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Discover the 10 most beautiful sights & attractions in Prague

As from March 2024, you can book the European Sleeper Train to Prague directly from Antwerp or Brussels. We of course had to try this out for ourselves, and since we were there anyway we decided to list all of the best sights and attractions Prague had on offer. Buckle up, ’cause there are plenty.

Wat te doen in Praag - Wallenstein Castle

Prague is one of those top European cities where even after five extensive visits, you still haven’t seen half of it. The old centre – with its winding cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards and classic shopping arcades – is equal to Paris in beauty and has a history going back more than a thousand years. Prague – especially after sunset – breathes an atmosphere of bygone days; of romance and melancholy. It’s the perfect destination for aimless wandering: an endless maze of architectural marvels, where there’s something new to discover around every corner. And they serve the best beers on the planet – which is also nice of course.

“Prague is one of those top European cities where even after five extensive visits, you still haven’t seen half of it: the perfect destination for aimless wandering.”

This unique atmosphere and the extensive number of top sights ensure that you’ll rarely find yourself alone here. After the fall of the USSR and certainly after the Czechs joined the EU, Prague became more popular every year. So much so that today it’s one of the most visited cities in Europe, often ranking even above Amsterdam. At first glance, this doesn’t sound all too pleasant, but in practice it’s actually quite alright. There are three extremely busy places in the city centre: Prague Castle, the Old Town Square and Charles Bridge. All three are definitely worth a visit, but unless you get up ridiculously early, you won’t be able to avoid the crowds. If you stray a few streets outside this little tourist circle though, you’ll find a different and much more peaceful Prague. A Prague that is just as interesting in many cases.


Discover the 10 most beautiful sights & attractions in Prague

Wat te doen in Praag - Lennon Wall

It just so happened that eight years ago, the most beautiful girl in the Czech Republic crashed her car into my house while I was eating a sandwich*. This turned out to be the lovely Andrea (see picture), and since I can’t stay mad at international top models for long, we quickly became friends. This friendship lasted, even years after she moved back to Prague. This came in very handy, because it meant I now had a local guide who could show me the city’s less obvious spots. Since normal people have to work on weekdays however, I was on my own for the first few days. So after a surprisingly solid night on the European Sleeper, I crossed the little park between the train station and my hotel to start my Prague discovery tour alone. Locals call this park Sherwood Forest by the way, so don’t hang around in it at night unless you want your wallet to be socially redistributed to the poor. Because I’m such a lovely man, the tourist office provided me with a Prague Visitor Pass. It serves as a ticket for all public transport within Prague, and allows you to enter most attractions for free. Perfect for checking off all of the main sights and districts, starting with…

*Yup, this really happened.


1. Staré Město: Prague’s Old Town

Wat te doen in Praag - Klementinum Library
Praag - Old Town Square
Wat te doen in Praag - Prague Old Town

When you arrive in Prague by train you’ll almost naturally venture into the old town. It’s one of the city’s most beautiful districts but also one of the busiest, especially on the Royal Way from the Powder Gate to Charles Bridge. If you want to witness Instagram tourism going completely wild, visit the municipal library. There you’ll find the Infinity Book Tower: a cylinder of 8,000 books with mirrors at both ends. Nice concept, except for the 200 people waiting in line for an hour to take identical photos. Don’t do it guys: you only live once.

The major attraction in Staré Město is obviously the beautiful Old Town Square. A large, 600 year old astronomical clock is fitted onto the town hall tower. Around it, an almost permanent sea of people will be waiting for the clock to strike. Every hour, the little skeleton next to the clock will ring a bell – I didn’t come up with this stuff – after which the shutters open and all twelve apostles make an appearance. This might be a slight anticlimax if you were expecting a laser and fire show, but it’s still impressive they managed to put it all together in the 1400s. Also fun and free of charge with the Prague Visitor Pass, is climbing the tower for perhaps the best view over Prague.

Further in the old town lies the Klementinum: a former Jesuit university in a building complex full of Baroque and Rococo halls. Visits are only possible with a guide. These tours are free as well with the visitor pass, but you’ll need to mail them 24 hours in advance to secure a spot. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and takes you from the world’s most stunning library (see picture) to the top of an astronomical tower for perhaps the best view over Prague – yes, they have quite a few here.


2. Charles Bridge & Kampa Island

Wat te doen in Praag - Charles Bridge
Wat te doen in Praag - Andrea
Wat te doen in Praag - Kampa
Wat te doen in Praag - Kampa

Possibly even busier than the old town square is the fantastic Charles Bridge, leading over the Vltava River towards Prague Castle. Two impressive towers guard both ends of it, and thirty saintly Baroque statues line the whole span. During the day it’s a pandemonium of selfie tourists, hawkers and street musicians, but early in the morning or at night you’ll have some breathing room and it feels like walking through history.

Oddly, everything becomes much calmer as soon as you step off the bridge. Kampa, for example – officially an island because a narrow canal runs around it – is one of the most peaceful parts in central Prague. Here, pastel-coloured facades line an Italian-style square; on a large lawn further on people picnic or play sports and at Museum Kampa, you’ll find two prime examples of the quirky public art so typical of Prague. In the water a whole row of bright yellow penguins stand guard, and next to the museum three faceless monster babies seem to be crawling around. These were made by David Černý: a Prague sculptor who filled half the city with his genius and often cynical creations. Also nearby: the legendary John Lennon Wall. After the Beatle was murdered in 1980, anti-communist youths covered this wall with his portrait and messages of peace as a sign of protest. The more authorities repainted the wall, the faster everything reappeared. By now, they’ve – here it comes – let it be for a few decades.


3. Prague Castle

Wat te doen in Praag - St Vitus Cathedral
Wat te doen in Praag - Karelsbrug
Wat te doen in Praag - Dripstone Wall

One more extremely busy place and we’re done – bear with me here. Prague Castle is the city’s most popular attraction, overlooking the Vltava from a hill. To get there, you have to climb some steep stairs, but the reward is worth the effort. Prague Castle is a vast complex of churches, towers and palaces that feels more like a city within the city than a fortress. Access to the site is free, but if you want to enter any of the many buildings, you need to buy a (combo) ticket. With your Prague Visitor Pass this is free, and it’s best to get it at the info desk in the second courtyard before heading to St. Vitus Cathedral. This way, you’ll avoid the long queue. The cathedral is fantastic. It took almost 600 years to build, and when the sunlight hits the stained glass windows, the entire nave seems to turn into liquid gold. There are many museums to visit within the castle walls: from the St. Vitus Treasury and various palaces to the charming Golden Lane where the goldsmiths used to work and even a large toy museum.

If you want to visit a much less crowded royal residence: Wallenstein Palace is nearby. It has a beautiful garden full of bronze statues and – oddly enough – a Dripstone Wall. This is a wall of artificial stalactites that look like, well… Speaking of dongs: the Franz Kafka Museum is also close by. In the courtyard you’ll find another one of Černý’s masterpieces: two bronze men peeing literary quotes into a pond while staring into each other’s eyes. If you send a text to +420 724 370 770, they’ll write a message of your choice in pee.


4. Petrin Park: one of Prague’s green lungs

Wat te doen in Praag - Petrin Park
Wat te doen in Praag - Petrin Tower
Wat te doen in Praag - Mirror Maze
Wat te doen in Praag - Magical Cavern

Prague is a surprisingly green city. Take Petřín Park, for example. This is a wooded 300-meter-high hill full of little hiking paths about a kilometre from the castle. The way there leads past the beautiful Strahov Monastery and seems to pass through the countryside – which makes for a lovely walk. The most striking landmark in the park itself is Petřín Tower. It was built in 1891 for an expo as a mini version of the Eiffel Tower. It’s only 58 meters high, but if you add the hill you get the exact height of the original. With your pass, you can go up for free to enjoy – wait for it – perhaps the best view over Prague.

“Prague is a surprisingly green city. Petřín Park, for example – a wooded hill overlooking the old town – is one of many large parks in the city centre.”

Further in the park lies the old Mirror Maze: another remnant of that expo. You’ll get through it quite quickly, but it’s free with the pass and there are a series of funhouse mirrors near the exit. The strangest attraction in Petřín Park is the Magical Cavern. This is an old house converted into a wonder cave by an eccentric artist who’ll welcome you in a pirate costume. The whole place is filled to the brim with his artworks, and these are mainly paintings of naked demons, unicorns and other magical creatures from a fantasy land he calls Argondia. Must visit.


5. Prague’s Jewish Quarter

Praag - Jewish Museum

Back in the old town and north of the town hall is the Jewish Museum of Prague. This is not just a museum but an entire district where the ghetto used to be. With one ticket (free with the pass) you can visit various buildings and synagogues. There was already a Jewish museum here in the 1930s, which was taken over by the Nazis to create an exhibition about an “extinct race.” Countless looted artifacts from all over Europe were shipped here, ironically making Hitler the one to gather the world’s largest collection of Jewish heritage. The old cemetery, with grim-looking graves stacked on top of each other due to lack of space (Jews had to be buried within the ghetto walls) is a place that will leave you silent. The Spanish and especially the Old-New Synagogue (the oldest still in use in Europe) are worth a visit as well. According to legend, the remains of the golem – a mud monster created to protect the ghetto from antisemitism that instead brought death and destruction – are still hidden in the attic here. Prague’s Jewish quarter is an interesting and melancholic neighbourhood. Currently visits can be a bit painful, because you’re reminded of the ongoing situation in Gaza at all times. Keep it in mind.


6. Nové Město: the “new” Prague

Wat te doen in Praag - National Museum Prague
Wat te doen in Praag - Výtopna Railway--Restaurant
Praag - Lucerna Palace
Wat te doen in Praag - National Museum Prague

Between the old centre and the main train station lies Nové Město, which literally means “new town.” New should be read as relative here, since the district was developed in the 14th century. At the heart of the neighbourhood is Wenceslas Square. This is technically not a square but a wide boulevard flanked by numerous Art Nouveau and Neo-Renaissance buildings. Many important events took place here: from the declaration of Czechoslovakia’s independence to the celebration of the end of WWII and the massive protests that led to the fall of the communist regime. Today, the boulevard is mainly a place for dining, shopping, and nightlife activities. The strangest place to eat is the Výtopna Railway Restaurant, where all dishes are delivered by miniature trains on an extensive rail network.

The main attraction in the New Town is the National Museum, housed in a gigantic but beautiful Neoclassical building with a grand staircase and an impressive domed hall. Inside, you’ll mainly find natural history exhibitions. Great for dragging the kids to on a rainy day, as there’s a life-size mammoth on display, as well as the skeleton of a woolly rhinoceros trying to break out of its glass cage. An underground tunnel connects the museum to its much uglier new building, currently showcasing the history of the Czech Republic during the 20th century. The Dancing Building is also in Nové Město, along with two more works by David Černý: an upside-down equestrian statue in Lucerna Palace and the giant rotating head of Franz Kafka, which constantly changes shape. Remarkable man, this David.


7. Vinohrady & Zizkov: two lively expat neighbourhoods

Wat te doen in Praag - TV Tower
Praag - Bar Pilotu
Wat te doen in Praag - Andrea

Behind the train station lie two of Prague’s most pleasant neighborhoods – not for tourists, but for locals, expats and students. Vinohrady is one of the best places to live, full of restaurants, terraces, and trendy bars (including Bar Pilotu: one of the best cocktail bars in Prague). The green lung of this area – and a major meeting spot – is Riegrovy Sady: a large park with a beer garden where you can sit on a grassy hill and enjoy perhaps the best view over Prague (hehe). To the north is Žižkov: another district full of bars. Here you’ll find the massive National Monument and the 200-meter-high TV Tower: both built in the last century. The tower, finished in 1985 during the waning days of the Iron Curtain, sticks out of the cityscape like a rusty nail. Many find it ugly, but I think it’s quite endearing, probably because of the ten Černý monster babies crawling up the pillars like ants. In the tower – at a height of 66 metres – you can dine in Oblaca Restaurant while enjoying perhaps the best view of Prague – okay, I’ll quit.


8. Holešovice: Prague’s industrial hipster quarter

Wat te doen in Praag - Dox
Wat te doen in Praag - Dox
Wat te doen in Praag - Dox
Wat te doen in Praag - Cross Club

Enclosed by a bend in the Vltava River on the northern shore is Holešovice. This was once an industrial district but has recently transformed into a hipster area full of cultural venues and urban art. Many old factories now house apartments or public spaces. Dox for example, is a centre for modern art full of provocative exhibitions. They built a large wooden zeppelin on the rooftop – because why not – where you can sit and read a book if you feel like it. Also interesting is Veletržní Palace hosting part of the National Gallery, showcasing modern art by the likes of Picasso and Klimt. The old slaughterhouse is now a food market, and the Letna Beer Garden in the park of the same name is considered the best in the city. For a real party, head to Cross Club: an industrial discotheque full of steel pipes and gears reminiscent of the nightclubs in Cyberpunk 2077. You can visit for just a drink or a bite during the day.


9. The most unique and unusual museums in Prague

Wat te doen in Praag - Sex Machines Museum
Praag - Dinosauria Museum Prague
Praag - Speculum Alchemae
Praag - Gallery of Steel Figures

Prague has a whole collection of top museums, but since you can find all of those by yourself, I’ll focus on some of the more unique and lesser-known. There are plenty, but I’ll only write about the ones I’ve visited myself.

Dinosauria Museum Prague: a comprehensive dinosaur museum hidden in an almost empty outlet mall near the airport. No nearby metro stop, so best take an Uber. Inside are many large skeletons and a life-size, ultra-realistic model of a T-Rex.

Sex Machines Museum: located near the Old Town Square, this museum has three floors full of weird and very creative sex machines. A local artist provided all of them with quite expressively illustrated how-to guides.

Museum of Miniatures: located in the Strahov Monastery, this little museum allows you to admire miniature art made by some guy with a whole lot of time on his hands through magnifying glasses. The art ranges from a flea with horseshoes to a portrait of Christ on a flower seed.

Gallery of Steel Figures: a museum in the old town displaying impressive sculptures of various pop culture icons made from assembled steel.

Speculum Alchemae: this museum is located in a recently discovered underground lab used by medieval alchemists. They give interesting tours here. The magic stuff is is most likely bs, but the space is mysterious and there’s a hidden door in a bookcase leading to the cellars.


10. Day trips from Prague: Karlstejn Castle & Kutna Hora

Wat te doen in Praag - Karlstejn Castle
Wat te doen in Praag - Kutna Hora Daytrip
Wat te doen in Praag - Karlstejn Castle

Thirty kilometres south of Prague lies Karlštejn Castle: the most popular day trip from the capital. Karlštejn is a castle perched on a high rock overlooking the village and looks like something out of a fairy tale. It can get busy in summer, but luckily there are also several well-marked hiking trails in the surrounding forests where it’s much quieter. I tried some of them out with Andrea and her weird dog Jessy, and we loved it.

Another fun day trip from Prague is Kutná Hora. This used to be an important town because the largest silver mines in the region were here, but they’ve long since been exhausted. The strangest attraction here is the Sedlec Ossuary: a crypt where a carpenter got creative with the bones of about forty thousand people who were lying here for some reason. The result is a morbid bone church that looks like it came straight out of Tim Burton’s darkest film.


Everything you need for a train trip to Prague

Praag met de trein - European Sleeper
Praag met de trein - European Sleeper
Praag met de trein - European Sleeper
Praag - Miss Sophie's Downtown

For everything about the Czech Republic as a destination, click here.

For all possible information on Prague, click here.

I stayed at Miss Sophie’s Downtown. This is a nice boutique hotel near the train station. My room had a sunny terrace, and the minibar was well-stocked and (surprisingly) free of charge. Pleasant stay.

If you want to visit a variety of attractions, it’s best to get a Prague Visitor Pass. You can buy one digitally for 48, 72, or 120 hours. It includes all public transport within Prague and free entry to most attractions. My three-day pass cost about 120 euros and depending on how much you’re planning do, it’s definitely worth it.

As mentioned, I travelled to Prague by train on the European Sleeper from Antwerp. It departs shortly after 8pm from Antwerp Central Station and arrives in Prague around 11am the next morning. Along the way, it stops in cities like Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, Berlin and Dresden. The stretch between Dresden and Prague is particularly pleasant as the train travels through the beautiful Elbe Valley. I was booked into a couchette cabin. This is the “second” class formula, where you’ll get a folding bed serving as a seat during the day. I was fortunate to have the cabin to myself, but most passengers had to share their space. If you’re not the most social person, it’s best to book an entire cabin with a few friends. Breakfast needs to be booked in advance. Snacks are available, but the selection isn’t huge, so bring your own food. They do sell their own Weissbier though. Sleeping went surprisingly smooth for me.

Looking for another trip? Read my blog posts on Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Shanghai, Vaucluse, Duisburg and (because why not?) Boom.


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