17 things to do for free in Prague
17 things to do for free in Prague
Once upon a time Prague was the budget traveller’s dream. Beautiful as Paris with London quality pubs and all at bargain basement prices. Unfortunately not any more, budget airlines and increased awareness have made Prague one of Europe’s premier destinations and the prices have increased to match. But never fear, here is our list of 17 things to do for free in Prague so you can still feel the thrill of this wonderful city and still have some cash left over.
1. Národní galerie v Praze (Prague National Gallery) (Staroměstské náměstí 12) houses the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic and is free the 1st Wednesday of the month from 3-8 p.m.
2. Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square) is a curious blend of historical importance and the seedier world of prostitution and stag parties, and is part of the UNESCO listed Prague Old Town. It contains many of the city’s most important buildings and is a great place to watch the world go by.
3. Tančící dům (Dancing House) (Jiráskovo náměstí 1981/6) is one of the city’s most innovative buildings and is a result of the combined work of two architects Vlado Milunc and Frank Gehry. Only the restaurant is open to visitors but it is enough to see it from the outside.
4. Although you must pay to enter the Jewish heritage monuments, taking a stroll around Josefov, Prague’s Jewish district and birthplace of Franz Kafka, is free and certainly doesn’t disappoint.
5. Uměleckoprůmyslové museum v Praze or UPM (Museum of Decorative Arts) (17 listopadu 2) is a lavishly designed neo-Renaissance building with permanent display of textiles, toys, graphic arts, furniture, ceramics, and Bohemian glass. It is free on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m.
6. An absolutely essential must do in Prague, and all the better because it’s free, is to visit the Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square). Not only does it contain a number of the city’s most famous buildings, it is also home to the seasonal Easter and Christmas markets. Furthermore the Pražský orloj (Prague Astronomical Clock), which comes alive. on the hour every hour, with a fascinating spectacle of parading apostles and moving statues, is simply unique and not to be missed.
7. Prague is blessed with a number of wonderful markets where you can soak up the sights, sounds and smells of this wonderful city. These include the Holesovice Market (food, clothes, and electronics), as well as the indoor/outdoor Pankrac Market (produce, dry goods, and home appliances) and the touristy but enjoyable Havelska Market (produce, jewellery, art, and toys) in the heart of Old Town.
8. On Velkopřevorské náměst a very strange sight can be found. Despite never having visited the city, Prague is home to its very own John Lennon Wall, which since the Beatles singer’s death in 1981 has been covered with Lennon inspired graffiti and Beatles’ lyrics. During the Communist times the authorities kept trying to paint over it, only to find that the graffiti kept coming back,
9. Na Kampě (Kampa Island) is separated from the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana) by the Devil’s Stream, a narrow artificial channel which in the past had been used to power water mills. Today the island is one of the most romantic and beautiful parts of the city and is a lovely place to take a stroll.
10. Národní muzeum (National Museum) (Václavské náměstí 68) contains a vast collection covering a huge variety of fields including palaeontology, botany, anthropology and mineralogy. There are also a number of archaeological pieces focusing mainly on the Neolithic period to the 10th century BC. It is free the 1st Monday of the month.
11. Although you have to pay to enter Prague Castle itself, the Castle Grounds are free to roam around, with some spectacular views waiting to be found.
12. Prague boasts a number of green spaces including the Stomovka, Petrin and Letna Parks. Petrina park in particular is a lovely spot for escaping from the hustle and bustle. In the winter the park is a popular spot for sledging. In summer, Divoka Sarka Park is a great place to paddle around the park’s lake for free (although you do have to pay for the shower facilities).
13. Walk across Karlův most (Charles Bridge), one the greatest Gothic civil engineering project and emblem of the great city.
14. Katedrála svatého Víta (St. Vitus Cathedral) (III. nádvoří 48/2), which looms large over the city from every angle, is a must see tourist attraction and you can enter part of the entrance area for free. Although it’s probably worth stumping up the money to see it all.
15. Czech Museum of Music (Karmelitská 2/4) is housed in the Baroque Church of Santa Maria Magdalena and contains a unique collection of musical instruments. It is free on the 1st Thursday of the month.
16. Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem (Church of Our Lady Before Tyn) is a dominant feature of Prague Old Town, located as it is just off the Old Town Square. The opening hours are a little tricky (10 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.) but it is Free to enter.
17. Prague’s Night of Churches in May and the Prague Night of Museums in June are both free events. During the Night of Churches some normally closed structures are opened up to the public. Whilst on the Night of Museums, concerts, lectures and other activities are arranged at the participating venues.
written by: Jon