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Guide to Sunrise Photography on Charles Bridge, Prague

Charles Bridge is probably one of the most magical places in the Czech capital. I lived in Prague for almost two years, and I feel like I discover something new every time I come back.

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Unfortunately, there is a whole list of things I should have done back then but somehow I’d postponed stuff or simply hadn’t done it for no particular reason.

One of these things was seeing the sunrise on the Charles Bridge, in the very heart of the city.

I use the past tense because it’s now finally off the list! And wow, what an experience it was!

Walking through almost empty streets (for once), beautiful spring-morning light, the mist slowly rolling over the Vltava river and the Charles Bridge itself…

What a unique, magical moment and a great touch of nostalgy! Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my tripod back then, nor did I prepare myself for such an amazing light show. But hey – lesson learned – at least I have more reasons for coming back in the future!

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Tips for visiting the Charles Bridge for sunrise (photography)

1. Get up early

I know it sounds obvious, but don’t forget to count in the time you’ll need to actually get to Charles Bridge! Prague’s city centre is relatively small but the entire city is not a small one!

You will also need a bit of time to think about the kind of photos you want to do and find a good spot. So you want to be on the bridge before the actual sunrise.

Of course, you should also check when the sun rises. You can use this website for that.

2. Use public transport or Uber to get there

The best way to get around in Prague beside walking is definitely public transport. You’ve got trams (my favourite), subway (good for long distances) and buses.

Public transport in Prague is very affordable, simple to use and you can often pay contactless. Many trams and buses have a ticket machine even on board!

Uber is also available now, use this link to get a few Koruna off your price! ;). Just avoid taxis, if you can. Unless you enjoy being ripped off.

The best public transport stops for visiting Charles Bridge are Staroměstská and Malostranská. Both are operated by subway, trams and buses.

3. Bring a tripod to the Charles Bridge (if you can)

OK, for obvious reasons, Charles Bridge is much emptier during the sunrise. However, you should still expect tourists.

So taking a long exposure (with or without an ND filter) might be a good idea to achieve a cool effect of moving people or to get completely rid of them.

Whatever option you choose, you’ll need a good tripod to achieve such results while keeping your images sharp. Or at least a small light city tripod.

4. Get to know your camera before you visit Charles Bridge

Another no-brainer is being aware of what your camera and lens can and can’t do. Knowing things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO or how to benefit from the use of histogram is essential.

If you have no idea what I talk about, here is an article dedicated to some of these important photography terms.

5. Stay warm

It’s crazy how many of my friends and random passersby are convinced that Prague is a cold city. I mean – come on!

For some reason, the city has this stamp, although I remember a lot of extremely hot days as well as a lot of extremely normal days.

Nevertheless, mornings can be really cold, so dress accordingly. Don’t forget you’ll be above a river, which is always colder in general. And it’s also one of the windier places in Prague.

Even if you plan some Instagram-worthy action with high heels and hot pants, please bring something warm with you!

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