As the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague boasts itself as a densely populated metropolis home to 2.3 million residents. It is also a worldly city with rich political, cultural and economic history and home to many tourist attractions. If you have a limited time in Prague, you should at least visit Prague’s top five attractions to get a feel of the city’s culture and history. With cheap international flights to this country there is no excuse to miss out on this once in a life time experience that is Prague.
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square started in the 12th century as Prague’s main marketplace where residents dined and shopped. Over the next few centuries, buildings of different architectural styles including Romanesque and Gothic were built around the square. These buildings gave Old Town Square a historic and unique presence. They include the Church of Our Lady before Tyn, Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock and St. Nicolas Church.
The Jewish Quarter
Not far from Old Town Square is Prague’s Jewish Quarter. In the 13th century, the Jewish population in Prague was ordered to move into a confined area that eventually became the Jewish Quarter. Over the next few centuries the Jewish Quarter grew because the Jews were not allowed to build homes anywhere else.
Also known as the Jewish Ghetto or the Josefov, the Jewish Quarter endured a multitude of redevelopments. However, many of the area’s historic buildings eventually received careful preservation, including its six Synagogues.
If you decide to tour the Jewish Quarter, make sure you visit at least the Old-New Synagogue, which is the biggest and most well preserved Synagogue. Other places in the Jewish Quarter worth visiting are the Jewish Town Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery.
Constructed in 1357 under King Charles IV, the Charles Bridge extends over the Vltava River and connects the Old Town Square and the Prague Castle. With a lot of action during the day that includes painters and street performers and a quieter, more romantic scene at night, the Charles Bridge is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll at any time during the day.
As the largest medieval castle in Europe, Prague Castle housed many of the country’s kings, making it an important historical location. Restored after World War I, the Prague Castle now holds the seat of the President of the Czech Republic. It comprises of Saint Vitus Cathedral, viewing towers, Golden Lane, a monastery, palaces and museums. Also, try to catch the Changing of the Guards ceremony at the front gate. It happens every hour.
The Lesser Town, also known as the Lesser Quarter or Mala Strada, is an area that resides at the foothills of the Prague Castle. With narrow cobblestone roads, small street shops and hole-in-the-wall pubs and restaurants, Lesser Town provides a quiet and charming experience. If you want to get away from the busy city, you should take a walk along Lesser Town’s narrow alleys and enjoy a peaceful meal at a local establishment.