13 Best Things to Do in Old Town Prague

Welcome to Old Town Prague! This historic area is filled with beautiful architecture, rich culture, and interesting history. From the famous Astronomical Clock to the charming Charles Bridge, there are plenty of captivating sights to explore.

I spent a week in Prague, exploring not only Old Town but also other historical areas. With my father-in-law being from Prague, it felt familiar from the start.
Now, I share the highlights of this charming district with you.
Admire the Gothic and Baroque architecture and embrace the lively atmosphere of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

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Prague Old Town History

buildings with steeple in prague old town

Old Town, or Staré Město, started as a medieval settlement by the Vltava River in 1100 AD. It began as a marketplace with 13 gates and a large moat.

In the 14th century, Charles IV added buildings, starting with the Old Town Hall. The Charles Bridge was later built, connecting Prague Old Town to the Lesser Town.

In the Renaissance and Baroque periods, Old Town Prague flourished with architectural and artistic developments.

Many iconic structures like the Prague Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, and the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn were constructed during this era.

How to Get to Old Town in Prague

Getting to Old Town is relatively easy on foot.

This historical district is situated in the center of Old Prague, bordered by the Vltava River to the west, and the neighbourhoods of Jewish Quarter (Josefov), New Town, and Castle District (Hradčany) to the north, east, and south respectively.

Old Town vs New Town Prague

Old Town and New Town are two distinct districts in Prague.

Old Town is known for its historic architecture and landmarks, such as the Astronomical Clock and the Týn Church, while New Town is characterized by its more modern buildings and commercial centers, such as Wenceslas Square and the National Museum.

The size of these two districts varies too.

Old Town is smaller but attracts more tourists. On the other hand, New Town is twice the size, with fewer tourists and more locals, especially since it’s a finance-focused area in Prague.

Things to Do in Old Town Prague

1. Charles Bridge

stone bridge with statue, tower and sunrise in prague old town

Charles Bridge is a must-see! This stunning stone bridge, spanning the Vltava River, is adorned with beautiful baroque statues and it’s the best place to take in the breathtaking views of the city and Arno River.

As I walk across, I see street performers, artists, and vendors selling souvenirs. To get a different perspective of Charles Bridge, I recommend taking a Prague River cruise.

If you want the bridge all to yourself, get up at dawn to watch the sunrise! It was one of my favourite Old Town Prague things to do.

Charles Bridge connects the Castle district to Old Town, and this is a great starting point to explore this historical district.

2. The Alley of Prague’s History

fresco on building as things to do in prague old town

Wandering off the beaten path, I found the Alley of Prague’s History.

Hidden on a narrow street in Old Town, it tells Prague’s stories through murals and plaques.

I strolled through, feeling like I travelled through time, learning about the city’s history from King Charles IV to the Velvet Revolution. It’s a great place to understand Prague’s past before exploring Old Town’s sights.

3. Old Town Square

row of colourful buildings in old town of prague

Prague’s Old Town Square, dating back to the 10th century, stands as the city’s oldest and most significant square.

As I explore European cities, the historic old town center is always the heart, and Prague’s square fits that role perfectly.

Covering over 9,000 sq/m, it’s among Europe’s most impressive, providing a central spot to explore the whole city.

Things to see in Old Town Prague are the buildings, filled with intricate details and a variety of colours, offer a captivating view that’s worth taking time to appreciate.

The Old Town Square in Prague holds historical significance as a global marketplace and a central meeting point for trade routes. Even today, I find it bustling with activity, attracting a constant stream of people, including those on walking tours.

The Christmas Market in Old Town Square is a magical event in the heart of Prague, transforming the square into a winter wonderland with lit trees, Czech decorations, and festive scents.

Stalls offer diverse gifts and treats like gingerbread cookies and roasted ham. The giant Christmas tree and live performances by carolers and local musicians add to the joyful atmosphere.

4. Old Town City Hall

tall tower in old town square prague old city

In Prague’s Old Town Square, I found the Old Town Hall, a top landmark dating back to 1338.

The hall is a blend of medieval buildings collected over time, with its tower once ranking as Prague’s tallest.

Now, it acts as the main tourist information office. You can explore the underground or go up the tower for views of the square.

5. Astronomical Clock

Astronomical Clock in Prague old town square

I found Prague’s most popular site next to the Old Town Hall – the astronomical clock, installed in 1410 and still running today. This is one of the top things to see in Prague Old Town.

Every hour, from 8 am to 8 pm since 1410, the Astronomical Clock comes alive. It displayed Zodiac phases and sunrise and sunset times impressively.

Twelve saints marched by through a window, while figures representing Greed, Vanity, Death, and Turk nodded their heads. I joined the early crowds eagerly waiting to see it in motion or you can take a tour.

6. Church of Our Lady Before Týn

yellow church in old town prague things to do

In the Old Town Square, I came across one of the most photographed buildings – the striking Church of Our Lady before Tyn, built in 1385.

What sets this church apart is its distinctive twin Gothic spires. These spires make the Týn Church a standout landmark in Old Town, visible from all around Prague.

During the Middle Ages, it also played a crucial role as the main Old Town church.

7. Church of St James

baroque church in prague

I explored the Gothic Church of St James, originally from the 14th century but rebuilt after a fire, rumoured to be started by Louis XIV of France.

What makes this church stand out is its Baroque interior and an intriguing, albeit gruesome, tale.

As I entered, the mesmerizing details captured my attention. Legend has it that a thief, attempting to steal jewels around 1400, had his arm grabbed so tightly by the Virgin statue that it had to be cut off. (Just to note, I didn’t see it!)

Best Classical Concerts in Prague

Prague is renowned for its evening classical concerts, and the options can be overwhelming.

I attended two, providing a fantastic opportunity to explore the interiors of historic churches.

  • Saint Martin in the Wall Church, a Gothic church dating back to 1187, may have an unassuming exterior, but its simple yet beautiful interior makes it the perfect venue for a classical concert with amazing acoustics. It was a highlight of my trip!
  • The Church of St James, usually crowded with tourists during the day, offered a different experience during the concert. I took the chance to sit, appreciate all the details, and enjoy the music.

8. Estates Theatre

pink and white details in old town prague

The Estates Theatre in Prague is a cultural gem, a beautiful Baroque theatre with a history dating back to the 18th century.

It’s witnessed significant performances in Czech history, from operas to ballets and plays. You can join a guided tour to delve into its history and architecture or catch a live performance to experience the stage’s magic yourself.

Additionally, the theatre hosts the annual Prague Spring International Music Festival, attracting musicians and music enthusiasts globally.

9. Jan Hus Monument

CR Old Town Prague1

The Jan Hus Monument is a tribute to one of the Czech Republic’s most important historical figures, Jan Hus.

I learned that he was a significant Czech religious reformer who was executed in the early 15th century for his beliefs. The monument, erected in his honour in the early 20th century, stands in the center of Old Town Square.

It includes a statue of Hus atop a large pedestal, surrounded by reliefs depicting scenes from his life and work. It’s a popular meeting spot for tourists, and I often see guides and street performers gathering around here.

10. Municipal House

square with colourful buildings in old town prague

I visited the Municipal House in Prague, a remarkable Art Nouveau building. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, it’s a cultural hub with stunning architecture.

The street-level restaurant and café are the perfect way to get a glimpse. But if you want to see more, you have to take a private tour.

11. Harvel Market

In the heart of Prague’s Old Town, I explored the bustling Havelské Market.

Dating back to the 13th century, it has been a favourite spot for locals for centuries and still is very much part of Prague history today.

I enjoyed sampling local street food, like trdelník (a sweet pastry rolled in sugar and cinnamon) and chlebíčky (open-faced sandwiches with various toppings), while browsing through a variety of goods, including fresh produce, handicrafts, souvenirs, and traditional Czech products like sausages and cheeses.

12. St Cross Rotunda

In the heart of historic Prague, I explored the small but significant St. Cross Rotunda.

Dating back to the 11th century, it’s one of the city’s oldest structures, showcasing early Romanesque architecture.

I admired its unique shape with a circular nave and a square chancel, along with intricate stone carvings and frescoes. Learning about its history was fascinating; it has served as a church, a warehouse, and a museum over the centuries.

13. Powder Tower

stone bridge, sunrise in old town prague

In Old Town, I visited the Gothic Powder Tower, located at the entrance of Prague’s Old Town.

Constructed in the 15th century as part of the city’s defences, it originally stored gunpowder, explaining its name.

Today, the Powder Tower is a popular tourist spot and a symbol of the city’s rich history and architecture. I climbed the 186 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of the city or explored exhibitions showcasing the tower’s history and significance. Of all the Prague Old Town things to do, you don’t want to miss this one!

Best Guided Tours of the Old Town of Prague

As one of the best things to do in Prague Old Town, here are some experiences to enjoy.

#1 Top Pick
church in old town prague


3-Hour Walking Tour

✅ Local guide

✅ Visit the best Old Town sites, Church of St Nicolas, Prague Castle

✅ Includes Tram ticket

#2 Top Pick
spires in old town prague


3-Hour Bus & Walking Tour

✅ Sightseeing bus

✅ See over 6+ sites

✅ Walking tour in Old Town Square

#3 Top Pick
clock in prague


Old Town Hall + Astronomical Clock Entrance Ticket

✅ Entrance Ticket

✅ Guided tour of medieval underground

✅ Views of Old Town from the Tower Gallery

#4 Top Pick
violin in prague


St. Martin Classical Music Concert

✅ 12th-century Church

✅ Professional musicians playing the music of Bach, Mozart, Dvorak and others

✅ My favourite nighttime activity

What to Do in Old Town Prague: Restaurants + Hotels

What to do in Prague Old Town has to involve eating and drinking. I’ll leave you with a bit of inspiration.

Best Restaurants in Prague Old Town

  • Brewery – Pivnice U Kata (U Radnice 6) – you can feel the history as you are sampling some of Prague’s best brews
  • Restaurant – U Medviku (Na Perstyne 7) – although this came highly recommended, I didn’t eat here, but if you want to enjoy a traditional Czech dinner this is the place to go
  • Cocktail bar with terrace – Bugsy’s (Parázská 10) – this is located amongst the nicest shopping streets that reminded of Paris

Where to Stay in Prague Old Town

Here are recommended places to stay in Old Town that receive the highest ratings by travellers.

FAQ: Old Town of Prague

What is Prague Old Town called?

Prague’s Old Town is called Staré Město, a historic district dating back to the 9th century that features many famous landmarks found in Old Town Square.

Is it better to stay in Old Town or New Town?

Both offer different experiences – Old Town is charming and historic, while New Town is more modern and lively.

Why is the Old Town Square so famous?

Prague’s Old Town Square is famous for its stunning architecture, historic landmarks like the Astronomical Clock, and vibrant cultural events such as the Christmas Market.

Is Prague Castle in Old Town?

Prague Castle is not located in Old Town, but rather in the Castle District, a historic area on a hill overlooking the city’s center.

What is the oldest section of Prague?

The oldest section of Prague is the Castle District, dating back to the 9th century, which features Prague Castle and many other historic landmarks.

As a Holidaymaker

You can’t visit the city without a visit to Old Town Square Prague. It’s the heart and soul of the city! It won’t take you long to explore it, but be sure to add it to your itinerary. I hope you enjoy your trip to historical Prague as much as I do!

Next, you’re going to want to read about the other four historic centres in Prague:

For more travel planning resources and all of my articles check out my Czech Republic Travel Guide page.