Middle Age Miles

A Walking Tour of Prague

Boats on the Vltava River on a warm summer day, with Prague Castle overlooking the scene

This article is part of our Trip Report – Our Summer Holiday in Dubrovnik and Beyond

Introduction and Our Basic Walking Route

Prague is perhaps the most beautiful walking city that Middle Age Miles has visited. The first time we were in Prague, I remarked that it’s so perfect, it almost seems fake – it looks like it was built by Disney, but if Disney took things one step further on the beautiful-beyond-imagination scale.

There’s something interesting around seemingly every corner of Prague – a piece of architecture, a sculpture, a monument, or something else that catches the eye. It’s really remarkable. And in addition, unless you’re heading up the hill on the west side of the Vltava River to Prague Castle or further around that side of the river into the park, it’s generally flat and thus easily walkable.

On the first day of Our Summer Holiday in Dubrovnik and Beyond, Philly and I arrived into Prague late morning on an August Saturday. After checking in to our hotel (sans luggage, which was landing in London about this same time), meeting up with Middle Age Miles kids KB and Andrew, and grabbing a bite to eat in the hotel lounge, we were ready to head out for a long afternoon stroll around the city.

We’d all been to Prague just a year and a half earlier (and KB had just lived there for weeks during her study abroad program), so we weren’t trying to see the entire city (and I kid you not, there are dozens upon dozens of interesting things to see there). Instead, we had a few specific places in mind, that we’d missed on our earlier trip or that we had a particular reason to visit, and we worked our route around those places:

  • Start from our hotel, the Sheraton Prague Charles Square (now in the process of being remodeled and converted to a Radisson Blu)
  • See Frank Geary’s famous “Dancing House,” an architectural marvel and curiosity
  • Visit the Lennon Wall
  • Go to the InterContinental Hotel, where KB had interned during her study abroad program
  • Stop by Old Town Square and see the “fake” Astronomical Clock
  • Shop at Philly’s favorite dress shop, Michal Negrin
  • And return to the Sheraton

Our route looked roughly like this (although we wandered around a bit, not always taking the most direct route, especially when we went to the Lennon Wall):

As you can see above, Google Maps says the direct routing to get to the places we visited was 5.9 km (3.66 miles). But, as I mentioned, we wandered a bit, and probably covered more like 5 miles on a very warm (low to mid-90’s) early-August afternoon.

Our Walking Tour of Prague, in Photos

We’ll let the photos tell most of the story of our walking tour of Prague, with a few interludes to put things into context.

The beauty of Prague was evident from the first few steps of our walk, as only a block from our hotel we came upon New Town Hall and the surrounding park.

Prague – New Town Hall, eastern wing
Prague – New Town Hall, main building

On our way to the Dancing House, we came across Man Hanging from an Umbrella, suspended in the air over a busy intersection:

Prague – Man Hanging from an Umbrella

Frank Geary’s famed “Dancing House” did not disappoint. Its unusual architectural design looks like something out of a cartoon, and the sense of movement and flow that it conveys is largely lost in a still picture:

Prague – Dancing House

We love to visit local running stores when we visit a new city. And given our lack of luggage and a very hot day, it was more of a necessity than a novelty on this day. Philly picked up some running clothes that were much cooler and better for walking than her otherwise limited wardrobe (basically, what she wore on the plane!). The “Top 4 Running” store was one block north of the Dancing House, just to the right as we walked north along the river.

Prague – the Top 4 Running store made Philly’s day a lot more comfortable!

After Philly picked out some new warm-weather athletic clothes, we continued to walk north along the Vltava River, towards the Charles Bridge. Along the way we saw:

Lots of people in paddleboats on the Vltava River, with Prague Castle in the background
Prague – Krannerova kasna, a Gothic-style fountain apparently built in the mid-1800’s to commemorate the Habsburg Dynasty
Prague – Water Zorbing on the Vltava River was very funny to watch
Prague Beer Museum!

Next up was the famed Charles Bridge, a heavily-traveled pedestrian bridge constructed in the 14th century that is lined with statues.

Prague – statue of Emperor Charles IV, in front of the Charles Bridge Museum, just before you walk onto his namesake bridge
Prague – entrance tower on the east end of Charles Bridge, with Prague Castle in the distance – as you can see, it’s very crowded during tourist season!
Prague – Charles Bridge – touching the five stars of the memorial to tragically-fated St. John of Nepomuk, one finger on each star, has supernatural powers according to legend – I’ll have a wish granted, or return to Prague someday, or something like that!

Next up, the Lennon Wall, a graffiti tribute to the late John Lennon with messages of peace. I’m sure it’s not really that hard to find, but we wandered around a lot before coming upon it!

Prague – Middle Age Miles at the Lennon Wall
Prague – Lennon Wall
Prague – we found Middle Age Miles kids KB & Andrew at the John Lennon Pub, complete with a yellow submarine

As an aside, we stopped for lunch at Velkoprevorsky restaurant near the Lennon Wall. You’ll find it just around the east corner of the Wall, across from the John Lennon Pub. When we travel, we never know what we’ll get in terms of local food, but Velkoprevorsky served us a good, solid lunch – and most importantly, the outdoor dining was shaded and had misters, which was a big help.

Next up, we crossed back over the Charles Bridge and headed north toward the InterContinental Hotel. We passed the Four Seasons and the Conservatory, arriving next at the Rudolfinum Concert Hall, home of the Czech Philharmonic. At Middle Age Miles, we love The Amazing Race, and it was fun to visit the garden in front of the Rudolfinium, which was the site of a clue box and U-Turn board in Season 30, Leg 6.

Prague – U-Turn from The Amazing Race Season 30, Leg 6, at the Rudolfinum
[image courtesy Sinjoh on Fandom.com]
Prague – statue of the Czech Republic’s greatest composer, Antonin Dvorak, in front of the Rudolfinum Concert Hall
Prague – Rudolfinum Concert Hall, home of the Czech Philharmonic

From there, we continued on to the InterContinental Hotel (which we’ll feature in a separate article). The InterContinental was very nice – and most importantly for this particular day, it’s nicely air-conditioned!

From the InterContinental, we turned south to walk along Parizska street, Prague’s version of Rodeo Drive with one designer brand store after another, on our way to the heart of Prague, Old Town Square.

Old Town Square is the part of Prague that most looks like Disney leveled-up. It’s incredibly impressive and always bustling. On the east side of the square is the magnificent twin-spired Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, in the middle is the massive Jan Hus monument (a sculpture of a 15th-century martyr), at the northwest corner is the impressive St. Nicholas’ Church, and to the southwest corner is Old Town Hall and Prague’s iconic Astronomical Clock.

Except … on this visit, the Clock was being refurbished, and at the Clock’s location was a screen with an image of the Astronomical Clock projected onto it. We’d actually seen the Astronomical Clock on our previous visit to Prague, so it was amusing to see the projection this time. Unfortunately, it would be quite sad for those making their first and only visit to Prague! (That said, I vividly remember our beloved tour guide on our first visit to Prague, Pavel, telling us that the Astronomical Clock was once voted Europe’s most disappointing attraction.)

Here are a few pictures from Old Town Square (including some from our return visit later at night):

Prague – Old Town Square – the magnificent twin spires of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn
(notice the building in front containing a Dali/Mucha/Warhol art exhibition)
Prague – Old Town Square – nighttime view of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn
Prague – Old Town Square – looking east-to-west across the Square toward Old Town Hall
Prague – you never know what you’ll find in Old Town Square!
You can see a small part of the Jan Hus monument on the left side
(and don’t miss the guy in the lower left and his hilarious t-shirt of food!)
Prague – Old Town Square – Church of St. Nicholas
Prague – Old Town Square – projection of the Astronomical Clock on the side of Old Town Hall
Prague – Old Town Square – Old City Hall Tower, with the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn in the background

We exited Old Town Square at the southwest corner and made our way to Michal Negrin, where Philly could do a little dress-shopping at her favorite dress store:

Prague – Philly at her favorite dress store, Michal Negrin

After that, we headed back to the Sheraton to clean up, cool down, rest, and get ready for what turned out to be a very eventful dinner with KB, Andrew, and some of KB’s friends from her study abroad program. Long story short, we were dining on the outside patio of Ristorante Leggero when a massive and unrelenting thunderstorm hit and raged for a full 45-60 minutes. The festivities included a lightning strike literally within a block of us. We’d like to give a hat tip and Middle Age Miles shout-out to Ristorante Leggero, which took great care of us through the storm and served us a very good meal to boot. It’s a bit off the beaten tourist path in Prague, but check it out if you get a chance (Ristorante Leggero, Londynska 29, Praha 2).

Prague – the patio of Ristorante Leggero, where we survived a thunderstorm that would make Texas proud under this awning [image courtesy Ristorante Leggero]

Additional Resources

Obviously, there’s a ton of information about Prague on the internet, so you can Google for days and take your pick. The inimitable Loyalty Traveler (Ric Garrido) has visited Prague several times and has many excellent articles. One that particularly inspired us was Ric’s 3-part series, Ten mile walking tour around Prague (this link is to Part 1; there are links to Parts 2 and 3 at the bottom of Part 1).

In addition, there are lots of articles on the interesting (and sometimes downright odd) sculptures found all over Prague. In our two visits, we haven’t even scratched the surface of seeing them all. Here are a few links, for your enjoyment:

We hope you’ve enjoyed our walking tour of Prague. It’s a fabulous city to visit, and we can’t encourage you enough to go. It was certainly a very nice treat for us to pass through a second time after our fun Spring Break 2017 trip there, and I hope we have the good fortune to visit again some day. There are still plenty of things we haven’t seen!

What are your favorite things to do and see in Prague? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!

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