It's Best To Be An Early Bird Or A Night Owl To Avoid The Crowds In Prague

Prague, Czechia (formerly known as the Czech Republic), also known as the "City of 100 Spires," has long turned heads for its historical significance, culture, and incredible architecture. Though multiple cities within driving distance of Prague like Dresden and Berlin suffered extensive damages during World War II, the historic buildings of Prague were largely unscathed. This makes it one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe. Prague again emerged from conflict after the fall of the Soviet Union and is now quite literally more colorful.

Prague's popularity is definitely deserved. Its imposing cathedrals, staunch sculptures, winding streets, and the iconic Charles Bridge flanked by massive Gothic towers are a sight to behold. However, enjoying these sights can be difficult due to the large volume of tourists in the town's biggest hotspots. Even still, there are moments of peace if you are willing to wake up early or stay out late to avoid crowds. Having the area mostly to yourself is worth losing a few hours of shut-eye.

Charles Bridge at sunrise offers crowd-free views

Perhaps the most iconic structure in Prague is the Charles Bridge (Karlův Most). Aside from the religious and historic statues that line each side, the 14th-century bridge offers views of other landmarks like the bridge's towers at each end and the Prague Castle (Pražský hrad), which is the largest ancient castle in the world. During the day, this bridge is so crowded that it is nearly impossible to get close to the statues without photobombing someone. Many tourists crossing the bridge are on large walking tours, given the fact that so many of Prague's landmarks are clustered together here. 

To walk along the Charles Bridge without hoards of tourists, wake up early and arrive at the bridge before sunrise. Not only will you be able to enjoy the bridge without the crowd, but also get gorgeous views of the Sun coming up over the city's many spires. You might even catch sunbeams shining right through the windows on the mint-green dome of the St. Francis of Assisi Church (Kostel sv. Frantiska z Assisi), located just feet from the bridge.

Prague lights up at night

Just 10 minutes from the Charles Bridge is Old Town Square (Staroměstské Náměstí), home of Prague's 15th-century Astronomical Clock (Pražský orloj) and the 14th- to 16th-century Church of Our Lady before Týn (Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem). Beating the crowds to the square by arriving early in the morning means that when you take a photo of the Astronomical Clock, there will not be so many other cameras in the air.

If early mornings are not your thing, try staying out late at night to see Prague's landmarks with fewer crowds. Prague illuminates landmarks in gold lights like the Prague Castle, Old Town Square, and the opulent National Theater (Národní divadlo). Crowds stick around for quite a while after sunset but eventually disperse. And don't worry too much about being out late at night in Prague. Czechia is among the world's safest countries, according to the Global Peace Index. Whether you choose to be an early bird or a night owl, Prague's public transportation can accommodate you. Trams run 24/7, but route numbers 51 to 59 are the only ones running in the early hours of the morning.