15 Distinctive Issues to Do in Prague (Up to date 2023)
Posted: 2/13/2023 | February Thirteenth, 2023
Prague is considered one of Europe’s hottest cities. Owing to its beautiful medieval structure, it has developed a repute as one of many continent’s must-see locations.
Sadly, its reputation means it will get packed in the course of the summer season. In 2019, practically seven million vacationers descended on Prague, a metropolis of simply 1.3 million individuals!!!! And the crowds have now returned post-COVID.
However, whereas Prague could also be battling overtourism, town has so much to supply intrepid (and repeat) guests who wish to see one thing apart from the identical outdated highlights.
For instance, do you know that a few hundred years in the past, a bunch of Czech architects determined to use Picasso’s Cubist type to structure and that scattered round Prague is a small handful of Cubist buildings, together with a Cubist café?
Or that there are always revolving, doorless elevators in Prague that you must hop out and in of?
That can assist you deepen your go to and get off the crushed path, right here is my record of the very best distinctive issues to do in Prague that will help you see one thing totally different:
1. St. Jacob the Larger Church
The Church of St. Jacob the Larger will get ignored as a result of it sits within the shadow of Týn Cathedral on Previous City Sq.. However, for the curious who do enterprise inside this Thirteenth-century basilica, in case you search for simply inside the doorway, you’ll see an object hanging from a sequence.
It’s a withered hand on a meat hook.
Because the story goes, a thief tried to steal some priceless jewels from a statue of the Virgin Mary on the altar. As he laid his hand on the jewels, the statue reached out and grabbed him. And it will not let go.
Some parishioners — a lot of whom belonged to the Prague Butchers’ Guild — amputated the hand of the thief and Mary instantly dropped it. As a lesson (and warning) to potential future thieves, they hung the hand up within the church and, a number of centuries later, it’s nonetheless there.
When you take a ghost strolling tour of Prague, you’ll cease right here to listen to all about this grizzly story.
Malá Štupartská 635. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9:30am-4pm. Admission is free.
2. Charles Sq.
One of many largest squares in Europe, Charles Sq. sits in New City (Nové Mesto). It was initially a cattle market the place in addition they offered fish, wheat, and charcoal. And, for one week a 12 months, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who made Prague the capital of the empire throughout his 14th-century reign, held an annual relics present right here (relics had been spiritual objects of necessary significance). Now, it’s a gorgeous sq. few individuals go to however is a superb place to people-watch.
3. Bethlehem Chapel
Positioned on a pleasing and intimate sq. in Previous City (Staré Mesto), this was the place a person named Jan Hus preached to parishioners within the early fifteenth century — in Czech, not in Latin as was required on the time. This was thought of radical. Hus was probably the most charismatic preachers in Prague. He attacked the pomp and circumstance of the church and papacy, which he mentioned was designed to exclude commoners.
Remember to word the simplicity and lack of icons. The structure was very a lot in keeping with Hus’s philosophy of how one ought to worship God.
Betlémské nám., bethlehemchapel.eu. Open each day 9am-6:30pm. Admission is free.
4. Vítkov Hill
Hike as much as this hill east of Previous City and also you’ll be rewarded with a superb view. However there’s one more reason to go to: it’s topped by the world’s largest equestrian statue. The person on the horse is one-eyed Basic Jan Žižka. After the pope had Jan Hus (talked about above) burned on the stake in 1415, individuals like Žižka took up his trigger. He fashioned a military, and shortly sufficient, warrior-crusaders representing the Pope had been marching into Bohemia (the western half of right this moment’s Czech Republic) to attempt to quash his reform-minded insurrection. A few thousand of Žižka’s males defeated a military of Catholic crusaders — some say there have been 20,000 of them. The Hussites, as they known as themselves, had been ultimately defeated by the Catholics, however Žižka’s spirit stays on Vítkov Hill.
Prague is second solely to New Orleans in having the best variety of pubs per capita, and Žižkov has about 300 of them, the best density in Prague. Do your self a favor and go on a pub crawl right here.
5. Toddler of Prague
When you’re a fan of non secular historical past, one spiritual oddity value in search of out in Prague is a child doll on show contained in the Sixteenth-century Church of Our Girl Victorious within the Malá Strana neighborhood. The Toddler of Prague (typically referred to in Italian as Il Bambino di Praga) was delivered to town by King Ferdinand in 1628.
Rampaging Swedish troopers — who went on a wild frenzy in Prague within the 1630s — threw the doll in a pile of trash and it was misplaced. That’s, till seven years later, when a priest was milling in regards to the mountain of trash and heard a voice saying, “Psst. Psst. Have pity on me, and I’ll have pity on you. The extra you honor me, the extra I’ll bless you.” Ever since, the Toddler has been again in its chapel in Our Girl Victorious.
Right now there’s a cult of worship of the Toddler of Prague in Catholic communities all around the world. In Eire, for instance, it’s notably auspicious for a soon-to-be bride to be given a miniature duplicate of the doll.
Karmelitská 9, pragjesu.cz. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:30am, Sunday 1pm-6pm. Admission is free.
6. Paternoster Elevator
Nicknamed “the Elevator of Loss of life,” the Paternoster is a kind of elevate that doesn’t have a door — and it doesn’t cease at flooring. There are a handful of them round city however the one that’s most simply accessible is in Prague Metropolis Corridor in Previous City.
Head via the entrance doorways and stroll the lengthy hallway to the again of the constructing. There you’ll discover the slow-moving elevate. Soar in (rigorously) and benefit from the journey. When you don’t get off on the highest flooring, haven’t any worry: the elevator merely revolves in a loop, and shortly sufficient you’ll be going again down.
Prague New Metropolis Corridor, Mariánské nám. 2, praha.eu/jnp. Open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. Admission is free.
7. Petrín Tower
In 1889, a bunch from the Membership of Czech Vacationers went to Paris to see the World Exposition. They had been awestruck by the brand new Eiffel Tower so the impressed Czechs went again house and raised sufficient cash to erect the same tower on Petrín Hill, close to the middle of Prague.
Petrín Tower isn’t precisely a duplicate of the Eiffel Tower, however you may simply acknowledge that the tower was closely impressed by the Eiffel Tower. Guests right this moment can trudge up the 299 stairs to get a shocking view of Prague.
Petrínské sady 633. Open each day 10am-8pm. Admission is 150 CZK.
8. Different Prague Strolling Tour
I like strolling excursions. They cowl lots of floor and might get you off the vacationer path with the assistance of an professional native information. This Different Prague strolling tour will introduce you to a number of the metropolis’s finest avenue artwork and illuminate what occurred in the course of the Velvet Revolution in 1989. You’ll additionally go to a steampunk underground membership, discover hidden cafes, see secret group theaters, and even find out about an underground crypto-anarchist hacker institute!
If you wish to get a style of the assorted distinctive communities and artists on the margins of Prague, this tour shouldn’t be missed.
Excursions final 3 hours and value 623 CZK per individual. You possibly can e book your tour right here.
9. Cubist Structure
Between 1911 and 1914, a small group of Czech architects determined to see what it will be like in the event that they utilized Cubism — normally present in work, reminiscent of within the early-Twentieth-century work of Picasso — to structure. And so up went just a few buildings which might be lovely, odd, and placing. You possibly can stroll across the Vyšehrad neighborhood, about two miles south of Previous City, and discover a few of these constructions.
One different centrally situated Cubist website it’s best to hunt down is on Jungmannovo námestí (Jungmann Sq.), simply off the underside of Václavské námestí (Wenceslas Sq.). It’s not solely essentially the most lovely Cubist lamppost on this planet — it’s the solely Cubist lamppost on this planet.
To study extra in regards to the Cubist type, you may take the Artwork Nouveau and Cubist Structure strolling tour. It’s 3 hours and covers all the primary highlights.
Ovocný trh 19, grandcafeorient.cz. Open each day 8am-10pm. Admission is free.
10. St. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
On October 28, 1941, two Czech paratroopers who had been dwelling in exile in Nice Britain covertly parachuted into Prague beneath the duvet of evening. Their aim was to assassinate prime Nazi official and head of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich. The key mission was known as Operation Anthropoid.
On Might 27, 1942, Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubiš ambushed Heydrich’s automobile, spraying Heydrich with a bathe of bullets. Heydrich died just a few days later, the one prime Nazi official to be assassinated.
After that, the Nazis needed vengeance, so that they went on a manhunt round Prague. The paratroopers went into hiding within the crypt of the medieval-era Cathedral of St. Cyril and Methodius for 3 weeks. Sadly, somebody snitched on them, and shortly sufficient, the Germans had the church surrounded. However as soon as they lastly broke into the crypt, they discovered Gabcik and Kubiš lifeless from self-inflicted bullet wounds.
You possibly can go to this church right this moment and nonetheless see the Nazi bullet holes within the exterior partitions. You may as well take a World Warfare II strolling tour that covers this story — and far more round Prague.
Resslova 9a, katedrala.data. Open Tuesday-Saturday 8am-5pm, Sunday 8am-2pm. Admission is free.
11. Prague Metronome
When you’re crossing the Charles Bridge and look to the north up the Vltava River towards Letná Park, you may see an enormous metronome. As odd as it’s, it’s not as bizarre as a number of the different issues which have been in that spot. For instance, in 1955, Communist authorities erected the world’s largest statue of Josef Stalin.
Stalin fell out of favor just a few years later, and in 1962 the monument was blown up. In 1991, Prague erected the 75-foot functioning metronome in the identical place. Its designer, Czech sculptor Vratislav Karel Novák, envisioned the monument as representing “the relentless passing of time.” A plaque on the base of the construction reads, “In time, all issues cross.”
When you go to the metronome within the warm-weather months right this moment, there’s an out of doors bar promoting beer and cocktails, typically a DJ is spinning tunes, and there may be at all times a gaggle of skaters hanging round.
Letná Park. Open 24 hours. Admission is free.
12. Day Journey to Bohemian Paradise Geopark
Bohemian Paradise Geopark is a UNESCO-listed panorama and residential to beautiful geological formations which might be hundreds of thousands of years outdated. The deep pine forests and rocky panorama have been widespread with painters and artists for hundreds of years. There are additionally a handful of historic lodges and different buildings right here too, some that date to the Center Ages.
Only one hour away from Prague by automobile, day trippers can go to the park to absorb the attractive panorama, hike, see native folks villages, and benefit from the surroundings away from the crowds of town.
Excursions from Prague usually final 8 hours and embody visits to native artisan outlets in addition to lunch in a small native restaurant within the park.
Day excursions from Prague price round 4,000 CZK. You possibly can e book your tour right here.
13. Žižkov TV Tower
This 700-foot tower was erected within the latter half of the Eighties, and there have been rumors that the Communists constructed it to dam out radio transmissions from the West. Locals have hated the construction since day one.
It wasn’t till Prague allowed well-known Czech artist David Cerny to put in ten big crawling black infants on the shaft of the construction that public opinion started to melt a bit. It’s value getting an up-close take a look at it. You may as well get an excellent vista of Prague in case you take the elevator as much as the viewing platform.
Mahlerovy sady 1, towerpark.cz. Open each day 8am-midnight. Admission is 300 CZK and you may get your ticket right here.
14. Sapa Praha
Prague has a big Vietnamese group. That’s as a result of, in the course of the 41-year Communist interval, the Czechs took in lots of visiting Vietnamese trade college students (Vietnam was additionally a Communist nation). That implies that there are a plethora of (nice) Vietnamese eating places in Prague.
If you wish to dive in, the very best place is known as Sapa, also called “Little Hanoi.” Even Anthony Bourdain made a degree to go to this massive market complicated when he filmed a TV episode in Prague. It has lots of low cost items on the market, however the actual motive to return right here is to eat at one of many glorious northern Vietnamese eating places.
Libušská 319/126, sapa-praha.cz. Open each day 8am-6pm. Admission is free.
15. Franz Kafka statue
Across the flip of the final century, the Prague-based Kafka Society held a contest for a brand new statue of Franz Kafka that will be erected within the heart of Prague (Kafka was born in Prague and was a significant contributor to Twentieth-century literature). Lots of the entries had been related, that includes the German-speaking Jewish author standing on a pedestal. However Czech artist Jaroslava Rona did one thing extra artistic together with his entry: he had Kafka sitting on the shoulders of a headless man carrying a go well with, an allusion to his quick story “Description of a Wrestle.”
Not solely did Rona’s surrealist sculpture win the competitors, however the Kafka Society’s annual prize to writers can also be a small model of the statue. You possibly can see the unique on show within the Jewish Quarter, the place Dušni and Vezenská Streets meet.
Vezenská and Dušni Streets. Open 24 hours. Admission is free.
Prague is a magical vacation spot value taking the time to discover. Whereas the primary highlights are spectacular, to me, town actually involves life when you get off the vacationer path and expertise Prague’s much less visited, extra obscure sights.
Even in case you go to within the hectic summer season months, you’ll discover far fewer crowds at Prague’s offbeat sights, making certain a extra stress-free (and extra genuine) go to.
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