Aptly named Parisian Street, Pařížská is reminiscent of the posh French capital. Luxury shops, historical monuments, and magnificent architecture create a truly charming atmosphere. Pedestrian walkways lined with majestic trees make it a beautiful place to take a leisurely stroll at any time of the year.
Pařížská traverses the Jewish Town of Prague from the Old Town Square going up to the Čechův Bridge. As you walk along the street, you get a glimpse of Prague’s history and the rich culture it has.
From St. Nicholas to Pařížská
This street was initially named St. Nicholas after the Baroque church near the town square. When the Jewish town was redeveloped in the 19th century, its design was supposed to replicate Champs-Élysées. The avenue was supposed to run from the National Museum through Wenceslas and Old Town Square all the way to Letna Park. However, lack of funds and resistance from the community limited the street to what it is now.
By 1926, the name was changed from St. Nicholas to Pařížská. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and is among the most beautiful streets in Prague.
A Heaven for Luxury Shopping
Like the fashion capital it was named after, Pařížská is now most popular for luxury shopping. It’s home to prestigious brands, including Bvlgari, Prada, and Chanel.
You can shop for the latest fashion collections at Burberry, Gucci, or Dolce & Gabbana. Get those Jimmy Choo shoes you’ve been yearning to buy. Buy classic bags from Louis Vuitton and Hermes. Reward yourself with exquisite jewelry from Cartier, Tiffany & Co, or Halada.
Indeed, Pařížská is the ultimate shopping place in the district. What makes it even more attractive to shoppers is that many of these shops offer tax-free shopping.
Historical and Architectural Marvels
While it is most popular for shopping, Pařížská provides tourists much more than that. The entire street is also dotted with monuments and buildings that showcase the rich art, culture, and history of Prague.
Synagogues and Churches
Just an alley away from Pařížská are three of the oldest synagogues in the Jewish district. Staronová synagoga (Old-New Synagogue), built in 1270, is one of Prague’s first gothic buildings. Aside from being the oldest surviving twin-nave-designed synagogue from medieval times, it is also the oldest active synagogue in Europe.
Across Staronová synagoga is Vysoká synagoga (High Synagogue), a private synagogue for the rabbinical court and the Jewish council. Built in 1577, its interior lunette vaults with decorative stucco work are resplendent with the High Renaissance style.
Another synagogue that’s just a street away from Pařížská is the Maiselova synagoga (Maisel Synagogue). Built during the golden age of the ghetto in the 16th century, the Maisel offers a glimpse of the history of the Jewish community in Prague.
Near the south end of Pařížská is the most famous Baroque church in Prague, St. Nicholas Church. Catch one of the concerts they hold year-round to hear enchanting music played on an 18th-century organ. But even if you miss the concert, you can still marvel at the impressive architecture of this church. Also, don’t forget to take pictures by the Fountain with Three Entangled Dolphin Bodies right at the corner of the church grounds.
Squares and Monuments
Right at the southern tip of Pařížská is the Old Town Square. At its center is the iconic sculpture of Jan Hus, a Czech theologian and philosopher martyred in the 15th century. Just a few steps from the Jan Hus monument is the Prague Meridian, a slender brass strip that was used to tell time centuries ago.
At the edge of the town square are the Old Town Hall and an astronomical clock tower. The Prague Astronomical Tower features a 600-year-old mechanical clock face. Meanwhile, the Old Town Hall is now an underground museum of sorts, featuring medieval chambers that guide you through the town’s history.
Also near the square is the Schierův dům (Schier´s House). Its Baroque-style architecture is highlighted by sandstone sculptures and statues created by renowned artists Vilím Amort, Jindřich Říha, and Josef Kropáček. The famous Prague writer Franz Kafka used to stay in this house as well.
Head up north Pařížská to visit the Milos Forman Square, a piazzetta named after the Oscar-winning director Milos Forman. Located in front of the Intercontinental Hotel, it is one of the few free open spaces left in the area. The square used to house the King Kong Balls of French sculptor Denis Defrancesco, but it has since been moved to Smichov. Still, some greenery and the Cubist houses right across the street make this place worth visiting. While you’re in the area, cross the adjacent street to see the Statue of Moses by Frantisek Bilek.
A Place for Artists
Pařížská is a beautiful mix of different art forms. As you stroll along the streets, you’ll see English gothic windows, Italian Renaissance balconies, and neo-gothic facades. All blend together in an eclectic landscape that combines elements from different epochs.
Another thing that artists will appreciate is the quaint shops that offer beautiful art pieces. Pařížská is also the go-to place for the delicate Bohemian glass. Whatever your budget is, you can find a carved Bohemian glass item that can remind you of the beauty of Prague. If you also love to collect Faberge eggs, this is certainly a great place to get them.
After shopping and exploring the sights, relax and enjoy various cuisines from one of the many restaurants, cafes, and bars at Pařížská. Sip high-class cocktails from Bugsy’s Bar at the corner of Kostecna. Feast on Italian food at Restaurace U Stare Synagogy in an Art Nouveau building at Cervena.
Have a delightful dinner as you listen to jazz or the blues at the Restaurace White Horse near the Old Town Square. Built in a 12th-century Romanesque cellar, this restaurant is perfect for a magical evening.
Meanwhile, you can enjoy a hearty brunch or a candlelit dinner at the Zlata Praha Restaurant. Located on the top floor of the Golden Prague Hotel, this restaurant has a terrace that provides a spectacular panoramic view of Prague. It also has the best sunset views in the area. Best of all, its menu featuring international and authentic Czech cuisine is worth splurging on.
Getting to Pařížská from the airport means taking the bus no. 119 to Nadrazi Veleslavin station before transferring to subway line A. After boarding the metro, you can get off at Staromestska station, so you can head to Old Town Square.
Pařížská is also a short walk away from some of the best five-star hotels in Prague. The street is less than a kilometer long and has a good ambiance for leisurely strolls. Those who intend to visit sights along the street and in other nearby places can hire a horse and carriage to take them around along cobbled streets.
You can easily explore Pařížská and the rest of Prague on your own. But it can also be more convenient to join walking tours. There are several ones you can sign up for that offer you the best ways to experience Prague.