Czech Republic travel

How to spend 3 days in Prague

March 20, 2019
Prague Old Town Square Jan Hus Memorial sunset

Is there any end to Prague’s charm? The beautiful Czech city has become a favourite among travellers of Europe and it isn’t hard to see why. I recently visited Prague for three days and it was the perfect amount of time to see the highlights.

Prague possesses an enchanting, romantic atmosphere. Its Gothic architecture is mixed among pastel-coloured apartment buildings. The city almost has the vibe you wish Paris had, strolling through pretty cobbled streets with a pastry in hand.

And there’s something here for everyone. Nights out are fuelled by water-cheap beer and local spirits, romantic strolls for couples, and as I found, it’s a great city for the solo traveller. Prague is safe, and has plenty of stuff to just walk around and gaze at.

From my description above, you may have pegged Prague as an idyllic city break, and it is. But how should you fill your days aside from wandering through its streets with a trdelnik? Here’s how I recommend filling a long weekend in the Czech capital.

*Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

Day 1 in Prague

Start early at Charles Bridge

Quiet early morning view of Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge is much quieter in the early hours

Prague is a popular city among tourists, and one of the most popular things to do is cross Charles Bridge, enjoying the views of the river on either side. But it’s difficult to cross, and even harder to get pictures, in the middle of the day when it is filled with other visitors. If you want to really enjoy it, start early at sunrise. This was what I did and there was hardly another soul on the bridge. Plus the lighting was just gorgeous for photos.

View from Charles Bridge over The Vltava towards Mala Strana with Prague Castle looming in background

Early morning lighting of Charles Bridge towards Old Town in Prague, Czech Republic

Sunrise at Charles Bridge

Stop for some breakfast after, depending on what side of the bridge you’re on you can grab pastries and coffee at Cafe Savoy in Malá Strana or brunch at Pauseteria near the Old Town Hall.

Take a free walking tour

I recommend doing this as one of your first activities to get an overview of the city and get to know the layout of the city. The tour started off my second day. As a result, I didn’t get nearly as much out of it, having already stumbled across most of the sights day one (it’s an easy city to get around). Sandemans run free walking tours in English and Spanish every hour in the Old Town Square. Reserve ahead through their website to guarantee a spot during your chosen hour.

It lasts about three hours and takes you through the main parts of the Old Town, across to the New Town, and then back up past Old Town to visit the Jewish Quarter. Our tour guide also had some handy tips along the way, like pointing out where the ‘good’ exchange bureau is and the best corner shops are.

View of Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic with Gothic cathedral, the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, in background

Old Town Square, Prague

Pastel pink building located in the Jewish Quarter of Prague, Czech RepublicStreet in the Old Town of Prague Czech Republic lined with shops and bars

The downside was it felt like a lot of talking and not much seeing, but you get an idea of the history of the city and the lay of the land. I’d also recommend not eating during the break, by the time I even got my drink order it was time to go.

Go sightseeing solo in the Old Town

Prague's Astronomical Clock, 600 year old top tourist attraction in the Czech Republic capital

Prague’s Astronomical Clock

It will probably be afternoon by the time the tour ends. Make your way back to the Old Town and down to Dlouha Street for lunch. Post-eats, spend some time exploring around the square and enjoying the sites on your own, taking in the sites such as the Astronomical Clock, Church of Our Lady before Týn, and take a peek inside St. Nicholas Church.

Old Town Square Prague, Czech Republic with Church of Our Lady before Týn and Jan Hus memorial with pastel coloured sunsetExterior of St Nicholas Church Old Town Square Prage, Czech Republic

Next, head back up to the Jewish Quarter to check out some of the places you just heard about on the tour, like the Jewish Cemetery.

Afterwards, you’ll probably be in need of a snack. Why not head over to this too-cute little gingerbread shop, Perníčkův sen (the Gingerbread Man’s dream) for some lovely cookies. I brought some home to Matt, forgetting he doesn’t like gingerbread cookies (yeah, I’m not sure why either). Even he liked them! Plus, the shop front is like something out of a fairy tale.

Perníčkův sen, a charming gingerbread cookie shop in Prague, Czech Republic Old Town

Perníčkův sen, a charming gingerbread cookie shop in Prague

If you still have some time left, take a river cruise down Vltava and enjoy the views of either side of the city.

For dinner, head back to Dlouha Street and check out another one of the great restaurants. You’ll also be well-placed to grab a few drinks afterwards.

Day 2 in Prague

Cross over the river to Malá Strana and Prague Castle

Focus on the other side of the bridge today, which is full of sites both quirky and historic. After putting on your best walking shoes or mapping out your tram route (this area is quite steep), head over to Malá Strana.

Start near Charles Bridge and head around the corner to check out the Lennon Wall. The wall, which is the only legal place for graffiti in the city, is covered in decades of brightly coloured paint. The wall popped up after John Lennon’s death in the ’80s. It is often filled with Beatles quotes and lyrics and others making their mark on the city.

Visit a record-holding castle

After, start the climb (or grab the tram) to Prague Castle, which dominates Prague’s skyline. The castle, which dates back to the 9th century, is the largest ancient castle in the world. This complex is vast, with several places to see. There are two main types of tickets for unguided tours, which include:

  • Circuit A
    St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, exhibition “The Story of Prague Castle”, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, Rosenberg Palace.
  • Circuit B
    St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower.

I opted for Circuit B for 250kc and set off exploring. St. Vitus Cathedral was the highlight of the grounds with its grand Gothic architecture, jewel-toned stained glass windows and golden mural on the outside. Meanwhile, Golden Lane is quite fun to explore, peeking through the doors of the traditional little row of houses behind the castle.

Make sure to take some time to enjoy the stunning views from the castle over the rest of the city.

If you have time, stick around for the changing of the guard at noon. I stumbled upon it by accident and watched from the top of the hill rather than crowded around the gates and felt like I had a much better view.

Vojanovy sady

After the castle, head back down the hill and take a stroll through Vojanovy sady, a gorgeous, peaceful park featuring gardens and a lot of peacocks strolling around. I actually didn’t know this place existed before I visited and stumbled upon it, so I was a bit surprised by all the peacocks running around!

For lunch, check out the little street food market underneath Charles Bridge, or check out one of these.

Check out some quirkiness

Malá Strana is also home to some quirky sites and you’ll find weird and wonderful art near the Kafka Museum. This includes the famous piss statue (which moves around having a wee in a pond shaped like the Czech Republic, because…art?). The odd piece is from the imagination of artist David Cerny.

Nearby in Kampa Park you can see another one of this artist’s creations, the creepy, faceless Crawling Babies.

Right around the corner is the narrowest street in Prague, with barely enough for one person to squeeze through.

Narrowest street Prague Czech Republic

After, it is sure to be nearly dinner time. Find some inspiration for restaurants here.

Day 3 – New Town

I stayed near Wenceslas Square in an Airbnb, so I saw a lot of the New Town while I was there, but I focused my last day on this area. Start your day at the place where do many historic moments have taken place:

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) is at the heart of Prague’s New Town, dominated by the statue of St. Wenceslas in front of the historical National Museum building. Check out the museum while you are there. You can get tickets for either the historic building, new building next door, or both.

Make some time for shopping

Check out the shops lining the street around the square. As we don’t have them in the UK, I always make some time to pop into Sephora whenever I’m in a city that has one. Even though this one in Wenceslas Square is quite small, I still came away with a few beauty treats including a few sheet masks and new eyeshadow.

Make sure to grab some trdelnik from one of the places at the bottom of the Square and enjoy it on your way.

Nearby was my favourite place to get souvenirs from was Havel’s Market (Havelské tržiště), just past Wenceslas Square. Unlike many of the other shops in the areas, much of the stuff sold here is made in the Czech Republic. The only downside was a lot of the stalls tend to sell similar goods, but I came away with the usual magnet and a drawing for my travel wall.

If you’ve got some extra time, you could stop by one of Prague’s weirder museums which include the Apple Museum (as in iPhone not fruit), Sex Machines Museum, Museum of Alchemy, Museum of Historical Chamber Pots and Toilets (why?!). I didn’t, and chose to spend some time relaxing in a cafe with my travel journal.

Or stop by the more interesting Museum of Communism, which gives a glimpse of life in the country between 1948 and 1989 under communist rule.

Take a stroll down the river, stopping off to admire the weird architecture of the Dancing House (also known as “Fred and Ginger”), one of Prague’s modern attractions.

Follow up with dinner at Cafe Louvre (read more about my experience at this restaurant here). Take your time enjoying the restaurant’s amazing hot chocolate, or:

End with a beer tour

I recently wrote about my fun experience on a Prague beer tour here, so I won’t repeat myself too much. But if you can/do drink, make sure to try some of Prague’s brews while in the city.

I set off back home the next day with a lingering headache from all the tasting the night before. The downside is that we didn’t spend a great deal of time in the first two bars, yet had two 0.3L beers in each, subsequently leaving 5’0 tall me a bit fuzzy. But it was a great way to round off the trip and try some of the local cultures while meeting new people.

Three days in Prague seemed plenty to see the main sites of the city. But if you are lucky enough to have some extra time, there are plenty of day trips to take from the city centre. A few that were recommended to me but I just didn’t have time for include:

  • Reply
    Catherine
    March 20, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    What a helpful, detailed post! Great photos too 🙂

  • Reply
    Sierra A.
    March 21, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Now i want to go to prague

  • Reply
    glowsteady
    March 21, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Great post! Prague has been on my travel bucket list for a while now and this post only made me want to go even more. Everything looks magical! Your photos are absolutely incredible by the way. You managed to get so much done in three days! x

    Sophie

    • Reply
      Aoife
      March 24, 2019 at 9:46 am

      I was in Prague last year and I could really have used this guide!

  • Reply
    ellieslondon
    March 22, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    I visited Prague last September and your post reminded me of how much I loved it ♥️ I spent five days there – did you notice how good their donuts are?

    • Reply
      Off a Small Island
      March 23, 2019 at 11:59 am

      The trdelnik? I wrote about how amazing they are in my Prague food post, I had about one a day haha! X

  • Reply
    ellieslondon
    March 23, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    No! The donuts – https://ellieslondon.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/eating-out-in-prague-part-two/ 😀 literally the best I have had in a long while!

  • Reply
    sophhearts
    March 23, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    We’re off to Prague in a couple of weeks so this was super handy! I love the look of that gingerbread shop so I’m definitely heading there, I’m avoiding those babies at all cost though haha!
    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

  • Reply
    Annie
    March 24, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Great post with some really great pictures! I have mixed feelings about walking tours. Sometimes I think it’s nicer to go at your own pace and see the sights you want to see by yourself. That graffiti wall is stunning!

  • Reply
    Francisca Rockey
    March 24, 2019 at 9:42 am

    I love city breaks, you don’t need to spend a lot of time there and you can manage to cram a lot into a short trip. Prague is on my list of places to visit, I love the architecture! Everything looks so magical 😍 Which hotel did you stay in?

    Fran | http://www.franciscarockey.co.uk

    • Reply
      Off a Small Island
      March 24, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Yes! Love that about city breaks. I stayed in an Airbnb actually, right around the corner from Wenceslas Square

  • Reply
    onemillionphotographs
    March 27, 2019 at 3:52 am

    Great suggestions! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    jasonlikestotravel
    April 2, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    This was a great read, I’ve wanted to visit Prague forever and just never got around to it. I’m itching to go and this offered some good tips for when I do! 🙂

  • Reply
    6 Tips for Visiting Prague – Off a Small Island
    April 4, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    […] my previous posts on Prague have explained, the Czech capital is perfect for a mini break exploring, including sights both beautiful and quirky, and some great beer and desserts to indulge […]

  • Reply
    Thoughts From a First Solo Trip – Off a Small Island
    August 27, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    […] Prague was a great pick for my solo trip – it’s safe, easy to get around, and the type of place where I just wanted to walk around looking at everything. Everyone spoke English and I felt quite comfortable there. I found Venice and Dubai to be quite easy to travel solo to, and even though I went there with Matt, Copenhagen would make a great first solo travel trip! […]

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