Prague is one of those historic European cities where there are so many things to see and do that you could easily spend 4 nights there for a city break. Whether travelling solo, as a couple, with friends or as a family the city is a real all-rounder offering something for everyone.
The Charles Bridge
Every city in the world has its unique landmark, the one that makes a city instantly recognisable. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York the Statue of Liberty and as for Prague? It has the Charles Bridge.
Spanning an impressive 520 metres (1,700 feet) the cobblestone bridge is constructed with 16 arches and crosses the Vltava river, Czech Republic’s longest river.
History of the Charles Bridge
Despite being historic, the Charles Bridge you see today isn’t the original bridge within Prague. It was built to replace the old Judith Bridge which was constructed in 1158 and finished in 1172. After the Judith Bridge was damaged by a flood in 1342 the Charles Bridge was commissioned by Charles IV with work starting in 1357 and finishing 45 years later in 1402.
Crossing the Bridge
If you are planning to visit the Charles Bridge we advise you to head there early to beat the crowds. Being such a key destination of the city it is a real tourist trap. If you arrive too late in the day you’ll be jostling with other people to get the best views and photo opportunities along with being repeatedly asked to take a photo of other tourists!
From the bridge you can get some pretty great views of Prague Castle and the Vltava river.
On the bridge itself you’ll find painters, the occasional food stand and people selling souvenirs, all competing for your custom.
Charles Bridge Statues
The most talked about aspect of the bridge are of course the 30 Baroque statues of religious figures which stand tall on both sides of the bridge and span its full length.
I’m not going to list out all 30 of them here as there are plenty of online resources giving far more interesting information than a simple list.
Charles Bridge Towers
At both ends of the Charles Bridge you’ll find a tower. They are both equally impressive to look at and both are open to the public for a small fee so you’ll need to pick which one to visit!
Old Town Bridge Tower
The Old Town Bridge Tower is of Gothic construction and being located on the Old Town side of the bridge offers great views of the Old Town itself.
Lesser Town Bridge Tower
On the opposite side of the bridge you’ll find the Lesser Town Bridge Tower which again for a small fee offers you a great view of the bridge, the river and the city.
Charles Bridge at Night
At night the Charles Bridge takes on a really magical feel. The bridge towers are lit up as is Prague Castle on the hill which offers some amazing views – unfortunately our nighttime photography wasn’t quite up it in the low light but take our word for it that an evening stroll across the bridge is well worth your time.
Not only is Prague one of our favourite cities in Europe for its culture but also because it’s so cheap to stay here. The hotels aren’t overly pricey, the beer and wine is really affordable and a meal for two won’t ring a tear to your eye.
We absolutely love Prague and the Charles Bridge should be right up there on your list of things to experience in life. Make sure you take the time to visit this incredible city.
Are you heading to Prague this year and planning to visit the Charles Bridge? Have you been before? Let us know in the comments below!