I made the worst decision of my life when I decided to visit Prague for one day.
If you are planning on visiting Prague, let me tell you something I wish someone had told me before… ONE DAY IS NOT ENOUGH!!
You should NOT visit Prague for less than 24 hours. It’s simply not enough time. You will be left wanting to stay for another day or two, or
I arrived in the capital of the Czech Republic on February 14th (aka Valentine’s Day). Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not a romantic person, but after setting foot in Prague, I can now tell you that I do believe in love at first sight.
I fell in love with Prague in a way I never expected to. There is an almost magical quality about the city, being surrounded by beauty at every corner. Apart from its beauty, Prague has a complex history, rich culture, amazing food, and on top of it all, is extremely affordable! It has become my new favorite European city, and one I most definitely plan on returning to.
If you find yourself in the terrible predicament I put myself in and only have one day in the city, DO however make the most of your time in the city and don’t miss out on the greatest sights and architectural wonders that Prague has to offer.
Walk Along the Charles Bridge
The best way to enjoy the views of the city from both sides of the Vltava River is to walk across the famed pedestrian bridge built in the 14th century by King Charles IV.
I highly recommend going right when the sun rises. I know, I know… I can hear you saying “I’m not a morning person!” I’m not either, but let me tell you it’s worth every extra minute of sleep. At that time of day, there are very few tourists and you are really able to enjoy a calm and relaxing stroll. You might even feel transported back to medieval times, admiring the statues along the bridge and watching the sun rays illuminate the spectacular St. Vitus Cathedral, the Prague Castle, and all the beautiful baroque buildings.
A stroll at night is also unforgettable, but keep in mind that this is when most tourists cross the bridge!
Visit the Castle & Palace Complex
St. Vitus Cathedral
After crossing the Charles Bridge, make your way directly to the Castle/Palace complex. What you can admire from afar are the two cathedral spires from the St. Vitus Cathedral. It is the biggest church in the Czech Republic and is intricately ornate in a Gothic style that is a beauty to behold from both inside and out.
By the way, when I hear the word “castle” I usually think of the Disneyland Castle or something similar, but don’t expect to find that here! What you will see instead is the Cathedral surrounded by the castle and palace buildings. For more information about the grounds and a detailed map, visit the official website. That way you can better plan your visit. Some areas cost to visit but most are free.
Watch the Change of Guards
Before you leave the castle and palace area, make sure to check out the change of guards as you exit. It happens every hour on the dot, and I promise it worth the wait to see this happen. Oh, and try to make the guards laugh if you can!
Graffiti the John Lennon Wall
Ah, the famous John Lennon Wall! The greatest thing about this place is that it is continuously changing, meaning every time you visit there is something new. What started in the 1980s with a few students painting John Lennon inspired artwork and Beatles’ lyrics, has now become a symbol of freedom of expression for peace and love.
People are encouraged to come and leave their message of peace on the wall, so buy a can of spray paint before you go (or ask someone who has one to borrow theirs).
Admire Old Town Square
Take your time to admire the Old Town Square’s architecture and atmosphere. In “ye olden days” this was THE hangout spot, and it still is today. The square is packed with tourists especially after 10 am, so if you’re like me and want to appreciate places without too many people, make sure to wake up early! But it’s also nice to go in the afternoon and get the real experience of a crowded town square.
Here you will find the famous Astronomical Clock (which was closed for renovations when I visited), the Old Town Hall Tower (which you can walk up and get a great view of the city), and during Christmas and Easter, this is where the market is set up.
What I Wish I Had Time For
- Explore the Jewish Quarter
Historical Jewish buildings and synagogues that are a testimony to the history of the Jews in Prague.
- Stroll Through Mala Strana
The neighborhood just below the Castle slopes is Prague’s most beautiful and historic. It is full of baroque architecture and medieval charm. Simply a place to get lost in the narrow and charming streets.
- Admire the World’s Most Beautiful Library
The Klementinum library is said to be the “most beautiful library in the world”, and for a book lover like me, is essentially a paradise. Just look for pictures online and you will understand why you NEED to visit this place.
- See the Franz Kafka Moving Statue
A mesmerizing piece of modern art is this 11-meter high rotating statue of Franz Kafka’s face.
- Visit the Dancing House
A very non-traditional-looking building that makes for a good picture opportunity.
- Experience Life as a Local in Prague
Eat ALL the food. Drink ALL the beer. And have a conversation with locals to get a deeper understanding of life in the Czech Republic.
Where to Sleep on a Budget
I stayed at Hostel One Home in Prague which has the perfect central location and within walking distance to all the main sights and attractions, as well as just 5 minutes walking to the train station. The atmosphere of the hostel is very welcoming and you feel right at “home”. The staff is really friendly and they organize free walking tours and excursions. Plus, it’s really affordable! I highly recommend staying at this hostel.
Need help deciding what to pack for a hostel stay? I got you covered.
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Leave a comment below if you’ve been to Prague and if you have any recommendations for what I should do the next time I visit 🙂