Prague is the gorgeous capital city of the Czech Republic, often called “city of a hundred spires”. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful cities we have explored. As David says “there’s not an ugly street anywhere” – referring to the historic center (UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites) that basically expands from the Viltava River to the Old Town Square and up the hill to Prague Castle. Easily walk to all the major sites. Our visit was a “extension” of our Danube River Cruise. We stayed at the InterContinental Prague Hotel at a prime location to walk to all below.
The Old Town Square is the heartbeat of the historic section, with the Old Town Hall. Many streets lined with beautiful buildings intersect at the square.
On the side of Old Town Hall is the famous 1410 Astronomical Clock where crowds gather for its hourly show. Be sure to climb the tower for the best views!
Looking down on the Royal Way from the Old Town Hall Tower.
We loved visiting the Old Town Square multiple times – including peaceful mornings to the bustling afternoons with plenty of street entertainers.
From the Old Town Square, walk The Royal Way to Prague Castle (about a mile), crossing the Charles Bridge. It’s the traditional coronation route of Czech kings.
Completed in 1402, the pedestrian-only Charles Bridge is lined with statues and city views.
The Charles Bridge is a gathering spot. The 30 statues along the bridge are replicas of the originals from 1700.
St Vitus Cathedral inside the Prague Castle complex took 600 years to complete, starting in 1344!
St Vitus is open every day to visit – except for times of mass and other services.
Looking from the tower of St Vitus Cathedral toward Charles Bridge.
Looking down at the enormous Prague Castle from the St Vitus tower.
Meandering is the way to experience Prague!
Especially for lunch, we sought out markets and festivals to sample local fare and chat with local vendors. This was the Italian Festival.
Stop to smell the roses along the walk up to Prague Castle and nearby parks – including the Royal Garden. Letna Park covers a hilltop across the river, home to the Prague Metronome and lots of nice views over the city.
Trying the Trdelník pastry is a must! The rolled dough is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with a sugar and walnut mix – sometimes filled with chocolate or ice cream. As you walk the streets, be sure to admire the artistry of the mosaic sidewalks throughout the city.
A tour of Prague’s Jewish Quarter (Josefov) is highly recommended. Dating back to the 10th century, the Jewish ghetto has a horrible history of persecution and death through the resignation of the Communist party leadership in November 1989. This is the Spanish Synagogue.
Old Jewish Cemetery dates back to the 15th century with an estimated 100,000 people buried there, with bodies stacked up to 12 deep. Much of the Quarter was demolished in the early 1900s, but some of the most historic buildings remain – including six synagogues, Old Jewish Town Hall and cemetery. At the start of World War II, more than 92,000 Jews lived in Prague. At least two-thirds were killed during the Holocaust. After, many of the remaining Jews fled to escape the Communist Party leaders that took control. Today, only about 5,000 Jews live in Prague.
There’s certainly no shortage of great restaurants in Prague!