Prague is the crown jewel of Central Europe. The ancient Czech capital dates back all the way to the 7th century but is today a bustling center and one of the largest cities in the EU. Immensely rich history, fascinating architecture, awe-inspiring culture and so much more will leave you quite speechless as you walk the streets of the city’s old town. There is indeed a lot to see, so even if you only have one day in Prague you should not waste any time – things to see in Prague in one day are indeed numerous, and this itinerary will help you get to all the main attractions. Jump in and let the incredible atmosphere of this place wash over you.
What’s the best time to visit Prague?
Winters can get pretty cold here, while summers are often quite hot, so if you want pleasant weather for your visit to Prague perhaps the best time would be somewhere in April or May, or even in September. The temperatures should be quite bearable then, but May should be your prime target because of the Czech Beer Festival that takes place then. You really must try the beer there!
However, there is plenty to do and see in this city all year round, and if the weather is no obstacle for you, check out Bohemian Carnevale at the end of February. In addition, there is still a pretty good chance for some decent weather in mid-October, which is when the beautiful Festival of Light takes place, plus you can enjoy some smooth jazz in October and November because this is when the International Jazz Festival takes place, an event with more than 50 years of tradition.
A few facts about Prague
As mentioned earlier, the city was founded in the 7th century, but there is much more to it than that. Prague Castle, for example, is the largest castle in the whole world, spanning over incredible 18 acres of land. Oh, and the lighting for it was created and paid for by the Rolling Stones. Cool, huh?
Additionally, Prague is among the 15 biggest cities in the EU and its residents consume the most beer per capita in the world: a staggering amount of more than 150 liters per year on average is drunk by every person. And these are just a few reasons why more than 8.5 million people visit the city every year, which makes Prague the fourth most popular tourist city in Europe!
One Day in Prague Itinerary
So, what to do in Prague? There are indeed many things to see in Prague in one day, but don’t worry – it can be done! Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Prague.
Start your day with Prague Castle
As mentioned previously, Prague Castle is the largest in the world, meaning it will take you some time to tour it. Additionally, it is also incredibly popular among tourists, so getting here early can save you valuable time.
And investing some time into exploring the castle is really worth it because apart from the spectacular view, you will also get a chance to see the Old Royal Palace with its massive main hall, its beautiful garden from the 16th century, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica and much, much more. So, if you’re wondering what to see in Prague in one day, put this incredible castle at the top of your list.
Head down to Charles Bridge
Once you’re done with the castle, head down to Charles Bridge and cross the Vltava to enter Prague’s Old Town. But the bridge itself is also one of the main attractions in Prague due to its fantastic architecture and the statues that adorn each side.
The statues mostly represent saints, and it is interesting to know that the bridge aligns perfectly with sunsets on the equinox. Naturally, you will also get an up-close view of the Vltava, plus the gates at the end of the bridge are also worth your time. Without a doubt, one of the main things to see in Prague, even if you’re here for just 24 hours.
See everything on the Old Town Square
Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti) is, naturally, the focal point of Prague’s Old Town and there is really a lot of things to do here. Old Town Hall is the main thing you should visit, primarily because of the wonderful Astronomical Clock which dates back all the way to the 15th century. You can also ascend the hall’s tower for a great view of the city. Clementinum is also a place very much worthy of your time because it is a huge conglomerate of historical buildings and home to the country’s national library which contains quite literally millions of books.
Tyn Church is also a great place to see. In addition, the square is also the perfect meeting point from which you can explore old town and maybe find a nice place to eat since it will be lunchtime by now. There is plenty to see and do in this part of Prague, and you will love exploring every corner of this beautiful old town.
Check out the Municipal House
But what to do in Prague after lunch? Well, another great architectural piece is Prague’s Municipal House. This, however, is a bit newer building, seeing how it was finished in 1912. Nevertheless, it is very much worthy of a look because it is an excellent example of Art Nouveau with plenty of fascinating details. Both in terms of exterior and interior, this building is absolutely stunning, so don’t just stay outside – enter it if you can. Today, it serves as a concert hall.
Enjoy Vaclavske namesti
You will have to leave the Old Town for this one, but Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square) is very much worth it, plus you won’t have to go too far. The square dates back to the 14th century and will stun you with its beauty. Awe-inspiring architecture, which includes the National Museum, encircles the square, and this is also a great place to go shopping or to find a good restaurant. Should you come here around Christmas time, you will be in for a very special treat – the Christmas Market that is held here is extremely popular.
End your day with some Czech beer
What kind of Prague itinerary would this be if it didn’t contain beer? Letna Park is a great place to sit back and enjoy because it overlooks the Vltava and the Old Town, while providing loads of greenery all around you where you can taste some truly delectable brews. And if you want to end your 24 hours in Prague with something wilder, you will find loads of very good bars all over Old Town.
As for the nightlife, you really don’t have to worry about what to do in Prague once the sun sets. With places such as Lucerna Music Bar near Vaclavske namesti and Zlaty Strom in the Old Town, you will always have some excellent clubbing options.
Where to stay in Prague?
Metropolitan Old Town Hotel
Haštalská 731/20, Prague, 110 00
Metropolitan Old Town Hotel is an excellent choice if you want to stay somewhere near the city center and get some value for your money, too. The hotel was recently renovated and has no less than four restaurants, two of which are traditional breweries. Therefore, if you want to taste Czech beer, this is a great hotel to do it in. The hotel also has a spa and sports center, plus the rooms are very comfortable and each has its own bathroom.
Elišky Peškové 11, Prague, 15000
Hotel Julian is located in a beautiful neoclassical building, and once you enter it you will be in a world of vivid colors and beautiful interiors. It has a very nice terrace, and the restaurant will serve you traditional Czech dishes. You will also find a great spa centre here, plus there’s a tram station that will take you right to the city centre in front of the hotel. The rooms are modern and very well equipped, so even if you’ll only be 24 hours in Prague, booking a room here will be a great move.
Schwaigerova 3, Prague, 16000
Hotel Schwaiger is a great little hotel whose style will throw you back in the 1920s. Naturally, all the amenities are here, including a bar and a beautiful garden, plus all the rooms come with coffee machine, flat-screen TVs and free cosmetics. You can enjoy your private bathroom in every room, and you are still within a reasonable distance from the main attractions.
Little Quarter Hostel
Nerudova 21, Prague, 110 00
If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable stay in Prague, look no further than Little Quarter Hostel. This charming little place is about one mile outside the city centre, so it provides enough peace and quiet, all within a reasonable distance from the sights. There are plenty of things to do, from beer pong to darts, and you can enjoy a beautiful terrace on a sunny day, too.
Day trips from Prague
If you have more than 24 hours in Prague, you may want to explore the area around the city and the rest of the Czech Republic. And you really should, because there are plenty of great options for a memorable day trip from Prague. Here are some of the most popular ones.
This quintessentially Bohemian town is under the protection of UNESCO, and visiting it really feels like stepping into a fairy tale. Its picturesque streets with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets create a very romantic atmosphere every tourist is sure to enjoy. The town also boasts a magnificent Češky Krumlov Castle from the middle of the 13th century and a magnificent church of St. Vitus. If you want to learn more about Bohemia, its culture and history, this is one of the best day trips from Prague you can make.
Another beautiful example of a medieval Bohemian town, Kutna Hora was once a town of miners. However, apart from rich history and loads of culture, you can also check out something quite unique here – Sedlec Ossuary may give some people the creeps, but it contains bones of thousands of people which make up remarkable sculptures and decorations. Furthermore, you simply can’t miss St. Barbara’s Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece and another UNESCO site. A great way to dive deeper into Bohemia’s intriguing past.
Bohemian Switzerland National Park
A trip to Bohemian Switzerland National Park is a trip to unspoiled nature which has created nothing short of a paradise. It is located near the border with Germany, and you will even be able to sail through the park if you so desire. But hiking is also a fantastic option because the forests here and the rock formations hidden in them are simply magical. The fact that the Chronicles of Narnia were filmed here says a lot. You will also find restaurants around the park, so a very memorable meal is in store for you if you become hungry.
Another picturesque town, Karlovy Vary is also known as Karlsbad. Now, this could be a day trip from Prague dedicated fully to your own pleasure because the town is known as a fantastic spa destination. There is, therefore, a lot of ways to please your senses here, but do not miss a visit to the Moser glass factory because there you will find true glass masterpieces and learn all about how they are made. Exhibitions of these incredible pieces can also be visited, but even if you just decide to stroll around you will have a wonderful day.
Extra tips for visiting Prague
- While the country is in the EU, Czech currency is not the euro but CZK, i.e. Czech crown, also known as koruna. One euro is worth about 25 or 26 korunas, so be mindful of the exchange scams which are common if you exchange the money on the street.
- Buying tickets for various attractions can bring you a lot of benefits – not only can you get better deals, but you can also skip lines sometimes that way.
- The earlier you get to a certain sight, the less crowded it will be. Keep that in mind when creating your Prague itinerary.
- Metros work only until midnight! After that you can only use trams and buses for the rest of the night.
- “Ahoj” means both “Hello!” and “Goodbye!” in Czech. It’s a simple way to connect with the locals.
If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Prague Itinerary, feel free to share it in the comments below!
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Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).