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Discover Prague in 3-Nights: The Best Prague Travel Itinerary

Discover Prague in 3-Nights: The Best Prague Travel Itinerary

Planning a trip to Prague and unsure about what to do? This three-night itinerary shows you all the best things to do in the city.

Prague in the Czech Republic is one of eastern Europe’s most beautiful cities. Gothic and Baroque architecture defines its skyline, and history and religion mould its past.

Nicknamed ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’ and recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1992, as you wander the cobbled streets of this capital city, you can’t help but fall in love with it.

Discover the best things to do in Prague on a 3-night city break as you explore the splendour of its bohemian architecture, the friendliness of the locals and its delicious traditional dishes. 

This itinerary covers three days in Prague; however, you could adapt it to two days in Prague by concentrating mainly on the Castle District and the Old Town.

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Useful Information About Prague

Best times to visit Prague

I travelled in April – the beginning of Spring is quite unpredictable, and although we didn’t get any rain, it was grey and gloomy.

In late Spring and Summer, the weather is more pleasant, and the sun is out –  If you travel in July/August, be prepared for many tourists and hot days.

Autumn – pleasant weather, and there are fewer crowds. A lovely time to wander the streets of one of Europe’s favourite cities.

Winter – November/December in Prague is magical. This season is a great time to visit the Prague Christmas Markets – wrap up sufficiently; it will be cold.

Where to Stay in Prague

I stayed at the Mozart Hotel, a luxurious boutique hotel steeped in history and within a stone’s throw of the Charles Bridge.

For my second visit to Prague, I stayed in the Hotel Golden Star located in Lesser Town in the historical castle district of Prague.

For a quirky and unusual place to stay in Prague – book the Dancing House Hotel.

Find availability and pricing for alternative Prague accommodation here.

How to get from Prague Airport to the City Centre

Pre-book a private transfer and arrive in comfort straight to your hotel door.

How to Get Around Prague

Either walk, use public transport or explore by scooter, bike or boat during your three days in Prague. Uber also runs in Prague and is a quick and cheap way of getting around if your legs give out from all the walking up and down hills!

Best things to do on a three-night trip to Prague

Day One in Prague – Morning

Walk across the Charles Bridge

I will mention the Charles bridge first, as it is unmistakably the most iconic structure in Prague. A photograph of Prague typically features the stone bridge spanning the Vltava river connecting the Old Town to Mala Strana.

Constructed in the 14th century and featuring statues of Catholic saints, the old town bridge is your entry and exit point to Mala Strana and the Castle District. Legend has it that builders mixed egg yolks into the mortar to strengthen the bridge’s construction!

Our hotel was along the river, and we had a perfect view of the famous Charles Bridge from our window. It only made sense that it should be the first stop on our Prague itinerary.

We headed through the dark looming arch that marks the entrance to the bridge, and after refusing to buy boat cruises from the many sellers that thrust leaflets in front of us (yes, they were annoying), we were finally ready to walk across it.

Beware the Crowds

It is hectic most of the day, so be prepared to be jostled, especially when trying to get that ‘perfect’ photograph. You will find entertainers playing traditional Czech folk songs alongside vendors selling art, jewellery, and refreshments along the bridge.

Legend tells us that this bridge is haunted by the ghosts of peasants whose heads ended up on nearby spikes. Thankfully we didn’t see any of them!

Cross the bridge and then continue through the second tower’s arch, and you will find yourself in Mala Strana.

Visit Mala Strana (Lesser Street)

Once you have crossed Charles Bridge, you will be in the district known as Mala Strana or Lesser Street, divided between the lower and upper halves of the western hillside, opposite the Vltava River.

Prague Castle is in the upper half and offers the pomp and ceremony you would expect. The rest of the Lesser Town offers a bohemian vibe with traditional pastel-coloured burgher houses and cute coffee shops adding to its charm.

At the beginning of Mala Strana, you will find it very busy with the crowds spilling off from Charles Bridge but continue walking up the hill, and things will become calmer.

We enjoyed browsing the artisan shops, especially those selling Bohemian crystal, Prague’s traditional glassware. The skill that has gone into its manufacture is marvellous, and a piece of crystal is the perfect souvenir to take home with you from Prague.

Mala Strana Pastel Buildings Prague

See the John Lennon Wall

One of Prague’s famous pieces of creative art is the Lennon wall on the west side of the Charles bridge which is worth seeing before heading up to Prague castle.

The singer had no direct connection to the wall; however, the wall was a place to display love poems and messages of peace per Lennon’s ethos. After John Lennon’s death, the wall became a focal point in the city for urban art and is one of the most well-known pieces of street art in Eastern Europe.

Hike up Castle Hill

Prague castle complex spans an area of approximately 45 hectares comprising buildings, gardens and woodland. Climb the neverending steps from Mala Strana to the top of Castle Hill for fantastic views over Prague.

Prague Castle viewed from Mala Strana

Try the Czech speciality Trdelnik cake

On your way to the castle, stop for one of Prague’s top pastries. This traditional sugary treat is Trdelnik (hollowed-out log) or Tunnel cake and made from rolled dough wrapped around a stick and covered in sugar and a walnut mix – take it from me; it is delicious!

The sugar will give you an energy boost to continue the trek up to the castle!

Trdelnik Stall at Prague Castle

Allow between 3-4 hours to explore the Prague Castle complex and maybe even longer if you will be stopping for lunch or dinner while there. We ate lunch on the balcony of the Lobkowisz Palace cafe overlooking the pretty gardens.

If you want to eat outside the castle complex, you will find many restaurants and cafes along the area’s medieval streets.

Novy Svet (The New World) is a quiet and picturesque district with quaint houses, cobbled streets and hardly any tourists! Dating back to the 14th century, it has retained its charm and has a cute cafe named after the area (Novy Svet) where you can grab coffee, cakes and ice cream without the queues.

Exciting things to do in the Prague Castle Complex

Prague Castle and complex is a day out on its own without factoring in any of Prague’s other unmissable sights. The complex is also known as Hradcany and is a collection of castles, churches, museums, gardens, and woodland.

Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ancient castle in the world and constructed in the 9th century, it is now the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. One of 19 residences used by the royal family when they were visiting Prague or the Kingdom of Bohemia as it was known centuries ago. You will see Bohemia’s seal on the glasswork made and sold in Prague.

If you can’t face the climb to the complex, then use tram No. 22 to stop at Pražský Hrad, turn left and in 5 minutes, you will reach the 2nd courtyard of Prague Castle.

I would recommend buying your ticket before you arrive to avoid the queues. There are numerous options to choose from, so it is a good idea to decide how long you have and what you want to see before buying them.

 

Changing of the Guards

Arrive slightly before noon and claim your spot to witness the daily ceremonial changing of the guard in the castle courtyard, complete with fanfare and a flag ceremony.

The guards at the gates of the medieval Prague castle change on the hour (this is different from the ceremonial changing of the guard)

Old Royal Palace

The Old Royal Palace part of Prague Castle dates back to the 12th century. The Vladislav Hall once was the setting for royal coronations, banquets, jousting competitions, and artisanal markets selling luxurious goods.

Basilica of St George

The basilica’s interior is Romanesque, with the tombs of members of the royal families are situated. One of them belongs to Prince Vratislav, father of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Prague.

Golden Lane

Fairytale dwellings built into the castle’s walls in the 16th century were once the homes of the castle guards. They have now been turned into an exhibition about life in the lane over the past 500 years, along with souvenir shops.

Discover what trades plied their wares from these houses and why alchemists gave the area its name. History tells that they were busy turning metals into gold hence “Golden Lane“.

Saint Vitus Cathedral

Saint Vitus Cathedral is Prague’s largest and most important religious building. Apart from religious services, coronations of Czech kings and queens also took place here, and the Gothic temple is the burial place of several saints and archbishops.

Crown Jewels and priceless artefacts are also held here but are only displayed every five years.

St Vitus Church

Prague Castle Grounds

Stroll through the gardens for a respite from the busy castle complex. From here, you can walk back down to Lesser Mala via the Deer Moat, a steep, lush valley beneath the castle.

Prague Castle Grounds
Out Buildings in the Prague Castle Complex

Day One in Prague – Evening

Evening Jazz Dinner Cruise

By the time your first evening arrives, your feet will ache from all the walking you have done today. We took an excellent trip that allowed us to sit down for a while was an evening aboard the Jazzboat.

We sailed along the River Vltava for 2.5 hours, listening to a local trio performing jazz while being treated to a fabulous 3-course meal. It is a great way to see the sights illuminated at night.

Beer Spa

If a dinner cruise isn’t for you, then the “beer spas” that have sprung up around the city may be more your thing. Prague locals consume the most beer per capita globally, so these beer experiences are very popular with locals and tourists.

Book out your “beer” barrel and soak in a beer bath full of the natural goodness that hops and barley contain. Enjoy a limitless beer supply while you bathe, and when you feel you have absorbed enough beer through your skin and down your throat, you can relax on the hay bale beds before your session ends.

Day Two in Prague – Morning

Old Town Square

Old Town Square, the heart of Prague’s historic centre, is awash with Gothic and Baroque structures. It is a hive of activity, and with alfresco restaurants, bars and shops lining its interior, you can sit, and people-watch to your heart’s content.

Old Town Square Prague

Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

The Old Town Hall is one of the Czech Republic’s most important monuments and the place to see the 15th-century Astronomical Clock. From 9 am until 11 pm, crowds of visitors appear to watch the clock come to life every hour. A skeleton, signifying Death, rings the bell on the hour, and a parade of twelve apostles starts moving. The spectacle only lasts one minute so get there early to be at the front of the crowd.

Local legend says that city officials blinded the original clockmaker after completing the clock. They believed this would prevent him from ever replicating their masterpiece elsewhere.

He was so enraged that he climbed the tower, took a piece from the clock and stopped it from working. The astronomical clock lay silent for 50 years before another clockmaker figured out what had been removed and brought it back to working order.

Nowadays, a replica of the Astronomical Clock can be seen in the Hongdae district of Seoul in South Korea; however, this photograph is of the original one.

Astronomical Clock in Prague

Visit the Church of our Lady Before Tyn

The 14th-century gothic turreted towers of the Tyn Church are landmarks for finding the square. The darkened towers featuring small spires are a recognisable feature of Prague and dominate the skyline.

The towers are not identical, and the more solid of the two is said to represent man. Horse-drawn carriage rides are located in the square under the shadow of the imposing towers. Visitors can also find Hop-on-Hop-off buses here.

Church of our lady before ten
Horse carriage rides outside the lady of our Tyn church
St Nicholas Church (below) is one of Prague’s oldest religious buildings, mentioned in the early 13th century.

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square is primarily a tourist shopping area and a 10-minute walk from Old Town Square. This area holds significant importance to the Czech people for gatherings, political demonstrations and even martyrdom. In 1969 a student set himself alight in protest of Russia’s invasion of Czechoslavakia. A memorial cross lies outside the National Museum where he died.

The top part of Wenceslas Square is dominated by the National Museum, founded in 1818. A statue of Saint Wenceslas, the patron of the Czech nation, also stands at the top of the square.

At night Wenceslas Square becomes party central, and with that comes undesirable characters. You must be aware of your belongings if venturing to the area after dark. Wenceslas Square was a disappointment to us compared to the rest of Prague.

Day Two in Prague – Evening

Ghost and Legend Tour of Prague

Take an alternative walking tour of Prague to learn about the myths and legends of the city through the ages. Hear stories about ghosts and ghouls and discover some of Prague’s hidden secrets.

Learn why there is a skeleton on the astronomical clock and hear the stories of headless horse riders roaming the streets. We chose an Evening Ghost Walking Tour which was fun and introduced us to Prague’s darker side!

Eat Goulash and Dumplings

You can’t visit Prague and not indulge in the most delicious Czech foods, my favourite being goulash and dumplings, the traditional dish. We wandered away from the main square and found ourselves in a small cafe down one of the many winding lanes that encircle the area.

Goulash is a kind of stew consisting of meat (beef), vegetables and seasoning and served with dumplings (small savoury balls of dough cooked in the goulash) with a side of crusty fresh bread. A hearty meal to eat on a cold night in Prague, especially when washed down with local red wine.

Day Three in Prague – Morning

We headed to Josefov, Prague’s Jewish Quarter, to visit the Synagogue Museums in the morning. No matter how many days in Prague you have, this area is so important to see. It is informative and emotionally draining at the same time but reminds us of Prague’s dark past and the sacrifices the Czech people were forced to make.

Check out my post: Discover Prague’s Synagogue Museums

Prague as an Art District

If you haven’t heard of Franz Kafka, you will have done by the end of your trip to Prague. An acclaimed literary genius said to be one of the most outstanding of the 20th century. The Kafka Museum is dedicated to him and is situated near Lesser Strana on the same side of the river as the castle complex.

Prague is like an outdoor art gallery with statues located everywhere. A sculpture of Franz Kafka’s head is near Wenceslas Square, and on the Museum of Modern Art grounds are gigantic bronze crawling babies sculpted by David Cerny.

Frank Kampa Babies
Crawling Bronze Babies are somewhat creepy!
Frank Kampa faceless man
Dedicated to Franz Kafka, this statue is outside the Spanish synagogue, close to where he lived.
The praying Buddhist monk near the museum depicts Sri Chinmoy “statue of harmony” beside the River Vltava.
The Kafka Museum in the distance as viewed from the opposite side of the River Vltava
The Peeing Figures Fountain outside the Franz Kafka Museum

Petrin Hill and Tower

Take a moment to admire the series of bronze sculptures at the foot of Petrin Hill. They portray seven broken, decaying men descending a flight of stairs. It is a nod to the times of Communism and its effects on man.

Head up Petrin Hill by foot or by the funicular railway. Once at the top, you will see Prague’s own Eiffel Tower. The views across the city from here are a great way to finish off your city break in Prague.

Day Trip from Prague

If you plan 4 or 5 days in Prague, you will have time to join an organised day trip to see some of the other highlights in the Czech Republic.

Cesky Krumlov

Visit the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov and see its castle, old town square, winding Vltava river and Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

 

Kutna Hora (Bone Church)

Visit the town of Kutna Hora, an hour away from Prague, and visit the Sedlec Ossuary (bone church), St James Church and St Barbara’s Cathedral dedicated to the silver miners of the town.

To learn more, my post Kutna Hora Uncovered will give you all the information you need about booking a tour from Prague.

Karlovy Vary

Visit the spa town of Karlovy Vary and enjoy the architecture and spa hotels of this beautiful Czech city.

 

I hope you have found this 3-day Prague itinerary helpful and that you are now busy planning a trip to one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful cities.

If you love 3-night city breaks, you will be interested in my post about some of the other fabulous places in Europe. Which one will you choose?

Please Pin for Future Travel to the Czech Republic

Renee | The Holidaymaker

Saturday 28th of March 2020

Wow, amazing that I can be able to say I have done all 22! I spent a week in Prague in the springtime and it was a lovely city to get lost in. Your photos captured the romantic city beautifully.

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 28th of March 2020

How Brilliant! I would love to spend a week there, I only stayed a few days, it is so beautiful. My son was due to spend his 21st birthday there in May but had to cancel, hopefully he can go later in the year.

Slowly Anywhere

Saturday 28th of March 2020

This is exactly what I needed! I've been to Prague when I was a child and my dream is to go back again one day. I was looking for a few days guide, thanks for sharing!

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 28th of March 2020

Iā€™m glad you enjoyed the post šŸ˜ƒ

Sharon

Thursday 19th of March 2020

I love the uniqueness of Prague thats seen in the buildings. Looks like such a beautiful city to experience

Sinjana Ghosh

Thursday 19th of March 2020

Prague looks absolutely gorgeous! I love the picture charles bridge. The prague castle is magestic. Hope to see it soon.

WhereAngieWanders

Thursday 19th of March 2020

There is so much to see and do in Prague so I hope that you get there one day.

Georgina

Tuesday 17th of March 2020

Reading your post on Prague brought back many happy memories. Prague is a city I have visited a couple of times and totally love it. Although I did not do the Ghost and Legend Tour of Prague, I sure did try the delicious hollowed log.

WhereAngieWanders

Tuesday 17th of March 2020

I would definitely return myself to do a few of the day trips to the surrounding areas. There is always so much to see and do in Prague.