Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that social media is radically changing the way we travel. (I’m looking at you, Instagram!) The entire world is traveling more than we ever have before, and these days we’re more likely to draw our destination inspiration from a total stranger online rather than our friends and neighbors.
As someone who loves to both travel and share photos to inspire others, I generally fall on the love side of this new development in our travel habits…most of the time. Keeping a visual record of the places we see and the things we do has always been a big part of traveling for me. It’s why I lug my heavy Canon around 16 hours a day on a trip, and then painstakingly spend hours sorting through upwards of 1,000 photos upon our return home. And while I don’t choose where I travel according to the photos I can get there (I’ll leave that to the professionals), I do actively seek out the most photogenic spots in every place we visit.
If there was ever a city that surprised me with its seemingly infinite number of spots for attractive photo ops, it would be Prague. Some places I already know before I even get there that I’ll be experiencing the majority of the trip from behind my camera lens (London, Paris, practically anywhere in Italy) but Prague was a surprise. I could not put my camera down. Every corner turned was yet another opportunity to take what ultimately became some of my favorite travel photos ever. Often, I had no idea where I was or even what I was photographing (I’ll be posting those shots later), but for today I’d like to share some of my favorite photography locations in Prague I actually can name.
The following 15 locations are going to be shared in classic who, what, when, where style to help make it easier for those of you looking for the most Instagrammable places in Prague to quickly find the information you need. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end for a handy map of Prague photo spots you can download to your phone and take with you on your photography walk!
The Best Prague Instagram Spots
What: Petrin Hill is one of Prague’s prettiest public parks featuring tree-lined walking trails and panoramic views from the Petrin Hill Lookout Tower, the highest point in the city.
When to Visit: You’ll get the best photos on a clear day. The observation tower reaches well above the tree-line, so it’s a perfect spot to capture the changing colors in autumn. The park isn’t often overcrowded, so the best time of day to visit is entirely up to you.
Where: Find Petrin Hill on a map here.
Best For: Nature Shots, Cityscapes
St Vitus Cathedral
What: St Vitus Cathedral is the largest and most famous cathedral in Prague, located inside the Prague Castle complex.
When to Visit: If you choose to enter the cathedral for free, try to be there at 9am when it opens for less crowded photos. If you buy a ticket, you’ll be granted access to restricted areas past the front entrance, so while an early visit is still best, you won’t have to be the first one there to get uncrowded shots.
Where: Find St Vitus Cathedral on a map here.
Best For: Architecture, History
The Jewish Quarter
What: Formerly the Jewish ghetto, the Jewish Quarter is now a historical attraction with guided tours or the option to explore on your own. Architecture in and around the outskirts of the Jewish Quarter (aka Josefov) is some of the most unique in the city.
When to Visit: If you decide to take a guided tour, early might be best since the tours can be lengthy. If you visit on your own, I’d recommend early morning or late afternoon for the best light.
Where: Find the Jewish Quarter on a map here.
Best For: Architecture, History
What: The Lennon Wall is a famous wall, just on the other side of the Charles Bridge from Old Town, that’s been decorated with John Lennon-inspired images, Beatles lyrics, and a load of other colorful graffiti since the 1980’s.
When to Visit: Morning is the only time of day when this wall isn’t jam-packed with tourists perfecting their selfie skills and buskers hoping you’ll part with your spare change, so head over this way early, preferably before 10am.
Where: Find the Lennon Wall on a map here.
Best For: Colorful Images
House of the Black Madonna Staircase
What: A hidden gem in Prague – the “lightbulb” staircase located inside the House of the Black Madonna in Old Town leads from the Grand Café Orient restaurant on the ground floor to the Museum of Czech Cubism on the upper floors.
When to Visit: The House of the Black Madonna is open from 10am to 10pm, but if you want the lightbulb to appear to be glowing, you’ll need to visit when the sun is shining.
Where: Find the House of the Black Madonna on a map here.
Best For: Unique Angles
The Dancing House
What: The Dancing House is an unusual piece of deconstructivist architecture designed by Frank Gehry whose two towers appear to “dance”, earning it the nickname Fred and Ginger. (Apologies for the completely uninspired photo. There are much, much better ones out there, I promise you.)
When to Visit: Long exposures at night make for pretty cool images here.
Where: Find the Dancing House on a map here.
Best For: Architecture
What: The Charles Bridge is a beautiful historic bridge connecting the Old Town to Prague Castle on the other side of the Vltava River. For a fee, the towers at either end of the bridge can be climbed for excellent views over the river and city below.
When to Visit: I strongly advise arriving at sunrise or anytime before 9am, otherwise the bridge gets extremely packed with people. The towers open at 10am.
Where: Find Charles Bridge on a map here.
Best For: Street Scenes, Cityscapes, Architecture
What: Letna Park is yet another beautiful public park in Prague located on a hill with scenic views over the Vltava River. One of the best spots in the park for the classic ‘bridges over the Vltava’ shot is from the Hanavský Pavilion.
When to Visit: Like Petrin Hill, Letna Park is large enough that it doesn’t feel overcrowded, so getting a good position at the various lookout points is easy. Sunset is a popular time, but any other time of day will make for great photos, too.
Where: Find Letna Park on a map here.
Best For: Nature Shots, Cityscapes
What: Wenceslas Square is a half-mile long, 14th-century square located in the New Town where you’ll find the National Museum, loads of cafes, and old hotels with elaborate facades. This area is also excellent for people-watching.
When to Visit: This area is most vibrant after the city’s woken up a bit, so head over this way anytime late morning through the end of the day.
Where: Find Wenceslas Square on a map here.
Best For: Architecture, Street Scenes
Lookout by Prague Castle
What: Beautiful, unobstructed views of Prague can be accessed for free from this scenic lookout point just outside of Prague Castle. When exiting the castle, head towards Nerudova Street. The lookout point is right next to a Starbucks. No need to buy a coffee to enjoy the view, though!
When to Visit: Anytime is fine to visit since there’s nothing to block the view, but arriving just after sunrise or just before sunset would make for beautiful light in photos.
Where: Find the Prague Castle Lookout on a map here.
Best For: Cityscapes
Old Town Square
What: Old Town Square is Prague’s prettiest and most famous square featuring some of the city’s most recognizable sights. For a great view overlooking the square (or to get above the crowds), you can climb up the astronomical clock tower to the top of the Old Town Hall for a small fee.
When to Visit: Old Town Square is somewhere you’ll want to visit at least twice. Plan to stop by in the daytime at the top of the hour to see the astronomical clock chime the hour, then visit again at night to see the buildings in the square glow.
Where: Find Old Town Square on a map here.
Best For: History, Architecture, Street Scenes
What: Nerudova Street is a picturesque street on a hill filled with colorful houses designated by creative symbols above their front doors. Tip – bring your wide angle lens. This street gets pretty narrow in parts, especially when packed with cars.
When to Visit: It’s best to visit sometime early before the shops open for less busy photos. If street photography is your thing, then anytime of day will make for interesting images.
Where: Find Nerudova Street on a map here.
Best For: Street Scenes, Colorful Images
St Nicholas Church
What: St Nicholas Church is a beautiful Baroque church in Old Town Square whose design was inspired by Les Invalides in Paris. Besides St Vitus Cathedral, this was the most beautiful church interior we saw in Prague.
When to Visit: St Nicholas isn’t nearly as busy as St Vitus Cathedral, so most times of day will be good for photos, assuming the church isn’t closed for worship or an event. The church opens daily at 10am, 12pm on Sundays.
Where: Find St Nicholas Church on a map here.
Best For: Architecture
Prague Castle Moat
What: Prague Castle’s moat is a highly underrated spot inside Prague Castle featuring some of the prettiest walking trails in the city.
When to Visit: Visit any time of day during the months of April through October when the moat is open to visitors. Autumn is particularly stunning thanks to the many trees lining the trails.
Where: Find Prague Castle moat on a map here.
Best For: Nature Shots
What: Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle complex in the world and the residence of the President of the Czech Republic. Explore the castle and then head to the Charles Bridge or the banks of the Vltava River on the Old Town side at evening for a shot of Prague Castle with the city lights reflecting in the water.
When to Visit: Visit the complex during the day, but definitely plan to take some castle shots from across the river sometime around sunset or nighttime for long exposures.
Where: Find Prague Castle on a map here.
Best For: Architecture, Cityscapes
Map of Prague Photo Spots
To make it easier for you to plan your own self-guided photography tour of Prague, I’ve plotted all the locations above on a map which you can print or download to your phone from Google Maps here. If you’ve got other spots in Prague you plan to see, you can save a copy of this map and add whatever else you want to see to it to keep everything handy in one place. (Honestly, I don’t know how I ever planned trip itineraries before the invention of Google MyMaps!)
Do you have any favorite photography locations in Prague to add? Leave your tips in the comments below!
Read More: The Lost Photos from Prague
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