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10 Best Historical Places to See in Prague, Czech Republic

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About Prague

Dare I say it – Prague left me with very mixed feelings. There is so much in this iconic city to be loved but at the same time, I can find many reasons to hate it. The situation is so black and white, that it is hard to find a tolerable middle ground between the city’s advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, if one can find the way through all the annoyances and obstacles encountered in Prague, the reward will be immense.

It’s probably nighttime when the eerie atmosphere of the medieval streets of Prague plays to its fullest. The extremely busy Old Town of the city turns almost silent but never asleep. At this hour, you don’t even need to go on spooky dungeon tours to get a chilling yet exciting feeling. It feels like somebody is lurking in the dark of the narrow alleys of Prague’s streets, watching you. For that reason, I find Prague a great place to visit even during off-season months, when most cities are just too sad to look at or too cold to explore. The Capital of the Czech Republic is an exemption but, as I mentioned, there is a dark side to the attractiveness of the city. It feels like that at some point in time the soul of the city was sold out to the devil and now the time has come to pay the piper.

The powder tower had to be rebuilt after it was destroyed in the Battle of Prague, 1648. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Brief History of Prague

The foundation of Prague can be traced back to the 9th century when a castle was built on a hill called Vyšehrad, located on the banks of the Vltava River. The castle was a symbol of power and prestige for the Premyslid dynasty, which ruled over Bohemia, the region that is now a huge part of the Czech Republic. Over time, a settlement grew up around the castle, and by the 10th century, Prague had emerged as a thriving city and an important center of trade and commerce.

Throughout its history, Prague has been shaped by a variety of cultural, historical, and political forces. In the 14th century, it became the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and by the 16th century, it was one of the largest cities in Europe, with a rich cultural life and a thriving economy. During this time, many of the city’s iconic landmarks were built, including Charles Bridge, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Old Town Square, which still stand today as a testament to Prague’s rich cultural heritage.

In 1618, Prague was the site of the Defenestration of Prague, a key event in the Thirty Years’ War, which lasted from 1618 to 1648. This conflict devastated the city and had a profound impact on its development for many years to come. That latsted until the 19th century when Prague became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the city saw a resurgence of cultural and economic activity. During this time, the city was transformed by the construction of many new buildings, including the National Theater, the State Opera, and the National Museum.

In the 20th century, Prague found itself in another breakthrough of a major European war again, when the whole country was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. The city survived it all and after the Velvet Revolution in 1989, when Czechoslovakia was split into two separate countries – the Czech Republic and Slovakia – Prague became the capital of the newly-formed Czech Republic we all love and know today. Over the centuries, Prague has been through many ups and downs, including wars, invasions, and political upheavals. Despite these challenges, the city has remained resilient, and its people have remained steadfast in their determination to preserve their cultural heritage and pass it down to future generations.

You can learn more about the rich and fascinating history of the city by visiting and appreciating these top 10 historical places in Prague.

The bell tower of the cathedral was left unbuilt in the 15th century, and some genius thought that it would be great idea to finish it in a different style. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Prague Details

Map of Prague

Archibishop Palace in Prague Castle is great example of Rococo style. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

1. Vyšehrad

Vyšehrad is an important historical site in Prague and is considered the city’s birthplace. According to legend, Prague was founded by the legendary sorceress Princess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, on the site of Vyšehrad in the 9th century. The fortress served as the seat of power for the Přemyslid dynasty, the first ruling dynasty of Bohemia, for several centuries. During this time, Vyšehrad was one of the most important political, cultural, and religious centers of the country. Visitors to Vyšehrad can explore the castle’s fortifications and ramparts, and visit its Museum, where it is possible to learn much more about the history of the site.

In addition to its historical significance, today, a beautiful Vyšehrad Park could be found on the hill, which offers a peaceful and serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Vyšehrad is also renowned for its stunning views, especially during the evening, when the sun sets over the main castle of Prague. That makes it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Vyšehrad is also home to several important cultural and historical monuments, including the Romanesque rotunda of St. Martin, which is one of the oldest churches in the country, and the Vyšehrad Cemetery, which is the final resting place of many of the Czech Republic’s most famous artists, writers, and musicians.


St. George’s Basilica, Romanesque-style basilica built in the 10th century that is considered to be one of the oldest churches in Prague. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

2. Prague Castle

Undoubtedly, Prague Castle (Czech: Pražský hrad) is one of the most important historical landmarks in the Czech Republic and it is an absolutely must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the city for the first time. The castle dates back to the 9th century and it is the second oldest site in Prague, just after Vyšehrad. It has been the center of the city since its foundation. It has served as the seat of power for the Bohemian kings, the Holy Roman Emperors, and the Presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.

Prague Castle is a hocking complex of buildings, including palaces, churches, and fortifications, that span across an area of 70,000 m² / 753 000 ft², which makes it one of the largest castles in the world. The castle has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries, and it showcases a range of architectural styles, from the Romanesque to the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo. A keen eye could see almost the whole history of architecture of the last millennium in Europe.

Visiting Prague Castle is a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the Czech Republic and to see some of the most magnificent architectural achievements in Europe. The castle’s grounds are free to enter but visitors with Prague Castle tickets can explore St. Vitus Cathedral, which is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in the world, the Old Royal Palace of the Bohemian kings, the Golden Lane, and Daliborka Tower.

For very long time, Charles Bridge was the only way to cross Vltava river to the city. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

3. Charles Bridge

Also known as Karluv most, Charles bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Prague and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city. It was built in the 14th century by King Charles IV and is named after him. The bridge crosses the Vltava River and connects the Old Town (Czech: Staré Město) with the Lesser Town (Czech: Malá Strana), providing stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

Built in the 14th century during the reign of Charles IV, the bridge is lined with 30 baroque statues and offers stunning views of Prague Castle and the city. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The Charles Bridge is a symbol of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage, and it has played a significant role in the development of Prague over the centuries. During the Middle Ages, it was the only bridge across the Vltava River and was a crucial trade route between the East and West. It was also a center of religious and cultural life, with many chapels and statues built along its length.

One of the most notable features of the Charles Bridge are its Baroque statues, which were added in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, these statues are considered to be some of the most important works of art in the city, and they attract millions of visitors every year. According to local legend, if you touch the statue of St. John of Nepomuk, you will be guaranteed a return trip to Prague. So, why not give it a try?


Every hour, the clock chimes and animated figures appear, to the delight of crowds of onlookers. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

4. Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock

Locally known as Staroměstské náměstí, the Old Town square is the heart of historic Prague and one of the most iconic landmarks in Prague. It is located in the heart of the city’s historic district and is surrounded by a number of important cultural and historical sites, including the Týn Church, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the Old Town Hall.

One of the most notable features of the Old Town Square is the Astronomical Clock, which is considered to be one of the oldest astronomical clocks in the world and one of the most famous attractions in Prague. The clock was installed on the Old Town Hall in 1410 and is a masterpiece of medieval engineering and design during the reign of Wenceslas IV, the son of Charles IV. The Astronomical Clock displays the time, the phases of the moon, the positions of the sun and the stars, and the zodiac signs. It is also famous for its hourly show, in which animated figures of the twelve apostles appear in the windows above the clock face, accompanied by the ringing of the bells. If you want to learn more, there is a possibility to visit Town Hall & its Astronomical Clock from the inside.

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Technically, Town Hall square is part of Josefov. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

5. The Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter of Prague, also known as Josefov, is a unique and historically rich neighborhood that has been the heart of Jewish life in the city for over a thousand years. The fascinating neighborhood dates back to the 13th century and is one of the oldest Jewish ghettos in Europe. This small area of the city, located in the heart of Prague’s Old Town, is home to a wealth of important historical sites, including the Old Jewish Cemetery and six synagogues. Most notoriously is the Old-New Synagogue, which is one of the oldest active synagogues in Europe.

According to legend, the Golem of Prague, a famous mythical creature made of clay, was created by the 16th-century Rabbi Judah Loew and was said to have protected the Jewish community from harm. The story of the Golem has become a central part of Jewish folklore and has inspired countless works of art and literature over the centuries. The area is also home to a number of museums, including the Jewish Museum in Prague, which is a great way to learn about the story of the Jewish community in the Czech Republic. Alternatively, you can hire a professional guide for walking tour in Jewish Quartier.

The Jewish Quarter is a testament to the rich and vibrant history of the Jewish community in Prague, which has made a lasting impact on the city and the world. Many famous Jewish figures, such as the 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe and the famous writer Franz Kafka, were born and raised in this part of Prague.


The powder tower used to be gate of the fortifications surrounding Prague. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

6. The Powder Tower

The Powder Tower, also known as the Powder Gate, was built in the 15th century as a part of the city’s fortifications. It served as a gateway to medieval Prague and as a symbol of its power and prestige. Today, the Powder Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Prague and a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can climb to the top of the medieval tower for panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

The Powder Tower has a rich history and played an important role in the development of the city. In 1648, the Powder Tower was the site of a major battle between the Bohemian forces and the Swedish army. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Bohemian forces were able to hold off the invaders and protect the city, earning them great respect and admiration. Nevertheless, the Powder Tower was severely damaged and had to be rebuilt afterward.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the tower served as an arsenal and was used to store gunpowder and other weapons, hence its name. In the 19th century, the tower was used as a prison, and it is said that the spirits of the prisoners who were once held there still haunt the tower today. It was also the site of several important political events, including the proclamation of the First Czechoslovak Republic in 1918.


St Nicholas church is situated in the very heart of Malá Strana on the way to Prague castle. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

7. St. Nicholas Church

A stunning baroque church located in the heart of the Lesser Town. St Nicholas church (Czech: Kostel svatého Mikuláše) is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and a popular tourist attraction, attracting millions of visitors every year.

The church was built in the 18th century and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in the city. It features a grand façade adorned with intricate sculptures, frescoes, and stucco work, as well as a magnificent interior with a large dome and a spacious nave. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the church was a center of political and cultural life, and it played a significant role in the development of the Czech Republic as a nation.

St. Nicholas Church is also a center of musical culture in Prague, and it is known for its beautiful and powerful organ music. The church is home to one of the largest and most famous organs in the city, and it is a popular destination for concert-goers and music lovers.


Petrin hill & St. Nicholas Church in Malastrana from Prague Castle. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

8. Petrin Hill & Strahov Monastery

Petrin Hill is a small hill located in the heart of Prague, offering stunning views over the city and a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city center. According to a legend, the hill used to be covered by magical roses that bloomed all year round. These mystical flowers are not around anymore but Petrin Hill is home to several historic monuments and attractions, including the Petrin Tower, a 60-meter-tall imitation of the Eiffel Tower, and the Strahov Monastery, one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in the Czech Republic.

The Strahov Monastery, founded in 1143, is a magnificent example of Baroque architecture and is known for its beautiful gardens, stunning library, brewery, and historical museum. The library, in particular, is a must-see, with its ornate decoration and over 20,000 antique books and manuscripts. The museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of the monastery and the many important figures who have lived and worked there over the centuries.

Petrin Hill is also home to several beautiful parks and gardens, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities such as picnicking, hiking, and enjoying stunning views over the city. Visitors can take a stroll along the hill’s winding paths and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, or take a ride on the funicular, which offers an easy and enjoyable way to reach the top of the hill.

The library of Strahov Monastery has ornate decoration and an impressive collection over 20,000 antique books and manuscripts. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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9. Wenceslas Square

Located in the heart of the city, Wenceslas Square is a long, wide boulevard that today serves as the center of political, cultural, and social activity of Prague for over 700 years. The square is named after Wenceslas I, the patron saint of Bohemia. He was a 10th-century Czech prince who was murdered by his envious brother in ±935 AD. People of Bohemia revered Wenceslas and in time his martyrdom turned him into a saint. He is celebrated to this day in the famous Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas.” The Square that was named in his honor is also known for its incredible Christmas markets, which are held every year and are a true winter wonderland, filled with festive lights, holiday music, and the delicious aroma of mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. 

Wenceslas square is also home to the National Museum, one of the largest museums in the Czech Republic and a repository of the country’s rich cultural heritage. The square has been a witness to some of the most important events in the history of the Czech Republic, including the Velvet Revolution of 1989, which brought an end to the communist regime and marked the beginning of the country’s transition to democracy. Today, the square is a vibrant and bustling area, filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants, and is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike.


Wenceslas square lies between Mustek metro station and National Museum. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

10. The National Museum

The National Museum in Prague is one of the oldest and most important museums in the Czech Republic, and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history, culture, and natural wonders of the region. Founded in 1818, the museum has grown to become one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of its kind, showcasing everything from prehistoric artifacts to modern works of art.

One of the most impressive collections is its natural history section, which includes a wide range of specimens and exhibits that showcase the diverse flora and fauna of the Czech Republic and beyond. Visitors can see everything from enormous dinosaur skeletons to delicate butterflies, and learn about the various geological, botanical, and zoological wonders of the world.

In addition to its natural history collections, the museum also boasts an extensive historical collection, with everything from ancient weapons and armor to works of art and medieval manuscripts. Visitors can get a fascinating look at the rich cultural heritage of the Czech Republic, from its earliest days as a powerful medieval kingdom to its modern-day role as a thriving European nation. You can combine visit to National Museum with the Old Town tour for a quick history buff.

Other Things to Do and to See in Prague


Vltava River Night Cruise

Enjoy a 3-hour night dinner cruise in Prague. Admire illuminated historic monuments like Prague Castle & Dancing House, while enjoying delights of international & Czech cuisine.

Book now


Guided City 3-hour Tour

Join a guided walking tour of Prague led by a local guide & visit iconic landmarks such as Astronomical Clock, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, & St. Nicholas Church, among others.

Book now


24/48-hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus

Discover the sights of Prague at your leisure with a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Choose between a single or double decker for comfort, & have access to all of the city's main attractions.

Book now

Prague is a very picturesque city. Photo by A.L. [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Personal Experience

Unfortunately, to me, it feels like there is no respect left for this majestic city. Who cares about the rich history of Bohemia and its Capital when you can immerse yourself in hedonistic pleasures found on every corner of the Old Town? Due to the lack of regulations, in Prague, the demand drives the supply, therefore the money of tourists has driven most of the city center into a bizarre fusion of appalling mediocrity of over-tourism. Everybody is here for your money and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to get it. Whether it is an Asian massage, a medieval Game-of-Thrones-style dinner, a beer spa, fake absinthe, a Vienna-style Mozart concert, or a copy of Eiffel Tower – who gives a fcuk that it has absolutely nothing to do with the Bohemian culture or its history. Prague is here to fulfill your human desires – Prague is your loyal bitch, and a beautiful one.

Though the Old Town has its soul wholly sold out to modern tourism, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the city doesn’t have any authenticity. Such great cities as Prague simply have too much under their sleeves to be overwhelmed by the stupidity of a shallow approach by its visitors. Vinohrady (Prague 2) and Žižkov (Prague 3) are the most hip districts among the locals and expats and even Hradčany feels somewhat bearable based on European Capital standards compared to the Old Town of Prague on the other side of the Vltava River.

The iconic Charles Bridge connects Malastarna and the Old Town of Prague. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Ignoring the crowds and all the madness in the main streets of the city, Prague still finds its way to seduce. While many of the greatest cities of Europe have demolished their medieval Old Towns for the sake of better housing in the 19th century, Prague stood still. As a result, today we find colorful medieval and baroque buildings entangled in the narrow streets of the Old Town, charming its visitors. The city is an absolute must-visit despite its sinful downfalls. I just hope that, at least, every tenth tourist will find some strength within to uncover bits of the actual history of Prague and Bohemia on their visit to the city. There is a backbone to its majestic architecture. Prague definitely makes a great weekend or a few-day visit from Vienna or anywhere else.

All content and photos by Alis Monte, unless stated differently. If you want to collaborate, contact me on info@ctdots.eu Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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