Prague is an incredible and beautiful city. Although it is already considered a fairly budget-friendly European destination, there are a ton of awesome and free things to do in Prague! Of course, there are highlighted free attractions, like the Prague Astronomical Clock and the Old Town Square that lure people to this enchanting city. Once you really dig deep, there are hidden gems and free things to do scattered in Prague’s many neighborhoods.
Here are 13 awesome and free things to do in Prague.
Main Attractions: Free Things to Do in Prague
From the famous astronomical clock in the charming Old Town Square, the nearby Charles Bridge, the towering Prague Castle, to the unique dancing house, visit these main attractions that are free!
Watch the Astronomical Clock
First and foremost. You can’t go to Prague and not experience this treasured clock. Find it located in the beautiful Old Town Square. The clock is quite impressive, seeing that is was built in 1410, and is one of the oldest astronomical clocks that is still working today! The highlight of the clock is is the simple rotation of the 12 Apostles. In addition, look for the skeleton on the right reminding them of their human forms, and ultimately death. The grand finale is the chirping of the “golden cock.” Some say this quick 45 second figurine dance is one of the most “overrated displays” in all of Europe, but you can decide for yourself.
The clock also has a romanticized legend that the man who built the clock was to be blinded, so as to not build another beautiful clock for any other city. Once he heard of this rumor, he dissembled the clock, and it did not work for the next 100 years. This folk tale has been debunked; however, it is still whispered among the cobblestone streets of Prague.
The clock begins the show at 9:00 a.m and runs on the hour, every hour, until 11:00 p.m.
Pro-Tip: Avoid the crowds and visit the Old Town Square before 7 a.m. to have this stunning plaza to yourself. You’ll miss the figurines dancing, but snag Prague in its best lighting without the crowds.
Walk Across Charles Bridge
Another city icon is the stunning Charles Bridge. Take a stroll across the historic bridge and get lovely views of the Prague castle.
Rise & Shine: I know it’s early, but try to get to Charles Bridge before 4 a.m. You will share the bridge with only wedding photographers and blushing brides. Enjoy the sunrise in almost complete solitude.
Visit Prague Castle
Another great free thing to do in Prague is to visit its renowned castle. The Prague Castle is made up of an array of attractions such as the St. Vitus Cathedral and St. George’s Basilica, museums, and gardens. While it is free to roam the overall grounds of the castle, entrance tickets are required for the cathedral and other areas of the castle. Hoards of tourists visit the Prague Castle during the day, but after 7:00 p.m it’s quite empty.
Right in the city center, Prague has its own small island. Hop on over to Kampa Island. This island has its own museum, nice green space, a few cafes, and some unique (or bizarre) statues. It’s hard to miss the 3 Crawling Babies, sculpted by the notorious Czech native and artist David Cerny. Locals literally give one of the babes a quick peck on their bums once a year. If you don’t want to pucker up and kiss the statue, simply give it a quick pat on the butt.
Stroll by the Dancing House
Another great free thing to do in Prague is to take a stroll past the Dancing House. This unusual and modern building was designed by Frank Gehry, and can be referred to as Tančící dům, or Frank and Ginger. Inside, there is a modern and more expensive cafe, but I quite enjoy the casual walk along the Vltava River.
Free Things to Do in Prague: Hidden Gems
Prague is filled with tourists, especially during the peak summer months. Here are some free things to do in Prague that are very much still hidden gems.
Discover Local Neighborhoods
Yes, visit the main highlights of Prague, but the best way to appreciate the city is to wander and discover the many local neighborhoods. Believe it or not, there are 10 major districts (and 22 in total) that make up Prague. Within those 22 districts find smaller neighborhoods, all with unique personalities and worthwhile highlights.
While most tourists spend a majority of their time in the neighborhood of Stare Mesto, Prague is so much more than its lovely Old Town. In fact, sometimes the further you venture from the bustling city center, the more picturesque and less crowded Prague becomes.
Some of the best local neighborhoods include: Vinohrady, Karlín, and Vyšehrad. In these eclectic neighborhoods find awesome coffeeshops, traditional eateries, vineyards, and so many more authentic things to do.
Browse the Local Farmer’s Markets
Speaking of neighborhoods, don’t miss the chance to browse one of the many local farmers markets. One of the best farmer’s markets, Trhy na Kulaťáku, can be found in the Dejvice neighborhood and runs year round from March – December. Browsing a farmers market is an excellent option to get off the beaten path. It makes for a great free thing to do in Prague because it usually always includes music and some sort of entertainment. Of course, it’s the perfect way to support local vendors and artisanal producers.
Explore the Vyšehrad Fortress
While most tourists visit the Prague Castle, across town is the nearly untouched Vyšehrad Fortress. This epic hilltop fortress is a sprawling park with a vineyard, the impressive Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, and a beer garden. All throughout the fortress, find breathtaking views of Prague and the nearby river. It is free to explore the grounds, which is an extremely local park now.
Local Tip: Don’t miss the amazing cemetery that lies next to the Basilica. Although small, it is worth the effort to visit due to its extravagant tombs, beautiful mosaics, and fresh flowers. There’s even a free tour of the cemetery you can follow along with on your phone.
Feed the Beavers
Past the Vyšehrad fortress, along the river, there’s a chance to observe the silly beavers of Prague. Yes, you read that correctly! Prague has their very own beavers along the shores of the Vltava River. The beavers were released from fur farms and survived. The locals absolutely love feeding them fresh veggies. If you’re lucky, spot them swimming in the river with their adorable little babes in tow.
Spend Time at Havličkovy Sady
Havličkovy Sady is a monumental park and is home of some of the best free things to do in Prague. One of the coolest things to do is climb around on the the old Italian Grotto. There are plenty of twists and turns to maze through. Throughout the park there are also other little fountains, and it is also possible to see the lovely vineyards from there. On Fridays, the small cavelike Grébovka wine cellar opens its doors for wine sampling.
Catch the Sunset at Riegrovy Sady
One of the most epic free things to do in Prague is to watch a killer sunset. In my opinion, the most lovely place to catch a sunset is on the hillside park of Riegrovy Sady. Along the rolling hill, find locals sipping on wine, grabbing beers from the nearby beer garden, and locals strumming on their guitars. The people watching here is just as colorful as the vivid sunset.
The Lidice Memorial is only a 30 minute bus ride away from downtown Prague and is worth the day trip from the city. The memorial pays respect to those 500 innocent villagers that were slaughtered by the Nazi Soldiers. The village of Lidice was almost completely erased from the map, but was rebuilt by the incredibly strong women who returned empty handed, without husbands and children.
This important memorial is free to wander about the grounds. It’s possible to see the moving statues of remembrance; however, I highly suggest paying the $3 to visit the extremely well done museum.
One of the most epic ways to find free things to do in Prague is to get lost within the city. Prague is an extremely walkable city and there are treasures tucked into almost every street corner. Some of the most trendy establishments are found in old warehouse buildings or communist block buildings. Of course, David Cerny has tons of sculptors hidden on side streets and busy squares.
Summary: 13 Free Things to Do in Prague
In short, Prague is such a diverse and amazing place to visit. Discover the main highlights and hidden gems with this epic list of 13 free things to do in Prague. The city itself is breathtaking and main highlights include the Prague Astronomical Clock in the adorable Old Town Square. Visit other highlights like the Prague Castle and stroll over to Kampa Island.
Some of the best free things to do in Prague are found stashed away in quiet and little frequented neighborhoods. In these spaces, enjoy tranquil parks, vineyards, farmers markets, and other treasures that feel as though you are the only person that knows about them. One of the best ways to experience Prague is to get lost, and in that, find its true treasures.