Prague/Castle and Lesser Town

thumb|200px|The Royal Garden in autumn

47 things to do

All Places Czechia



St. Vitus Cathedral

In the center of the castle and the most important cathedral in all of the Czech republic. The oldest parts of the cathedral are from the 14th century, but the cathedral was not completed in the Medieval period. The highest tower was completed in Renaissance and Baroque styles much later, as is clearly obvious. The Western portal and both Western towers are even younger, completed in the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the original Medieval plans were used for them and their relatively small age is not obvious. St. Vitus Cathedral was the place of royal coronations and also the location of the remains of several famous Czech Kings (notably Charles IV, of Charles Bridge fame). Go around the cathedral so you not only see the '''Western portal''' with the rose window and beautiful gargoyles, but also the original medieval '''Golden Portal''' in the south and the stunning '''Flying Buttresses''' in the east. Things not to miss inside the cathedral include the '''stained glass Rose Window''' in the west portal, the '''stained glass window by Alfons Mucha''', the '''tomb of St. John of Nepomuk''' made of pure silver, the '''Royal Crypt''' underneath the cathedral (with the graves of Charles IV, his four wives, Wenceslas IV, Ladislas the Posthumous, George of Podebrady, Rudolf II, and Marie Amalie of Austria, the daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria) and the stunning '''St. Wenceslas Chapel''' with the relics of the saint and walls decorated with gold and more than 1300 gems. The Czech Coronation Jewels are kept behind the door with the seven locks (seven important people including the Czech President and the Czech Prime Minister keep the keys) in the St. Wenceslas Chapel. If you're willing to hike the 287 stairs to the top of the '''Bell Tower''' (the one with Baroque roof) you'll be rewarded with excellent views of the castle and the surrounding area. The Bell Tower holds Zikmund, the biggest bell in the Czech Republic.

SEE   —  Map

Petrin Hill

Due to a housing crunch, most young Czechs don't move out of their parents' house until they marry (sometimes long after!) This lack of privacy leads to some very public displays of affection - what you see on the metro or trams won't compare to what you’re likely to encounter on Petrin Hill. This hillside slopes down from the Castle and Strahov Monastery to Mala Strana and Malostranske namesti metro station. It affords an amazing view of the city on a clear day, and in springtime the trees are all in bloom. This is possibly the nicest place to kick back with a bottle of wine and your significant other to watch the sun set over the city. Just be careful not to trip over the modesty-lacking couples who will probably already be there. In a city filled with apartment buildings and only a handful of single family houses (almost all in the diplomats' favored housing area, Dejvice, and priced far above the average Czech family's wage) parks take on a greater importance. Petrin has a miniature Eiffel Tower that offers a nice view over Prague and its suburbs. The most famous "inhabitant" of the park is a statue of poet Karel Hynek Macha, at whose feet lovers leave wreaths every spring in honour of his romantic poem Maj.

SEE   —  Map


The Golden Lane

During the reign of Rudolf II, goldsmiths lived in a lively alleyway filled with tiny workshops, which were also their residence, hence its name. Tiny, cobblestoned walkway filled with brightly-painted little houses, where modern man has a hard time standing with the low ceiling. (It's tough to realize just how tiny our pre-20th-century ancestors were until you go somewhere like this). Franz Kafka occupied No. 22 from 1916 to 1917, and this is why most people visit the Golden Lane. There really isn't another good reason unless you want to buy some overpriced souvenirs in the small shops now occupying the houses, or need to cut through the crowds to see the Daliborka.

SEE   —  Map

The Daliborka

Built by Prince Vladislav in 1496, the tower at the far end of the castle is part of a new fortified wall. Its first prisoner was a recalcitrant knight named Dalibor who, according to legend, played his violin very sadly at the wall serenading the castle residents. Though, the thickness of the walls makes that legend a little unlikely. No one would have been able to hear him outside! Today the tower holds a small display of prison and torture techniques used during that time.

SEE   —  Map


Charles Bridge

connects the Old Town with Lesser Town. Commissioned by Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and constructed between 1357 and 1402, it is one of the most interesting historical stone bridges in Europe. It is 516 meters long with 16 arches. Baroque statues (a total of 30) began to be placed here in the 17th century. The best time to visit the bridge is in the quiet morning or in the evening at sunset, when one can enjoy a view of the fully lit Prague Castle.

SEE   —  Map

Prague Castle

the former seat of the King and is now the seat of the Czech president. This is Prague's number one tourist attraction so expect huge crowds and possibly long lines, especially during high tourist season. Your best bet is to come early, as soon as the castle opens. :Similar to other royal palaces, there is an hourly changing of the guard ceremony. At noon, the ceremony includes fanfare at a flag ceremony in the first courtyard.

SEE   —  Map


Child Jesus of Prague

This image of Christ, known also as the Holy Infant of Prague, is among the most widespread religious images in the world. The statue was brought from Spain in the 16th century and given to the Carmelites in 1628. It is 47 cm high and represents Jesus as a Child and King. The statue is carved out of wood and the surface is modeled in coloured wax. The entrance to the church is free of charge.

SEE   —  Karmelitská 385/9

Restaurant U Zlatých nůžek

offers a wide selection of Czech and international cuisine including first-class Moravian wines. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of calmness in the centre of Prague with its beautiful view of the Charles Bridge and enjoy the garden in front of the hotel during the summer season (May-October). The restaurant is suitable for family gatherings, company events and wedding celebrations.



El Centro

An excellent little restaurant located near the Charles Bridge, but tucked behind a couple of other buildings. It's a typical Spanish restaurant, has a very friendly atmosphere, good prices and isn't crowded. Also, it doesn't have any hidden charges such as service taxes which are common in Prague. English menus and takeout available.


U Zavesenyho Kafe

one of the very few restaurants in the tourist area of Prague with a quirky atmosphere that isn't excessively touristy. Offering food at reasonable prices and serving good, modest food. A great place to have lunch while exploring Hradčany and Petrin Park, it's conveniently located in the middle between these two tourist attractions.

EAT   —  Uvoz 6

EA Hotel Jeleni dvur

All 30 rooms are equipped with TV/SAT, high speed Internet connection, direct dial telephone and safe deposit box. Public PC desk with Internet access and printer is available at the reception. Some rooms offer a wonderful view of the historical parts of Prague. There is a parking lot in front of the hotel for those coming by car.

SLEEP   —  +420 233 028 333 —  Jeleni 197

Pension Dietzenhofer

The main house is a cute green building dating from 1572. Rooms and suites there start from 1500 kc for a single. The flat, which sleeps up to 4, is a great value for backpackers at 1800 Kč/night. It has a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and is located on Karmelitska, a main thoroughfare in Lesser Town.

SLEEP   —  Nosticova 2

Old Royal Palace

The original seat of Czech rulers. Visitors first enter the Vladislav hall, the largest high-Gothic vaulted space in Central Europe. Other rooms include the Palace chapel and throne room. At the end of the exhibit is '''"The Story of Prague Castle"''' exhibit, which features artificats from the castle's past.

SEE   —  Map

Nerudova Apartment House

All apartments are fully furnished in standard way. A spacious living room includes a fully equipped kitchenette and a dinette. Maid service twice per week. Prices vary according to the season and type of apartment, from 50€ for one bedroom apartment to 150€ for large three bedroom apartment.

SLEEP   —  +420 224 990 900 —  Nerudova 40

Bar Bar

Arty place with reasonable prices and tasty crepes. With a young and hip clientèle that has USA on its mind, Bar Bar serves tasty burgers, jumbo salads and American beers. The owner is Prince Antonin Kinsky, the scion of the ancient Czech dynasty, who can be found behind the bar.

EAT   —  Vsehrdova 17

The Charles Hotel

Josefska 1; Romantic 4-star hotel near to the Charles Bridge. Some rooms have antique wooden painted ceilings. Rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with safe, satellite tv, phone and minibar. Each room has private bathroom and free WiFi.

SLEEP   —  +420 211 151 300 —  Křemencova 13

Lvi Dvur Restaurant

Set in the back of Prague castle, the Lvi Dvur offers a truly unique dining experience. Traditional Czech cuisine is served in a room full of original period furnishings. Be sure to try the roast pig, the speciality of the house.


Hotel Questenberk

Romantic, baroque-style, 17th century hotel. Each of the Single, Double, Deluxe Double rooms and the three Royal apartments are originally furnished and equipped with TV, WiFi, phone, safe, and minibar.

SLEEP   —  +420 220 407 600 —  Úvoz 15/155

St. George's Basilica

The second oldest church in the castle and features a colorful Baroque facade. The interior is visibly older and is the burial place of the Premyslid family and the first Czech saint, Princess Ludmila.

SEE   —  Map

Petřínská rozhledna

A smaller version of the Eiffel Tower on the top of Petrin Hill overlooking Prague. Climbing the tower costs 105 Kč for a standard ticket or 55 Kč for discounts. Paid lift available.

SEE   —  Map

Arpacay Hostel

Facilities include a kitchen, laundry and personal lockers. There's also a roof top terrace overlooking the city. Free breakfast, linens and internet access. There's no curfew.

SLEEP   —  +420 251 552 297 —  Nerudova 40

St. George's Convent - National Gallery

One of several branches of the National Gallery is located inside this, the first convent in Bohemia. Today it houses the collection of Czech Mannerist and Baroque art.

SEE   —  Map

Dobrá trafika

Cosy cafe near Kampa with nice atmosphere, small garden and variety of small snacks and hot drinks. The cafe is located behind a newsstand (in Czech - trafika).

DRINK   —  +420 732 852 364 —  Újezd 37

Best Western Hotel Kampa

Authentically decorated hotel evokes the splendour of the 17th century and welcomes its guests with wonderful internal architecture and pleasant hotel comfort.

SLEEP   —  +420 257 404 444 —  Všehrdova 16

The Royal Garden

To the east/north-east of the palace is a large park. Aside from its own beauty, it has an excellent view of the east bank of the river. Entrance is free.

SEE   —  Map

Cafe Club Ujezd

Kind of an odd bar in Mala Strana. Interesting art on the walls and ceilings. Even more interesting clientele. Cheap beer and a great place for groups.

DRINK   —  +420 251 510 873 —  Ujezd 18

The State Rooms at Prague Castle

Open to the public two days of the year, as they are mostly used exclusively by the President. Contact the Castle Information office for more details.

SEE   —  Map

Prague Castle Picture Gallery

Housed in the original castle stables. It contains Renaissance and Baroque art, including parts of the original collection of Rudolph II.

SEE   —  Map

Lobkowicz Palace

Art museum near Prague Castle. Houses the original manuscript for Beethoven's famous 5th symphony, and many other interesting artifacts.

SEE   —  Jiřská 3

Malostranska Pivnice

Traditional Czech cuisine. Sometimes you get a hand written bill with a service charge. Do not pay it. Tip only as much as you like.

EAT   —  Cihelná 3

U Glaubiců

Classic Czech pub, serving some of the best and cheapest beer in Malá Strana, normally one of the most expensive areas of the city.


Hotel Sax

4-star vintage design hotel. Every room or suite has an original appearance: design of the 1970s, furniture of the 1950s or 1960s.

SLEEP   —  Jánský vršek 328/3

Golden Well Hotel

Boutique hotel with one of the most beautiful views in Prague and restaurant terrace leading directly to Prague Castle.


U Malého Glena

American-owned bar with live jazz downstairs nightly. [http://www.nelso.com/cz/place/143/ See video of this bar].

DRINK   —  +420 257 531 717 —  Karmelitská 23

Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa

Very luxurious, and rather expensive hotel located across the street from the U.S. Embassy.

SLEEP   —  +420 257 286 007 —  Tržiště 19

Kampa Park

High quality (and price) restaurant with excellent view of the Charles bridge and river.

EAT   —  +420 257 532 685 —  Na Kampě 8b

Střelecký ostrov

Terrace provide a nice place to sit and drink and admire the view over the river.


Peklo

Restaurant set in the vaulted wine cellars of the monastery. Peklo means Hell.


LoVeg

Vegan restaurant serving local Czech dishes and international cuisine.

EAT   —  Nerudova 36

Červená Sedma

Traditional food serving tourists, tables outside in pedestrian area.

EAT   —  +420 257 530 469 —  Map

The Pedagogical Comenius Museum

A museum documenting the writings of the Czech Renaissance erudite.


Franz Kafka Museum

Influences, life and works of the German language writer.

SEE   —  +420 257 535 507 —  Cihelná 2b

Mandarin Oriental Prague

Part of the Mandarin Oriental chain. Very expensive.

SLEEP   —  +420 233 088 888 —  Nebovidská 1

Loreta

A beautiful Baroque convent in the Lesser Town.

SEE   —  Map

Museum Kampa

A museum of modern Central European art.

SEE   —  Map


Source: wikivoyage