Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and the 13th largest city in the European Union. Flying into Prague from Geneva, Switzerland, I landed at the Václav Havel Airport––25 minutes from Prague’s Old Town Square. For the following 48 hours, I settled into my AirBnb at the Opletalova and Politickych Veznu crossroad, right next to the Statue of Saint Wenceslas and the Cold War Museum.
1. Walk to Old Town Square
An absolute must-see! Old Town Square is situated between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. This square is one of my favorite areas in Prague––the buildings are colorful, the Gothic churches are grandiose in size, and the cobblestone city square is filled with various restaurants and pubs. The square also includes an iconic sculpture of a 15th-century martyr called the Jan Hus Monument. The square’s architecture is charming. It has been steadily weathered and blackened due to centuries of air pollution, showing the city’s age and the breadth of its history.
Walking through the square and admiring each building’s eye-catching designs is easy. But Old Town Square can get very crowded during the day, so it is best to stop for an hour to admire the square before eating or buying souvenirs.
2. Watch the World’s Oldest Astronomical Clock Turn
To warn you, many tourists will show up to watch the Astronomical Clock strike at the hour. This area can get crowded, and if you are not in the right spot, you may watch a hundred smartphones take photos instead of the actual clock mechanism. Nevertheless, this medieval timepiece is a staple in Prague’s Old Town Square.
Built over 600 years ago, the clock is beautiful and displays the twelve apostles as the clock strikes. The clock is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town Hall and has three main components: an astronomical dial, statues of Catholic saints on the side, and an hourly show where dancing Apostles come out and rotate.
3. Admire the Architecture in Saint Nicholas Church
Saint Nicholas Church (Malá Strana) is one of the most beautiful churches I have seen in Europe. Built between 1704 and 1755, this church is an iconic demonstration of Prague Baroque architecture. The 75-meter-high dome is striking, and the accents of marble and gold inside the church are captivating.
4. Walk Across Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge was once a meaningful connection between Prague Castle and Old Town. Charles Bridge was constructed over the Vltava River between the 14th and 15th centuries and replaced the 12th-century-constructed Judith Bridge. King Charles IV oversaw the construction of Charles Bridge and physically laid the bridge’s first stone. As of 2020, Charles Bridge is 663 years old and a hotspot for local artists and street vendors.
5. Visit the Prague Castle
Prague Castle was a 30-minute walk from my AirBnb on Opletalova Street. Built in the 9th century, Prague Castle was originally a place for Bohemia monarchs, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. Today, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying about 750,000 square feet of land. The castle has a fantastic view of Charles Bridge and Old Town and a pop-up marketplace filled with baked goods and appetizers.
One traditional sweet to look out for is the Trdelník, a rolled dough cake wrapped around a stick, grilled, and sprinkled with sugar. I ordered a Trdelník in the castle’s central courtyard area and ate the chocolate-covered dessert outside of Saint Vitus Cathedral.
6. Visit Saint Vitus Cathedral
Inside Prague Castle, Saint Vitus Cathedral is the largest temple in Prague. Construction of the Gothic cathedral started in 1344 but took six centuries to complete. Several Holy Roman Emperors were buried beneath the property as it was constructed. By 1929, Saint Vitus Cathedral was finalized. Today, the cathedral is an emblem of the Czech state.
Also, the “Changing of the Guards” makes my list of 10 things to do in Prague! It occurs daily at 12:00 in the Prague Castle. I captured the guards passing through Saint Vitus Cathedral’s courtyard in the photo below.
7. Visit Wenceslas Square
When I visited Prague, I stayed a block away from Wenceslas Square. Wenceslas Square’s two most prominent landmarks are the National Museum Building and the Statue of Wenceslas. The National Museum was founded in 1818 by Kašpar Maria Šternberg and houses 14 million historical items.
8. Check Out the Powder Tower
The Powder Tower is one of Prague’s original 13 city gates in Old Town. Standing at 213 feet tall, construction of the tower started in 1475 during the reign of King Vladislav II Jagiello. In the 17th century, the tower was used as a gunpowder storage space.
9. Order A Drink at an Absinthe Bar
Originating in the late 18th century, absinthe was a popular alcoholic drink in late 19th and early 20th-century France. Created by macerating herbs and spices, absinthe is a spirit with a licorice flavor. Although some claim that absinthe has hallucinogenic properties, it is a potent alcohol with a 45-74% content by volume. In the United States, absinthe is not for sale in bars and liquor stores. Therefore, I had to try it myself while in Prague. I went to Hemingway Bar and Absintherie Jilská on my first night to try genuine absinthe liquor.
Inspired by the famous Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway Bar is an upscale, intimate bar specializing in cocktails. Considering I had just finished Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” and “A Farewell to Arms,” I wanted to stop to see if the bar lived up to the hype. The bar had a cool 1940s ambiance, dimly lit and filled with photographs of Hemingway from his early years. As for the drinks, my group ordered a classic absinthe and three signature cocktails. Everything was great, but the drinks were slightly more pricey than the other bars we visited later.
As for Absintherie Jilská, this absinthe bar serves over 100 absinthes and 250 types of premium alcohol. My friends and I stumbled upon this bar and decided to go inside, intrigued by the excellent drink display by the barman. After an hour, we weren’t disappointed and had a great time talking to our server to learn more about the history of absinthe.
10. Check out Prague’s Nightlife
I saved the best for last! This is a must-do on my “10 Things to Do in Prague” list. On the first night, I checked out a variety of clubs to get a taste of Prague’s nightlife. My friends and I initially stopped by Old Town Square to grab a drink. After no more than 30 minutes at a bar in Old Town, we headed on to Fancy Lounge, MOONCLUB, and EPIC.
Located near the clock tower, Fancy Lounge is a small, narrow dance club usually packed from front to back. Four minutes from Fancy Lounge is MOONCLUB, a two-story club with a beautiful interior set-up and affordable drinks. As for EPIC, the club has a large, high-energy dance floor. Shortly after arriving, my friends and I joined a group of foreigners at a table near the live DJ set.
What’s your favorite site in Prague? Do you have any suggestions on what to add to my list of 10 things to do in Prague? Let me know in the comments section below! Also, check out more of my featured destinations in my travel section.