9 Off-the-Beaten Track Things to Do in Prague
Originally published on PassionPassport.com
Prague draws visitors in for many reasons, including its many mysterious and hidden qualities. If you’re hoping to see a different, more intriguing side of the Czech capital, peel yourself away from Old Town Square and check out these nine other, off-the-beaten-path options.
TAKE IN A SHOW AT A BLACK LIGHT THEATER
Though this type of theatrical performance originated in Asia, it found a niche home in the capital of the Czech Republic. The unique shows utilize black lights and fluorescent costumes to create visual illusions magnified by rhythmic dance and acrobatics. A variety of black-light companies exist in Prague today, offering imaginative shows that include everything from lively musicals to a reimagined “Alice in Wonderland” tale.
GO STATUE-HUNTING AROUND THE CITY
Take a short walk around Prague and you’re bound to see a statue or two. There’s Jan Hus in Old Town Square, Franz Kafka in the Jewish Quarter, Wenceslas overlooking New Town, and those eerie babies crawling up the Zizkov TV Tower. If you’re up for a challenge, see just how many different statues you can find as you explore the city. And don’t forget to look up too — there might just be one hanging above your head as you walk through the winding streets of Old Town.
LISTEN TO SOME SMOOTH JAZZ
Even communist rule couldn’t squash out the rhythm of jazz in Prague. Jazz in the Czech capital dates back to the 20s and 30s when Jaroslav Ježek and Rudolf Antonín Dvorský popularized the genre, and it continued to grow, becoming an underground favorite of intellectuals and rebellious youths alike. Today, jazz establishments of all shapes and sizes dot the town, so pick a club, grab a drink, and enjoy the music.
CATCH A MOVIE AT ONE OF THE ARTHOUSE THEATERS
Looking to take in the latest blockbuster or indie? Instead of attending a showing at one of the large, modern cinemas throughout the city, head to one of the remaining arthouse theaters. These small, intimate venues are remnants of the burgeoning Czech film era of the 60s but screen the latest releases from around the world. Because the main arthouse theaters (Kino Aero and Bio Oko) play English-language movies, you won’t even have to rely on your shaky Czech skills to understand the plot!
HIT UP THE FARMERS MARKET
This local favorite draws vendors and visitors from around the city every weekend and displays the best of Czech culture and cuisine. What’s better than that? Jiřího z Poděbrad features traditional Czech staples, fresh produce and meat, wine and cheese, and even plants. Don’t forget to chat with the vendors while you’re there!
SEE A PERFORMANCE AT THE ATRIUM
In Žižkov, one of Prague’s up-and-coming neighborhoods, you can head to the Atrium for a night of classical music. This former Baroque church was saved from destruction in the 70s and converted to an intimate concert space seating only 120 lucky patrons. Instead of paying top dollar (or, koruna) for a show at one of the city’s pricier venues, don your evening clothes for a night at the less expensive, but no less lovely, Atrium.
EXPLORE THE CITY’S MAGICAL SIDE
Not only was Prague once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, but throughout the 16th century, it also served as the unofficial capital of the dark arts. During this time, occult science hit peak popularity, and alchemists, sorcerers, and magicians practiced their craft under the patronage of their ruler, Rudolf II. Today, dip into the mystical at the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians of Old Prague, a fantastical, but historical exhibit tucked away right off Old Town Square.
HEAD TO KOLBENKA FLEA MARKET
Though located on the outskirts of Prague, the largest flea market in Europe is well worth the short metro ride out of the city center. About 20 Czech crowns (roughly one USD) will grant you entrance to this massive open-air market, where you’ll find antiques, paintings, furniture, and artifacts from the Czech Republic’s past. For an afternoon of interesting people-watching and possible souvenir-hunting, Kolbenka is the perfect spot.
RELAX AMONG PEACOCKS AT WALLESTEIN GARDEN
After exploring the entirety of the Prague Castle complex, make a pit stop in Wallestein Garden, right below the Castle grounds. Here, you’ll find bronze sculptures, manicured lawns and topiaries, fountains, plenty of benches, and even a peacock or two. Find a seat and break out a book, look through your photos, or take a nap in this peaceful recluse in Prague’s Mala Strana district. Just don’t fall asleep for too long — there’s much more to see in this incredible city!