Since joining the European Union in 2004 the Czech Republic has become one of the continent’s major tourist destinations. Every year 20 million excited tourists travel to the country to soak in amazing architecture, fantastic culture and some of the best beer in the world.
The capital Prague is by far the most popular tourist destination in the country, welcoming 40% of the country’s total tourists. The advent of cheap continental flights has helped to entice travellers to the Czech capital for short break, but can you experience the best that Prague has to offer if you’re short on time?
Read on to find out which attractions to prioritise on a whistle stop trip to the Czech capital.
#1 Free Walking Tour
Walking tours are the best way to orient yourself in a new city, learn about the place’s history and hear about some of the main attractions. Fortunately, Prague has a number of free walking tours to choose from but if you’re stuck for choice, you can’t go wrong with New Europe.
The company operate free walking tours in a number of major European cities and their operators will make you feel welcome whilst they bombard you with historical facts and offbeat tales that will help to bring Prague to life.
In just two to three hours you will cover the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the Jewish Quarter and much more.
#2 Visit Prague Castle
The walking tour will provide you with a brief overview of Prague Castle but no trip to the Czech capital is complete without a proper look around the famous landmark. The castle is split into multiple sections of interest: St Vitus Cathedral, St George’s Basilica, Golden Lane and many more.
Tour tickets come in a range of affordable price brackets, an access all areas ticket costs just €13 with the cheapest ticket – access to the Powder Tower – costing a low €2.60.
#3 Play Cards at King’s Casino
Prague is known across Europe for its excellent nightlife attractions and has no shortage of top-quality casinos to gamble in. If you want to try your luck against some of the best poker players in the city King’s Casino is the perfect place to play.
The venue is open seven days a week till late and regularly hosts a number of high-profile and high-stakes poker tournaments. Make sure you double check your poker hands knowledge before heading down though as you’ll be tested to the maximum by Prague’s best.
#4 Drink Fresh Pilsner
In 1307 King Wenceslas gave the 260 citizens of a small Bohemian village called Plzen the right to make their own beer and sell it from their homes. 500 years later an extraordinary meeting was called by the village’s citizens to discuss the recent poor quality of beers produced in Plzen.
It was decided that an envoy would be sent to England to research the best beer-making processes in the world. Upon their return the envoy told the villagers of what they had learned and set about a cooperative to produce their own unique beer using Saaz hops.
What was created would become the world’s first pale lager, a global phenomenon that sparked a whole new categorisation of beer – Pilsner. Nowadays Pilsner varieties are drunk all around the world, but the original and the best remains Pilsner Urquell.
Original Pilsner Urquell is not pasteurised, making it tricky to export around the world, so if you want to taste a delicious, authentic beer then you have to drink Pilsner Urquell when you’re in Prague. There are a number of great bars serving the national beer but the best place to drink Pilsner Urquell in Prague is Lokál.
Not only does it serve perfect Pilsner, but it’s also a great place to gain an insight into the unique culture and customs of the Czech Republic.
#5 Walk around Petrin Park
If it’s a nice day you’re going to want to take in Petrin Park, the biggest and most beautiful public park in Prague. The long and winding paths will take you on a relaxing stroll past the beautiful botanic gardens, the incredibly easy to get lost in maze and the lookout tower, a spitting image for the Eiffel Tower.
If you’re feeling brave you can climb the 229 steps to the top of the tower and look out onto the horizon at the country’s largest peak Snezka which is over 150km away.
After strolling around the park, you can end your whistle-stop tour of Prague by sauntering down towards the neighbourhood of Kampa and visiting the John Lennon Wall. Towards the end of Communist rule in the Czech Republic, students began writing the lyrics to John Lennon songs on a local wall as a way to show their displeasure toward the regime.
You can either get out your phone and take as many Instagram worthy photos as possible or grab your marker pen and write your own message of peace and love on the wall.