Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a well-known and popular destination in central Europe. This is not surprising because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
We used to live in Prague for a few years and we are always excited to come back. This is our recommended one-day itinerary to help you with your planning if you are short of time.
The main international airport is Vaclav Havel Airport Prague (PRG), formerly known as Prague Ruzyne International Airport.
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The cheapest way to get from the airport to the city centre is to take the public bus (line numbers 119, which is shorter and faster, or 100). Get off at the last stop and continue by the subway (metro). The Airport Express bus is slightly more expensive, but it will take you from the airport to the Prague Main Railway Station (Hlavni nadrazi). This is located just off Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske namesti) and it is connected to the subway system. You can also use some of the shared shuttle buses or organise the transport with your hotel. Taxis in Prague don’t have a good reputation because there have been many cases of overcharged tourists.
Most trains (including international trains) stop at the Prague Main Railway Station. Most international coaches operate from the Florenc Central Bus Station (Autobusove nadrazi Florenc) which is also located close to a metro station.
The best way to explore the centre of Prague is on foot. It is a big city but the city centre is quite compact so it is easy enough to walk around. Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes which you will appreciate on the cobbled streets. Pick up the map of the city at one of the tourist information centres or at your hotel.
There is a great public transportation system in Prague. It includes the subway, trams and buses. You can buy the tickets at most of the stations, from ticket machines, the driver or by a text message (Czech phone numbers only). You can also get one-day or three-day passes. Find more information here.
Make sure you validate the ticket before entering the subway station or straight after getting on the bus or tram.
Our Recommended One-Day Itinerary
Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Namesti)
Start your day at Wenceslas Square which is located in the New Town. It looks more like a boulevard than a square. It is dominated by the National Museum and the statue of Saint Wenceslas.
Walk downhill and at the end of the square turn right to get to Republic Square (Namesti Republiky) with its Municipal House (Obecni dum) and Powder Gate (Prasna brana). Walk underneath the gate to enter the Old Town.
Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti)
The famous astronomical clock (orloj) is located on the wall of the Prague Old Town Hall (Staromestska radnice). It is the oldest still operating astronomical clock in the world. Don’t miss ‘The Walk of the Apostles’ every hour, hundreds of people gather for this show.
Old Town Square can get busy because it is a common venue for many cultural events and markets. There is a tourist information office which you can visit if you need any advice or free maps. After exploring this area, head towards the Vltava river and the Charles Bridge.
Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)
The historical Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the Lesser Town. You can find some of the most beautiful and picture-perfect views of Prague in this area.
Walk across the bridge and continue straight ahead to Lesser Town Square (Malostranske namesti). The Lesser Town with its historical buildings is another beautiful part of Prague. Walk uphill in the direction of the Prague Castle.
Prague Castle (Prazsky Hrad)
You can easily spend a few hours by exploring Prague Castle and its surroundings. It is the largest ancient castle in the world and you will also get many spectacular views of Prague here. The Saint Vitus cathedral (Katedrala Svateho Vita), Golden Lane (Zlata ulicka) and Royal Garden (Kralovska zahrada) are the most popular places worth visiting.
Petrin Lookout Tower (Petrinska Rozhledna)
If you don’t want to continue any further, just descend to either Malostranska or Hradcanska stations to take the subway or tram. If you are still keen to walk, keep going to the Petrin Lookout Tower which overlooks Prague with its many roofs and spires. It is set in beautiful gardens and it is a perfect place for a break or a picnic. When you are ready, you can either walk downhill or use the funicular which will get you back to the Lesser Town where you can take the tram.
Where To Eat
There are many restaurants in the city centre but most of them are touristy and overpriced. Avoid restaurants in the main tourist areas like Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Lesser Town or the castle district (Hradcany). There are many good and reasonably-priced restaurants in quieter streets away from the crowds. If you are on a budget, avail of the cheap lunch menus or eat at the food courts in one of the shopping centres.
Traditional Czech cuisine is hearty but tasty. Try these typical Czech meals:
- Pork, beef or game stew (gulas) with dumplings (knedliky)
- Roast pork with cabbage and dumplings (vepro knedlo zelo)
- Beef sirloin with cream sauce and dumplings (svickova na smetane)
- Schnitzel (rizek)
- Fried cheese (smazeny syr)
Tasting some of the well-known Czech beers is a must. Try mixed beer (rezane pivo) which consists of light and dark beer mixed together.
While in Prague, we sometimes have a meal at the Vytopna restaurant located at Wenceslas Square. Considering the central location, the prices of the lunch menu and beer are reasonable here. They offer Czech and Italian cuisine and the food is fine. But the main attraction is the model railway service. There are small rail tracks running around the restaurant. The drinks are delivered by little trains which is really cool.
This is our recipe for a perfect day in Prague. We definitely recommend spending at least two days there because it is such an interesting and beautiful city. After you visit Prague, it is likely that it will become your favourite city.
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Have you been to Prague yet? What did you think? If you are just planning your trip, let us know if you need any advice, we will be happy to help!