Prague often ranks as one of the top European city breaks and, when you read on through our guide, you’ll see exactly why that is. It’s bursting at the seams with history and culture, it’s beautiful and gothic in equal measure and it just so happens to be a big party city too. You’ll walk the streets alongside culture lovers, history enthusiasts, couples and stag and hen dos; an eclectic mix in an eclectic city.

    Whether you visit in the height of summer or time your stay for the festive atmosphere of the Christmas markets, you won’t fail to fall for the city’s medieval charm. To make the most of your stay, we’ve pulled together a list of the things you should prioritise on your first day in Prague.

    What are the best things to do in Prague?


    Prague Castle

    Watch the changing of the guard

    A day in Prague wouldn’t be complete without climbing the hill up to Prague Castle to watch the changing of the guard. Every hour from 7 am, the sentries at the gates of the castle are changed. However, the key one that you want to be there for is the extravagant, formal handover, which takes place in the first courtyard of the castle at 12 pm each day. Crowds gather to hear the triumphant fanfare and watch the regimental banner exchange.

    As you’re up there, it’s worth taking a look inside the castle grounds itself, with its picturesque gardens, the ornate St. Vitus’ Cathedral and its art galleries. It’s the largest ancient castle complex in the world.

    Location: Prague Castle, 119 08 Prague 1, Prague, Czechia

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm (historical buildings open November–March from 9 am to 4 pm, and until 5 pm from April–October)


    photo by Gregorini Demetrio (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Prague Astronomical Clock

    The oldest working one in the world

    When visiting the city, you really can’t miss the opportunity to watch the Prague Astronomical Clock spring into action on the hour, every hour. Found on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall, the oldest functioning astronomical clock in the world has been there, in part, since 1410. The protection and preservation of the clock is of paramount importance to the city, as legend has it that if something should befall the clock, then the city would fall too.

    The dial of the clock represents the sun and the moon and their position in the sky. The calendar dial is made up of medallions which coincide with the calendar months and their astrological signs. And when the clock chimes on the hour, be ready for ‘The Walk of the Apostles’, when sculptures are chased around the face by a statue of Death.

    Location: Prague Astronomical Clock, Staroměstské nám 1, 110 00 Staré Město, Prague, Czechia


    Charles Bridge

    Take a walk across history

    Prague has many bridges crossing the Vltava River, but none more famous than the iconic Charles Bridge. Connecting the Old Town with the Malá Strana, this historical structure is the first thing you think of when you conjure up images of Prague. Made out of Bohemian sandstone and featuring 30 statues built into its structure, the bridge was completed back in 1402 and is now one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

    Each day, street vendors, artists, musicians and hundreds of tourists all frequent gather on the bridge, wanting to soak up the vibrant atmosphere as they wander across. If you’re visiting Prague for New Year, this is a magical spot to stand in order to see all the impressive fireworks displays going on around you.

    Location: Charles Bridge, Karlův most, 110 00 Praha 1, Prague, Czechia


    Old Town Square

    Home of many historical highlights

    One of the main focal points of Prague, it’s only right that you start your day in the historical Old Town Square. Art lovers, history buffs and foodies alike will be in for a treat as you find yourself surrounded by some of the most famous buildings and attractions in Bohemia, such as the striking Jan Hus Monument.

    Be entertained by the Prague Astronomical Clock and admire the elegant, pastel houses of the Little Square. Browse the many markets that are held here and step inside the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn, with its looming twin towers, ‘Adam and Eve’. It’s best to get to the square nice and early to avoid the crowds.

    Location: Old Town Square, Staroměstské nám, 110 00 Staré Město, Prague, Czechia


    Old Town Hall Tower

    See the Old Town from above

    Almost 70 metres high, the Old Town Hall Tower provides the perfect vantage point to view the historical Old Town of Prague and the surrounding areas. Make your way up to the panoramic gallery and have your camera at the ready to capture an incredible shot of the Church of Our Lady before Týn in all its glory.

    From here, you’ll also be able to see certain attractions beyond the Old Town, such as St. Nicholas Church across in the Lesser Town, Strahov Monastery and Prague Castle. There’s no need to climb any steps to get to the top, as there are lifts for you to get, making it wheelchair accessible too. Best of all? Your ticket price includes entry into the underground historical halls and the Chapel of the Virgin Mary.

    Location: Old Town Hall Tower, Staroměstské nám 1/3, 110 00 Staré Město, Prague, Czechia

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 10 pm, Monday from 11 am to 10 pm


    Vltava river cruise

    See the city from the water

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    A cruise along Prague’s Vltava river is one of the best ways to see the city, ensuring you don’t miss any of its wonderful sights. It’s the longest river in Czechia and the banks through the capital city are lined with breath-taking Gothic architecture, connected by ornate stone bridges.

    Most river cruises start from underneath the famous Charles Bridge, so immediately you’re treated to spectacular views of the Old Town, Malá Strana and Prague Castle. Make sure your phone’s got plenty of battery, as you’re going to have some of the best photo opportunities on this tour, so you won’t want to miss out.


    Jewish Quarter

    A place of complex history and great shopping

    Just a short walk from the Old Town Square, en route to the river, is the city’s Jewish Quarter, Josefov. Prague’s Jewish community settled here back in the 10th century when they were banished from living anywhere else in the city. Living conditions were difficult back then, but what remains now is the best-preserved area of historical Jewish monuments in Europe. Be sure to take a walk around the tightly-crammed tombstones of the Jewish Cemetery and visit the Jewish Museum or the Pinkas Synagogue, which is a holocaust memorial focusing on the impact on Jewish children.

    Aside from the historical sites, the area is home to many great kosher restaurants to try. Alternatively, if you’ve got some money to spend, the prestigious Pařížská Street is lined with upscale designer boutiques.


    photo by Loozrboy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Riegrovy Sady

    Watch the sunset from one of the city's favourite green spaces

    • Couples
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    • Budget

    About a 20-minute walk from Wenceslas Square is the open, green space of Riegrovy Sady. It’s a large park with several beer gardens within it, so if the weather’s in your favour while you’re there, you certainly won’t be alone. Grab a bite to eat and a beer and pick the best spot on ‘Sunset Hill’ to watch the sun go down over Prague Castle and the rest of the city; there’s no better place for it. And don’t worry – open container alcohol is legal in Prague.

    Location: Riegrovy Sady, 120 00 Praha 2, Prague, Czechia


    photo by Chmee2 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Zizkov TV Tower

    For the best sunset panorama of the city, take the lift up Prague’s tallest building. Erected by the communists to public consternation, the 216-metre Zizkov TV Tower is bathed in colour at night and features an installation of climbing babies by Czech artist David Černy.

    Location: Mahlerovy sady 1, 130 00 Prague 3, Czechia

    Phone: +420 210 320 081


    Wenceslas Square

    End the day with some bar-hopping

    The beer in Prague is said to be some of the best you can drink in all of Europe, so you may as well make the most of it and sample a few of the city’s bustling bars.

    Make your way to Wenceslas Square, just a 10-minute walk from Old Town Square, and experience the buzz of the area. It’s known for its shops, hotels and variety of nightclubs and bars, so your night can continue for as long as you want it too. If you fancy something other than just beer, there are plenty of cocktail bars to visit. Or head to Kraftwerk Bar, a multi-level cellar bar between Wenceslas Square and the Old Town.

    Location: Wenceslas Square, Václavské nám, 110 00 Nové Město, Prague, Czechia

    Sadie Geoghegan-Dann | Contributing Writer

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