I am assuming that there are people out there who like me, for whatever reasons, might just have one day to roam around in Prague (Czech Republic) and would want to make the most of it. As weird as it sounds, trust me it is quite possible and the best way to explore around in Prague is on foot!
Last week, I was visiting Warsaw (Poland) for a business related travel on a Schengen visa and I had a whole weekend to myself. Schengen visa gives you the advantage to cover any of the 26 schengen countries in Europe without any visa hassles. So, I decided to utilize my weekend to explore some new place and I zeroed upon Prague.
This time, the months of November and December, are the best as well as the worst possible time to visit any European country. Best because of the whole atmosphere which is electric due to the festive season (Xmas and New Year) round the corner. Some of the best Christmas markets can be found in Europe. Worst because of the weather conditions. It is insanely cold – rain, snow, frost, breeze, literally everything. So, choosing a destination in Europe for any kind of vacation is a daunting task.
Anyways, I decided to take a direct bus from Warsaw. The plan was to reach Prague in the morning, spend a day there and start my journey back on the same day itself so as to avoid any kind of hotel stays etc. The bus journey from Warsaw to Prague was quite smooth and it took me around 9.5 hours to reach Prague which was around 7 am in the morning. The Central Bus station of Praha Florenc, where I got down, is very close to the city center which was again a bonus point for me due to the time constraints that I had. There is a Starbucks right at the bus stop, apart from a few more good cafes in and around the bus stop for a quick stopover. I started my day with a quick breakfast at Starbucks and then, went on to explore the beautiful city of Prague for the rest of my day. Based on my personal experience, I have tried to list five of the best things to do in Prague for the benefit of other people like me.
- Visit to the Royal Castle – The first thing on the agenda should be a visit to the Royal Castle in Prague. Even if you are not exploring the interiors of the castle, but you should still visit this place for its amazing Gothic like architecture and tapestry. You will be amazed with the intricate design of the buildings within the castle, especially St. Vitus Cathedral. Another good reason to visit this place is for the panoramic views of the City that it provides as it is located on a hilltop. Prague is also known as the “City of hundred Spires”, due to the sheer number of sandstone buildings that one can find here. And this description is quite evident when one views the city landscape from the Royal Castle.
- Walk down to Charles Bridge – Take the steps down the Royal Castle and walk down towards Charles Bridge on the Vltava river. One of the iconic and the oldest stone bridges in the world with several statues of prominent historical figures all across the bridge. It has several interesting stories around its construction pertaining to the significance of astrology and numerology given by the medieval rulers in those times. You can read about it or listen to one of the local guides there.
- National Museum – A visit to the Museum is a must for its lavish architectural ensemble. For those people interested in learning more about the country’s history, they can spend time inside the Museum for free. And for others, there is a high fashion street in front of the Museum which resembles Champs Elysees in Paris and it is definitely worthwhile to spend sometime here.
- Old town Square – One of the busiest centers in Prague where you can find the best Czech food and souvenirs for your family back home. It is a lively place with cobble stoned blocks and buildings all over. There are some who refer to Prague as the “Paris of Eastern Europe”. By the time, you reach the Old town square, it will definitely be on your mind as well, in case you have been to Paris before. Apart from this, there is also an astronomical clock here, which is quite a spectacle, when the clock strikes. Then there is my personal favorite, the hanging statue of Sigmund Freud – the founder of psychoanalysis. It is kind of unique in its own way because it looks like someone is trying to suicide from the top of the building.
- Republican Square – It is a 10 minutes walk down to the Republican square from the Old town square. Here, you can find few more attractions like Municipal house which is an art center for many concerts and ballet events. You can attend one in case you find yourself enough time. Other than that, Powder Tower – a medieval time city gate and Palladium – A shopping center with 200+ shops and 26 restaurants. You can also find vintage cars here which can take you around the city in a royal carriage but they are quite costly as compared to other city tours.
This trip can be a little tiring, as you are walking for most of the day (it was for me at-least) but it is still worth it, if you want to make it one of those memorable trips. It was for me, even more so, due to the Christmas markets that I found everywhere. I am sure it will be a treat for others as well especially solo travelers like me. Don’t forget to try out those little potato pancakes that you can find everywhere in Prague. Definitely a MUST try!
So, my day ended at the Republican Square, followed by a walk down to the Praha Florenc bus station for my journey back to Warsaw in the late evening.
I sincerely hope that this post adds value to any of the travelers out there!
Watch out for more travel related blogs as I continue on my quest towards becoming a globe trotter!