With its narrow winding lanes, pastel buildings, towering spires and epically good beer, Prague is a city I could spend years in and never get sick of—and in fact, I did exactly that after graduating college! I lived in the Czech Republic’s capital for nearly two years, and I would have stayed much longer if graduate school hadn’t called me back home to Chicago. Of course, if you’re planning a trip instead of a move, time is naturally a bit more limited. While I recommend spending at least three days in Prague, I find a lot of travelers allot just two and opt to move onto other cities, including Vienna and Budapest, instead. So here’s a Prague two-day itinerary for you if you’re in that boat, and if you have more time, I’ve included some info at the end on additional activities and day trips options!
PRAGUE TWO-DAY ITINERARY
MORNING: OLD TOWN & WALKING TOUR
Welcome to Prague! I love taking free walking tours to get acquainted with a new city, and Prague happens to have a great one. The morning version of the three-hour tour, run by Sandeman’s New Europe, meets at 10 a.m. daily in Old Town Square in front of the Cartier shop and Czech tourism office (at the corner of Pařížská and Dlouhá streets). There are several competing tours, but this one is the original, so make sure you’re in the right place!
I recommend leaving yourself some time before the tour starts so can walk around Old Town Square before the crowds descend. The area can get extremely dense with tourists (particularly around the astronomical clock, built into the old town hall), so the earlier you can get there, the better!
Highlights in the square include the aforementioned astronomical clock, whose moving wooden figurines put on a (truthfully underwhelming) show every hour on the hour; the Church of Our Lady before Týn; and the monument of Jan Hus, a reformer and central figure in the religious conflicts that enveloped Prague in the 15th century.
The tour, meanwhile, will give you a rundown of the Czech Republic’s history before leading you past the national museum in Wenceslaus Square, through the Jewish Quarter and beyond. And don’t worry if you miss the 10:00 a.m.; there are others at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
After the tour wraps up, head back toward Old Town Square, or Staroměstské náměstí, for lunch. If you’re lucky, you’ll find vendors set up in festive little stands decorated for the season, serving things like sausages, potato pancakes, halušky (a dumpling dish) and trdelník, the “chimney cake” pastry that’s been having a moment on Instagram since they started filling it with ice cream. In lieu of sitting down for lunch, you can walk around to different stands and conduct your own personal Prague food tour.
If you want more of a restaurant experience, Lokál is a popular nearby option that serves up Czech classics, including goulash and pork shoulder, as well as vegetarian options. For something lighter, the tucked-away Choco Café serves open-face sandwiches and salads is also in an adorable setting (don’t miss the selection of vintage Czech postcards by the door!).
AFTERNOON: PEDDLE BOATING & BEER GARDEN (WARM WEATHER)
Hopefully it’s a nice sunny day, in which case you’ll want to head toward the Vltava river and pick up a peddle boat. You can rent boats adjacent to the National Theater (Národní divadlo) for an hour at a time, and it’s a great way to see Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Kampa Island and the Dancing House, a work of architecture from the internationally renowned Frank Gehry. Food and drinks are allowed on board, so if you want, stop into a potraviny (convenience store) or grocery store before you head to the river.
Afterward, walk north along the Vltava until you reach a bridge called Čechův most. Cross the bridge and head up the staircase to the 75-foot-tall red metronome, which replaced a giant monument to Stalin back in the ’90s. Once you make it up the steps, you’ll be in the expansive and beautiful Letná Park, which affords beautiful views of the river and city. Turn right and follow the path until you reach a beer garden with picnic benches and a kiosk where you can buy drinks and snacks. It’s a great place to enjoy the view, especially as the sun sets!
AFTERNOON: PUB & MUSEUMS (COLD WEATHER)
If it’s cold outside, you’ll definitely want to check out Choco Café—home of the world’s best hot chocolate, in my humble opinion (it’s like drinking a melted chocolate bar)—if you haven’t already gone for lunch. After that, pop into the nearby U Zlatého tygra for the traditional Czech pub experience and a beer or two! If you’re ready to brave the elements, make your way back to the Jewish Quarter and Jewish Museum to explore more of the area and get a better look at the Jewish cemetery, with its layered headstones jutting out every which way. The Mucha Museum, though small, is also worth a visit, especially for lovers of Art Nouveau.
DINNER & DRINKS
Give Czech food a go for dinner at U Medvídků, a restaurant on the border of Prague’s New Town that doubles as a brewery. Afterward, make the 8-minute walk to check out U Sudu—an underground bar with a bunker-like feel—for beer and foosball.
MORNING: CHARLES BRIDGE, MALA STRANÁ & PRAGUE CASTLE
Today, focus on the other side of the river. If crossing Charles Bridge and viewing its numerous Baroque-style statues is on your bucket list, do it as early as you can before the crowds descend. You’ll end up in Malá Strana, a neighborhood whose name translates to “Little Quarter” or “Lesser Town.” You wouldn’t know it by its looks; this area, with its pastel buildings and quaint streets, is as gorgeous as any you’ll find in the city.
Take Malá Strana’s meandering streets to the John Lennon wall, just south of Charles Bridge and across the street from the French Embassy. The wall has been covered in brightly colored graffiti inspired by the Beatles legend since 1980, and it’s a popular photo spot.
Afterward, make your way up to Prague Castle, a complex dating back to the 9th century. You can pay admission to go into different buildings and exhibitions or just stroll the grounds and the surrounding district, known as Hradčany. Don’t miss the Neo-Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral or Golden Lane, a quaint street featuring a row of small, colorful houses (it’s free to enter after the castle closes for the day!).
If you didn’t make it to Lokál yesterday, there’s a location in Malá Strana not far from Charles Bridge. If you did, try Cukrkávalimonáda today instead. The cafe, whose name translates to, “Sugarcoffeelemonade,” serves sandwiches, pastas and more, along with a range of pastries and desserts.
AFTERNOON: CASTLE GARDENS AND KAMPA ISLAND (WARM WEATHER)
Two beautifully manicured gardens sit near the base of the castle: Valdštejnská zahrada and Vrtbovská zahrada. Filled with topiaries, fountains and architectural details—along with stunning views at every turn—both are worth a look, but Valdštejnská zahrada is particularly enchanting, with white peacocks wandering the premises.
After the gardens, wander over to the Franz Kafka museum or Kampa Island, home of local artist David Černý’s giant baby statues. If you check out U Sadu for dinner later (see below), you might spot more of them climbing the TV tower nearby!
AFTERNOON: STRAHOV LIBRARY & BREWERY (COLD WEATHER)
Not exactly garden weather? There are plenty of indoor gems around the castle, including the breathtaking Strahov library. Bedecked with frescoes, this Baroque library rivals the Klementinum library on the other side of the river, which bills itself as the most beautiful library in the world.
Steps away is the Klášterní pivovar Strahov, or Strahov monastic brewery, a 17th-century brewery run by monks that reopened as a craft brewery in 2000. The beer lineup at St. Norbert’s, the restaurant within Strahov, doesn’t include a pilsner, which sets it apart from much of what you’ll find around the city. It’s worth the hike!
DINNER & DRINKS
If you haven’t had your fill of Czech cuisine yet, U Sadu—not to be confused with U Sudu, the underground bar—has an extensive menu of both Czech food and beer (with copies in English!), and it offers an opportunity to get out of the tourist center. The restaurant sits near the border of two neighborhoods popular with the expat community: Vinohrady, characterized by beautiful buildings and a large park, Riegrovy sady; and Žižkov, a grittier area known for its high concentration of bars. My favorite dish there is nakládaný hermelín. It’s a spicy marinated cheese that you might have seen on other menus around town; U Sadu’s is the best!
If you’d rather move on from Czech to a different cuisine, Las Adelitas—which boasts multiple locations—serves legitimately good Mexican food and drinks. Nejen Bistro, in the up-and-coming Karlín neighborhood, provides another good international option.
Whether or not you eat at U Sadu, it’s a great place to go for beers after dinner if it’s nice out thanks to its large patio. If it’s cold, check out a performance from one of Prague’s two symphony orchestras—the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra—both of which play in gorgeous buildings (the Rudolfinum and Municipal House, respectively) and almost always have tickets available. Afterward, explore the city’s growing cocktail scene with a drink at Hemingway Bar or elsewhere. If you see something containing local favorite Becherovka, try it: This herbal liqueur tastes like Christmas!
WITH MORE TIME
If you have additional days at your disposal, you can slow down the pace. Watch the sunset from the hill overlooking the castle in Riegrovy sady; check out the beautiful church and beer garden near Vyšehrad, a historic fort by the river; or take a day trip to Karlštejn Castle, Terezín concentration camp or Kutná Hora, home of the infamous and one-of-a-kind “bone church” (Sedlec Ossuary). Also, if you have time for an overnight trip, the town of Český Krumlov could scarcely be more picturesque. It’s what fairy tales are made of!
CHECK OUT THESE POSTS FOR MORE ON PRAGUE:
Hope this Prague two-day itinerary is helpful in planning your trip! What other questions do you have about visiting Prague? Let me know in the comments! >>
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