Planning 3 days in Prague? Then buckle up because you’re in for the ride of your life.
Well, Prague is a magical metropolis that exquisitely combines the best attributes of every major European city into one amazing urban wonderland. Into is also easily one of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic.
So, when you think of Prague:
Imagine the eternal beauty of Paris interwoven with the history of Athens (I mean, Prague was the site of the 1989 Velvet Revolution that freed the Czechs from Communism! Does it get any cooler than that?) and the delicious assortment of beers found in Brussels and you have some small idea of just how magical Prague truly is.
I pinkie promise, Prague is definitely much better than you could ever possibly imagine.
And while Prague isn’t exactly a hidden gem (You’ll find hordes of visitors wielding their self-sticks of doom as they flight you for a top spot on the Charles Bridge):
Even the crowds can’t take away from Prague’s timeless beauty, a visual magnetism that is encapsulated in a 14th-century stone bridge, a charming, hilltop castle, and the natural charm of the Vltava River.
Get cozy in your favorite Snuggie as we explore enchanting cobblestone lanes, hidden courtyards, quaint cafes, and marvelous secret gardens throughout this 3 days in Prague itinerary. Or 2 days in Prague if you don’t have a ton of time.
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Since many neighborhoods in Prague are quite walkable:
Feel free to strap on some ultra-comfy walking shoes and explore the city’s many idyllic chapels, hidden green spaces, charming cafes, and old-fashioned bars by foot.
The problem with walking anywhere in Prague is twofold, cobblestone streets and hills.
If you have any sort of physical limitation, navigating this historic metropolis by foot can be tricky.
Luckily for you though:
Prague has an extensive tram and metro system that you can easily access from just about anywhere in the city.
Even if the metro and tram network doesn’t service a particular part of the city, buses will.
So, you’re never very far from public transportation of some kind.
That being said:
I seriously doubt that you’ll actually need to ride a single bus during your 3 days in Prague.
Not surprisingly, you’ll need to purchase tickets BEFORE you board any form of public transportation.
It might look like the majority of people don’t have tickets, but I promise you, they do.
They’re just in the form of passes, And when asked, locals will quickly whip out their tickets for inspection.
You always need to purchase a ticket. Trust me, inspectors regularly ride Prague’s public transportation network and have zero tolerance for tourists who feign ignorance and hurriedly proclaim, “I didn’t know”.
To procure a tram or metro ticket of your very own, just head to the snazzy yellow boxes that you’ll find at most subway stations and tram stops.
You can easily purchase a metro, bus, or tram ticket for 32 CZK for a 90-minute ticket, 24 CZK for a 30-minute ticket, 110 CZK for a day pass, and 310 CZK for a 3-day pass.
Any individual ride you take using public transportation will not exceed 30 minutes.
As a result:
You’ill need to take at least five rides in a day for the day pass to be worth it.
You’ll need to take at least 13 rides on public transportation, throughout the length of the ticket, for a 3-day pass to be worth it.
Unless you have significant trouble getting around by foot, it’s best to stick with the 30-minute passes.
Once you’ve purchased your ticket, you MUST then validate it at the top of the escalators before entering a metro station or as you board a bus or tram since all public transportation tickets in Prague are time sensitive.
Failure to validate a ticket could result in a hefty fine of up to €60.
Don’t be THAT guy (or girl) and always validate your ticket!
How do you purchase tickets at tram stops where there are no ticket machines?
That’s a really good question, and a problem that Prague’s been slowly working to fix.
In the meantime though:
Just buy a few, 30-minute tickets and have them on hand, just in case.
If you’re super desperate, you can always try to purchase a ticket from one of the city’s many newsagents since most, not all, sell tickets for public transportation.
Best Place to Stay in Prague
Although Old Town Square is the most popular part of the city, it’s also the most crowded and most expensive.
While there are tons of hotels along the perimeter of this iconic square, I wouldn’t recommend staying at any of them.
You’ll be centrally located, but you’ll also be walking out into a chaotic, frenzy of fanny pack totin’ tourists at all hours of the day (and night).
You’ll be paying top dollar to stay in a city where prices are usually fairly reasonable, especially by European standards.
Try booking a room at Hotel Residence Agnes (rooms start at $146 per night) since it’s just a 7-minute walk from Old Town Square and tucked away along a quaint street, in that intermediary not-quite-too-touristy-yet part of town.
This hotel is GORGEOUS, the staff is extremely friendly, and they serve a wicked awesome buffet breakfast that is included with your stay.
Three cheers for all you can eat buffets!
Looking for a more budget-friendly hotel in Prague?
This lovely hotel is located away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, in the fantastic, ever-trendy, district of Vinohrady.
While staying here, you can stil visit all of Prague’s top attractions since this place is incredibly close to public transportation.
***Before you begin your 3 days in Prague itinerary, be prepared for the weather to change quite quickly. Sure, your day could start off sunny, but you could easily get caught in a torrential downpour just moments later. Therefore, be prepared and pack lots of layers, as well as an umbrella.***
Day One in Prague
Okay, here you are. It’s your first day in this magical city.
But, where to begin?
Let’s start by completing your tourist checklist (Come on, I know you have one) so that we can move on to some of Prague’s more exciting, hidden treasures.
Let’s stroll on over to Old Town Square and visit the legendary, Astronomical Clock here.
Did you actually visit Prague if you don’t see the Astronomical Clock?
Exactly! The correct answer is no.
Yes, it’s super, duper pretty and yes there are like a thousand people here.
This clock is kind of a baller since it was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest, fully functional clock of its kind
Take your pictures, watch the clock chime on the hour, and then flee from this tourist mayhem, towards the picturesque beauty of the Charles Bridge, just down the road.
This architectural marvel is also super duper pretty…and crowded AF.
Get in, grab your photos, and get out. Also, be mindful of your belongings since pickpockets are known to frequent this area and take advantage of all the poor, smooshed tourists.
And while it may take some time to wade through the crowds:
The fight will be worth it once you make your way across the bridge and find the insanely Instagrammable, John Lennon wall.
Believe it or not:
Other than the name, this wall has no actual association with John Lennon.
The only relationship between the two is the fact that this place has been covered in iconic quotes from the Beatles frontman since the early 1980’s.
The graffiti here is no where near that old since the city continually repaints the wall and starts the whole grafitti cycle all over again.
After you’ve taken photos from every possible angle:
It’s time for my favorite part of the day…FOOD, or lunch more specifically.
You’re gonna have to do a little backtracking here which means walking back across The Charles Bridge, if you’re into it.
You could also try walking east along the river to the next bridge across the river, Mánesův most.
While this route is marginally longer:
It’s also infinitely less crowded and offers fantastic side views of the Charles Bridge.
Regardless of the path you choose, you’ll eventually end up at Pivnice Štupartská, a fantastic little pub that serves delicious, traditional Czech fare in a now, not-so smoky atmosphere (You can also check out check some of the best cafes in Prague if you’re not into the whole pub thing).
And while the menu is rather meat heavy (think sausages, sausages, and more sausages):
There are definitely some non-meat alternatives for my fellow veggies out there like fried cheese with tartar sauce, poatato pancakes stuffed (170 CZK) with spinach (155 CZK), and Gratin goat cheese with walnut (240 CZK)
Also, try and have a beer (pivo) before you leave since it’s a “cultural experience”.
You’re clearly just doing this to blend in with the locals and adhere to of local customs.
At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Now, at this point, I’ll forgive you if you’re ready for nap.
Try and stick with me since there’s a lot to see during our 3 days in Prague and so little time!
After finishing lunch:
Continue south, for about 15 minutes, until you reach the one and only, National Theatre, one of Prague’s most impressive buildings.
Done in the Neo-Renaissance architectural style of the Czech National Revival period:
You can either prearrange a tour of the building (on weekend mornings only), or take it easy, and simply admire the building’s impressive architecture, both inside and out.
Walk across the bridge in front of the theater, AKA Most Legií, and head straight towards the exquisite, Petrin Park.
You’ll know you’re arrived when you see a haunting statue that is commonly known as the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.
It’s a striking sculpture that consists of several ragged human forms, descending a staggered slope, into different stages of deterioration.
Step closer and you’ll find a bronze plaque that details the full impact of Communism on human life in this country.
205,486 citizens were arrested, 170,938 citizens were driven into exile, 248 citizens were executed, 4500 citizens died in prison and 327 citizens were shot while trying to cross the border.
A truly somber but important historical reminder.
Spend the rest of your day exploring the rest of this enchanting park, one of the largest green spaces in all of Prague.
Wander through the park’s many exquisite gardens, including the rose garden atop Petrin Hill, Neboziziek Garden, Seminary Garden with its more than 2,000 fruit trees, and the uniquely wonderful Mirror Maze.
For some amazing panoramic views of the city:
You can either hike, or be lazy like me and take the funicular, to Petrin Lookout Tower.
It’s truly magic. A bit hilly but definitely magic.
Now, after all that fresh air, walking, gasping for breath, and (hopefully) sunshine, you must be hungry? Am I right?
Of course I am since it’s always a good time to eat!
From here, it’s just an easy tram ride to Wine Food Market in Smichov (the walk would take more than 30 minutes and is SUPER lame), an amazing Italian restaurant that serves delicious, homemade pasta.
Do yourself a favor and while you’re here, order the gnocchi since it’s soft, pillowy, flavorful, and oh so delicious.
Sigh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
But, all this delicious food? Yeah, it’s served to you inside this ultra-cool, converted garage with long, shared tables and wonderfully high ceilings.
This place really is every Instagram lovin’, wannabe hipster’s dream.
Plan ahead and make a reservation, especially during the weekend since this place is way cooler than I can ever hope to be.
Once you’ve had your fill of delightfully delicious Italian food:
You’re now free to hobble on home, ice your feet, and prepare to do this all over again tomorrow!
Hip hip hooray! I know you’re excited (insert coy winkie emoji here)!
***If you don’t feel like you’re about to collapse, you can end your day with a walk (it’s only about 20 minutes) across the river, to Vyšehrad. This historic fortress sits atop a local hill and offers visitors picturesque, sunset views of the surrounding river and city (this obviously all depends on when you visit and at what time the sun sets). However, the climb up the hill is a bit steep, so be prepared to work those thigh muscles (See, all those squats are finally about to pay off).***
Day Two in Prague
Feeling like yesterday wasn’t quite ambitious enough for you?
No worries because it gets better, and busier, during day two.
And we’ll start by conquering the one and only, Prague Castle.
I’m sure you’ve noticed it up there, looming over you as you move through the city.
Believe it or not:
This royal castle was first built in the 9th century and stands today as the largest ancient castle complex in the entire world, covering an area that is larger than seven football fields.
Be one of the cool kids and wear extra-comfy shoes!
Before you enter though:
Make sure that you have your passport since visitors are required to pass through a security checkpoint, where you must present your ID, prior to entering the castle grounds.
Feel free to explore the castle grounds on your own.
Having a guide makes it an entirely different, and in my humble opinion better, experience.
Not only will your expert guide provide you with context and fascinating details, but they’ll also make sure that you don’t get lost within this fairy-tale fotress’ multitude of spires, towers, and exquisite palaces.
And anyone who knows me knows that getting lost is a very real danger since I am chronically, directionally challenged.
I LOVED this tour since they employ enthusiastic, local guides who are immensely well educated and who want to share everything they know about their home with you.
You can choose between private and semi-private tour options, which is perfect for an anti-social hermit like me.
If guided tours are not your thing, you can choose between A, B, and C level tickets, each of which is valid for two days and permits entry to a different combination of sights.
I think your best bet is to get the discount B ticket since it includes all the major highlights but without charging you a small fortune.
Purchase your tickets in advance and splurge on the audioguide since it’s worth it and really not that expensive.
Once you’re quite finished exploring the castle’s fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums, and galleries (they’re home to some of the Czech Republic’s greatest artistic and cultural treasures), let’s venture over to Lobkowicz Palace Cafe for a much-needed coffee break.
Grab a table and just enjoy the beautiful view from the terrace.
This cafe is a pretty posh place. Therefore, depending on how splurge-y you’re feeling, you might want to just grab a drink here and wait for sustenance elsewhere.
There is a food menu if you’re digging the vibe and are feeling famished.
But, if you haven’t eaten yet:
Mosey on over to Café Pointa for a quick lunch. Sure, this cafe isn’t mind-blowingly wonderful, but it does serve good café food (I enjoyed the jalapeno hummus, Halloumi Bowl, and the avocado sandwich) and is convenient to where you are and where you’re headed.
It sits along a beautiful, quiet residential street that is home to wealthier expats and diplomats; a part of the city that is totally worth exploring.
Make your way towards Letna Park, arguably one of the best spots in the city and a place where you’ll find almost no tourists.
Talk about a win-win.
Walk through the park and find the Prague Metronome, a 75-foot-tall, functioning metronome (AKA a counter used by musicians to mark the passage of time with an audible click) that overlooks Vltava River and the center of Prague.
Erected in 1991:
This metronome sits on the very spot where the world’s largest statue of Stalin once stood, before it was pulled down in 1962.
This place has become a local hangout where kids come to practice their skateboarding, smoke cigarettes, and dangle their legs over the edge as they enjoy amazing, panoramic views of the city.
Continue east, through the park, until you reach Letna Beer Garden, the perfect spot to relax, sip on a beer in a plastic cup and enjoy the outdoors away from the noise, but with a view of it all (they serve food too, if you’re hungry).
Depending on your level of interest in historic things:
You may want to book a tour of the library, something that I highly recommend since this is the largest monastic library in the country, with two magnificent baroque halls that date from the 17th and 18th centuries respectively.
***You can choose between a tour of the library or a tour of the gallery, both of which occur daily between 9 am and 5 pm.***
You can only peek through the doors of these halls and can’t actually go inside.
Womp, womp, womp.
You know, all in the name of historic preservation, especially with the ambient humidity.
This monastery does also have several other awesome points of interest that you CAN actually visit like the exquisite interior of the two-story, Philosophy Hall (Be sure to look up and admire the ceiling fresco, Mankind’s Quest for True Wisdom), the Cabinet of Curiosities (Located in the lobby outside the Baroque halls, this cabinet displays the grotesque, shriveled remains of a variety of animals that would definitely make Hannibal Lector swoon!), the Strahov Evangeliary (a 9th century codex in a gen studded, 12th century binding), and the ever lovely, Theology Hall (It has a low, curved ceiling that is encrusted with Baroque stucco-work and painted with cartouches that depict the theme of ‘True Wisdom”.
If that all sounds totally lame to you, you can always just day drink instead!
But eventually, you’re gonna get hungry. And when you do, just head over to Klášterní Pivovar Strahov for dinner.
The good news?
This restored, 17th-century brewery is actually on the grounds of the monastery.
You don’t have to walk too far to find some delicious food and authentic, Czech beer that is brewed onsite.
But what should you get?
Well, not surprisingly, the menu here is a bit meat heavy.
For my fellow, vegetable loving homies out there, you can try the cheese spaetzle with fried onion, the farm omelet (made with onion, spinach, potatoes, and cheddar cheese), or the grilled Hermelin cheese sandwich with a salad.
All of these dishes are a deliciously perfect way to end day 2 of our 3 days in Prague itinerary.
Day 3 in Prague (The home stretch!!)
Today we’re gonna take it easy and step away from the well-trodden tourist trail.
Well, mostly because some of the best things to do in Prague are in the outlying neighborhoods where locals hang out, drink beer, eat dumplings, and just generally live their daily lives.
So, in true local fashion, let’s start your day off by catching the tram.
Take it to Namesti Miru and the neighborhood of Vinohrady.
Just near the tram stop (or the metro if that’s more convenient for you) is the Church of St. Ludmila, which majestically sits along the perimeter of Peace Square.
Take a moment to admire the exquisite beauty of this Neo-Gothic church, which was built between 1888 and 1892 according to the designs of Josef Mocker.
Enjoy this magnificent creation with it’s twin, 60-meter tall towers, brick basilica, stained glass windows, rich sculptures, and wonderfully detailed paintings.
You get brownie points if you visit during Christmas since this is when an excellent Christmas market pops up, just outside of the church.
Now, if you need a caffeine-fueled recharge:
Meander on down the road for about 10 minutes to Cross Cafe, a distinctly Czech franchise that I promise, is nothing like Starbucks.
They serve wicked awesome coffee and have reliable wifi if you happen to be going through acute social media withdrawal. Trust me, the Millennial struggle is real.
Havlicek Gardens is the next stop on our 3 days in Prague itinerary.
I would just suck it up and walk here since the tram really isn’t all that convenient.
If that’s not a feasible option for you, definitely grab an uber since taxis in Prague should be avoided like the Plague. The drivers are notorious scammers so stay far far far away.
Once you arrive:
Savor the natural beauty of these gardens since they look out over the city, are abutted by some lovely, old row homes, and are home to some incredibly picturesque vineyards.
Feel free to be duely impressed.
Inspired by the Italian Renaissance, this park also has an assortment of fountains, lakes, pavilions, statues, and grottos that are beautiful to stroll through.
Before you leave though:
Stop by the enchanting Vineyard Gazebo, which is surrounded by large vineyards and the Grébovka Pavilion garden café, which has a unique replica of 1870s era bowling alley.
It’s either a 20-minute walk or an infinitely shorter Uber ride to the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord.
And this church?
Yeah, it’s nothing like the last one since it’s from 1932 and possibly one of Prague’s most modern, and original, pieces of 20th-century architecture.
Deisgned by Jože Plečnik:
This church was inspired by Egyptian temples and early Christian basilicas, which is why it’s so unlike any church that I have seen before, or since.
But enough Prague sightseeing…for now!
It’s time for some food! And while there are a ton of great restaurants in this neighborhood, BeerGeek is one of my faves.
This place doesn’t open until 3:00 PM. But, if it is open, definitely stop by for some great beer and a selection of light food (I got the veggie sandwich but this place is known for their wings since they offer 11 different sauces to choose from).
After enjoying some well earned refreshments:
Make your way north toward the neighborhood of Zizkov, home to the unique, slightly heinous, Zizkov TV tower which I’m sure you’ve seen jutting out from the city skyline.
Have you noticed the babies on the tower?
Yes, they are babies that were created by sculptor, David Cerny.
And until recently:
These little nuggets had been taken off the tower for a bit of cleaning and maintenance (See, being a teenager really is tough).
As of March 2019, they are back in action, alongside the tower, and will remain there for at least a solid 20 years.
Look closely-ish and you’ll see that these gigantic (they look small but are 6 feet tall), metallic babies have bar codes instead of faces.
That’s because these grotesque infants are developmentally stifled by an oppressive Communist regime (represented by the TV tower which built by the Communist government) that robs them of their humanity, leaving them unable to reach adulthood as they forever climb a structure that perpetually destroys the beauty of Prague’s skyline.
Wow, that was unexpectedly poignant, and a mouthful.
Anyway, if you have time, feel free to ascend the tallest structure in Prague and procure some awe-inspiring panoramic views of the city from the observation deck (there’s also a super snazzy restaurant and minigolf course up there. Say what!?!?).
Rumor has it that you are currently standing in the neighborhood with the highest concentration of bars in all of Europe.
So, you know what that means?
Yup, time to get your DRANK on! And since Zizkov is pretty committed to its urban hipster vibes, don’t expect to find anything posh or even slightly uppity.
Embrace the local culture and start your evening off at Malkovich Bar, a great place for a pre-dinner drink that isn’t a beer.
Savor some exceptional, traditional Czech fare in U Sadu, a traditional Czech pub with a fantastic atmosphere and even better food, at least for my meat eating friends in the audience who love a good sausage.
Wrap up your evening, and time in Prague, at Bukowski’s.
A true local favorite:
This bar has an impressive, and lengthy, list of cocktails that will satisfy even the pickiest of drinkers.
While you’re here, you’ll definitely party like it’s your birthday before you say a final farewell to Prague and all the amazing things that this city has to offer.
But wait…there’s more!
No, I promise, this Prague itinerary is totally over. I just want to give you a few more tips before you visit Prague!
- Keep an eye on your wallets. While Prague is an incredibly safe city in general, pickpockets do take advantage of preoccupied tourists using public transportation.
- If you have time, consider visiting the Jewish Quarter in Prague, which includes the Prague Jewish Museum (Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, the Klaus Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall, and the Old Jewish Cemetery are all in the museum) and the Old-New Synagogue, which is still used for religious services and requires a separate ticket. Exploring this part of Prague will take about a half day and should be done with a guide since there is a wealth of fascinating history within this part of the city.
- Christmas Markets typically run from November through December and can be found throughout the city and not just within the Old Town Square.
- Google Maps will give you all the transportation info you need. But, if you’re looking for maps to use offline, then try Maps.me.
- Watch out for money exchange scams that claim to offer, “0% commission” but then charge you a ridiculous amount of money and call it an exchange fee. That’s why you should always ask about the exchange rate and the final amount of money you will receive before you do a transaction. Some places also try and scam you by giving out old bank notes that are no longer in use. Visit the Czech National Bank to see which notes are currently in circulation.
- Wake up well before sunrise if yuo want to visit the Old Town and Charles Bridge without any tourists.