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Fairy-tale castles and centuries-old churches, Christmas markets, leafy parks and world-renowned beers, in the heart of Europe, Prague.

The ‘city of a thousand spires’, Prague’s architectural variety is reflected in its skyline, which is straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Cathedrals, monasteries, fortresses and castles rise above red-roofed buildings clustered along the banks of the Vltava River. Spanning the river is the Charles Bridge, commissioned in 1357 by Charles IV. You’ll pass stone statues of Catholic saints as you cross it.

Charles BridgeExploring Prague’s maze of cobbled lanes and alleyways, you’ll stumble across small courtyards, urban gardens and old-fashioned bars frequented by locals, eventually reaching the Old Town Square. Here you’ll find a riot of activity, from street performers in the spring and summer to Christmas markets in the winter. You’ll also see the 15th-century Astronomical Clock, whose hourly chime sets models of the Twelve Apostles in motion.

There are plenty of other things to see and do in Prague, too, from sampling its world-renowned beer to taking guided tours of its castle, monasteries and nearby towns.

Prague Castle

Rising like a fairy-tale fortress behind Prague’s rabble of red-roofed buildings, Prague Castle, with its sky-piercing spires and turrets, draws your eye wherever you are in the city. First built in the 9th century but extended and reconstructed over the centuries, it’s a haphazard mix of architectural styles. The vast castle complex contains a collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries within its walls. Get to the castle at 12pm to witness the changing of the guard

We can arrange a guided tour where you can step inside its 14th-century Saint Vitus Cathedral, which houses the tombs of Roman emperors and Bohemian kings, as well as the Basilica of Saint George, which was built in the 10th century but has a more recent Baroque façade. You’ll also take a wander along Golden Lane, a well-preserved 16th-century street lined with brightly painted houses.

Kutná Hora

We can arrange for you to spend a day at the historic town of Kutná Hora, about an hour’s drive east of the capital. An old silver-mining town, it dates to the 12th century, and you’ll find plenty of historic buildings still intact as you explore its UNESCO-designated streets.

Cathedral of Saint Barbara, Kutná HoraWith your guide filling you in on the town’s history, you’ll visit the 14th-century Cathedral of Saint Barbara, dedicated to the patron saint of miners. It blends neo-Gothic and Baroque architectural styles and is adorned with restored frescoes celebrating the work of silver miners.

You’ll also visit the Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel filled with macabre decorations constructed in 1870 from human bones — the remains of between 40,000 and 70,000 people who opted to be buried here after a 13th-century abbot brought some holy soil back from Jerusalem and sprinkled it over the cemetery. 

Czech beer

Prague, and the Czech Republic in general, has a long history of beer-making — some local monasteries brewed their own beverages as far back as the 10th century. As such, beer drinking has become a part of the culture, and in Prague you’ll find many pubs, bars and breweries where you can enjoy a literal taste of its heritage, perhaps accompanied by traditional Czech foods such as koleno (roasted pork knuckle).

One of the best places to sample the Czech Republic’s range of pilsner pale lagers and other beer varieties is the Prague Beer Museum. Not exactly a museum, it’s a pub that offers 30 of the best craft beers from across the country, all available on tap.

Lennon Wall

Tucked away near the river is Lennon Wall, which, since the 1980s, has been used as a shrine to John Lennon and his pacifist views. The wall is covered in graffiti, murals, quotes and lyrics paying homage to Lennon and The Beatles, as well as occasional messages airing political opinions. The authorities have long since given up removing the graffiti, and it’s now an open-air gallery for visitors and locals to enjoy.;

Vyšehrad

This 10th-century fort is where, legend has it, the first Czech rulers lived. Set on a rocky promontory overlooking the Vltava River, it’s surrounded by a leafy park where you could enjoy a picnic lunch or peaceful stroll before returning to the heart of the city by boat.

The dominating feature of Vyšehrad is the neo-Gothic Basilica of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, first built in the 11th century but redesigned in later centuries. You’ll also find the national cemetery, which contains the remains of some of the country’s most famous residents, including Czech composers Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana.

Petřín Hill

Strahov Library, PragueWinding paths lead you through landscaped gardens to the top of this tree-covered hill, where you can take in views over the city. If you’d prefer to avoid the steep walk, you can take a funicular. At the top, you’ll find a wooden church requisitioned from Ukraine, several cafés and an observatory. The most notable sight, though, is the 19th-century Petřín Tower, which resembles a miniature Eiffel Tower — climb 299 steps to the top of the tower for even more elevated views.

Close to the park is Strahov Monastery, which you can visit as part of a guided tour that also takes in Prague Castle. Dating to 1140, the monastery contains an ornate library with a collection of medieval manuscripts and maps — we can arrange for a private, backstage tour of its treasures.

Best time to visit

Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) are the best and most popular times to visit Prague. Temperatures are pleasant and sunny days are common. July and August can be very busy with students. Winter months are often cold and crisp, and snow brings out the city’s beauty. Visit from late November to early January to experience the renowned Christmas markets.

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Audley Travel Country Specialist Taylor

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Prague by contacting one of our Czechia (Czech Republic) specialists

Suggested itinerary featuring Prague

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Prague, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Prague

Places & hotels on the map

    Accommodation choices for Prague

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Prague. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Prague

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Prague, and which use the best local guides.

    • Prague Castle tour
      Prague Castle above Charles Bridge

      Prague Castle tour

      Prague Castle tour

      More than 1,000 years old, Prague Castle has been a seat of local rulers since 880. With a private guide, discover the history and architecture of this large castle complex, as well as nearby sights like the library at Strahov Monastery.

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    • Kutná Hora
      Cathedral of Saint Barbara, Kutná Hora

      Kutná Hora

      Kutná Hora

      From soaring cathedrals to chapels decorated with human bones, this tour of Kutná Hora offers an intriguing look at what was once the second city of Bohemia. Just an hour’s drive from Prague, it’s a convenient and compelling morning trip.

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    • Prague Old Town walking tour
      Charles Bridge

      Prague Old Town walking tour

      Prague Old Town walking tour

      Gothic synagogues, public squares lined with landmarks, and an 18th-century theater that once hosted Mozart himself — you can take in the many sights, architectural highlights, and historical tales of Prague on this privately guided walking tour of its Old Town.

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