Friday, July 12, 2024

Prague – History, Architecture and More

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On our minds Prague is among the most spectacular cities in the world. And as such, there are a ton of amazing things to see and to do in Prague.

We have seen many a city, and few of them have left as large an impact on us as the “City of 100 Spires”. While most people associate Prague with stunning views of Prague Castle, or walking across the historic stones of the gorgeous Charles Bridge, beautiful architecture is not the only thing the capital of the Czech Republic offers.

Prague possesses a wildly eclectic mix of history, culture, ambiance, nightlife, beauty (both man-made and natural) and affordability that sets it apart from any other city we have ever spent a substantial amount of time in. Lovers of amazing architecture, green parks, historical ambiance, delicious beer, and incredible Gothic skylines will fall in love and find countless of things to do in Prague.

Things to Do in Prague

Explore Prague Castle

Prague’s most popular attraction. Looming above the Vltava’s left bank, its serried ranks of spires, towers and palaces dominate the city centre like a fairy-tale fortress. Within its walls lies a varied and fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries that are home to some of the Czech Republic’s greatest artistic and cultural treasures. Note that visitors must pass through a security check before entering the grounds, so bring your passport or EU identification card.

According to the Guinness World Records, it’s the largest ancient castle complex in the world: 570m long, an average of 128m wide and covering a total area bigger than seven football fields.

The castle has always been the seat of Czech monarchs as well as the official residence of the head of state. Its history begins in the 9th century, when Prince Bořivoj founded a fortified settlement here. It grew haphazardly as rulers made their own additions – there have been four major reconstructions, from that of Prince Soběslav in the 12th century to a classical facelift under Empress Maria Theresa (r 1740–80) – creating an eclectic mixture of architectural styles.

There are three main kinds of tickets (A, B, C; each valid for two days), which allow entry to different combinations of sights. Most short-term visitors will be satisfied with the reduced-price option B, which includes the major highlights. You can buy tickets and English-language audioguides (350Kč) at either of two information centres in the Second and Third Courtyards, or from ticket offices at the entrances to all the main sights.

Explore Old Town Square


Prague’s Old Town Square is one of the most spectacular squares in Europe (it’s probably also one of the few that are actually shaped like a square, but that’s neither here nor there).

The square has seen centuries of history with some of its Gothic buildings dating back to the 14th century. This impressive square managed to survive World War II mostly unscathed, which is rare for European cities, but for which we can all be thankful. Parts of it are so well preserved you might wonder if you took a step back in time.

During high season and the winter holidays the Old Town Square is crowded and festive, catering mostly to tourists. If you’re traveling on a budget in Prague don’t eat here as the restaurants are predictably over priced. Instead sip on a beverage purchased elsewhere, and take in the incredible architecture and ambiance of the city center.

The Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square


The Old Town Hall Tower, constructed in the early 1400’s, sits imposingly in the middle of the square. The tower is among the highest in the Old Town and houses one of Prague’s most identifiable icons, the Astronomical Clock.

Dozens of tourists flock to the clock every hour on the hour to see the mechanical relic put on a small show. We can honestly say that sticking around for the dancing mechanical dolls is not really worth your time, if you are in a rush to discover the city, but it’s an amusing sight to see once in your life.

You can ascend to the top of the Old Town Hall tower, which houses the Astronomical clock, for around 250 Kč. That price is a bit more expensive than other landmarks in Prague but it’s worth the price of admission, so make sure you pay the fee and go.

Letna Park River Views

Like a delicious pastry (which the city is full of), Prague is easy on the eyes and leaves you wanting more. Head to Letenske Sady (Letna Park) for a unique view of the River Vltava and all of its bridges.

Perched above the city on a hilltop in a tranquil park you can snap as many incredible pictures of Prague as your heart desires. Just be sure to go when the weather is nice to capture the city in all of its glory.

Letna Park is also home to one of the best beer gardens in Prague, aptly named the Letna Beer Garden. You can chill out here for hours, sipping on fine Czech beers, eating greasy Czech street food, and taking in the stunning views of the city. This is, without a doubt, one of the best places to enjoy a beer on a nice day in Prague, so make sure to put this on your list of things to do!

Stroll Around Wallenstein Garden

Wallenstein Garden (Valdštejnská zahrada in Czech) is a fabulous Baroque masterpiece situated near the base of Prague Castle. It is not the most secluded and serene of the many gardens and parks in the neighborhood, but it is definitely one of the more stunning parks in Mala Strana, Prague.

While Wallenstein Garden is worth visiting for the views of Prague Castle alone, the park is also home to Wallenstein Palace, a serene Koi pond, and some really sweet statues. All of that combined makes this garden/park a beautiful and tranquil place to leisurely stroll through.

And oh yeah, the garden is home to a couple of white peacocks. These magnificent birds stroll around as if they own the place, and in a way, they do!  As always, please don’t feed or touch the animals, and enjoy the incredible beauty of this wondrous garden!

Note – Wallenstein Garden is closed between mid October and early April, so only those visiting in the Spring, Summer, and early Fall will get a chance to experience this awesome gem of a garden!

Have a Czech Beer. Or Three.


The Czech Republic has the highest per capita consumption of beer in the world. The country has an absolute love affair with beer. And why not? They make damn fine brews.

Prague offers so many opportunities to sit down and have a cheap cold pivo (Czech for beer) that anyone visiting would be remiss not to try at least a pint. Find yourself a nice spot with a good view, either by the river or in a square somewhere and order one of Prague’s many world renown beers.


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