Prague is an old-world treasure. You'll find sweeping views, gothic architecture, and plenty of things to do. This article includes our top 10 list, free attractions, nighttime activities, family-friendly things to do, and some almost free options.
With all these great things to do, what do you choose? Here is our top 10 list of free things to see and do to help you decide which tours, museums, food, and parks to do.
(1) Sightseeing Tours
Prague has several free walking tours that we recommend. They run like our own tours in that you pay what you think it was worth at the end.
With multiple tour companies to choose from, you’ll have your pick of walking routes through Old Town, New Town, Prague Castle, and the Jewish Quarter.
If you want to explore on your own schedule, Rick Steves has an excellent free audio tour of the city!
(2) Free Music in the Streets
You won’t need to look too far to find some good music - and a lot of it is completely free!
Between May and September, Wallenstein Garden plays host to regular afternoon concerts by jazz and brass bands, classical artists, and choirs.
If you can’t make a planned concert, many street performers and buskers have impromptu performances on Charles Bridge year-round.
And if you’re in the area, there are multiple jazz and blues clubs nearby that offer free entry, such as Jazz Republic, have free concerts almost every night of the week. For more evening entertainment, check out our nighttime section below.
(3) Discover Local Art and History
There are several cultural museums with free entry.
The Dvorak Sec Contemporary Gallery is a private art collection that celebrates contemporary works from local Czech artists as well as international artists.
If you’re looking for a wide range of paintings, photos, and sculptures, we also suggest the Futura Gallery of contemporary art.
For more free museums and attractions, check out the section below.
(4) Explore the Neighborhoods
Old Town is the historic center of Prague. Many consider it to be the most impressive and beautiful district in the city. You’ll find the Old Town Square here, with the Astronomical Clock, Gothic churches, concert halls, and dance clubs.
Josefov is the Jewish Quarter. This neighborhood has its roots in the 10th century, and managed to survive mostly intact throughout the Nazi occupation. There is an interesting cemetery to visit and six historic synagogs.
New Town and Žižkov are two other great neighborhoods to explore. Take a look at our free attractions list below to find out more.
(5) Find Cheap Eats
If you’re looking for an affordable lunch, check out some coffee shop lunch specials. Muj salek kavy and Cafe Lounge both have delicious coffee plus fresh and cheap sandwiches, soups, and snacks.
Look for a classic street food snack called trdelnik - it is some sweet, rolled dough that has been cooked rotisserie-style and covered in cinnamon and sugar.
If you want to sample a wide range of local cuisine, we suggest a food tour.
We have more almost-free suggestions below.
(6) Family-Friendly Playgrounds and Parks
There are fun playgrounds all over the city for the kids to play in!
If you go to the West bank of the Charles Bridge, you’ll find Certovka, a small park that has some playground equipment and a sandbox for the little ones to dig in.
Petrin Hill Park is the largest city park in Prague. You can hike all the way to the top to find some great views of the city or stay at the foot of the hill to play on the swings and other playground equipment.
There is a peaceful Franciscan Garden right next to Wenceslas Square in New Town. It is usually much quieter than the hustle and bustle of surrounding streets, and also has a small fenced-off area with a swing set.
Find more things to do with your kids in Prague below!
(7) Nighttime Panoramic Views
Go to Petrin Hill Park as the sun is setting for some of the best views in Prague. The Hill is 318 meters (1043 feet) high - which is a moderately strenuous climb to the top. If you decide to walk up, you’ll get to enjoy some manicured gardens and an idyllic orchard on your way to the top. It is also possible to reach the lookout point via taxi.
At the top of the hill is a beautiful panoramic view of Prague and it is the perfect spot to watch the sunset, or to see all the city’s lights illuminating the city. For a small fee, you can get an even better view at the top of the tower. For more things to see in the evenings, check out our nighttime activities section.
(8) Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock is one of Prague’s most famous tourist attractions.
It is located right in the Old Town Square and features an hourly show of moving parts and figures attached to the clock.
The show happens at the beginning of each hour between 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. It is easily viewable for free by standing in Old Town Square. It is a fun, short display that many kids enjoy watching! For more family-friendly activities, check out the section below.
If you want a close-up look at the clock and the Twelve Apostles, it is easy to get an entrance ticket to the tower itself within the Old Town Hall.
(9) See the Lennon Wall
This graffiti-covered wall is a tribute to John Lennon. Lennon was a pacifist and an inspiration during the Czech communist era.
His image, as well as song lyrics and other political ideas, are painted all over the wall.
The graffiti started in the 1980s. Both authorities and local property owners have attempted to cover the graffiti, but it has always reappeared with more Beatles lyrics. It is now a staple of the city.
(10) Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Pass
While not free upfront, purchasing a Prague tourist pass will allow you to see and do a wide variety of things for free and offer discounts for more attractions. In addition to a pass for Prague's public transport, you'll also get free or discounted entry into monuments and museums!
Free Entry Attractions Include:
- Astronomical Tower
- New Town Hall
- Kampa Museum
- City Gallery Prague
- Mucha Museum
- Franz Kafka Museum
- Basilica St. Peter
ATTRACTIONS AND MUSEUMS
Prague is full of interesting attractions and sights to see that don't cost anything!
Here we have a list of museums, galleries, and other attractions that are free.
Note: The National Museum was recently re-opened after renovations and will be free through the end of 2019.
This contemporary art gallery is home to one of the many David Cerny bronze statues throughout the city. Other exhibits in the gallery include paintings, photos, sculptures, and videos. The gallery is free to enter.
Anyone who enjoys learning about military history should visit the Army Museum. The space is comprised of old housing barracks and features a large tank sitting in the front.
Displays include uniforms, historical documents, and personal belongings from heroic Czech paratroopers in World War II.
National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror
Seven Czech paratroopers assisted in the assassination of Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich during the Nazi occupation. Now, there is a memorial sculpture honoring those heroes in the Church of Sts Cyril and Methodius.
This church was also shown in the movie Anthropoid, which was based on these events.
Museum of the Infant Jesus of Prague
Visit the Church of Our Lady Victorious to see the large wax figure of baby Jesus resting on the main altar. The church was built in 1613 and the figure was imported from Spain less than two decades later.
Before or after viewing the Infant Jesus of Prague, you can look into the museum that houses the clothes they use to dress the figure.
Dvorak Sec Contemporary Gallery
This contemporary art gallery is one of Prague’s best private galleries. The art featured is from both international artists and local Czech Republic artists. The exhibits regularly rotate as artwork is acquired. Entrance to this gallery is always free.
Czech Museum of Music
On the first Thursday of every month, you can admire this museum’s collection of various musical instruments, some of which are hundreds of years old.
The museum sits in the building that used to be known as the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in the Lesser Town neighborhood. The building itself is impressive to walk through before you even get to the instruments, sheet music, and historical artifacts.
The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn
This Gothic and Baroque style church is situated in Old Town Square and is famous for its two tall spires. The church has been the main house of worship for Old Town since before 1400. Some say this church inspired the castle of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. You won’t want to miss seeing the inside or outside of this beautiful building.
See the Dancing House
This building is special because it looks like a pair of dancers, which is one of the reasons it has another nickname: Fred and Ginger. The Nationale-Nederlanden building was designed by Vlado Miluni and the internationally known Frank Gehry.
There was some controversy over the Dancing House as it did not match the older architecture surrounding it, but now it is accepted as an addition to the neighborhood.
Find the Modern Neighborhoods
Looking to explore an area that isn't Old Town? Here are two more suggestions for places to check out:
New Town, or Nový Svět, is the neighborhood that surrounds Old Town on the East side of the river. There are more commercial spaces here, as well as museums, hotels, cafes, and the National Theatre. This is a great place to find more local restaurants.
Žižkov is a much edgier neighborhood, mostly populated by students and a younger crowd looking for trendy bars like the one at the top of the TV Tower. You can also find the National Memorial and the New Jewish Cemetery here.
There is still plenty to do in Prague in the evenings and into the nighttime hours!
Here is a list of events, attractions, and things to do at night.
Wallenstein Gardens Concerts
Wallenstein Garden features music from jazz and brass bands, classical artists, and choirs. The free concerts take place mostly on Thursdays and Saturdays during the summers. The evening events start around 5:30 pm.
The gardens and palace were built by a famous general as his personal estate. Today, the palace is used by the Czech Senate to conduct business. The gardens themselves are beautiful and worth a look before or after the concerts.
Self-Guided Audio Tours
You don’t have to get up early for these self-guided tours! Simply download the audio guide and let it take you on an interesting walk through the city center. If you start your walk at night, there will be fewer crowds and more atmospheric lighting.
This free Prague audio tour from Rick Steves is a great option!
The sandstone bridge, bookended by two towers, is a popular way to cross the river between Old Town and Lesser Town. At night, Charles Bridge is slightly less crowded, but it also has a fantastic view of both banks, with the city lights reflecting in the river.
You’ll also be able to enjoy the street performers who keep entertaining passers-by late into the evening. Find singers, musicians, and other interesting performances as you walk across.
Summertime Outdoor Movies
Go to MeetFactory, an arts space with a large yard, for free outdoor movie screenings. The yard has a relaxed atmosphere and has drinks available for purchase. You’ll find movies on the schedule from May 30 through the end of September, with start times between 8:30 and 9:30 pm.
Open-Air Christmas Markets
One of the most charming aspects of traveling throughout Europe in the winter is visiting Christmas markets. Prague has several very popular markets to visit.
You’ll find wooden huts lined up and decorated with festive lights. Vendors will offer homemade goods, spit-roasted hams, flatbreads, and warm drinks like honey wine.
- Old Town Square Market
- Wenceslas Square Market
- St. George’s Basilica Market
- Prague Castle Market
Looking for things to do with the kids?
Here we have a list of playgrounds, attractions, and things to see that are family-friendly.
Playgrounds and Parks
Need to let the kids run off their energy? Take them by one of Prague’s many parks.
- Certovka, a small park right by Charles Bridge, has playground equipment and a sandbox.
- Petrin Hill Park has a fenced playground area at the bottom of the hill.
- The Franciscan Gardens by Wenceslas Square has a peaceful play area.
- The playground right by the Kampa Museum entrance is a favorite of kids 6 and under for its slides, swings, sandbox, and splash area.
- U Vodarny makes a water tower into an adventure with bridges, slides, and other climbable features. There are also trampolines, swings, and a small court for games.
The Old Town Hall Tower has an elaborate 15th-century clock on display. There is an hourly show between 9:00 am and 11:00 pm that tends to draw a crowd.
Twelve Apostle figures are connected to the large clock, and at the top of each hour, they make a procession while other clock parts move and rotate.
Charles Bridge is a bustling spot for pedestrians crossing the river between Old Town and Lesser Town. It also has some beautiful views of both banks of the river. The current version of the bridge replaced one that had been destroyed by flooding in the 1300s and the construction was commissioned by Charles IV. Kids can be entertained by street performers, musicians, and dancers.
The Wallenstein Gardens
The Czech Senate currently works out of Wallenstein Palace, which was built by a famous general and duke. The gardens surrounding the palace are free and open to the public. Kids can explore the geometric hedges, run along the pathways, and marvel at the roaming peacocks.
See Old Town Square
This historic square is in the middle of Old Town, right between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. It is the oldest public space in the city.
You can find markets here throughout the year - like the famous Christmas markets - as well as churches and the Astronomical Clock. The family can also be entertained by the many street performers, singers, musicians, and magicians who draw crowds and work for tips.
Go Hunting for Art Installations
Prague is home to some fascinating street art. Some are quirky, some are serious, and some are controversial. From the giant bronze baby sculptures in front of the Kampa Museum to Sigmund Freud hanging from a roof by one hand, none of them are ordinary. Take a walk to find even more public art installations and sculptures throughout Old Town.
Prague Castle Grounds
Access to the gardens and grounds surrounding Prague Castle is free. You can still see the impressive walls of the castle from the outside while exploring the pathways, gardens, and fountains.
Between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm you can watch the Changing of the Guards ceremony every hour. The kids will love the uniforms and choreographed movements.
Here are a few things for you to try in Prague that aren't free, but still pretty cheap!
Find a Local Pub for Drinks
Looking for an affordable drink? Or a casual dinner? Walk away from the tourist attractions for a few minutes, and you’ll start to find pubs that the locals frequent. They will be cozy and laid back compared to the restaurants in the middle of Old Town. Here, you can buy a pint of beer for only €1.50.
Taste a Trdelnik Pastry
This traditional sweet pastry can be found in coffee shops and at street vendors, so you shouldn’t have to look very far. Rolled dough is wrapped around a cylinder and baked over a spit. After it is finished, it is then grilled, coated in cinnamon and sugar, walnuts, and various other sweet toppings.
Take a Boat down Vltava River
There are multiple ways you can get on Prague’s longest river and enjoy the calm water for an hour. The river provides an entirely different view of both Old Town and New Town on the opposite bank.
You can rent a 4-person rowboat or paddle boat for one hour and travel down the Vltava River for a different vantage point of Prague. Depending on what you want to rent, you’ll spend between $5 and $15 per boat, per hour. The rental places are on Zofin Island by the National Theatre and at the end of Charles Bridge.