It’s hard to beat wandering through the cobbled squares and alleyways of a medieval European city. However, some of the most magical travel moments come when you transport yourself above the fray. Photogenic Prague is one of those destinations that truly comes alive from up high. Here are a handful of the best viewpoints in the city:
This 10th-century fortress in the heart of Prague features a dreamy panorama and a wealth of historic and cultural attractions high above the bustle of the city. Visitors can tour the spired Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, stroll through acres of lush gardens, or learn about the city’s brew culture in a nearby beer garden. You can also visit the cemetery, which contains the graves of some of the country’s most prominent poets, artists, actors, and politicians—including Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana.
Situated in the middle of the Vltava River, this six-acre oasis is the perfect place to relax amidst the atmosphere of the city. You can reach the island via stairs leading down from Legion Bridge. If you’re more adventurous, rent a paddle boat in Old Town and propel yourself across the river. Small-but-mighty Střelecký Island is a great place for a picnic, and it hosts an array of concerts, open-air festivals, outdoor movies, and other cultural events.
From its ticking metronome and tree-lined promenade to its Renaissance Letenský Chateau, Letná Park is one of Prague’s most beloved—and panoramic—outdoor spaces. Gaze down upon the city from the Art Nouveau Hanavský Pavilion, or head to the beer garden and take in views of the City of Hundred Spires from a bench beneath the trees. You can also enjoy open-air theater performances in the summer. If you need some exercise, go for a scenic jog on the 1.5-mile trail loop around the park.
Originally constructed in 1475, this Gothic tower got its name from its years as a gunpowder storage facility in the 18th century. During medieval times, the Powder Tower marked the start of what was known as the Royal Route—the processional path followed by Bohemian monarchs to their coronations at St. Vitus Cathedral. Today, visitors can climb to the tower’s lookout platform for outstanding views of the red-roofed Old Town.
In addition to housing Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock, the 14th-century Old Town Hall features a Gothic tower that affords stunning views of the city below. You can either ascend the spiral staircase or ride the elevator to the top of the tower. Once there, you have Old Town Square at your feet with the statuesque Prague Castle across the river to the northwest.
You’ll have to climb 215 steps to reach the lookout at the top of St. Nicholas’ belfry, but the enchanting views that unfold below you are well worth the effort. The structure was built in 1755 in Malostranské Square and has acted as a bell tower, fire tower, night watchman’s post, and an observation point for the communist state police to spy on the nearby western embassies.
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