The most tranquil part of Prague city centre, Kampa is an ‘island’ bounded by the Vltava and Čertovka (the Devil’s Stream). It was once farmland (the name Kampa comes from 'campus', Latin for ‘field’), but in the 13th century Prague’s first mill, the Sovovský mlýn (now Kampa Museum), was built here, and other mills followed.

The north part of the island was settled in the 16th century after being raised above flood level. (In 1939 the river was so low that it was again joined to the mainland, and coins and jewellery were found in the dry channel.) Houses and restaurants are clustered around a picturesque little square called Na Kampě; at its northern end, at about waist height on the wall to the left of the little gallery under the stairs leading up to Charles Bridge, is a small memorial plaque that reads Výska vody 4.žáří 1890 (height of waters, 4 September 1890), marking the level reached by the floodwaters of 1890. Directly above it – above head height – is another marking the height of the 2002 floods.

The area where the Čertovka passes under Charles Bridge is sometimes called Prague Venice – it's said to look like Venice, but only to those who have never actually been there.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Malá Strana attractions

1. Werich Villa

0.04 MILES

A recently renovated historical building on Kampa island, Werich Villa is worth a visit if you're interested in the history of Czech theatre and the lives…

2. Kampa Museum

0.07 MILES

Established by art collectors Meda and Jan Mládek and housed in a renovated mill building, this excellent gallery is devoted to 20th-century and…

3. John Lennon Wall

0.12 MILES

After his murder on 8 December 1980, John Lennon became a pacifist hero for many young Czechs. An image of Lennon was painted on a wall in a secluded…

4. Charles Bridge

0.14 MILES

Strolling across Charles Bridge is everybody’s favourite Prague activity. However, by 9am it’s a 500m-long fairground, with an army of tourists squeezing…

5. Karel Zeman Museum

0.15 MILES

Bohemia-born director Karel Zeman (1910–89) was a pioneer of movie special effects, though his work is little known. This fascinating museum, established…

6. Maltese Square

0.16 MILES

References to the Knights of Malta around Malá Strana hark back to 1169, when the military order established a monastery in the Church of Our Lady Beneath…

7. Czech Museum of Music

0.18 MILES

A 17th-century baroque monastery building with an impressive central atrium makes a beautiful setting for Prague’s Museum of Music. The museum’s permanent…

8. Malá Strana Bridge Tower

0.18 MILES

There are two towers at the Malá Strana end of Charles Bridge. The taller one was built in the mid-15th century in imitation of the Staré Město tower; it…