Prague is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. Each year, it attracts tourists from around the world, with its unique architecture, tasty cuisine, and relatively cheap prices. There are countless things to do in Prague.
This city, located on the Vltava River, can astonish even the most demanding travellers. It has many world-class museums, baroque churches, and bridges that give a romantic vibe to the city. If you are a wanderer, you are going to love the numerous green areas and narrow streets of the old city, full of the hustle and bustle of vibrant Prague.
If you have 24 hours to visit Prague, you are definitely going to have time to see the most important sights and discover some hidden gems. Follow this Prague itinerary to learn more about what to see in Prague.
1. Immerse in the Vibes of the Old Square and See the Time on the Astronomical Clock
Prague, similarly to other major cities in Central Eastern Europe such as Zakopane, Poland or Bratislava in Slovakia, has a rich history when it comes to invasions. Yet, the Old Town Square has remained untouched for centuries.
The square is usually filled with street performers and musicians, so you can immerse in the vivid culture of the city while admiring its beauty.
One of the most spectacular buildings in Prague’s Old Square is the town hall with its Astronomical Clock. It was built in 1410, which makes it the third-oldest clock of this type in the whole world, and the only one that is still operating. Be sure to stand by at the full hour to see a magical spectacle of the old mechanism at work.
ProTip: If you visit before Christmas or Easter, you can expect to see a big market in the Old Town Square that imitates those that were organised here in the medieval era.
2. Listen to the Whispers of the Vltava River from One of the Most Beautiful Bridges
The Charles Bridge is the pride of Prague. The structure was created in 1357 and founded by Charles IV. A newer bridge replaced the old one that was destroyed by a flood. Now it’s decorated with sculptures from the 17th century.
During your walk, you can notice a lot of merchants selling souvenirs and artists from which you can buy better or worse quality paintings. Take your time, as there are 520 meters to go and many things to see.
ProTip: Visit this spot very early in the morning to avoid crowds, and admire the sunrise or immerse in the fog that covers the river.
3. Learn the Dark History of the Old Jewish Quarter
Between Old Town and the Vltava, the old Jewish quarter, Josefov, is located. Its history reaches back 13 centuries when the Jews of Prague were expelled from the main city and had to start looking for new homes. Unfortunately, many historical buildings were destroyed while remodelling the city’s layout in the 19th century.
Yet, you can still see the old Jewish cemetery, six historic synagogues, and other buildings here. The reason why the district still exists is that Hitler wanted to turn it into “the museum of an extinct race”. Nowadays, Josefov is considered the best-maintained complex of Jewish monuments in the whole of Europe.
ProTip: If you are interested in literature, be sure to visit Franz Kafka’s home that is located in this area.
4. Visit Hradcany District and Prague Castle
Prague Castle is one of the most visited places in Prague. It used to be the seat of Czech kings, and now it is the president’s residence. You can enter the surrounding area for free, but if you have a bit of spare money and time, it’s worth it to buy an entrance ticket to the St. Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane.
The St. Vitus Cathedral looks spectacular. It has a gothic structure, but it was only completed in 1929. In this church, you can find the tombs of numerous Bohemian kings, admire the splendour of the St Wenceslas chapel, and see how light reflects through stained glass executed in the art nouveau style.
Golden Lane is a little part of the Hradcany district. It’s a narrow and charming alley with little houses. According to legend, it was a place where alchemists were trying to turn various materials into gold.
The houses are arranged in a historical style, which brings to mind medieval times. You can find a “witch” house here, or even buy local handicraft.
In one of the houses, Franz Kafka spent two years enjoying the calm environment, perfect for writing his stories.
5. Analyse Communist Artefacts in the Museum of Communism
When it comes to museums, Prague has it all. Especially when it comes to weird and unusual things. You can find the museum of torture tools, the museum of alchemy, sex machine museums, and, of course, the Museum of Communism here.
You can learn here about the Communist era in Prague, with its good and bad aspects. It’s a great place to learn how the whole system, together with its invigilating apparatus, worked.
There are a lot of artefacts from the epoch. You can watch original films and see photographs, but also analyse propaganda art, or sit in a reconstructed classroom.
6. Take a Picture in Front of Lennon Wall
It used to be a “normal” wall, until the 1980s, when young people started to create graffiti that was annoying for the communist power. Year after year, the wall has been filled with various paintings, and quotes from The Beatles’ songs.
Now it’s also a place of artistic expression where countless layers of paint create a very unique piece of art. If one has to pick the most Instagrammable place in Prague, this would be the top one.
7. Get Your Drink Delivered by Train
If you are a foodie that loves unusual ways of being served food and drinks, yet you want to relish typical Czech cuisine, be sure to visit Vytopna Railway Restaurant.
This restaurant has a whole railway system, on which there is always a peak hour. While your dish is going to be served by a waiter, you can expect your drink to be delivered by one of the trains. They regularly pass by the tables, so you can be sure that whether you are nine or 99, you’re gonna love it!
8. Grab a Chimney Cake
Chimney Cake, or as Czech people would say, Trdelnik, is a typical sweet that you can get in Prague. Believe me, it’s pure heaven so worth breaking your diet. You can buy it in the local stores or from street vendors everywhere.
The dough is wrapped around a wooden stick and glazed with sugar. Then, the Trdelnik gets grilled above coals, until the sugar is caramelized. After that, it’s rolled in a mix of sugar, cinnamon, and nuts.
You can eat it in this form or ask for additional filling. Pick from Nutella, peanut butter, chantilly, fresh fruits, chocolate and much more (just don’t forget to burn off all the calories later on doing a quick 7-minute workout in your hotel room :)).
ProTip: Make sure you drink plenty of water when indulging in Trdelnik to avoid headaches from the sugar rush. I usually carry a collapsible water bottle with me whenever exploring a new place to keep my body hydrated. It’s convenient to carry and it doesn’t fill up too much space in my backpack when I drink all of the water.
The City of Variety
While visiting Prague, it’s not hard to notice that the city has an eclectic structure. You can admire medieval architecture here, but also see modern buildings such as the Dancing House. There are many art museums, with great collections, but you also can find a curiosity museum that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.
The streets are filled with music, performers, and tourists. But when the days are ending, and the sun sets above the river, you can see yet another face of Prague. A calmer, more romantic side, highlighted by streets lamps that illuminate cobblestoned streets.
If you have some extra time, be sure to take some trips outside of Prague.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Prague now?
Agness is one of the founders of the blog Etramping. She started her adventure with travelling in 2011 when she went to China all alone. She mastered budget travelling while spending no more than $25 a day. Now with a bit of a bigger budget, she can choose her destination considering their uniqueness.