The geographical and historical heart of Prague, this UNESCO-listed district features a tangle of cobblestone streets lined by Baroque churches, palaces and houses.
Stare Mesto, Prague’s UNESCO-listed Old Town, is a storybook hub packed to the brim with historic churches, monuments and sights that cause snap-happy tourists to stop and take photographs. Dine while seated outdoors in colorful squares, wander the atmospheric lanes and see some of the city’s most iconic sights including the famous Astronomical Clock.
The history of Stare Mesto can be traced back to the 9th century, when traders traveling along the Vltava River would meet at this strategic location. Gradually, some traders began to settle here and a settlement sprung up around the banks of the river. The center of the early settlement was the Old Town Square, which still retains an old-world atmosphere. Come here to see Prague’s fascinating Old Town Hall, where every hour, crowds gather to see the medieval Astronomical Clock’s mechanical statues perform a 45-second procession.
Also bordering the Old Town Hall is the Church of Our Lady Before Týn, whose eye-catching pair of Gothic spires are a defining feature of Prague’s skyline. During the build-up to the festive period, the square plays host to a charming Christmas market. If you have time, pause to soak up the enchanting atmosphere of the square. Sip a beer in one of the surrounding bars or restaurants, and watch as street entertainers put on a show for sightseers.
Explore the winding lanes that radiate out from the central square to encounter even more fascinating historic landmarks. Take a tour around the magnificent art nouveau-style Municipal House and survey the National Gallery’s impressive collection of art spanning the 13th to 16th centuries in the Gothic-style Convent of St. Agnes.
Don’t leave without visiting the Prague Jewish Museum. Set across six separate sites, including several synagogues, a ceremonial hall and the Jewish Cemetery, this enlightening museum chronicles the systematic oppression of Prague’s Jewish community over the centuries.
Stare Mesto sits along the east bank of the Vltava River. Access the area on foot via Charles Bridge or ride the metro to Staroměstská station.