Prague is an incredible city, full of beautiful sights. There are fine dining and high-class hotels, but if you’re on a budget, those things may be further from your reach. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the history and entertainment that Prague has to offer, though.
In fact, there are some totally free things you can do while visiting the city.
1. Walking Tours
Prague is one of the fascinating cities in the world, and you simply can’t enjoy it from a speeding car. If you want to enjoy the city and immerse yourself in the culture, take one of the many free walking tours. The Royal Walk (also called the Royal Route) is highly recommended, as it will take you through Cathedrals, past castles, and around other breathtaking architecture.
2. Astronomical Clock
Perhaps the most famous attraction in the city, the astronomical clock is located in Old Town Square. The beautiful clock face perched upon a tall, regal clock tower will not only tell you the time, but also the phases of the moon, equinoxes, seasons, days, and the 12 zodiac signs. You can spend hours watching the hands move. Just make sure you’re there for a little show called the “Procession of the Twelve Apostles” begins.
3. Kampa Island Trip
Though your ferry ride may require a small fee, everything to do on Kampa Island is free. It’s a charming little piece of land on the banks of the Vltava River, close to Charles Bridge. There are picturesque houses and parks to enjoy, including a string of houses right along the river, which has earned the island the nickname, “The Venice of Prague.”
4. Live Music
Along with the many, many street performers that dot the cobblestone roads, you can also listen to live music in the vast number of clubs and bars throughout the city. You may be required to purchase a drink, but it’s otherwise free to listen to the performers in many of these venues. You’ll find everything from rock to classical music.
5. Charles Bridge
At one point, Charles Bridge was the only way to cross the River Vlatvain. Although many other bridges and passageways have been erected since then, Charles Bridge remains a popular tourist attraction. You can admire the construction and architecture of the ancient bridge, look over the city, watch the sun set over the water, listen to street musicians, watch dancers pass by, and experience other events occurring throughout the day on this spectacular bridge.
6. Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter, also known as Josefov, is located in Old Town. It has architecture and history that goes all the way back to the 10th century. The famous writer Franz Kafka was born there, and you see a memorial in his honor. There’s also the Jewish Museum (which charges admission), the Old Jewish Cemetery, several synagogues, and other impressive sights that pay homage to Jewish culture and history.
7. John Lennon Wall
Even though John Lennon never visited Prague, his memory is kept alive through a memorial wall southwest of Charles Bridge. Those seeking freedom of speech during the era of communism in Prague would write messages and paint murals on the wall. Most of this artistic expression took place in 1980 after John Lennon’s murder, and it’s still an attractive place for artists to express themselves.
8. Prague Castle
Prague Castle currently holds the record as the largest coherent castle complex in the world. It was built in 870 AD and was once the palace occupied by Czech Kings. The grounds and gardens are entirely free to roam in your spare time. They’re also perfect for picnics and pictures with the family.
9. Churches and Cathedrals
There are some religious buildings worth visiting during your stay. Along with the synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, there’s St. Vitus Cathedral and St. Michael Church, each with amazing architecture and history. Many of these churches were built in the 10th century or earlier.
10. Wenceslas Square
Perhaps the most crowded tourist area in Prague, Wenceslas Square is home to shops, eateries, cafes, bookshops, national monuments, museums, and more. It’s a long walkway full of culture.
11. Stag Moat
Stag Moat is the body of water that surrounds Prague Castle. There’s a lovely walking path along the water’s edge that wanders through green valleys and wood. It’s a great escape from the busy city. You can enter a peaceful realm to do some bird watching without wandering too far from the city center.
12. Old Town Square
In the center of the city is Old Town Square, surrounded by brightly colored houses that add a touch of pizzazz and historical interest. There’s always activity in this sector, but the types of events differ depending on the season. In the summer, you’ll see vendors and cafes lining the streets, and in the winter, there’s a unique Christmas market with some of the best street shopping in Europe.
There’s also Kinsky Palace, Tyn Church, Old Town Hall Tower, the Astronomical Clock, and more architecture and fine art worth viewing as you wander around.
13. Dancing House and Other Architecture
You can’t enter the infamous Dancing House, but you can enjoy its bizarre structure from the street. It’s not a timeworn building as it was built in 1996 and designed under the direction of Vlado Miluni. It’s the Nationale-Nederlanden building in Prague. Miluni was criticized because the unique architecture doesn’t blend in with the historical surroundings.
However, since it was first erected, it’s known as one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city.