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Vltava River
Vltava River

Vltava River

Vltava, Czech Republic

The Basics

As it runs through Prague, the Vltava River’s most famous sight is the 14th-century Charles Bridge, lined with looming statues, buskers, and souvenir sellers. Many city tours include river cruises, which afford the perfect vantage point for views of hilltop Prague Castle, the church spires in Malá Strana, and the towers of the Staré Mĕsto. Most cruises start from beneath the Charles Bridge.

Turning north through the heart of the city, cruisers pass the Rudolfinum and National Theater, the Strahov Monastery (Strahovský klášter), and the giant metronome in Letná Park (Letenské sady). Small open-topped wooden barges also venture into the Devil’s Canal (Čertovka), once a millrace around Kampa Island and now a sleepy backwater lined with baroque townhouses. Even if you don’t take a cruise on the Vltava, a stroll along the riverbank affords some excellent city views.

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Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
star-4.5
$43.67 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Worth it!
Michael was excellent. Perfect pace and knowledgable explanations. Castle visit very informative. Boat tour a relaxing end.
Mark_W, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Prague

star-5
Easy and trustworthy
Jorge_A, Oct 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Ladislav make us to feel great even with our two kids in the trip, taking care of us and making an amazing guide work. Thanks!!
star-5
Great introduction to a magical city.
Michael_M, Sep 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Great introduction to this beautiful city. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the history of this country and helpful in every way.
star-5
An excellent way to see...
Elisabeth_J, Sep 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
An excellent way to see some of the things Praha has to offer, the castle was magnificent. Well worth the money.
star-4
Value for money
Luis_U, Sep 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Enjoyed the tour. Things to improve, waiting time for the bus after visiting the cathedral. It was difficult to hear the guide; the accent and the volume of his voice didn’t cooperate. In general it was good and worthy
star-5
Great Introduction to Prague
Jamie_W, Sep 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Great introduction to the city of Prague. Enjoyed the Prague Castle complex and the tour ending with an hour long cruise with breathtaking views of the castle.
star-4
Excellent Tour of Prague
Andronikos_S, Aug 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
An excellent tour. Punctual and comfortable means of transport around the city. The experience was made even better by our fantastic guide who was ready to provide plenty of information about all the sightseeing. Would highly recommend it.
star-5
Great tour!
Tiana_O, Jul 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Was a great tour! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, fun. She had a great sense of humour making our trip most enjoyable!
star-5
Amazing general tour of the city, very enjoyable boat ride, lots of interesting information!
Gisela_O, Nov 2021
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
The tour started really on time. I appreciated how they had planned to move us around a bit on a van - it really saves a lot of time on walking! The tour of the city center itself is very quick (maybe some 50 minutes) but very succint and effective. I had already taken other tours but none had taken me to this spots - and definitely seeing the monuments and buildings from the van is a different, much-appreciated perspective. The tour start off on the right foot - so much information and interesting facts about the city and the different buildings, what they had been used for before, etc. Definitely a must! After this first van tour around, we went straight up to the castle, also by van. Arriving by van saves a lot of time here too, and was super comfortable. Our tour group was small (4 people + the guide + the driver), so the super huge 40-person van was a bit of an overkill but sooo comfortable! As well, arriving on this side of the castle allows you to see the moat and the Royal Gardens (which we couldn't enter because of the weather - they close them from Nov-Mar, as I understood). In the castle, the guide centered mostly around the free areas - we visited the courtyards, saw the inside of the church, and then he gave a general overview of what you can see if you pay for the ticket. I had already done a Prague Castle tour, but even then I learned extra things! Afterwards, he gave us some free time (20 minutes) to take pictures. After the 20 minutes, we went to see the front gates, the guards, and then walked down from the castle to the St. Nicholas church. On the way down, the guide also shared a lot of interesting things about the street, the house numbering, etc. Theeen we got on the van again and drove to the center, where we got off to see the Astronomical clock, see the Jewish neighborhood, see the synagogues and the cemetery, and then walk to the dock. The guide was also very knowledgeable about this part of town and what each synagogue includes inside, as well as gave us a lot of tips about how to get in, which ticket to buy, when, etc. Lastly, we headed to the docks and got on a boat. The boat also was not crowded at all. The boat was not of the company itself, and had its own recording of what we could see on both banks of the river. On top of the recording, our guide also gave us more information about the different things we could see. We went under two bridges but couldn't cross the Charles bridge because of the strong currents, but the boat trip was definitely enjoyable! The tour ended there at the port, but the guide made sure to help us with directions on how to go back to the city center, etc. All in all, the tour was really really enjoyable! Maybe I wouldn't do it as a first-day tour, probably a second-day, since it's a big overview of the city. But definitely do not leave it for the last day, because it helped me take a looot of notes of where I wanted to go and what else I wanted to see, and that in itself took me like 2 more days! Would definitely recommend, more than anything for the boat ride :)
star-4
Good info - Entertaining tour guide!
Janique_P, Sep 2020
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Tour guide, Jacob S., was very entertaining and knowledgeable. Tour was good but it moves really fast early on so be sure to wear comfy shoes. There is a lot of interesting information. Very glad we took the tour. It
star-5
Brilliant Host!
Shane_S, Aug 2020
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Absolutely super and great host! Really interesting to learn what I did on the tour. Would highly recommend!
star-5
Very informative
William_N, Aug 2020
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
very informative. Nice small group. Good exercise but not too much. A good combo of walking,, bus and boat tour
star-4
3hour tour
Emily_D, Feb 2020
Prague Half-Day City Tour Including Vltava River Cruise
Sara was great... nice size group. Very informative. Prague is beautiful !! Ahoy hope to return soon.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Many Vltava River cruises include lunch or dinner, sometimes with live musical accompaniment.

  • A cruise along the Vltava offers excellent views of Prague’s skyline.

  • River cruises are sometimes included as an add-on to a city tour.

  • A total of 107 bridges span the river, and 17 of these are within Prague.

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How to Get There

Cruises typically start close to the Charles Bridge, a 10-minute walk from the heart of Old Town. Staromĕtská metro station is a five-minute walk away. Some tours pick guests up from the center of Prague or directly from their hotels.

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Trip ideas

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Prague

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Prague


When to Get There

Evening cruises typically include dinner and offer views of Prague at its most atmospheric, as the castle is lit up by floodlights. Summer is the city’s busiest tourist season. If you want to skip the crowds but avoid the cold of winter, visit in spring or fall.

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The Musical River

Vltava (The Moldau), the symphonic poem by Bedřich Smetana, is a musical interpretation of the river’s course through Bohemia and one of the best-known classical works by a Czech composer. It is part of a set of six symphonic poems called Má vlast (My Country).

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