Prague Great Ball Game House Czech Republic Europe Travel

Visiting Prague? 9 Popular Sites to See

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We arrived in Prague at the train station to hear a young girl playing Bohemian Rhapsody on the piano. Seemed fitting as we had just arrived in the land of Bohemia. 

Young girl playing the piano in Prague train station

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Welcome to Prague

After trying to decipher words and directions in the Czech slavic language, Chris bought some metro tickets for the next three days. Bring along your Google Translate; you might just need it in Prague.

If you take a moment to look down, you might love the drain covers all over Prague (or “Praha” as the locals say it) just as much as I did.

Drain Cover Prague Czech Republic Europe Travel

We hopped on tram #22 to our Airbnb. Our flat was three flights up. Three lengthy flights up (equal to six flights of stairs) on stairs with varying rises and differing runs. You had to watch your step for sure.

Choosing Your Airbnb

Chris and I have discovered over the years that Airbnbs great appeal. Here’s an excerpt from my eBook “Plan a Trip to Europe: Essential Advice to Begin Your Travel Adventures” sharing some things to consider when selecting a place to stay.

We have had some fabulous Airbnbs that we’ve booked, some not-so-fabulous ones, and some that were a pretty tight squeeze. A tight squeeze and five flights of stairs to climb!

When traveling as a family, an Airbnb (or equivalent service such as VRBO.com) is usually a more economical option. Plus, it gives everyone room to spread out, more options for storing food and making your own meals, a bed for everyone, and a chance to do laundry.

When we are looking for a place to stay, a reservation with a washing machine is essential. We try to space our stays at an Airbnb with our need to have fresh laundry [affiliate]. If you are traveling for longer than one week, you can pack lightly with five days of clothes, do laundry, and be fresh and clean again. Clean socks and underwear are a must—maybe pack a few extra pairs of those. Some of us in our family get really stinky feet after walking all day long!

  • Take note of how many flights you will have to climb (in Europe the first floor is actually on the second level).
  • It is possible there will NOT be an elevator in the building.
  • If A/C isn’t mentioned in the Airbnb listing, it likely isn’t included.
  • Make sure you look for accommodations that are in the best parts of town.
  • Do your research.
  • Be aware of the cancellation policies for all of your lodgings.
  • Read the reviews to see what previous guests have to say about the accommodations and the Airbnb host.

As we arrived at the apartment, we opened the door to a breath of… ahhh, not-so-fresh hot air. No air conditioning on a warmer than usual late Spring day. Ugggghhhh!

Wenceslas Square

Not wanting to spend any more time in the apartment on a hot afternoon than we had to, we quickly dropped off Luggage [affiliate] and Backpacks [affiliate] and set off for Wenceslas Square for a Rick Steves’ Audio Europe tour and an introduction to downtown Prague. 

Yes, that same “good” King Wenceslas of song lore. 

We started our tour down the street from the Main Street, shooting off the square in to a private rose garden and then checking out a theater with an interesting art piece with King Wenceslas riding a dead, upside down horse. Apparently it was a tribute to past and modern leadership of Prague.

Good king Wenceslas on an upside down horse

Alrighty then.

I particularly loved when a little boy, who, when he saw me walk by with my Camera [affiliate], started saying, “Cheese. Cheese.” His mom didn’t seem to mind when I crouched to take his picture. I didn’t get a lot of time to adjust my camera to capture the moment, so I hoped that my settings were good. The little guy was pretty pleased that I would stop and pay attention to him.

Young boy in Prague

Prague Astronomical Clock

If visiting the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square is on your list of sites to see, be mindful that it is on every other tourist’s list as well.

We walked into Old Town Square just minutes before the top of the hour. The square was packed, and if you are not in the square early, you might hear the chimes more than see them when the clock strikes the top of the hour.

Lots of people moved out of the way once the chimes finished, but many hung around to take pictures… more pictures… and then some pictures of their friends. Be patient.

Charles Bridge

Chris and I had read about the tourist trap—Karlova Street—right across the Charles Bridge. It was fun to experience. We found tourists thronging the street as well as Charles Bridge en masse. Try visiting in the early morning if you are trying to snap a few pictures.

Three girls on Charles Bridge in Prague

Among the many amazing sites to see in Prague, I’d like to suggest that you also add a few of the following to your itinerary for your visit.

The Jewish Quarter and Cemetery

Chris, and all men entering the Jewish Quarter synagogue and cemetery, were asked to wear a yarmulke out of respect.

The synagogue was pretty sobering with the names of all the victims of the holocaust (shoal) from the Czech Republic etched on the wall.

Heartbreaking.

The final section of the synagogue displayed the art from some of the children housed at the concentration camp, Terezin, before being shipped to other concentration camps.  The artwork brought tears to our eyes.

It was one of the 10 Inspiring War Memorials Around the World that we have toured.

Most of our family had wanted to visit Terezin, except for our youngest daughter. It was just too much for her to bear, so we found other ways to spend our day.

“More than 150,000 Jews were sent there, including 15,000 children, and held there for months or years, before being sent by rail transports to their deaths at Treblinka and Auschwitz extermination camps in occupied Poland, as well as to smaller camps elsewhere. Less than 150 children survived.” 

The History of Terezin

“These drawings were made during art classes that were organized by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898–1944), a painter, interior and stage designer, graduate of the Bauhaus, and pupil of Franz Čížek, Johann Itten, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer and Paul Klee.

“As part of what was mostly a clandestine education programme for children at Terezín, the art classes were very specific in nature, reflecting the progressive pedagogical ideas that Friedl Dicker-Brandeis had adopted during her studies at the Bauhaus (especially in the initial course developed by Johannes Itten).

Drawing was seen as a key to understanding and a way of developing basic principles of communication, as well as a means of self-expression and a way of channelling the imagination and emotions. From this perspective, art classes also functioned as a kind of therapy, in some way helping the children to endure the harsh reality of ghetto life.

“Before being deported to Auschwitz, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis filled two suitcases with about 4,500 children’s drawings and put them in a secret place; immediately after the war, they were recovered and handed over to the Jewish Museum in Prague. These drawings are a poignant reminder of the tragic fate of Bohemian and Moravian Jews during the Second World War. Only a few of the Terezín children survived. The vast majority were deported to Auschwitz where they faced certain death.

“These pictures are often all that is left to commemorate the children’s lives. Without them their names would be remain forgotten.” 

Terezin History

There are approximately 12,000 headstones in the Jewish cemetery next to the Pinkas Synagogue; however, it is speculated that upwards of 100,000 individuals are actually buried there. Jewish custom forbids the removal of old graves; it is possible that the graves are stacked 12 deep in some places. The dead are simply stacked one on top of the other with new dirt being brought in for additional burials.

The Havel Market

This market is pretty touristy. If you are looking for souvenirs or mementos, this is a good place to look. You can also find a variety of fruits and vegetables. The market dates back to 1232 and is the only preserved market place in Old Town.

Prague Castle

Prague Castle and chapel. The forecast had suggested rain and clouds on the day we toured the castle.

Be prepared for anything.

After dropping off one of our Backpacks [affiliate] and memento purchases after lunch at the airbnb, we left the apartment with only one Umbrella [affiliate] and a Rain Jacket[affiliate] for Chris. That was a mistake.

While we were partway through our touring, the rain started in earnest. It was close to closing time at the castle and the workers shooed everyone out of the chapel where we were taking refuge. We hurried along the cobbled walkways looking for a place to hang out until the rain eased up.

As luck would have it, we found an out-of-the-way section next to some construction on the castle grounds. The gate had been left open so we made ourselves comfortable on some pallets and enjoyed a few snacks while we waited.

You should have seen the rain pouring out of the gargoyles mouth. 

As the rain lightened to a sprinkle and most of the tourists had left the area, we headed for the tram stop.

My advice: have a little patience through the rain storms. While a little inconvenient for a bit, it seems to really help clear the tourists from a busy attraction and you might just have the place to yourself when the rain is finished.

I would normally suggest getting an early start on your tour at the Prague Castle. We read that crowds were crazy after 11:00 am. However, whoever wrote that bit of wisdom was completely wrong. The castle grounds were packed wall to wall with tourists and so many brides and grooms having bridal and wedding pictures taken early in the morning.

We toured the castle and then walked through the exit saying, “That’s it?” Indeed, it was. The view from one of the castle balconies was beautiful though. As well as the ceiling in the grand hall.

Here’s more of my Prague Favorite Photos.

Golden Lane

While still on the grounds of the Prague Castle, make sure you find the Golden Lane. It will be lined with brightly colored, tiny houses which used to be home to the castle guards. Looking at the beds on display, those people were small. Smaller than me, and I am 5’2″. Even I wouldn’t have had a lot of room for stretching out. Today, many of the Golden Lane houses are tourist shops. 

Golden Lane Prague Castle Czech Republic Europe Travel

There were so many people out and about, it was hard to get a clean picture. I’d wait and wait and then have to speedily catch up to the rest of my family. Good thing my husband is tall at 6’4″ and easy to pick out in a crowd.

Queen Anne’s Summer Castle

Do you ever get people overload? We did. Since the castle was totally packed with people, we were more than happy to leave and walk through the upper garden toward the Queen Anne’s Summer Castle (also known as The Belvedere). 

As we were walking toward the Summer Castle, I passed a family who remarked, “That’s beautiful, eh?” I asked, “Are you from Canada? The ‘eh’ kind of gave you away.” They were from Calgary, Alberta Canada.

We passed a beautiful structure known as The Great Ball Game House where a form of tennis used to be played. I think it was one of my favorite pieces of architecture.

Great Ball Game House at Prague Summer Castle

We wandered for the afternoon to different sites around Prague. They had a small Eiffel Tower, extensive gardens that took us down the hill from the castle, and a small island on the Vltava River under the Charles Bridge.

Cocovan

Search for the cutest little coffee shop called Cocovan on the Střelecký Ostrovan under the bridge on the island in the middle of Prague. Obviously you will want to snap a few pictures of the stunning location and decor and maybe sit for awhile and enjoy the ambiance.

Coco Van Trailer Prague Czech Republic Europe Travel

Tredlnik

Chris treated us all to trdelnik, a tasty cinnamon rolled bread concoction. While not technically a tourist site, it is definitely a tourist treat.

We saw stands where you could purchase Trdelnik all over downtown Prague, however, locals are quick to point out that it is not a traditional Czeck treat. Perhaps, though, it is becoming one.

Trdelnik chimney cake in Prague

Final Thoughts on Visiting Prague? 9 Popular Sites to See

If Prague is in your sites as a potential destination, I think you’ll love visiting this beautiful city. We visited Prague after spending a couple of days in Austria. You can check out some of my Favorite Photos from Austria here.

Pinterest pin for Visiting Prague and 9 popular sites to see

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Are you planning a trip to Europe? Check out my newest eBook by clicking the link below!

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“I am a nervous traveler. I worry that I won’t know where to go, what I need to take, and how things are supposed to be done. That’s why I’m so grateful for Chris and Jolayne’s eBook. They have traveled so many places and know so many things about so many places. I’m grateful that they are willing to share their knowledge so I can be prepared and have a more pleasant experience when I travel!” 

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Binet
8 months ago

These are great sites. Nice list!