By Martin, lover of travel, art and craft beer who swapped his small-town life for the big city of Prague. Edited by Emma White.
Thanks to its world-class museums, rich history, beautiful scenery and outstanding food scene, Prague is often referred to as the Paris of Eastern Europe. Prague is packed full of amazing things to see and do, making weekend city breakers wonder if 2 days in Prague is enough time to experience the best of this magical city. It is certainly possible to visit Prague in 48 hours, but you will need a plan. If you’re visiting Prague and planning what to do in Prague in 2 days, why not check out my Prague 2-day itinerary, I know this city like the back of my hand! I’ll take you on a journey of all the main sites and even include some hidden gems that you may have missed with an ordinary guidebook. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, follow my guide, and make the most of your 2 days in Prague!
Day 1 - Morning
Day one begins in Prague’s Ujezd quarter where I recommend taking the old funicular up to Petrin Hill for some incredible views of Prague in the morning. The funicular dates back to the 1890s and is a great activity for those who don’t fancy walking up the big hill or who simply wish to sit back and enjoy the splendid views as you ascend. After ascending the hill, you can walk around the beautiful gardens and observe the scenery from this high vantage point. I love this spot as it gives you a different perspective of the city than the one from Prague Castle and is a less touristy viewpoint, perfect for those looking to escape the crowds. If you’ve got the energy, I also recommend climbing the 350 steps to the top of the Petrin Tower, which resembles a miniature copy of the Eiffel Tower, to snap some amazing photos of the city below.
Day 1 - Morning
From the top of the hill, walk through the luscious park towards Prague Castle. Your next stop should be the Strahov Monstery, a Premonstratensian monastery founded in 1140 and home to the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the rare Strahov Library, the Baroque Theological Hall, the Classical Philosophy Hall and the Strahov Gallery - one of the most important Central European collections of Gothic, Baroque and Rococo paintings. Everybody visits the major sites in Prague such as the Castle, Charles Bridge and the Old Town but not many make time to visit the Strahov Monastery which is a shame. The monastery itself is impressive, but it is the Library that is the star of the show. It will have you spellbound by its beauty and intricate detail.
Day 1 - Lunch Time
Next to the Library you will find the Strahov Monastery Brewery, a 17th-century St Norbert brewery restored and reopened as a craft brewery in 2000 with a restaurant and courtyard. This is a great spot for lunch and a lovely cold beer. From the goulash to the dumplings and tartare, all of the food is delicious, authentic and prepared to a very high standard. The opportunity to visit the microbrewery is an added bonus, but you may have to book in advance. For an authentic pub experience in Prague, don’t miss this brewery! Don't confuse it with the giant, cave-like restaurant next door - look for the giant copper vats and you’ll be there.
Day 1 - Afternoon
The next stop after lunch is the New World quarter, located in the Hradčany district close to Prague Castle. The New World is one of the most beautiful places in Prague. The picturesque houses that line the narrow streets were built in the mid-14th century to provide accommodation for castle workers and although much of the area was severely damaged by fire, the houses were rebuilt in the 1700s and have remained intact ever since. This romantic location is historically significant, and perfect for a peaceful stroll – keep your eyes peeled as you may well see cannonballs from the Prussian war still embedded in the walls of some houses! Despite its proximity to one of the main Prague attractions, the New World quarter is a hidden gem off the beaten path which even some locals don’t know about.
Day 1 - Afternoon
Once you are done exploring the New World, head over to Prague Castle. This medieval castle has been named the largest castle in Europe and contains as many as seven hundred different rooms! The Castle itself, along with the St. Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane, are simply wonderful and must be included in your Prague 2 day itinerary. The architecture is fantastic and there is so much to learn about the history of the Castle and the city. Entry into the Castle is free, but you must pay a fee of 10 euros to see inside the palace. It is also a good idea to purchase the audio guide in order to learn all about the Castle’s origins and its place in society throughout the years. The Castle gardens are also magnificent and well worth wandering around if the weather allows.
Day 1 - Evening / Dinner Time
After your visit to the Castle, walk down the hill and then across Charles bridge. As you wander around the surrounding area you will come across many interesting things to see such as street artists, musicians, street performers, souvenir stalls, and of course, the magnificent view from the bridge. If you have the time, I recommend jumping on a sunset boat cruise. They depart from the left side of Charles Bridge and usually last about an hour, showing you different sights that you wouldn’t necessarily see from land. Not far from the bridge is Tři Století (Three Centuries), an elegant contemporary restaurant perfect for dinner. It serves a variety of Czech and international dishes including delicious pasta, big burgers and juicy steaks. But it’s the Czech specialities such the roast duck in honey and traditional goulash with dumplings that are the real stars on this restaurant’s menu. After dinner, take a stroll through the old town and head over to Revolucni Street, a lively strip known for having some of best places to eat in Prague as well as many great bars and clubs to suit all tastes, where you can spend the rest of your evening.
Day 2 - Morning
Day 2 starts a little off the beaten track in Vysehrad, located on the opposite hill to Prague Castle. Vysehrad is easily accessible by tram and is much quieter and calmer than Prague Castle which is surprising considering its authenticity, historical significance and jaw-dropping views over city. The grounds hold hidden architectural treasures including the rare Romanesque Rotunda of St Martin, the neo-Gothic Church of St Peter and Paul, the national cemetery Slavín, and the underground casements housing some of the original Baroque statues from the Charles Bridge. The cemetery in particular is a must visit, there are some impressive statues and tombs which commemorate many Czech notables who are buried here such as Dvorak, Smetana and Suk.
Day 2 - Morning
Afterwards, make your way back to the city centre on foot, by tram or by bicycle. You can rent a ‘rekola’ bicycle from one of the designated stands using an app on your phone which will give you an activation code. The bikes are easily recognisable by their bright pink colour and follow a similar system to other bicycle rental schemes in major cities across Europe. On your way down stop in Naplavka, the recently renovated riverbank under the railway bridge where several boats are stationed along the river and many restaurants and bars line the edge of the water. There is always something going on there and it’s a good place for a coffee break. Open air concerts, dance parties and discotheques are also often organised in this spot and it is always great fun!
Day 2 - Lunch Time
For lunch I recommend Svejk Restaurant located in New Town. This traditional Czech restaurant is a little out of the way but worth the effort for a seriously tasty authentic meal. Offering gluten free options (including gluten free beer), this restaurant has something for everyone. The menu is full of traditional Czech dishes on both the regular and gluten free menus and the dumplings are amazing on both! You will likely dine alongside the locals which will enhance your traditional Czech food experience! After lunch, walk through the Old Town towards Old Town Square, ringed with beautiful buildings with amazing architecture, including important Prague attractions such as Old Town Tower, Astronomical Clock and the Tyn Church. If you’re visiting Prague in one day, this square should definitely be high on your list of things to see and do.
Day 2 - Lunch Time
Just north of the Old Square is the Jewish quarter. Known as Josefov, the quarter was once the largest Jewish ghetto in Europe. My advice is to purchase a combined ticket for ‘The Jewish Museum in Prague’, a multi-faceted tour of several neighbouring sights. The Spanish Synagogue is a beautiful building with rich Moorish decoration, showcasing objects and texts telling of the Jewish history in the Bohemian lands in the 18th century onwards. Maisel Synagogue tells of the earlier history, the neo gothic architecture is a nice contrast to the other sites. The Pinkas synagogue is now a monumental memorial to the loss and trauma suffered throughout the holocaust. You then continue through to the world famous Old Jewish Cemetery. Many of the gravestones have fascinating carvings and it's interesting to try to imagine how the original ghetto area looked in the lifetimes of those buried here. The museum is open daily except Saturdays and other Jewish holidays: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (summer time) and 9:00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. (winter time).
Day 2 - Evening / Dinner Time
As evening draws closer, make your way over to the Letná district, a walkable distance from the historical centre. Letná is another off the beaten path location which is not commonly visited by tourists, however it is an area that is classed as ‘up and coming’ and has slowly started to appear in a small number of guidebooks. It is located up on the hill above Vltava River, providing magical views over Prague, the river and its bridges, the colourful buildings throughout the city and everything beyond. After you’ve checked off all the top things to do in Prague in the historical part of the city, I recommend spending an afternoon or evening in Letná, soaking up the views with a beer and some food – the best place to go for this is the famous beer garden at the top of the hill. There are also a number of street food options in the area for you to choose from.
Day 2 - Evening / Dinner Time
Once the sun has set, a great place to end your evening is Bio Oko, a quirky independent 1930s cinema and bar. The cinema’s bar is a popular spot for Prague’s younger crowd who like to come here for drinks, coffee and snacks before or after a movie. They have a fantastic selection of Czech craft beers and natural wines – the movie selection isn’t bad either! You can choose to sit in the regular chairs in the back, or in the beach chairs in the front. Bio Oko also regularly hosts art events and exhibitions so check online to see what’s happening during your visit. If like me you’re not wild about the clubbing scene, you should check this place out for a taste of the alternative nightlife in Prague.
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