Prague is a fantastic city break, with many famous attractions such as the Charles Bridge, the medieval old town and castle to explore. Here are the top sights that you shouldn’t miss with 2 days in Prague.
2 Days in Prague Itinerary
The capital of the Czech Republic is known for its historic town centre, classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However there are many contemporary Prague landmarks to discover. Our Prague itinerary takes in some lesser known gems as well as the famous landmarks.
Day 1 in Prague
The Golden City, as Prague is sometimes nicknamed, was the biggest city in the Holy Roman Empire, from 1300 to 1350. Under Charles IV, the King of Bohemia, Prague became a cultural hub for central Europe. The famous Charles Bridge is named after him.
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Prague Old Town
We suggest starting your Prague weekend in the old town, known as Stare Mesto in Czech. Many of the buildings date from medieval times.
Prague is often called the city of 100 spires, due to the amount of churches. It’s thought that there are now over 500! Some of the most important buildings in the old town are:
- Church of Our Lady Before Tyn – this Gothic masterpiece opened in 1510 and has twin towers that are 80 metres high. The astronomer Tycho Brahe is buried here. According to legend, touch his right cheek to get rid of toothache.
- House at the Minute – this beautiful Renaissance house dates from 1610. The facade is decorated with ornate murals known as sgraffitoes. It’s the former home of Franz Kafka and his parents.
- Kinsky Palace – this art museum is a fine example of Rococo architecture, with a stunning pink and white facade. The building dates from 1755 to 1765 and was once a school attended by Franz Kafka.
- Powder Tower – built over 3 generations by the Dientzenhofer family, this Gothic tower is one of the original city gates. It was used as a gunpowder store and now houses an exhibition about the Castle Guard.
You’ll notice quite a few shops selling trdelník or chimney cake in Prague Old Town. This is a kind of sweet pastry, baked on a skewer in an open fire and topped with cinnamon sugar. While these snacks are not strictly Czech in origin, they’ve become popular with visitors. Some of the most popular fillings are chocolate, caramel and coconut.
The Old Town Square plays host to the oldest Christmas market in Prague from December to the beginning of January. If you’re visiting then, the gigantic Christmas tree is not to be missed.
Old Town Hall
Dating from 1338, the Old Town Hall has striking Gothic interiors, including a hall with a painted wooden ceiling. The stained glass windows of the Chapel of the Virgin Mary are also impressive.
The town hall is most famous for its Astronomical clock tower. Built in 1410, this historic landmark is famous for its 12 apostle figurines, who appear every hour from 9 am to 11 pm.
For a panoramic view of Prague, purchase a ticket for the tower and halls from the ground floor. There’s a lift to the top and the tower is fully accessible by wheelchair.
If you’re feeling hungry, head to Zinc Restaurant in the Hilton Prague Old Town. The design is Art Deco inspired and the team presided by Executive Chef Valerio Bussandri make some delicious dishes. We recommend the Bee my Guest honey cake and ice cream dessert for a contemporary take on trdelnik.
The food scene in Prague has changed dramatically, with street food and Asian cuisine both now popular. There are also a wide variety of healthy eating establishments. From the old town square, it’s less than 10 minutes walk to the iconic Charles Bridge via Platnéřská.
Construction of Charles Bridge began in 1357 and was completed at the start of the 15th century. This famous Prague landmark links Prague Old Town to the Lesser Town.
This Gothic bridge is known for its 30 Baroque statues. People touch the plaque on the bronze statue of John of Nepomuk for good luck.
The bridge is pedestrianized however it can get very crowded in the afternoon. If you can, try to visit in the morning.
Lesser Town and Castle District
Known in Czech as Mala Strana, the Lesser Town is across the river from the Old Town. There are many interesting sights dotted around its cobbled streets, including:
- Church of Saint Nicholas – not to be confused with Saint Nicholas Church on the Old Town Square, this Baroque and Gothic church has a very impressive interior with frescoes, stucco decoration and a spectacular chandelier.
- Wallenstein Garden – an ornate garden with peacocks and an Italian grotto.
- Petrin Hill – a tranquil hilly area with a mirror maze and Petrin Tower, which looks quite like the Eiffel Tower. There are 299 steps to the top.
- Lennon Wall – in 1980, when John Lennon was assassinated, his face was painted on this historic wall. Later in the 80s, opponents of the political regime at the time expressed their anger by painting protests on the wall. As quickly as the regime painted over the graffiti, the protests reappeared.
If you’re short on time, we suggest visiting this area on day two of your stay and going straight to the castle.
From the Lesser Town it’s around a ten minute walk up to Prague Castle via some picturesque streets with many shops and restaurants.
One of the best traditional restaurants in Prague is tucked away on a quiet street near the castle. Baracnicka Rychtax has been going strong since 1885, when it was set up as part of The Patriotic Association of Cottagers.
This cosy place serves Czech food dishes like beef goulash and Vepro knedlo zelo, pork served with bread dumplings. They also have a good selection of Prague beers.
Although you might think it’s one monument, Prague Castle is actually a series of impressive buildings. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, at 70,000 m². This famous Prague landmark is also A UNESCO World Heritage site and the residence of the Czech President.
Some of the highlights include:
- St Vitus Cathedral – a holy building has stood on this site since the year 925. The present cathedral was started in 1344 and finished in 1929. The stained glass windows by Alfons Mucha are a fine example of Art Nouveau style.
- Old Royal Palace – contains Vladislav Hall, the Bohemian Chancellery and All Saints Chapel.
- St George’s Basilica – the Baroque exterior conceals a Romanesque interior. The South Tower is called Adam and the North Tower is called Eve!
- Golden Lane – colorful medieval houses built for royal servants and goldsmiths. Franz Kafka lived here from 1916 to 1917.
If you’re tight for time, you can limit your visit to Prague Castle grounds. These are open daily from 5:00 to midnight in Summer and 6:00 to 23:00 in Winter.
For those attractions where you need tickets such as the ones listed above, the visiting times vary depending on the month of year but start at 9:00 in Summer and 10:00 in Winter. Visitors in December can shop at the well known Christmas market, St. George’s Basilica Market.
Walk down to the town via castle hill, past St Wenceslas Vineyard, one of the oldest vineyards in the Czech Republic.
Day 2 in Prague
Known as Nove Mesto in Czech, the New Town has some remarkable examples of Belle Epoque architecture. Municipal House on Namesti Republiky was finished in 1911. The distinctive Art Nouveau building is home to the Smetana concert hall, a beautiful cafe and restaurant.
The Adria Palace was built for the Adriatica Insurance Company in the 1920s in an unusual Rondo-Cubist style. Cubism in art is famous, however its extremely rare in architecture. The Czech Republic is unique in having so many examples of Cubist buildings.
Palac Adria is now home to businesses and a theatre club. It has a spectacular glass ceilinged passageway and decorative tiled floor.
Named after Good King Wenceslas, who was born in Prague in 907 AD, it’s the commercial centre of the city. Also a popular nightlife area, Wenceslas Square is known for its Christmas market. From the beginning of December onwards, visitors come to browse the stalls and purchase traditional Czech souvenirs.
On the square, you’ll also find Narodni Museum, the Czech National Museum. It was designed by Josef Schultz in Neo-Renaissance style and is the largest museum in Prague. The spectacular marble entrance hall is often used as a concert hall.
Palladium Shopping Center
Close by on Republic Square, there’s Palladium Shopping Center, the largest mall in downtown Prague. This former barracks has over 170 shops and 31 restaurants spread over five floors. Visitors can admire the archaeological foundations and contemporary Czech artworks on display.
Head of Franz Kafka
One of the most famous Czech people ever was the writer Franz Kafka. He is particularly well known for his surreal short story, The Metamorphosis in which the hero is transformed into a giant insect.
You can see a tribute to this talented writer at the Head of Franz Kafka sculpture. Installed next to the Quadrio shopping centre, the stainless steel statue is constantly rotating. This impressive statue stands 11 metres tall and was designed by David Cerny, the Czech artist.
This sculpture should not be confused with the equally surreal Statue of Franz Kafka by Jaroslav Rona on Vezenska Street.
The Dancing House
The Nationale Nederlanden building, as the Dancing House is actually called, is a collaboration between architects Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic. Finished in 1992, it is also nicknamed Fred and Ginger after the dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers who inspired the designers.
Located on Jiraskovo nam overlooking the river, the Dancing House has a rooftop bar with great views of the Vltava. There’s also a restaurant called Ginger & Fred and the Dancing House Gallery.
Josefov, Prague’s former Jewish Quarter, houses several interesting museums. The Jewish Museum and Museum of Decorative Arts are both worth a visit. You can also see the birthplace of Franz Kafka next to the Spanish Synagogue and visit the Old Jewish Cemetery. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.
If you’re visiting Prague in Summertime, consider taking a pedal boat out on the river. Although the Vltava is the longest river in the Czech Republic, we suggest that you stick to the centre!
There are some fun boats including car and swan shaped ones, seating from 1 to 6 people. The boats can be hired on Slavonic island, or Slovansky ostrov in Czech, and come equipped with life jackets for children or non-swimmers.
In Winter, take a river cruise along the Vltava River, either during the day or in the evening for dinner.
Another fun thing to do at night is to head to Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge. Consistently awarded one of the World’s Best Bars, it has spectacular views and two spacious roof terraces. Why not come for sunset and enjoy a cocktail while listening to a live DJ set each Friday and Saturday.
Where to Stay in Prague
We can highly recommend Hilton Prague Old Town, which is very centrally located. The lobby, rooms and Zinc Restaurant are decorated in Art Deco style and there’s a LivingWell Health Club & Spa. The rooms are well equipped with air conditioning, a walk in closet and a safe.
A popular mid-range option is Hilton Prague, for its panoramic Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge and LivingWell Health Club & Spa.
How to Get to Prague
You can fly directly to Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) from most international airports. As there isn’t a direct subway or train line to Prague city center, it’s best to take a private transfer from the airport to your hotel. Click here to book yours in advance.
As you can see, there is a lot to pack into a weekend in Prague! One of the top Gothic cities in the world, it’s full of amazing architecture and foodie hotspots. If you have a bit longer, consider visiting West Bohemia or taking a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO listed medieval town and castle.
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