Prague from every angle: where to find fantastic views of Prague, Czech Republic

Given Prague’s compact layout, fantastic public transportation system, and Bohemian-meets-Gothic architecture, it’s easy to cover a lot of ground in only a few days and stumble upon fantastic views of the Czech capital. If red rooftops, tall spires, and old-school trams scooting along stone streets sounds picturesque to you, Prague is definitely a city worth scoping out. During my 4-day return to Prague, I got to see the city from a variety of angles. Here are some of my favourites, as well as a few alternatives {just in case}!


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CHARLES BRIDGE

The Charles Bridge, named after the beloved King Charles IV, offers free stunning river views of Prague, its swans, and the famous ferry boat cruises {that will set you back a pretty penny}. If you’re lucky, like I was, and walk the bridge on a sunny day, you’ll get the added visual bonus of blue skies and the added audio bonus of buskers playing all kinds of music along the cobblestones. If you walk from Old Town Square to the Charles Bridge and across, you’ll have Prague Castle in the background of your photos, which is a nice little addition if you ask me.

COST FOR THE VIEW: Free

| ALTERNATIVE view from the bridge: charles bridge tower |

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PRAGUE CASTLE

“Castle on the hill” isn’t just the name of an Ed Sheeran tune, it’s also an accurate description of Prague Castle. The castle dates back to the 9th Century and has been the residence of Roman emperors, kings of Bohemia, and presidents. Despite the exclusive group that have called the castle home, the castle is open for visits from the public. Prague Castle is filled with tourists all wanting to bask in the fairytale architecture of the castle grounds, which get tricky to visit without paying nearly USD $20 to check out. I managed to visit for free, opting out of seeing the inside of the cathedral {it seemed a bit overpriced and overcrowded, though I imagine it was beautiful}, instead making my way around the castle complex to the “galleria” {lookout point} near the exit away from the tram station. You’ll know you’ve arrived once you see Petřín Tower in the distance and a Starbucks Coffee a level below, where patrons can take photos off a viewing deck {spot the tourists in my bottom photo}.

COST FOR THE VIEW: Free

| ALTERNATIVE VIEW FROM a SIMILAR AREA: Petřín hill |

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Vyšehrad castle

I’ll be honest, growing up with a family that traveled around Europe while living in England means I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to castles, so Vyšehrad Castle didn’t particularly tickle my fancy. However, maybe that’s because it’s not actually not a castle. Confusing, I know. It’s classified as a historic fort, but you’ll hear it referred to as Vyšehrad Castle. Whatever you call it, it has fantastic views of Prague from a completely different perspective of Prague and there were NO tourists at all when we visited in the middle of the day. Yes, it was winter, but the cold weather didn’t stop hoards of people from crowding Prague Castle’s viewing deck. Vyšehrad is located a few kilometers from Prague Castle. It’s easy to get to the general area by public tram, but finding the your way to the viewpoint will take some trial and error wandering. I walked down cobblestone pathways that suddenly ended at big brick walls. Even though it’s a bit confusing to get to the actual fort, Vyšehrad is a great opportunity to take in quieter views. The surrounding area has a hillside walkway that gives great views of the Vtlava River without the tourist hubub. There’s even a view little “balcony-esque” lookout points that make for fun photos {like the one below}.

COST FOR THE VIEW: Free

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GLASS BAR AT DANCING HOUSE

Everyone knows of Prague’s famous Dancing House, but fewer people venture to Glass Bar, a small bar sitting at the top of the landmark building. The Glass Bar is kind of underwhelming. It’s a few Coca-Cola refridgerators filled with ciders and soft drinks, shelves lined with spirits, and one guy working the espresso machine while another manages the till. There are some janky plastic tables and chairs that don’t really fit in with the aesthetics of the bar and free WiFi if you need it. The view from the outer deck is easily what keeps this place in business, because it gives truly unique perspective of Prague. I’d highly recommend scoping out the view, but wouldn’t recommend coming to the bar with hopes of a classy cocktail.

COST FOR THE VIEW: To access the views in the outer balcony area of Glass Bar, i.e. the part without windows and metal bars obstructing your view, you’ll need to spend 100 CZK {$4.46} at the bar. Admittedly, spending that much alone can be tricky, since you’d have to buy multiple sodas or beers to hit the spending amount. We were cheeky and spent 100 CZK between the two of us and they still let us out on the deck. If you have a friend, bring them along and see if you can swing it like we did. If you’re solo, go thirsty!

| ALTERNATIVE bar with a view: HOTEL U PRINCE rooftop |

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Prague is such a beautiful city, it’s almost impossible to find an ugly lookout. I’ve been in the summer months and the winter months, and I can tell you even in the frigid temperatures the city is well-worth visiting for its quintessentially Europe views. Let me know YOUR favourite spots to catch views in Prague for my next visit!


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the best views of prague