15 stunning views of Prague that will make you want to visit – Travel Photo Mondays
It is true, Prague is a magical place! It feels like visiting a fantasy filled with amazing castles, architecture and an electic combination of very old mixed in with new. In spite of the hordes of tourists that descend on the city every year (estimated 4.1 million yearly), there are many neighborhoods and areas to walk and discover that far away from the noise and busy tourist zones. You can find quiet cobbled streets and towers in the Mala strana (Little Town). and across the St. Charles bridge to the new town walking towards Prague castle and St. Vitus cathedral. There are plenty of places to explore and discover, and here are just a few images to drool over and make you want to visit Prague in the Czech Republic – hopefully soon!
1. Prague from above
On a clear day like today, you can see the entire city from the old town hall tower with its astronomical clock. The lookout point on the towers allows you to see 360 degrees around the entire city and beyond. Looking down to the main square called Staromestske namesti above is fascinating seeing all the crowds and landmarks surrounding the square. It is definitely one of the best scenic spots from above where you can get the best views of the old town.
2. Crossing the St. Charles Bridge at dusk
Right before sunset, the best place to enjoy the city is to walk around the St. Charles bridge – it really is magical. There always seems to be a nice breeze and the weather is just right. The late afternoon light is so beautiful on both sides of the Vltava river, you can’t take a bad shot anywhere from the bridge at this time. Of course, it is a little tricky with every other tourist visiting the bridge at the same time looking for the best spots to take a photograph. So be patient and that magic moment will happen – and act fast because the sun comes down quickly.
Earlier in the afternoon we crossed the bridge towards the Mala Strana and there were plenty of musicians and performers trying to coax visits to hang out and leave some pocket change. Here’s a sample video below.
3. Sunset by the Vltava river looking towards Prague Castle
You don’t have to be on the St. Charles bridge to get a magnificent sunset view, just stroll anywhere around the shoreline of the Vltava river and if you are there at the magic hour, you just may be rewarded with a spectacular sunset to enjoy and of course take a few amazing photographs of the city facing Prague castle.
4. Discovering Prague at night
It’s really magic walking around the old town of Prague at night especially around the area of the main square – Staromestske Namesti. All the monuments are beautifully lit up and the cafes surrounding the square are buzzing with activity along with street performers in the square luring tourists in for a better view and to part with their Koruna. It’s fun to walk along the many pedestrian streets to check out the cafes, boutiques or bars that you may come across and drop in for a visit.
5. Enjoy all the amazing public art in Prague
It’s really amazing that there is so much public art to see all over the city from local and re-known sculptures and international artists. This Franz Kafka face created by sculptor David Cerny, is a fascinating kinetic sculpture that changes often from the sliced head rotating constantly. Below is a You tube video capturing some of the wonderful motions that this piece creates in its rotations.
6. A plethora of music venues and concerts
It seems like every night in the city offers and unlimited number of music venues and popular music related activities from the very popular classical music styles to local cabarets and even popular jazz clubs that are a favorite pastime for Prague locals. Next to the Powder tower is the center of musical life including a concert hall, restaurants and event spaces and at night time is illuminated magically from its base to the ornate roof details.
7. Views of the city from Prague Castle
After climbing the top of the hill towards Prague castle and the cathedral, you are rewarded with magnificent views over the red tile roofs of Prague looking back towards the Vltava river and the old town. There’s a lot to explore in this fortified complex with the cathedral and the many areas of the castle that have been converted into different museums and you can pay different tour packages in touring the complex. Just below the hill of the Mala strana is a string of galleries, cafes and bars that try to lure you into taking a break on the way up or down from the hilltop attractions. It’s a fun street to look around and take you time exploring some of the local dishes or even a nice local beer in one of the brew pubs along the way.
8. Prague Castle
Now the seat of the President of the Czech Republic, the castle is a series of castles and is a popular gathering spot to see the changing of the guards or visit some of the major halls that are open to the public as museums including: the royal treasury, national painting gallery and armoury.
9. St. Vitus Cathedral
Also in the complex fortification of Prague castle is the Cathedral called St. Vitus Cathedral. It was built on the site of an old Romanesque basilica and is a splendid gothic style structure with three naves and three towers. It is a gorgeous building that was started in the 13th century and took until the 20th century to complete after a series of starts and stops in construction.
10. Wallenstein Palace and salla terrena
A baroque styled palace and gardens below Prague castle. Built around 1629 the palace has a very large grotto called the salla terrena resembling an artificial grotto and cave with stalactites. The beautifully maintained baroque formal gardens are filled with colorful annuals, statuary and fountains and a perfect for strolling or having a nice picnic on the many benches lining the gravelled pathways.
11. Stroll along St. Wenceslas square
A popular spot for shopping on one of the largest squares in Prague and a historic site for many large demonstrations that have occurred in Prague’s modern history including the ‘Velvet Revolution’ Now it is a place for fashionable shops and eateries and meeting for students and the young locals of Prague to hang out. The boulevard has many striking architecture ranging from art nouveau, art deco to classic styles and beautiful to see and photograph.
12. Walks along the Vltava river
Both sides of the Vltava river have wonderful shoreline access and roads with scenic views on both sides of the old and new town. Along the route are nice green belt areas and parks that are very popular with locals enjoying a day out along the river to picnic or enjoy a meal with views from the riverfront. Or how about renting a swan paddle boat or just going on a barge or river cruise slowly seeing the major monuments of Prague by water.
13. Views of the Vltava river and new town from above
14. A walk around the Jewish district
The trendy Jewish district is filled with designer shops and international brands along with being a great dining and foodie zone for locals and tourists. There is also plenty to see of the historical district with the cemetery, synagogues and other important cultural buildings. It’s a fascinating area where you can see and admire the wonderful transition of old and new and still get a great vibe and understanding the significance and history of this area.
15. Stunning architecture everywhere
The city is just filled with amazing architecture, it seems like everywhere you turn, there is always are stunning buildings in a variety of classical styles from Medieval, Gothic Baroque, Art Nouveau to contemporary styles like Polish Modern and the Stalin period architecture. It really is a city filled with stunning architecture and monuments and you will never be lacking to see something unusual or historic in the city’s districts.
Best places to photograph
If you enjoyed this post, please check out my other best places to photograph series from around the world.
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