Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

New Town Walking Tour (Self Guided), Prague

Nové Město (“New Town” in Czech) is a district in Prague, the youngest (est. 1348) and the largest (three times the size of the Old Town) of the five originally independent townships that form today's historic center of the Czech capital. The area bears great historic significance and is traditionally dense with tourists. Among the attractions found here are the Dancing House (named so for resembling a pair of dancers), Charles' Square (one of the largest squares in the world and once the largest town square in medieval Europe), Antonín Dvořák Museum (paying tribute to the famous Czech composer), and numerous churches and cathedrals. No trip to Prague is complete without a visit to Nové Město!
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New Town Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: New Town Walking Tour
Guide Location: Czech Republic » Prague (See other walking tours in Prague)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Wenceslas Square
  • National Museum
  • Jubilee Synagogue
  • St. Henry's Tower
  • Grand Hotel Europa
  • New Town Hall
  • Charles Square
  • Church of St. Ignatius
  • Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
  • Dancing House
1
Wenceslas Square

1) Wenceslas Square (must see)

Wenceslas Square is almost an avenue as it is shaped as a very long rectangle, running from the northwest boundary of New Town to the Neoclassical National Museum at the southeast end.

The square came into being in the 14th century when Charles IV founded New Town; at that time it was a horse market. During the national revival in the 19th century, it received its current name and a very fine statue of St. Wenceslas was erected there. The Good King is mounted on his horse and around the base are four statues – Saint Agnes of Bohemia, St Prokop, Saint Adalbert of Prague and Saint Ludmila.

Perhaps because of its ancient status as a market, it has always been a natural gathering place: the Nazis held demonstrations there, national sporting event celebrations were held there and it was the focal point of the Velvet Revolution in 1989. When communist rule came to an end, the announcement to the Czech nation was made from this square.

Today, the square is still busy with locals and tourists who come to visit the museum or the Prague State Opera. The square is lined on both sides with offices, hotels, international shops, clubs, restaurants and snack bars.

Why You Should Visit:
A symbol of Czech nationhood and the best-known statue in Prague.

Tip:
Given that the St. Wenceslas statue stands at the top of the Square, you may get the best picture of the Square by having your back to the statue.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
National Museum

2) National Museum (must see)

The National museum ('Národní muzeum') is a Czech museum institution intended to systematically establish, prepare and publicly exhibit natural scientific and historical collections. It was founded 1818 in Prague by Kašpar Maria Šternberg. Historian František Palacký was also strongly involved. At present, the National Museum houses almost 14 million items from the area of natural history, history, arts, music and librarianship, located in tens of buildings. The founding of the National Museum should be seen in the context of the times where, after the French Revolution, royal and private collections of art, science, and culture were being made available to the public. The National Museum at present contains several million items of material concerning the areas of mineralogy, paleontology, mycology, botany, entomology, zoology, anthropology; and also archeology which is mostly concerned with the period from Neolithic times to the 10th century CE.

Why You Should Visit:
Largest museum in Prague.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Jubilee Synagogue

3) Jubilee Synagogue

Jubilee Synagogue is also known as the Jerusalem Synagogue because of its location on Jerusalem Street. It was built in 1906, designed by Wilhelm Stiassny and named in honor of the silver Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. The synagogue is designed in Moorish Revival form with Art Nouveau decoration, especially in the interior. The Mudéjar red-and-white coursing of the stone facade is particularly striking. It was lately renovated and still serves religious purposes. After the Czech Republic became independent of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it became more usual to call the synagogue the Jerusalem Street Synagogue.

After a century of being open to the public as a house of worship, on 1 April 2008 the Jubilee Synagogue began opening its doors on a regular basis to tourists and aficionados of historic architecture.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
St. Henry's Tower

4) St. Henry's Tower

Located in New Town is Prague’s tallest belfry. This Gothic tower was completely renovated in 2002 and features 10 floors, which are comprised of a café, a whiskey bar and shop, galleries, a restaurant on two floors, a kitchen, a lovely look out point and more. This whimsical tower is an attractive place for a romantic dinner, a friendly drink in the Scottish themed bar or simply a delectable dessert with a delicious Italian coffee.
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5
Grand Hotel Europa

5) Grand Hotel Europa

Originally built in 1889, as the "Archduke Stephan", this hotel was remodeled in the art nouveau style 1903–1905. The interior of the hotel has been used in many films, including "Mission Impossible" with Tom Cruise. Although the outside still retains some of its original charm, clearly the inside is in need of updating, as the hotel was closed and fenced off when we were there and sadly shows no signs of re-opening soon.
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6
New Town Hall

6) New Town Hall

Overlooking the large green square (more like a large rectangle really) of Karlovo Namesti is the tower of New Town Hall. The hall dates back to 1377, when New Town was in fact new. Several additions were made in the 15th century including the sturdy tower complete with an intimate chapel and a massive bell. The Hall was the seat of New Town administration until Emperor Josef II joined Old Town.

The four towns of Prague were joined up in 1784 and the Town Hall building, no longer required for administration, became a courthouse and a prison. It is now used for cultural and social events.
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7
Charles Square

7) Charles Square

If you want to relax for a while during your exploration of Prague’s historical sites, you might like to do so in Charles Square, which is the largest square in Prague.

When Charles IV founded New Town in the 14th century, the square was the central town marketplace. In the 15th century, it was called the Cattle Market as drovers sold their herds there. The square got its current name in 1848.

On the northern side of the square stands the New Town Hall which was built in the 14th century and was the place of the first defenestration of Catholic nobles in 1419. Today it serves for storing government archives and sometimes holds temporary exhibitions.

Until it was abolished in 1791, a Gothic chapel displayed the Crown Jewels every Easter. Although the chapel no longer stands, there is still the Emause Monastery built in 1347 and the Church of St Ignatius built in 1670 to visit. According to local legend, a marble stone used to stand in the park, marking the spot where secret executions took place in the dead of night, but if it was true, the stone is no longer in the square.

The square remained rather unattractive until the 19th century when it was turned into a park, sporting a small ornamental pond and statues of various Czech writers and scholars.

Why You Should Visit:
Largest square in the country; a nice and quiet place to look around and rest your legs at a bench.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Church of St. Ignatius

8) Church of St. Ignatius

One of the earliest Baroque buildings in Prague, St Ignatius Church in Charles Square is part of the third largest Jesuit Complex in Europe.

The church was built in 1687 on the site of several medieval houses and consecrated to St Ignatius of Loyola, the Patron Saint who founded the Jesuit Order. The Jesuit ascetic way of life doesn’t extend to their churches and St Ignatius Church is flamboyantly decorated with lots of gilding and stucco decorations.

The beautifully executed frescoes were done by Jan Jiri Heinsch the famous painter of Baroque piety. The statues were sculpted by Matej Vaclav Jackel, whose work you can also see on the Charles Bridge.

On the tympanum over the entrance to the church you can see an inscription: MAIRORI DEI GLORIAE et SANCTI IGNAZII HONORI PIETAS EREXIT (Built to the greatness of God’s glory and to the honourable, pious St Ignatius).

On the roof of the church is a statue of St Ignatius. When this statue was put in place, it caused a lot of outrage, because the body of the saint is surrounded by a halo. According to church rules, only the body of Jesus should be surrounded by a halo, but the Jesuits wielded a lot of power in the 17th century and the statue was allowed to remain.
9
Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral

9) Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral (must see)

Saints Cyril and Methodus Cathedral was the 1st Orthodox Cathedral in Prague and is well worth a visit as it played an important role in Prague’s history.

In 1739 a Baroque church was built along with a house for retired priests and consecrated to St Charles Borromeus, the 16th-century Archbishop of Milan. In 1783 the church and retirement house was closed down and the buildings were used as an army storehouse and later as army barracks. In 1869 it became the Czech Technology Centre.

Finally, it was given to the Orthodox Church who wanted an unused church to establish a cathedral. The cathedral was consecrated to St Cyril and St Methodus in 1935. The cathedral retains the original Baroque frescoes and stucco-work.

During the 2nd World War, seven paratroopers hid in the cathedral crypt after assassinating the Nazi Governor, Reinhard Heydrich. They were betrayed and four of them were trapped in the crypt by the Gestapo. When the Gestapo tried to flush them out by flooding the crypt, the four men committed suicide. The cathedral clergymen and several laypeople were arrested for collaboration and executed. The Nazi desecrated the cathedral and in 1942, closed all Orthodox churches in Czechoslovakia.

The cathedral was re-consecrated in 1947 and a plaque on the wall bears the names and portraits of the Czech heroes. Today, the crypt is the National Memorial to the Victims of the Heydrich Terror and can be visited by appointment.

Why You Should Visit:
A must-see for anyone with an interest in WWII history and/or (Christian Orthodox) religious sites.
Caters quite well for (English-speaking) travelers.

Tip:
Plan to spend 1 1/2 hours exploring the place and reading all of the information.
You should arrive at 4pm latest, as it closes promptly at 5pm.
Admission is free or by donation.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Dancing House

10) Dancing House (must see)

The Dancing House ('Tančící dům') is the nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building in downtown Prague, at Rašínovo nábřeží 80. It was designed by Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić in co-operation with Canadian architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot (where the previous building had been destroyed during the Bombing of Prague in 1945). The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996. The very non-traditional design was controversial at the time. Czech president Václav Havel, who lived for decades next to the site, had supported it, hoping that the building would become a center of cultural activity. Originally named Fred and Ginger (after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - the house resembles a pair of dancers) the house stands out among the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous. Others have nicknamed it "Drunk House".

Why You Should Visit:
Stands out as very different from most of the city's other architecture.
Offers a great sight of the city, particularly Prague Castle and Vltava River.
Permanent and temporary exhibitions are available.

Tip:
Take the elevator up to the rooftop; buying a drink will replace the ticket to the terrace.
There is no entrance fee to the building itself.

Opening Hours:
The building is open daily from 10am-10 pm.
The terrace with is accessible via the Glass Bar.
Gallery is open daily from 10am-8pm.
Restaurant is open every day from 11am to midnight.
Glass Bar is open every day from 10am to midnight.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Prague, Czech Republic

Create Your Own Walk in Prague

Create Your Own Walk in Prague

Creating your own self-guided walk in Prague is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Lesser Town Walking Tour

Lesser Town Walking Tour

Malá Strana ("Lesser Town") is a district in Prague, one of the most historically significant in the city. Back in the Middle Ages, it was predominantly populated by ethnic Germans and, in later years, largely retained Germanic influence, despite prevalence of the Baroque style in architecture. The most prominent landmark of Malá Strana is the Wallenstein Palace. There are also a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Old Town Walk

Old Town Walk

Old Town (Czech: Staré Město) is a medieval settlement of Prague, once separated from the outside by a semi-circular moat and wall, connected to the Vltava at both of its ends. The moat is now covered up by the streets, which remain the official boundary of the cadastral district of Old Town. Notable places in the Old Town include the Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, Kinsky Palace and many...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Josefov, formerly the Jewish ghetto of the town, is completely surrounded by Prague Staré Město. Here you can find beautiful and historically important synagogues, as well as art galleries and museums. This tour will help you to explore the most interesting sites of the Jewish quarter.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Old Town Souvenir Shopping

Old Town Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Prague without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Prague, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Hradcany (Castle District) Walk

Hradcany (Castle District) Walk

Hradčany, or the Castle District, is an area in Prague surrounding the Prague Castle. The latter is said to be the biggest castle in the world (measuring some 570 meters long and approximate 130 meters wide). Going back in history as far as the 9th century, the castle has been the seat of power for Bohemian kings, Holy Roman emperors, leaders of Czechoslovakia and is currently the official...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

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