The Top 10 Things to do in Prague

Prague for the Adventurous

From fairytale castles to provocative art and, of course, great beer, there are plenty of reasons that Prague is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. That gobsmackingly gorgeous skyline is certainly one huge draw. As one of the few European capitals to escape large scale aerial bombardment, Prague managed to preserve its rich architectural heritage which includes everything from cherub-laden Baroque churches to Cubist villas. Tourist hotspots like Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and the President’s official residence, Prague Castle all more than merit a visit but do be sure to find time to escape the crowds. Take an alternative walking tour of the city led by a homeless guide; hop on a public ferry to the excellent zoo; write postcards over a cappuccino at an opulent First Republic style coffeehouse and finally, sip Gambrinus from a plastic cup in Letna Park with the locals late into the night. The trams will still be running when you need to go home: the iconic red and cream ones ooze character while the newest have free wifi. Long live Czechia!

#1 / Eataway

Eat with Locals
eataway prague

Eataway is a fantastic alternative to tourist-trap restaurants, giving travellers the opportunity to eat with a local cook at their home. There are few better ways to get all the insider tips than sharing a meal with a local family and asking them directly. As for the meal itself, the emphasis is always on freshly-prepared food made from fresh local ingredients. Home cooks right across Prague offer meals almost every day of the week, and it is a great opportunity to find out more about local things to do from the people who live here - both Czech nationals and others from around the world who have made Prague their home. Meals are generally 3 or 4 course affairs, and most include drinks in the price, although you are also welcome to bring your own bottle - its a nice gesture. Unlike in a restaurant, you are welcome to have seconds. Above all, you will get the chance to meet others - both locals and visitors often come to these meals - and make new friends. Many Eataway meals end up with the guests going out for a drink in a local bar afterwards. Booking is made online, and places can get hard to find at the last moment, so try to book at least 4 or 5 days in advance to have the best choice.

Address: Various homes around Prague
Oficial Web Page:
Price: 10 – 30 Euros per person for 3-4 courses with drinks

#2 / Náplavka embankment

Hip summer hangout
Náplavka embankment

It’s difficult to imagine now given the throngs who descend upon the Saturday farmers’ market on this stretch of the river bank that Náplavka embankment was once deserted save the swans. These days this stretch of the Vltava is the Prague summer hangout of choice: as well as the edible goodies check out the vintage clothes and bric-a-brac on a boat near Železniční most (railway bridge). There are also several floating galleries and bars as well as riverside cafes like Bajkazyl, where jersey-sporting cyclists sip Czech microbrewed beer balanced on the makeshift tables made from reclaimed doors. As well as liquid refreshment, bicycle rental is also available should you wish to glide along next to the water on two wheels. While an afternoon weekend stroll here on a bright day has become a 21st century pastime for Praguers, this part of the city really comes to life at night thanks to bohemian gatherings organised through social media like outdoor tango. Bizarrely Náplavka’s revival rarely merits a mention in most travel articles featuring the city so consider this a true insider tip!

Address: Rašínovo nábřeží, metro Karlovo náměstí (Palackého náměstí exit then cross main road and go down the stairs to the embankment)
Oficial Web Page: (in Czech)
Facebook:] (good for details of events)

#3 / Czech pub snacks

Forget your normal packet of crisps
Czech pub snacks

Czech beer is world famous but the culinary delights which locals snack on during a drinking session are less well known. Rather than the crisps and peanuts you’d expect in a British boozer, expect pig protein like tlačenka, a rough pate served with a garnish of raw onion, vinegar and slices of rye bread comprised of porcine head and trotters. The ears allegedly give this concoction, which you’ll find on any self-respecting Bohemian pub menu, extra bite. If you balk at munching on brawn, then try utopenec: literally, the drowned man, aka a pickled sausage. For once, vegetarians needn’t miss out on authentic Czech eats: nakládaný hermelín, affectionately nicknamed hermoš, is a popular evening snack consisting of marinated Czech camembert. The cheese is cut in half lengthwise, smeared with sliced onion, garlic and seasonings, then sandwiched back together to be stored in oil in a Mason jar. It then emerges several weeks later topped with a goat horn pepper, all ready to soak up that evening’s alcohol consumption. Needless to say, all of these are something of an acquired taste but unlike those trdelník pastries you’ll spot for sale at every tourist hotspot in the city, their authenticity cannot be denied.You might ask yourself if it’s a good idea going there, since it’s located a bit far out of the way, but don’t worry: you can get a shuttle from Ostkreuz to get there. And here goes a party rat tip: make sure to save some money for your way back. After partying for so many hours, the only thing you’ll want is a cab that will drop you right in front of the place where you're staying.

#4 / Prague Homeless Tours

An eye-opening exploration of Prague
Prague Homeless Tours
Pragulic is a social enterprise scheme masterminded by a pioneering group of Czech students who organise hugely popular walking tours of the capital led by people who’ve experienced homelessness. It’s ethical tourism in action: you see the main sights but from a more sideways perspective, as well as getting a unique insight into the gritty reality of sleeping rough. Best of all, the money you spend changes lives: half the ticket price goes straight to the guides to help them start afresh. One of the most popular guides is Karim, a former male prostitute sporting glittery false nails, battered leather jacket, and copious bling: during the day he escorts tourists through the Old Town’s maze of cobbled streets offering a knowledgeable, if sometimes fanciful, commentary on the best known sites as well as shedding light on the seedier side of the city’s picturesque spots for example, the easily overlooked memorial plaque on Perlová which honours fallen women and where Karim himself once picked up clients. Alternatively, join Karim for an eye-opening exploration of Prague at night which includes a detour from Wenceslas Square showing where the charismatic guide once scored heroin. The tours are accessible to English speakers thanks to a team of volunteer translators but a sufficient number of non-Czechs must show an interest for an interpreter to be booked so do get in touch with the Pragulic team well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Oficial Web Page:

#5 / Cold War Museum, Hotel Jalta

Nuclear bunker under Wenceslas Square
Cold War Museum Prague
The Czech state has yet to take on the challenge of creating a museum investigating the nation’s painful socialist past; privately owned establishments like the Museum of Communism are somewhat disappointing, offering curious visitors a cliché ridden narrative of the era. The best of the bunch, the Cold War Museum, doesn’t wholly avoid such pitfalls but it is housed in a fascinating location. Hidden in the basement of Hotel Jalta on Wenceslas Square in a nuclear bunker where the secret police had set up a listening post to spy on foreign guests, the museum is essentially a tour of this fascinating space, which could apparently have accommodated 150 people for two weeks, accompanied by a brief history of the period offered by the guide. The Association of Czechoslovak Armed Forces have done a respectable job of kitting the place out with period paraphernalia: there’s an authentic listening post and a morse code machine which visitors can try their hand at typing out messages on. Como, the hotel’s ground floor restaurant, also merits a visit as it’s one of the rare decent dining options amongst the tourist traps on Wenceslas Square with a reasonably priced lunch menu. The small terrace out front is a decent spot for people watching while the sweeping staircase in the main dining hall gives this former haunt of party apparatchiks an air of faded grandeur.

Price: Adults 120CZK, Children 6-15 years old 60CZK, Students and OAPs 90CZK. 50CZK surcharge for tours with a foreign language guide.
Address: Hotel Jalta, Václavské náměstí 45/818, Prague 1
Oficial Web Page:

#6 / David Černý sculpture spotting

A playfully disrespectful artistic vision
David Černý sculptures
David Černý is the enfant terrible of the Czech art scene. He's responsible for, among many entertaining and provocative works, the press up performing Routemaster buses at London’s 2012 Olympics as well as a 12 metre high purple middle finger positioned to face Prague Castle, the Czech President’s official base. The message to Miloš Zeman was clear. While the floating finger was only a temporary installation, there are plenty of Černý’s sculptures on permanent display around the Czech capital: seeking them out offers a refreshingly quirky way to explore the city. The upside-down horse and rider in the Pasáž Lucerna shopping arcade is a tongue-in-cheek parody of the nation’s saint; compare with the iconic original version on nearby Wenceslas Square. The two peeing sculptures outside the Malá Strana based Kafka museum who perpetually take a leak into a pond the same shape as the Czech Republic are a favourite of the artist who claims that they’ve inspired couples to get it on right next there in the courtyard. The creepy babies with barcodes instead of faces crawling up the side of Žižkov Television Tower are also Černý’s work; see some more of these sci-fi infants up close and personal on Kampa Island. If you’re keen to catch a glimpse of the artist himself, head to the MeetFactory, a contemporary arts venue founded by Černý where he regularly hangs out: the building’s exterior is decorated with sanguine coloured sculptures of Škoda cars hanging like carcasses from meat hooks – another example of Černý’s playfully disrespectful artistic vision.

Address: MeetFactory, Ke Sklárně 3213/15, Prague 5
Oficial Web Page:
Telephone: + 420 251551796

#7 / Coffeehouses old and new

hangover from the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Prague coffeehouses
Like Vienna and Budapest, those other grand capitals of the once opulent Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prague’s coffeehouses are woven into the fabric of the city. One grand establishment from the period which has been revived is Café Louvre. A century ago it was frequented by Einstein and Kafka: today it remains a great place to play billiards (so long as you can stand the smokey air) and write postcards while being served by waiters who glide gracefully between the tables in waistcoats and bowties. Feast on a decadent breakfast (English or Czech style), linger over a traditional lunch or skip both and indulge in a huge wedge of creamy gateau. Time doesn't stand still: the Czech capital is now home to a new breed of 21st century cafes where latte art is lovingly crafted on káva pulled by champion baristas. A short tram ride from the centre takes you to the suburb of Holešovice, home to Paralelní Polis, where the only accepted currency is bitcoin. As the name suggests, the aim behind this establishment is about more than serving up speciality coffee: founded by the Ztohoven group of hackers and artists, the three floor space dubs itself “the Institute of Cryptoanarchy” and regularly hosts events promoting the free dissemination of information through the internet. Just like the coffeehouses of yesteryear, Paralelní Polis is a hotbed of revolution – but this time it’s digital.

Address: Café Louvre, Národní 22, Prague 1
Oficial Web Page:
Telephone: +420 724 054 055, +420 224 930 949

Address: Paralelní Polis, Dělnická 43, Prague 7
Oficial Web Page:
Telephone: +420 739 339 603

#8 / Zahradní Pivnice Letenské Sady (Letná Beer Garden)

Make friends with Gambrinus and Pilsner
Letna Beer Garden
The picnic tables are shabby, food options consist of that fat Czech sausage klobása with a dash of mustard or a kebab and there are no fancy microbrewery lagers on tap, just those local stalwarts Gambrinus and Pilsner. That said, summer just wouldn’t be summer in Prague without sipping a cold beer from a plastic cup in the sprawling, shady garden open from May to September next to Letenský Zámeček restaurant. It’s the view that the real showstopper: it’s simply one of the best vantage points from which to admire picture postcard-perfect Prague. The panorama stretches from the Vítkov Memorial to the giant alien ray gun, Žižkov TV Tower to Týn Church and the Astrological Clock on Old Town Square. The sheer variety of people who congregate here, from young boozers to grown-up folk with kids, as well as those tourists lucky enough to be in the know, is another source of the place’s appeal. Of course there are other parks with beer gardens, notably Riegrovy sady with its giant screens to please the sports fan crowd, but Letná’s is arguably the best. If slumming it isn’t your style, the adjacent Letenský Zámeček has an upmarket menu and al fresco seating but lacks that spectacular vista.

Address: Letenské sady 341, Prague 7
Oficial Web Page:
Telephone: +420 724 170 940

#9 / Tour Prague by Public Ferry

Swap the streets for the river
Prague Ferry
Thankfully, Prague is a city blessed with excellent public transport which makes exploring it undemanding even if you’re not an intrepid walker – and it’s cheap too. Gazing out of a tram window and admiring the pretty facades on passing buildings is a visual treat not to be missed but few visitors realise that their ticket can also take them on a boat trip. Prague currently has public ferry routes in operation as part of its travel network: most connect opposite banks of the Vltava so you’ll be cruising across rather than along the river. Hop on the most modern ferry (Route P7) opposite Pražská Tržnice, Prague’s largest market and head for Štvanice Island or stay on board for the final stop, Rohanský ostrov, which brings you to Karlín, an up-and-coming neighbourhood recently invigorated by a new wave of hipster cafes and restaurants. Start your day with a hike around Divoká Šárka, the city’s rugged park-come-nature reserve complete with outdoor lido then take the ferry from V Podbabě to Podhoří for an afternoon stroll around the nearby zoo or in case of inclement weather, try a tour of Troja Chateau instead. Be sure to check the timetable in advance though as there are usually only two or three ferries an hour and not all routes operate all year round.

Price: All Prague public transport tickets and passes are valid on the public ferries; a 32CZK, valid for 90 minutes, will cover the length of most journeys.
Oficial Web Page:

#10 / Explore Old Town Square... underground

Go below
Old Town Square Prague
Old Town Square is one of Prague’s most popular tourist attractions for good reason: it’s simply stunning. However, the chance to admire all that architectural eye-candy comes at a price: too often it’s choked with visitors whether they’ve come to swig a svařák – mulled wine – on the Christmas markets or snap a selfie by the art nouveau statue of national hero Jan Hus in the summer sunshine. The good news is there is a way to escape the crowds: by heading underground. It's possible to go on a tour of the Old Town Hall (the building on Old Town Square in which the Astrological Clock is housed) which includes a peek around the cellars, used as a prison both in medieval times and more recently by the Nazis, who torched part of the building during the May 1945 Prague uprising. You’ll be taken right underneath Old Town Square several meters below current street level to where Renaissance houses once stood. Rather than fighting with the eager crowds who descend on the Astrological Clock every hour to glimpse the wooden figures which pop out every hour, join the Old Town Hall tour to see the orloj from a fresh angle: the tour begins with a peek at the clock’s internal workings.

Address: Staroměstské náměstí 1/3, Prague 1
Oficial Web Page:
Telephone: +420 775 400 052, +420 236 002 629, +420 775 443 438
Price: Adults 100CZK, Children, students and OAPs 70CZK, combined admission with tower 180CZK