Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and one of the top ten visited cities in Europe among London, Paris and Amsterdam. Alluring architecture, countless attractions, nightlife, and Czech beer are what invite people the most. No wonder, before the pandemic, over 8 million tourists visited Prague yearly without a doubt for its closeness to history, culture and maybe a bit of unpredictability. Unfortunately, Prague with its 22 districts and 500 square meters is impossible to be viewed all in one day or even over the weekend. But one step at a time. Prague is so magical that you will definitely make it happen to revisit.
Let’s start with the must-see places in a close proximity of the city centre. Ideal for a one-day walk around Prague.
One of the biggest castle complexes in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site with palaces, church towers and beautiful gardens. Avoided by locals, beloved by tourists. During the peak season, it’s better to get up with a lark, take a solitary walk, and cherish the different architectural styles before everyone else turns up.
The oldest preserved Prague bridge from the XIV century, which connects Lesser Town (Mala Strana) and Old Town (Stare Mesto). It’s decorated with 30 sculptures of saints. The first one to stand on the bridge was Jan Nepomuk. The bridge is 9,5 meters wide, but it’s still not enough for all the tourists fighting their way through.
A walk by the Vltava River gives you a sense of peacefulness in the busy streets of Prague. Walk down the stairs to be closer. Look around to get a completely new perspective of the city. You can even take a ferry boat to travel from one point to another for a reasonable price – as a way of commuting with Prague Integrated Transport. Timetable and available routes here.
Along the Vltava river in directions to Vysehrad you may spot modern and dynamic buildings called Dancing House. It represents famous dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair, where the leaning glass building is a female and the stone tower is a male. It’s built in the years of 1992-1996 in cooperation with architects Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry. These days it houses a restaurant with an astonishing view, a hotel and a gallery.
On the other side of the Legii or Jiraskuv bridge, you’ll find a Petrin hill. In order to get on top of the hill, you may either take a stroll or use funicular, which in addition is quite a memorable experience. The ride again is incl in the standard public transportation system. On top of the hill, you’ll feel like you were not transported half a kilometre, but to a completely different city. Away from the crowd, from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. To an oasis with a panoramic view of Prague, to a romantic garden, where you can forget about all the worries, and finally to the labyrinth, where you can lose yourself metaphorically speaking.
On your way down from the Petrin hill go through Kampa Island – by some claimed the most picturesque place in Prague. This island is a fantastic place for a summer picnic or for a break from sightseeing. Quite a famous restaurant there: Altany Kampa, although not my style, it does look inviting.
OLD TOWN SQUARE
And last but not least the most significant and the oldest square in Prague – The Old Town Square. It’s full of diversity and colours: Baroque Church of St Nicholas, the Rococo Kinský Palace, the Gothic House at the Stone Bell and the monument to Jan Hus. Everyone visiting Prague is also eager to take a look at the mysterious Astronomical Clock, the so-called Orloj. It does make an impression, it’s situated on the Town Hall Tower, again one of the symbols of the city. During Christmas or Easter time, the Old Town Square is filled with stalls nestled around the Jan Hus statue. It’s so full of people; you can barely walk there. But it doesn’t surprise me. Christmas markets in Prague belong to the most popular markets of their kind in Europe.
If you still have some strength left, use it to wander down the streets of Prague and explore Prague on your own tempo. Grab a coffee in one of the shabby chic cafés, try to avoid the ones on the Town Square – those are overpriced and made for tourists. And most importantly – ENJOY!