Things to do in Prague New Town
- Start with visiting the famous Wenceslas Square - this is a hub of the New Town's life where a lot of stores, restaurants, and hotels are located.
- Lucerna Palace located on Wenceslas Square is perfect for Prague travelers that are looking for a party in the 80's disco, a glass of wine on the Lucerna rooftop, or a strange statue of St. Wenceslas on his upsidedown horse.
- You can also visit the National Museum located on top of Wenceslas Square. We also have a video guide about what you will see inside and how to visit the National Museum!
- New Town Hall located on Charles Square (the biggest square in Prague) is also a great place to visit. You can climb the New Town Hall tower for a great view. Just be careful, this place has a history of Defenestrations ;)
- There are many great bars in Prague New Town, but there is the only one which is quintessentially Czech - U Sudu. This underground Prague bar always has something fun (and illegal) going on.
- Another place to have a drink and simultaneously an awesome view spot is the Dancing House. This modern building isn't just great to look at but also has a rooftop bar that we highly recommend!
- For those of you who need limitless parting options, we suggest visiting Naplavka. It is a riverbank with party boats and small beer places that all Prague locals rush to when the weather is promising. You should follow their suit!
- If you prefer a cultural pastime over anything else, then you should get a ticket to one of the Prague National Theatre performances. We do have few tips about going there, so check out the hyperlink in the previous sentence!
- Botanical Gardens of the Faculty of Natural Science in Prague New Town will provide a little nature break on your city exploration. The outside gardens are opened for free, but they do have a paid glass house there.
- Emmaus Monastery is a must for all history buffs and art lovers. Even though the monastery was bombed during WW2 you can still see its beautiful decorations and architecture nowadays!
- If you are interested in WW2 history, you have to visit the National Memorial to the Victims of Heidrch Terror also known as the church of St. Cyrill and Methodius. It is a free Prague WW2 museum that tells you the history of this dark time and famous the operation Anthropoid.
- Vysehrad is one of the best places to visit in Prague and guess what, we have a video about Vysehrad as well!
A Brief History of Prague New Town
Prague New Town was founded by Bohemian king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV on March 8th, 1348. The New Town was surrounded by a 3,4 km gothic defense wall that you can still see from Vysehrad. There were also 4 gates that connected New Town with the Old Town of Prague. The reason for such a pricy endeavor was the rising population of Europen cities and the king's ambition to transform Prague into a modern capital. It was indeed a successful project as Prague grew to 40,000 people - the third biggest city in Europe at that time.
New Town, or Nove Mesto in Czech, has three main squares that still exist in Prague under different names: Horse Market square (known as Wenceslas Square), Cattle market square (Charles Square), and Senovazne Square (hay market in the past).
New Town was first inhabited by the people from nearby villages, who were encouraged to move there by Charles IV. The Czech king offered them help and financial benefits if they agree to build the stone houses there. As opposed to the rich inhabitants of the Old Town, New Town citizens were typically of a working-class and therefore often felt at odds with the decisions made by the Old town dwellers. This social difference sparked many conflicts, notably the Hussite War when two Prague quarters were essentially at war with each other.
During WW2, New Town was bombed by the American Airforces that were on their way to the Dresden Raid. This bombing is known as the Valentine's Day bombing as it happened on February 14th, 1945.
Nowadays, New Town is not perceived as a backward younger "sibling" of the Old Town, but rather as the affluent area of Prague city center.
Our Local Guide Tip
- Saw everything listed above? Head out to explore Albertov - a lovely quarter where a lot of students live.
- This one is not possible to go inside, but cool nevertheless - House of Faust. Yes, Czechs claimed that this famous character lived here, on the south side of Charles Square.
- Caffe Daruma in Prague New Town is our personal favorite :)
See more of our Prague Travel Tips.
Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.