Prague’s Top 10 without a map? Here is the walking guide for you! You can visit the most famous Prague sites in an easy to follow path so you won’t be walking in circles to visit some hotspots. Seriously, you don’t need a map to follow this guide.
Start at the top of Wenceslas Square (metro station Muzeum on lines A, C). If you are looking down the square with the Horse and St Wenceslas statue in front of you, you have behind the famous National Museum of Natural History. It was built in 1888 to house many captivating nature exhibits. The square itself was established as a horse market in theNew Town, which Charles IV established in 1348. Now, it is a hub of commerce for Czechs and visitors alike. At the base of Wenceslas Square, turn right onto Na Prikope. You will notice it is a much wider street than most of Prague’s street. This is because it once was part of the town’s fortification moat. Follow Na Prikope until taking the first left onto Havirska street.
After one block you will be standing before The Estates Theatre established in 1773 to rival the grand theatres in Vienna. Mozart loved Prague so much that he chose the Estates Theatre to house the world premiere of Don Giovanni. The building maintains the same architecture it boasted in the 18th century. And, now it is part of the National Theatre making it a popular site for Mozart lovers and music amateurs alike to seek out ballet and opera performances here.
From the front of the Theatre, follow Zelezna street into Old Town Square where you can see the famous Astronomical Clock dating from 1410 on the exterior of Old Town Hall. You can walk through the Town Hall to learn local history. It is also possible to climb up or take a lift to the top of the clock tower for picture taking and soaking in the view. Or, you can check out the historic and gruesome tours of Town Hall’s underground before walking past the Jan Hus memorial statue and bearing to the left through Franz Kafka square to cross the street onto Platnerska.
After a couple blocks, you will arrive in front of Clementinum. This large complex was built in1556 as a Jesuit college and monastery, which contains an astronomical tower, 2 chapels, 2 cathedrals, 6 courtyards, and a section of the National Library. The tower is open to visitors for enjoying a bird’s eye view. And, many people love attending the classical music concerts in the Baroque Mirror Chapel. Take the exit just opposite the tower and turn right onto Karlova Street.
Just one block later you will cross over tram tracks to be on the famous statue-decorated Charles Bridge. This stone bridge has endured many floods and storms, but has never been fully destroyed since it’s founding in 1357. It still remains Prague’s most trafficked bridge. Take pause at the statue of St John of Nepomuk. Rubbing the bronze dog will bring you good luck and ensure your return to Prague.
From the Lesser Town side of the Bridge, follow Mostecka Street into Malostranske Square and turn left onto Karmelitska street. At Karmelitska 9, you will find the Church of our Lady Victorious containing the famous Infant Jesus adorned in his ornate robes. The church’s name comes from the painting of Mary which brought victory on the battlefield. The Infant Jesus was a gift from the Princess Polyxena von Lobkowicz in the 1550’s to the Carmelites of Prague. Since then, many world leaders have presented the baby Jesus with orate gowns that are on display upstairs in the church. Most recently, in 2009 Pope Benedikt XVI crowned the Infant and he still wears it.
Continue on to the Prague Castle by taking tram 22. Cross the street and a few meters on the right from the church entrance you will find the stop Hellichova. Go 3 tram stops to Prazsky Hrad. Disembark the tram and cross the street to go directly into the Castle grounds where you will see the Gothic St Vitus Cathedral, 4 towers, the magical Golden Lane, St George’s Basilica (one of Prague’s oldest buildings), and the Old Royal Palace among other attractions. The combo ticket is valid for 2 days, so you can see part of the castle on one day and finish on the next day. Going after dark gives a different, enchanting perspective than you could see by day.
Taking in the top 10 famous sites is only part of your Prague adventure. To get the full experience, you need to take in some of the local culture as well such as the Black Light Theatre in Old Town, some classical concerts in historic locations such as the Municipal House, Rudolfinum, or Cathedrals all around town, or even take a day trip to an outlying town, like Terezin which was a Holocaust holding camp or Kutna Hora where there is a church made of bones serving as memorial to plague victims. Hiring a private guide or taking a private shuttle ensures comfort and security without getting lost!
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