Prague’s resident bohemians are currently savouring a new wave of indulgent dining experiences, drinking establishments and music and art scenes that are reviving the city’s long tradition of classy decadence.
First-timer weekenders looking for things to do in Prague will surely want to haunt St Vitus’s Cathedral within the palace walls of Prague Castle and the Gothic Old Town Hall, with its surreal Astronomical Clock – complete with hourly dance of medieval allegorical figures.
These iconic sights are at the heart of Hradčany, the hilly castle district, and the 9th-century heart of the city, Old Town, still filled with spires, grimy facades from every architectural era and the haunting Jewish Museum and Old Jewish Cemetery.
Don’t neglect a trip into the lively Žižkov district, where a bohemian retro feel typifies the new wave of repurposed shops and Czech street fashion in the city – and watch for the Tina B festival calendar or the Meet Factory program to catch up on the newly thriving contemporary art scene.
Sights and attractions in Prague
For a chilling reminder of the Cold War’s shadow – and some powerful context for the Velvet Revolution – visit the Museum of Communism and the Convent of St Agnes, the oldest Gothic compound in Old Town and home to the National Gallery’s collection of raw and powerful medieval art.
Aside from Hradčany, the castle hill, the best break for fresh air is surely Letná, the rambling park overlooking this district from across the Vltava river. Alternatively, stroll the cobblestones of the left-bank Malá Strana district, where a ramble through the city’s Baroque architecture yields such sights as Valdštejnský palace gardens and the Dientzenhofers’ magnum opus, St Nicholas Church.
Also check out Petřín hill, topped by the 1891 Czech Jubilee memorial the Mirror Maze and the Eiffel-inspired Petřín View Tower, and, of course, the postcard-perfect Charles Bridge – although it can be a bit too popular, so best to visit at dawn or late at night or go upstream one bridge to the newly refurbished island Střelecký ostrov for a grand riverside idyll.
Sights and attractions details
Prague Castle Hradčanské náměstí, admission 250-350 Kč. +420 224 373 368.
Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock Staroměstské náměstí 3, admission 110 Kč. +420 236 002 629.
Jewish Museum and Old Jewish Cemetery U staré školy 1, admission 300 Kč +420 222 749 211.
Bohemian Retro Chvalova 8. +420 607 914 992.
Tina B +420 773 915 507.
Meet Factory Ke sklárně 15. +420 251 551 796.
Museum of Communism Na příkopě 10, admission 190 Kč. +420 224 212 966.
Convent of St. Agnes Anežská 12, admission 200 Kč. +420 224 810 628.
Valdštejnské náměstí 4. +420 257 075 707.
St Nicholas Church Malostranské náměstí. +420 257 534 215.
Mirror Maze and Petřín View Tower Petřínské sady, admission 105 Kč. +420 725 831 634.