Prague Castle – Dating back to the 9th century, and the largest ancient castle in the world, Prague Castle dominates the backdrop of the city from almost all angles and views. Still the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic, the castle has previously served as the seat of kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia.
The incredible history of the castle is sure to enchant and intrigue visitors in equal measure. Entry to the castle grounds is completely free, although a combi ticket can be bought to gain access to many castle buildings including the St Vitus cathedral, Basilica of St George and Golden Lane. With more than a millennium of history on show, nowhere in the city demonstrates the unique and often turbulent story of Prague as well as its beloved castle.
Charles Bridge – If you are lucky enough to be staying overnight in Prague, head for the Charles Bridge at dusk when the city starts to light up. The twinkling lights either side of the Vltava river, and the impressive Prague Castle in the background are perhaps best viewed from this beautiful old Bridge, which can trace its roots back to the 14th-century.
A total of 30 Baroque statues are perched on the bridge, depicting various saints and patron saints, including St. Luthgard and John of Nepomuk. Inaccessible by motor vehicle, the bridge is beautifully peaceful, and the perfect place to start an evening stroll.
Prague Astronomical Clock – The 15th-century monument is the world’s oldest astronomical clock still in operation today. Mounted on the wall of Old Town Hall in Old Town Square, the clock feels like the very centre of Prague history, and retains a wonderfully old-worldly charm. The clock pitches the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky alongside other astronomical details, and still operates after 606 years in service.
Try to time your visit to the clock on the hour, when a medieval show is performed by figures flanking and above the clock face. At either side of the clock stands four figures representing the vain, the greedy, the lustful and Death. On the hour, Death will ring a bell before the 12 Apostles make an appearance above the clock face.
Golden Lane – Prague legend has it that Golden Lane, located within the grounds of the castle, is so called because alchemists took to this ancient street to find a reaction to turn ordinary objects into gold. Although evidence of alchemists achieving any kind of success is purely anecdotal, the street does possess a mysterious charm.
Even if you don’t stumble across the legendary secret of alchemy, the 15th-century street is certainly worth a visit. With 11 charmingly quaint wooden houses, all restored to show how the locals would have lived in the 1600s, the street even boasts tiny museums and textile galleries. For those looking for a little hands-on action, the street is also home to an authentic crossbow shooting range.