Best Sights and Attractions in Prague
What to see and do in Prague? The city is full of hidden treasures but easy to find when you know where to look for them. Prague is a compact city and most sights are within walking distance of each other. Add to this frequent, fast and cheap public transport which makes Prague a favourite city trip for many. Prices of meals and accommodation are very affordable. Many low cost airlines have Prague as one of their destinations.
City Trip Prague
The Vltava River flows like a satin ribbon through the heart of Prague. The whole city sparkles with Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. Prague Castle crowns the hill above the west bank; to the south is the 13th century Mala Strana or Lesser Quarter. When you have seen all the major sights in Prague, leave the crowd behind and discover some hidden treasures and remarkable sights.
Best Sights and Attractions in Prague
Charles Bridge connects the west and east banks. On the east bank is Josefov, the former Jewish quarter and today famous the Old Jewish Cemetery and its six Synagogues. South of Josefov is Staré Mĕsto or the Old Town with the illustrious astronomical clock on Old Town Square. Every hour, on the hour join the multitude of tourists and watch the spectacle. Death rings a bell, a procession of apostles pops out of one window. They nod at the tourists and disappear through another window. The cock crows. The hour strikes. Don’t wink because it’s over in one minute.
The centre of Nové Mĕsto or New Town is Wenceslas Square, not square at all but a wide bustling boulevard lined with 19th and early 20th century building. The eye catcher is the equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslas in front of the National Museum. Cafés, shops, and money-changers are all part of the scene. Stands with sizzling sausages and a hundred different sauces in bright red and yellow containers cater for the hungry. Wenceslas Square abounds in architectural splendour. Grand Hotel Evropa and its slim neighbour Hotel Meran at number 27 are the two most ornate buildings of the entire square and true Art Nouveau gems, but both are in need of restoration as their exteriors no longer sparkle in the afternoon sun. Wiehl House at number 34 is another architectural wonder with colourful murals, gables, turrets, an oriel window, and a belfry.
Main Train Station
Hlavni Nadrazi is the main train station at Wilsonova Avenue. The old terminal is no longer in use as a station and all station affairs are dealt with in the communist-style new block added in the 1970s. The former dome-shaped, richly decorated ticket hall is now a café. An Art Nouveau commemoration plaque in the station hall refers to the founding of the independent Czechoslovak Republic in November 1918.
Art Nouveau Statue
Art Nouveau Statue of Princess Libuse sits between two windows on the façade of numbers 22 – 24 in Karlova Street. The Princess was the first woman to rule Prague. She had visionary powers and foretold that the seven hills of Prague would develop into a beautiful city.
Miniature Museum, Strahovske Nadrovori 11, shows a collection of miniatures that can only be seen through a microscope. The star exhibit is a flea with gold horseshoes grasping a padlock, keys and a scissor in its tiny paw. Just imagine the scissors are 0.9 mm long.
Museum of Communism
The Museum of Communism, na Prikope 10, shows you a glimpse of the past. How oppression and fear were parts of daily life from the communist coup in 1948 until its collapse of communism in November 1989. The museum is divided into three rooms; the communist dream, reality and the nightmare. Fragments of daily life make the exhibition poignant: Russian letters on the blackboard, a grocery shop with empty shelves and the bright lamp in the interrogation room.
Petrin Look-out Tower
Petrin is a 318-m high hill, on the west bank of the Vltava River. At the top is Petrin Tower, a view tower built as a look-a-like of the Eiffel Tower but only one -fifth of its size. Wait for a clear day; the view is 299 steps up.
Zizkov Television Tower
The 216-m high television tower in the Zizkov district is clearly visible from Petřín. It is worth a closer look because several babies crawl along its facade and peep round corners. The tower is a 20-min walk from Wenceslas Square. Simply follow Vinohradska, a wide avenue with interesting architecture, turn left at Jiriho z Podebrad Square or take metro line A and get off at Jiriho z Podebrad metro station.
New Jewish Cemetery and Franz Kafka
The New Jewish Cemetery is close to metro station Zelivskeho, line A. Enter through the main gate and bear right, in front of the third gate is the grave of Franz Kafka. Return by tram 5 to the centre of Prague or walk back via Slezska, a street with architecturally interesting buildings that runs parallel to Vinohradska street.
One of the best places in Prague to sip a beer, have lunch or dinner is Hanavsky Pavilion in Letna Park, across Chechov Bridge at the end of Parizska street. Climb the stone stairs that lead to Letna Park and turn left at the huge metronome. This huge ever-moving construction was placed here in 1991 after the velvet revolution. The Hanavsky Pavilion was built for the Centennial Exhibition in 1891 and a true art nouveau gem. Sit under fragrantly smelling pine trees and take in the sweeping views of Prague and the Vltava River.