Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti)
The Old Town Square (Staroměstské Náměstí) was once the thriving city center of Prague. Today it remains just as busy, and is the location of many must-see Prague attractions. The square is an excellent starting point for your Prague visit as it allows you to get a sense of the city’s rich history, purchase maps and information guides and grab a coffee at one of the square’s outdoor dining establishments.
Soak up the atmosphere of traditional Europe as you walk between the pastel-colored shops and restaurants that surround the square. The vibrant square is always filled with street performers, artists and tour guides.
Take in the 360-degree view of some of Prague’s most iconic architectural styles from the center of the square or the lookout towers. The Gothic Týn Church, the baroque St. Nicholas Church and the medieval Astronomical Clock are the big draws. Be sure to be in the square on the hour to see the spectacle of its famous clock on the Old Town Hall.
The polished cobbled surface of the square has seen centuries of foot traffic and a gripping history. Find the 27 white crosses marked in the stones, each a memorial to a martyr beheaded following the Battle of White Mountain.
Look up at the bronze statue of Jan Hus and learn about this local preacher who was excommunicated by the pope and burnt at the stake in 1415. He had a message that still resonates today: “Love each other and wish the truth to everyone.” His death triggered an uprising, the Hussite Wars.
Pick up some gifts or local produce at the square’s seasonal markets. The most iconic of these are the Christmas and Easter markets, held for three weeks in the lead-up to both holidays.
Old Town Square is centrally located and easily reached by tram, metro or on foot from most other historic attractions in Prague. Because the area is very busy, guard your possessions as pickpockets are known to operate in the area.