Prague Old Town Sights and Attractions
As a city, Prague is built up of 5 conjoining ‘towns’ which act in picturesque harmony despite their staggered development. The Old Town dates back to the 9th century and bears some of the city’s most famous views, particularly the Charles Bridge which connects to the Lesser Town. If you have a spare day or two, check out our unmissable guide to Prague’s Old Town.
Before you decide on a destination, you are going to want to soak up the Medieval views on display. The infrastructure is so beautifully maintained it’s easy to imagine nothing has changed, although there may be a few less public floggings. Start in the Old Town Square, a historic plaza at the end of the Charles Bridge. This square is a meeting place for many, but at Christmas and Easter, don’t forget to check out their world famous festive markets.
From one end you see the Jan Hus memorial, a monument of the cultural reformer and philosopher who still represents strength against oppression. The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a Gothic church which casts one of the tallest shadows on the square. The outside is impressive enough, but the baroque adornments of the interior are worth popping your head in for.
Art and Museums
On the same Old Town Square is the Kinský Palace. Once a working palace for the Kinský family of nobles, it is now part of the National Gallery Prague. The outside of the building is one of the most remarkable in the entire Old Town, but the inside houses rotating exhibitions of everything from French Impressionism to Asian art and design history.
Directly next door is the Stone Bell House. Named after a stone bell which can be seen inlaid to the actual masonry of the building, the house has gone through many iterations through the centuries before settling on its current Gothic revival of a previous era. Exhibitions include classic Czech sculpture as well as more contemporary fare.
Moving away from the square and onto the banks of the Vltava river, we find the Galerie Rudolfinium. Previously mentioned galleries have certain space restrictions, but the Rudolfinium has a much more expansive floor to work with. As the gallery is home to various contemporary art pieces and installations, this means there is room for creativity to breath its deepest breaths.
If you want to stay on at the Rudolfinium, you can move on to the Dvořák Hall where Czech Philharmonic Orchestra call home. You will have to check listings and buy tickets in advance, but if you plan your trip well, you will be rewarded by the best classical music in the country in a uniquely historic setting. The Prague Spring International Music Festival is a particularly good time for music lovers.
While the Old Town Square has seasonal markets, all year round you can sample Czech wares at Havel’s Market. There is more than just food, with souvenirs, leather goods and clothing, but its fresh local produce warrants at least a perusal.
For something more substantial, you can’t miss out on La Finestra. Making the most of a beautiful Old Town building with exposed walls and tasteful décor, this is some of the finest Italian food outside of Italy. For gourmet classic Czech dishes there is KATR and, for vegetarians, we recommend the extensive menu at Maitrea.
Of course one of the best things to do in Prague’s Old Town is to explore and find new hidden gems for yourself. There are plenty of walking tours to get you started and even an entertainingly spooky ghost tour from McGee’s.
If you still need more advice, don’t forget you can ask our staff at the K+K Central Prague, located in a beautiful Art Deco building in the Old Town.