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One Day in Prague: How to Spend the Perfect 24 Hours in Prague

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One Day in Prague: Cobblestone street in the Lesser Quarter

The mere mention of Prague conjures up fairy-tale like vistas capable of convincing the weariest traveler to stop and snap pictures. With its rich history, gorgeous classical architecture and quaint neighborhoods, there’s a lot to love about this city. While one day in Prague may not be enough to explore everything the city has to offer, you will still have plenty of time to see and experience many of the top things to do in Prague. And now, off you go 🙂

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How to Get Around During Your One Day in Prague

Prague is an extremely walkable city and walking is the best way to discover its many hidden gems and appreciate the true charm of the city. Many of its major attractions are within comfortable walking distance of each other.

Insider Tip

Many streets in Prague are paved with bricks, some of which have cracks, uneven angles and can become slick when wet. It would be optimum to stick with a comfortable pair of flat shoes rather than heels as they can get stuck in the pavement.

However, to make the most of your 24 hours in Prague to get around the city quickly, or to visit a more distant sight, public transport is a great option. Prague’s public transport is reliable, clean and cheap and consists of trams, buses and the underground (metro) system.

For getting around the inner city, the tram is probably the easiest and most pleasant mode of transport. You’re unlikely to use a bus as buses are not allowed in the city center because the streets are too constricted.

A day ticket only costs 110 CZK. You can also buy 30 and 90-minute tickets for 24 and 32 CZK respectively. Tickets can be purchased from the automatic machines at the entrance of all metro stations, at some tram or bus stops, and at tabáks (tobacconists).

Just remember to validate your ticket at the start of your journey in one of the validation machines. Periodic checks are carried out by plain-clothes ticket inspectors and you’ll incur a hefty fine if you don’t. You can plan your journey here.

We wouldn’t recommend using taxis unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s very difficult not to get fleeced unless you speak Czech or know the terrain. There are several taxi companies operating throughout Prague.

Some of the better ones are AAA Radiotaxi and Sedop. Uber is another option to get around Prague and is usually cheaper than taxis.

Cycling is also an alternate option of getting around Prague. Dedicated bike lanes are rare so be heedful of traffic when biking. Renting a bike is easy, with PRAHA BIKE being one of the good ones.

Your One Day in Prague Itinerary

This ‘one day in Prague’ itinerary includes most of the must-see attractions in the city. It, of course, isn’t possible to explore all of Prague’s major sights in just one day, and you’ll barely scrape the barrel of what Prague has to offer.

For your convenience, this post includes a free map that highlights the main points of interest in Prague for one day. You can find the addresses of the attractions by clicking on the icons in the map. 

Obviously, everyone travels at a different pace so feel free to choose the destinations according to your own pace. The earlier you start your day the more time you’ll have to see the attractions.

Below I have compiled a list of the best things to see in Prague over the course of one day:

  1. Lesser Quarter including Czech Pastries, Charles Bridge, Lennon Wall & the Church of St. Nicholas
  2. Prague Castle including St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, and the Golden Lane
  3. Lunch
  4. Letna Park
  5. Jewish Quarter including the Old Jewish Cemetery, Spanish Synagogue, and Parizska Street
  6. Old Town Square including the Church of Our Lady before Týn and the Astronomical Clock
  7. Wenceslas Square
  8. Traditional Czech Dinner

1. Mala Strana (Lesser Quarter)

The Mala Strana is located just below Prague Castle and is in many ways, Prague’s most captivating area. It is packed with Baroque architecture and is definitely the most romantic part of Prague that is punctuated with fairy-tale charm.

It is home to many serene and hilly cobbled back streets that have hardly changed for ages.

Fun Fact

Prague was formerly known as the ‘five towns’, after the five historic districts at its core. These are: Hradčany (the Castle District), the Old Town (Staré Město), the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana), the New Town (Nové Město) and Josefov (the Jewish Quarter).

1.1 Charles Bridge

The best way to kick-off your one day in Prague would be by going to the iconic Charles Bridge (Karlův most). You can’t really ignore it since it is an absolute must-see attraction in Prague.

This beautiful Gothic bridge has a rich history that goes back some 600 years in time and it occupies a special place in the hearts of Prague natives. 

Things to see in Prague: The famous Charles Bridge at sunrise

Charles Bridge spans a length of 520 meters across the Vltava River and was built from sandstone blocks, rumored to be strengthened by mixing mortar with eggs. Charles Bridge derives much of its magic from the artistic differences between Baroque and Gothic styles.

The particularly beautiful statues of saints and religious scenes that adorn the bridge were once intended to get people back into the church. However, all the statues are copies, with the originals preserved in museums across the city.

Midway across the bridge is the brass Lorraine Cross, of which is said that if you make a wish at the cross, your wish will be fulfilled in the following year! 

The eighth statue on the right when walking toward the Lesser Quarter is of St. John of Nepomuk, who according to legend was wrapped in chains and thrown to his death from this bridge. The bronze relief below Nepomuk’s statue, the one with five stars on the halo around the head, depicts the final moment of the saint.

It is burnished each day by the hands of hordes of tourists who hope it brings good luck or, according to some versions of the legend, a return visit to Prague. 

However, since sauntering across the Charles Bridge is everyone’s favorite activity it is usually jam-packed with buskers, hawkers, and tourists during the day.

This can put a bit of a damper on your visit here, especially if you want good pictures. It is for this reason that we recommend going to the bridge at dawn when there are much fewer people.

Fun Fact

According to Czech legend, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV had the foundation stone of the Charles Bridge laid on the 9th of July 1357 at 5:31 a.m. This was no coincidence since Charles IV was a devout follower of numerology and carefully chose the date himself. When it is written in the chronology of the year–the day–the month–the time, it makes a palindrome, going upwards and then downwards: 1-3-5-7-9-7-5-3-1. He felt this would bring the bridge strength and good fortune.

1.2 Breakfast at Cafe Savoy

Czaech Pastries: Vetrnik – a choux pastry filled with whipped cream and topped off with caramel fondant

A good breakfast is necessary when you have a full day of sightseeing ahead of you. Just a short detour from the Charles Bridge lies Cafe Savoy, one of the very best cafes in Prague. You can sample delicious Czech cakes and pastries like buchty and kolache here.

We highly recommend that you try Vetrnik – a choux pastry filled with whipped cream and topped off with caramel fondant.

Insider Tip

While walking around the streets of Prague, you’ll encounter the ubiquitous sight of street vendors selling Trdelnik – a spiral-shaped dough cake grilled around a stick and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Trdelnik is touted as a ‘traditional Bohemian’ pastry, but its real origins lie elsewhere. Trdelnik is believed to have either originated in Romania or Slovakia. Czechs see Trdelnik as a bit of a ‘tourist trap’ and don’t like it associated with their cuisine. Although I like to keep things authentic while traveling, I tried one on a whim. It tastes pretty good, the crust has a really lovely, caramelized richness and the aroma of cinnamon is divine. So if you eat Trdelnik, just keep in mind that it isn’t really a ‘traditional Czech pastry’.

One day in Prague: Trdelnik, a spiral-shaped dough cake sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon

1.3 Lennon Wall

Things to see in Prague: Graffiti scribbled on the Lennon Wall

Take a moment to stop by the Lennon Wall. The Lennon Wall is a prominent wall in Prague that is filled with graffiti inspired by John Lennon. Lennon was a powerful symbol of non-conformity for young people throughout Communist-ruled Czechoslovakia.

His death in 1980 inspired some of his fans to scrawl portraits and messages to air their grievances on the wall near the Maltese Garden. The communist police repeatedly painted over the messages, but intrepid fans repainted over the wall.

The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of spray paint. You can find snippets of lyrics from the Beatles’ song on the wall. It’s worth taking a quick look at before moving on.

Ironically, Lennon never visited Prague, the wall is one of Prague’s landmarks. Although interest in the wall has waned, it continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost.

Fun Fact

Legend has it that Princess Libuša, a mythological leader of a Slavonic matriarchal tribe, picked the farmer Přemysl to be her husband. She told him to go look for a village on the banks of the Vltava and to found a town there, which she predicted would achieve great things. This later became Prague, the ‘golden city’.

1.4 Church of St. Nicholas

24 Hours in Prague: The lavish Baroque interior of the Church of St, Nicholas

On your way up to the Prague Castle, take a quick detour to admire the exceedingly beautiful Church of St. Nicholas. The church marks the high point of the High Baroque style in Prague and its giant green dome and tower are among the most characteristic landmarks in Prague’s Lesser Quarter.  

The interior of the church is a visual assault on the eyes and is overwhelmingly rich in exquisite Baroque carvings, statues, and frescoes. The huge fresco in the nave portrays celebrates some of the more fanciful miraculous feats of St. Nicholas.

The Celebration of the Holy Trinity dome fresco is even more impressive and includes four terrifyingly large statues of church teachers, one of whom is brandishing a gilded thunderbolt. 

St. Nicholas Church is open daily, you can check opening hours here. The entrance costs 100 CZK.

2. Prague Castle

Things to see in Prague: Prague Castle complex from across the River Vltava

No day of sightseeing in Prague would be complete without seeing the massive Prague Castle. It lies on top of Castle Hill in the Castle District and dominates the skyline of Prague like no other building.

The Prague Castle was built in the 9th century and with an area of 70,000 square meters, it is the largest ancient castle in the world. Visiting the castle is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Prague.

Fun Fact

According to popular legend, the specter of a large black dog haunts the Hradčanské náměstí entrance to Prague Castle. It supposedly appears between 23:00 and midnight, and far from being contentious, it accompanies passers-by as far as the Loreto before vanishing into thin air.

The castle has been under constant transformation since its inception and as a result, you can see signs of many Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, and modernist features. It has been the seat of the Bohemian Kings and Holy Roman Emperors and since 1918, the residence of the President of the Czech Republic.

The castle complex consists of numerous buildings and gardens, including four churches, four palaces, and sprawling gardens. Prague Castle is a sight to behold at night when it is beautifully lit up leaving an indelible image.

Fun Fact

Did you know that the word defenestration (the act of throwing someone out a window as a means of execution) originates from an incident that occurred in Prague Castle in 1618? A year earlier, when the Habsburgs attempted to make Catholicism the sole religion of the empire, the Protestants of Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic) protested the quelling of their religion. To voice their displeasure, Bohemian nobles in Prague chucked two Catholic regents and their secretary out of a window of the Royal Palace. Fortunately, their fall was cushioned by a manure pile and they escaped. This event was also the catalyst that gave rise to one of the most destructive wars in European history, the Thirty Years’ War. However, this wasn’t the first notable defenestration to take place in Prague. The first defenestration in Prague took place at the New Town Hall on July 30, 1419, when a mob of townspeople, followers of the martyred religious reformer Jan Hus, hurled Catholic town councilors out the windows.

The Prague Castle complex is open daily from 06:00 – 22:00. Entrance to the castle is free but many of its attractions keep different hours and charge an entrance fee.

In order to avoid long queues at Prague Castle and save precious time, you should get the skip the line ticket. You can decide which places to visit depending on the time you have and your interests. Below are the ones we would recommend:

2.1 St. Vitus Cathedral

What to see in Prague: The ornate facade of St. Vitus Cathedral with pointed arches, and a rose window

The beautiful St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrála Sv. Víta) is the largest and the most important religious building in Prague. The construction of the cathedral began in 1344, but due to interruptions by wars, plagues, and fire, it took nearly 600 years to complete.

Due to the immense time span that went by in the construction of the church, the architecture of the church is a blend of Gothic, Neo-Gothic along with the influences from the Renaissance and Baroque styles.

The ornate facade features pointed arches, elaborate tracery, flying buttresses, a rose window, a dozen statues of saints, and gargoyles sticking their tongues out. Some of its graceful spires jut out to a height of 96 meters, towering over the Prague castle complex.

Look out for the Rose Window above the portals which depicts scenes from the biblical story of the Creation. 

24 Hours in Prague: Gothic interior of St. Vitus Cathedral with stained glass.PC: Frimufilms/shutterstock.com

Once you enter the cathedral, its gigantic proportions are immediately apparent. There are over 18 separate chapels lining the walls.

St. Vitus Cathedral: Alfons Mucha's Art Nouveau chapel depicting the blessing of Sts. Cyril and Methodius

I really loved the 19th- and 20th-century elements of the cathedral, especially the Art Nouveau chapel by Alfons Mucha, depicting the blessing of Sts. Cyril and Methodius (9th-century missionaries to the Slavs). Despite appearances, the glass is painted, not stained.

St. Vitus Cathedral is open Mon-Sat: 09:00 – 17:00 and Sun 12:00 – 17:00.

Insider Tip

It’s possible to get a glimpse of the interior from a small space below the western music gallery for free. It does get pretty crowded there though.

2.2 Old Royal Palace & Vladislav Hall

The Old Royal Palace was built in 1135 in the beautiful Romanesque style and is one of the most interesting buildings in the Prague Castle complex. It was once the ruling seat of the Bohemian kings. A quick visit here will suffice.

Prague Castle Complex: The majestic Vladislav Hall, the largest ballroom in Europe. PC: Angyalosi Beata/shutterstock.com

The most sumptuous room of the palace is the Vladislav Hall, which was built in the 15th century. It is the largest ballroom in Europe and has a length of 60 meters. The hall has no pillars but only a supporting vault and was used for many different purposes such as gatherings, jousting tournaments, and coronations.

The broad staircase leading into the building which allowed knights to enter on horseback for jousting competitions is truly a sight to behold.

The Old Royal Palace is also home to the Story of Prague Castle exhibition, which uses castle models, films, and artifacts in an innovative way to tell the long and fascinating history of Prague Castle.

2.3 Golden Lane

Points of interest in Prague: The Golden Lane with small, vividly painted historic houses

Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička) is yet another interesting and charming part of the Prague Castle complex. Contrary to its name you won’t find any golden pavements or items here. It is actually named for the goldsmiths who moved into the houses in the 17th century.

One side of this small lane is lined with small, vividly painted historic houses that are built directly into the arches of the castle walls. The scenery looks like something out of a medieval fairy tale.

These picturesque houses now exhibit medieval armory and textiles and sell tourist souvenirs. The houses on Golden Lane were lived in until World War II and the house at number 22 was home to the 20th-century literary giant Franz Kafka.

Insider Tip

Entrance to the Golden Lane requires a Prague Castle ticket, but if you go after 17:00, entrance is free.

3. Lunch

Czech Food: Potato dumplings and goose in a gravy sauce

For a well-deserved lunch and a break from sightseeing, you can go to Občanská plovárna, a nice Asian fusion restaurant with a waterside terrace.

4. Letna Park

Prague viewpoints: Panorama of River Vltava and Prague's bridges from Letna Park

Make your way to one of the city’s most popular green belts, Letna Park (Letenské Sady), which lies on the west bank of the Vltava river. The park’s lofty position on the fringes of the historical center makes it a popular destination for tourists and locals, who come here at all hours of the day, to get an unforgettable view of the city and the tranquil Vltava River with its many bridges.

The scenic vantage point is located near the Prague Metronome monument. For me, this is the ultimate picture-postcard image of Prague.

Fun Fact

Letna Park is also well-known for formerly being home to the world’s largest statue of ex-Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. The 15-meter tall statue, which depicted Stalin standing at the head of a line of workers, soldiers, and citizens, was dubbed by Prague residents as “the meat queue”—a reference to the notorious food shortages during the Communist era. The statue was commissioned in the early 1950s at the height of Stalin’s cult of personality and was revealed in 1955 to the cheering masses. But within a year, Kruschev’s (Stalin’s successor) de-Stalinization policy which denounced Stalin meant that the monument had to go. It lingered uneasily over the city for several years and was finally blown to smithereens in 1962. The statue’s vast concrete platform and steps are all that remain and are now graced with local artist David Černý’s symbolic giant red metronome.

5. Jewish Quarter

One Day in Prague: Maiselova Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter.

Cross the Cech bridge to make your way to the Jewish Quarter (Josefov). The Jewish Quarter is one of the must-see attractions in Prague since the Jewish community has left an indelible mark on the city’s history.

The history of the quarter dates back to the 13th century when a royal decree ordered all Jewish people to move from different parts of Prague to a single location. 

The area has quite a different character from the rest of Prague’s neighborhoods. It was once the base of one of the most active and influential Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.

Although these days there are only a small amount of Jews in Prague (around 2000), the legacy of Prague’s Jewish community lives on.

The Jewish Quarter is home to the most well-preserved Jewish historical monuments in Europe. Six synagogues, including the oldest active synagogue in Europe, still stand in this area in addition to the historic Jewish Town Hall.

Jewish Museum

Many of the famous sites in the Jewish quarter are part of the Jewish Museum. In order to visit any of these places, you are required to buy a ticket (valid for 7 days) to the Jewish Museum, which allows access to all these sites. It is not possible to purchase a ticket only to one of these places.

The Jewish Museum is open Sunday-Friday. Opening hours are 09:00-18:00 (April-October) and 09:00-17:00 (November-March). A ticket costs 200 CZK. Tickets can be purchased online or in one of the museum’s ticket offices.

In order to make the most of your visit here and hear interesting anecdotes about the place, you can take this fabulous in-depth tour of the Jewish Quarter. It’s also very handy as it allows you to skip the ticket queue and save some valuable time.

While you could easily spend a lot of time exploring this fantastic quarter, our top recommendations in the Jewish quarter are:

5.1 Old Jewish Cemetery

Instagrammable Prague: Lopsided headstones in the Old Jewish Cemetery

The Old Jewish Cemetery (Starý Židovský Hřbitov) is one of the best things to see in Prague and arguably the most impressive sight in the Jewish Quarter. Established in the first half of the 15th century it is one of the oldest Jewish burial sites in the world.

It’s just amazing how, due to lack of space, the bodies were buried on top of each other throughout the years, sometimes piling up to 12 bodies in one grave space. 

There are over 12,000 tombstones, with many toppling over each other and pressed together. It is believed that there are around 100,000 people buried on these grounds. The graves were never relocated because Jewish traditions dictate not to move bodies after they are buried.

The settling of the ground over time has created lopsided tombstones pointing in every direction, a most surreal and evocative sight that is eternally spellbinding. 

Each headstone bears a symbol denoting the background, family name, or profession of the deceased: a pair of hands for the Cohens; a pitcher and basin for the Levites; scissors for a tailor; a stag for Hirsch’s or the Zvi’s. The cemetery’s oldest grave belongs to the poet Avigdor Karo and dates from 1439 Moses Beck, who died in 1787, was the last person to be buried in the cemetery.

Watch out for the headstone of Jehuda ben Bezalel, the famed Rabbi Löw, a chief rabbi of Prague and a scholar and philosophical writer, credited with creating the mythical Golem.

5.2 Spanish Synagogue

Prague Jewish Quarter: Facade of the Spanish Synagogue with elaborate tracery, and pseudo-minarets.

If there’s one synagogue that shouldn’t be overlooked in the Jewish Quarter, it is the Spanish Synagogue (Španělská Synagoga). It was only completed in 1868 and although it is the newest synagogue in the Jewish Quarter it is arguably the most spectacular one.

I love the synagogue’s exterior with its horseshoe arches atop slender columns, elaborate tracery, and pseudo-minarets. 

The interior of the Spanish Synagogue is absolutely breathtaking, inspired by Islamic architecture and consisting of oriental stucco motifs, gilded elements, carved decorations on doors and banisters, and colored stained glass windows.

Prague Spanish Synagogue: swirling arabesques and geometric patterns and carved decorations of the interior. PC: maziarz/shutterstock.com

It seems like every inch of the surface is smothered with a profusion of swirling arabesques and geometric patterns, in vibrant reds, greens, and blues, which are also seen in the synagogue’s massive stained-glass windows. It is reminiscent of the Alhambra in Spain (hence its name). We absolutely loved this place. 

Formerly off-limits to the public, the Spanish Synagogue acts as an exhibit that lends insight into the evolution of Jewish culture in Bohemia from the late 18th century to the end of World War II.

5.3 Parizska Street

One Day in Prague: Elegant Art Nouveau buildings on Parizska street

Parizska Street (Paris Street) is Prague’s answer to the Champs-Élysées and Fifth Avenue and is the most elegant boulevard in the city. This swanky boulevard has an array of high-end fashion boutiques from Prada, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Swarovski, and more. It runs through the Jewish Quarter, connecting the Old Town Square to the Čech Bridge. 

Watch out for the wealth of ritzy Art Nouveau buildings here, which have Neo-Baroque and Gothic influences. The buildings at the intersection of Parizska Street and Siroka Street (known as the Four Corners) are especially lovely.

Fun Fact

Though there are several theories as to the origin of Prague’s name, the most likely one is that the city’s name is Czech “Praha” stems from an old Slavic word, práh, which means “ford” or “rapid”, in reference to the city’s origin at a crossing point of the Vltava River. The English spelling of “Prague” is loaned from French.

6. Old Town Square

Prague Old Town Square: An array of colorful historic buildings with the Tyn Church in the background

Prague’s Old Town Square is definitely one of the highlights of this ‘one day in Prague’ itinerary. It is one of the most popular spots in Prague that has travelers flocking here from all over for the fascinating history, beautiful architecture as well as vibrant atmosphere.

Be sure to admire the blend of Gothic, Romanesque, Rococo, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture that is displayed by colorful buildings surrounding the square.

Prague Architecture: White sgraffito etchings on the black facade of the House of the Minute. PC: Fred Romero from Paris, France [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Some of my favorite sights in the Old Town Square are the House at the Minute at number 3 which is famous for its numerous beautiful white sgraffito etchings on the black facade that depict Habsburg rulers.

Don’t miss the Storch House at number 16, which boasts arguably the most beautifully painted facade of Prague’s medieval buildings. The gorgeous pink and white stucco Rococo facade of the Kinský Palace shouldn’t be overlooked.

Prague sightseeing: The colossal Jan Hus monument in the center of Old Town Square. PC: Øyvind Holmstad [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The center of Old Town Square is dominated by the colossal Jan Hus Monument (Pomník Jana Husa). It is dedicated to Jan Hus, an important 15th-century Czech religious Reformer, who objected to the Catholic Church’s corrupt practices and helped inspire Martin Luther a century later.

The monument shows the dominant figure of Hus flanked by two groups of people, one of the victorious Hussite warriors, the other of Protestants forced into exile 200 years later. While Hus is depicted here as tall and bearded in flowing garb, he was in reality, short and had a babyface.

The hype about Old Town Square is justified and it is no surprise that visitors from all over the globe flock here to see its beautiful architecture and vibrant atmosphere.

It is true that in recent years the square has become over-commercialized with overpriced restaurants and cafes, and tacky souvenir shops. This still doesn’t take away the allure of the setting.

6.1 Old Town Hall

One day in Prague: Beautiful buildings and Old Town Hall with clock tower

The Old Town Hall (Staroměstská Radnice) is definitely one of the must-see attractions in Prague. This dazzling building was established in 1338 after King John of Luxembourg agreed to set up a town council.

In 1364, the distinctive trapezoidal tower was added to what was the private house of Wolflin of Kamen. The neighboring row of colorful Gothic and Renaissance merchants’ houses were incorporated into the building over time.

You can go up the tower for a fee of 250 CZK for excellent views over central Prague. The opening hours of the tower are 11:00 – 22:00 (Monday) and 09:00 – 22:00 (Tuesday-Sunday).

6.2 Astronomical Clock

Prague Old Town: The colorful Astronomical Clock

Prague’s famous astronomical clock is probably the best-preserved astronomical clock of all. Built in 1410 by Mikuláš Kadaň, a clockmaker, and Jan Šindel, an astronomer, it is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still functioning.

The clock displays Babylonian time, Old Bohemian time, German time, and Sidereal time. It also displays the movement of the sun and moon through the signs of the Zodiac. The vibrant colors are another fascinating aspect of the clock.

You’ll have an even greater appreciation for the clock if you read up on how it works. Unfortunately, the theory is a bit too long for me to explain here.

Each hour (09:00-23:00), animated figurines flanking the clock are set in motion. First, the figure of Death, the skeleton on the right of the clock, gives a pull on the rope that he holds in his right hand. In his left hand is an hourglass, which he raises and inverts.

The Twelve Apostles shuffle past, acknowledging the crowd while perched on pinnacles below are the four threats to the city as perceived during the medieval days: Death carrying his hourglass and tolling his bell, Greed (adapted from the original medieval stereotype of a Jewish moneylender) with his moneybags, Vanity admiring his reflection and a turbaned Turk shaking his head. 

Beneath the moving figures, four characters representing Philosophy, Religion, Astronomy, and History stand motionless throughout the performance. Finally, a cock crows, and the hour is rung. The whole spectacle lasts about 45 seconds and is what most people flock to see.

I’ve read a lot about people complaining about the slightly underwhelming display. Yes, it’s nothing spectacular, but you have to remember that this is a 600-year-old piece of machinery.

Insider Tip

Given that the clock is in the Old Town Square, it’s always busy around here. Big crowds really gather around the top of the hour to see the moving statues. If this show isn’t important to you, you’ll definitely find fewer people in between the hour. If you really want to witness the spectacle, arrive at least 15 minutes early so you aren’t caught in the back of the crowd.

6.3 The Church of Our Lady before Týn

Instagrammable Prague: The stunning Gothic-style Tyn Church at night

The amazing Church of Our Lady before Tyn (Tyn Church) has got to be one of Prague’s most recognizable buildings. This fairytale-like church with its two Gothic spires is probably the most recognizable church in Prague.

Legend has it that Tyn Church gave Walt Disney inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle. True or not, it is certainly an awe-inspiring sight during the day, and even more so at night brightly lit against a dark sky.

The inside of the church is pretty impressive as well. Unfortunately, photography is very rarely permitted so you’ll just have to go and take a look yourself.

The opening hours of Tyn Church are 10:00-13:00 & 15:00-17:00 (Tuesday-Saturday) and 10:00-12:00 (Sunday). The church is open from March-December. There’s a voluntary entrance fee of 25 CZK.

7. Wenceslas Square

One Day in Prague - People walking on Wenceslas Square, the city's main boulevard.

Your final stop of sightseeing on this one day in Prague itinerary will be Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí). Although it is called a square, Wenceslas Square is actually a boulevard that stretches for about 750 meters through the heart of the New Town.

The square is named in honor of Saint Wenceslas, Bohemia’s patron saint and at the top of the square sits the St. Wenceslas Monument. Wenceslas Square has been the scene of many historic events in Czech history.

The area is the commercial heart of Prague and is now one of the prime shopping areas of the city. It is now a popular meeting point and the numerous hotels, shops, and restaurants around the square attract hordes of tourists and locals alike. 

Prague architecture: Ornate Art Nouveau facade of Grand Hotel Europa with gilded nymphs

One of the things I love about taking a stroll down Wenceslas Square is that all artistic styles of the past century, from Neo-Renaissance and Art Nouveau to Socialist Realism can be seen in the buildings here.

Two of the best buildings to look out for on Wenceslas Square are the Wiehl House (Wiehlův dům), a striking Neo-Renaissance edifice with colorful murals, and sgraffito and Grand Hotel Europa, an ornate Art Nouveau building with a splendid façade crowned with gilded nymphs.

8. Dinner

24 Hours in Prague: Beautiful woman sipping beer in a restaurant

After a long day’s sightseeing, you’ll be jaded and hungry. Since you’re in Prague, a city renowned for its beer culture, it would be a good idea to head to one of the city’s famous gastropubs, the Prague Beer Museum.

The Czechs take their beer and food seriously and this place is no exception. There are over 25 beers on tap to choose from and you can gulp it down with some hearty grub.

If you want more of a quieter evening head to Restaurace Mincovna for a great Czech meal. We would strongly recommend the goulash or svíčková na smetaně (Beef sirloin with cream sauce). Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Extending Your Stay

If you have any more time to spare than 24 hours in Prague, we strongly recommend that you stay for a little longer. It will give you a chance to check out some of the city’s amazing architecture, excellent museums, and quirky art scene. Plus, a day trip to Karlštejn Castle is really a must 🙂

Where to Stay in Prague

It’s handy to stay in or around the districts of the Old Town, New Town and the Lesser Quarter as they are a good base for sightseeing. There are plenty of good options here for all budgets.

Hostel: Hostel Prague Tyn, a great choice within 2 minutes of the Old Town square

Budget: Palac U Kocku, an amazing budget hotel within 2 minutes of the Old Town square

Mid-range: Archibald at the Charles Bridge, within 2 minutes of the Charles Bridge, in the Lesser quarter

Splurge: Art Nouveau Palace Hotel, sumptuous top-choice within 5 minutes of Wenceslas Square


Now, what do you think? Is Prague on your bucket list? Or is there anything else that shouldn’t be missed during one day in Prague? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About Mihir

Hi there, I'm Mihir! I was born in India, raised there and in Australia before spending nearly a decade in Finland. I suffer from chronic fernweh and am always looking forward to a new adventure. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, beer, classic movies, history, cricket, and Australian Rules Football. Oh, there's also my partner in crime Jacky who's not too bad either 😉

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