Every Prague visitor cannot go without a visit to the most famous attractions of the city: the Old Town Square, the Charles Bridge, and the Prague Castle. If your group doesn’t mind walking a bit, then you can do this entire trip on foot, seeing some of the beautiful streets and alleys that give the city its special charm.
Leisurely strolling with a break here and there, you’ll be able to see all the major sites in 4-6 hours This is a great way to spend your first day in the city. You can of course also rent a bike and go exploring the city that way!
If you are with children or prefer to take it easy, you can choose to combine the Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge. Then you walk down the street Mostecka and you take tram 22 on the square. This stops right behind the castle and saves you the walk uphill!
Prague sights: View this walking route on Google Maps below!
Oude Stadsplein - Staroměstské náměstí
Karelsbrug - Karlův most
Praagse Burcht - Pražský hrad
Astronomische klok - Pražský orloj
The Charles Bridge, or Karluv Most, is one of the most famous attractions in Prague.
The construction of the bridge began in 1357 on the orders of King Charles IV and was completed approximately 50 years later in the early 15th century. The bridge was the first permanent connection between the two riverbanks, making Prague an essential part of the trade route between East and West.
The bridge has a turbulent past: both natural disasters and violent wars have caused massive amounts of damage throughout history. For example, the thirty-year war in the 17th century was a cause of severe damage, particularly to the tower on the side of the Old City. Several significant floods destroyed pillars, stairs and other parts. The bridge has recently been restored and is now in pristine condition.
The bridge is about 620 meters long and 10 meters wide and is secured by two towers on the side of the castle as well as one on the side of Stare Mesto (the Old Town). The tower on the Old Town side is seen worldwide as one of the unique buildings in Gothic style still in existence. The bridge is decorated with 30 statues, originally from around the year 1700, but now mostly replaced by replicas.
You can not miss a few critical sites: for example, the image of Cross and Crucifixion is a much-fought image that has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries. It has great historical value for both Christians and the Jewish people. Also, known is the statue of Johannes of Nepomuk: touching this statue brings you happiness, and ensures a return visit to the beautiful city of Prague!
The Charles Bridge is incredibly busy during the day: tourists and cultural stalls populate every inch of the bridge. Do you want to experience this special place differently? Then put your alarm clock early, and make sure you are on the bridge around 6 a.m. The rising sun and the total silence on the bridge and in the city will make you feel like you are back for centuries!
In the middle of the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí), built into the old City Hall, is the world-famous Astronomical clock called Orloj. The clock was put into operation in 1410 and is, therefore, one of the oldest functioning astronomical clocks in the world.
The clock consists of three parts: at the top, hidden behind two hatches, are the apostles. They come out every hour on the hour.
In the middle, you see the 1410 clocking movement, about which the legend goes that after the clock was completed, the eyes of the clockmaker were stuck out so that he could not build such a beautiful clock anywhere else.
At the bottom, you will find the months and seasons, as well as for every day of the year the saint of that day. The clock is very popular. Prepare yourself for a gigantic mass of people, every hour when the clock strikes and the apostles come out. However, it is an image so inextricably bound to Prague that you must have seen it!
The world-famous Prague Castle consists of an extensive collection of buildings from different times and with a fascinating diversity of architectural styles.
The Prague Castle is the largest in the world and comprises a total of about 70,000 square meters of land. The complex is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The first (and still standing) building in the Castle is Church of the Virgin Mary, dating from the year 870. It is more or less the centre of the Burcht and is still accessible (at certain times).
From the 10th century, buildings were added, removed or adapted with great regularity: in particular under Charles IV, among other things, the construction of the Saint Vitus Cathedral started, which was completed only six centuries later in 1929!
Much was also cultivated at the castle under Maria Theresa. Although she came from Austria, Prague was her favourite place. The most significant part of the current front of the Castle, 500 meters long, was built during her reign. The Prague Castle includes four churches (the most important being the Vitus Cathedral, where many Czech monarchs are buried, for example), four palaces, some large halls still used for official state events, a few dozen other buildings, and are surrounded by various gardens, which are well worth a visit.
The Czech president still keeps an office in the castle: his office is located from the city on the left side of the castle.
Fun to experience is the changing of the guard, daily at noon, accompanied by a fanfare performance in the first courtyard. The guards are also exchanged at the gates every hour.
The castle is open daily from 05:00 - 00:00 (off season 06:00 - 23:00) and the monuments from 9:00 - 18:00 (off season 9: 00-16: 00 hours, the season duration from 1 April to 31 October).
Once a year you have the chance to visit part of the presidential departures. This happens on the first Saturday after 8 May of each year.
The castle itself can be accessed free of charge, just like the cathedral. All open-air spaces in the castle are freely accessible to the public, including the beautiful gardens at the front and back. For exhibitions and monumental buildings in the castle, entrance is charged.
At regular intervals, you can also visit the cathedral and the Church of Our Lady, and several times a year other parts of the castle are used for exhibitions.
Obecní dům, or the community house, is one of Prague's most striking buildings. Construction started in 1905, and opening took place in 1912.
The building is situated right next to the old Powder Tower, the old city gate that provided access to the city in bygone days. Now, this is right in the centre, between the shopping street Na Prikope and the Palladium shopping centre, only a few minutes walk from the Old Town Square.
The Art Nouveau style building was decorated and decorated by countless more and lesser-known artists, including Alfons Mucha, and was controversial on opening: according to critics, the architectural style was out of date. Now, however, after the renovation that was completed in 1997, the building gives a particularly beautiful picture of the early 20th century in this rich city.
Obecni Dum is best known for the Smetana concert hall, which thanks to its unprecedented acoustics offers a home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The building also houses some restaurants and one of Prague's oldest cocktail bars.
Prague attractions: Always enough beauty in the golden city of Prague!