After spending 2 months in this wonderful city, I obviously have some ideas about things to do in Prague. Some of them will likely already be included on other people’s lists, and some of them probably won’t be. Some of my items will quite likely be. . . unique.
Not the typical things to do in Prague
We were enjoying enough of the other activities that we didn’t avail ourselves of these opportunities, but they’re stil worth mentioning.
- Indoor skydiving. You get to experience a free fall that would be similar to jumping out of a plane, but you’re a lot closer to the ground and in a contained environment. Think you might like to skydive and just want a taste? This is your thing
- Driving a tank. Ever watched a war movie and thought to yourself “I bet driving a tank would be fun!” Well, now you can find out for yourself. There is actually more than one business offering this opportunity, so make sure to shop around.
- Shooting an AK-47 and some other guns. While many shooting ranges offer the chance to fire off a pistol or shotgun, getting the chance to shoot an AK-47 is a bit less common. If you want something a bit tamer, there are also plenty of places offering both indoor and outdoor paintball facilities.
Prague is absolutely full of history. As a country, the Czech Republic has been occupied by many foreign nations, and some of those experiences have left indelible marks on the culture. Amazingly, the Paris of the East didn’t suffer the damage to buildings that many neighboring countries did during World War II.
A large population of Jews has been in Prague since at least the 10th century. As is common with Jewish communities throughout history, they have experienced many ups and downs in Prague. The area known as Josefov has become almost entirely swallowed up by the old town of the city. However, there are some interesting buildings and other sites worth visiting.
Unfortunately, admission to the Old New Synagogue is quite steep in my opinion at about $10 USD per adult for just the synagogue. Some of the other sites are even more expensive, and you can expect to pay for photography rights as well. There are some discounts offered if you’re buying a combination ticket.
If, however, you’re like me and refuse to spend that much money to walk into a small synagogue, walk around the neighborhood. There is still plenty to see.
This area is absolutely gorgeous. Make sure to check out my guide to getting around Prague for a tip on how to visit the castle area without climbing a bazillion stairs.
We didn’t go inside the castle because Tigger is “castled out,” but I visited the grounds and the neighborhood near the castle multiple times and absolutely loved it.
Make sure to visit the Gate of Giants. It’s fairly impressive and something you just really need to see. You can also have a Buckingham Palace-like experience with the guards as they do not move or interact with visitors.
Make sure to visit the cathedral as well. It is absolutely gorgeous.
Afterward, I recommend walking past the Gate of Giants and into the local neighborhood. Follow the street around the Loreto area for some very fascinating medieval buildings and roads as well as a rather unique church.
The square is especially enjoyable around holidays and on the weekend when it fills with street performers, street food, and more. The architecture will have your head swinging from side to side as you try to catch sight of every statue, Baroque painting, and so on.
The Charles Bridge is well known, and even though it is chock full of tourists, you really need to visit it and walk across. It is full of statues spaced about a meter apart, and they’re extremely interesting to view. You can also get some nice views here.
If you want to get some good photos of the bridge, you’ll need to visit the bridge very early in the morning or during crap weather. Otherwise it is packed full of tourists and vendors.
The astronomical clock is located in the square. You will see tons of people milling about as it gets close to the hour. The clock puts on quite a show for its audience. It would be worth getting there at least 15-20 minutes before the hour so you can get a front-row experience. During high season, you’ll want to get there even earlier I imagine.
This old fort was likely built around the 10th century. One of my favorite parks is located up the hill. Additionally, the gothic Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul is definitely worth a visit. I’ve visited lots of cathedrals all over the world, and this one rates highly in my opinion. It has a very unique interior that just shouldn’t be missed. Admission is about $1.50 USD.
I was stunned by the presence of art nouveau, Gothic, and Baroque artwork throughout the interior. It’s really quite exquisite. While we were there during low season, I got the impression it doesn’t get as many visitors as some of the more popular and more visible churches in Prague.
Behind the church is a cemetery with some of the most famous Czechs, and there are some beautiful murals and architecture to be seen there as well.
In the park next to the basilica, you’ll find large statues dedicated to four legendary Czech heroes.
You will occasionally spot a set of stairs going below ground level. These are where you can find remnants of old foundations and some of the buildings that used to be found here.
Look for the remains of the watchtower. There you’ll be able to find a hole in the old bath floor. Apparently, one of the princesses used to amuse herself by putting lovers she was bored with in this hole and dumping them into the river below.
Keep your eyes pealed for the famed Devil’s Pillars, too. There is a cool local legend about them. Historians have differing opinions. They aren’t all that impressive structurally or artistically, but they appear so random it’s worth noting them as you pass by.
This is a great place to bring a picnic, but there are also places around to get food and drinks, including beer. It IS Czech after all.
This stunning beauty is located on a hill overlooking the river and the city of Prague. The park is an attraction in itself, but when you factor in the amazing views, you’ll want to add this to your must-do list.
Getting here by public transportation isn’t always the easiest thing to figure out. I recommend using tram stop Korunovační. Multiple trams come here, and it gives you a nice flat walk into the park. It’s great to walk through the park, find the metronome monument, and walk downhill from here. This will take you to the Czech parliament building and offers a great walk along the river not too far from the historic area.
Prague has multiple small woods and green spaces, most of which also include great paths for bicycling, rollerblading, etc. We love just walking along the paths.
The woods by where we lived are quite lovely with numerous dirt paths. It’s a bit tricky to get to, but the nearest bus stop is Lhotecký les. It’s about 20-30 minutes from town.
If you head to the bus stop Zátišská, you’ll find an even larger green space with various bodies of water.
These two areas above are rarely ever visited by tourists, so you won’t have major crowds and will get a great taste of local culture. There are plenty of Czech restaurants around here as well.
Some of the locals know this by the name Sapa (sah-pah). The Little Vietnam title was coined by me, but when I’ve said it many people knew what I meant. This is a really fun little area to visit. It reminded us both of our time in Vietnam. There are some great Asian grocery stores here, and there are tons of small eateries where you can get seriously authentic Vietnamese food.
This area is located on the outskirts of Prague. The nearest bus station is Sídliště Písnice. It will take you about 30-40 minutes to get here from the old town, possibly longer depending on when you’re traveling.
When you get off the bus, you’ll notice a small shopping plaza with an advertisement for a Vietnamese restaurant. Go through the shopping building and exit on the other side. Walk past the restaurant and hotel, and you’ll find it easily. We really enjoyed visiting here, but if you haven’t been to Vietnam it may not be as interesting to you.
While most of the above activities are great with children, there are a couple of others you may want to check out. One is the Prague Zoo. Plan on spending most of the day here. It’s a big zoo! Food and drinks are about the same as what you’d find anywhere else, which is quite nice.
When taking the metro, look for the zoo animal icons on the metro maps to spot the correct stop. It’s pretty noticeable. Once in the station, follow the signs to the bus for the zoo. You really can’t miss the stop.
One of the other more unusual kid-friendly venues is the Museum of Special Effects. It’s a small exhibit, but kids can get hands-on with some of the special effects and find themselves in some movies. The museum is really pretty fun, and they have some outdoor activity areas that kids love, too.
Concerts & Sports
Prague has been a cultural seat of Europe for decades. Here you will find modern & classic theater, dance, opera and similar productions. In addition, the city attracts a lot of big names. While we were there, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Depeche Mode had concerts.
The site Prague Events Calendar is a great one to check to see all the various things that are going on in Prague. Everything from classes and small festivals to larger productions.
If you’re into hockey, you’re in the right country. Czechs are serious about their hockey.
One of our favorite ways of visiting a city is to just get out and walk or jump on a bus, tram, or train and get off at a random stop. There are plenty of neighborhoods packing surprises for you in Prague. Make sure to plan some time just walking around aimlessly.
What are your favorite things to do in Prague?
March 30, 2014
Prague looks like a very interesting city. I’d love to visit one day.
March 30, 2014
It definitely is a great city.
March 21, 2014
Glad you found some great things to do in the “Hlavni mesto!”
Last summer, I found myself back in Vinohrady to find the old vineyards (now a park) and the present vineyards (fenced off).
For those who’re fan of cubism, there are a number of cubist houses at the base of the Vysehrad plateau.
Strolling from Letna to Stromovka is *not* a bad way to spend an afternoon through those park spaces.
The west side of Hradcany by the Strahov monastery is often very quiet, especially the sloped walkways between Strahov and nearby Petrin hill.
March 25, 2014
And I believe that monastery also has great beer.
March 21, 2014
I knew Prague for its gorgeous architecture. Nice to know that there is so much more to it.
March 21, 2014
SO much more!
March 20, 2014
St. Michael’s church at the foot of Prague Castle. The interior is mind blowing, but you must love baroque. There’s Starbucks nearby for coffee and wifi before you take a tram across Starbucks to see Prague Castle. And I did love Loreto, but I’m a bit of saints buff.
March 21, 2014
There are much better coffee places than Starbucks not too far away, too. 😉
March 19, 2014
There is another Jewish cemetery at the base of the Zižkov TV tower (the one with the babies on it) and when I went, it was something like 20Kc? Smaller and completely empty, I liked it better. You can sometimes tour the catacombs at Vyšehrad, where the real statues from Charles Bridge are. The ones in the bridge are replicas.
I can’t remember the time (noon?) but there is a small changing of the guard ceremony at Prague Castle too.
I’m so happy you liked Prague!
March 21, 2014
It’s really a shame they charge so much. With so many tourists coming into the area, they’re overlooking a great educational opportunity.
September 12, 2015
As long as there are people paying the price they ask and keep coming they price will remain I guess. Would be great if the government could chip in to make it more accessible.
September 13, 2015
I don’t believe that’s necessary. They could lower the admission and still make enough money to maintain the site(s).