So often, when we walked through the streets of Prague and talked about where we would go next, we’d almost always end up at Charles Bridge at some point in the day. Besides Old Town Square, Charles Bridge is the most tourist populated area of Prague, and with good reason. Following underneath Charles Bridge is The Vltava River, which separates Old Town from the Little Quarter and the Castle District. Along the Vltava River, there are several sights to see and beautiful views of the city. In this post, I’ll share where we walked along the river and the spots we had the best city views from.
We’ll start at Charles Bridge – it’s the most well known and popular place for visitors to cross the river. And with 30 statues lining the bridge on both sides, you can easily see why. Every few feet, you’re reminded of another piece of history as saints and kings surround you; it has the most unique atmosphere and is a major landmark in the city.
During my stay in Prague, we walked across Charles Bridge several times. But the morning we went to the bridge to enjoy it for itself, we were greeted by snow – and for folks from the southern part of the US where it never snows, the white fluff added a magical element to our morning. A little ways across the bridge, a live band played and sang songs in Czech and English. The band consisted of five men, one playing a upright bass, another a washboard, then a banjo, trumpet and clarinet. Snow gathered on the jackets and instruments as they played “Sweeping Through The Pearly Gates” and I enjoyed watching them play.
The Lessor Tower
Crossing Charles Bridge into the Little Quarter, you’ll walk through the gate of the Lessor Tower. Instead of continuing into the town, we went to the right side of the road and through an old wooden door into the tower. Above the door, a sign hung from two chains that said “entrance.” Inside, for a small fee of 100 Czech kcs per person, you could walk up to the top of the tower. The climb took us up some steep wooden stairs and at the end of each flight, there was a platform where you could rest and/or let others pass. At the top, you stepped out on the walkway which was built on the roof. With the turrets and bricks surrounding the edges, it was completely safe to walk around and take pictures. We went up to the Lessor Tower the same day we visited Charles Bridge when it snowed, and so all the buildings had snow on their red rooftops. So pretty! Now, you can also walk up the Old Town Bridge Tower on the other side of the bridge as well, but it was recommended to do the Lessor Tower because of the view you get with Charles Bridge, the Old Town Bridge Tower and the city behind it. Once we were up there, I understood why this vantage was so important. It looked just like a postcard!
Cechuv Bridge’s Torch Bearing Columns
Though Charles Bridge is the most significant bridge in Prague for tourists to visit, it isn’t the only one you should visit in Prague. On the Old Town side of the river, the second bridge to the right of Charles Bridge is Cechuv Bridge. Though this bridge is modern in appearance, it’s known for its torch bearing columns on each end. We walked here on our last day in Prague and actually crossed the bridge to get a picture down the river from the center. But… I couldn’t help but walk the whole way across so I could also take a picture of the giant metronome on the top of the hill.
The Giant Metronome
The Giant Metronome joined Prague’s landscape in 1991 and stands 75 feet. Though the steps leading up to it looked like a good climb, my crew was up for it so up we went! The cement steps had a lot of graffiti painted on them, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the area. In fact, I loved this cat!
Anyway, at the top of the hill you saw how large the metronome really is! It’s huge! If you’re not a music person and thinking you wouldn’t take the time to seek out this odd monument, I would also recommend the Giant Metronome as a great place for a panoramic view of the city. I spent quite a bit of time up there taking pictures. And incorporating the metronome in my shots gave them a neat element.
View Of The River
Before going down all the steps, take a short detour on the trail to the right (when you’re facing the river) and walk down to the area that offers a clear view of the river and Charles Bridge. It’s a great spot for a picture!
Conclusion: I’m so glad we spent time to walk around the river while we were in Prague. The Charles Bridge at night and in the daytime is worth the visit and going up in the Lessor Tower was one of my favorite sights in Prague. We went to see the Torch Bearing Columns and the Metronome on a different day and I was surprised how much I enjoyed being on that side of the “hill”. You would think in a place like this, you’d want to stay close to the historic centerpieces. Not so in Prague! If there’s a trail you’ve not been on, you should walk down it. If there’s a street you haven’t been on, detour and go down it. You never know what hidden treasures you’ll find!
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