Europe is always a good idea. If you have visited this absolutely breath-taking continent in the past, you’d know the best way to explore it in all its element is walking through those cobbled streets and making a pit-stop at its cute cafes in every nook and corner. So, when it comes to the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ – Prague, it’s no different. Prague has so much to see, with great art, fantastic architecture and history around every corner. This means that, of every city in the world, Prague is one of the best for walking around.
If you are looking forward to end the year on a high, Prague is one of the best places to give an ode to 2019. The allure of the Charles Bridge on an icy morning in December, the beauty of a sunset in the nights and even the city covered in a thick layer of snow that brings your fingers to freeze through thick woolen gloves – there has been no time in Prague that won’t make you embraced by this intriguing city. And yet while Prague may look like a small town riddled with tales to span centuries, the city of Prague is sprawling with many different neighborhoods offering their own unique flair. Here’s how to discover the best of Prague on foot this December.
The ideal point to start your tour with an hour of serenity. Vrtba Garden is the perfect positioning to begin exploring the Prague’s lesser quarter. Built between 1715 & 1720, the garden was constructed in traditional baroque Italian style, with perfectly trimmed hedges in symmetrical formation. Not only is this a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle outside of the entrance, Vrtba Garden also offers magnificent views of the surrounding landscape, making it the perfect positioning to commence your walking tour of Prague.
St. Nicholas Church
The Church of St Nicholas, the most famous Baroque church in Prague, stands along with the former Jesuit college in the centre of the Lesser Town Square. The dome has an impressive diameter of 20 m, and the interior height to the top of the lantern is over 49 m, making it the highest interior in Prague. It is also an outstanding example of high Baroque decoration. Concerts are held in the church year-round on the historic organ dating to the 18th century. From the Vrtba Gardens, take a left toward St. Nicholas Church, a short 350 metre walk away. This church serves as a central point in the lesser quarter of Prague, where you can see the livelihood of this neighborhood at every turn. Step inside to marvel at the baroque architecture of this church, which replaced a 13th century gothic church that was also dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
From the Church of Saint Nicholas, get ready to begin your upwards climb towards Prague Castle. Be sure not to miss Pražská čokoláda (Prgaue Chocolate), located at the base of the stairs and famous for their chocolate covered almonds. Be sure to allow at least an hour or more to explore the Prague Castle complex, as there is much to see once inside. The 9th Century Castle attracts many visitors each year, all vying for their photo of the straight-faced guards placed at the entrance to the castle. Be sure to drop by Golden Lane for a look at some artisanal shops, before heading onwards to St. Vitus Cathedral.
Heading back down-hill, be sure to stop by the Lennon Wall before stepping foot on Prague’s most photographed attraction: The Charles Bridge. Just before you cross the bridge toward the Old Town of Prague, you will find this graffiti wall inspired by John Lennon, complete with song lyrics and peace signs, which was created in the 1980’s. If you’re an Instagram buff, this one’s going to make the perfect picture for your feed.
If you ask me personally, I first discovered this beautiful town on the globe when I saw Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri romancing on the streets in the movie Rockstar. A little bit help from Google later, this image of Charles Bridge came on my laptop screen. And when you are visiting Prague, onwards to the Old Town, you absolutely cannot miss the chance to walk across the Charles Bridge: the reason many visitors choose to visit Prague! This historic bridge crosses the Vltava River and is hands down the biggest highlight of the city. Although overcrowded on a good day, the best way to see the bridge is once in the morning, once during the day, and once in the evening. The bridge boasts 16 arches and is lined with a total of 30 Baroque statues and figurines. Make the most of Prague with this City break package including all the iconic places of the city.
Completely surrounded by the Old Town, Josefov is a time warp neighborhood previously known as the Jewish ghetto. As one of the best neighborhoods to wander in Prague, today you will find an abundance of antiques stores, clock stores, postcards and souvenirs. One of the must see places in Josefov is the Hebrew clock on top of the Old Town Hall – located underneath the regular clock and running backwards.
Old Town Square
As the historic center of Prague, Old Town Square – one absolutely cannot miss a visit (or a few visits!) to the Old Town Square of Prague. The various architectural styles are evident in one 360 turn, with an abundance of village life and attractions to visit within a short distance of one another. The best way to experience the Old Town is to wander through the many alleyways and boutiques without a plan or direction.
After a complete history lesson of the oldest parts of Prague, head towards Wenceslas Square in “New Town” for a look at real Prague or more accurately, where you’ll find locals in one of the busiest shopping areas in the city. It is here where you will find many international brands and designers – another iconic scene of Rockstar that was shot here!
One of the longest rivers in the Czech Republic, this water body played a significant role in Anna and Ben’s story in the 2004 classic Chasing Liberty. Walking along the Vltava River, this is undeniably a beautiful leisurely strolls in all of Central Europe! Along the way you can marvel at the architecture to your left, whilst taking in the gorgeous views of the Vltava River on your right.
Fred & Ginger’s Dancing House
End your walking tour of Prague at the must-see-to-be-believed Fred & Ginger “Dancing House”. Although out of the way, it is here where you will see the sprawling size of the city of Prague, view of the old trams as they pass by and take in the views of the Vltava River.
Know Before you go: Prague for First Timers
If this is your first visit to Prague you have likely seen the postcard views, intriguing architecture, and perhaps fallen victim to the eerie allure of the Charles Bridge on a winter’s morning. If you are going to explore the town on foot, it is advisable to pack some comfy shoes, a bottle of water, some cash for the endless amount of pit stops you are about to endure. And for a seamless experience, be sure to check out these tailor-made itineraries of Prague.
Written by: Aashima Kadakia
Creative ninja and a true follower of ‘Work, Save, Travel, Repeat’, I love to travel, experience places and bring back stories for a lifetime. Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, I like to visit the same old places, the same cliched tourist spots and destinations, but choose to see the unexplored in the old places. Always inclined towards the mighty mountains in their debate with the beaches!