Prague is an open air museum. When visiting the city for the first time, you may find it difficult to know where to start. Be sure to include Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and Old Town Square. Wear comfortable shoes because you will certainly do a lot of walking on cobblestone street when seeing the sights of Prague.
Charles Bridge — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Join the crowd on Charles Bridge and wander up and down while taking in the magnificent view of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Admire the thirty statues that festoon the railings, but note that they're all replicas (the original sandstone ones are in the Lapidarium Museum).
The most popular statue, St. John of Nepomuk, is easy to spot because of the halo with five gold stars that encircles his head. He refused to reveal what Queen Sophia, wife of Wenceslas IV, confided him during confession. When he was flung into the Vltava River as a punishment, five stars appeared above the water. Rub the bronze relief at his feet for good luck and your return to Prague one day.
Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Your next stop is Prague Castle, seat of the Kings of Bohemia and today the residence of Milos Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic. The most striking building in the castle complex is St. Vitus Cathedral, whose spires tower high above the city and are often mistaken for the castle itself. The cathedral is a place of pilgrimage, a museum, a treasury and the largest and most important church of the city. This is the place where the crown jewels are kept.
Here, you can admire the silver tomb of St. John of Nepomuk, but keep an eye on the clock so you don't miss the changing of the guards at the top of the hour in the first courtyard.
Though you can wander around the castle grounds for free, you will need a ticket to see the Old Royal Palace, Basilica and Convent of St. George, Golden Lane, Dalibor Tower and Prague Picture Gallery. The good thing is that your ticket is valid for two days, allowing you to see everything at leisure.
Old Town Square — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Old Town Square, Staromestské námestí in Czech, buzzes day and night. Brightly colored, eighteenth-century houses ring the square. The number one attraction of the square is the old town hall and the astronomical clock. You can join the crowd and watch the apostles pop out of a hatch and do their round. Don't blink because the spectacle is over in one minute.
Astronomical Clock — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
After exploring the wonders of Prague, you may want to relax. Old Town Square is lined with restaurants serving local cuisine and drinks. Sample vepro-knedlo-zelo, roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, and if you like pivo (beer), you can choose from Pilsner Urquel, Radegast or Budvar. Na zdraví - to your health!