Walking around Prague and appreciating the city’s diverse architecture draped in soft pastels may be the best way to appreciate all the city offers. However, when you only have a limited time in the city, knowing where to go can be a problem. There is an array of beautiful squares, scenic views, and historical landmarks, so knowing where to go can feel like a difficult task for anyone hoping to visit. Thankfully, almost all the essential things people should see in Prague are fairly close to one another and can be seen in less than a day of walking. If you want to make the most of your time in Prague by seeing the most important tourist attractions while also enjoying the best views of the city skyline, then this walking route is for you.
Best Time to Travel
The ideal time to visit Prague is during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November) when the weather is mild, and the city isn’t overcrowded with tourists.
How To Get There
Prague is well-connected by air with the Václav Havel Airport Prague serving international flights. From the airport, you can take the Airport Express bus, public buses, or a taxi to reach the city center. If you’re coming from European cities, trains and buses are convenient options, arriving at Prague’s central station, Praha hlavní nádraží.
Starting at Wenceslas Square
Right in the center of Prague 1 and originally a horse market in the 18th century, today, Wenceslas Square is to Prague, what Time’s Square is to New York City. Home to the prominent statue of King Wenceslas I, a symbol of Czech national identity, and the National Museum, one of the most beautiful buildings in the country, this square has been the home to some of the region’s most important historical moments since before the Czech Republic was even a country. It may not have all the LED lights of Times Square. However, what it lacks in flash, it makes up for in cultural significance and history. It is the perfect starting point to begin your time in the city.
Start your morning with a traditional Czech breakfast at one of the local cafés around Wenceslas Square to fuel up for the day ahead.
A Short Walk to Old Town Square
Just a few blocks away from Wenceslas Sqaure is Prague’s iconic Old Town Sqaure in the center of the city. This historic square is one of the most architecturally beautiful locations in the city. From the massive twin spires of the Church of Our Lady Before Týn to the Jan Hus Memorial and Astronomical Clock, this is one stop that every person should make when first visiting the city. This square is also home to the largest Christmas Market in the city during winter and several cultural events and celebrations throughout the year, so you never know what you might see when visiting it.
Time your visit to the Astronomical Clock to witness its striking on the hour, a moment that brings history to life with a mechanical performance.
Climbing Up to Stalin at Letná Park (Letenské sady):
After appreciating Old Town Square, head up a nearby hill to get an amazing view of the city skyline. Once home to a giant statue of Joseph Stalin built under the communist regime, this historical site now displays the Prague Metronome, a giant red working metronome that overlooks the city. It is also a world-famous space for skateboarding. The walk from Old Town Square will take you across the river, offering a beautiful view of Prague Castle on your left until you reach Letna Hill. After a series of staircases take you up to the Metronome, you will be rewarded with one of the city’s best views, making the uphill climb completely worth the effort.
For a unique souvenir, visit the small art vendors near the Metronome, where local artists sell their Prague-inspired works.
A Short Walk to Prague Castle
Connected to Letná Park by a modern footbridge, you will head to the Chotek Gardens, a beautiful park beside the next big stop on your walk, Prague Castle. Seat to the kings of Bohemia and currently the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic, Prague Castle awaits after a short walk through its exterior gardens. Originating in the late 9th century, this castle houses St. George’s Basilica and St. Vitus Cathedral, two of the most beautiful religious sites the world’s most atheist country has to offer. You can take several historical tours around the castle or simply walk around and appreciate the interior on your own, but don’t miss the gardens on the southern wall that offer another great view of the city.
Buy a combined ticket with entry to multiple parts of the castle to save money and explore more.
Headed The Strahov Monastery
After Prague Castle, it’s just another show walk over to the Strahov Monastery, home to one of Prague’s oldest and best breweries and the beautiful Strahov Library and Gallery. Founded in 1143, it’s Bohemia’s oldest Premonstratensian monastery. It has survived various historical upheavals, including destruction during the Hussite Wars and confiscation by Communists. After enjoying the monastery, you are just a few steps away from Promenáda Raoula Wallenberga, which has been voted the best view in Prague. You then take the path down Petrin Hill and enjoy a beautiful hillside park that overlooks the city. If you have some extra time, there is also a miniature Eiffel Tower and rose garden on the top of Petrin as well.
Don’t miss tasting the monastery’s own brew; the beer here has centuries of history and is a local favorite.
Finishing at Charles Bridge
After reaching the bottom of Petrin Hill, you can head over to Prague’s world-famous Charles Bridge. Charles Bridge is the oldest bridge crossing the Vltava River. It was constructed from 1357 to 1402 and was Prague’s only river crossing until 1841. Surrounded by three towers that protect the bridge, visitors can climb the Old Town Bridge Tower for a panoramic view of Prague and the bridge’s 30 Baroque statues. If you follow the crowd across the bridge and into the city, you will be brought back to Old Town Square, completing your walk of all the essential destinations you should see when visiting the city and ending right in the heart of Prague. If you’re staying for just a day and want to see all you can, or simply want to cross off all the must-see tourism sites so you can start exploring on your own, this walk is a great way to see all the essentials mixed in with the best views the city has to offer.
Visit the bridge early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the crowds and experience a more peaceful atmosphere.
The Bottom Line
Your day in Prague, filled with historical charm and architectural wonders, is a journey through time. By walking this carefully curated route, you’ll capture the essence of Prague, from the grandeur of its squares to the intimate beauty of its hidden corners. This day-long adventure offers a snapshot of Prague’s rich history and vibrant culture, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime and a desire to return and explore even more.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alliance Images.