Free Prague activities and attractions will give you an opportunity to see the best parts of the city without spending a dime. If you’re on a budget, let this Multigenerational TMOM help you explore the free side of Prague.
The Eastern European capitol of Prague in the Czech Republic is one of Europe’s most affordable tourist destinations. One thing that makes it affordable is the abundance of free things for families to do.
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One of my favorite trips to Prague was with my sister and her son’s family. The boys were ages 4, 7, and 8 at the time. Prague is the perfect place for boys this age. We didn’t want to break the budget so we were over-the-moon happy that many of the city’s best sights could be seen and experienced for free. We were able to fill our weekend in Prague with activities and attractions that kept everyone happy.
These are the things we found to do for free in Prague—Day One
As you explore Old Town Prague, you’ll see former palaces, museums, monuments, theaters, historic cafes, and more. A good place to start is the Czech Republic Visitor Center in the Town Hall in Old Town Square. The friendly staff will answer all your questions and you can pick up loads of free brochures, maps and information about Czech Republic.
Take a Free Walking Tour
Prague is a great place for a walking. A free walking tour of the Old Town, New Town & the Jewish Quarter is a great way to get your bearings in Prague. It is also a great first activity. You’ll find a 2.5 hour free walking tour running twice a day (at 10:45 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.) The starting point is in the Old Town Square in front of the Tourism Office. The tour includes a brief overview of 1,500 years of history of the Bohemian capital. The tours are free, but the guides make their money from tips so try to contribute a few koruna.
Hang out in Old Town Square
Old Town Square is the heart of Old Town Prague. It is the ultimate, free must-see attraction in Prague. Tourists flock here in droves for its beautiful architecture, colorful history, and vibrant atmosphere. In Old Town Square you’ll find Gothic, Renaissance, and medieval structures crowding around a cobbled space. Take some time to just sit back and do a little bit of people-watching.
Old Town Square is home to some of Prague’s most-visited sights—the Astronomical Clock, Old Town Hall, Our Lady Before Tyn Church, the statue of Jan Hus, and St. Nicholas Church.
Enjoy the Hourly Show at the Astronomical Clock
The most famous feature of the Old Town Square is the 600-year-old astronomical clock, which draws huge crowds with its hourly chime and “Procession of the Apostles” show. The boys loved seeing the spinning, wooden figures of Christ and his Apostles, followed by the sinister figure of Death tolling the hour, but what they now remember most about the clock is the legend of the clockmaker.
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The story goes that the clock was admired by locals and foreigners alike and was a great source of pride. The 15th century clockmaker refused to show his plans for the construction of the clock to anyone. When the Prague Councilors found out he was making another one, they became jealous and blinded him before he could finish it. He retaliated by damaging the clock and nobody was able to fix it for years.
The square in front of the clock gets very crowded so it’s best to get there ahead of time and secure a space. Afterward for a small fee, you can take the elevator to the top of the tower. You’ll be rewarded with glorious views across the rooftops of Prague’s Old Town.
Visit the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn
In the Old Town Square, one of the most dominating features is the stunning Church of Our Lady Before Tyn.
With free admission (donations are welcome) to the church, you can pay a visit to grave of astronomer, Tycho Brahe. Brahe was famous for pioneering a scientific approach to astronomy, becoming imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II, and for losing part of his nose in a sword fight. The boys still refer to him as “that guy who lost his nose.”
Wenceslas Square is really a boulevard. It was originally laid out as the Prague horse market and is now the cultural and shopping heart of Prague. It has history and more amenities than anywhere else. It is lined by art nouveau homes, hotels, offices, retail stores, currency exchange booths, and fast-food joints. You can shop ‘til you drop here (window-shopping is always free!).
At the top of Wenceslas Square is the grand Czech National Museum. In front of the museum, a statue of St. Wenceslas atop his horse cuts a striking figure. King Wenceslas is the patron saint of Prague and was murdered by his brother, Boleslav the Cruel. It tickled the boys that I knew the words to “Good King Wenceslas,” an old, old, old Christmas carol. The song tells the story of Wenceslas going on a journey and braving the harsh winter weather to bring alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of St. Stephen (December 26th).
Close to Wenceslas Square is the Franciscan Monastery. It has gardens and a courtyard playground where local families come to relax and play. There are comfortable benches, trees, and rose bushes and a small children’s playground with a sand box and swings. We enjoyed a peaceful break relaxing on one of the benches, eating ice cream we bought in the adjoining Pasaz Svetozor, and watching the boys interact with the local children.
We had a very full first day in Prague and for a family of seven, we spent very little money. Also everything that we saw was in a pedestrian area and we didn’t need to spend anything on transportation. We ended the day with dinner and a good night’s sleep at our hotel. There is so much to do in Prague for free that we didn’t have a problem filling another full day in Prague. You can continue reading about it here. Here are some TMOM tips to help you navigate the city and the culture and make your stay in Prague trouble-free.