5 Go-To Experiences for First-Time Visitors to the Czech capital Prague

Prague is one of the most historic cities in eastern Europe. Famed for its medieval past and baroque architecture, the “City of a Hundred Spires” is one of the most popular locations across the entire continent for long weekend breaks.

If you’re planning a trip to the Czech capital but you don’t know where to begin with planning an itinerary for your first visit, that’s where I come in. Below, you’ll find five attractions which should be firmly at the top of your list as a tourist in Prague.

Charles Bridge

The most iconic vista in Prague is Charles Bridge. This stone arch bridge connects both sides of the city across the Vltava River. Construction began in the mid-14th Century and concluded in the early 15th Century. At over 515 metres long, Charles Bridge offers plenty of spectacular photo opportunities of the capital.

As you walk along the structure, you’ll often encounter a string of local artists with plenty of stunning artwork up for grabs as the ideal memento of your trip. Many believe Charles Bridge to be the most romantic bridge in all of Europe. It looks particularly spectacular at night when it’s lit up.

Prague Castle

The awe-inspiring Prague Castle is still the official base of the President of Czechia. Centuries before, it was used as the base of power for reigning kings of Bohemia, and even Roman emperors. Prague Castle happens to be the biggest castle complex on the planet, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, standing at an area of 70,000 sq. metres. If you’re approaching from Charles Bridge, it’s a rather steep climb to the entrance, but the cityscape views are absolutely worth every step.

Attracting over two million tourists each year, it’s no surprise that Prague Castle is already an UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your visit, you can explore the historic churches of the castle, including the Basilica of St. George and St. Vitus Cathedral, as well as the castle halls and serene gardens.

Prašná brána (Powder Gate)

The Powder Gate is one of the original city gates lining the entry to the Old Town of Prague. It’s one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the city, with its construction said to have commenced in 1475.

Powder Gate acts as a gateway between the Old Town and the New Town of Prague. Just a five-minute walk north-east of the Powder Gate is the city’s leading casino resort, King’s Casino. This is an increasingly popular entertainment venue among locals and tourists alike, and it regularly plays host to high-profile poker events like the European Poker Tour (EPT). The EPT is one of the leading live circuits for poker tournaments, with five EPT stages scheduled for 2023. The fifth and final one for this year is to be staged in Prague in December.

Staromestske Namesti (Old Town Square)

Prague’s Old Town Square is another hugely influential location from an historical perspective. Dating back to the 10th Century, Staromestske Namesti was the heartbeat of Prague’s market trading scene. It’s still an important hub for locals and especially tourists, with plenty of bars, restaurants and street food sellers lining the 9,000 sq. metre space sandwiched between Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square.

Just be mindful that some of the eateries in the Old Town Square are a bit of a tourist trap. If you’d rather a more authentic dining experience, there’s plenty of other restaurants in the vicinity to explore.

The Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall

If you’ve already explored the Old Town of Prague, you might have waltzed past the Astronomical Clock and wondered just why so many people are standing in front of it and waiting for it to chime. However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll realise this clock is a true feat of engineering.

Famed for its mechanical animations which show on the clock face hourly, there are four moving parts which are designed to represent the moon, sun, zodiac ring and the outer rotational ring.

It’s fair to say Prague is one of the most fascinating and multi-faceted cities in Europe, perfect for fanatical foodies as well as history buffs. You can explore much of what there is to see on foot, but there’s also a regular tram network which can take the strain throughout your stay too. Overall, this small but perfectly formed capital city offers a true eastern European tourist experience.

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