With its spires, steeples, and turrets Prague is a city from which fairy tales spring to life. It’s no wonder that Prague’s nickname is the “City of a Hundred Spires.” I have read that there are more than 500 spires in the city, but someone coined the phrase, and it stuck. Prague reminds me of Ljublana, Slovenia only on a much more grandiose scale.
Prague is an architectural and cultural marvel where beauty is never lacking. Not to mention, Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Since there are so many beautiful places to visit in the Czech Republic, your time in Prague may be limited. So we put together a comprehensive one day Prague itinerary.
Make note, Prague is a European capital city, which means it sees lots of tourists. So, if you have a choice, choose to visit Prague on their shoulder season. Unlike what we did during peak season. We visited in August along with half the world it seemed.
Largest Castle in the World
Our Prague itinerary begins by taking in Prague’s wonders in a fairy tale manner starting with Prague Castle. Also, according to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world at 750,000 square feet or 70,000 square meters. Prague Castle constructed in the ninth century is home to the office of the President of the Czech Republic, but it was also the seat of power for the kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of former Czechoslovakia.
The Prague Castle consists of several amazing baroque and gothic structures. The castle complex has four palaces, four churches, five halls, four towers, and 11 gardens. Everything about this castle is massive from its courtyards to its statues.
Many parts of the Prague Castle are open to the public including the Royal Garden, Ballgame Hall, the south gardens, or the Imperial Stables. Also, several invaluable works of art, official historical papers, as well as the Czech Crown Jewels, are stored there.
St Vitus Cathedral with St Wenceslas Chapel
Next on our Prague itinerary is a visit to St Vitus Cathedral for some pictures. St Vitus Cathedral is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral that is part of the Prague castle complex. Thus, St Vitus is a great example of Gothic architecture.
Also, St Vitus is the largest and most important church in the Czech Republic. Such that, the cathedral contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. Above all, the most notable place in the cathedral is the Chapel of St. Wenceslas, which houses relics of Saint Peter. Unfortunately, the Chapel is not open to the public but is viewable from the doorway.
The Magic of Charles Bridge
Nothing is more iconic Prague than our next stop on our Prague itinerary, the Charles Bridge. To make Prague an important trading route between the East and the West, Charles IV, in 1357, commissioned the construction of a bridge that would connect the two riverbanks of Prague. Today it is Prague’s oldest bridge and its most photographed. From the bridge, you will have amazing views of Prague Castle and Lesser Town.
If you must travel to Prague during peak season, I recommend setting the alarm and arrive at the Charles Bridge before sun up. Everyone who visits Prague also wants to visit the bridge just like you. There will be crowds.
An Interesting fact, according to the royal astronomers of the day, construction of the bridge began at 5:31 am on July 9th, 1357. Why? Because the numbers are a sequence of ascending and descending odd numbers (135797531); thus, these numbers carved on the Old Town Bridge Tower read the same backward as forward.
The bridge built of sandstone blocks, anchored at each end by towers (Lesser Town Bridge Tower, Old Town Bridge Tower) is for pedestrian use only. From 1683 to 1928, 30 statues of saints were carved to decorate the bridge signifying the importance of the catholic faith.
Enchanting and Romantic Prague’s Mala Strana
As I said, Prague is fairytale-like, and the most enchanting and romantic part of this fairytale-like city is next on our Prague itinerary, Mala Strana or Lesser Town. Lesser Town begins with the Charles Bridge. Some of the main attractions include the Church of Our Lady Victorious, St Nicholas church and Wallenstein Palace with its striking gardens.
Embracing the Vltava River and burrowed in the shadow of the great gothic Prague Castle, the Mala Strana, is unquestionably one of the most enchanting and alluring areas of the Czech Republic. And, second to the Charles Bridge, St. Nicholas Church’s green dome and bell tower are an iconic part of Prague’s skyline.
For ten centuries the square of Lesser Town has been the heart of the area. Again, the centerpiece of the square is the church of St. Nicholas, viewable from both sides of the river. You can climb to the top of the bell tower and see fantastic panoramic views of Prague. A local told us that organ concerts are held here throughout the year inside the church.
Prague’s Old Town Square
The next stop on our Prague itinerary is the Old Town Square. Even though it is very crowded, like the Charles Bridge, visiting the Old Town Square is a must-do experience. The old Town Square is the heart of Prague. The square features buildings belonging to various architectural styles, including the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn, the Baroque St. Nicholas Church and the Old Town Hall with a medieval astronomical clock mounted on it known as the Orloj. So, at the top of every hour, between 9 am, and 11 pm the astronomical clock puts on a performance featuring the twelve apostles.
The Old Town Square is over 1000 years old. In addition to the churches and Old Town Hall, many beautiful multicolored homes add to the unique atmosphere of the square. I promise you will be in awe and captivated by its charm.
Take a Tour of Old Town Hall
Taking a tour of the Old Town Hall is a must on any Prague itinerary. Prague’s Old Town Hall, established in 1338, is a miss mash of medieval homes bought piecemeal over the centuries. The tall Gothic tower with its marvelous 600-year-old astronomical clock defines the hall.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the hall. The tour goes through the council chambers and the assembly room, with its gorgeous mosaics dating from the 1930s. Then you visit the Gothic chapel and ultimately get a look at the inner workings of the astronomical clock and see the 12 apostles who parade out every hour. The tour includes the tower and is completed with a trip through the Romanesque and Gothic cellars beneath the building.
As you can imagine, the square outside the hall is quite crowded, especially as it nears the hour mark and people congregate to watch the apostles strut their stuff.
Take a Beer and Food Tasting Tour
A Prague itinerary would not be complete without doing a food and beer tasting tour. Prague Urban Adventures has amazing food tours. A local of Prague takes you on a walking tour of the city stopping at local pubs and eateries, allowing you to indulge in the Bohemian lifestyle.
We took the Taste of Local Daily Life tour with Sasa. On this tour, you will experience Bohemian tastes and neighborhoods in Prague. Bohemia is a Czech state with one of the most distinct cultures in Europe. The culture is extravagant, passionate, and dominated by Czech mineral water.
Uban Adventures limits the tours to ten people. However, our group only had five people plus Sasa making for an intimate tour. On this tour, we visited places that locals frequent, not tourists. So why a beer tour? Did you know that Czechs are the biggest consumers of beer per capita in the world? Before planning our Eastern Europe travels, I always thought that Germany would hold this record, but I was wrong.
So, the Tour Begins
Our tour began In Ovocny Svetozor where we tasted traditional open sandwiches called chlebiceks in Czech.
Next, we took the tram to what I thought was a picturesque neighborhood of Zizkov, which Sasa said was one of the most authentic neighborhoods of Prague. Zizkov is the former working-class district of Prague. Zizkov is not crowded like Old Town, making it a perfect getaway in Prague.
Saca made sure our visit included the local farmers market. We saw a huge variety of fresh produce along with other organic products.
In the Zizkov neighborhood, we stopped in a local Beerhouse called U Sadu. There, Sasa ordered three traditional meals that we all shared along with beers. It was a lovely day, so we ate outside on a picnic table. The dishes we tried were:
- Halušky – gnocchi with cabbage and smoked meat
- Smažený sýr (fried cheese) with potatoes and tartar sauce
- Moravian Sparrow – roasted pork with bread dumplings and cabbage
- Potato pancakes
At our next stop, we had iced lattes and a local pastry at Antonínovo Pekarstvi in the Vinohrady neighborhood. Anroninovo is a popular place, but we did manage to find seats. The bakery is close to the Church of the Sacred Heart of the Lord.
Lastly, we all had a shot of Slivovica in Riegrovy Sady, a public park with a beer garden. Slivovica is a brandy produced in central and eastern Europe and made from plums. We definitely think its a taste that has to grow on you.
Where to Stay to Enjoy Your Prague Itinerary
Location is important when selecting a hotel. So we recommend staying at the Boutique Hotel Seven Days, located near Wenceslas Square. We found their location perfect for walking to all of the sights of Prague.
The Hotel Seven Days is in an Art Nouveau-style 19th-century building in the heritage-protected area of Prague. Originally a residential building, erected in 1888, this splendid work of architecture is listed today on the UNESCO Heritage List. The lobby of the Hotel Seven Days is historic and charming. We found the staff very friendly and helpful.
The rooms were comfortable and they served a wonderful breakfast in the morning.
A Wonderful Dinner at the End of Our Long Day
For our dinner, we went to the Restaurace Kuchyn. It had a perfect location with great views of the city. Kuchyn means kitchen in Czech. So this restaurant service method was a little unusual. After we were taken to our seats, the server explained the menu to us. Then we were escorted back to the kitchen to see in the pots and pans all the food they had to offer.
After the chef shows you all of the dishes, you pick one from each of the categories and they plate it for you. It was very different but enjoyable. You did get to see all of the food you could get.
All of our food was delicious. We enjoyed the flavors of many Czech favorites.
After dinner, we were brought a dessert along with a special liquor. The entire experience was amazing. Great food and a wonderful atmosphere.
Have a fantastic Day with this Prague Itinerary
The 1989 Velvet Revolution that freed the Czechs from communism gave Europe a gem of a city that stands up to the spectacular cities like Rome, Paris, and London. The view alone in Prague is breathtaking. There are truly so many things to see and to do in Prague you could visit for weeks. But, if you have only a short amount of time in the city, we hope this Prague Itinerary is helpful.
The best time to visit Prague is during shoulder season. Because Prague is such a popular destination, it can be very crowded during peak season. Shoulder season for Prague is mid-April through May and September through mid-October.
The Czech Koruna (also known as the Czech Crown) is used in Prague and all of the Czech Republic. We did find that most stores and restaurants also accepted the Euro.
While in Prague, be sure to take a trip to the beautiful but not so crowded Czech cities of Ostrava and Opava.