10 Spots for taking Breathtaking photos of the Charles Bridge in Prague

With its foundation laid in 1357, the Charles Bridge is the oldest bridge in Prague spanning the River Vltava. It is a symbol of the Czech Republic and one of the city’s most iconic sights, making it a hotspot for tourists. Since more than 8 million people visit Prague every year, it is safe to assume that most of them will end up walking the gorgeous 500 meter-long cobblestone bridge. With this being said, It can get pretty difficult to find the best spots to photograph the Charles Bridge if you have never been to Prague before. Lucky you, I have been living in this city for more than 5 years and I have had a good amount of time to find the most perfect places to take photos of this incredible landmark. Here are the best places to take photos of the Charles Bridge!

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1 • Kampa Island in Malá Strana

Malá Strana is the area of Prague located at the bottom of the Prague Castle that borders the Vltava River. There is a lovely city island between the river and its side branch, Čertovka that is known as Kampa. Known as one of the most beautiful city islands in the world, Kampa offers incredible views of the Charles Bridge. You can take incredible photos there while swans and boats pass by. The best time to go there is during sunset when the sky turns into incredible warm colors!

Keep in mind that this is one of the most touristic areas in the city so if you prefer to experience this romantic area without crowds, go during sunrise or at least early morning!

2 • Legion Bridge

The Legion Bridge (called Most Legií in Czech) is a granite bridge between the National Theatre and the street of Újezd. It is right next to the Charles Bridge but without the same crowds! You can snap pretty pictures from it and capture the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle in their full glory! There is also a tram line going on Most Legií, offering picturesque views across the river.

3 • Střelecký Island

From the Legion Bridge, you can get to Střelecký Island (or Střelecký Ostrov in Czech, meaning Archer’s Island). This beautiful island is located in the heart of Prague, right in the middle of the Vltava river. Střelecký Ostrov offers charming views over the Charles Bridge. It is a unique place to take photos of the city from different angles. Sometimes, concerts and open-air festivals are held there, so put this place on your do-not-miss list!

4 • Charles Bridge’s Towers

Three impressive towers are framing both sides of the Charles Bridge. Called the Old Town Bridge Tower (Staroměstská mostecká věž) and the Lesser Town Bridge Towers (Malostranské mostecké věže), they are all open to the public. You can climb up the Old Town Bridge Tower and get a stunning view of the Old Town, the Charles Bridge and the Vltava River The entry fee is 100 CZK or 70 CZK if you are a student.  

One of the Lesser Town Bridge Towers and also the taller of the two, the Late Gothic Tower, is based on the architecture of the Old Town Bridge Tower. From its viewing gallery, you can also enjoy a bird’s eye view over the Charles Bridge. This tower’s entry fee is the same as the previous tower.

If you want to find more breathtaking viewpoints in Prague and the opening hours for both towers you can check out my article called Best Rooftop Views in Prague and Where to Find Them.

5 • Mánes Bridge

The Mánes Bridge (called Mánesův most in Czech) is the other bridge with Most Legií that surrounds the Charles Bridge. Mánesův most connects the Rudolfinum to the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana) and offers perfects views over the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. The concrete bridge is named after the Czech painter Josef Mánes.

6 • Pavillon Hanavský

Pavillon Hanavský is a neo-Baroque luxury restaurant located on the Letná hill, overlooking the river. From there, you can get one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the Prague bridges included the famous Charles Bridge. Not far from the Pavillon, you can grab a drink at one of the prettiest beer gardens in the city.

7 • From a Boat!

One of the nicest views of the Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge is from the river directly. Thankfully, you don’t have to swim in the Vltava (I don’t recommend doing this in Prague’s city center, the water is pretty gross!) One of the best summer activities in Prague is to hire a pedal or rowing boat and wander around the river while admiring fantastic views of the Old Prague. If you want to be romantic, there are even some swan-shaped boats for rent. Prices vary from 200 CZK to 300 CZK and above depending on how many people and how long you want to get cruisin’ for.

To find the rent-a-boat places you can go on the Slavonic Island (Slovanský Ostrov) near the National Theater or by the Charles Bridge.

8 • Smetanovo Nábřeží

Smetanovo Nábřeží is the right riverbank of the Vltava River located between two bridges – Legion Bridge and Charles Bridge. Named after the famous classical composer Bedřich Smetana, the riverbank is actually part of Prague flood protection. Since it is right in the center, it is quite touristy. However, the views over the Charles Bridge and the Castle are absolutely incredible.

9 • Petřín Lookout Tower

Located on the Petřín Hill, the Petřín Lookout Tower (Petřínská Rozhledna in Czech) overlooks the whole city of Prague and nearly all of Bohemia. You guessed it, it also offers lovely views on the Charles Bridge. Its creation was inspired by the Eiffel Tower but on a much smaller scale because it is only 63.5 meters high. It is a famous landmark of Prague and it costs 150 CZK to climb all the way up the 299 steps.

10 • On the Bridge Itself

I couldn’t make a list of the best spots to take breathtaking photos of the Charles Bridge without including the bridge itself! Victim of its success, this city icon is always crowded so if you want to take photos on it, you should go as soon as sunrise or during the night. Fun fact; did you know that most of the statues that line the Charles Bridge are replicas? When first built, the bridge was pretty plain and not really ostentatious. It is only with the rise of baroque architecture that statues and plaques were added in the late 17th century and up to the early 20th century.

Fun fact: the Charles Bridge has survived many floods but not the sandstone statues which were replaced by convincing copies over the years!

Have you been to Prague? What was your favorite photo spot? Let me know in the comments below!

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