16 Unique & Fun Things to do in Prague (for First Timers!)

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As a city that’s home to beer cheaper than water, red rooftops mixed with epic spires, and an Old Town where ‘fairytale’ feels like a woeful understatement, it should come as no surprise that I fell fast and hard for the Czech capital of Prague.

In fact, on my first backpacking trip around Europe, I quickly named it one of my favourite cities in the world. A dramatic declaration only partially influenced by the vats of local Pilsner that soon made up half my body weight.

Three additional visits later, I still consider Prague one of the most impressive cities that Europe has to offer… so long as you know where to look!

After all, Prague’s charms are hardly a secret these days, manifesting in a disarmingly pretty city filled with tourist traps, sketchy absinth shops, and more of your fellow tourists than you ever thought possible… but learn to navigate the city smartly and you’ll discover a vibrant and exciting capital filled with cool hidden gems, endless views and history aplenty.

So what is actually worth doing in Prague? 

In this post, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite things to do in the historic Czech capital, from bizarre art pieces and awe-inspiring libraries to more beautiful architecture than any eyeball can handle. I hope you find it helpful!

Save this list of Things to Do in Prague for Later!

You’ll be very glad you did.

My Free Map of Things to Do in Prague

For a free map that includes all the activities below (plus recommendations for food, drink, etc.), head to my VIP Zone!

1. Explore Prague’s Old Town

Alright, let’s get a big Prague must-do out of the way…

No visit to the Czech capital is complete without a frolic in the Old Town, the most beautiful yet touristy part of the city.

Though often teeming with crowds, tourist traps, and weird irrelevant attractions like pirate candy shops and spas where fish nip at your feet, Prague has over 1000 years of history to immerse yourself in, and the Old Town is an excellent place to start. After all, it was here as early as the 9th century that craftsmen and merchants began to settle in and build the place up, efforts that would (over a millenium later) culminate in one of the most beautiful historic centres on the continent!

But where should you start? Well, the most famous square in Prague is no doubt Old Town Square, a nice place to start your sightseeing tour (preferably first thing in the morning because it can get so busy here). Highlights include…

  • A visit to the imposing Old Town Hall building, which you can explore with a tour, or through a climb to the top, where you can drool over amazing views of the city
  • The iconic Týn Cathedral and St Nicholas Church
  • Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock, the oldest functioning one in the world, originally placed here in the year 1410

NOTE: This clock is definitely beautiful, though it’s always packed at the hourly mark because of the free show featuring moving figures that takes place. I’d say to not get your hopes up for this because it’s honestly very short and not the most exciting, but the clock itself is definitely worth seeing!

ANOTHER NOTE: While Old Town Square is very nice to admire, do beware that this is tourist central when it comes to Prague, so there are a lot of tourist traps to avoid, including street food vendors that show prices based on 100g servings, making it very easy to overpay by accident depending on the quantity they serve you, so beware of vendors here and always read reviews in advance.

Another place in Prague’s Old Town is the infamous Karlova Street, which is known for its concentration of tourist traps and tacky absinth shops. Given its ideal location connecting Old Town Square and Charles Bridge, most tourists inevitably find themselves bumbling along here, but I’d advise a swift strut though and nothing more, given that there are much nicer places to see.

In Old Town specifically, some spots I can recommend checking out include…

  • The Jewish Quarter: Home to a number of beautiful synagogues, including the stunning Spanish Synagogue and the Old-New synagogue which is the oldest functioning one in Europe
  • The Powder Tower: Completed in 1475, named for its previous function as a gunpowder store… though today it’s mainly a photo opp and viewing platform!
  • The House of the Black Madonna: A beautiful cubist building that’s home to a swanky cafe and a cool stairwell shaped like a lightbulb
  • The Klementinum: Home to one of the most beautiful libraries in the world… though sadly you can only admire it from afar as visitors aren’t allowed to step foot inside and you don’t get to see much. The views here are nice, but be sure to book in advance as this is a very popular spot!
  • The Municipal Library of Prague: Home to another hidden gem turned viral hotspot, this infinite book tower made of over 8000 books and is free to see… though be warned that mirrors are cleverly used to get this cool infinity effect, so there aren’t as many books as you might expect.
House of the Black Madonna stairwell

2 Walk across Charles Bridge

Next, there’s the world-famous Charles Bridge, a stunning 14th century stone bridge lined with 75 statues… and about 100x more people.

Just kidding! Partially.

It doesn’t take long to realize why this bridge is one of the city’s most visited attractions. From here, you can see some of the Prague’s most iconic views, as well as plenty of artists, musicians, aaaand your fellow tourist brethren. Inevitably, you’ll cross this bridge when in Prague, but getting here early is key to enjoying it properly without crowds.

Come at sunrise and it’ll be just you and some keen wedding photographers. Trust me when I say it’s worth it!

NOTE: If you’re a fan of views, there’s also the Old Town Bridge Tower here which offers a maddeningly beautiful perspective… but honestly it gets SO crowded that I can’t really recommend it at busy times like sunset which is when I went, since you’re practically stepping over people and there’s not much space to walk. Alternatively, there’s a similar tower on the other side of the bridge, where you’ll find the Lesser Town Bridge Towers, with one offering its own viewing platform.

3. Visit Prague Castle

Next up on our list of Prague must-sees: Prague Castle!

Known as the world’s largest castle complex, this massive attraction dates back to the 9th century serving as the seat of power for the kings of Bohemia once upon a time. Today, it is still the official residence of the Czech president, as well as a major tourist attraction, with a number of big landmarks, including…

  • St. Vitus Cathedral, which you can climb up for some of the highest and most dizzying views of the city
  • The Old Royal Palace, home to the Czech crown jewels
  • Golden Lane, known for its picturesque colourful houses

This complex is (of course) very impressive to gawk at, but to be honest, if crowds aren’t your thing and you’re tight on time, I wouldn’t prioritize spending a lot of time here, because a visit is fairly time consuming and there are many other cool things to do in Prague… including another castle complex that gets a fraction of the crowds, but we’ll discuss that one a little bit later.

4. Explore the Malá Strana 

Right by Prague Castle is another nice neighbourhood to explore known as the Malá Strana, the Lesser Town, home to tons of pretty streets and nice views, especially along the river.

One of the main must-sees here includes Kampa Island, which is home to one of Prague’s most photographed attractions, the John Lennon Wall, once a symbol of youth rebellion against the Czech communist regime, and today a canvas for messages of hope and peace from around the world.

It gets very very busy here so I’d recommend coming early in the morning… and don’t be afraid to get involved – this spot is infinitely more fun when you get to leave your own mark!

Posing with my own cliched graffiti

Elsewhere in the Malá Strana, highlights include…

  • Cool churches like St Nicholas Church, known for its beautiful frescoes and the Church of Our Lady Victorious, famous for housing the Infant Jesus of Prague statuette, which has its own little wardrobe of outfits that you can see in the unique Museum of the Infant Jesus
  • Pretty gardens, including free options like the Vrtba Garden and Wallenstein Garden (with its infamous dripstone wall) as well as paid options like the romantic palace gardens just beneath the castle
  • Unique pieces of public art, like the infamous Proudy automated peeing statues or Cerny’s Crawling Babies

5. Check Out Petřín Hill

Accessible through a sweaty uphill climb or a cute funicular ride, another nice place to visit in Prague is the picturesque Petřín Hill, which was home to a vineyard, today home to many eager sunbathers, picnickers, and interesting attractions.

Crowning the hill is Prague’s own Eiffel Tower-esque structure, built in 1891. Today you can actually climb or take an elevator up for sweeping views of the city.

Close by, there’s also the Petřín Mirror Maze, which houses a maze and hall of mirrors that (based on reviews) is really just alright.

Aaand for something a little different to do in Prague, another spot to check out here is the infamous “Magical Cavern“, a former mill that has been converted into a spooky and mysterious art gallery populated with fantasy paintings.

6. Visit the Strahov Monastery

Close to here are some other nice spots like the Strahov Monastery, which was founded in the 12th century and is today home to a beautiful library with rare manuscripts and frescoes…  along with a nice brewery where you can enjoy a beer to reward all your sightseeing efforts.

NOTE: To tour the inside of the library and actually walk around, you need to book a tour in advance. A regular ticket will only allow you to admire the library from afar!

Photo by Hieu Vu Minh on Unsplash

7. Check out some of Prague’s lesser known viewpoints

It’s worth noting at this point though that Prague is a city filled with amazing hills and therefore amazing views, so while this post covers some of the best known, be sure to check out some other lesser known spots too if your goal is to get off the beaten path, like…

  • NH Prague City Hotel, which has its own special free funicular accessed to the left of reception that takes you on a free ride up the hill to its sister property… though be sure to double check times because some busy time slots are reserved only for hotel guests.
  • Lucerna Palace Rooftop, which can be accessed through a unique Paternoster Lift (that doesn’t stop!) at Lucerna Palace

8. Visit Vyšehrad Castle 

Now if your goal is to get a little off-the-beaten path in Prague, a cool spot to check out is the city’s far less famous castle, Vyšehrad Castle, established in the 10th century as the first Czech King, Vratislav II (who ruled from 1061-1092).

Today, the castle is home to a number of nice sights, including great views of Vltava River, and landmarks like the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, whose morbid claim to fame is it has a piece of St Valentine’s (alleged) shoulder blade, along with the peaceful Vyšehrad Cemetery, which is the final resting place of over 600 well-known Czech figures spanning centuries of history.

For those interested in a more peaceful alternative to Prague Castle, I can definitely recommend this one!

9. Explore Prague’s New Town

Of course, close to Vyšehrad Castle is Prague’s interesting New Town, which (while far less beloved than its old counterpart) is also worth exploring, with some unique highlights including…

  • The iconic Dancing House, which is just an office building but a fun photo stop
  • The famous 11m tall rotating head statue of Franz Kafka, made of 42 mobile layers

Another obvious main sight in New Town is Wenceslas Square, named after St Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia.

To be honest though, while this square has been the site of countless important moments in the city’s history, and is commonly named in travel guides as a must-see, today, I don’t find it to be the most exciting place to visit, as it serves mainly as a commercial hub with tacky features like scammy fairground games and (slightly freaky) guys in bear/panda suits, beckoning tourists for photos in exchange for donations.

Still, the square is worth stopping by to see, especially because it’s home to the main building of the Czech National Museum, known for its varied collection centered around history and science.

(It’s also just a pretty building to admire from the outside, if you’re not too keen to spend your time in Prague moseying around a museum).

10. Explore Palác Lucerna

Another fun place to visit right by here is the Palác Lucerna, also known as Lucerna Palace.

This beautiful art nouveau shopping complex is a photogenic wonder on its own, but it also has some unique features like a strange statue of St. Wenceslas riding what appears to be a dead upside down horse, supposedly commentary on the changing perception of history and legends in the modern Czech identity.

Another fun spot in this complex is the Paternoster Lift that whisks you up to a cool rooftop bar, unique in that it has no doors and neither stops or slows down… making for a vaguely thrilling ride that gets scarier the more beers you have in your system.

11. Check out the Jerusalem Synagogue

Finally, my personal favourite place to see in New Town, and definitely an underrated Prague gem, is the Jerusalem or Jubilee Synagogue, known for its unique interiors that combine Art Nouveau and Moorish styles for a gorgeous, vibrant result.

Completed in just 1906, this synagogue is simultaneously the city’s youngest and largest, with plenty of gilded details to drool over, including dramatic arches, beautiful stained glass, and a large rose window that floods the space with light.

NOTE: It also happens to be close to the Prague train station, which is a mostly modern station hiding a very pretty Art Nouveau section that many visitors miss, so be sure to check it out if you’re a nerd who loves old train stations like me.

12. Visit some unique museums 

Prague is a treasure trove of interesting museums – some definitely more touristy than others, whether you’re interested in art, history, miniatures or… even sexual gadgetry!

One of my favourite hidden gems though can be found at the DOX Center for Contemporary Art, home to a number of unique contemporary art displays, as well as the Gulliver Airship, a steel and wood reading room perched on top of the museum, made to look like a 20th century airship that has crashed. You can of course explore the inside, which is open to visitors with plenty of space to sit and enjoy.

Of course, there’s many other interesting museums to see in Prague, though I would only prioritize them if you are super interested in their specific topics. There’s way too much to do in Prague than be stuck in a museum you’re not interested in!

That said, here are some of the most unique options:

13. Enjoy Prague’s food scene

Now, if you’re less into museums and more into eating and drinking, it’s worth noting that Prague’s food and beer scene is pretty epic, so be sure to take advantage.

In addition to hearty local fare like goulash and steak tartare which can be found at traditional restaurants all over the city, Prague is a city with lots of international options too (especially Vietnamese).

If you’re bad at decisions, Manifesto Market is a modern food market with options from around the world, ideal for those who are bad at making decisions like me.

All that said, Prague is home to many tourist trap restaurants so be sure to always read reviews before you sit down!

14. Enjoy Prague’s beer scene

And on the beer front, Czech residents are very proud of the fact that they consume the most beer per capita of any country in the world, which means you should definitely be drinking some beer when in Prague.

Pilsner Urquell is a delicious classic you’ll find everywhere, but there’s loads of craft breweries to enjoy as well. 

You have lots of great options for enjoying the city’s beer culture, whether you choose a scenic beer garden, a literal spa where you soak in beer, or a fun pub.

One of my favourite cheesy experiences was at Pub Praha 2 where you can pour your own beers straight at the table and monitor your consumption on a scoreboard to compete with other tables for nothing but bragging rights and hangovers.

15. Explore a unique Prague neighbourhood outside of the centre

Now, this post has mainly covered sights in the touristic heart of Prague, but if time allows, there’s definitely other neighbourhoods to check out in Prague with a lot more to offer, like…

  • Žižkov: a lively neighbourhood home to the Žižkov Tower which is the highest building in the city providing of course great views.
  • Holešovice: Home to some cool very cool spots like the unique and alternative Cross Club, the DOX Center for Contemporary Art as previously mentioned and Letna Park, commonly considered to be among the city’s nicest green spaces with some of the best views in town.

16. Enjoy a calm activity along the river

Honestly though, Prague can be a stressful city to visit if you’re just darting from sight to sight, so for a final relaxing Prague activity, just just spend some time along the river whether with a sightseeing cruise or by renting a bike. Carving out these little pockets of calm is key to making the most of your time in the city!

Here are some unique Prague cruises to check out:

Did I miss any of your favourite things to do in Prague?

Let me know in the comments so I can add more of the best Prague activities to the list. Happy and safe travels! 🙂

My Go-To Travel Favourites:

🧳 Eagle Creek: My favourite packing cubes

💳 Wise: For FREE travel friendly credit cards

🍯 Airalo: My go-to eSIM

🏨 Booking.com: For searching hotels

📷 Sony A7IV: My (amazing) camera

✈️ Google Flights: For finding flight deals

🌎 WorldNomads: For travel insurance

🎉 GetYourGuide: For booking activities

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