Guide to Old Town Prague

Old Town Prague is an incredibly historic area. It's highlighted by Old Town Square which is essentially the heart of Prague.

We always see something different each time we pass through Old Town.

But, since your time is probably a bit limited, we've compiled this quick guide of essential sights.

Old Town Prague centers around Old Town Square.

Aside from Prague Castle, the square might be the most impressive sight in Prague. It's actually one of the largest open public spaces in all of Europe and is surrounded by stunning architecture.

Here are the main elements of Old Town Square:

Church of Our Lady Before Tyn

The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn looms over Old Town Square with Gothic fairytale spires and beautiful vaulted ceilings inside. Find the hidden entrance to the left. Inside is only accessible by attending church service, but you can peek in during other times.

If you look closely at the church's towers, you'll notice that one is bigger than the other - suggesting one to be Adam and one Eve.

Astronomical Clock

Prague's astronomical clock is one of the city's most valued sites. This remarkable 15th century clock is on the Town Hall's tower.

On each hour characters including the apostles, a rooster and skeleton mark time in their own way.

Legend has it that the creator of the mechanical parts, Master Hanus, was blinded afterward so he could not replicate it elsewhere.

St Nicholas' Church

The Church of St. Nicholas occupies a corner of the square in splendid baroque style. It was created by master craftsman Kilian Dientzenhofer.

You can catch daily concerts here - some by donation only.

Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall is a collection of small buildings including the gothic tower with astronomical clock in the corner of the square. There's a helpful info center downstairs and a gallery too.

We recommend visiting either the historical rooms upstairs or the view tower. Either costs 100 CZK but it's well worth it. The tower opens at 9:00 Tu-Su and at 11:00 on Monday.

Video of Old Town Square

Other Sights in Old Town Prague

Old Town Prague is chock full of other sights besides the essentials. It's difficult to list them all, but here are a few of our favorites.

• For a different perspective of Old Town Prague, check out the Charles Bridge Tower. Hordes of tourists pass under it but only a few take advantage of its incredible views and historical exhibition. It's well worth the small entrance fee. And, your camera will thank you for the view of Prague Castle, Malá Strana and Old Town.

• Visit the Klementinum. This is a complex of buildings sandwiched between Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. It consists of some of Prague's most beautiful architecture with four wings, three churches and a few courtyards. It now houses the National Library as well. Take a few minutes and just wander around here away from the tourist crowds.

• Have a drink and soak in the wonderful view near the Bedřich Smetana Museum (see photo). It's a perfect little spot to rest and get away from the nearby crowds. This great view is just south of Charles Bridge on the Old Town side.

• Visit Prague's open air market just southwest of Old Town Square. This small market on Havelská street is smack between the walk between the square and Wenceslas Square. Here you'll find plenty of kitschy items and delicious fresh fruit and vegetables.

Take in a concert. You don't have to be a classical music connoisseur to enjoy a concert in Old Town Prague. In fact, there are so many choices that you don't even have to book ahead. Just pop by any number of churches with concert posters outside. You can buy tickets at the door and some are free or by donation only.

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