hundred years. Every hour, the clock marks the time with a procession of statues of the apostles, and a series of lesser statues of figures representing life and death, all accompanied by turning rings representing the paths of the earth, moon, sun, and stars. The clock has been in place for so long that parts of its story are shrouded in mystery and folklore — for example, the legend Master Hanuš, the reputed original maker of the clock, was blinded so that he could never again produce an object so beautiful. Don’t miss it!
Vltava river cruise
Once you’re done with the wonders of the old town, there’s nothing quite as soothing as seeing the city centre slip past from the window of one of the many cruise-boats that take passengers along the Vltava. The Prague skyline looks utterly captivating from the water, so make sure to put aside a few hours for this unforgettable experience.
Franz Kafka Museum
Take a while to slip into the strange world of one of Prague’s most famous literary sons. In a time when it can often seem like everything in our lives is becoming more bizarre and, yes, kafkaesque, it’s worth checking in with the original to get a sense of his unique absurdity.
The Lennon Wall
The Lennon wall is both a musical and cultural artefact — and also a political one. The wall is covered with quotations from the late Beatle, and when it first emerged in 1980, it was suppressed by the then-communist government. It remains a site of social commentary today — most recently featuring a climate-change mural painted by the Czech branch of Extinction Rebellion. A fascinating work of communal folk-art.
The Museum of Alchemists
The Museum of Alchemists draws deeply on Prague’s reputation as a centre of medieval mysticism, courtly intrigues, and early science. Go and take in the dark side of Prague’s history, with alchemists, sorcerers, and occultists from a thousand years of magic and experimentation.
If you’re a walker, Prague will certainly keep you busy. Among European cities, perhaps only Lisbon is hillier. But this also means that the city’s hilltops offer incredible views, and the Petrin Hill, with its lookout tower at the top, is one of the most impressive of all.
We hope you enjoy your time in Prague. Sixt has five locations in Prague, so it’s always quick and easy to hire a car. Be sure to take a look at Sixt for all your transport needs.