(Last Updated On: November 23, 2021)

Taking a walking tour of Prague Old Town is the perfect way to really get a feel for the city in all of its historic beauty. It truly is one of the most beautiful old towns in all of Europe.

Czech writer Franz Kafka wrote “Prague never lets you go. This dear little mother has sharp claws” and never have truer words been said. The stunning UNESCO World Heritage Listed old town of Prague truly feels like a Bohemian fairytale and a taking walking tour will ensure that you don’t miss an inch of this gorgeous city.

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Where to stay in Prague

Prague has a beating backpacker’s heart and there are plenty of hostel options in the centre of the old town as well as a number of more upmarket stays.

As a solo traveller on a budget, I stayed at the Hostel Prague Tyn which was brilliantly located and was lucky enough to actually score a completely empty dorm room for two nights out of my three night stay.

In terms of more luxe options for hotel accommodation, the Hotel Ventana is one of the most beautiful hotels in the city and the Hotel U Prince is also super well located and lovely. 

Arriving in Prague Old Town by train

The last leg of my European journey awaits in Prague along the cobblestone paved streets and medieval towers. It is the stop on my trip that I know the least about, and I have visions of a snow- capped fairy land full of history and romance.

I arrive in very late October on a five hour day train from Berlin, having crossed the border surrounded by gold and brown leaves in the peak of Autumn.

It is night by the time I arrive and I am immediately assaulted by the cold. It’s the kind of freezing that nips at the nose and stings the eyes, but even so I elect to brave the walk to my hostel in the midst of the old town.

I walk from the station, through the square where Communism was thrown out of the country in the Velvet Revolution with Saint Wenceslaus on his horse at the head, and into the depths of the old town where I am eternally grateful I have my backpack and not a wheeled suitcase as I stumble over the cobblestones.

Blue sky behind a beautiful historic building in old town Prague

The two towers of the Church of our Lady Before Tyn glow yellow and guide my way to the heart of Prague’s historic centre.

I learn later on my walking tour of Prague Old Town that the looming 14th century towers were not built symmetrically to celebrate the differences in masculinity and femininity.

I eventually locate the Hostel Prague Tyn, claim my bunk and locker and add an extra layer of clothing before I venture out for a late dinner in this city I’ve been dreaming of for years.

I brave the cold for a couple of hours, huddling over a mulled wine before falling asleep immediately upon climbing into bed.

A view of the Prague Opera House across the Vltava River

A Walking Tour of Prague Old Town

The next day I wake up exhausted to my alarm blaring and immediately curse myself for the 9am walking tour I hastily booked the night before. Forced to get myself out of bed, I grumble my way down to the kitchen, gulp down a bowl of cereal and pick up my sandwich from reception.

That’s right, this hostel gives you a free sandwich for lunch! I hurry along to the town hall to meet my group and wouldn’t you know it, it’s just me and two other Australians – us Aussies seem to be everywhere these days – and our guide Tereza from Urban Adventures.

Note: Unfortunately, Urban Adventures are not operating currently in Prague, though they’re still fantastic to use in other city locations. There’s plenty of other excellent walking tours of Prague Old Town still underway for you to choose from.

The Astronomical Clock in Prague Square

Wenceslaus Statue and Site of the Velvet Revolution

Tereza walks us up to the main square with the Wenceslaus statue that I’d seen the night before, telling us her personal experiences from the years of Soviet oppression and the overthrowing of the Communist regime in 1989 with the Velvet Revolution.

She tells us of her version of the event being a young Czech girl in the square that night, seeing it full of people all holding their keys aloft and jingling them to show the people’s will for the transition of power away from the one party state.

Punnets full of fresh berries at the market in Prague Old Town

Sculpture in Prague

We’re regaled with more incredible first hand observations from our guide who along the way stops to point out her favourite sculptures including the upside down St Wenceslaus on his horse hidden away in an arcade, the moving silver head of Franz Kafka and the faceless alien babies who climb up the Prague TV tower built in the Soviet time.

We cruise the river mulled wine in hand seeing multitudes of white swans ducking their heads under the water for food and catching glimpses of the famous Prague Castle perched high on the opposite bank.

When the time comes for lunch I am famished and am happily presented with a full plate of hearty meaty dumplings and beef goulash and a pint of local Pilsner in a quaint, homely pub.

A sculpture of a giant silver head depicting Czech writer Franz Kafka
A statue of a crawling faceless baby in Prague Old Town

John Lennon Wall

Next stop is the colourful John Lennon Wall, where local artists have covered a stretch of wall in Beatles imagery, song quotes and scrawled names.

Reminiscent of the East Side Gallery in Berlin, this special section of Prague merges the traditional with the new and screams out the infectious Czech joy at finally having the ability to express themselves freely post-Soviet occupation.

A colourful wall with graffiti and art scrawled on it. In the centre are the lyrics "all you need is love"

The Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral

When we make our way to the Prague castle, I am relieved to take the tram up the hill, since I’m incredibly full of heavy Czech food.

The tram moves fast, much faster than the ones back home, and I’m suddenly very glad I managed to get a seat as I watch the other riders thrown around corners off balance.

The castle is huge, with stringent security guards vigilantly searching patrons upon entry.

I head straight to the most beautiful part of the castle complex, the enormous gothic St. Vitus Cathedral that looms over the city with more flying buttresses than I’ve ever seen in my life.

Inside it’s very similar to other gothic churches in Europe, with stained glass windows that are beautiful from afar, but when up close it’s evident that companies have sponsored some of the windows and so have put their name on them as some kind of advertisement.

Tereza skips away to a little corner of the church and tells me to stand on the other side of the entrance hall with my ear to the wall.

She talks quietly into her corner and I hear her voice clearly through my corner and we both giggle at the obliviousness of the other visitors who are just going about their visit with no idea.

The gothic spires of the St Vitus Cathedral in Prague

Tereza leaves us at the Castle complex edge overlooking the terracotta rooftops of Prague and thus ends my walking tour of Prague Old Town. Luckily I have another one booked in for the evening – a beer and food tour of Prague’s microbreweries – recommended to me by my Urban Adventures guide Tim in Paris who’d just paid a visit to Eastern Europe.

Note: Urban Adventures operate in cities worldwide and are an awesome way to orientate yourself and see the city through local eyes. If you want to find an Urban Adventure in your next destination, visit them here!

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A Walking Tour In Prague Old Town - Emma Jane Explores
A Walking Tour In Prague Old Town - Emma Jane Explores

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