1-day Itinerary in Prague
Explore the best things to do in Paris in 1 day based on recommendations from local experts.
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Old Town Square is a popular spot in Prague, with travelers flocking here in droves for its beautiful architecture, colorful history and vibrant atmosphere. The square hasn't changed much since it was established in the 12th century when it functioned as the city's original marketplace.
The square is home to some of the most historic attractions in the city, including the Old Town Hall, one of the best places to get a bird's-eye view of the city and the Prague Astronomical Clock, a beautiful timepiece dating back to the 1400s. Other architectural highlights found within the square include the Church of St. Nicholas and the Church of Our Lady before Týn, instantly recognizable for its two Gothic spires. Meanwhile, the newest additions to the square include a monument erected in 1915 for the religious reformer Jan Hus. There are also several restaurants here that spill out onto the square during the warmer months as locals and travelers alike enjoy a coffee or a beer on the patios. And if you're visiting during the holiday season, expect the square to be filled with Christmas market shoppers.
Recent travelers said this is the ideal place to start your journey in Prague, plus it's a great place to sit back and people-watch. It can get quite crowded, but most people say it is still a must-see spot. The Old Town Square area is accessible from the Staromestská metro stop. If you'd like to enjoy the view from the top of the town hall, you'll have to pay for the guided tour, which costs 250 korun (or about $11).
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Located in the Old Town Square, the Prague Astronomical Clock has been around since the 15th century, though it has required repairs many times over its history.
This clock doesn't display the time of day. Rather, it's meant to be used to determine the phases of the moon and the equinoxes. The clock uses depictions of symbols, such as a money bag representing greed, a figure looking at himself in a mirror to represent vanity and a skeleton to depict death. Each hour the clock shows a visualization of time unlike anything else in the world.
Recent visitors said that it's a marvel to take in, especially if you understand the more than 600 years of history it holds. Others say that its popularity makes it feel similar to a tourist trap. However, even those that felt the clock was overhyped conceded that it deserves a look, especially since you're likely to be in the Old Town Square at some point during your trip anyway. The Old Town Square area is accessible from the Staromestská metro stop.10 minute walk
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The Charles Bridge connects Old Town (Staré Mesto) and Lesser Town (Malá Strana). Visitors come here to soak up the atmosphere, buy souvenirs and to take in the 30 saint statues that line the bridge. Dating back to 1357, the statues were crafted between 1683 to 1928 to honor numerous saints.
Recent travelers said a visit to the bridge is a must-do, especially if it's your first time in Prague. But reviewers do warn that you'll likely encounter claustrophobic swarms of tourists and street vendors and you should keep a close watch on your valuables. Some suggest visiting at dawn or dusk to avoid the crowds; the congestion is at its worst in the afternoons, according to travelers.
For those looking for a unique nightlife experience, the five-story Karlovy Lázne nightclub is a Prague institution. It's located some 150 feet or so from the eastern end of the Charles Bridge and you'll find it packed with a fun mix of Praguers and travelers well into the morning on weekends.10 minutes by car; 20 minute walk
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Holding the record for the largest coherent castle complex in the world, Prague Castle serves double duty as the office of the Czech president and a popular tourist destination. The complex where it stands is also home to several other attractions.
Prague Castle has stood in this spot for more than a thousand years and covers a lot of area. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the grounds feature a variety of architectural styles, including everything from 10th-century Romanesque buildings to Gothic structures from the 14th century. Throughout its history, the castle and the area around it have gone through extensive restorations and renovations.
The grounds include St. Vitus Cathedral, the Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica and the Golden Lane – where homes have been converted into period scenes to show how artisans lived and worked in ancient times.
Some recent travelers were surprised that the castle itself isn't as large as they envisioned, but they added that the details of the palace and the surrounding buildings are impressive and worth the trip. Others warned that some parts of the complex are full of tourist traps; you may want to wait to eat or grab a drink in another neighborhood until you're done sightseeing. Some also warned that you'll have to pay to use the restrooms. To avoid sharing your visit with throngs of other tourists, plan to stop by in the morning when the complex opens.
Admission to the grounds is free, but some of the individual sites charge for entry. There are several types of combo tickets that will grant you entry into several buildings. Expect to pay 350 korun (or about $15.50) if you want to access all of the buildings. Audio guides and tour guides are available at an extra cost. Prague Castle is accessible by subway from the Hradcany station or you can take Tram 22 to the Pražský Hrad stop. You could also make the half-mile walk to the area from Charles Bridge. The complex is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; other historic buildings hold different hours that vary by season. Click here for more information.
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While the site of St. Vitus Cathedral dates back to about A.D. 925, the church that stands today is actually the third in honor of Saint Vitus (the patron saint of dancers, actors, comedians and epileptics). Consecrated in 1929, the cathedral features neo-Gothic stylings alongside Renaissance and baroque details.
One of the highlights is the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk, famours for its intricate silverwork. Also, don't miss the art nouveau stained-glass window work completed by the famous Czech painter Alphonse Mucha.
The consensus among recent travelers is that St. Vitus is a must-see in Prague, with some calling it one of the most impressive cathedrals they've ever seen. But many warn of the long entry lines. Arrive early for your best shot at a shorter wait.
St. Vitus Cathedral is located within the Prague Castle complex. The cathedral is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from April to October and 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. from November to March. Throughout the year, the cathedral is open to visitors on Sundays beginning at noon. Last entry is 20 minutes before closing. You can observe the inside entrance of the cathedral for free, but to tour the entire facility you'll have to pay between 250 and 350 korun (about $11 to $15.50). For more information, visit the cathedral's website.
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