Prague is such a special place. The beautiful Gothic and Baroque architecture of Old Town and Lessor Town Prague wonderfully clash with the locals pouring out of a delicious Mexican restaurant in the city center, right across from the astronomical clock dating back to the 13th century. Prague is where history has its place and modern restaurants and night clubs have their place. This is what makes the city so attractive to a very young crowd and families a like.
Views not to miss:
The Patio at Terasa U Prince
From the patio of this restaurant you get a 360 degree view of the old town center including the clock tower, The Church of Our Lady before Tyn, the Prague Castle. We included this as our top view because it gives you a sweeping vantage point onto the square below where you can watch the hustle and bustle of people going by from a far with a drink. Make a reservation for this one and see our suggestions on the food below!
St. Nicholas Belfry
The St. Nicholas church in the Mala Strana neighborhood can be spotted in the Prague Skyline by the three turquoise spires. Personally, more impressive than paying to get into the church, is rounding the corner from the church entrance and climbing up the belfry for a fabulous view of Prague. We spent about 30 minutes here because it was such a peaceful escape from the bustling streets and the view was unbeatable. The entire time we were there, we only saw one other person.
Old Town Bridge Tower
Located right at the base of the Charles Bridge when walking from the Old Town, the entrance to this tower can be easily missed in the crowd of people passing by, but you don’t want to miss the view from the top! In the summer the tower is open from 10AM until 10PM daily, however they stop selling tickets 30 minutes before closing. Without knowing that we bought a ticket at 9:29PM and got to enjoy this night time view of the Vltava and Prague Castle without much crowd. If you want a night time view right before 9:30PM is a perfect time, if you want a day time view we would suggest going right around opening. On the opposite side of Charles Bridge, guarding entrance to the Lesser Town, is the similar looking Lesser Town Bridge Tower which can be visited as well.
Old Town Hall Tower
The Old Town Hall Tower is right in the Old Town Square and on the façade is the famous astronomical clock. In a city with so many towers, it is hard to decide how many to climb for a view. If it were up to me only, I would climb them all, but the view from the Old Town Hall Tower is similar to that of the view from Terasa U Prince so I would do one or the other.
Smetanovo Nábřeží Street
This is a stretch of road along the Vltava river starting south of the Charles Bridge which is a popular place to enjoy the transition of the Prague castle and the Charles Bridge from sunset to dusk. For a cheaper alternative to cocktails on a restaurant patio, grab a wine bottle at a nearby shop and just sit here and enjoy!
This is one of the most beautiful clocks I have ever seen. The turquoise blue and gold coloring shines vividly in the daylight catching your eye. If you look closely you will see not only a clock, but also a moon and a sun orbiting inside the clock, representing their positions in the sky. Below the clock in mostly gold is a calendar. If you are passing by on the hour, there are four figures on the clock which represent vanity, greed, death and lust and are set in motion on the hour. There is also a presentation of statues of the Apostles at the doorways above the clock.
Things to do:
You can’t go many places in Prague without seeing the Prague Castle perched atop the hill. So by the time you make it to the castle, you feel like you have already seen it all, but actually visiting the interior of the castle and all of the points of interest can be a full day event – if you want it to be. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance so lines can get long. As with most hot spots, we advise going early in the morning and knowing which type of ticket you want to purchase ahead of time. Also, if you are staying in Old Town Prague you will most likely walk across the Charles Bridge to Lessor Town on your way to the castle. From Lessor Town, two of the best and most scenic streets to get up to the Prague Castle are Nerudova and Thunovska.
Strahov Monastery and library
After you spent time seeing the Prague Castle, it is a good time to also visit the Strahov Monastery and library as they are on the same side of the river. Notably the monks have been brewing their own beer which you can enjoy outside in the beer garden on a nice day! Use the Uvoz street to descend from the Monastery back into Lessor Town Prague for gorgeous views!
Walk Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge connecting Lesser Town to the Old Town in Prague over the Vltava river is one of the most beautiful and iconic places in Prague. It is the oldest bridge in the city, built around the 15 century, and boasts statues of notable people from Prague’s history. The historical statues combined with the Gothic bridge towers on both ends makes the Charles Bridge a historical monument on its own. There is no better place in Prague for a walk in the evening or early in the morning.
Paddle boat on the Vltava
For a different and less pedestrian obstructed view of the Charles Bridge you can pay about 70 CZK for an hour long paddle boat rental and explore the waters along the Vltava on your own. We bought a couple of snacks and some champagne and waited till around sunset. Once in the paddle boat we queued up some music and had a nice, relaxing, romantic paddle boat ride under and around Charles Bridge, with great views of the Prague Castle at sunset. The paddle boats fit 4 adults comfortably if you choose to do this with friends. The rental place we used was all the way through the Restaurance Lavka out on the dock overlooking Charles Bridge. Just look for yellow paddle boats almost directly under the Charles Bridge, but if you find the Restaurance Lavka it should be somewhat self explanatory.
Stop for a wine and cheese break
There are many vinotékas, or wine shops, around Prague that you can stop into and order wines by the glass and a few bites to eat. We may have partaken in this activity a few times for lunch.
The Vrtba gardens are located in Lesser Town Prague and encompass three different terrace levels each on a steep slope which offers a new view of the city as you continue to climb. The gardens are immaculately manicured and are a sanctuary in a busy city. The last admission is 30 minutes before closing (7pm in the summer) which seemed to be a good time to visit as we saw few other people in the garden.
John Lennon Wall
The John Lennon wall is near to the Charles Bridge and right across from the French embassy building. This is only notable because the French Ambassador can be thanked for the existence of this wall today. Back in 1988 after Lennon’s death, portraits of John Lennon appeared on this wall but were quickly painted over after discovery. Every time the graffiti was removed, a new tribute appeared the next morning. It wasn’t until the French Ambassador supported the paintings that the graffiti remained. Today the wall represents respect for the legend of John Lennon as well as the triumph of creativity and self-expression in Prague.
Day trip to Český Krumlov
A day trip to Český Krumlov in the Bohemia region of Czech Republic with its gothic castle and panoramic views of the Renaissance-style city is definitely worth the 2 hour trip.
Where to Eat:
Terasa U Prince, Staroměstské nám. 29 – Rooftop restaurant
In Old Town Prague right near the Clock tower, this restaurant is located at the top floor of a hotel boasting a quaint patio overlooking the center of historic Prague. The food was not anything special, especially for the price in a relatively cheap city to dine out in; however, if you want to check out the view, make a reservation and have some cocktails and an appetizer / dessert right around sunset and you will be satisfied with your overall experience. There is also a bar on the ground floor which had a very cozy atmosphere!
Prague Medieval Tavern, Thunovská 184/20
This tavern sits smack dab on your way to or from the Prague Castle, which should definitely be on your list of places to visit while in Prague. Supposedly this is one of the oldest taverns in Prague (open since 1375), boasting visitors such as Mozart himself along with many others from different walks of life throughout the years. We stopped in primarily for a beer, and were enamored with how they managed to transform you back in time to the 14th century. We read review that the food is pretty good, but overall it just seems like a nice place to stop in for a beer and a bite and think about the countless others who have done the same throughout the years.
Café Savoy, Vítězná 124/5, Malá Strana, 150 00 Praha-Smíchov – Brunch
While we did not have the time to stop in and enjoy this place ourselves, it was at the top of our list for brunch spots in Prague. It sits just across the Legions Bridge from Old Town, and serves up cakes, omelettes, and different poached egg dishes such as a ham and gruyere open faced sandwich with a poached egg on top…yum!
Las Adelitas, 457/13 Prag 1 Praha – Mexican Restaurant
Yes, this is still the blog for Prague, and yes this is a Mexican restaurant. However, this place came as a suggestion from another South Texan friend whom lived in Prague for a couple of years, and when you have been missing some good Tex-Mex abroad this is your spot. We thoroughly enjoyed some nachos, enchiladas, and most of all, they have a tasty margarita. While feasting on what definitely has been our best Mexican food experience in Europe, we overheard that the main chef was originally from Mexico, which judging by the quality, I wouldn’t doubt. There are 3 locations around Prague to find a Las Adelitas, but we ate at the one nearest the Clock Tower in Old Town.
Kitchen Ramen Bar, října 375/9, 110 00 Můstek
We visited this quirky little place before a night out with some friends. It’s near to the Mustek station at the heart of Old Town, thus very easy to pop in and indulge yourself in some noodles before a night out on the town. This place is part of an initiative called The Address Idea, which basically seems to be an idea to do a lot of the same (ie clothing, food, etc) in a different way. I can say we enjoyed very much the space of the restaurant and overall atmosphere, so maybe they are onto something.
Beer Geek, Vinohradská 988/62, 130 00 Žižkov – Beer and wings
If you find yourself venturing a bit outside of the city center/Old Town, look this place up. It is near a tram stop only a few minutes from Old Town so maybe even make it a reason to go out of your way and explore a new neighborhood. All you need to know about this place is pivo (Czech word for beer, very important) and wings, they do both fantasticly. Choose your brew, choose your sauce, and have a great time. It can get a bit crowded later in the evening, but if you don’t mind that sort of thing go for it. An additional note, there is a BeerGeek Pivoteka, which is basically a beer store for BeerGeek beers, so if you accidently go here (or on purpose), don’t worry you are just around the corner from the BeerGeek bar/restaurant.