From the dazzling spires of Old Town Square to the cherry blossoms of Vinohrady, and bustling Wenceslas Square to the blissful back streets around Haštalské náměstí, discover the best 21 Prague squares in our guide here.
Exploring a few of the many Prague squares is a wonderful way to experience and savour the Czech capital. Everyone gets to see the most famous squares in the city, particularly the breathtaking Old Town Square and the retail heart around Wenceslas Square. But we thought it was time to show you some of the less-known squares in Prague, where you still get the architectural beauty, but not the crowds or high prices.
In our guide to the best 21 Prague squares, we show you our top four, before taking you on a tour of the various Prague districts – the Old Town, New Town, Mala Strana and three Prague suburbs – and showing you the best squares in each of these areas. Enjoy!
Prague Squares – Our Top 4
Old Town Square
The Square is dominated by the astonishing Gothic spires of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, a fairytale masterpiece that could almost have been concocted by the Brothers Grimm. It’s one of the finest churches in Prague, and again, one of the most iconic and beautiful churches in Europe.
You can see over 700 years of Prague architecture in the square, from the Stone Bell House and Tyn Church to the Baroque St Nicholas Church, Rococo Kinsky Palace and some fine Art Nouveau mansions.
Climb the Old Town Hall Tower for a bird’s eye view of the Square, the rooftops of the Old Town and the spires of St Vitus Cathedral. The famous Prague Astronomical Clock is at the base of the Tower, and always attracts a crowd in the run-up to it striking the hour, with its display of figures of the 12 Apostles.
How to get there: Staroměstská (Metro line A) or trams 2, 3, 17 and 18 from the tram stop of the same name. Bus 194 stops on the Square if heading east towards the New Town – if it’s running in the opposite direction, it stops about 150 metres away on Siroka.
See Also: Prague – City Of A Hundred Spires
Wenceslas Square – Vaclavske náměstí – is the busy commercial heart and hub of modern Prague, but it has also seen some of the most important events in Prague history. Perhaps most famously it was where vast protests finally brought down the hated Communist regime in 1989 after over 40 years of repressive rule.
The view up Wenceslas Square is dominated by the domed Czech National Museum – which is well worth a visit – and near the top you can also see the statue of (Good) King Wenceslas. If you explore the Lucerna Passage, reached just off the Square via Vodičkova. You’ll find an upside-down version of the same statue, the work of famous Czech artist David Černy.
Wenceslas Square has more of the feel – and shape – of a pedestrianized avenue than a Square. Trams cross it in the middle (between Jindřišská and Vodičkova), and there are traffic lanes either side of the pedestrian areas, but these are rarely busy. The upper section of the Square regularly plays host to one of the main Prague Christmas markets.
The Square has a wealth of things to see, especially if you want to discover some of Art Nouveau Prague. The Meran and adjacent W Hotel are fine examples, as is the Adamova pharmacy across the street. Deep below the Square, and the Hotel Jalta, the Cold War Museum Prague is set in a nuclear bunker meant to shelter military top brass in case of attack. And the 5-storey Bata shoe store at the bottom of the Square is the worldwide flagship store of this popular Czech brand.
One of the smallest Prague squares, Křižovnické náměstí forms part of the Royal Route between Prague Castle and the Old Town. It’s situated between the Old Town end of the Charles Bridge and Klementinum complex, just over five minutes’ walk from Old Town Square.
Wherever you look, the views in Křižovnické náměstí are amazing. Look east to the imposing Old Town Bridge Tower, one of the most iconic towers in Prague, the statues on the parapet of Charles Bridge and St Vitus Cathedral looming above Prague Castle.
Look north at the statue of King Charles IV, after whom the adjacent Bridge is named, and the dome of St Francis of Assisi Church, then west across the street to Baroque St Salvator’s Church, often the venue for classical music concerts.
The Old Town Bridge Tower is one of the best viewpoints in Prague, offering a stupendous view over K náměstí and the towers and spires of the Old Town in one direction, and the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle in the other. The 2, 17 and 18 trams all pass by as well.
See Also: 8 Of The Most Beautiful Bridges in Prague
How to get there: Staroměstská (Metro line A) or trams 2,3 , 17 or 18 to the stop of the same name, then a 3-4 minute walk.
Sometimes called Prague Castle Square, Hradčanské náměstí is one of the grandest Prague squares. It extends from the Castle past some of the finest palaces in Prague to a quiet park area with several benches, with two streets eventually leading you further into the Hradčany district.
The bottom end of the Square has some of the best views in Prague, looking over the Mala Strana skyline towards the Old Town in one direction and the Strahov Monastery in the other. As you ascend the hill, the Matthias Gate of Prague Castle is on your right, with the spires of St Vitus Cathedral visible above it.
You then pass the ornate white Rococo façade of the Archbishop’s Palace, and then the Renaissance-era Schwarzenberg Palace , which houses the Old Masters collection of the National Gallery Prague.
How to get there: Tram 22 to Pražský hrad (Prague Castle), and a 5-minute walk via the security gate, or the same tram to Pohořelec than an 8-10 minute downhill walk. Otherwise, take a walk up Nerudova or the Old Castle Stairs (Staré zámecké schody).
Prague Squares – Old Town
Malé náměstí – Little Square – really isn’t that small, and would enhance just about any historic European city. However, its name comes from its context – it’s like a modest antechamber compared to the vast ballroom of the Old Town Square, towards which it leads.
Like its better-known neighbour, it’s lined with grand townhouses, especially the Rott house, with its famous painted façade, on the east side of the square. Though quite why it was decided to stick the Hard Rock Café below it, I have no idea. It spoils the effect somewhat.
The square has sheltered outdoor tables,(and heated in winter), with prices a little below the exorbitant rates you pay on Old Town Square. There are also several galleries and craft shops along the square where we have found some great sculptures and figurines over the years.
How to get there: Staroměstská (Metro line A) , trams 2, 3, 17 and 18, then a short walk.
Three of the less famous squares in Prague can be found among the narrow lanes of the Old Town, and you can visit all of them in a short 250-metre walk. The first of these is Betlémské náměstí (Bethlehem Square), named after the imposing chapel on the north side of the square.
The austere Bethlehem Chapel was founded in the late 14th century, and the famous Bohemian priest and theologian Jan Hus whose statue is in Old Town Square) preached there until he was executed in 1415.
The original chapel was destroyed, and rebuilt by the atheist Communist regime in the 1950s. Their message of equality of all people, and communally held property, was used by the regime propagandists of the time to suggest that the Czech lands had a tradition of communism going back over 500 years – which is a classic example of totalitarian tweaking of history, and one of a great many at that.
Bethlehem Square has several cafes and restaurants, including an Italian one where you can dine al fresco in the warmer months. It also has several places to stay, ideal if you want somewhere quiet yet close to the most popular Prague sights.
How to get there: On foot is the only way – the Narodni divadlo (2, 3, 17, 18) tram stop is the closest, 200 metres away if you cut through the small park with Kranner’s Fountain.
This is the oldest marketplace in Prague, and trade has been going on there since 1232 – almost 800 years. It’s only a minute’s walk from Uhelny trh (see below).
On weekdays Havelské tržíště (Havelsky Market) is the place to go for fresh fruit, vegetables and other Czech produce. On weekends, the stalls are usually given over to Czech crafts and Prague souvenirs.
The fine Baroque church at the end of the Market is the Church of St Gallen, remodelled by the famous Baroque architect Jan Blazej Santini. The only way to see inside is to drop in shortly before the beginning of a service to have a look around.
How to get there: The nearest Metro stop is Můstek, 250 metres away. Otherwise it’s less than five minutes’ walk from Old Town Square.
This charming triangular square in the Old Town is situated between Betlémské náměstí and Havelska tržnice. As you leave the former, turn right at the hanging figure of Sigmund Freud – one of the best-known Prague statues – then second left along Skořepka, and you’re there.
The square’s name means ‘Coal Market’, though it was largely charcoal that was sold there, as opposed to hard coal. By the 19th century flowers and wreaths were sold there instead.
It’s one of the most intimate and atmospheric Prague squares, with a few cafes and bars and a central fountain, and my son and I often like to stop there for a few minutes. Surprisingly most of the buildings are relatively recent reconstructions of earlier townhouses. One of these bears a small plaque commemorating the overnight stay of a guest named W.A. Mozart in 1787.
How to get there: Můstek Metro (lines A and B) is a 200-metre walk away.
The area around Haštalské náměstí and St Agnes Convent is one of the most beautiful and peaceful in Prague. It’s only a few minutes’ walk east of Josefov, the Prague Jewish Quarter, but a whole different world of quiet narrow cobbled streets in the shadow of the Church of St Hastal.
The church was originally founded some time before 1234, though most of the present building dates from the Baroque era 400 years later. There are a couple of cafes and bars close to the square, but the best thing to do around there is wander the back streets. The main attraction for visitors is the Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia, now home to the National Gallery Prague’s collection of medieval art, and the Smallest House in Prague is a few doors along from the entrance.
How to get there: The incredibly useful 194 bus runs through the Old Town, stopping next to the square.
Náměstí Jana Palacha
This square next to the river and the Manes Bridge is named after Jan Palach, who died from burns after setting himself on fire in Wenceslas Square in 1969. He did this as an act of protest against the Soviet invasion following the Prague Spring in 1968, when some progressive reforms were introduced. He may also have been disillusioned about the Czech response to the invasion, which was largely one of despondency and resignation.
This Prague town square is dominated by the Rudolfinum, a 19th century, Renaissance revival concert hall that is home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In the small park, on the south side of the Manes Bridge, the Jan Palach Memorial consists of two sculptures – the lighter one symbolizes Palach, engulfed in flames, and the darker one his mother, torn apart by grief.
There is also a small plaque honouring Palach on the wall of the Charles University Faculty of Arts, which is on the Old Town (east) side of the Square.
How to get there: Staroměstská (Metro line A) is less than a minute’s walk away, as is the stop for the 2, 17 and 18 trams. The 194 bus also stops there.
Prague Squares – New Town
In comparison with many European cities, Prague suffered relatively little material damage during World War II. Much of the destruction was wrought in error when a US bomber squadron had a navigational mishap and dropped their payload on Prague, believing it to be the German city of Dresden.
One of the most damaged areas was around Palackeho náměstí and neighbouring Náměst Pod Emauzy. The square, a busy riverside transport hub, ís mostly modern, and dominated by a rather stern-looking statue of historian Frantisek Palacky, who played a major part in promoting Bohemian and Czech history, and building a Czech national consciousness while the region remained part of the Habsburg Empire.
While there, walk a few metres down the hill from the square to the gardens to see the exterior of the Emmaus Monastery, with its unusual twisting spires. The church was restored in the 1960s, and some wonderful 14th century frescoes in the cloister somehow survived the 1945 air raid.
How to get there: Metro line B to Karlovo náměstí – remember to follow the signs to the Palackeho náměstí exits. Otherwise, trams 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 16, 17 and 18 all stop there.
Náměstí Republiky – Republic Square – is one of the busiest Prague squares, and forms the boundary between the Old and New Towns. The most prominent buildings are at the southern end, with the 15th century Powder Tower one of the best viewpoints in Prague, and the Municipal House (Obecni dum) next door, one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in Europe.
The rest of the square is devoted to shopping. The vast Palladium mall sits across the street from Kotva, a rare relic from the Czechoslovaks’ dabbles with Brutalism in the 1960s and 1970s.
How to get there: Náměstí Republiky Metro line B, or trams 1, 6, 8, 15 or 26.
See Also: Municipal House Restaurant Prague Review – dining out in a sumptuous Art Nouveau setting
This popular New Town Prague square next to the Vltava river is named after the Czech writer Alois Jirasek, who wrote historical novels in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He also took part in the declaration of Czechoslovak independence on 28th October 1918, as the Habsburg Empire fell apart just before the end of the First World War.
The square draws a steady stream of visitors because it’s the setting of the Dancing House, one of the best-known Prague landmarks and the first major building to appear in Prague after the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
The Dancing House was partly designed by Canadian-American architect Frank O. Gehry, and its unusual shape and lines give a foretaste of what he later did at the more famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. From some angles it resembles a dancing couple, with the narrow glass part resembling a woman’s waist. One of the most common Prague tourist rituals is posing for photos in front of it, Leaning Tower of Pisa-style, appearing to hold up the building.
How to get there: The 5 and 17 trams stop next to the square. The nearest Metro stop is Karlovo náměstí
Karlovo náměstí – Charles Square – is the largest square in Prague, essentially a series of two parks intersected by a busy road through the middle. The gardens are a pleasant, shady place to stop for a while, perhaps for a takeaway lunch.
It was founded by King Charles IV upon the establishment of the New Town, and was originally used as a large cattle market.
It’s not the most compelling of squares in Prague, but has two outstanding buildings. The New Town Hall is one of the hidden gems of Prague, both for its ornate interior and rarely visited tower, which offers a great view over the rooftops of Prague New Town. The building is widely known as the setting for the first Defenestration of Prague, when followers of Jan Hus threw some Catholic officials from the upper windows.
The other striking building on the square is the early Baroque church of St Ignatius, dating from the late 17th century.
How to get there: Karlovo náměstí Metro (line B), trams 2, 3, 10, 16, 22 or a 5-minute walk up the gentle hill from the Dancing House.
Prague Squares – Mala Strana
Na Kampe (’On Kampa’) is a gorgeous oval-shaped square on Kampa Island, at the foot of a grand flight of stairs down from the Charles Bridge. It is lined with fine old townhouses, with a few cafes and restaurants where you can while away some time at the tables outside.
It is also the venue for markets and other small events throughout the year. One of the best times to see it is around Christmas, when a few stalls are huddled together around the Christmas tree, one of the smallest and most intimate Prague Christmas markets.
How to get there: Tram 22 to Malostranske náměstí, then a 5-minute walk down Mostecka. Otherwise it’s just down the stairs from the Charles Bridge.
Malostranske náměstí – Lesser Town Square Prague
This fine square, the hub of Mala Strana, the ‘Lesser Quarter’, sits on the Royal Route between Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. The Route runs down the hill along Nerudova, passing along the upper section of the Square and around St Nicholas Church to the lower half of the Square and, via Mostecka, the Charles Bridge.
The elegant Baroque St Nicholas Church dominates the square, and it’s one of the most beautiful of all churches in Prague. It was built between 1704 and 1755 on the site of an earlier Gothic church, and one of the major Prague Baroque architects, Kilian Ignaz Dietzenhofer, worked on the second stage of the church.
The Church’s tower – officially the St Nicholas Town Belfry – is one of the best towers to visit in Prague, and you can visit the tower keeper’s rooms, the superb viewing gallery and the room at the top used by Soviet spies for surveillance on several local embassies during the Cold War.
How to get there: Trams 12, 15, 20 and 22 stop in the Square, as does bus 194 to and from the Old Town. The nearest Metro stop is Malostranska, 5-6 minutes’ walk away.
Prague Squares – Hradcany (Castle District)
This Hradčany square is a short walk up Loretanska – one of the most beautiful Prague streets – from Hradcanske náměstí. It’s one of the quieter Prague squares, with the ornate Baroque Loreta church and its row of cherub statues the main landmark.
Further up the hill, the Černinsky Palace is one of the most significant Prague World War 2 sites, as it housed the office of Reinhard Heydrich, Acting ‘Protector’ of Bohemia and Moravia and mass murderer who was assassinated in 1942. It now serves as the office of the Czech Foreign Ministry.
Walk past the statue of wartime Czechoslovak Prime Minister Edvard Beneš and down the hill towards the simple church of St Mary and the Angels and the Capuchin monastery. Continue down the narrow, cobbled Černinska street, and at the bottom you’ll find Novy Svět, one of the most enchanting streets in Prague, far from the tourist crowds.
How to get there: Tram 22 to Pohořelec, then a 3-4 minute walk.
Prague Squares – Vinohrady
Peace Square is an important Prague main square in the lower part of Vinohrady. It’s essentially a lovely park within a large roundabout, with the twin-spired 19th century Gothic church of St Ludmila drawing the eye.
The park’s flower beds are beautifully kept, and in springtime the many blossom trees make it one of the loveliest Prague squares. It frequently hosts events, including Christmas and Easter markets.
While there, take a look at the Art Nouveau façade of the Vinohrady Theatre, just to the left of the church.
How to get there: Náměstí Míru Metro (line A) or trams 4, 10, 13, 16 and 22 stop there.
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad – King George of Poděbrady Square – in the Vinohrady suburb is named after the 15th century Bohemian King who was admired for his good treatment of Catholic subjects following earlier conflicts.
This famous square in Prague is overlooked by two of the best-known 20th century buildings in the city. The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, in the centre of the square, was designed by Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik, whose work in Ljubljana has just been given World Heritage status. It’s a magnificent modern church, built to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the death of St Wenceslas in 1929.
The other major Prague landmark visible from the square is the Žižkov TV Tower, which is very close by on Mahlerovy sady.
The square – sometimes referred to as ‘JZP’ by expat locals – is especially beautiful if you’re in Prague in springtime when the avenue of magnolia trees is in full bloom. Regular markets are also held in the square, serving some excellent food.
How to get there: Jiřího z Poděbrad (line A) Metro and trams 11 and 13; trams 10 and 16 call at the Vinohradska vodarna stop a 3-4 minute walk away.
Prague Squares – Karlin
Karlinske náměstí is the main square in the riverside Karlin district in Prague 8. It’s a large open park with a children’s playground and exercise area, dominated by the 19th century Catholic church of SS Cyril and Methodius. Don’t confuse it with the Orthodox Cathedral dedicated to the same Slavic saints, where the famous shootout between the Nazis and assassins of Reinhard Heydrich took place in June 1942.
The other landmark visible from the square is the National Monument to the Czechoslovak Legion, on the Vitkov Hill behind the church. The equestrian figure is Jan Žižka, a Hussite general and Czech national hero, who won a battle on this hill in 1420.
Karlinske náměstí is also regularly used for farmers’ markets and food festivals.
Getting there: Trams 3, 8 and 24 stop on the corner of the square.
Prague Squares – Holešovice
Strossmayerovo náměstí is the busy hub of Holešovice, where trams clank and rattle past from all four directions through the day and evening. If you approach from the Old Town (on the number 17 tram) look right just after the stop named after the square and you’ll see the striking Gothic Revival church of St Anthony of Padua. Its façade is very similar to the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, just across the river in Old Town Square.
There’s not a great deal to do in Strossmayerovo náměstí itself – other than perhaps stop by for a coffee at the excellent Kafe Francin – but the church is one of the underrated landmarks of Prague, and it makes for an impressive sight as you wait for your onward tram connection, perhaps up to Letna Park or Prague Zoo.
The square is named after Croatian bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, who was also a theologian and politician who promoted co-operation between Slavic peoples in Europe.
How to get there: Trams 1, 6, 8, 12, 17 and 25 all stop on the square. The nearest Metro stop is Vltavska, one tram stop down the hill on the 1, 12 or 25.