Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and one of the best ways to experience it is to seek out some of its incredible viewpoints. Some of these are at ground level, others up winding medieval stone staircases – either way, they all bring breathtaking rewards. Before you arrive it helps to know where to find the best viewpoints in Prague, especially if you want to shoot some Prague photos along the way.
Many of the places to visit in Prague are in a relatively small area between the Old Town (Stare Mesto) and Prague Castle Hill (Hradčany). The Prague skyline on both sides of the river Vltava is stunning. It’s known as the City of a Hundred Spires, and there are also plenty of towers and domes too. This is where you’ll find most of the best views in Prague.
Climb the various towers in Prague – and hillside vantage points – and you’ll see over the gorgeous red rooftops of the city. Take a walk or tram along the river Vltava and you’ll get an overview of most Prague attractions. If you get around most of the following places in Prague in good weather, you’ll get to appreciate this stunning city at its best, and get some memorable Prague photography in the bag for good measure.
So enjoy our tour of the best viewpoints in Prague, from the most famous Prague bridge to the highest Prague observation tower.
- 1 Charles Bridge Prague
- 2 Prague Old Town Hall Tower
- 3 Karlovy Lazne Tram Stop
- 4 Powder Tower Prague
- 5 Old Town Bridge Tower Prague
- 6 Lesser Town Bridge Tower
- 7 Letna Park Prague
- 8 Hotel U Prince
- 9 Petrin Hill
- 10 Town Belfry By St Nicholas Church Lesser Town
- 11 Vrtba Garden Prague
- 12 Vysehrad
- 13 Prague Castle – Below Hradčanské Náměstí
- 14 Prague Castle – St Vitus Cathedral
- 15 Prague Castle – Black Tower Viewpoint
- 16 T-Anker Restaurant, Náměstí Republiky
- 17 Above Novy Svět
- 18 More Prague Travel Tips:
Charles Bridge Prague
We’ll start just above river level, at one of the most popular places to see in Prague. For most of the day the Charles Bridge is jammed with tourists stopping for selfies or group photos. However at sunrise you’ll only have a few photographers for company, and the bridge’s famous statues are silhouetted, along with the many spires and domes of Old Town Prague.
The crowds remain through until the end of the day and beyond, even in the winter low season. It’s a pity that one of the best places to visit in Prague is so overcrowded, but you can still shoot some great photos of Prague, even with everyone milling around. How? Use a long lens (anything over, say, 150 mm) and zoom in on the magnificent Prague buildings at either end. At twilight, with most attractions in Prague illuminated, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
What to photograph: The statues and Prague Old Town skyline at sunrise; the same at dusk, and also views the other way to Mala Strana (Prague Lesser Town) and Castle Hill Prague, dominated by St Vitus Cathedral.
Best time to visit Charles Bridge: Dawn and dusk
Prague Old Town Hall Tower
As we mentioned in our Prague Christmas Markets feature, Prague Old Town Square is one of the most beautiful Prague streets and most beautiful squares in the world. It’s gorgeous at any time of year, with an array of stunning Prague architecture wherever you look.
The Old Town Hall Tower is a splendid vantage point over the whole scene, including three of the most beautiful churches in Prague. At the top of this famous Prague tower – accessed by elevator – you’re greeted by an outstanding Prague view, across the Square (Staromestské Námestí) to the fairytale Gothic spires of the church of Our Lady Before Tyn. But that’s not all. Move around to the left for a view over the elegant Baroque church of St Nicholas on the other side of the Square. Continue around for an elevated Prague rooftop view to Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral.
What to photograph: Old Town Square Prague, Our Lady Before Tyn Church, St Nicholas Church, Prague Castle
Best time to visit: Any time, daytime, dusk or after dark
Read more: A guide to Old Town Square Prague
Karlovy Lazne Tram Stop
It’s a wonderful surprise when you run for a tram, miss it and turn around to find you’ve got to wait at one of the best photo locations in Prague. It’s so good that I ended up missing the next two trams, squeezing out the last of the blue out of the twilight sky. The tram stop location is so good because you often get. a partial reflection in the water.
The tram stop is around a three-minute walk from the end of Charles Bridge. Walk past the 5-storey mega-nightclub of the same name and continue as far as the #17 tram stop, The superb Prague Castle view is on your right. Some of the scene is often reflected in the water, adding a magical touch. The view changes as you walk along the Vltava river to the next bridge, Legion Bridge (Most Legii), but it’s pretty marvellous the whole way along.
What to photograph: the view across the river to Prague Castle
When to shoot: Any time between morning and dusk
Powder Tower Prague
The Powder Tower – Prašna Brána – is a brilliant Prague lookout tower on the eastern edge of the Stare Mesto, next door to the beautiful Art Nouveau Prague concert venue, Obecni Dum (Municipal House). It’s similar to the Old Town Bridge Tower and the Mala Strana Bridge Tower, with a distinctive sloping roof. However, both predate it by around a century – work began on the Powder Tower around 1475. It gets its name from its later function as a gunpowder store.
The Powder Tower is one of the very best rooftop Prague viewpoints. It has an outstanding 360° view of Prague. It looks down over Obecni Dum, and the view over this Art Nouveau marvel is tremendous, especially at twilight. The view south over Nove Mesto – Prague’s New Town is great as well, but the best view is to the west.
Try to make it up here at sunset or dusk and watch the sky glow pink, orange and red behind Our Lady Before Tyn church and St Vitus Cathedral. This place should be on many more Prague what to see lists – but then again if it did it would be too crowded. One of the best Prague hidden gems.
What to photograph: The Tyn Church and St Vitus’ Cathedral, Obecni Dum, Zizkov TV Tower, Old Town rooftops and spires
When to visit: Any time of day, but twilight is best
Cost: 100 CZK ($4) for the entry ticke
Read More: What not to miss in Old Town Prague
Old Town Bridge Tower Prague
The Old Town Bridge Tower dominates the Old Town end of the Charles Bridge. AS with the magnificent bridge below, gone are the days when you’ll have it to yourself. But this tower – Staromestská Mostecká Vež – is worth persevering with, so much so that we rate it one of the top sights in Prague.
The tower dates from the late 14th century, and the viewing gallery is 47 metre above the Charles Bridge. The gallery is very cramped, so composing shots is not easy with people constantly trying to get past. Everyone is trying to do the same thing as you – getting some of the best photos of Prague. With a little planning and patience, you’ll get them.
Prague is at its most beautiful at night, and the Old Town Bridge Tower doesn’t just have one incredible Prague night view, it has two. One faces east over the Old Town skyline, whereas the other faces west over the Charles Bridge, Mala Strana and Castle Hill.
If you’re there start with the view of the Old Town, with the dome of St Francis’ Church, the spires of St Salvator and the tower of the Klementinum.
Then you need to try to get around to the other side, which will be quite popular. Find yourself a spot, and soak up the view over the Charles Bridge with Mala Strana and St Vitus Cathedral dominating Prague Castle Hill. The sign at the entrance stated that tripods weren’t allowed, but plenty of people were using mini-tripods and Gorillapods when I visited.
The one thing you need to bear in mind when shooting this scene is that the lights on Charles Bridge flare quite badly, and are difficult to avoid. A minor grumble though – this is one of the very best of Prague sites.
What to photograph: Prague Old Town in one direction, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle Hill in the other
When to visit: Dusk / twilight
Cost: 100 CZK ($4)
Check out: Best towers in Prague for amazing views
Lesser Town Bridge Tower
The Lesser Town Bridge Tower – Malostranská mostecka věz – guards the western end of the Charles Bridge. It’s very similar to the Old Town Bridge Tower 500 metres away at the other end, with a distinctive sloping roof, though it was built 70 years later, being completed in 1464.
The views from the top are superb. Looking east, you have a great view back over the Charles Bridge, with the characteristic red rooftops of Kampa Island and Mala Strana directly below you. Head for the opposite side of the viewing gallery for more Mala Strana views, towards the elegant Baroque St Nicholas Church and Prague Castle.
This tower is quite awkward to descend. The final climb is up a steep narrow wooden staircase which some would call a large ladder. It’s ok going up, but a more difficult proposition coming back down. You need to descend backwards as you would a ladder. You’ll need to open the door (ideally someone can hold it for you), then edge across the top step, turn around and climb carefully back down.
What you see: Mala Strana (Prague Lesser Town) and Prague Castle in one direction, and Kampa Island, the Charles Bridge and Old Town Prague in the other.
Best time to visit – Afternoon
Cost – 100 CZK ($4)
Letna Park Prague
Letna Park is one of the best Prague parks, one I’ve visited many times with my son to take him to one of his favourite playgrounds there. It’s also one of the best places to go in Prague if you’re looking for a Prague panorama. From the top of the short, steep hill above the Vltava river you have a great view of several Prague bridges, Mala Strana and the Old Town skyline.
There are several viewpoints along the ridge Letna Park occupies, though in spring and summer the leaves on the trees will obscure some of these. My favourite Letna Park viewpoint is just below the Hanavsky Pavilion, a pleasant Baroque-Art Nouveau whimsy that serves as a restaurant and bar. This is at the west end of Letna Park, a five-minute walk up the left-hand pathway from Cechuv Most bridge. This is an unobstructed vantage point, and for the view alone it’s one of the top places to visit in Prague.
From below the pavilion, you can shoot an overall view of the river, or zoom in on some of the buildings, including the magnificent spires of the Tyn church. Otherwise, if you’re visiting Prague in the warmer months, seek out the Letna beer garden at the opposite end of the Park for great views over the Old Town. It’s one of the top bars in Prague, and a great spot from which you can admire the Prague cityscape.
What to photograph: The bridges over the river Vltava, including the famous Charles Bridge (Karluv Most). Also try zooming in on some of the other Prague landmarks, such as the Žizkov TV Tower and the National Museum Prague.
When to visit: Afternoon, evening or dusk
Hotel U Prince
The Hotel U Prince, on the approach to Old Town Square, has arguably the best rooftop bar Prague view. Terasa U Prince has an open-air Prague rooftop bar with one of the most breathtaking Prague views, of the Old Town Hall, its medieval tower, part of the Old Town Square and the unforgettable spires of Our Lady Before Tyn church. There is also a roof terrace restaurant.
Sometimes, if you want to visit Prague best places you have to pay a little for the privilege. I was directed to an elevator at the back of the hotel, which whisked me up four floors to the small reception area. The host then advised me that the minimum order was a glass of champagne costing 300 CZK. I would have preferred a beer, but this is fair enough. The view is stupendous. And compared with the $40 I paid for a drink at the Sky Bar Bangkok, it’s very reasonable.
What to photograph: Old Town Hall Tower and Our Lady Before Tyn Church
Best time to visit: Any time from late morning onwards
Cost: 300 CZK (12 euros) for the glass of champagne
Sometimes the best shot isn’t from the highest viewpoint. I’ve visited Petřin Hill several times at different times of year, and have found that the best views of Prague are from the park, rather than the Petřin lookout tower at the top of the hill.
The best entry point for Petřin Park is Hellichova, off Ujezd, which runs from Mala Strana to Smichov. I follow one of the winding paths up the hill until a crossroads of several paths. If you’re visiting Prague in winter, this area is the ideal height for Prague night shots, where you’ll see several Prague towers clustered together, and there are also great views to the left to Mala Strana and across to Prague Castle.
If you’re in Prague in springtime, daytime is a much better bet. Those bare winter trees will by April have thrown off the shackles of the cold, and the park is full of stunning white blossom trees. It’s a wonderful sight, and the blossom trees make great foregrounds for views over the churches of Mala Strana, St Vitus’ Cathedral and the Old Town.
Petřin Hill Prague may also work as a sunrise location, with a long lens to the spires of the Old Town, similar to the lead shot of this article.
What to photograph: St Vitus Cathedral, the churches of Mala Strana, the skyline of Old Town Prague
Best time to visit: Twilight in winter. Sunrise or afternoon in springtime.
Town Belfry By St Nicholas Church Lesser Town
The town belfry next to St Nicholas Church in Mala Strana (Lesser Town) is worth the climb for yet another great Prague tower view. Mala Strana is one of the most beautiful places in Prague, and a walk up this beautiful Baroque tower rewards you with some of the best views of this area and the church itself – you get a fantastic close-up view of the church dome form the outdoor gallery.
This is one of the most intriguing towers in Prague to visit because of everything you see on the way up, and the many stories behind it. The tower had a live-in keeper and caretaker, and you can see the living quarters as they would have looked in the 18th century. After the outdoor gallery, you can climb to a garret at the top of the tower which was used as a listening post by Soviet spies during the Cold War. Mala Strana is home to many of the embassies in Prague, so this was the perfect place from which they could eavesdrop.
What to photograph: St Nicholas’ church dome, the streets of Mala Strana, Petřin Hill, Malostranské Namestí, and distant views to Prague Old Town
Best time to visit: Morning to early afternoon for shots of Mala Strana and the church, afternoon for views over Kampa Island, the river and Old Town
Vrtba Garden Prague
The Vrtba Gardens are among the most beautiful Prague gardens, a small Baroque oasis hidden behind a busy street in Mala Strana. It’s one of the best attractions in Prague, a Baroque garden built into the side of Petřin Hill on three levels.
You don’t get to see a lot at ground level, but as you ascend the stairs a great Prague panoramic view gradually unfolds. From the first level – next to a series of ornate stone statues – you get great views of the lower level of the Garden and the magnificent St Nicholas church in Mala Strana (see above), with another view to the church of Our Lady Victorious.
Walk to the next level, and head up the stairs to the top of the garden for one of the best views in Prague. Again, you have a fantastic close-up view of St Nicholas Church, and in the other direction across to the spires and towers of the Old Town Square, framed by the squat towers of the Maltese Church in Mala Strana.
What to photograph: St Nicholas Church Mala Strana, Our Lady Victorious Church, Prague Old Town skyline
Best time to visit – Morning or afternoon – it’s open April to October
Cost – 100 CZK ($4) per adult
Learn More: How to visit Vrtba Garden
Vyšehrad Prague is a fortress overlooking the Vltava river at the southern end of Prague city centre. It’s one of the most recognisable landmarks of Prague thanks to the twin spires of SS Peter and Paul church in its grounds.
There is a path around much of the ramparts, and as you head towards the river, the views get better and better. Near the church, there is a great outlook over the river, the railway (and pedestrian) bridge to Smichov and down the river to the other main bridges in Prague and, of course, Prague Castle.
I’ve visited the location several times with my son, as it’s one of his favourite parks in Prague. There is also a network of footpaths outside some of the fortress walls, some of which lead back to ground level and the tram stop, while others don’t. We followed a path through an archway next to the WCs, and the level footpath has a view beautifully framed by the trees that’s even better than the one higher up on the ramparts.
Prague Castle – Below Hradčanské Náměstí
The Castle and St Vitus Cathedral are the focal point of many of the best Prague views, and they also offer some pretty spectacular panoramas too. The most obvious spot is close to the main gate on Hradčanské Náměstí, either side of an open-air Starbucks terrace. Most cameras point in the direction of Mala Straná and the prominent dome and tower of St Nicholas Church – beyond these, you see all of Old Town and New Town Prague, with the Žižkov TV Tower on the horizon.
Also take a look in the opposite direction – the view down lamp-lit Ke Hradu, with the twin towers of Strahov Monastery on the hilltop, is pretty special too. The view from the top of the Castle Stairs down towards Mala Straná is also well worth the climb.
What you see: Mala Strana, Petrin Hill, the Old Town, The New Town and Strahov Monastery
Best time to visit: Any time – late afternoon if you want the best light
Prague Castle – St Vitus Cathedral
The Great South Tower of St Vitus Cathedral is one of the most prominent landmarks of Prague, and one of the best places to seek out a Prague city view. It’s a short, steep haul up 287 steps to the viewing gallery at the base of the spire section of the tower, and you get a great 360° degree of the city and the hills of Central Bohemia.
It offers an unrivalled view of the intricate stone spires at the west end of the Cathedral and over the roof to the central spire. The view over the Prague Castle precincts is also wonderful, with a bird’s eye view down onto near neighbour St George’s Basilica. It’s not visited anything like as often as the likes of the Old Town Hall Tower and Old Town Bridge Tower, but a compelling place to seek out when you visit the Castle.
What to see: Awesome views of the Cathedral’s spires and the Hradčany district, likewise over Petrin Hill.Also great views over Mala Straná, the river and Old Town
Best time to visit: Morning for views over the spires and Hradčany, afternoon for views over the river and Old Town
Cost: 200 CZK ($8) – this isn’t included in the normal Prague Castle tickets, and must be paid for separately
Prague Castle – Black Tower Viewpoint
There is another excellent Prague viewpoint at the eastern end of Prague Castle, at the top of the Old Castle Stairs (Staré Zámecké Schody), just to the left of the Black Tower Gate (right if you’re approaching through the Castle) to Prague Castle, which is also very close to the Daliborka Tower, Golden Lane and St Wenceslas’ Vineyard.
This viewpoint is directly above the fine Furstenberg Garden, one of the inter-connected Gardens Below Prague Castle that you can visit on a single ticket. From here you get a sublime view of the Mala Strana Prague skyline, dominated by the Baroque churches of St Thomas and St Nicholas.
What you see: A superb view over the rooftops and towers of Mala Straná and Petrin Hill
Best time to visit: Early on a spring or summer morning
T-Anker Restaurant, Náměstí Republiky
This Prague rooftop restaurant and bar is five floors up at the top of the late Communist Brutalist Kotva store on Náměstí Republiky. T-Anker looks over the east side of the Old Town, and from there you get a stunning view of St James Church, the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn and the Old Town Hall Tower.
I haven’t eaten there, but they have an ever-changing extensive list of beers, one of the best selections in the city.
What you see: the spires of Old Town Prague, including St James the Great Church, the Tyn Church and Old Town Hall Tower (pictured above). You can also see Prague Castle from the terrace.
Best time to visit: lunchtime or evening for dinner and sunset
Above Novy Svět
Novy Svět – which means New World – is one of the prettiest of all Prague streets, and one of the most unsuitably named. It’s in a quiet corner of the Hradčany district, and is part of a mini-warren of quiet old cobbled streets, one of the most beautiful places in Prague to explore. It’s like stepping back a hundred years or two. There are also a couple of lovely cafes along the street where my son and I often stop by.
The street – and the surrounding area – looks even more enchanting from above. A staircase – next to the Romantic Hotel U Raka – takes you to the top of the ramparts, high above the streets. Turn left at the top and walk along the pathway below road level. Here you get a gorgeous view of what looks like a medieval toytown below, with red rooftops, pastel-painted houses and spires and towers rising above them. It’s a truly magical place, one of the best places to see in Prague.
Another way to reach this spot is to take the 22 tram one stop beyond Prague Castle (Pražsky hrad), alighting at Brusnice. Cross the road here and continue right, following the path on the left through the park after 100 metres. This takes you to the top of the staircase.
What you see: Novy Svět, Černinska and the surrounding streets, with Loreta church and Petrin Tower in one direction and St Vitus Cathedral in the other. This is one to head for if you’re visiting Prague in autumn, as the fall colours are magnificent.
Best time to visit: Afternoon