City Guide: Prague

Prague, the City of a Hundred Spires, is one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. More than a thousand years of building has left the Golden City covered with architectural gems, which millions of visitors come to admire every year.

View from Letna to Prague city

Getting there
So you just landed in Prague and need to get to the city. Václav Havel Airport Prague is only 20 minutes away from Old Town. Public transport is going to be your cheapest option. The bus station is right in front of Terminal 2 (Exit D). A ticket costs €1.25, lasts for 90 minutes and you can use it on the bus, tram or metro. Take the 119 bus to the final stop, Nádraží Veleslavín, where you transfer to metro line A (green) and continue to Mustek (downtown).

The famous St. Vitus Cathedral at daylight. It is located in Prague Castle Complex and is a famous landmark in Prague, Czech Republic.

Climb up to Prague Castle
Jump straight into Prague’s fairy-tale scenery. Prague Castle looms high above the city. If you’re coming from the old town, where many visitors stay, the walk toward the castle will take you across the incredibly picturesque Charles Bridge and through the winding streets of Malá Strana (‘Little Quarter’) until you reach the steep uphill climb to the castle. You’ll be rewarded at the top with sweeping views over the city’s red roofs and spires.

The castle’s sprawling grounds will need at least a couple of hours to explore properly; don’t miss the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral (and its stained glass windows). When you’re finished exploring, there are loads of cafés and bars with outdoor terraces where you can reward yourself with a cold pivo (beer).

Astronomical clock of Prague

Hear the clock strike
Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock, known as the Orloj, has chimed since 1410. Part of the beautiful Old Town Hall Tower, the clock sets the procession of the 12 apostles in motion between 9am and 11pm at every full hour. During a guided tour you can explore the historical halls, the tower and the underground areas.

Tourists at the Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Square
While you’re visiting the Astronomical Clock, take some time in the square. One of Europe’s biggest and most beautiful urban spaces, Old Town Square has been Prague’s principal public square since the 10th century and was its main marketplace until the beginning of the 20th century. There are busking jazz bands, alfresco concerts, and fashion shows, plus Christmas and Easter markets. To avoid the crowds at the clock tower, climb to the top of the adjacent Old Town Hall Tower for fabulous views of the square and beyond.

Soak up some culture
Veletržní palác, the National Gallery, displays the Czech Republic’s largest collection of art, including works by world masters from Van Gogh to Gustav Klimt. The newly refurbished Museum of Decorative Arts dazzles with a 20,000 piece glass collection that includes Renaissance Bohemian glass, ceramics, textiles and furniture.

Petrin Lookout Tower in Prague, Czech Republic

Take in a view
Petřín Hill is most famous for its Observation Tower, affectionately regarded as Prague’s own (albeit smaller) version of the Eiffel Tower. Interestingly, as it’s built upon a hill, the top is actually at a higher altitude than its counterpart in Paris! On the way, there are a few interesting stops including the Petřín Rose Garden, which has plenty of welcoming benches to rest on, and a mirror maze that dates from the Victorian era, plus a couple of attractive churches.

Read next: Lisbon city guide: How to spend 48 hours in the Portuguese capital.

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