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Prague Architecture Guide: A Self-Guided Walking Tour

Prague is definitely one of the most iconic European cities. As one of the oldest cities on the continent, it is a history lovers delight. To our good fortune, it remained relatively unscathed during the two World Wars and is excellently preserved to this date. From Romanesque to Contemporary, this place really has it all. We fell in love with it from the get-go and are now looking to spread the love. Alas, here is our Prague Architecture Guide 😉

In this post we will:

  • familiarise you with examples of all the architectural styles in the city
  • introduce you to the Old Town square and its iconic buildings
  • suggest a walking tour which will lead you up and down the Vltava river
  • provide you with a comprehensive map of even more beautiful buildings to discover

Architecture of the Old Town Square

Some of the most beautiful examples of classical architecture can be found in the heart of the city, around the Old Town Square. It is one of the places most tourists are sure to visit. That’s why we decided to give you a bite-size introduction into the city’s architecture right at this location.

Naturally, we have to start with the Astronomical Clock, a stunning example of Gothic architecture. It is attached to the old town hall and features 2 dials. The upper dial shows the relative position of the sun and moon along the ecliptic. The lower dial is a calendar of the months and seasons. If you like you could climb up the tower and take in an aerial view, or follow our tour from the ground.

Slightly North-West from the Clock, across the square you will see the imposing Baroque Church of Saint Nicholas. Actually, this is one of three churches dedicated to the saint and was erected between 1732 and 1737.

To the East of St. Nicholas Church you will find the former Municipal Insurance Building, easily identifiable by its white and yellow coat. It is a beautiful example of the Neo-Baroque style.

prague architecture guide

A bit further to the East yet (or to the right, if you like) you will find a Neo-Renaissance facade featuring the Arms of the City of Prague: ‘Gules, a tower, triple-towered or, in the open gateway an arm in armour embowed fesseways holding in the hand a sword in bend sinister, all proper.’

Further to the South, coming back into the square, lies the Golz-Kinsky Palace. As mentioned above it is an example of the Rococo and is currently home to the National Gallery’s collection of artefacts from the ancient world.

Further to the right, you find the House of the Stone Bell, one of the earliest surviving domestic residences, and a Gothic beauty.

prague architecture guide

Beside the Stone Bell, you find a building with a simplistic Renaissance facade and behind that towers the famous Tyn Cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece dominates the Eastern side of Prague’s Old Town Square.

To the South of the Tyn Cathedral lies the House of A. Storch and Son which features a stunning Art Nouveau Facade.

If you complete the circle towards the Astronomical Clock, you may spot a contemporary plaque dedicated to Albert Einstein. And finally, just West of the Astronomical Clock and on the very edge of the Old Town Square, you will find one of my favourites: The Minute House and its very recognizable Renaissance facade.

prague architecture guide

Prague Architecture Tour

On a rainy day, Mihir and I wandered the streets of Prague somewhat absent-mindedly but ended up going on a beautiful architectural stroll along the river. It is a bit off the beaten tourist track but without losing the distinct charm the city has to offer. If you want to follow in our footsteps, read ahead. The whole Prague Architecture Tour is about 3.5 km long. We recommend walking it during early evening when the sun is just starting to set. That way you will get to watch the sunset from the Charles Bridge!

You would start at the edge of the Old Town, at the Church of the Holy Saviour, a beautiful Baroque piece. If you turn around you may see two more such buildings, the Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace as well as the Monastery and Church of St. Francis. You then head South-bound on Smetanovo nabr. If you take a left at Divadelni and then another left, you will stumble upon one of the few Romanesque architectural pieces left in Central Europe, the St. Cross Rotunda. You can then head back to the riverside.

prague architecture tour

After about 150m you will reach the Bridge of the Legions, a beautiful Baroque bridge, and the Neo-Classical National Theatre. You are now following Masarykovo nabr. This street is littered with beautiful Art Nouveau architecture, most notably the Goethe Institute and the Hlalol Building. Across the streets from the latter, you will find the Manes Exhibition Hall, a striking example of Functionalism. Another 200m down the street you will reach Jiraskuv Bridge and one of Prague’s icons and a beautiful example of Contemporary architecture: The Dancing House.

prague architecture tour

You then cross the bridge and turn right onto Janackovo nabr. You will walk between shippable canals and rows of charming classical residences. Their entryways are often works of art and well worth the stroll along this less touristic street. After the Legion Bridge, the street is named Malostranske nabr. At 563/3 you will find a beautiful neo-classical entryway. If you have read our post on Tallinn, you’ll know that I have a thing for doors 🙂

prague architexture tour

Shortly after you will take a few steps down into a quiet park. Basically, you just follow the path until you reach the Liechtenstein Palace, a quaint Renaissance structure. On the way, you will enjoy beautiful views of the river. Just after the palace is probably the best spot to take your picture of the Charles Bridge, onto which you will finally set foot. This icon of the city is your final stop on our tour. Make sure to take in the atmosphere and snap a picture of the Prague Castle!

Thank you for walking with us!

prague architecture tour

Comprehensive Architecture Map of Prague

This map contains a large selection of architectural pieces from each period. You can use it for orientation around the main sights, but you could also use it to discover lesser explored gems and neighborhoods in the city. We hope you enjoy it!

Now what do you think? What is your favorite piece of architecture in Prague? Is there anything we have left out? Share your thoughts and pictures with us. Let’s stay in touch!

About Jacky

Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Jacky, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. With several years of experience in online marketing, I leverage my expertise to ensure that you get the best travel advice, tailored for the digital age. My travels have taken me to over 30 countries, and I love sharing those experiences with readers like you. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, science fiction, coffee, and all things cute. My travel tips have been featured on and in the EasyJet Traveller magazine.

11 thoughts on “Prague Architecture Guide: A Self-Guided Walking Tour”

  1. Thank you for putting this web site together.
    We are going to Prague soon and we will definitely be following the walk!
    The map will also be very helpful, thanks again

  2. What a beautiful and in-depth post! How often I look at European architecture, and try to classify it, and look for the details that will give me more insight. Thanks for providing such great tips, and for allowing us to see architecture through your knowledgeable lens!

  3. Great post! Heading to Prague in a couple of months and will definitely be checking out these places. Cool photos too 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for such a well written, detailed informative post. I’ve been to Prague before but never seen it through your eyes. Loved learning about the architectural styles.

  5. Birthe (from Wandering the World)

    That walking tour along the Vltava River sounds great, I would love to see the Dancing House! I’ve already seen many photos, but seeing it in real life will hopefully be even more impressive. 🙂

  6. Wow this is amazing! I love your descriptions! You are very knowledgable about the architecture! I’ve only been to Prague for a few hours, but I need to go back! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Prague is my home time and I love your post describing all the beautiful landmarks. Also the maps are really cool! 🙂

  8. I was in Prague two years ago and loved the architecture, especially the small details on the houses in the old town and around the square. It’s nice to see you point them out in your pictures too. It’s what made me love this city

  9. Thanks for sharing an informative blog. Your blog will be really helpful to many people. I would like to add one architecture’s name that “Dancing House”. This architecture is really beautiful. One must visit this place to enjoy the city fully.

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