Prague has so many highlights! And on top of that, it’s a beautiful destination all year round. I particularly like Prague in the fall and winter. When the trees are changing in their autumnal wardrobe and later get covered in snow. It’s a magical place! And seeing that summer is (almost) over, and people start planning their end of the year trips, I thought now would be a good time to tell you all about the highlights of Prague!
Best travel time for Prague
Like I said, Prague is a perfect destination for every season. The climate is moderate, with nice, warm summers and snowy winters.
If you’re traveling in the months November, December and January there’s a chance you get to see Prague covered in a beautiful blanket of snow. But, unfortunately, the weather is known for its inpredictability, so there’s no guarantee. But with or without snow, Prague is still a magical Christmas wonderland in November and December, lights everywhere!
If you prefer warmer temperatures, try to visit between May and September.
My 9 highlights of Prague
1. Charles Bridge
One of the best highlights of Prague is the Charles Bridge. Also one of the busiest. If you go early in the morning, you might beat the crowds of tourists that visit the bridge every day. But, on the other hand, you haven’t really ‘seen’ the Charles Bridge without the tourists!
There are 30 statues on the left and right balustrades of the bridge and they represent saints and patron saints.
2. Wenceslas Square
At first sight, this looks more like a boulevard than a square. We walked past it twice, thinking, ‘this can’t be it, where’s the square?’. In my opinion, the square is less impressive than I would have thought. There is a nice statue in the square of saint Wenseclas (Vaclav in Czech) though.
The square has been the main stage for several historical events. It’s the place where in 1969 Jan Palach set himself on fire out of protest for the lack of democracy in the former communist Czechoslovakia. And it’s where the Velvet Revolution began in 1989, the beginning of the end of the communist era in the country.
3. Old Town Square
Now this is a square! It’s the perfect place to sit back, have a beer and watch the tourists go by. Especially if you happen to have a seat on one of the terraces around the astronomical clock. People gather around the clock every hour to watch it strike the hour. Unfortunately the clocktower was being renovated when I was last there, so it was covered in scaffolding.
4. Astronomical Clock
This ingenius piece of geniality really is a wonder to see. But it’s almost impossible to tell the time with this clock, or these clocks, as I should say.
The clock has three parts:
The top part shows tiny statues of Catholic Saints. A door opens every hour and they ‘walk’ from one side to the other.
The second part is the astronomical dial. This in its part, has three disks which represent the position of the sun, the moon and tells the time (apparently). But not just any old time, it gives you five different kinds of time:
- Local Prague time;
- Time, measured in 12 hours;
- Time, measured in 24 hours;
- The position of the sun in the zodiac;
- Star time
The third part shows a calender with the 12 months of the year.
If you want more information and a video of the clock striking the hour, check out this site.
5. Mucha Museum
Are you a fellow lover of Art Nouveau en Jugendstil? Than Prague is your town! You should definitely visit the (small) Mucha Museum. Which houses a beautiful collection of his works.
Unfortunately his biggest work, the Slav Epic (which took him 18 years to complete), isn’t on display at the museum. The reason being that Mr. Mucha promised his work to the city of Prague. Under the condition that it would be displayed in a specially built pavilion. And since 2012 the 20 paintings that comprise his masterpiece are on display in the Veletržní Palace.
If I had done my homework a bit better, I would’ve known this, and I would not have found this out at the very last minute, when visiting the museum on our last day. Oh well, now I have a very good excuse to return to Prague! Not that you need one, really!
6. Vyšehrad and the Saint Peter en Paul Cathedral
It’s a lovely walk along the Vltava river, to get from the city centre to Vyšehrad. This is where you’ll find the amazingly gorgeous Vyšehrad Cathedral. Where the inside is even more stunning than the outside. You’ll be amazed with the Art Nouveau interior! And the area of Vyšehrad gets bonus points for the amazing views you get up here.
7. Vyšehrad Cemetery
A walk through the old cemetery next to the cathedral is very interesting as well. Not only are the graves incredibly old, but some are also really beautiful.
8. The architecture of the Old Town
Walking through the Old Town of Prague is in itself a highlight. So many beautiful buildings! No wonder that this part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
9. Prague Castle
Prague Castle is a complex which actually consists of many buildings, court yards, streets, churches and palaces. With a surface of 7,5 hectares it’s the largest stronghold in the world. Among the buildings are the Saint Vitus Cathedral, the Royal Palace and the Golden Street. Prague Castle is a UNESCO monument.
It’s a real treat to roam the little streets of Prague Castle. It’s like stepping centuries back in time! There are so many different buildings, in various architectural styles. I loved it!
Although, I have to admit that the Golden Street is a bit of a disappointment nowadays. It’s basically a cute street with a bunch of tiny tourist shops.
You’ll find the Summer Palace (how decadent!) of Queen Anna within the Royal Gardens. Both are also worth a visit.
Do you have any sightseeing tips for me?
Have you ever been to Prague and do you have any other sightseeing tips for me? I’d love to hear from you! Because I am definitely going back to this gorgeous, old city one day!
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