Prague from a bird
Prague from a bird's eye view

Prague from a bird's eye view: the best viewpoints

A sightseeing tour of Prague would not be complete without a bird’s eye view of its sights. Spires, red roofs, ancient bridges can be seen from observation decks.

The best viewpoints on a map

Viewpoints in Prague

Prague’s free observation decks

From the heights you can see different districts — Staré Město, Malá Strana and Vyšehrad. In clear weather, even the Krkonoše Mountains. Most importantly, you can see it all for free.

Walls of Prague Castle (Pražský hrad)

The most recognizable historical site is located on a high cliff. The bastion was used for crowning and burying rulers, searching for alchemical formulas, and protecting the city from fires.

There are two viewing platforms on the fortress grounds. One of them is free of charge. To get to it, walk from the entrance to the castle wall. From above you can see the red roofs of houses, courtyards and sights of Mala Strana, Petřín Hill.

View from the walls of Prague Castle to the Mala Strana district
View from the walls of Prague Castle to the Mala Strana district

Prague Castle is popular, but I didn’t see many people wanting to see the city. No one was in a hurry, you could take your time taking photos and panoramic shots.

  • Neighborhood: Hradcany.
  • How to get there: by metro to Malostranská station or by bus No. 22 or 23 to Pražský hrad stop.
  • Hours of operation: 6:00—22:00.
  • Cost: admission to Prague Castle and the observation deck is free, but there are paid routes in the area.

Petřín Hill (Petřín)

Not far from Prague Castle (1.7 km) is another hill — Petřín. Its height is 326 meters. You can climb to the top on foot, overcoming 299 steps, or you can get there in five minutes by cable car.

I recommend a walk. There will be different angles for photos along the way. If it takes too long to walk around the territory, you can go down by cable car.

There are free viewing spots at the top of the hill:

  • Kinskie Garden (observation deck);
  • Hunger Wall (steep slope);
  • Rose Garden (a park with 10,000 roses);
  • the ground next to the Petrin Tower.

From the hill you can see Prague Castle, Malostranska side, almost all the bridges of Prague.

The hill occupies a large space. It has parks, entertainment for children and the Petřínské terasy restaurant in a picturesque location.

  • Neighborhood: Hradcany.
  • How to get there: stairs to Petřín Hill near the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. Funicular from Ujezd station.
  • Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 11:20 p.m.
  • Cost: Cable car ride — CZK 24 (public transportation ticket applies).

Vyšehrad (Vyšehrad)

Historical hilltop fortress — the pearl of Prague on the same level as Prague Castle. Quiet and cozy complex without crowds of tourists. In the afternoon you can stroll through the park, relax in a café or listen to organ music in the Basilica of Peter and Paul (on Sunday, cost is CZK 100).

The observation deck runs along the entire perimeter of the bastion. The walls offer a panoramic view on four sides: the Old Town, residential areas, the Vltava River and Petřín Hill. In the evening you can see the sunset from the side of the hill.

  • Neighborhood: Vinohrady.
  • Vysehrad's website.
  • How to get there: by metro to Vyšehrad station, by streetcar No. 7, 8 or 24 to the Albertov stop, by streetcar No. 3, 7, 16, 17 to the Výtoň stop.
  • Hours of operation are November-March 9:00—17:00, April-October 9:00—18:00.
  • Cost: free of charge.

Paid observation decks in Prague

Prague’s paid observation decks are unique in that almost all of them are on top of historic buildings. Often the ticket price includes a visit to small museums.

Petřínská Tower (Petřínská rozhledna)

The highest point in Prague is the observation deck of the Petřín Tower on the hill of the same name. From this peak you can see not only the surrounding neighborhoods, but also the outskirts of the city.

The 378-meter-high cast-iron tower is a copy of the Eiffel Tower, but 54 meters higher. It appeared at the top in 1892. Inside there is a museum, an elevator and stairs to the observation deck. The cost of the ticket depends on what you take to get to the top.

  • Neighborhood: Hradcany.
  • Petrshine Tower website.
  • How to get there: the funicular leaves from Ujezd station and stops next to the tower.
  • Hours of operation: 10:00—22:00.
  • Cost: entrance ticket to the observation deck — 150 CRK, children under 15 years old — 80 CZK, elevator — 60 CRK (cash only), can be reached on foot.

Viewpoint of St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrála Sv. Víta)

Prague’s second highest observation deck in the cathedral is in the south tower. It is 96 meters high. To get to the top, you have to climb 300 steps. It is worth the effort. The view of the city and its surroundings will remain in your memory for a long time.

  • Neighborhood: Hradcany.
  • Cathedral website.
  • How to get there: by metro to the stop «Malostranska» or by bus #22 or 23 to «Prague Castle».
  • Hours of operation: 9:00—17:00.
  • Cost: 150 CRK. Tickets are sold at the temple kiosk.

Hanavský Pavilon (Hanavský Pavilion)

The observation deck with the most romantic view is located in Leten Gardens. The Ganav Pavilion looks unusual. The 1891 building is a former exhibition piece converted into an elevated restaurant.

In the warm season, a terrace is placed next to the pavilion, from which you can see almost all the bridges and both banks of the Vltava River. You don’t have to visit the restaurant to see it. You can go up, have a look and take a photo, then leave.

View of the Old Town from the foot of Letenskie Gardens
View of the Old Town from the foot of Letenskie Gardens

The pavilion is open longer than other viewing platforms (until 00:00) in the center of Prague. This is its advantage. After sunset, the lights on the shore are turned on and reflected in the water. The picture is picturesque.

  • Neighborhood: Hradcany.
  • Ganav Pavilion website.
  • How to get there: by metro to Malostranska station, by streetcar 15 and 17 during the day, by streetcar 93 at night to the Čechův most stop.
  • Hours of operation: 11:00—00:00.

Tower of the Old Town Hall (Staroměstská radnice)

The main decoration of the Old Town and the central square is the 14th century town hall with an astronomical clock. At the top (59 m) there is a viewing platform, from where you can see the whole historical part as if in the palm of your hand.

The top of the tower is reached by large inclined slabs (free of charge) and an elevator (for a fee). It is better to go up to the observation deck by elevator and down on foot.

The advantage of visiting the tower is the 360° view and fabulous views regardless of the season. In winter, the square where the legendary Christmas fair takes place is mesmerizing.

  • Neighborhood: Stare Mesto.
  • Old Town Hall website.
  • How to get there: by metro to Staroměstská station.
  • Open: the tower is open wt-us from 9:00 to 22:00 (town hall until 19:00), on Mondays from 11:00 to 22:00.
  • Cost: CZK 250, concessionary CZK 150.

Old Town Bridge Tower (Staroměstská mostecká věž)

At the entrance to Charles Bridge from Old Town Square, there is an observation tower at the very base. This ancient structure was used as a triumphal arch for kings, a prison (in the basement) and a siege building.

Old Town Bridge Tower
Old Town Bridge Tower

There is a door to the museum on the left side of the tower. Behind it, a staircase of 136 steps leads to a platform with a view of Prague Castle and the Malostranský district.

  • The museum’s website.
  • How to get there: by metro to «Staroměstská», by streetcar no. 2, 17, 18 to the stop of the same name.
  • Open: 10:00—22:00.
  • Cost: 100 CRK.

Žižkovská Television Tower (Žižkovská televizní věž)

In the Žižkov district stands a TV tower with a 360° observation deck and lounge chairs. It is the only location where you can use telescopes and see Prague in detail.

The height of the TV tower is 216 meters (observation tower at 93 meters). A high-speed elevator takes you to the desired place. The viewing range is 100 kilometers. Inside there is a restaurant (at 66 meters) and a hotel.

  • District: Žižkov.
  • Website of the Žižkov TV Tower.
  • How to get there: take the metro to Jiřího z Poděbrad or Flora, then walk.
  • Hours: 9:00—00:00.
  • Cost: 250 CRK.