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THE TOP ATTRACTIONS TO SEE ON YOUR FIRST TIME IN PRAGUE

Top sights things to do in Prague travel sightseeing

When you have only One Day in Prague...

If you are tight on time, this is for you. 

If you want to get the most from the least amount of time, this is also for you

Let’s get into it! Let’s make your trip to Prague unforgettable. The following ten activities were my introduction to Prague.

  • Charles Bridge
  • St Nicholas Church
  • Column of the Holy Trinity
  • Prague Castle
  • St Vitus Cathedral
  • The Old Royal Palace
  • The Basilica of St George
  • Golden Lane
  • Private tour in vintage car
  • Sightseeing and dinner cruise

Morning Activities

It gets pretty warm in the summer, so you want to head out no later than 9h00 towards Charles Bridge. All the sculptures on the bridge are worth an article of their own. It’s one of Europe’s Top Instagram and Selfie Spots.   The bridge is full of activities like artists selling their watercolor paintings of the city or sketching self-portraits as a take-away souvenir. The vibe is great and therefore it’s an awesome way to start your first day in this beautiful World Heritage Site.

Speaking of which, amazingly, Prague was not destroyed by any World War, and as such you’re looking at buildings the way they looked even up to eight hundred years ago! Thus, the city was declared a World Heritage Site. I was told it’s the only European city with this remarkable accolade!

So, just by being in the historic center of Prague, you’re already visiting a World Heritage Site, and if you’re like me, you’ll be absolutely delighted to tick it off your WHS-bucket list.

Things to do in Prague Charles Bridge Castle sightseeing min
  • From Charles Bridge, I walked the extraordinary ancient cobblestones up towards St Vitus Cathedral. 
  • Malostranské nám. is the street that runs around a small square featuring a beautiful Baroque building which is St Nicholas church. It’s usually open to visitors.
  • At this point, you need to be going diagonally across from St Nicholas church. So, you’ll spot the Column of the Holy Trinity which is a historical landmark on your way to the opposite side of the square where Malostranské nám becomes Zámecká. After about 52 m you need to go left onto Thunovská, and from here you can’t miss the towering St Vitas Cathedral. You’ll spot the stairs to your right, which is the way up. There are about 207 of them. I may be out with one or two stairs while I was catching my breath. 

Travel Tip(s)

  • You don’t have to walk up. There are plenty of taxis around, so you don’t have to take the stairs.
  • There are also plenty of restaurants that show off their traditional Czech cuisine menus.

Once on top, the entrance is to the opposite (left) side of the castle.

Few tourists are aware prior to visiting St Vitus Cathedral, that the site comprises no less than ten attractions. Therefore, it is a day trip on its own.

You have the option to buy a full ticket or see less. I chose the latter due to time constraints. 

  • I bought the ticket with entrance to the Old Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. George, Golden Lane, and St. Vitus Cathedral.
  • In addition, there is The Story of Prague Castle, Treasury of St. Vitus Cathedral, The castle’s picture gallery, the Powder Tower, Rosenberg Palace, and the South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral. The positive side of not seeing these sights on my first trip to Prague is that now I have something to look forward to! 

Upon my walk back to my hotel, I could pinch myself for having had the opportunity to walk through these phenomenal ancient sights. I can best describe it in the words of an officer on duty inside St Vitus Cathedral. I said: “You have the BEST job.” Thinking that my surroundings make me speechless, emotional, touched and so many more feelings at once are his so to speak “office”.  His response was: “No, not the best. Prima, prima job!” 

Travel Tip(s)

There is no entrance ticket to the actual site comprising the ten ancient landmarks.  For example, you can meander around the site and even enter St Vitus Cathedral. But you can’t go much further than that. At this point, you need a ticket to proceed further. The ticket office is a few steps away, so no stress.

Late Afternoon Activities

Private tour in Prague min

I always book a city sightseeing bus because that’s by far the easiest, quickest, and most flexible way to get an overview of the city I’m in. However, this time I opted for a private 90-minute sightseeing tour in an open-top vintage car.

I discovered about twenty more popular attractions, heard about little off-the-map gems, and got interesting anecdotes from our driver. It was an absolute treat, and worth every bit of Czech koruna (crown) spent. (You too can enjoy a unique vintage car tour in Prague, using the links below.)

The private tour had unexpected on-route “entertainment”. Like all countries, Prague is not immune to contrasting political views. An expensive black vehicle, with a high-quality public address system, drove through the city streets announcing, “Shame to the Government”.  When we stopped at an intersection, plenty of happy citizens cheered them on! I was told that it is usually a peaceful demonstration to voice their opinion about the Government’s activities. 

Travel Tip(s)

Most hotels and airport taxis accept the Euro.

As for the rest, I recommend going to an official Forex exchange office in Prague. In general, your hotel’s reception desk will guide you appropriately.

I was offered the chance to change currency on the stairs of the Charles Bridge – not something I recommend! Unaware tourists are often given currency of another country between the Kč (abbreviation of Czech koruna)! And these street dealers appear and disappear into thin air within minutes. Be wary!

Evening Activities

I was in Prague in mid-May. The weather was nice and warm, and the sunset was well after eight. These are the things you want to know before you go to Prague, so you can pre-book your dinner cruise (to avoid disappointment). 

Do you want more money? If you plan to visit Prague from May to September, I suggest there is no need to book a daytime boat tour. Instead, book the dinner cruise because the boat cruises the same route, and then more! This way you have more money in your pocket for sightseeing and shopping.

How does it work? Well, I booked a table on the Open-Top Glass Boat. We started cruising at 19h00 when the sun was bright and sparkling. On a previous occasion, I booked a 90-minute daytime boat cruise. We sailed the same route on both cruises. Thus, the dinner cruise is a winner because it is an all-in-one cruise with ‘daytime’ sightseeing and scenic nighttime views, a fabulous dinner, and superb live entertainment.

Travel Tip(s)

Check out sunset times before you book a dinner cruise.  Most cruises leave at 19h00 when the sun is still high. Subsequently, you get to see the attractions in ‘daytime’ at any event!

PS: I booked the Open-Top Glass Boat and give it a 5-star review!

Where to stay, old town or new town

Before making a hotel reservation, it is important to know your needs. I wanted to:

  • Stay in the so-called new town, which is old, because my primary goal was to be near the castle and St Vitus cathedral.
  • Be as close as possible to Charles Bridge.
  • Spend my time exploring, instead of enjoying hotel features.
  • Have breakfast without leaving the hotel.
  • Dine at local restaurants, on the boat, and so on.
  • Have the basic hotel amenities.
  • Stay in a typical old building as opposed to a flashy modern hotel.

I got all this and then some. The front desk was super friendly and offered to help with sightseeing information. Breakfast was basic and tasty. The spread was sufficient.

The hotel catered to my needs. I started my Prague discoveries just after breakfast and got back late in the evening. So much to see! As I said, you need to know your needs before making a hotel reservation.  Did I get what I bargained for? Absolutely. 

Book dates: 15th March – 30th September 2022  |  Stay dates: 4th April – 30th September 2022  Discount: minimum of 15% discount