It’s been a long, long time since I was in Prague, Czech Republic. I think it’s ten years ago by now. Even though it’s been that long, I do still have very fond memories of the Czech capital. It was one of those cities that completely blew me off my socks – just like Copenhagen did too, a year or two ago.
Historically, Prague was the capital of Bohemia, a former European country that’s now one of the three regions that make up the Czech Republic. Dissected by the stunning Vltava River that is crossed by many bridges, . It is often considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in east-central Europe, right up there with cities like Krakow, Vienna and Budapest. The entire historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although Prague is home to a plethora of historic landmarks and attractions, the following three stand out.
3 Top Prague Tourist Attractions
1. Prague Castle
Perched above the left bank of the Vltava River, Prague Castle is the city’s most popular attraction. It consists of an impressive series of palaces, towers and churches. Measuring 570 meters long and 130 meters wide, it’s so large that a visit easily takes up an entire day – the Guinness Book of Records states that it’s the world’s largest ancient castle.
Inside Prague Castle, there are an overwhelming number of separate landmarks. From the St. Vitus Cathedral and the St. George’s Basilica to the Royal Palace and the Golden Lane, visitors usually don’t know which place to visit first. The St. Vitus Cathedral is considered to be the highlight of Prague Castle by many, but that doesn’t mean that the rest should be skipped. Additionally, there are several museums and galleries as well. It’s really like a city within in city.
2. Charles Bridge
Probably one of the greatest places to go for a stroll in Prague, the Charles Bridge majestically crosses the river and connects the Lesser Town with the Old Town. The pedestrianized 621-meter-long bridge is lined with thirty statues and offers excellent views of the river, Prague Castle and the skyline of the Old Town.
Its popularity becomes undeniably obvious in the morning, when flocks of tourists start to arrive. By noon the bridge is overrun with visitors, thousands of them, who listen to street musicians, browse souvenir and food stalls, or simply enjoy the incredible atmosphere.
The best time to visit, however, is around dawn, when the area is mostly empty and peaceful, and the views are at their most scenic.
3. Old Town Square
After visiting massive Prague Castle and successfully negotiating the crowds at the Charles Bridge, the Old Town is the last of the three major Prague attractions. The square lies, as its name implies, in the heart of the Old Town. It is lined with absolutely gorgeous historic buildings in different architectural styles, from Gothic to Baroque. The buildings are all beautifully colorful.
In summer, many terraces of restaurants and bars line the square, creating a lively atmosphere. Besides the striking beauty of the buildings, the main highlights on the Old Town Square are the Tyn Church, the St. Nicholas Church and the world-famous Prague Astronomical Clock, which dates back to 1410 and is the oldest still working medieval astronomical clock in the world.