24 Hours in Prague Itinerary

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If you’re trying to get the most out of your trip to Prague, this post includes an itinerary which will take you to the most significant and historic sites in the city.

We will also offer a few breakfast, lunch, and coffee break options along the way!


Introduction

This self-guided tour will focus on the city centre of Prague, which is where you’ll find most of the historic sites in the area.

We’ll take you from Old Town to the Jewish Quarter, then across the water to Lesser Town and the Castle District. At the end, we’ll make recommendations for sites to visit in the New Town and Vysehrad.


Breakfast

In order to see as much of the city as possible, it will be important to start your tour early in the day, and you’ll need energy to walk to each location. We recommend getting breakfast somewhere near the Powder Tower. 

Den Noc makes great pancakes, but there is also a cafe inside the Municipal House which opens at 9 am, and they serve a typical breakfast with eggs and other dishes.

Just down the road, you’ll also find a small spot called PAUL which serves coffee and croissants.

Prague Travel Tips

Prague’s Old Town Top Attractions

The first big sites to see in Old Town are of course the Municipal House and the Powder Tower. This tower was once the entrance to the Old Town during medieval times.

The streets you’re probably walking on or around used to be moats which were intended to protect the city.

As you pass through the Powder Tower, the first street you’ll see is called Celetna, and it is part of a much longer route called the Royal Way.

In the middle ages, this road was used for coronation ceremonies, as it connected the entrance of the city with Prague Castle.

Prague Powder Tower
The Powder Tower in Old Town Prague

The first turn you’ll make is at the House of the Black Madonna. This is an impressive example of cubist architecture, and it currently houses the Czech Museum of Cubism.

You’ll also find the Grand Cafe Orient on the first floor if you’re in need of a snack.

Walking down Ovocny, you’ll be visiting what was once the Fruits Market, and near the end of the street you’ll see the Estates Theatre.

It might not seem like much now, but this is actually the theatre where Mozart’s Don Giovanni first premiered. This theatre still puts on productions to this day, including opera, ballet, and dramas.

Estates Theatre in Prague
Estates Theatre in Old Town Prague

Right next to this famous theater you’ll see Charles University, the oldest university north of the Alps. Even today, it is considered one of the top 200-300 universities in the entire world.

Next, make your way to Melantrichova Street and turn right. Eventually you’ll see a fairly noteworthy landmark off in the distance, the Astronomical Clock.

Walk toward this site and you’ll be in the Old Town Square before you know it.

This public square is often referred to as the heart of Prague, and it’s not difficult to see why with two notable monuments at the center and the Tyn Church nearby.

If you arrive at the end of an hour, make sure to stick around for the show just above the Astronomical Clock.

Astronomical Clock in Old Town Prague

From here, find the House of the Stone Bell and take Tynska Street nearby to our next stop, Ungelt.

This district was quite important in medieval times, because this is where merchants would wait for taxes on their merchandise to be levied before entering the city. 

From the Ungelt, you should be able to see the St. James Church in the distance.

This is our next stop, and one of the most interesting things to see here is a real human hand hanging on a chain. This was a punishment for thieves during the middle ages, but it is thankfully no longer practiced today.


Coffee Break

As you walk toward the Jewish Quarter, you might want to consider stopping for a coffee and snack break along the way. 

The first shop we recommend is known simply as the Bakeshop, and they have some of the best coffee in the neighborhood. There’s also a shop called au Gourmand which specializes in French pastries and drinks.

If you’re more interested in authentic Czech pastry, try Pekarstvi v Dusni just down the street at the corner of Dlouha and Dusni. While they don’t have any tables inside, there are park benches nearby where you can sit and enjoy your snack and/or coffee.


Exploring Prague’s Jewish Quarter

Continue down V Kolkovne (or Dusni, depending on whether or not you decide to take a coffee break) and you’ll see a statue of Franz Kafka right in front of the Spanish Synagogue.

This statue depicts the famed author Franz Kafka, and it actually references his story Description of a Struggle. Although his life was mired in misfortune, he has since become widely recognized as one of the greatest writers of his time.

Spanish Synagogue in Prague
The Spanish Synagogue in Prague

The Spanish Synagogue is the site of both the newest and oldest synagogue in Prague. The structure you see today was built in the same place as the old synagogue. We highly recommend going inside to get a good look at the beautiful interior.

From here, head down Siroka and turn onto Paris Street, one of the most expensive shopping districts in the city. If you’ve got some money on your hands, this street is full of trendy, high end shops and stores selling a variety of goods.

You’ll find the Old New Synagogue roughly halfway down Paris Street next to the High Synagogue. When the Spanish Synagogue replaced the previous structure, this became the oldest active synagogue in Prague. 

The Old-New Synagogue in Prague
The Old New Synagogue in Prague

Why the name? When it was built in 1270, it was called the New Synagogue. Now that it’s the oldest in the city, it’s called the Old New Synagogue.

Walk down the street between the two synagogues to reach the Old Jewish Cemetery. This is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in all of Europe, and it is widely regarded as an important historical monument. 

The Jewish Museum in Prague currently maintains this cemetery, and it is not free to enter. You can get a good view of it through a window opposite the Rudolfinum Concert Hall, which is our next stop.


Rudolfinum and Charles Bridge

When you’re done at the Old Jewish Cemetery, walk up U Stareho Hrbitova, turn left on Brehova, and left again onto 17. Listopadu. You’ll find the window to the Old Jewish Cemetery on your left as you walk down this road.

Further down the road you’ll see the Rudolfinum Concert Hall. Constructed in 1885, this neo-renaissance building is used primarily as a music auditorium, and it is the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. The auditorium, known as Dvořák Hall, is well known for its wonderful acoustics.

The Charles Bridge in Prague

From here, keep walking south until you reach Charles Bridge, which will take you to Lesser Town. Until 1841, this was the only way to cross the river Vltava, and it was the only connection between the old town and Prague Castle. Due to its historical significance, this bridge was made a UNESCO World Heritage site.

There are several statues decorating the bridge, and it’s definitely a great spot to stop and take some photos. Charles Bridge is also a great place to get a view of the rest of the city, including one of our next stops, the Petrin Tower. But before we do that, let’s stop for lunch!


Lunch Break

After you cross the Charles Bridge, you’ll be in Lesser Town, and there are several great restaurants in the area which serve lunch. Our favorite options are Lokal u Bile Kuzelky, U Glaubicu, and Tri Stoleti.

We recommend trying a traditional Czech dish such as Svickova, Gulas, Roasted Duck, or Fried Cheese. There are also a lot of great Czech beers you might want to try, and Pilsner Urquell is a local favorite.


Exploring Lesser Town (Mala Strana)

This is one of the most historically preserved areas in Prague, and it is filled with several buildings representing a variety of different architectural periods such as Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicist.

The first stop we recommend is at the John Lennon Wall. What began as a bit of graffiti following the untimely death of rock legend John Lennon has since become an important historical site in Prague, and proof that the artist’s music touched the lives of millions around the world. Fans of the Beatles owe it to themselves to see this makeshift monument.

The John Lennon Wall in Prague

You might also want to stop by the Church of Our Lady Victorious to see the Infant Jesus of Prague. Legends claim that this wax-coated wooden statue once belonged to Saint Teresa of Avila.

Next, head to Kampa Park to see their interesting statues. This is one of the more unique parks in Prague, and it’s also the site of several interesting statues depicting babies crawling around on the ground.

From here you should head south through the park until you reach Ricni Street. Turn right and walk west until you reach Ujezd Street. Halfway down this road you’ll find a Funicular which will take you to our next stop.


Petrin Tower and Funicular

Take the Funicular at Ujezd Station and go two stops up to reach the Petrin Tower. This attraction is actually a copy of the Eiffel Tower, and it was built in Prague just a few years after the one in Paris.

It’s not free to see the view from Petrin Tower, but it’s definitely worth the price of admission if you want to get some great photos of Prague City Centre. How much does it cost? 6 EUR to take the stairs up, and 9 EUR for the elevator.

The view from the top of Petrin Tower in Prague

Alternatively, you can also get a great view of the city by visiting Strahov Monastery, which is just Northwest of the Petrin Tower. Even if you don’t plan to enter the monastery, it might be worth a visit just for the photo opportunities.

It seems like lunch wasn’t so long ago, but you’ve actually walked quite a long way since then, and we suggest stopping for another break before continuing the tour.


Beer or Coffee Break

While you’re at Strahov Monastery, you might want to stop and try some of the beer at their Microbrewery, located just across the street from the main complex.

If you’re more interested in coffee, consider stopping at Cosmai Cafe, which is just a short walk from the Strahov Microbrewery. This shop has excellent coffee and delicious pastries, so it’s a great place to stop for a snack before continuing the tour.


Exploring the Castle District (Hradcany)

This is known as the Castle District because it was connected to the Prague Castle. There are a lot of interesting things to see here including more than one palace.

The Czernin Palace is the largest baroque palace in Prague, and it has served many purposes since it was originally built in the 1600s. You might want to step inside just to see the beautiful stuccos designed by various Italian artists.

The Loreto in Prague

Just across the street you’ll find the Loreto, a Christian pilgrimage site which houses a copy of Santa Casa and the Holy Hut, which was blessed in 1631. The clock tower is also well known for its beautiful chime made possible by 30 different sizes of bells. 

When you’re done here, head to Hradcany Square to see the next big palace in this district. 

Located among many different palaces, the Schwarzenberg Palace was constructed in the late 1600s in the baroque style of architecture. The palace was used as a five star hotel until recently, and it was featured in the classic James Bond movie The Living Daylights.

Archbisop's Palace in Prague

This is also where you will find the Archbishop’s Palace, the Martinic Palace, and the National Gallery of Prague -- which just so happens to be housed in the Salmovsky Palace.

If you find the Starbucks nearby, there’s another great location next to the coffee shop where you can take a few more photos of Prague City Centre. When you’re done at Hradcany Square, head to Prague Castle.


Exploring Prague Castle

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the entire world. While some of the buildings here are not free to enter, most of the complex is free to traverse and explore at your leisure.

If you’re traveling between April and October, you can visit the gardens here for free. Tickets to enter all the buildings are reasonably priced at around 10 EUR, so you might want to consider going inside as well.

St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

The most significant attraction here is St. Vitus Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague, and it’s also another excellent example of gothic architecture. In addition to its dedication to St. Vitus, this cathedral is also dedicated to both St. Wenceslaus and St. Adalbert.

There’s also the Old Royal Palace, a building which dates back to the 12th century. This structure was designed in the gothic architectural style, but you can also see elements of the renaissance style as well. This is the site of Vladislav Hall, which is still used for inaugurations in Prague.

ST. GEORGE’S BASILICA
Basilica of St. George in Prague

The next big site to see is the Basilica of St. George. First constructed in 920, St. George’s Basilica is the oldest of all the churches in Prague, and it features a variety of architectural styles including both gothic and baroque due to redesigns and restorations over the years.

Just past the church you’ll find the Golden Lane. Originally named after the goldsmiths who lived here in the 17th century, this small street is lined with buildings that once housed a variety of people including none other than Franz Kafka.

You’ll need at least 2-3 hours to see all of these sites in great detail, including going inside and exploring the gardens. Keep in mind that the buildings close at 5 pm during the summer and plan accordingly. The Golden Lane remains open and free of charge after 5 pm in the summer.


Exploring Vysehrad and New Town

When you’re done at the Prague Castle, head back down to the Charles Bridge and take the nearby Tram #17 to Vysehrad. This is a beautiful former castle that was remodeled into a military fortress, and it’s a great place to take even more photos of Prague.

Vysehrad Castle in Prague

At the bottom of the castle on Vratislavova Street, you might want to consider stopping for dinner at U Kroka. To finish out your day, you might want to go bar hopping along the river on Naplavka Street.

Alternatively, you could also walk out to Charles Square or Wenceslas Square in New Town.


Clubs, Jazz Bars, and More

After dark, you might want to head to the Blacklight Theatre of Jiri Srnec or go for a ride on the Jazz Boat. There are also some Jazz Bars in the area such as U Maleho Glena and Jazz Dock.

There are also several great clubs for young people who want to dance and have some fun after dark. Consider some of the following options:

  • James Dean
  • Roxy
  • Harley’s
  • Chapeau Rouge
  • Popocafepetl
  • Nebe
  • Cross Club
  • Duplex
  • Lucerna Music Bar

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: marzo 3rd, 2022
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