Top Photo Spots in Prague
The best places to take photos in Prague! A photographer’s guide to the beautiful city of Prague!
Prague is magnificent. I don’t say that about every place, but I will definitely say it about Prague. It’s an incredibly beautiful city and one that I absolutely love to visit. I spent a while here with the intent to create this list of the best places to take photos in this lovely city. Prague has something for everyone, and you will not be disappointed! It’s historic, beautiful and very walkable.
Are you interested in photographing historic architecture? Do you like beautiful churches? How about bridges with old stone towers rising from either end? How about breath-taking cobblestone streets? Do you like museums? What about ancient cemeteries? Views over a beautiful river through the center of town? Prague has all of this and much, much more.
Pro tip: If you really want to see the city without the distraction of massive crowds, get up at sunrise and wander with the camera, at least once while you are there.
Heck, even if you aren’t into photography, get up at sunrise and wander the Old Town and cross the Charles Bridge. You will find it blissfully free of the touristy hordes and you will be glad you got up. Trust me. Yes, you will need coffee later but who cares? You will remember that morning fondly for years to come.
I did exactly that and that is how I was able to capture many of my favorite shots of Prague. It is a beautiful and popular city with visitors, and thus it gets quite crowded. Literally you can be elbow-to-elbow on the Charles Bridge in the middle of the day, but at sunrise I came across less than a dozen people. It was like having the city to myself. It was amazing.
Ok, without further delay here are the best places to take photos in Prague. No, these are not in a ranked order, just in the order that I thought of them and with a little logic behind it. Most of this is in the Old Town area, near Old Town Square, and the city is very walkable. Anywhere in the general vicinity of Old Town Square is an ideal location for your hotel or accommodations. Wear comfortable shoes, get your camera, and let’s get going!
1) Old Town Square - architecture, festivals, etc
To me, this is the heart of the historic part of the city and one that you will find yourself in again and again. There are cafes, shops, restaurants, bars and some amazing architecture surrounding you. You will be taking a lot of photos here. When I was there, some sort of Easter festival was underway and the plaza was populated with booths selling food, drinks and gifts. There was music and a lot of fun things going on. Obviously, this shot was not taken then, but rather at sunrise in the Old Town Square one morning.
2) View from Old Town Hall over Tyn’s Church and Old Town Square
The Old Town Hall is the main historic building here, and many folks aren’t aware but there is a little tourist office on the side of the building which allows you to purchase a ticket to go to the top of the tower. Do this! You will be glad that you did, and you will capture some truly fabulous photos looking out over the Old Town Square and the rest of the city. Your primary photographic target will likely be Tyn’s Church which is the twin-spired building in the photo below but you also get a wonderful view over St Nicholas Church as well as Prague Castle in the distance (you can walk around up there and circle the tower). By the way, I highly recommend you go inside Tyn’s Church too, although they do not allow photography inside.
3) View from Old Town Hall over the rest of town/streets/roofs
As mentioned above, there are many other views from atop Old Town Hall. Once you are up there, just circle the tower and take in all the amazing views. The tower gives you a great view as well as an interesting perspective on the Old Town.
4) Astronomical Clock in Old Town Hall
Not to be missed is the famous Astronomical Clock which is on the side of the Old Town Hall building. You can’t miss it, as it chimes each hour and you will see the crowds gathering beforehand to watch the glockenspiel. It’s pretty special to see, considering it is the oldest operating astronomical clock in the world.
5) Old Town Hall - elevator shaft
One more thing while you are in the Old Town Hall - check out the elevator shaft! Yes, I am serious, it’s quite lovely and makes for an interesting photo. My friend Mike Murphy told me about this and I totally stole the idea. ;-) It’s a grungy but fun thing to add to the memory card! It's especially cool when the elevator is at the top, the bottom of which has those lights you see way up there. Sort of a space-age-looking thing, I guess,
6) Old Town Square - St Nicholas Church
This church is absolutely gorgeous, and I shot away freely without any issue (although I did not use a tripod as it was somewhat busy). It’s located in Old Town Square too and you will easily find it sort of in the corner of the square. It is beautiful both inside and out, and you can get a great view of it from the top of Old Town Hall when you are up there shooting. Obviously, the interior is just stunning.
7) Powder Tower
This is one of the original tower gates into the old historic city center, and I just love things like this. It was near my hotel and I walked by it every day. I love the look of these Gothic structures and you can capture it literally towering over the nearby streets. This was shot after sunrise but prior to the streets getting crowded.
8) Charles Bridge - on the bridge
For many, the Charles Bridge is THE sight to see in Prague, and for good reason. It’s a beautiful bridge (and I absolutely love bridges) and is the main connection between the historic old town and the Mala Strana, or Lesser Town which sits across the river (and where you will find Prague Castle, detailed below). There are a million shots you could get here, depending on your tastes, including some absolutely stunning statues that line the bridge, musicians doing their thing and artists at work drawing portraits. It’s a great stroll here, any time of day. This is another sunrise shot, simply because I like empty scenes.
9) View of Charles Bridge from the Old Town side
Be sure and shoot the Charles Bridge from the Old Town side of the river, and off to the side of the bridge. There is a great view of it from the Old Town side and slightly south of it. Just walk down the embankment until you find a spot you like. You can capture the Prague Castle complex in the distance with the bridge below it.
10) Old Town Bridge Tower - view of Charles Bridge
Here’s a tip when coming to the Charles Bridge: there is a staircase that gets you to the top of the tower on the Old Town side. The staircase is through a small doorway on the left side of the bridge tower as you approach it. Enter the doorway and go upstairs to the ticket office. Yes you have to pay but I went there 3 times and it was never crowded. The bridge was a crowded mess but I was up there with just a few people, and you can’t beat the view. Go at sunset for the best effect. You can see the Prague Castle in the distance. You’re welcome. ;-)
11) Mala Strana Bridge Tower - views of Old Town and Charles Bridge
Once you cross the bridge to the Mala Strana side, you can also enter the tower there and (after buying a ticket of course) you can climb up for a good view over the Charles Bridge from this side. I think the view is better from the other tower but this one is still worth a visit. From here you are looking back at Old Town, which makes for an interesting perspective.
12) St Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle complex
The entire complex on the top of the hill is called Prague Castle, which includes a number of buildings and the amazing St Vitus Cathedral. You must go see it, and there is a lot to shoot here. The cathedral is fabulous and there are all sorts of shots to be had inside the castle complex. One favorite is Golden Lane, which is a quaint medieval street in the back of the complex, though sadly it was super crowded when I went so my shots are terrible. Nonetheless, it’s worth a visit and hopefully you will arrive when it’s not crowded! This is the main altar in St Vitus.
13) Stairs/view of town en route to St Vitus
We walked to the Prague Castle and I will admit it was a bit of a climb. Fun, but tiring. Part of the final push is a long staircase up the hill, but once you reach the top you do get a pretty remarkable view out over the town.
14) Views of town from Prague Castle complex
When you are in the Prague Castle complex, as you are nearing the end of the tour (and after Golden Lane), I came across this deck with commanding views out over town. I love city views and skylines so of course I stopped for a few shots!
15) Streets in Mala Strana below St Vitus
I love street scenes and shoot them on every trip, so of course I captured plenty in Prague too. One area that I found interesting (and less crowded than Old Town), was the section below Prague Castle in Malta Strana. It was a little rough in some spots but I find this stuff beautiful.
16) John Lennon graffiti wall in Mala Strana
I will admit that I had higher hopes for this spot. I have heard of it for years and made it a point to visit right away. I had seen photos of incredible graffiti from here over the years, even some Banksy work if I recall correctly. Well, that’s all gone, sadly. This is a big wall covered in graffiti, but it’s less artistic now and mostly covered in crap scrawled by tourists such as “Bob loves Sue” or junk like that. There were even tourists there spray painting a little when I arrived one afternoon. If you are interested, you can find this about 5 minutes from the bridge on the Mall Strana side (the opposite direction from Prague Castle). Still worth a visit to me, but I am a sucker for a wall covered in graffiti. Its just not what I had hoped it would be.
17) Jewish Quarter
This was an interesting part of town, made more so by some demonstrations that were in process while we were there. Although since they were all in a foreign tongue, I’m not sure what all they were saying. However my favorite part of this section of town was the old cemetery. There are literally hundreds of gravestones all stacked here and there and it’s quite interesting, and beautiful in a way.
18) National Theater
This is a rather beautiful building, but as you can see I was there at the wrong time to shoot it (bad light, tourists, cars). Plus, with all the trolley car power lines crossing this way and that overhead, it’s actually a tough shot to get. Nonetheless, it’s worth seeing in my opinion and certainly would look a lot better if you got there at sunset, for example. It was locked up so I cannot vouch for the interior, but usually things like this are gorgeous inside. Plus, you are going to walk past it when you go shoot #19 below, so you might as well get the shot, right? ;-)
19) Dancing House
These are a must see! I know, it’s technically just a kind of weird building, but it’s cool, and let's face it, you don’t see stuff like this at home. I understand this was inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, which is cool. Stop by, you’ll be glad you shot it!
20) Street scenes everywhere
Yes, this is incredibly general, but it’s very true. Especially if you get up and wander early in the morning, you will just enjoy these little streets so much. Trust me. They are beautiful anytime, but when you have them to yourself it’s a whole different thing. Usually this intersection in the Old Town is crowded, but at sunrise it's blissfully empty!
21) Architecture everywhere
Here’s another incredibly general statement, but again I ain’t lying to ya! Just keep your eyes open and you will see so much incredible architecture, at nearly every turn of your head. It’s a little dizzying in some ways, but so awesome. This is the view out the back of #10 mentioned above. Just walk around to the back and this is your view. See what I mean that there is amazing architecture everywhere? I shot so many building facades that I can't even count them.
22) The train station
I just love shooting in and around train stations. I love the architecture and the trains. Sometime they are amazing. While the exterior facade of the station isn't remarkable, the interior can be rather interesting and of course you can't argue with just how cool the trains can be. Besides, you will likely be in here at some point anyway, so you might as well take a shot!
Are you excited about visiting Prague yet?
Hopefully this gives you enough stuff to go hunt down in Prague. It’s an incredible city and certainly a beautiful one. It may be up there with Paris in terms of overall beauty. I’m not sure, but it’s damn beautiful, that much is clear. Can you tell I love the place? I imagine you will find a lot to love about it, too.
If you need photo gear recommendations or just want to see what I use and recommend, check out my gear page here.