The magnificent city of Prague is at the top of many travellers’ wish lists, and with good reason – the City of a Hundred Spires is world-renowned for its historical attractions, ancient chapels, fascinating culture and wonderful cuisine. Quite a few of our tours head through the Czech Republic to visit Prague, where our guests often have a bit of free time to head out on their own and drink in the many marvels the city has to offer. Over the years we’ve identified a few key activities and destinations that allow these fine folks to enjoy the best of Prague in under 24 hours. Here’s our list of top activities in Prague when you’re pressed for time:
Go on that walking tour!
A walking tour is one of the best ways to explore a new city. Prague offers a wonderful array of guided, organised walking tours, but if you don’t have time to book one of these, you can simply set out on your own as well. Try the neighbourhoods of Vinohrady and Bubenec if you’re into urban adventuring, and have that camera at the ready!
Alternatively, head to Petrin Hill for stunning views in all seasons. For a real treat, head to the Stavovské divadlo, or Estates Theatre, a functioning Opera House where Mozart himself conducted the premiere of his opera Don Giovanni in 1787. Incidentally, it’s the only theatre left standing where Mozart performed.
Pro tip: If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys aimless ambling, you could head to the Prague Tourism Information Centre, which is open every single day of the year. Here you’ll find a great selection of pamphlets on the city’s best-loved attractions, as well as some very friendly assistants who will be able to point you in the right direction.
Eat, drink & be merry!
Czech beer is known the world over for its high quality, and famous brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar, micro-breweries also produce some very fine, readily available beers and ales, which you can sample in most bars. It’s a beer enthusiast’s dream! Some of the best places to enjoy a pint include the 13th Strahov Monastery Brewery; Pivovar U Tří Růží, a beautiful Old Town brewery; and Klášterní pivovar, the monastic brewery next to Prague Castle.
Next up – the food! In order to truly experience a foreign culture, you simply have to try some of their local dishes. In Prague this will include the likes of Chlebíčky, innovative open-faced sandwiches with toppings like pickled herring and goat’s cheese; Palačinky, crêpes with a variety of sweet and savoury fillings; Svíčková with dumplings, sirloin beef in a rich cream sauce; and Koláče, a soft pastry filled with fruit or sweet cheese.
Hit the highlights!
Every city has its highlights – those places you have to see when you go there. Prague is no different. Here is a quick summary of Prague’s most famous attractions:
The Astronomical clock: The Astronomical Clock was created by Mikuláš of Kadaň in 1380. Legend has it that city officials had him blinded after he was done to prevent him from creating a similar masterpiece for other cities, after which he was driven mad and retaliated by throwing himself into the gears of the clock – killing himself and ruining his work. The clock has since been modified, destroyed and repaired many times. Today it displays Babylonian time, Old Bohemian time, Germany time and Sidereal time, along with the moon’s phases and the sun’s journey through the constellations of the zodiac.
Prague Castle: Approximately the size of seven football fields, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. Built and renovated throughout the course of a whopping thirteen centuries, the complex includes churches, gardens, alleyways and royal residences. Don’t miss the St. Vitus Cathedral! In addition to Art Nouveau stained-glass windows and a wooden depiction of the crucifixion, it houses treasures like the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk — a blinding two-metric-ton vault that is held up by an army of silver angels.
Old Town Square: Prague’s Old Town Square has remained virtually untouched since the 10th century. It is a wonderful place to admire a slightly mismatched variety of architecture (the Rococo Kinsky Palace, the Gothic Tyn Cathedral and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church, to name a few), as well as an ever-changing cast of musicians, protesters, dance troupes, punks and vendors.
Pro tip: Here is a list of the best-loved tourist destinations throughout Prague to inspire you some more.
And there you have it – a few handy guidelines to help you enjoy the best of Prague in under 24 hours. Have you been to Prague? What was your favourite part of the city? Tell us about it in the comments below! Planning to explore Europe? Read up on other destinations like Rome in under 24 hours or Vienna in under 24 hours.