One of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe, the Czech capital is a common destination for travellers to Europe. Wandering through Prague’s pristine old town or across the Charles Bridge and up through the Castle District makes for an experience that will have you feeling as though frozen in time. Here’s a short beginner’s guide to some of the city’s most famed attractions.
The Old Town
With many of the houses, churches and shops in the area dating as far back as the thirteenth century, and shockingly well-maintained considering, it’s easy to spend hours (if not days) wandering around without running out of things to see. The Old Town Square’s lovely Rococo Kinsky Palace, St-Nicholas’ Church, Gothic Tyn Cathedral and famously overrated Astronomical Clock are some of just a few things to see and do.
The iconic Charles Bridge linking the Old Town to the Castle District is the city’s most renowned landmark. Though often packed with tourists and vendors selling everything from hand-crafted jewellery to comical caricatures, the beautiful bridge is well worth checking out.
One of the largest castles in Europe, the Prague Castle sprawls over an area larger than seven football fields! Built, destroyed, rebuilt and renovated multiple times over the course of the last thirteen centuries, it has been the site of multiple pivotal historic events including the defenestrations which lead to the thirty years war. Make sure to check out the castle’s very own brewery located in the Monastery.
St Vitus Cathedral
The most striking feature of the Castle’s landscape is easily the tenth century Gothic Cathedral found in the centre of the district. Construction of St Vitus’ iconic spires and stunning interior began in the mid-fourteenth century and continued for nearly six centuries. Though the first part of the Castle is free to enter, climbing the tower and entering St-Wenceslas’ Chapel (home to the coronation jewels) requires a ticket.
Situated in the heart of the New Town, no more than a five minutes’ walk from just about anywhere in the city centre, Wenceslas Square is steeped in culture and history. The boulevard has played host to a multitude of political parades, anti-communist uprisings and sporting celebrations. Today, the former horse market is home to upscale hotels and apartments, restaurants, clubs and boutiques making it a must-see for any Prague first-timer.
Photo by Flickr: Benderish
Madeline Sinclair is originally from Toronto and has been living in Berlin for the last two years. When she isn’t busy writing for GoEuro, she loves gallivanting about in Eastern Europe. Prague is one of her favourite destinations.