Current Time


see + do

View As:
‹ Previous | Next ›

Editors' Pick
Save For Later

Old Town Square (Staroměstské Náměstí), Prague's insider take:

Old Town Square (Staroměstské Náměstí) is the heart of historic Prague and has more gawk-worthy points per square foot than just about any other location in town. Start with the soaring black towers of Týn Church, a flagship of Gothic architecture that was begun in 1461. Enter the church via the arcade on the north side and you'll find the grave of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who arrived in Prague in 1599 and is credited with the most accurate planetary maps of his time.

Two doors away is the pink Kinský Palace, an intricate Baroque construction that once housed the German grammar school attended by little Franz Kafka. The building now holds a posh wine restaurant and an exhibition of the National Gallery's 19th-century landscape paintings (420-224-810-758; Another Baroque landmark in Old Town Square is the white Church of St. Nicholas, on the northwest corner. Though discreet by the standards of Prague Baroque, it overwhelms the tiny Kafka Square next door, which marks the spot of the author's birth.

At the other end of the square, to the south, is the Old Town Hall (Staroměstská Radnice), whose tower contains the celebrated astronomical clock called the Orloj, a symbol of Prague since its creation in 1410. Every hour, crowds gather to watch the clockwork morality play, in which a skeleton tolls a death knell and overturns an hourglass while the 12 apostles parade past, a rooster crows, a Turk nods his head, and the bells toll the hour. The presence of death isn't just allegorical here: The Habsburgs executed 27 rebellious Bohemian nobles at Old Town Hall in 1621, marking the beginning of centuries of brutal oppression of national and religious dissent. Despite its grim history, Old Town Square remains a popular meeting point. It becomes especially festive during the annual Christmas and Easter markets, a celebration of only-in-Europe arts and crafts, hot pastries, sausage stands, mulled wine, and holiday concerts.

User Reviews

write a review ›

Be the first to write a review of Old Town Square (Staroměstské Náměstí) and share your tips with the community.

Write a Review
*The Daily Traveler: The day's best travel tips, secrets, and news that won't wait.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›


Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions


Send  to your phone!

Don’t show this box again.
This information will be sent directly to your phone and waiting for you in a text message. Simple click on the url in that message or browse on your phone.
Need more help? Our FAQ may contain the answer you need.
Never want to type in your cell phone number again?
Register now with and you'll be able to save your number and enjoy other great features like this.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement , Privacy Policy, and mobile terms and conditions. Standard text messaging rates apply.