(last edited: 19 Jul 2019.)
Prague is very attractive by day, but the Czech capital city is also beautiful at night.
By day, visitors are out and about, moving from one attraction to another. At night, sounds from pub crawls and pre-wedding parties seem to fill the air.
A closer look reveals a romantic side to the city with silent streets and half-empty plazas. A yellow glow settles like a warm and welcoming halo, softening the sharp lines of centuries-old architecture, and smoothing over cobbled stones embedded in old neighbourhood streets.
It’s easy to forget a significant part of central Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the following five locations to view the city at night provide great reminders. Don’t ignore the illuminated city after dark, which is still very safe, and don’t forget to bring your camera when journeying out at night.
All five locations are accessible with the city’s DPP public transport.
- Hradčany (Castle District)
- Letenské sady (Letná park)
- Smetanovo nábřeží (Smetana Embankment)
- Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square)
- Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery)
1. Hradčany (Castle District)
A climb up the steps to the hill on which the castle sits gives way to a view of the Old Town and New Town along a stretch of the Vltava river. However, those who venture a little farther into the district are rewarded with scenes of cobblestone streets and the Castle and surrounding buildings bathed in warm yellow light.
Public transport: Tram 22 or 23, to stop “Pražský hrad” (Prague Castle) or stop “Pohořelec”.
2. Letenské sady (Letná park)
The giant metronome is at the same location where a giant statue of Stalin once loomed over the city. This green space can be easily reached from Old Town Square, and the almost 180-degree view stretches from Vitkov Hill through Old Town and across the bridges to Mala Strana and Petrin hill.
Public transport: Tram 15 or 17, to stop “Čechův most” (Cech’s Bridge).
3. Smetanovo nábřeží (Smetana Embankment)
The east-flank of the Vltava river just south of the Charles Bridge provides many places to make your own postcard-style photograph of Prague Castle and of Charles Bridge. A visit to the Charles Bridge and the Legion Bridge will supply more opportunities for night-time scenes.
Public transport: Tram 2, 9, 18, 22, or 23, to stop “Národní divadlo” (National Theatre).
4. Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square)
It might surprise some to know that this square, while very busy by day, is almost empty at night. The Old Town Hall Tower and the double spires of the Church of Our Lady Upon Tyn dominate the view, but illumination of the surrounding architecture and the Jan Hus memorial sculpture provide additional historical elements.
Public transport: Metro A (green line) to stop “Staroměstská” (Old Town).
5. Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery)
Not far from Castle District Square is Strahov Monastery. The monastery itself is closed at night, but the open area just east of the main gate lies along the side of Petrin hill. Along a walkway below the Bellavista restaurant is a small clearing with a view of the Little Quarter, Old Town, and beyond.
Public transport: Tram 22 or 23, to stop “Pohořelec”.
Thanks to Steph Walden and Mashable for including my tips about some of the best nighttime spots for photography in Prague (9 Jul 2015). I made all of the above photos between 2008 and 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-3B8.