Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)
The historic Charles Bridge (Karlův Most), was the only proper crossing between east and west Prague for centuries. The bridge has been a busy thoroughfare since it was built. Vehicles were admitted to the bridge at the beginning of the 20th century but have since been banned. Today the Charles Bridge is a popular pedestrian bridge that offers views over the Vltava River and old city center.
Make a point of using the bridge to cross over from the Lesser Town,to the Old Town. This is the former Royal Route, used in the time of Bohemian kings. As the bridge is a useful link between many of Prague’s attractions you will likely cross the bridge many times, and it never ceases to be a fascinating journey.
The bridge is almost 2,000 feet (600 meters) in length, close to 33 feet (10 meters) wide and is held up by 16 stone arches anchored in the Vltava River. Keep your camera ready, because a total of 30 statues flank each side of the bridge and the views are great. Most of these statues can be traced back to the 15th and 16th centuries; however, for posterity, they have since been replaced with replicas. You may see people touching the statues for luck. If you walk from east to west you get a full view of the Prague Castle as you cross the river.
By day the bridge is bustling. Performers, street vendors and artists create a vibrant atmosphere, merging modern culture with the rich history of the area. Take the walk across the bridge at sunrise for a more tranquil experience. The bridge is one of Prague’s most picturesque sights and is a popular walk for couples.
From the New Town, the Charles Bridge is best reached by tram while from the Old Town and the Lesser Town the bridge is easily reached on foot. The crossing is free and accessible year-round.