Planning a trip to Prague and hoping to save some money along the way? You’re in the right place. After visiting Prague six times, I’ve nailed down the 16 best free things to do in Prague.
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Prague is my favorite city in Europe. With its fairytale-like architecture, it has charm and authenticity like no other. Having been occupied both by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, Prague has an interesting and unique history that contributes to its character.
One of the reasons Prague is so well preserved is because it was mostly untouched during World War II, unlike some cities in nearby countries which faced a lot of destruction. There are many styles of architecture throughout Prague including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and more. You can also see buildings in the style of socialist realism dating back from Prague’s time in the Iron Curtain.
Another amazing aspect of Prague is that it is quite inexpensive compared to other European cities. So, if you’re coming from a country with a strong currency such as the United States, your dollar will go A LOT farther in Prague than at home! Even in the tourist center, a classic Czech meal with a beer will cost you about $13.
If you don’t already have your trip booked, I’m sure I’m convincing you to visit. Check out these resources and tools to help book and plan your trip!
- Booking.com – offers accommodation and unique places
- Vrbo – world’s leading marketplace for vacation rentals
- Hostelworld – global hostel-focused online booking platform
- Wayaway – flight aggregator to find the best rates on airline tickets
- Rentalcars.com – the world’s largest car rental service
- Trainline – Europe’s leading train and bus app
- GetYourGuide – find top-rated tours and activities in your destination
Now that you can see the love I have for Prague, I am going to share with you 16 of the best free things to do in Prague (all which I have done myself). I am also going to include a few insights from my boyfriend’s mother, who grew up in Prague. Let’s go!
BEST FREE THINGS TO DO IN PRAGUE
- Wander around Old Town Square
Old Town Square (staroměstské náměstí) is the jewel of Prague. The square and its surrounding maze-like streets are the city’s historical center and a bustling hub of activity. It’s a place to sightsee and soak in the atmosphere! Having been to Prague five times you might think I would get tired of the city’s touristic center, but I just can’t get enough of Old Town Square.
- Watch the Astronomical Clock procession
The astronomical clock in Prague is one of the most famous and oldest astronomical clocks still in operation. It is located on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square and represents medieval astronomical and astrological knowledge. Every hour from 9 AM to 11 PM, the clock performs a short procession with its figurines of Jesus and the Apostles.
Local Insight: “ There is a noticeable gap between the clock tower and the church on the other side of the square. It was caused by the Germans bombing the square at the end of the war.”
- Walk from Petřín Hill to Prague Castle
The walk from Petřín Hill to Prague Castle is one of my favorite things to do in Prague. Petřín Hill is a famous hill in the city that you can reach by foot or funicular railway. If you do go by foot, keep in mind that it is a bit tiring! Once you are on Petřín Hill, you can take a look at Petřín Lookout Tower and then make your way down to Prague Castle. The views on this walk are just spectacular and take you to two of the best spots in the city. If you just enter Petřín Hill as the starting point and Prague Castle as the ending point on Google or Apple maps, you will find the walking route.
- Find the big baby statue in Kampa Park
Kampa Park is a cute park located on Kampa Island in the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) district of Prague. It’s a great place to enjoy nature as it’s nestled between the Vltava River and the Čertovka Canal. It is home to various contemporary art installations and sculptures. One of the most famous sculptures is the big baby made of bronze by Czech artist David Černý. Since it’s so big, it’s not at all hard to find within the park and you can even rub it for good luck!
- Feel inspired at Lennon Wall
The Lennon Wall is a famous and colorful wall dating back to the 1980s. After John Lennon’s death in 1980, young Czechs began to use this wall to express their grievances, hopes, and desires for a more open and free society as a form of protest against the oppressive communist regime. Today, the Lennon Wall is an open canvas for artists and visitors from around the world to express themselves freely through graffiti, street art, and messages of peace.
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- Watch the sunset at Rieger Gardens
Rieger Gardens (Riegrovy Sady) is a lovely park in Prague and the perfect place to watch the sunset over the city with an amazing place of Prague Castle. This is one of the first things I did when I studied abroad in Prague in the summer of 2019. The park has a lot of space for walking, sports, and other outdoor activities and also a beer garden! So grab a blanket and a bottle of champagne (or not), and head to Rieger Gardens and locate the sunset view spot which is on the western side of the park past the fenced running track.
- Take photos in front of the Dancing House
The Dancing House (Tančící Dům), also known as the Fred and Ginger Building, is a very unique building near the Vltava River in Prague. Its design is an example of deconstructivist architecture, characterized by its unconventional and dynamic shapes, and really stands out among the surrounding historic buildings. The reason it is called the Dancing House is because it resembles a couple dancing together. Even if you don’t go to the top (which requires you to buy an alcoholic or nonalcoholic drink or pay for entry), it’s worth visiting the Dancing House to take some fun pictures in front of the unique building.
- Marvel at the TV Tower
The TV Tower (Žižkov Television Tower) is an incredibly distinctive building towering over Prague. It’s actually known as one of the ugliest buildings in the world! First built in the 1980s as a communist broadcasting tower, it was resented by the city’s inhabitants. Since then, people have grown to like the tower and see it as unique rather than ugly and oppressive. In 2000, the Czech sculptor David Černý added 10 six-foot baby sculptures on the side of the tower (the same as the one found in Kampa park). Now, the tower is a popular viewing point and restaurant, but even if you don’t want to pay to go inside, the outside of the tower is definitely worth visiting for its weird design.
- Have a picnic at Stromovka
Stromovka is a large park in Prague near the zoo. It has many walking and cycling trails and is an excellent place for a picnic or other gathering. Throughout the year the park holds various cultural events, concerts, and festivals which adds to the vibrant atmosphere. Having a picnic at Stromovka is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some greenery!
- Walk across the Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge (Karlův most) is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in Prague. It is a historic bridge that spans the Vltava River, connecting the Old Town (Staré Město) with the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) of Prague. It is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and a symbol of Prague’s rich history and architectural heritage. It’s especially great to walk across the Charles Bridge during sunset!
- See the view on both sides of the river from Vyšehrad
Vyšehrad is a historic fort area and local legend says that it was the location of the first settlement which later became Prague. It looms over the Vltava River and from Vyšehrad’s walls you are able to see Prague on both sides of the river. Stop here not only for this view but also to admire the old fortifications, sculptures, and churches. The entire area of Vyšehrad is a maze of cobblestone streets and visiting really makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time.
- Mosey along the Náplavka
The bank of the Vltava River, called Náplavka, is a hip spot with restaurants and bars (both on boats and on land), galleries, and public bathrooms. On land, these places are in vault-like structures that usually have indoor and outdoor seating. You will often see a lot of people sitting on the bank of the river with their own drinks, a friend, a good book, etc. Even if you don’t stop for a bite to eat or a drink, moseying along the Náplavka is a great way to spend a few hours in Prague, especially in the spring or summer!
Local Insight: “Náplavka is somewhat recently renovated, but the area used to be used for ship docking and eventually fell into disrepair. Once it was renovated it quickly became one of the most popular places for young people to hang out on summer evenings.”
- Watch the rotating Franz Kafka head sculpture
The rotating Franz Kafka head is a unique kinetic sculpture dedicated to Franz Kafka, a renowned Czech writer. The sculpture depicts the oversized head of Franz Kafka, made of 42 independently rotating layers of stainless steel. The layers move in various directions and patterns, creating a dynamic and ever-changing display and the rotating head is said to represent the complexity and inner turmoil often found in Kafka’s writing. It’s really entertaining to stand with the ever-changing crowd of tourists and watch the sculpture rotate before your eyes!
- Admire the view from Letná Park
Letná Park is a large park built on a plateau above steep embankments along the Vltava River. Letná Park is well known for its 75-foot-tall operating metronome that in the 1960s replaced a statue of Stalin. Now, the park is a popular place to hangout, walk, and skateboard. We often frequent Letná Park to admire the view of Prague and then walk down the stairs and across the bridge into the center of the city.
Local Insight: “When you walk from Letná Park to the city, you will find yourself at Pařížská Street, which is the most fancy shopping street in Prague. You will find a lot of luxury stores such as Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and more.”
- Discover the historical vineyard at Grébovka Park
This free thing to do I’ve only recently discovered. I was wandering around Grébovka Park and happened upon this cute little vineyard. Here is the exact location of the vineyard on Google Maps. The vineyard also has an accompanying winery with cheap, delicious wine. Just note the winery is only open on Fridays!
- Venture out to the Troja Palace
Troja Palace (Trojský zámek) is a stunning Baroque-style palace on the bank of the Vltava River. The palace is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped garden. Two of the highlights are the large staircase and fountain. It looks a lot different from other buildings in the city of Prague and almost feels a little bit like you’re in Italy. While it costs money to go inside the palace, wandering the grounds is completely free!
I know this blog post is about free things to do in Prague, but if you have the budget for it you should check out some awesome GetYourGuide activities too. In particular I would recommend the Vltava River Night Cruise with Buffet and Prague Castle 2.5 Hour Tour.
Now you know 16 free things to do in Prague. I hope this list saves you some money and helps you make the most of your time in this wonderful city!
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