Unexpected Prague attractions going viral on social media
Prague’s best-known attractions are familiar to millions around the globe. But now unconventional sights and secret corners of Prague, far from the usual tourist spots, are gaining online fame as a young generation of travelers seeks new experiences in the Czech capital.
At U Lužického semináře Street, a big group of tourists, phone in hand, patiently wait for an opportunity to peek into the gap between two of the buildings. Squeezed in this space is an extremely narrow walkway that has been baptized as “Prague’s narrowest street.”
Previously unknown to most of the city’s visitors, the small street first gained popularity a few years ago after the installation of a traffic light system aiming to facilitate the circulation of people. Now, thanks to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the walkway has seen another rise in visitors. Niuma (18, Israel) is visiting the city for the first time with her friend Efrat.
“We saw this place on TikTok and Instagram and tourist places online like GOGO.”
The two friends relied mainly on TikTok when planning their trip and have already visited some other viral spots like the “infinite book tower” at the Prague Municipal Library. When asked about the long lines of tourists at both spots, Niuma doesn’t seem to mind the wait.
“I think it was pretty obvious that there would be a lot of people because if we saw it online, then we expected other people to see it online”
Waiting in line at U Lužického semináře street, Angelica (24, Kazakhstan) didn’t want to leave Prague before making a stop at the city’s smallest walkway and experiencing going through the narrow street herself. Like Niuma, she found out about the attraction through social media. Angelica:
“I found this on social media, precisely TikTok. Nowadays TikTok is more than Google, I think”.
To Lucie Sára Závodná, tourism researcher at the University of Economics in Jindřichův Hradec and the Polytechnic University in Jihlava, the high popularity that these sites have gained in social media has to do with a new way of understanding tourism by a new generation of travelers.
“If we go to the Generation Z at the moment, they put more value on the experience, the travel experience, the thing that they will have some good memories of from the travel, than just on buying expensive cars, expensive flights, and these kinds of things. Of course, some of them are also spending on that, but most of them value more the memories and travel experiences than the expensive stuff.”
According to the researcher, spots like the “infinite book tower” or “Prague’s narrowest street” are appealing to young travelers because they are free, offer an experience, and, most importantly, can be easily shared on social media platforms.
As Prague's tourism landscape evolves to meet the younger visitors’ demands, the city will have to adapt and offer a new kind of travel experience. One that not only matches the expectations set on social media platforms but also does it in a way that is sustainable. Something, concludes Závodná, that is also becoming more and more important for the younger generation.