Top 10 places to visit in Prague for travel snobs

Known for its troubled history, its cheap beer and its beautiful medieval architecture, Prague basks in the spotlight as one of Europe’s premier tourist destinations. Although with cheap beer, of course, comes the crowds…and the stag dos. If you’re planning your holidays to Prague but want to pack in as much culture and beauty as you possibly can (but want to avoid the beer-swilling crowds) here are our choices for Top 10 places to visit in Prague for travel snobs…

Pay a visit to the Museum Kampa

Musuem Kampa Prague

A good place to start your search of the city’s culture is Kampa Island, a peaceful island in the Vltava river in central Prague. Here you’ll find Museum Kampa – a temple to bohemian art and the central hub of the capital’s original and lively art scene. The exhibition space is filled with surreal and extraordinary exhibits largely by Czech artists. Make sure you don’t miss the slightly disturbing display of giant faceless babies, an art installation piece by Czech sculptor David ?erný.

Hang around the Old Town

Old Town Prague

Okay, it’s not going to be easy to avoid the crowds in the capital’s Old Town but it’s easily one of the best things to in Prague. Despite a number of foreign invaders, Prague’s Old Town Square has remained virtually untouched since the 10th century. In times of old it was the capital’s most colourful quarter – home to artists, poets, musicians and probably a few drunks. Eat alfresco while you admire a hodgepodge of architecture — including the Rococo Kinsky Palace, the Gothic Tyn Cathedral and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church.

Go for a coffee in Café Slavia

historic cafes Prague

For a touch of nostalgia head for the historic Cafe Slavia located only a stone’s throw from the National Theatre. Since its opening in 1884 it has seen a number of dissidents, artists and writers through its doors. Even Vaclav Havel enjoyed a coffee here prior to his engagement as president of the Czech Republic, and apparently this is where Apollinaire used to sip absinthe. Now fully restored to its understated 1930s Art Deco look, the views of the river are worth the trip alone.

Cafe Slavia, Smetanovo náb?eží 1, 110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Climb the hill to Castle District

Castle District Prague

The Castle District is Prague’s number one tourist spot, so don’t expect to escape the crowds here, but this place is popular for a reason. Roughly the size of seven football fields, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world and even the most even the most jaded of visitors will likely be impressed by its size and grandeur of its internal buildings. Don’t miss the St. Vitus Cathedral, the dramatic Gothic spires of the castle itself, and before you leave lean over the castle walls for spectacular city vistas.

Climb even further for the Strahov Monastery

Prague Monastery

Head on further up the hill from the castle and you’ll reach Strahov Monastery. Founded in 1149 it has a fine church, a library containing one of the oldest monastic collections in the country, and handily for real ale lovers, its own brewery. It’s a calming, meditative kind of place, with gorgeous views but it’s also a good place to eat. Stop at their courtyard restaurant for hearty traditional food where the medieval experience just seems a little more authentic than the ‘ye olde’ tourist taverns further down the hill.

Take a stroll on Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge Prague

Easily one of the most iconic images is Charles bridge – a stone Gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Lesser Town dating back as early as 1357. Yes it’s popular but it’s still undeniably romantic – views of the river and castle, couples walking hand-in-hand and artists and baroque-style statues line the walkway. Want to crank up the romantic factor up a gear? Go at night to see the castle beautifully illuminated or very early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Take a trip to Žižkov Television Tower

TV Tower Prague

This might be a controversial choice, especially as you have to go a little out of your way to reach it. Giant faceless babies crawling up the side of a huge communitst-era tower isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. The tower was built between 1985 and 1992 but in 2000, David ?erný’s ubiquitous huge crawling babies were temporarily attached to the tower’s pillars. Apparently the Prague locals liked them so much that they stayed. Fans of unconventional architecture will love it, and in a city that seems to be all about the views, the city’s highest building offers unique 360-degree panoramic views, and even a smart restaurant and bar where you can hang out for a while.

Visit the Museum of Communism

Communist Museum Prague

Blink and you’ll miss this tiny but important museum – it’s ironically located between a shopping mall, a casino and a McDonald’s. To really understand the city, you should definitely include this place on your itinerary. It’s filled with moving depictions of state-sponsored terrorism, told through photos, propaganda and videos – although the story ends on a high note, with galleries on the peaceful “velvet revolution” that ended the nightmare.

  • Na P?íkop? 852/10  110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic

Play with puppets

Prague Puppets  Prague Cool

I probably couldn’t mention a Prague list without the puppets – you’re likely to see these skilfully carved characters everywhere in the city. Prague has a long history of marionette shows and don’t worry they’re not just for children. Although the puppet theatre is aimed at tourists, you can still find high-quality Czech puppeteers and productions. Try the lively and progressive Divadlo Minor, or buy a puppet to take home at Truhlá? Marionety.

Veer off the tourist path

things to do in Prague

To uncover the real beauty of Prague head away from the main tourist areas (pictured above) and visit the back streets instead. Try the faded streets of Opatovicka and Pstrossova in Nove Mesto lined with antique shops selling art deco lamps, glass, and jewellery, and cool cafes like Dynamo which have a 1960s retro interior. Just a step further and you will find La Familia restaurant and jazz club, Grafika bookstore, Cafe Jericho and even a kitsch costume shop complete with gorilla masks and tons of flowy fabric creations.

Where to stay

We stayed in the newly opened Hotel Barcelo Praha Five a clean, modern four-star hotel with welcoming staff and good sized rooms. Although the hotel wasn’t based in the city centre it was near a Metro station which was only a couple of stops to the centre. For those looking for a more central base they offer Barcelo Old Town, a four-star boutique hotel housed in a 17th-century building. Other Barcelo hotels in Prague include Barcelo Praha a four-star hotel situated in Prague’s business district. Alternatively, there are plenty of other hip hotels to stay at.

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16 thoughts on “Top 10 places to visit in Prague for travel snobs”

  1. Whoever said that “the best things in life are free” may well have been referring to the Charles Bridge in Prague. A simple walk across the h Century bridge is one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of visiting Prague. The bridge was commissioned in 1357 by Charles IV to replace an older bridge that had been washed away by floods. Although completed in 1390, with the striking statues added in the h century, the bridge did not take Charles’ name until the h century.

  2. Awesome set of images, i think you are great photographer. My most favorite spot in Prague is Prague castle.

  3. Nice list, it’s a cool city but can be overcrowded in the summer. I didn’t get to visit the communist museum though I will when I go back next.

  4. I spent 3 days in Prague doing some couchsurfing and manage to do all of those mentioned by you things. Prague is wonderful, especially in summer!

  5. Fabulous post, and most timely for me as we plan to visit Prague in May, so you’ve given us some nice options to ponder here – and great photos, too!


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