An Enchanting Experience at the Heart of Europe
The city of Prague holds a vast wealth of European history and culture, rooting from its past as the capital of the kingdom of Bohemia. With its ancient bridges, timeless town squares, Gothic-style cathedrals and castles, there’s no shortage of architectural wonders to admire in this City of a Hundred Spires. Besides its scenic sights, Prague also offers fun activities in its wide range of museums, markets, and stalls, where you can learn more about the city’s rich history and try out local delicacies.
With this wealth of wonders, we understand that it can be daunting to fit all of them on your schedule if you only have a few days to stay in the city. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide on how to make the best out of 3 days in Prague.
Day 1 in Prague
Start your adventures right at the city’s central square.
Old Town Square
Prague’s original marketplace, Old Town Square, is a great place to start your adventures since it gives a good view of the city’s famed historic architecture. It’s located at the heart of the city and is only about 20 minutes away from the main bus station, Praha Florenc, and the main train station.
There’s plenty to see at the square, like the Church of Our Lady Before Týn with its two imposing spires and the Kinský Palace, known as the most beautiful Rococo building in the city. The Jan Hus Memorial is located right at the center of the square and commemorates the martyred theologian who fought against the corruption in the church.
Old Town Hall Tower and Prague Astronomical Tower
If you have tickets, you can climb up the Tower of the Old Town Hall for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. The queue may get a bit long depending on the season, but the sight will be worth it. While you’re waiting, you can read up on the history of the Old Town Hall.
Housed on the southern side of the same building is the Prague Astronomical Clock. Known as the world’s oldest functioning timepiece, the Astronomical Clock dates back to 1410. When it strikes the hour, you’ll witness the procession of the Twelve Apostles. Don’t miss the side figures such as the Turk, the Vain Man, and the Miser as they play their part in the show.
While you’re at the Old Town Square, make sure to grab a bite to eat in any of the stalls or restaurants nearby to keep you fueled for your city tour.
Learn more about the city’s history at the Jewish Quarter.
After the sights at the Old Town Square, take a 5-minute walk over to the Jewish Quarter, Josefov by heading north towards the direction of the Vltava River. While this area bore witness to horrors throughout its history, it’s also home to some of the oldest buildings in Prague. Admire the distinct architecture of its synagogues, the Jewish Ceremonial Hall, and the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is one of the most important Jewish monuments in the city.
Near the Spanish Synagogue, you can find the moving statue of Franz Kafka, depicting the author riding the shoulders of a headless and handless figure. It’s a reference to Kafka’s story, “Description of a Struggle.”
From the Jewish Quarter, walk in an eastern direction towards the river to make a quick stop at the Rudolfinum. Located at the Jan Palach Square, the Rudolfinum is a 19th century building with breathtaking neo-Renaissance architecture. Ever since its inception, it’s been the site of cultural performances and is one of the main venues of the Prague Spring International Music Festival.
If baroque architecture is your jam, the Klementinum is just a short walk south by the riverbank. Klementinum is a complex of historic buildings with breathtaking architecture, with its crown jewel being the Baroque Library. Take a moment to admire the gorgeous frescoes and historically valuable globes.
Further south, around 10 to 15-minute walk by the river, you’ll come across the golden-roofed National Theater. Generally considered as the prime stage in the Czech Republic, this building is a marvel to look inside and out.
Cap off your day with a scenic boat ride.
Vltava River Cruise
The Vltava River is a prominent city feature and you’re bound to catch sight of it numerous times during your stay. Treat yourself to a panoramic city view while riding a boat. You can choose between a one-hour boat ride or a night river cruise complete with dinner for a memorable first night.
Day 2 in Prague
Catch the beautiful sunrise at Charles Bridge.
While the view of the sunset from the Charles Bridge is rightly famous, it can get difficult to find a good spot amidst the crowds. That’s why we recommend waking up early and catching the sunrise instead. You’re still treated to a beautiful sight before starting your day.
Walk through the 14th century bridge and admire the baroque statues lining it and the two towers bookending it.
Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral
From the western end of the Charles Bridge, you can reach the Prague Castle after a 15- to 20-minute walk. The Prague Castle, the world’s largest ancient castle, is located inside a complex on top of a hill. Inside the complex are numerous galleries and museums, the Golden Lane, and the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, where you can witness an hourly ceremony: the changing of the guard.
While the Prague Castle is a gorgeous sight to behold, do try to take the opportunity to visit inside. You just have to buy a ticket either there or in advance online.
Climb further uphill for a heart-stopping view of the city.
Located just a bit south of the Prague Castle is the Petrin Hill where you can find Prague’s mini-Eiffel Tower, the Petrin Tower. The late 19th century tower stands 63 meters tall, or a fifth of the Eiffel Tower’s height. You can climb up the tower for a view of the city at the observation point.
Afterwards, you can visit the Mirror Maze, the observatory, and the Rose Garden, all of which are just within the area. You can also find good restaurants near Petrin for an early dinner.
Watch Prague light up at the Castle Stairs.
After spending the afternoon seeing the city, why not get a different view of it at night? Head back towards the Prague Castle but this time take the route by the riverbank. You’ll arrive at the Castle Stairs, a steep walkway that has a great evening view of the city.
Numerous Renaissance and Baroque-style buildings line the street and stairs, including the Palace of the Lords of Hradec and the Thun Palace standing above.
Day 3 in Prague
Explore other historic squares in the city.
Wenceslas Square and the National Museum
Although it’s more of a boulevard than a plaza, the Wenceslas Square is the central hub for commercial and cultural city activities. Named after the patron saint of the Czech Republic, Wenceslas Square has been the site of many political demonstrations, including the one in 1969 when Jan Palach set himself on fire.
It’s also home to the National Museum, considered to be the most significant museum institution in the country. Established in 1818, the main building boasts a beautiful neo-Renaissance architecture.
To the southeast of the National Museum is the Náměstí Míru, or the Peace Square, where you can find the 19th century Neo-Gothic Church of Saint Ludmila. It’s the central square of Vinohrady with a park at its center. It’s the site of many annual cultural and music events.
One last look of the beautiful sights of the city.
Vyšehrad is a 10th century historic fort located near the Vltava River. It’s said that the daughter of the Czaech ruler Krok, Libuse, prophesied the greatness and glory of the city of Prague. The park area holds architectural treasures like the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Romanesque Rotunda of St. Martin, the national cemetery Slavín, and more.
There are nearby museums and restaurants if you want to squeeze in a few more activities before you leave. Perhaps have a quiet moment at the park and enjoy the gorgeous sights of the Heart of Europe to remember your trip by.