Without a doubt, Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its architecture, culture, delicacies, and historical tourist attractions. The Czech capital is also known as “The City of Hundred Spires” worldwide. Even though the nickname is factually incorrect, seen as the number of spires within the city varies from 500 to 1000, the phrase was used by the Austrian historian Josef Hormayr in the 19th century. And then, a Bohemian mathematician named Bernard Bolzano also used the same phrase, having counted the spires in the city, popularising the saying. Nevertheless, it’s an undeniable fact that the Prague skyline offers the best viewpoints. If you are convinced to pay a visit to Prague, it’s best to previously prepare a bucket list to not miss out on memorable experiences. So, here are some activities to consider.
1. Visiting The Old Town Square
The Old Town Square of Prague (also known as “Staromák” or “Staroměstské náměstí”) is located between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge which makes visiting it very convenient as it’s within walking distance to other renowned tourist attractions. It’s a must-see place as it has been the venue for numerous historical events. To give an example, we can mention the collective execution of the twenty-seven Bohemian leaders of the uprisings against the Hapsburg reign, also known as “The Old Town Square Execution”, marking one of the consequences of the failed Bohemian Revolt. The significance of the site varied in accordance with the changes in the historical timeline; however, with the independence of the Czechoslovak State, the square established its notable place in Europe. The area is highly touristic as it is where the Astronomical Clock is located, but you can also find many cafés and restaurants in the side streets serving traditional delicacies. You will probably be offered to try “Goulash” or “Duck with Dumplings” wherever you go, and they are definitely worth giving a chance so that you can enjoy local food.
2. “Trdelnik” Shops at Every Street Corner
Trdelnik is a traditional dessert in several countries of Europe and it is the ultimate tourist delight you can find anywhere in Prague to treat yourself with when you need it after a long day of walking. It is basically a pastry dough wrapped around a spindle and cooked
on an open fire. It dates back to 19th century Slovenia and ever since then, it still uses the same recipe and the same methods. It is also known as “Czech Cake” or “Chimney Cake” (mainly because of its shape). The heavenly smell of the cinnamon-coated pastry covers the streets of Prague, thus, leaving no chance but to taste the dessert at least once.
3. The Astronomical Clock
As mentioned above, the Astronomical Clock is located in Old Town Square, naturally making it a popular destination for visitors. Especially if it’s close to the top of the hour, you will surely see a huge crowd gathered in front of the clock, looking at it without batting an eyelid. This is to see the golden rooster crowing and the gigantic bell ringing once the time comes every hour. It is also definitely a must-see due to its incredible 15th-century architecture and the fact that it is the oldest working clock in the world and the third oldest overall. It indicates the relative positions of the sun, the moon, and the zodiac while providing a delightful theatre with the motions and figures surrounding it. The figures and colors also have different meanings— blue represents the sky, brown represents the earth, and the figures each represent a different theme such as vanity, arrogance, death, and happiness. Furthermore, there are several legends about the clock such as the master who made the clock getting blinded by the king so that it could not be remade in another city in Europe, the clock being the “Eye of the Devil” as it supposedly stops working in case of a disaster in the Czeck Nation, etc.
In short, the Astronomical Clock must be added to your bucket list, and even if not, you will probably encounter it anyway since it's nearly in the city center.
4. The Medieval Dinner
The Medieval Dinner is a highly renowned concept based in Prague, and it is definitely more than just a regular dinner and degustation. It is a form of entertainment where you are presented with dance performances, juggling, swordsmen, music, and a 3 or 5-course meal depending on the time of your visit, all accompanied by unlimited drink service. The aim is to provide the atmosphere of the Medieval Times with a fixed price per adult.
5. Local Beer Tasting and Beer Museums
Beer brewery dates back as far as the 6th century in the region which also explains why Czechia has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world. They offer many different flavors such as cranberry or chocolate and you can find many restaurants offering a degustation with a fixed price per adult. Tourists also prefer visiting the “beer museums” to learn and observe the brewing process from the beginning while also learning about the history of beer in the region.
6. The Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge is a beautiful structure made out of stone, crossing the Vltava River. King Charles IV started its construction in 1357 and finished in approximately 50 years. It connects Prague Castle and the “Old Town”, providing a great viewpoint of Prague. While walking across the bridge, thirty baroque statues can be seen which have all been replaced by their replicas in the 18th century. The bridge holds historical significance as it has witnessed many disasters such as floods and political derangements. Also, there are several street musicians along the way which assure a great atmosphere, and portraitists who are capable of drawing portraits in just 20 minutes so that you can take them home as souvenirs or gifts.
7. Castles, Towers, and Cathedrals
If we were to mention every historical building in Prague, the list would be endless. However, as we already established its historical richness, the castles, towers, and cathedrals have to be honorable mentions. The best part is that you can visit several of them in just one day as some are within walking distance from one another. Or you can discover them as you wander around the city. The most renowned structures include St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, St Nicholas Church, Old Town Bridge Tower, Great South Tower of the Cathedral, etc.
To conclude, Prague is full of various activities mostly suitable and enjoyable for all ages. Having gained some ideas about the city and its monuments, you can now consider all aspects provided to create a fulfilling experience while you prepare your bucket list.
Written by: Şevval Kalkan
Edited by: Simay Cemre Tülübaş & Yağmur Ece Nisanoğlu