When I think of Prague, I can’t help but think of its nickname the City of a Hundred Spires. The Czech Capital is known all over the world for its unique, spiraled architecture that makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away into a fairytale land. You can’t help but explore Prague wide-eyed at the brilliance of this gorgeous city.
Sure, Prague is known for its cheap beer, its statue bedecked Charles Bridge, and the shimmering Vltava River. But getting to know Prague beyond its Insta-worthy aesthetic is half the fun. Taking one of the best tours in Prague with a local guide is our preferred way to get to know the city on a more intimate level without spending the day reading pamphlets and signs.
And don’t worry; we’ll help you avoid tourist traps throughout the city too. The general rule of thumb for avoiding these traps in Prague is to recognize price gauging and red flag signs that say things like “authentic Czech beer.” For example, if beer costs more than bottled water, you’re overpaying, and if the tours are getting average online scores, they should be avoided.
Here we’ve outlined the best tours Prague has to offer to help you make the most of your visit to the Czech Capital city. Whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit to The Golden City (yes, Prague has a lot of nicknames), there is always more to see.
What We Cover
- Best Tours In Prague
- 1. Prague Walking Tours
- 2. Get the Royal Treatment at Prague Castle
- 3. Indulge in a Prague Food Tour
- 4. Go at Your Own Pace on an All Day Private Tour
- 5. Take a Boat Ride Along the Vltava River
- 6. Exploring the Jewish Quarter
- 7. Seeing the Hidden Gems
- 8. Prague Beer Museum Tour
- 9. Get Underground
- 10. Hop on a Bike Tour
- 11. Visit the Terezin Concentration Camp
- 12. Go on a Pub Crawl
- 13. See the Famed Bone Church
- 14. Don’t Forget the Free Tour Options!
- 15. Consider Day Trips from Prague
- Is Prague good for tourists?
- What is Prague best known for?
- How many days do you need in Prague?
- What should I avoid in Prague?
- Best Walking Tour in Prague: This All-Day Private Tour
- Place to eat Tour in Prague: The Four-Hour Foodie Tour
- Best Pub Crawl in Prague: The Clock Tower Bar Crawl
- Best Vltava River Cruise in Prague: A Vltava Jazz Cruise
- Best Tour for Families in Prague: The 90-Minute Express Walking Tour
Prague is one of our favorite cities here at ViaTravelers, and you can see some of the highlights from one of our recent trips below, or on our YouTube Channel.
Best Tours In Prague
As someone with a deep-rooted Bohemian heritage (Prague was formerly the capital of Bohemia) getting to know the city was really important to me. Like anywhere I go in the world, I always love getting to know local tour guides to understand the inner workings of a place. Whether you go on a free tour or some paid tours, these are valuable excursions that take you to see the most famous landmarks in the Czech Republic.
I’ve found that guided tours and walking tours are some of the best things to do in Prague, and if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve listed a few of our favorites below.
Perhaps you’ll even make friends along the way! I’ve befriended quite a few tour operators around the world, some of which are good friends to this day. I hope these Prague tours help you fall in love with the city as I did.
1. Prague Walking Tours
Especially in major cities, one of the best ways to get to know a place is by foot. Walking tours provide the chance to see a place from a pedestrian perspective. In the Prague city center, walking tours also mean treading on cobblestone paths that so many feet have pounded in the past.
If you want a quick trot through the city, hitting the major points like the Charles Bridge, the express walking tour is your best bet. At just 90 minutes, these tours give you a broad overview of the city highlights without taking up a lot of your day. This way, you get the rest of the day to see more of Prague with some locations to note courtesy of your local tour guide.
I prefer longer tours to get a better sense of the place I’m in. This three-hour walking tour of the city hits the big points like Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge but also gets you to Prague Castle.
Having toured the castle complex independently, it would’ve been much more informative with a guided tour. They’ll also make sure you don’t get lost getting up there.
2. Get the Royal Treatment at Prague Castle
One of my favorite things to do is explore castles in the Czech Republic, and each one is worth a visit if you love history and architecture. As mentioned above, seeing Prague Castle without a guided tour is a less-than-ideal way to experience it, especially if you know that the towering structure you see from the castle from below in the city is St. Vitus Cathedral and not a place where royalty lived. It’s over 1,000 years old, as the Prague Castle complex began construction in 890 AD, and at 753,473 square feet, it is also the largest ancient castle complex in the world.
With so much to see, I highly recommend doing the three-hour private tour of Prague Castle. This private tour is a much more regal way of seeing the complex.
You’ll learn so much more about the building and the history of Bohemian kings than you would on your own, especially in areas like Golden Lane or George’s Basilica, which has much fewer information plaques. Your tour guide can also spend more time on areas you’re particularly interested in for an optimized experience.
Should you want budget-friendly tours, you can also do the VIP entry and skip the line at Prague Castle with a broad introduction instead. At just a fraction of the cost, you can get a little information on the grounds before exploring Prague Castle on your own.
NOTE: There are areas of the castle complex, like the Old Royal Palace, that do not allow photography.
3. Indulge in a Prague Food Tour
When travelers think of Prague tours, they probably don’t think of food-focused ones. Believe it or not, Prague is full of delicious food that will give you insight into Czech cuisine. Local food is, after all, more than trdelník (chimney cakes) and kolač (filled pastries) – although you should try those too! When you’re building out your Prague itinerary, be sure to add a few food tours to your plans.
Food tours will introduce you to local delights that you could find on your own but show you restaurants that locals would dine in. Do you want to try Czech roast duck or knedlíky (Czech dumplings) without paying out the nose at a tourist restaurant? You’ll want to book a Prague foodie tour.
This four-hour foodie tour showcases local favorite eateries and even includes your alcoholic imbibements too i.e., unlimited drinks?! What better way to truly eat like a local than to be shepherded around Prague with a local? Čas k jídlu! Time to eat!
4. Go at Your Own Pace on an All Day Private Tour
Address: 6, Dělnická 202, 170 00 Praha 7, Czechia
The best way to explore Prague is with a private tour – especially for first-time visitors. On these private walking tours, you get so much more access both physically and educationally at some of the city’s most phenomenal places. Basic city tours in Prague will showcase the big attractions like Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge.
However, an all-day tour will showcase so much more…
Prague-based LucyTours offers a seven-hour-long tour that provides visitors with a much deeper experience of the city. These all-day tours can be experienced as a walking tour or by a chauffeur. In either case, you get a full day with your tour guide catering to what you are most interested in.
You’ll still see the UNESCO highlights like Prague Castle and the bridge, plus several other locations most tourists may not get to. Those spots include the John Lennon Wall, the Strahov Monastery, and the Petrin Tower. These private tours even pick you up from your hotel!
5. Take a Boat Ride Along the Vltava River
You will have no problem finding a plethora of cruises to take on the Vltava River. This iconic Prague waterway is always full of tour boats. That said, if you’re going to encounter any rip-offs on your Prague tours, this is going to be your most likely source.
Do not book a boat trip with a company called Prague Boats. They’re one of the bigger tour companies in the city, but their customer service is abysmal.
Despite having a mobile ticket which, when purchased, was indicated as valid in digital form, we were made to go get physical tickets by an extremely unpleasant employee. We also couldn’t locate our boat and ended up boarding a different boat from their fleet because we were told to get there so early.
These are not uncommon occurrences. Just avoid Prague Boats.
Instead, consider taking a jazz cruise in the evening. Not only will this give you a whole different perspective of Prague from the river, but you can also purchase a ticket with a three-course meal included. It’s a fabulous way to enjoy the river.
See Related: Vienna vs Prague: What’s the Difference?
6. Exploring the Jewish Quarter
If you aren’t familiar with the history of the area around the Czech Republic, you may be surprised to learn that the country and Prague once had sizeable Jewish populations. In the former Moravia and Bohemia, which were both absorbed by the Czech Republic, roughly 2/3 of their Jewish population were killed in the Holocaust. All of those nearly 80,000 names are written on the walls of the Pinkas Synagogue.
Because of how the names are organized, or with the help of the electronic name registry inside, families can find their loved ones’ names more easily. I was surprised to see my grandmother’s Bohemian maiden name, Trepes (or Trepešová), inscribed on the wall. I would never have found that if I hadn’t explored Prague’s Jewish Quarter.
Like other Prague tours, the best way to experience the Jewish Quarter is on a walking tour. For an experience that can be more personal than any other you’ll have in the city, we recommend this town tour.
Your local guide will take you through the quarter and various synagogues, though you will need to go see Old-New Synagogue on your own. Old-New Synagogue is the oldest active synagogue in Europe and one of central Europe’s oldest synagogues in general with its building dating back to the 1200s.
If you’re not sure where to begin while planning your Prague trip, start with our virtual walking tour of Prague, notebook in hand, and jot down the things you must see.
7. Seeing the Hidden Gems
Especially for anyone who has been to Prague previously, the city tours can all feel the same after a while. That’s when hidden gem tours come in handy.
These private tours give visitors a local’s perspective of the city by uncovering places you may not otherwise find. Particularly since so few people speak or understand Czech outside of Czechia, a lot of tourists don’t venture out of Old Town or other English-centric tourist locations.
Like the private guided tours we mentioned earlier, this hidden gem three-and-a-half-hour walking tour can be customized to the interests of your party and can go at your own pace. Even with that in mind, you’ll be seeing some off-the-beaten-path locations which you probably wouldn’t see on other Prague tours.
Some of the locations you can expect to see on this tour include Laterna Magika Stage, Hotel Clementin Old Town (the narrowest hotel in the world), and Vaclav Havel Library. Don’t think this tour is only for those lesser-known places, as you can still see things like Prague Castle and Strahov Monastery on the guided tour if you want to.
See Related: Cheap Places to Visit in Europe
8. Prague Beer Museum Tour
Address: Smetanovo nábř. 205, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
Alright folks, if you’re going to Prague for the beer, this one’s for you. At the Prague Beer Museum, you can learn all about the history of beer in the Czech Republic, the process of beer making, beer sampling, and even the chance to bottle your brew. That’s right, you can take your own beer home with you – or just drink it back at your hotel. If you’re staying in the Brewery Hotel in Prague, that’s even better!
On this tour, you’ll even head into the 13th Century cellars to learn about how ice was dug out for the beverages to be stored. Along the way, you’ll also see hundreds of artifacts related to brewing.
These 90-minute tours are a terrific way to get a broad understanding of the proud history of Czechia’s beer-making. Although you don’t get unlimited drinks with these tours, it is still an incredible value. You get knowledge from one of the tour guides on the history of beer on a larger international scale as well.
If you know you”ll be spending time in the bars and breweries, make sure you arrange a ride back to where you are staying. Many of the best hotels in Prague offer concierge services that can help you call for a car.
9. Get Underground
Even with the cobbled lanes that cover much of this historic city, it can be hard to remember that Prague is one of the oldest cities in central Europe. This Medieval town has history beneath its streets since the Old Town area of Prague is built on top of former living quarters.
One way to visit these buried areas is to take a Medieval Underground tour. These semi-private guided tours take you under the streets of Prague into the former dwellings of long-gone days.
You’ll even see some old-school dungeons. While they may not give you the heebee-jeebies, medieval torture devices certainly will.
Part of what makes this a great tour is that you’ll also learn how these underground tunnels and dwellings helped save Prague during WWII. Our tour guide told us that a lot of people survived because the Germans didn’t know the underground areas existed, so resistance fighters and persecuted residents were able to hide down there largely undetected. The fact that so much of Old Town and Prague survived the war and Soviet occupation is nothing short of a miracle.
10. Hop on a Bike Tour
Address: Michalská 12, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
So many of the Prague tours are on foot, however, they don’t all have to be. A bike tour will get you through areas of the city much more quickly while offering a little bit of respite from the long days of walking through Old Town. Plus, Prague tours on bike with Mijn Praag Tours are appropriate for all ages.
With your bikes, you can cover so much more ground! That means you’ll see Old Town, Wenceslas Square, Lesser Town or Malá Strana, New Town, and even the Municipal House. You’ll see practically the whole city in just three hours.
During this visit, you can admire the Baroque architecture and take in the sights and smells of various neighborhoods, all while seeing more of Prague than the other tours could show you in half a day. Bike tours are the best way to see as much as you can in a single morning, afternoon, or evening.
See Related: Cheap Places to Travel This Year
11. Visit the Terezin Concentration Camp
More of a day trip than any of the tours we’ve mentioned thus far, the Terezin Concentration Camp is roughly 30 miles North of Prague. This camp is where 40,000 people from Prague were taken with a total of 141,000 people sent there in total.
From Terezin, 88,000 people were sent on to extermination camps but 33,000 died before they could be sent anywhere. At the end of WWII, Terezin had more survivors than any other concentration camp.
Tours of Terezin show visitors the camp itself as well as the barracks where prisoners were held. You’ll learn of how Terezin became known as Theresienstadt and how it received its first group of Jewish prisoners in November 1941. There is no denying the heaviness of this location.
A tour of any concentration camp can be difficult, but private guided tours from Prague help make the visit as accommodating as possible. Take a tour of Terezin, like this four-and-a-half-hour tour that departs from Prague, which includes admission to the site and a guide who can walk visitors through the history of the place.
NOTE: Please be mindful of the sacred nature of the camp when taking photos or touring.
See Related: How is WWII Taught in Germany?
12. Go on a Pub Crawl
There is no denying that Prague has a party side to it – in fact, we think it’s one of the best party cities in Europe. Though some might say a pub crawl doesn’t count among Prague tours, we disagree. What better way to experience the party side of Prague than unlimited drinks, a tour of the local hangs, and spending some time in Old Town?
There are a few ways to get hammered and absorb the very best of Prague on the go. There are Prague party bus tours where you can sup top Czech beers from the comfort of your own private sightseeing bus.
There are even nightclub gurus who can treat you to the best karaoke experiences in town. But my personal favorite boozy tour is the Clock Tower Crawl.
The Clock Tower Bar Crawl is certainly not for the faint of heart. At six hours long, this tour doesn’t even start until 8:30 pm. Your tour fee includes drinks at all of the bars you stop at, VIP skip-the-line entry at the nightclubs you visit, and unparalleled access to some of the city’s hottest party spots.
Honestly, for the price, this is by far the tour with the most bang for your buck. You won’t get more inclusions than this bar crawl, that’s for sure. Na zdraví! Cheers!
For a place within easy post-party walking distance from this tour, book a room at the Ibis Praha Old Town. Not only is this an incredibly affordable hotel, you can get home in a matter of minutes. And hopefully, the breakfast buffet can cure any hangover ills that plague you the day after.
13. See the Famed Bone Church
Address: Zámecká, 284 03 Kutná Hora, Czechia
Just an hour outside of Prague is one of those day trips that fans of the macabre clamor for. A visit to the bone church, aka The Sedlec Ossuary, is one for the books.
Human bones from between 40,000 and 70,000 people adorn the ossuary. Though it isn’t as big as the Parisian catacombs, it is home to an eight-foot-tall made from nearly every type of human bone.
Worldwide there are roughly 40 ossuaries, so this isn’t that unique to Czechia. What makes it unique is its legend. Legend has it that a Bohemian king sent an abbot to Jerusalem in the 1270s, and he returned with soil from Golgotha (or the Place of the Skull; where Jesus was crucified), which he then scattered around the Sedlec cemetery.
Day trips from Prague, particularly this one that includes tours of other sites, are great ways to see more of the Czech countryside. This six-hour tour with Prague Bus Tours or a private car tour of the town allows you to see other parts of Kutná Hora. All of Kutná Hora is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
NOTE: Photography is not allowed in The Sedlec Ossuary.
14. Don’t Forget the Free Tour Options!
When looking at Prague tours, it’s easy to forget that you can easily find a free tour too. My go-to for free tours is always Free Tour Community. These tours are offered all over the world and are truly free but don’t forget to tip your incredible tour guide after the tour is over!
We would agree with the common recommendation of tipping your guide between 200-400 Czech Koruna (which equates to $9 to $18) — especially since these tours are otherwise free.
Free Walking Tour Prague, the local division of Free Tour Community, offers a range of topics, just like paid tours do. Some of their offerings include Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, and New Town.
If saving money is the name of your Czechventure game, consider a stay at the adorable Prague Dream Hostel. This charming spot is more comfortable than your traditional hostel, plus they have an airport shuttle and breakfast available.
See Related: Top Free Travel Magazines & Travel Guides
15. Consider Day Trips from Prague
Not that you’d be without tours or things to do in Prague, but there are a lot of day trips from the city that offer a broader look at Czechia. From wine tasting to visiting art galleries or taking cooking classes, there is so much to do in Prague without leaving the city limits. Yet full-day trips can take you to almost mythical places like Český Krumlov or České Budějovice.
It takes just shy of three hours to get to the medieval town of Český Krumlov from Prague, tours of this UNESCO site are worth the long bus ride. Or if you’d prefer a more personal excursion, you can also book a private car tour instead.
Český Krumlov is home to the oldest Baroque theater in the world, the second largest castle complex in Czechia, and a range of architecture. You can experience Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque-style buildings in this town all in one day.
České Budějovice is the capital of South Bohemia and is just a wonderful place to be, seemingly plucked from a golden-age Disney movie. Touring the historic city square, lined with Renaissance and Baroque buildings, is highly recommended for shutterbugs.
Other day trips you should consider from Prague are visiting the fairytale 14th Century Gothic Karlštejn Castle, one of the best castles in the country, and tours of the beautiful historic spa town of Karlovy Vary.
See Related: Best Castles in Slovakia to Visit
Is Prague good for tourists?
Prague is ideal for tourists. Not only is it one of the safest cities in Europe, but Prague is also one of the most affordable. Especially if you avoid touristy restaurants, Prague will be kind to your wallet.
What is Prague best known for?
Other than beer, Prague is known for its brilliant architecture. Its nicknames, like the “Golden City” and the “City of a Hundred Spires,” allude to the marvelous architecture you’ll see throughout the city.
How many days do you need in Prague?
If your plans involve staying in Prague, I’d recommend four to five days to experience the city. Tours can take up parts of your days, but with several days in Prague, you have some downtime too.
What should I avoid in Prague?
Tours with middling online reviews, taxis that will try and rip you off, be careful of the trams which always have right of way, and any place that claims to serve authentic Czech food or beer. If it seems like a tourist trap, it most likely is.