Planning a quick trip to Prague and want to make the most of your short time in this beautiful city? Read on for a complete 2 days in Prague itinerary including the best things to do, where to eat, where to stay and other essential tips for first time visitors.
Prague 2 Day Itinerary
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Prague is a quintessential European city, with the perfect mix of features for first-time visitors, or old hands alike. With friendly and welcoming locals, historical and cultural sites by the bucketload, delicious cuisine, and reasonable prices, Prague ticks all the boxes. It would take a lifetime to visit everything that Prague has to offer, but its compact size means that seeing the highlights in 2 days is most certainly doable.
Here’s the perfect itinerary for enjoying the best that Prague has to offer within two days!
Prague Itinerary – Day 1
Start your day at Prague’s beating heart: the grand, vast castle complex which sits on a hill overlooking the city. Even the walk up to the entrance of Prague Castle is scenic, as the roads switch back on each other – be sure to pause for a photo of the Prague skyline of orange tiled roofs and medieval architecture. Once inside, you can take one of two routes, according to which ticket you purchase, but be sure to check out the beautiful interior of St. Vitus Cathedral, see the Old Royal Palace, or look at the multicolored houses (including one which used to belong to Franz Kafka) on the Golden Lane. It’s the ideal place to start your Prague journey, and get a sense of the city’s rich history!
After you’ve finished at the castle, walk back through the grounds (taking in the views once more) back to where you entered. If you walk through the streets heading up towards the large parkland area on the hill, you’ll eventually end up at the Petrin Tower. This steel observation tower, an homage to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, was constructed in 1891 after a group of Prague tourists visited the French capital. They fell in love with the Eiffel Tower, raised the funding to have one constructed back home, and ensured that the city had a wonderful place to be viewed from forever more! Entrance is inexpensive, and once inside, you can decide whether to take the stairs or elevator to two observation decks – one halfway up which is open to the elements, and one enclosed by glass at the top.
Afterward, go back down into the streets near Prague Castle to visit the unforgettable KGB Museum. This is definitely an experience, thanks to the eccentric Russian owner (he has very set times for his tours, and will only conduct them if he has enough people – check the sign in the doorway for the next tour time). Once you’re inside, you can expect to hear the history of the KGB, both in Prague and beyond, and handle real KGB spy gadgets. Yup, you too can hold, examine, and generally gaze at such James Bond-esqe devices as ballistic daggers, and specially-sharpened shovels, whilst the owner helpfully demonstrates how to use them! The KGB Museum is part educational, part entertainment, and part performance, but you’ll definitely be drawn in!
Read my guide to unusual things to do in Prague!
Charles Bridge is the ideal place to wrap up your wanderings for the day, and is probably the most visited site in the city. As a result, you can expect it to be crowded at pretty much any point during the day, but it takes nothing away from its majesty. Constructed in the 15th century, it has to be one of the most ornate bridges in the world, with countless statues lining the walls on either side. Be sure to stop at the statue of St. John Nepomuk – you’ll recognize him by the crown of stars above his head – and touch the plaque at its base; you can make a wish to return to Prague, which is guaranteed to come true! (maybe.) Otherwise, just make your way to either side of the bridge, and enjoy the views of Prague. It’s especially lovely at sunrise and sunset!
If you fancy a bite after all that walking, walk down off Charles Bridge on to Kampa Island, and make your way along the river until you reach Pivnice U Svejku. My favorite restaurant in Prague, this cozy eatery is devoted to Jaroslav Hašek’s literary creation The Good Soldier Svejk, and you can expect the same hearty, comforting food which was craved by the eponymous character. Prices may seem a little more expensive than others in the area, but portion sizes are absolutely huge – try the goulash or pork knuckle to feel thoroughly fed!
Prague Itinerary – Day 2
On your second day, start with Prague’s most famous sight – the Astronomical Clock which is built into the city’s old Town Hall. You’ll see it everywhere in town, on souvenir magnets, t-shirts, and even replica clocks, but nothing compares to the real thing. Get here ten minutes before the hour to get a good spot for viewing: as the clock strikes, you see the skeleton figure representing Death ringing a bell. This is the signal for a procession of wooden saints to file past a window above the clock, looking down at the assembled crowds and nodding at them. It’s a really magical touch to a beautiful square – the other buildings surrounding the plaza are well worth checking out, as is the Jan Hus Memorial.
Once you’re done, head north to the Jewish Quarter. You can buy a variety of tickets which give you access to different buildings, but I’d recommend exploring both the Pinkas Synagogue, and the Old New Synagogue for starters. The Pinkas is a stunningly moving tribute to the residents of the Jewish Quarter who never came home after World War Two – the names of the Holocaust’s victims decorate the inside walls, carefully recorded and remembered. It also contains a heartbreaking collection of drawings done by Jewish children during the war, many of whom didn’t survive. Pass through the adjoining cemetery and pay your respects to Rabbi Loew, supposedly the creator of the Golem of Prague, before checking out the Old New Synagogue. Legend has it that the Golem still sleeps in the attic!
Havel Market is an ideal place to do some shopping, halfway between the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, and prices here are generally better than in the shops near either square. You can find everything from fresh produce to mountains of chocolates, goulash to strudels, wooden puppets and children’s toys to clocks and leather goods. It’s a great place to get your souvenirs, especially if you’d like to pick up something featuring Krtek (“The Little Mole”). This adorable fellow is a children’s cartoon character from the 1950’s, but his popularity has never faded – you see him far more than any Disney character, which is as it should be! No matter what your age, you should bring home a Little Mole as a reminder of Prague!
Partygoers visiting Prague will want to visit Wenceslas Square – this long, broad boulevard is the hub of the city’s nightlife. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing else of value! It has history – if you walk down the length of the square, you’ll certainly be impressed by the scenic view of the National Museum. As well as being a top-class museum, it’s completely Instagrammable, as is the statue of St. Wenceslas just across the road. Be sure to also pay homage at the Jan Palach Memorial, a low-key tribute at the spot where a student fell, having set himself alight in protest at the Communist regime. If you still want more history, head to the Hotel Jalta – this stylish pad hides a secret in its basement: a Cold War-era nuclear bunker! Wait outside the hotel doors for tours of the bunker.
Read my guide to the most instagrammable places in Prague!
Hungry? Then head back towards Havel Market, and try out U Dvou Kocek. This feline-flavoured pub (the name translates as “The Two Cats”, and the owners certainly run with the theme) not only provides excellent beer which is brewed on site, but serves delicious food. (If you want to learn more about the local beer, check out this Honest Insider’s Guide to Czech Beer.) Definitely try out the roast pork, served with a perfect compliment of horseradish and mustard, and get a side order of bacon dumplings. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Mozart used to come here when he lived in Prague; who can complain with that kind of recommendation?
Where to Stay in Prague
Mustek – This area surrounding Wenceslas Square is definitely the place for anyone planning on living it up in Prague, but it’s also home to some of the city’s most stately hotels. Benefits include being close to all the sights, plus an endless choice of entertainment and eating options, but it may get a little noisy at night.
- Jalta Boutique Hotel– one of Prague’s most famous hotels, and super-convenient for visiting the nuclear bunker in the basement! Position on Wenceslas Square is perfect, near to all the entertainment without being right on top of it. Rooms are clean, the restaurant is excellent, and the staff are friendly.
- Hotel Jungmann – this friendly, small-scale hotel is perfect for wanting to be in the middle of things without being disturbed by it. Located right by a Metro stop, it’s right around the corner from Wenceslas Square – ideal for seeing all of the city’s sights, then taking a train back to the hotel after a long day’s walking!
Mala Strana – this area is ideal for the first-time visitor to Prague – located on the other side of the river, you’re close to the sights of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge without having to share space with the city’s revelers. It’s also easy to get here from Prague Airport, ensuring a nice, fast commute!
- Hotel Kampa Garden – you can’t get any closer to the Charles Bridge! Located on pretty Kampa Island, this is the ideal place for getting a restful night’s sleep in the clean and stylish rooms, before getting up early to see the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, or the Lennon Wall before the tourist crowds get there.
- Hotel Roma – this Italian-inspired hotel is reasonably-priced, clean, and staffed by friendly employees! Ideal for visiting the Petrin Tower or the Church of Our Lady Victorious, it also has amenities such as excellent restaurants, and even a small supermarket, located a stone’s throw away.
Prague Travel Tips
Start your journey to the Czech Republic’s capital by getting a flight to the city’s Václav Havel Airport, but don’t be tempted to get a taxi to the city centre. Taxis in Prague are insanely expensive, and can cost you several hundred Czech crowns – as a contrast, all you need to get into the city is a 90-minute public transport ticket, which will cost a rather more reasonable 32CZK. Simply catch the number 119 bus, and alight at Nádraží Veleslavín stop. From here, either catch a tram (stay on the same side of the road), or hop on an underground train at the adjoining Metro stop.
Spring and winter are ideal times to visit the city, avoiding the summer crowds. Spring allows you to enjoy fine weather and the glorious parks whilst Prague in winter provides beautiful snowy scenes, lower prices, and significantly less-crowded streets!
Author bio: Nicky decided to create her blog, That Anxious Traveller, after a near-miss avoiding a terrorist attack in London forced her to evaluate the extent that anxiety was taking over her life. So after too long spent not travelling, she’s out rediscovering the world again, and sharing the tips that she’s learnt whilst conquering her fears. Plus eating loads of European food, because it’s just too awesome. Armed with a belief that absolutely anyone can travel, she aims to help fellow anxiety sufferers, occasionally inspire, and provide merriment with tales of her mistakes! Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!
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I dig it Nicky. The KGB Museum looks intriguing. I feel the old world thing going on over there, both in Prague and in that fascinating museum. Excellent review.
So we have had several friends who have or still do live in Prague and they absolutely LOVE IT there! I mean the Charles Bridge is absolutely Iconic. Though I have to say the views from and toward the Prague Castle are so cool Looking.
The KGB Museum also looks like fun. We did a similar museum in Berlin and it was so cool being Gen X Travelers who still Remember the Cold War!
Finally, I have the biggest fascination with Astronomical Clocks. Any time I find out that there is one in a city like the once in Salzburg I found..I have to visit it…so this one in Prague is definitely getting added to the Bucket List!