Prague is known as the ‘City of 100 Spires’ for the number of churches and other buildings that dot the skyline of the historic Central European city. While it is virtually impossible to see each one of these relics from another era (some of which are over 1,000 years old), if you’re going to be spending a few days or even a week in Prague, you should make time the visit the most popular ones. This is a quick guide to the best attractions to see while you’re in Prague as well as tips about transportation, lodging, and food.
If you are eager to sightsee and look around medieval cathedrals, you’ll get more than your fill in Prague (although you might want to give Vienna a chance, too; see here: our Prague VS Vienna comparison).
Bethlehem Chapel (Betlémská Kaple) is only about a five–minute walk from the Old Town Square. This distinctly Central European church was built in 1391. Between the late 14th century to the mid – 17th century, this chapel went back and forth between Protestant and Catholic factions. Early reformer Jan Hus (who was later martyred by being burned at the stake) preached here from 1402-1412.
St. George’s Basilica
St. George’s Basilica is one of the oldest churches in Prague, having been completed in 920. It was rebuilt in the 12th century following a fire.
Charles Bridge, built in the 14th century, was at one time the only way to cross the Vltava River. Also known as the Stone or Prague Bridge, it has three towers as well as Baroque statues that line the top of the bridge.
Svatopluk Čech Bridge
The original roadway of this famous city bridge was originally constructed of Jarrah, a hardwood from Australia. Because the surface got slippery during rains, it was changed to concrete in the early 1960s.
Completed only in 1996, Dancing House is a modern contrast to the historic buildings that surround it. It is renowned for its architectural design and receives thousands of tourists each year.
Old Town Square
This is truly the heart of Prague. There is much to do here year-round. You will see several historic churches, the Old Town Hall, government houses and the Prague Astronomical Clock, the world’s oldest clock of its kind that is still in operation.
Prague Jewish Museum
This museum highlights the rich history of the city’s Jewish population dating back to medieval times to the Holocaust through to today. It includes four synagogues, a hall as well as an art gallery.
For a city steeped in as much history and culture as Prague, it is relatively easy – and cheap – to get around, either on foot or the metro. Many attractions in downtown Prague are within a 20-minute walk of each other. If you would like to travel a bit further afield, the bus system goes to the outskirts of the city. There’s also an excellent train system that will take you on day excursions to nearby towns.
One of the finest hotels in Prague is the Casa Marcello Hotel. This hotel is located in the historical heart of Prague and is made up of two 13th – century Gothic buildings. Another popular place where tourists enjoy staying in the Clarion Hotel Prague City. Although set inside a centuries’ – old building, the Clarion Hotel is thoroughly modern and includes a hair salon, upscale restaurants, and continental breakfast.
A word about food
When visiting Prague, you won’t want to miss out on some authentic Czech cuisine. Throughout the city, you will find many small cafés and restaurants that sell such foods as Trdelnik (Chimney Cake), Svíčková (braised beef) with dumplings at a popular eating establishment called Cafe Louvre as well asChlebíčky (Open-Faced Sandwiches) at Sisters Bistro.