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72 Hours in Prague

Welcome to our 3 days in Prague itinerary! 72 hours is perfect to make the most of this city. Planning a trip is fun but time consuming, however with this Prague Travel Guide you won't have to spend much time thinking about what to see in Prague. Just follow our suggestions and we are sure you'll have an amazing time. Enjoy!

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This fascinating city developed from the union of 5 ancient cities built on the banks of the Vltava River and it has become one of the most popular European destinations due to its stunning buildings and culture: from a medieval Astronomical Clock to a hilltop castle to the famous Charles Bridge, Prague never disappoints.

Whether you are looking for inspiration or already in the city, our 72 hours guide will help you plan the perfect trip and make the most of your stay. Enjoy!

 

Day 1

Morning

Stride Across Charles Bridge

Reward your inner early bird, or summon the strength in a strong cup of tea, and start your day at Charles Bridge in the golden hours after sunrise. Stretching east to west across the Vltava river, and guarded on each end by 14th and 15th century gothic towers, Charles Bridge is one of the most recognised, beautiful, and myth-shrouded bridges in the world: legend has its construction began at exactly 05:31 on the ninth of July, 1357, an auspicious time chosen by Charles IV’s advisors, and was built with mortar fortified by eggs, wine and milk.

View of Prague

Stretch your legs while appreciating 30 statues along the north and south balustrades, pausing approximately halfway across at the St. John of Nepomuk statue, recognisable for its shiny, worn bronze relief. St. John was thrown from the bridge in 1383 for refusing to tell a jealous king the secrets from his wife’s confessions, and scenes of his life are featured on the relief, which assures you’ll return to Prague one day if rubbed.

Other landmarks that can be enjoyed from the bridge include Prague Castle, the teal dome of St. Nicholas Church framed by the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, and the National Theatre’s distinctive gold roof.

Visit Old Town Square & The Astronomical Clock

Astronomical Clock Detail-DAY1_2St John Nepomunk Death Scene Relief Charles BridgeFrom Charles Bridge’s eastern end, weave your way through Old Town’s narrow lanes to Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock. The oldest working astronomical clock in the world, time your visit for the top of the hour, when the clock performs a show dating back to the 15th century, in which figures of the Apostles and those representing vanity, greed, death and pleasure parade in front of the astronomical face and wheels (9am to 9pm).

When the show is over, enjoy Old Town Square from above by climbing to the top of the 14th century Old Town Hall tower, rising almost 70 metres above street level and offering views of the Sleeping Beauty-esque Our Lady Before Týn church and the city’s characteristic red roofs.

If you’re peckish, head to the western edge of the square, where stalls selling Czech beer, Prague ham, and other specialities operate day and night throughout the year.

Afternoon

Explore Prague’s Old Jewish Ghetto  

From the western edge of Old Town Square, follow Kaprova Street to see the birthplace of Franz Kafka (Ul. Radnice 5, Náměstí Franze Kafky 3), Prague’s most famous literary son, at the corner of Kaprova and Maiselova.

Municipal House

Continue north along Maiselova to the Jewish Museum Prague Information and Reservation Centre (Maiselova 15), where you can buy tickets to the multi-site Jewish Museum. Don’t miss the Spanish Synagogue, inarguably the most beautiful in Prague; the Old New Synagogue, the legendary resting place of the Prague Golem; and the Old Jewish Cemetery, one of the largest of its kind and layered 20 graves high in some areas.

When you’re finished, walk back toward Old Town Square via the ritzy Pařížská Street, casting your eyes downward to catch glimpses of the many ‘stumbling stones’ inlaid along Pařížská’s sidewalks. While not unique to Prague, the bronze ‘stumbling stones’ are nonetheless a moving conclusion following a visit to Prague’s Jewish quarter, honouring victims of the Holocaust outside their former homes.

Embark Along The Royal Way

Trod the path of ancient kings, beginning at Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky), the starting point of the royal coronation route.

The impressive art nouveau Municipal House sits on the former site of a 14th and 15th century Royal Palace, and is the spot from which future kings began their coronation journey. Today, the art nouveau exterior, interior decor, and concert hall are the attraction, along with a number of cafés and restaurants.

Next to the Municipal House is the Powder Gate, a decorative tower through which the coronation procession passed. If your legs are up to it, climb 186 stairs for a different view of Prague’s Old Town before passing under the gate along Celetná street to the House of the Black Madonna (corner of Celetná street and Ovocný trh), Prague’s finest cubist architecture and home to the elegant Grand Café Orient. Follow Ovocný trh away from the Powder Gate, weaving through the narrow streets until you reach Wenceslas Square.

Consider Modern Czech History on Wenceslas Square

If Old Town Square is the heart of ancient Prague, Wenceslas Square is the centre of Prague’s recent history: the reading of the Czechoslovak proclamation of independence in 1918, Jan Palach’s 1969 self-immolation to protest the Soviet invasion, and the mass protests that brought an end to 41 years of communism all took place here.

The bottom of the square — which is really a long, wide boulevard — is filled with Czech sausage stands and fast-fashion shops, while the top is crowned by the Czech National Museum (currently closed for renovation; scheduled to reopen June 2016) and a statue of Saint Wenceslas on his horse. As you explore, take note of the Grand Evropa Hotel, where Kafka held his first public reading of The Judgment, the Lucerna Palace shopping arcade, home to a modern re-interpretation of the Saint Wenceslas statue by Czech sculptor David Černý, and the National Museum New Building, which remains open throughout its sister’s renovation, tucked away just beyond the south-eastern edge.

Evening

Enjoy Traditional Czech Food and Beer

Re-fuel with dinner at Lokal (Dlouhá 33), a favourite of both locals and visitors for its homemade and affordable Czech classics, before capping off the day at the Beer Museum, where you’ll quickly come to understand why Czechs drink more beer per capita than almost any nation in the world. It fills up quickly on weekends, so call ahead to make a reservation.

Day 2

Morning

Explore the Lesser Quarter

Cross Charles Bridge to Prague’s Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana), one of the oldest and most historic parts of the city, following Mostecká toward Lesser Town Square (Malostranské Náměstí). While the areas around Prague’s main tourist attractions are typically filled with overpriced, unoriginal, and oftentimes completely unrelated souvenirs (see: Russian and Ukrainian nesting dolls), the shop Manufactura (Mostecká 276/17) offers a nice selection of Czech toys and unique products, such as beer shampoo.

St Nicholas Church

Strahov Detail-DAY2_2At Lesser Town Square (Malostranské Náměstí), visit the impossible-to-miss St. Nicholas Church, an imposing Baroque building with an aged copper cupola that helps define Prague’s skyline. Built over the course of 100 years by three generations of one architectural family, the 4,000-pipe organ was played by Mozart himself. The adjacent belfry was completed after the church, and is open to climb if you’re so inclined (Malostranské Náměstí 29/556).

From St. Nicholas Church, walk up Nerudova Street, a historically significant conduit linking Charles Bridge to Prague Castle. Look beyond the tourist shops to the building facades where, just above the doorways, many feature intricate sculptural details of animals, musical instruments, or daily objects. Beginning in the middle ages, Praguers distinguished buildings not with house numbers, but with unique architectural features. Check out numbers 12 (Three Fiddles), 16 (Golden Cup), 32 (Golden Lion), 44 (Three Black Eagles), and 47 (Two Suns).

About one-third of the way up, stop in at Creperie U Kajetána (Nerudova 248/17), which is consistently ranked as making the best trdelník in Prague. A cross between an American-style doughnut and a croissant, trdelník is a sweet doughy treat cooked over coals and topped with nuts, cinnamon, and sugar, as well as more modern combinations such as Nutella.

Walk off the calories, continuing up Nerudova (it turns into Úvoz) toward the Strahov Monastery and ridge overlooking the former royal orchards. Follow the concrete barrier until a footpath appears on your left, giving way to a ridge with stunning views of the garden and city. At Restaurant Bellavista (Strahovské nádvoří 132/1), take the short set of steps to Strahov Monastery (Strahovský Klášter).

Afternoon

Explore An Ancient Monastery and Try Some Monastic Beer

One of the oldest monasteries of its kind, Strahov has more or less been a working monastery since it was founded in the mid-12th century. Today, the sure highlights are Theological Hall and Philosophical Hall, both of which feature ornately frescoed ceilings. If either looks familiar, that’s because Strahov was featured in the 2006 version of Casino Royale, with the Library standing in for a room within the London Parliament.

St Vitus Cathedral

A trip to the Monastery isn’t complete without a trip to the Strahov Monastic Brewery (Klášterní Pivovar Strahov), a turn-of-the-14th-century brewery. Try a glass of their award-winning beer and fill up on something hearty before walking back in the direction you came, down Úvoz toward Prague Castle.

Roam Through One Of The Largest Castle Complexes In The World

Backtrack down Úvoz, taking a left at Ke Hradu and walking up the stairs on your right-hand side to Castle Square (Hradčanské Náměstí) for a view that stretches across almost the entire city.

A common joke heard at Prague castle is, “Where’s the castle?” The imposing figure visitors and locals ogle from below is actually St. Vitus Cathedral, the beating heart and main attraction within a broader complex made up of palaces, gardens and administrative buildings. While you could easily spend an entire day exploring the castle complex, for most visitors, a trip to St. Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane and, in summer, the Castle Gardens will suffice.

From the main gate, follow the crowds to St. Vitus Cathedral, the most important church in the Czech Republic. You can enter the first section of the cathedral for free, or purchase a Prague Castle Circuit A or B ticket (250 to 350 CKZ) for more complete access, including the chance to see the gold and gem-encrusted St. Wenceslas Chapel and an up-close view of a stained glass window by art nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. The Southern Tower and viewing gallery is accessible separately for 150 CZK, and 287 steps worth of effort.

From St. Vitus, continue deeper into the castle complex to the cute and colourful Golden Lane, named after either the alchemists who searched in that location for the magical chemical reaction that would finally produce gold or the goldsmiths that lived there. Entrance to Golden Lane and it houses is included with a Prague Castle A or B circuit ticket, or free in the evenings after the castle (and houses) are closed.

If you visit between Spring and Autumn, spend some time wandering through the Southern and terraced gardens, which will take you all the way down to Malá Strana. If the gardens are closed, or you’re ready for a break, catch Tram 22 from Prague Castle back to Old Town.

Evening

Take A Break From Czech Food And Beer (Or Not)

Head to Café Colore for dinner (Palackého 740/1), a find for its location just beyond the tourist hub, reasonable prices and high quality food. After your meal, walk the 10 minutes to Anonymous Bar for a night cap (Michalská 12). If you’re feeling adventurous, order the ‘password’ to start, giving you access to their truly creative secret menu. Both fill up quickly, and reservations are recommended.

Day 3

Morning

Get Into The Fin De Siècle Spirit

Start your day at the elegant Café Savoy (Vítězná 5, Prague 5 Malá Strana), where the baked-daily pastries and fresh-brewed coffee take a back seat to the setting itself. Built in the late 19th century during the height of La Belle Époque and Bohemian café culture, breakfast at today’s Savoy is a dignified affair, with impeccably-suited waiters serving a mix of locals and tourists under a beautifully restored art nouveau ceiling. Order the Savoy Breakfast, but be sure to book ahead online, especially at the weekends.

Charles Bridge

Visit Prague’s Version Of The Eiffel Tower

From Savoy, it’s a short walk to The Memorial to the Victims of Communism at the base of Petřín Hill, which rises 130 metres above Malá Strana and houses Prague’s answer to the Eiffel Tower.

Pause at the series of 7 emaciated and decaying bronze sculptures for a poignant reminder of the city’s not-too-distant past, before strolling up the footpath to the Petřín Hill funicular, which is a part of the public transport system. Try to get a seat near the bottom of the car to enjoy great views of the Vltava River, Malá Strana and Old Town as the funicular takes you 2 stops to the top, where you can climb close to 300 steps up the Petřín Lookout Tower (CZK 120).

If you’re feeling adventurous, walk back down through Petřín Park, one of the city’s nicest. Alternatively, take the funicular down to Újezd Tram stop, walking north along its namesake road for one block before turning right on Říční to Kampa Park and Island.

Afternoon

Relax On Kampa

Walk north through the Park to colourful Kampa Island, separated from Malá Strana by an artificial stream. Relaxed and quaint, Kampa is built for wandering and is lined with cafés and restaurants along the main drag.

Take a left on Hroznová, following the bend and crossing the narrow bridge with lovelocks to the John Lennon wall at Velkopřevorské Náměstí. The Lennon Wall sprung spontaneously into being in the 1980s, when young Czechs painted his face and lyrics onto an until-then obscure wall following Lennon’s assassination. Meant to mark his passing and their longing for the freedom he espoused, the wall quickly became a thorn in the side of the secret police, which regularly whitewashed the messages of politics and hope. Today, the wall is a popular tourist attraction; if you’d like to leave a message on the wall, be sure to bring your own marker.

Piss & Kafka

Double back to Kampa’s main drag and walk north to the Kafka Museum, which offers an excellent window into his life and the influence of Prague (Cihelná, Prague 1). Before entering the museum, be sure to spend a minute appreciating the unusual sculpture in the courtyard, titled simply, ‘Piss.’

Evening

Get Ready For A Dance

Finish your visit by strolling south along the east bank of the Vltava, passing the ‘Dancing House’ or ‘Fred and Ginger’ building (Tančící dům) by architects Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry. The building itself has a nice French and international restaurant, Ginger & Fred, although a more unique option in nice weather is to find a staircase down to river level, and dine on one of the several boat and barge restaurants available, such as the year-round Botel Matylda restaurant.

Dancing House-DAY3_2 Kafka Statue-DAY3_3 Lennon Wall-DAY3_4

Need more inspiration? Please browse through our range of things to do in Prague. Expedia.co.uk also offers the best accommodation to make your 3 day break to Prague extra special.

Prague : Practical info

Airport Transfers

Bus

Bus AE (Airport Express) to Prague Náměstí Republiky metro station (Metro Line B – Yellow)

  • Frequency: Every 15 to 30 minutes between 5:30 and 22:30
  • Travel Time: 30 to 40 minutes
  • Price: 60 CZK for adults, or approximately £1.60. 30 CKZ for children ages 6 to 15 and for pets. Free for children under 6. Purchase tickets from the driver, or at the Transport Counter in Terminal 1 or 2 arrivals halls (7:00 to 22:00)

Bus and Metro (Transfers Required)

Bus 119 to NádražíVeleslavín; Transfer to Metro Line A (Green) in the direction of DepoHostivař to Prague’s centre (Malostranská, Staroměstská, Můstek, Muzeum)

  • Frequency: Bus: every 5 to 20 minutes; Metro: every 4 to 15 minutes
  • Travel Time: 17 minutes to NádražíVeleslavín; 8 to 15 minutes from NádražíVeleslavín to Malostranská or Muzeum
  • Price: 90-minute ticket: 32 CZK; 1-day ticket: 110 CZK; 3-day ticket: 310 CZK

Bus 100 to Zličín; Transfer to Metro Line B (Yellow) in the direction of Černý Most to Prague’s centre (Národnítřída, Můstek, Náměstí Republiky)

  • Frequency: Bus: every 15 to 30 minutes; Metro: every 3 to 10 minutes
  • Travel Time: 18 minutes to Zličín, 20 minutes to 23 minutes from Zličín to Národnítřída or Náměstí Republiky
  • Price: 90-minute ticket: 32 CZK; 1-day ticket: 110 CZK; 3-day ticket: 310 CZK

Bus 191 to Anděl; Transfer to Metro Line B (Yellow) in the direction of Černý Most to Prague’s centre (Národnítřída, Můstek, Náměstí Republiky)

  • Frequency: Bus: every 15 to 25 minutes; Metro: every 3 to 10 minutes
  • Travel Time: 18 minutes to Anděl, 3 minutes to 5 minutes from Anděl to Národnítřída or Náměstí Republiky
  • Price: 90-minute ticket: 32 CZK; 1-day ticket: 110 CZK; 3-day ticket: 310 CZK

Nighttime Transport From The Airport (midnight to 4:00am )

Bus 510 to I.P. Pavlova (in the direction of Na Beránku)

  • Frequency: Every 30 minutes
  • Travel Time: About 45 minutes to the centre
  • Price: 90-minute ticket: 32 CZK; 1-day ticket: 110 CZK; 3-day ticket: 310 CZK

For more information, visit www.dpp.cz/en/public-transit-to-prague-airport/

 

Transportation City Centre

Upon arrival at Prague Airport, consider purchasing a 3-day transportation ticket, which gives you unlimited access to the bus, tram, and metro, with the exception of the AE airport bus. You can purchase the ticket at the Transit Office in the arrivals hall of Terminal 1 or 2 at the airport for 310 CZK.

When you take your first journey, stamp the ticket using one of the yellow ticket validation machines. At metros, the machines are located near the ticket machines. On trams and buses, the validation machine is on-board. The fine for not having a validated ticket is between 800 and 1,500 CZK.

If you choose not to purchase a pass, a single one-way fare costs 24 CZK for 30-minute validity or 32 CKZ for 90-minute validity. Carry coins, as most machines do not accept notes or cards, although this is slowly changing.

The official website of the Prague transportation authority is www.DPP.cz, and is useful for journey planning.

Identity card

A passport is required to travel from the UK and Ireland to Prague. While in Prague, you are required to carry your passport or national ID card.

Passes

Prague offers several passes of interest to tourists, each with unique benefits.

Prague Card — CZK 1540 for a 3-day pass.

The Prague Card includes free transportation, free or discounted entry into the majority of Prague’s attractions, and restaurant discounts among its benefits, with a full list available on the website.

If you plan on purchasing a Prague Card, consider pre-purchasing it online, with pick-up at Prague Airport. This will allow you to use the AE airport express bus, included in the Prague Card benefits, to travel from the airport to the city centre.

Additional benefits of note include:

— 30% discount at the Beer Museum

— 100 CZK discount for concerts at St. Nicholas Church

— 20% discount at the Franz Kafka Museum

— Free entry to Golden Lane

— Free Entry to the Jewish Museum

— 50% discount to the Lesser Town Bridge Tower and Old Town Bridge Tower

— Free entry to Old Town Hall and Tower

— Free entry to Petrin Tower

— Free entry to the Powder Tower

— Free Prague Castle Tour B and 100 CZK for Tour A

— Free entry to St. Vitus Cathedral

— 20% discount to the St. Vitus Observation Tower

— 50% discount to the Belfry of St. Nicholas Church

Prague Castle Tickets CZK 250 to 350.

While the Prague Castle complex is free to walk around, to experience some of the more interesting attractions, you’ll need to purchase a ticket. For most visitors, Circuit A or Circuit B will be most interesting.

Circuit A (CKZ 350) includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, The Story of Prague Castle exhibition, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane and Daliborka Tower, Powder Tower (at the Castle) and Rosenberg Palace.

Circuit B (CZK 250) includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane and Daliborka Tower.

Prague Towers Ticket – 480 CK

The Prague Museum offers a combined ticket allowing access to: Petřín Observation Tower and Mirror Maze, the belfry by St. Nicholas’ Church, Lesser Town Bridge Tower and Old Town Bridge Tower, and the Powder Tower.

Payments & Withdrawals

Pin-enabled major credit cards and debit credit cards are accepted at almost all major shops and restaurants, but it is best to ask beforehand. Many shops have contactless technology, allowing you to pay by tapping compatible cards.

In locally owned fast food shops and convenience stores, you’ll likely need cash.

Prague has a large selection of ATMs throughout the city, with ČeskáSpořitelna, Raiffeisenbank, and CSOB being the most common. If you need to visit a bank branch, they are typically open from 09:00 am to 18:00 pm Monday to Friday, although some branches close early on Fridays.

Local customs

Tipping: A 10% tip is standard in Prague. If paying with cash, calculate the total bill with tip, and specify to the waiter how much change you expect. If paying with a card, specify the total amount you’d like charged to your card, as most POS card machines don’t have a tip function.

Meal Times: Czechs typically eat lunch between 11:30 am and 13:30 pm, with dinner served anytime between 18:00 pm and 22:00 pm, give or take. While set menus will often only be available during standard meal times, schedules are not rigid and it’s often possible to eat a full meal, snack or soup any time of day.

Note that many bars, restaurants and cafés in Prague currently allow smoking, although this is set to change in early 2016. Look for stickers on the front door indicating whether it is all-smoking (a yellow and black triangle with a cigarette), non-smoking (a red and white circle with a line through a cigarette), or  split between smoking and non-smoking sections (one of each decal).

Shop Hours: Many shops are open 7 days a week, except public holidays, although it’s not uncommon for small boutiques or family-run shops to close on Sundays. Trading hours are typically from 9am up to 9pm, although smaller shops will close around 17:00 pm or 18:00 pm. Most supermarkets are open 7 days per week, with shorter trading hours on Sundays. Corner convenience shops known as Potraviny, offering a small selection of food, drinks, and snacks are often open until midnight, or later.

Tube Opening Times: The metro runs 7 days per week from approximately 05:00 am to midnight. Select, infrequent trams run through the night.

**All prices and details are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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