Visiting Prague? Locals Share 8 Things Not to Miss

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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Whether you’re studying abroad in Europe or traveling for a shorter period of time, Prague is one of the cities you must visit. Why? It’s packed with culture, arts, history, and, of course, great food. And, as with any large city, there is too much to see and do. We always like to discover what locals like to share about their city, as there are often hidden gems that we’ll never find on our own, no matter the amount of time spent scouring the internet. 
 
Visiting Prague? Locals Share 8 Things Not to Miss
 

Here are 8 Things Not to Miss in Prague, as shared by locals:

 

Prague's fairytale castle

Of course, this is the most visible and well-known site in Prague (and the largest castle complex in the world), but did you know there's a secret entrance, a garden with regal peacocks, and even a playground where locals bring their kids? It's a perfect stop for the whole family. 
 
Prague's fairytale castle. From Visiting Prague? Locals Share 8 Things Not to Miss
 

Havel's Heart

When I was in graduate school, one of my advisors and one of my closest friends were both from Prague. Of course, they often mentioned Václav Havel, a playwright, dissident, and eventual last president of Czechoslovakia and first president of the Czech Republic. No history of the Czech Republic is complete without talking about his many important contributions to this country, democracy, and freedom. Please visit Havel Square, by the National Theater, to see Havel's Heart, a powerful sculpture that honored Havel's signature, which always included a hand-drawn heart.

 

Let Them Eat Cake

Of course, one of the highlights of Prague is food. And where else to go than an original Czech cake factory? Try the delicious honey cake at Medovnik Original, with 5 layers of cake with filling. You'll thank me later.
 

Graffiti It Up

If you love street art, head to Barrandov Bridge, where Prague's graffiti artists show their style. If you're lucky and time it right, you will be able to see artists at work. It's also a great, local photo opp, so very different than traditional Prague locations.
 
Graffiti! From Visiting Prague? Locals Share 8 Things Not to Miss
 

Hit the Farmer's Markets

If you're a foodie like me, you'll already have this on your list. Nevertheless, exploring a culture through its cuisine is a great way to spend your day...and meals. Prague has four farmer's markets (each with a variety of offerings): The Náplavka Farmer's Market, located by the river; the Jirak Farmer's Market, in the Vinohrady district; Dejvice Karmer's market (go for the Czech pastries!); and the Holesovice Market, where, in Hall 22, local farmers sell their produce.
 

Visit the Dancing House

Václav Havel's wish for this site was a cultural center. His wish was granted with the building of the 'Dancing House', the Nationale Nederlanden building. Completed in 1996, it is called the Dancing House after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, as the building is said to resemble a dancing couple. It's gorgeous and unlike any other building in Prague. Dine at the restaurant on the 7th floor, or head to the top of the building for one of the best views in town, of town.
 
The Dancing House. From Visiting Prague? Locals Share 8 Things Not to Miss
 

Explore the Real Old Prague

Do you know about Nový Svět (New World)? Called the real Old Prague, this is one of the most beautiful parts of the city. Get your camera ready, because this small neighborhood is packed with history (look for the cannonball lodged in the wall!). Most of the houses were built between the 16th-18th centuries. Look for the House at the Golden Grape (no. 5), built on medieval buildings, the timbered House At the Crayfish (no. 10), and eat at the restaurant inside House at the Golden Pear (no. 3). Nový Svět is located near Prague Castle.
 

Visit a Local Coffee Shop

Naturally, no visit to Prague would be complete without finding your own coffee shop. I suggest Alchymist, a café with a gorgeous backyard garden, where locals congregate to relax. Then take a coffee drinking break to head next door to the Alchymist Coffee Museum, where you'll learn the history of local coffee making. Then, head back to the café for round two.
 
Visit a local coffeeshop! Alchymist has a secret garden. From Visiting Prague? Locals Share 8 Things Not to Miss
Photo: Alchymist
 
 
 
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