For all the romantic souls and admirers of the Baroque architecture a walk around the narrow alleys of Prague Lesser Town will be an unforgettable experience! The flow of time suddenly slows down its pace and you will step into a fairy tale just within a blink of an eye.
Lesser Town has also a very romantic location – it stretches just underneath the Prague castle along the Vltava river bank. It is one of the oldest and most impressive parts of Prague and enchants not only turists but also locals with its churches, palaces and other monuments. If you are looking for some peace of mind you will adore its charming gardens and orchards, including the Petřín Hill. Lesser Town is also an address of important Czech state institutions (both Chambers of Parliament, the Office of the Government, three ministries) and embassies.
Prague Lesser Town – history
Prague Lesser Town is in fact older than the first look suggests. The reason behind it is a devastating fire that destroyed the entire neighborhood in the 16th century. The previous structures were mostly of wooden construction and were replaced by ostentatious Baroque buildings – style popular in that era. Lesser Town became the official part of Prague in the 18th century but managed to preserve its spell. Official annexing to the city had an impact on the development of infrastructure, however in order to preserve the architectural gems, the car and public transport traffic is limited until nowadays.
Rule Nr. 1: No rush!
Lesser Town can be compared to a picturesque village located just in the heart of Prague. And village-like is also the flow of life here – rather slow and without any hustle in comparison with the rest of the city. This neighborhood literally lures you to idling, so let yourself enjoy every minute of your stroll.
Our tip: How should an ideal day spent in Lesser Town really look like?
Wake up before sunrise and go to the Charles bridge – a gateway to the Lesser Town. At this early hour you will get a unique chance to experience an amazing view of Prague panorama before all the streets get crowded. Stroll also around the Kampa island and enjoy the luxury of the slow start of the day. Have a coffee and proper breakfast in one of the local cafés and watch the dawn changing lazily into a bright day.
Get your camera ready
When taking the main touristy routes you will basically not let go off your camera shutter button. When crossing the Charles bridge, you will be already taken aback by the amazing atmosphere of the place. Local craftsmen, musicians and splendid views will work its magic on you. Lesser Town offers however also plenty of charming baroque corners where you can have a rest – Čertovka, John Lennon’s wall, top of the Wallenstein Square or Jánský vrch.
Lesser Town is also a very alive neighborhood throughout the whole year. From spring to autumn, at Petřín, Střelecký ostrov and Kampa Park, one cultural event changes the other. For example, on the Kampa island you stumble upon thematic gourmet markets regularly combined with wine and cheese tasting. In the nearby park the spring tradition of burning witches comes to life every last day of April. Střelecký ostrov gets crowded in the summer by thousands of fans of the music festival United Islands.
When visiting Lesser Town during the summer, make sure you spend at least one lazy afternoon on the Petřín hill. Take a basket full of goodies and a blanket and just enjoy the views on the vibrant city stretching below your feet. Petřín is also a great destination when planning a trip to Prague with children. Mirror maze, Hungry Wall, an observatory, but also several new playgrounds and fantastic sandstone rocks will keep your children busy for the whole afternoon.
From Petřín hill continue to Nerudova Street. When in there, do not forget to touch the toes of the giants supporting the balcony of the Romanian embassy. According to the old legend, they will give you strength.
In case you had a heavy lunch and prefer not to walk, find yourself a place by the river under the Charles Bridge. Take your shoes off and put your feet in the Vltava river. You will feel how it will swing with you when a steamer boat passes by. Or you get an ice-cream, rent a pedal boat and paddle around the Střelecký island.
During the winter, stop by at any of the churches and palaces with meticulously decorated interiors. If the winter shows its power and the temperature outside reaches below zero, challenge yourself and get up several hundred stairs to any of the Lesser Town tower. A proper workout will be rewarded by a magnificent view on the red rooftops of Lesser Town.
To conclude your daily adventure in Lesser Town have a proper dinner in any of the restaurants in Újezd. Wide selection of Czech and international dishes with quality service will satisfy your taste buds after the eventful day.
Do you have some more traveler’s tips on activities in Prague Lesser Town? Share with us in comments below!