St Vitus bell tower, PragueAdmittedly, I may have a problem.

It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, when I visit a city, I always want to make a beeline to the highest vanatage point to enjoy the views from a  bird’s eye perspective.

This includes skyscraper tourism in modern cities, and – most commonly- church bell towers in old Europe. I’ve already written about climbing up to enjoy spectacular views from the vertigo-inducing bell towers of Notre Dame in Paris, St. Pierre’s in Geneva , the St. Peter’s bell tower in Riga, and St. Michaelis in Hamburg.

St Vitus bell tower, PragueIf there aren’t hundreds of winding steps to climb, what’s the fun?

Luckily, my husband and children are always game. On one of my bell tower climbing expeditions, I even had to talk down a nice, young woman who suffered from vertigo and hoped to overcome her fear by forcing herself up and down the tower. That strategy didn’t seem to have worked out too well for her…

So when I was in Prague this last summer, it’s not a surprise I returned to St. Vitus’ bell tower to enjoy spectacular views over the Czech Republic’s postcard-perfect capital city.

St Vitus bell tower, PragueI first climbed this tower as a (gulp!) young, 22-year-old when I used to live and work in Prague. Although I’ve been back to the city many times since then, I’ve never been back to climb these medieval steps. Kids in tow with buckets of energy to spare gave me a great excuse to return on this visit.

St. Vitus’ cathedral, in Prague’s Hradcany (Castle) district was initiated in 1344 by architect Peter Parlor. The monumental Gothic cathedral would take nearly 600 years to complete.

St Vitus bell tower, PragueThe Renaissance bell tower is 96.5 meters high and can be climbed with a ‘mere’ 287 steps. (I leave the counting to my eager sons). It has the biggest bell in the Czech Republic – the type of trivia that thrills my kids.

The views from up top are well worth the hike up. the views over Prague from this vantage point are stunning, to say the least.

Don’t miss out on the St. Vitus’ bell tower on your next visit to Prague. For more Prague tips, see my earlier post on how to enjoy the views on the paddleboats on the Vltava River.

Happy (urban) hiking!