Prague is a destination that always seems to be in vogue.
It’s been on the tourist map for decades, and the crowds show no signs of abating, especially as it becomes a center for digital nomads and tech workers.
Prague is a gorgeous, well-preserved medieval city with a rich history, expansive parks, Vegas-style nightlife, and a hint of romance. It holds a special place in my heart: it was the first city I backpacked through on my round-the-world trip in 2006. It was where I stayed at my first genuine hostel, the first place I was on my own, and the first place I went to where signs weren’t in English. I grew as a traveler in this city.
I’ve been back over a dozen times since that first visit.
Over the years, a lot has changed: there are more tourists, prices are higher, the food is more international, and more foreigners live there. But its essence — all the clichéd stuff (cobblestone streets, quaint medieval houses, incredible charm) that makes Prague…well, Prague — is still there.
There’s a reason why so many people visit Prague each year.
There is just so much to see and do in Prague that you aren’t going to be short of things to choose from as you plan your trip.
Today’s blog post puts the best the city has to offer into a manageable four-day itinerary. To really see Prague, it’s best to visit for four to five days. That will allow you to see all the main sites and get a sense of the city’s culture.
This post will show you how to create a manageable itinerary as you visit Prague. If you are looking for a way to organize your trip, here is a list of 20 things to see and do in Prague!
What to do in Prague: Day 1
Take a free walking tour
Walking tours are a smart way to orient yourself to a new city, learn some history, and hear about the main attractions. There are a TON of free walking tours in Prague, so you’ll have plenty of options. All the tour companies meet near the astronomical clock in the Old Town Square at 10 a.m. and last about three hours. They will give you an overview of the main sites, like the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the Jewish Quarter, and more.
My favorite company is New Europe. It operates free tours around Europe and tends to have upbeat guides and lots of historically accurate information. Free Tours by Foot is another great option.
If you are looking for a paid tour, check out Prague Alternative Tours, which runs amazing alternative art and history tours throughout town, run by local artists. I highly recommend it.
Visit Prague Castle
The famous Prague Castle is the next logical place to visit, since all the walking tours end near this popular sight. The castle, which lords over the city, consists of multiple sections: St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, The Story of Prague Castle, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, the Powder Tower, and Rosenberg Palace. You can buy a ticket to any or all of these sights from the box office. The most famous structure is St. Vitus Cathedral — this is the large building you see when you look up at the castle from outside the city walls.
119 08 Prague 1, +420 224 373 368, hrad.cz. The castle is open daily 6am-10pm. Tickets are 70-350 CZK, with discounts available.
Walk around Petrín Park
Petrín Park is the city’s biggest and most beautiful park, with sweeping views of Prague. You’ll find a garden, a maze, and a lookout tower that looks like the Eiffel Tower. You can climb the 299 steps to the top of the tower and get an awesome view of Prague (on a clear day, you can see the Czech Republic’s highest pea, Snezka, some 150km away). What I love about this expansive park is how easy it is to get lost among the trees. Paths meander throughout, and it’s a relaxing contrast to the crowds of the historic center. Keep in mind that this park is on a big hill and walking to the top can be strenuous. There is a funicular that can take you down (or up) the hill if you don’t feel like making the trek.
Petrínské sady 417/5. The park is open 24 hours and admission is free.
Visit the John Lennon Wall
After Petrín Park, head down towards Kampa, a neighborhood by the river, and visit the John Lennon Wall. Toward the end of Communism in the 1980s, students started writing John Lennon lyrics on this wall as a way to air their grievances. Today, the wall represents love and peace. Tourists are allowed to write or paint on it too.
Velkoprevorské námestí. The wall is free to visit anytime.
Relax on the waterfront
It’s been a long day, so relax in Kampa with a satiating drink, some food, or a coffee. There are a number of appealing restaurants and cafés in the area. To get here, just keep walking toward the river from the John Lennon Wall. You’ll cross a little bridge and there you are! You’ll find lots of places to eat, sit, and relax, and when you’re done, you can walk across the famous Charles Bridge back toward the city center.
Suggested restaurant: Kampa Park Restaurant, Na Kampe 8b, Lesser Town, +420 296 826 102, kampagroup.com.
- Hanging out in the square — The people-watching is unbeatable as tourists, families, students, and touts pass through the square. Sit on one of the benches, eat a sandwich, and enjoy! Moreover, there are a number of talented musicians — ranging from jazz musicians to Scottish bagpipe players, and everything in between — that perform in the square.
- Astronomical Clock — Watch the most overhyped attraction in all of Prague! While the hourly chime that people line up for is anticlimactic, the detail and artistry of the clock make it one of the most beautiful in Europe.
- Visit the churches — The beautiful Tyn and St. Nicholas churches line the square. St. Nicholas is open all day, but Tyn is only open in the mornings and late afternoons.
- Explore the catacombs — Under the Old Town Hall, you’ll find a series of catacombs worth exploring. They were the first level of the medieval houses that used to be in the square. Now, they are an exhibit showcasing medieval life (enter through the tourism office).
Staromestské nám. +420 221 714 444, prague.eu/en.
Explore the Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter in Prague is located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River and has six synagogues, a Jewish Ceremonial Hall, and the Old Jewish Cemetery. It is one of the most popular attractions in Prague. Hitler saved it from Nazi destruction because he wanted to make the area a museum to the lost Jewish race. Now, the museums, synagogues, and historic graveyard in the area honor the history of what was one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe.
Explore Letenské sady (Letná Park)
This park, across the river from the Jewish Quarter, features several walking trails, a café, and expansive views of the city. You’ll see a lot of art students painting the cityscape. Crossover to Chotkovy sady for beautiful gardens and rear views of the Prague Castle. It’s quiet, with secluded paths that make for an intimate romantic stroll.