Filled with art and history including baroque architecture and Gothic churches, Prague is an absolute must if you’re travelling throughout Europe. One day certainly isn’t enough to experience everything this city has to offer, but if you’re strolling through and want to take in the highlights, this is what I suggest for a perfect day.
1) Prague Castle
When we visited Prague Castle we wanted to eat beforehand so we decided to get dropped off at the Gingerbread Museum on Nerudova. There are plenty of food options along this road (including a Starbucks around the corner) and many of which prepare traditional Czech cuisine.
Visiting Prague Castle is probably the #1 place to visit when in Prague. It includes St. Vitus Cathedral which stands out amongst the city and provides a breathtaking view of the city, flooded with orange rooftops. Prague Castle is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site, but it is also the largest coherent castle complex in the world. There’s a lot to see, which is why there are different types of tickets to choose from when visiting.
We chose the Circuit B ticket and still didn’t have time to see everything. To be safe, give yourself 3 hours if you really want to explore everything on this particular ticket. Climbing the tower in St. Vitus Cathedral is a feat in itself! But the view is totally worth it, as you can see. As you leave the grounds after walking through Golden Lane, make sure to get a photo of that great view.
Walk south for about 10 minutes and you’ll come across an area by the Vltava River, full of swans. Even though there were about 15-20 people in this area taking photos, it still felt like we stumbled upon a secret location. From here, you’ll have a really nice view of buildings across the river, as well as Charles Bridge just to the right. Sidenote, please don’t be that person who taunts the swans.
3) Charles Bridge
After making friends with the Prague swans, make your way to the famous Charles Bridge. Take in the sight of Prague and stop to admire the artists selling their work. If you’re looking for a souvenir, this is a great opportunity to bring back something a little more special than something like a keychain. Walking along Charles Bridge, you’ll notice baroque-style statues. See how many you can count!
The best photos I’ve seen taken on the bridge have always been when there are hardly any people on it (obviously). Like many tourist locations, the best thing to do (if photos are a priority) is arrive early in the morning before most people get their day started.
4) Old Town Square
The Old Town in Prague is really cool. There’s live music, characters to take photos with, food vendors…like many town centres, the atmosphere changes throughout the year. I didn’t spend as much time roaming around as I would have liked, so I definitely recommend taking your time here. Grab a snack, admire the buildings, go shopping or purchase souvenirs…there really is a lot here to check out including the Astronomical Clock. Sadly, it was under construction when I visited but if you ever go, definitely make a point of seeing this because from what I can tell in photos, it’s really quite charming.
5) Mucha Museum
After booking my ticket to Prague, I found out that it’s the hometown of my favourite artist, Alphonse Mucha. We had planned on visiting the Mucha Museum (here), but stumbled upon the Art Gallery of Prague right in Old Town Square. Here, they have an exhibit (I assume it’s permanent) featuring Andy Warhol, Alphonse Mucha, and Salvador Dali. It was one of the coolest art exhibits I’ve ever been to. Each artist has their own floor displaying their work, so I highly suggest purchasing a ticket to visit all 3 floors just to see how different the artwork is. However in the end, I think we can all agree that Mucha’s the best. I want to say that this visit took about an hour. If you are only interested in seeing Alphonse Mucha, then visit his museum instead.
As I scrolled through the map of Prague, trying to find things to do that I might not otherwise think of, I saw a place called “Absintherie”. In that moment, I quickly decided that a visit here was going to be a priority. Even though we went there for just a few drinks, it was an experience I’ll never forget. Yes, Toronto has pretty bars and cool cocktails with flames and gimmicks, but there’s something really unique about this place. From the outside in a small alley, the entrance glows green with art nouveau signage. Once inside, it almost feels like an old speak-easy with the dim lighting and attire of the cocktail artists. The menu is overwhelming with over 60 different types of absinthe. Don’t let it stress you out though because the servers are incredibly friendly and helpful and you’ll have a nice buzz after one drink anyway. Don’t go souvenir crazy until you go here, they have a lot of really unique gifts you can purchase to bring home.
Prague is the coolest city I’ve visited so far and one that I know I’ll be visiting again. If you’ve ever been to Prague and have suggestions (especially for food!), please comment with them below or on my Instagram, @jo_hayward. I’d love to hear about it!
For a map of all these locations (including a landmark I sadly missed that any Star Wars fan will love), download my map of Prague here.