The capital of the Czech Republic has been a popular tourist destination for many years, and no tourist comes back disappointed after visiting it.
The historic center, as well as some not really central attractions, are all kept in excellent condition. For this reason, even taking a simple walk through the streets of Prague means taking a little journey through time, between magic and everyday life, between history and architecture.
I have been to Prague several times, and yet I have not completely exhausted the list of things to see. For this reason, I highly recommend visiting it and perhaps admiring its lesser-known sides as well, moving away from the center, which is always very crowded.
Prague in a nutshell
The following is an interactive map. The blue pins mark some of the main points of interest in the city, and the other attractions are divided by topics and colors: religious buildings, parks, modern architecture, and museums. The railway station is marked with a black pin as a reference point. Zoom in to see the less central attractions.
Old Town (Staré Město)
The old town is almost certainly the first area of Prague you will see. It is the oldest part of the city after the Castle area, which was the first settlement and it is so full of attractions that I mention only a few.
Old Town City Hall and Astronomical Clock
The Old City Hall is a building that dates back to 1300 and is located in the most famous square in Prague: Old Town Square.
You can climb to the top of the Old City Hall Tower and enjoy a beautiful view of the city from above.
The whole area is full of historic buildings built in different styles, often frescoed and decorated. But the Astronomical Clock is unquestionably the best-known attraction around.
Church of Our Lady before Týn
Also located in the Old Town Square, the Church of St. Mary of Týn stands out for its grandeur over all the surrounding buildings. It was built in Gothic style, and it is second in importance only to St. Vitus Cathedral located in Prague Castle.
St. Nicholas Church
It is a Baroque church built in 1700, also located in the Old Town Square.
It is a very stylish Art Nouveau building now used as a concert hall.
It is one of the thirteen towers that separated the Old Town from the New Town. Its function is more monumental than defensive.
Bedřich Smetana Museum
It is a Renaissance-style building located directly on the Vltava and near the Charles Bridge. It is now used as a museum in honor of the great Czech composer.
It is a historic complex of buildings and today hosts the National Library of the Czech Republic.
New Town (Nové Město)
Built right next to the Old Town is the area of Prague, which dates back to the 1300s.
Also known as the Jerusalem Synagogue, it is located near the central station and the New Town.
It is worth seeing this Synagogue because it does not often happen to find this mix of Moorish (Islamic) architecture and Art Nouveau elements.
It is practically the hub of the new city and has the shape of a very long rectangle. All around there are many examples of Art Nouveau buildings (such as the Grand Hotel Europa), shops and clubs. On one side of the square, there is the equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas and the National Museum.
An impressive neo-renaissance style building recently restored and located right at one end of Wenceslas Square.
Head of Franz Kafka
A modern sculpture by the Czech artist David Cerny, which depicts the head of Kafka divided into 42 rotating steel layers. The idea behind it is to represent with this sculpture the inner torments of the writer.
Among the most famous modern buildings in Prague. It is located directly on the riverside and is so named for its shape, which vaguely resembles two dancers.
Built in the late 1800s in the Neo-Renaissance style, it is the most important Czech Opera House.
Jewish District (Josefov)
Old Jewish Cemetery
For the historical and cultural importance it holds, it is probably the symbol of the district.
Old New Synagogue
This synagogue dates back to 1200. It was built in the Gothic style and is one of the oldest in Europe.
It is the youngest of Prague’s synagogues and was built in the late 1800s in the Moorish (Islamic) style.
Lesser Town (Malá Strana)
Saint Nicholas Church
A baroque church built between 1600 and 1700.
It is the most famous stone bridge on the Vltava and connects the Old Town with the Lesser Town and the Castle. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Prague, here gather musicians, painters, street artists, vendors, etc.
The bridge is enriched along its entire length by a few dozen statues.
It is a Baroque palace dating back to 1600, which today houses the Senate of the Czech Republic.
Prague Castle is a fortified complex of buildings. It is the first settlement in the city and is now the residence of the President of the Czech Republic.
All the buildings have historical significance, and the complex as a whole is the largest castle in the world.
St. Vitus Cathedral
Built in Gothic style and visible from every corner of Prague, it is the symbol of the city.
The Golden Lane is a small street in Prague with a row of low colored houses. These were initially used as a residence for the guards of Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor.
Later, however, prestigious personalities such as Franz Kafka and finally a group of goldsmiths also settled here. From the latter, the road took the nickname Golden Lane.
It is said that even the alchemists who tried to produce the philosophers’ stone and elixirs for eternal life would live here. From these legends, the nickname of Prague magic city was born.
Other buildings and places of interest
This shortlist includes some attractions for architecture enthusiasts or for those who want to see something original outside the traditional tourist routes.
Church of Saint Ludmila
An imposing neo-Gothic church built in the late 1800s.
St. Wenceslas Church (Vršovice)
A beautiful example of constructivist architecture. It was built in 1930 for the thousandth anniversary of the death of the homonymous saint.
Žižkov Television Tower
An example of high-tech architecture or structural expressionism. It has among its peculiarities 10 sculptures of giant children who climb on it. You can go to the top and admire Prague from above.
Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord
This church was also planned and built around 1930 for the thousandth anniversary of the death of St. Wenceslas. It is worth admiring it closely, given its originality both as regards the interiors and the exteriors.
Vienna Insurance Group Building
A modern building with glass and colored external elements awarded as the best office building of 2012.
If you have extra time
The list of things to see in Prague is so big that it is really impossible to see everything in a few days.
This list includes some attractions that are partly outside the traditional tourist circuits but also unfortunately not very central. They are, therefore, difficult to reach if you have little time in the city.
A small Baroque garden located in the Lesser Town close to the Prague Castle.
Petřín Lookout Tower
It is a steel tower over 60 meters high located in the park on the Petřín Hill. It was built to remind with its shape to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The fortress is located a few km south of the center of Prague and is a building dating back to around the 10th century. Among other things, it hosts a monumental cemetery and the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul.
National Monument on Vítkov Hill
It is a brutalist-style memorial built at the end of the First World War in honor of the Czechoslovak legionnaires. The building now houses a museum, and from the hill, you can enjoy the view of Prague from above.
Functional District – Na Babě
Located considerably outside the center, it is maybe a gem only for architecture enthusiasts. It was built as an example of modern architecture that goes hand in hand with the times: single-family houses with different comforts, and designed for the middle class.
One of Adolf Loos’ architectural masterpieces. It embodies economy, modernity, and functionalism, and is another location for architecture enthusiasts.