Get lost in Staré Město
Visit the Old Town square and you’ll immediately understand why Prague is often described as a fairy-tale city. A mix of gothic and baroque architecture – and the world’s oldest working astronomical clock – take centre stage.
Climb the Old Town Hall Tower for a view over the city, delve into the side streets to sample a trdelnik (a traditional cylindrical pastry) and wind your way through the side streets before ending up on the exquisite Charles Bridge.
Visit the city’s galleries
Prague’s National Gallery is spread across a number of buildings, including the Kinsky Palace in the Old Town square and the Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia.
Travel to Prague 7 and visit the Trade Fair Palace, the main building of the gallery complex, to see a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions. From there, DOX Center for Contemporary Art and its wonderful rooftop Gulliver Airship is a short walk or tram ride away.
On the other side of town (and the other side of the train tracks), the non-profit contemporary art space MeetFactory is not to be missed. Two bright red cars hanging on the former slaughterhouse’s facade set the scene for what’s to come, with the innovative works inside the venue the brainchild of artist David Černý, the gallery’s founder.
Go to the theatre
Prague’s Nardoni Divadlo is comprised of four theatres – so check carefully when you book or risk turning up to the wrong stage. The ornate buildings are a wonderful setting for an evening’s entertainment, with a changing programme of popular ballets and operas – including Romeo and Juliet and The Nutcracker – as well as contemporary works.
Tickets are reasonably priced (particularly compared to the West End) and audience members over the age of 65 and under the age of 26 can access half-price seats.
This is Prague’s most popular attraction, according to Lonely Planet. The castle complex features “a varied and fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries” and an “eclectic mixture of architectural styles”. Don’t miss the stained-glass window designed by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha in St. Vitus Cathedral.
From the castle, wander down to Malá Strana – “unquestionably one of the most enchanting and alluring” areas of the capital city, said Culture Trip. A trip to the Shakespeare & Sons bookshop is essential for literature lovers.
Spend an afternoon in a beer garden
To Czechs, beer is “liquid bread”. In the summer months, the best place to grab a freshly poured pint of Pilsner is Letna Park, overlooking the Vltava river, and Reigrovy Sady, a popular spot favoured by locals which offers unrivalled sunsets over the castle and Old Town. Naplavka, the riverbank, is also a lively location on the weekends with a series of pop-up boat bars.
If a Prague pint isn’t tasting quite fresh enough, the towns of Budweis and Plzeň are only a matter of hours from the city, making a brewery tour an easy day trip from the capital.
Explore the locals’ hangouts
You’re more likely to bump into hipsters than tourists in the neighbourhoods of Zizkov and Karlin. Follow their tracks to find pop-up galleries, art fairs and eateries. If you get a little lost, just look for Zizkov’s TV tower. As it’s covered in crawling baby sculptors (the work of Černý), you can’t miss it.