A Complete City Guide to Prague – Ultimate Itinerary and Best Places To Visit
Prague is truly a magical city! If you have traveled to Prague, you know what we mean, if not, read this blog post to get visually enthralled by the beauty of this captivating city! We had been wanting to visit Prague for a long time. Like a really really long time! So, while we were planning our Europe trip for April 2018, my husband Deepak wanted to include Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in our itinerary, and I wanted to include The Netherlands too along with the countries he had chosen.
So, we mutually came to a decision to include a bit of Western Europe and a bit of Central Europe in our itinerary. Win-win situation. Both of us were happy! 🙂
We traveled to Belgium, The Netherlands, The Czech Republic and Hungary during our trip. 15 Days, 4 Countries, 6 Cities/Towns sounded just perfect!
We shall write a detailed article on how we covered these places in a separate blog post, but this post is just about Prague. We shall lay down a massive comprehensive city guide to Prague for first timers, which will help you to plan your trip in a seamless manner. We shall also talk about the itinerary and best places to visit in Prague, and after reading this entire post, we are sure you won’t have to do any other research while planning a trip to Prague. So, grab a cup of coffee and start making mental notes for your next trip to Prague! 🙂
Table of Contents
- 1 A Complete City Guide to Prague – Ultimate Itinerary and Best Places To Visit
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Visa Requirements
- 1.3 Currency of Prague
- 1.4 Languages Spoken in Prague
- 1.5 Best Time to Visit Prague
- 1.6 Duration of Stay
- 1.7 Useful apps for traveling in Prague
- 1.8 Accommodation Suggestions
- 1.9 Getting around Prague – Public Transport
- 1.10 Shopping in Prague
- 1.11 Travel Insurance
- 1.12 What to Eat in Prague
- 1.13 Nightlife in Prague
- 1.14 Experiences in Prague
- 1.15 Kids Attraction in Prague
- 1.16 Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Old Town Square
- 1.17 Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Jewish Quarter
- 1.18 Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Wenceslas Square
- 1.19 Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around New Town
- 1.20 Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Malá Strana/Lesser Town
- 1.21 Towers in Prague
- 1.22 Like this Post? Pin it!
- 1.23 Sharing is Caring!
A Complete City Guide to Prague – Ultimate Itinerary and Best Places To Visit
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and also the historical capital of Bohemia.
It is known as the city of 100 Spires because of its beautiful cathedrals and their pointy spires.
Since the Czech Republic falls under the EU, a Schengen Visa is required to travel to Prague.
Currency of Prague
The currency in Prague is the Czech Koruna (CZK). 25 CZK is equal to 1 Euro (Approximately, for your convenience). Make sure to carry enough CZK in Prague, since most of the shopkeepers, restaurants and other sightseeing attractions accept only Koruna. You can even get other currency exchanged in Prague for Koruna.
There is a genuine exchange center adjacent to the Palladium Mall (Located just about 15-minute walk from the Old Town Square) in Prague which gives the best rate possible.
DO NOT exchange currency at exchange centers which charge an exorbitant commission.
If you are not carrying enough Koruna, ATM is the best way to withdraw local currency.
Languages Spoken in Prague
The official language of the Czech Republic is Czech, which is spoken by over 96% of its inhabitants. But don’t worry, you should have no problem in communicating in English in Prague, and to a lesser extent in German. Older people often speak Russian and German.
Best Time to Visit Prague
There are different seasons in Prague just like any other place in the world. We shall discuss each one and you can decide when do you want to visit this beautiful city.
Spring (April – Early June) – Days are longer, accommodations are cheaper, there are fewer tourists and the weather is pleasant to cool.
Summer (Late June – August) – Most people visit Europe during this time. But mind it, everything will be expensive in Europe if you travel during the peak season.
Fall till Winters (Sept-March) – Days are shorter, accommodations are cheaper, there are fewer tourists and the weather is cold to chilly.
Duration of Stay
3-4 days minimum is what we suggest if you want to cover most of the highlights at a good speed. We used to walk for like 10-11 hours daily because we wanted to cover all the places mentioned below. And we even succeeded in covering most of them. You can even stay for more number of days. The more, the better. 🙂
Useful apps for traveling in Prague
Prague is divided into 12 zones. Praha 1 and 2 have most tourist attractions in the vicinity. It will help you to decide your stay. We mostly book our stays through Booking.com, Hostelworld.com, and Airbnb.co.in.
During our trip we stayed at Your HOME in Prague, apt. Talia. It was near to the city center, spacious, clean and well-maintained. We would recommend it to anyone visiting Prague.
Getting around Prague – Public Transport
You can easily get around Prague by walking or by using the public transport. If you plan to stay for 2-3 days, we suggest you get a day pass for public transport made. It saves money and is easy to use.
Make sure to validate your day pass or one-time ticket as soon as you get onboard in the yellow vending machine to avoid heavy fines. Just put your ticket in, there is an arrow on the ticket showing how to do it. It will print time and date on it.
Remember: The day pass should be validated only once, in the beginning when you start your journey. The one-time ticket should be validated each time you buy a new ticket. DO NOT validate your day pass or one-time ticket twice. It would be considered as invalid and would attract a hefty fine.
Shopping in Prague
Shopping in the Wenceslas Square
The main Prague shopping areas are Wenceslas Square and Republic Square, where local shops compete with international department stores. The best way to approach this area is to take a picture in the main street and meander away along the side streets, get lost on purpose and you will discover local shops that sell everything at cheap rates starting from cameras, candies, shoes, souvenirs, clothes and so on. Make sure you enter the buildings around the area because they are dotted with small shops. From the main street, and if you have the time, wander off about five minutes out in all directions then you will discover the secret stores around Wenceslas Square.
Enjoy the luxury on Pařížská street
Pařížská street, which means Paris Street in Czech is perfectly called this way. It gives you the pleasure of shopping in luxury boutiques of the world’s most prominent fashion brands. It is considered the most unique and high-priced street in Prague. It is located in Old Town district of Prague 1, which connects the Old Town Square and the Curie Square.
You must buy a travel insurance for traveling to Prague. You basically need a Schengen Travel Insurance for traveling to any of the 28 countries in the European Union. The minimum sum insured should be €30,000, as per the Schengen Visa requirements.
What to Eat in Prague
Trdelnik or the Spit/Chimney Cake is a must have when in Prague. It’s deliciously made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with cinnamon sugar and walnut mix. You can add toppings of your choice such as Nutella, strawberry, fresh cream, ice-cream, coconut, vanilla sauce, chocolate etc.
You can try out Trdelnik in this fabulous creperie called Creperie U Kajetána, in Nerudova street, on the way up to the castle.
Coffee at Grand Café Orient
It is a historic cafe, halfway between the Old Town Square and the Powder Tower, which seems in a time warp as nothing has changed since it was built well over 100 years ago. A nice place to relax after a hard day visiting the tourist attractions. You can try coffee, cakes, salads, and crepes here.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world?! The biggest brands are Pilsner, Budweiser, Gambrinus, Staropramen, Kozel, Bernard, Starobrno, Svijany (and surely some more). And you can get a pint of beer for as cheap as 25 CZK (1 Euro)! So, what are you waiting for? Go, splurge on those beers at a local brewery.
Secret: Deepak used to have an average of 5 beers a day during our trip, and he didn’t gain an inch/kg after our trip! How?? The answer is we used to walk for 10-11 hours daily. So, no extra calories gained. 🙂
Beer at Letna Park
Letna Park is a great place to hang out, chill, and have some beer. It is a large park overlooking the Vltava river and even has a beer garden. You can spend your time here participating in sports, walking, picnicking or relaxing in the summer garden restaurant in the Letná chateau.
Nightlife in Prague
Prague has one of the best nightlife in Central Europe and ROXY, JazzDock, Cross Club, Duplex etc. are some of the best bars/clubs in Prague which the locals recommend. Their amazing atmosphere drives many popular DJ’s and bands from the world. They have exclusive shows every night and you must attend one of them!
You can book the tickets for pub crawling here:
Experiences in Prague
Cruise on Vltava river
Cruising across river Vltava gives a delightful experience to see Prague’s attractions from the water. There are many cruise operators to choose from in Prague who offer different packages.
You can choose from the following cruises:
Attend a Puppet Show
Attending a puppet show in Prague is a unique experience and it ensures a memorable time spent watching the lively act. People of all ages will enjoy the show and it is highly recommended to attend one. Make sure to reach 30 minutes before the show starts to grab a seat in the front.
Don Giovanni at National Marionette Theatre can be attended by the first-timers. It is an enjoyable show in Italian with Czech and English subtitles and you will have a great time for sure!
You can book the puppet shows here:
Kids Attraction in Prague
We are not kids, but we love animals! And what better place to see all the animals than Prague Zoo which is the 5th best zoo in the world! You can book the tickets directly at the zoo which is located at the Praha Troja municipal district. You can take bus number 112 from Nadrazi Holesovice to reach the zoo.
There are a variety of exotic wild animals such as Gorilla, Asiatic Lions, Snow Leopards, Bears, Elephants, Giraffes, Penguins, Polar Bears and so on in this huge zoo and you can easily spend a full day here looking at all of them. We spent around 5-6 hours at the zoo and could not see all the animals, so make sure to go with time in your hand. And do not forget to take a map of the zoo at the entrance, so that you don’t get lost in this massive zoo.
Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Old Town Square
Old Town Square
The old town square is an exemplary example of marvelous architecture that Prague has to offer. It is always bustling with tourists but is a great place to admire the beauty of Prague! Musicians, street performers, colorfully decorated alfresco cafes, jewelry shops, Thai spas and various souvenir shops adorn the historical lanes of Old Town Square. You can spend hours here just strolling and soaking in the magical ambiance.
As per the Guinness World Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world! So, it is a must visit on a trip to Prague. The entry to the castle is free, and there are many places which you can visit without buying a ticket, however, few places need a ticket.
We suggest taking a combo ticket for St. Vitus Cathedral, the Golden Lane, Old Royal Palace, St. Wenceslas Chapel, and Basilica of St. George.
The castle was buzzing with various activities when we went, such as live musicians playing musical instruments, photo opportunities for tourists dressed up as royal king/queen, military jeeps and sniffer dogs all around in world war II settings, marching of the royal guards and so on. We really enjoyed our time inside the Castle.
You can even attend a classical musical concert at Lobkowicz Palace, 16th-century building within the Prague Castle complex.
You can book the tickets for Prague Castle and Old Town tours here:
Admire the quirky street art, baroque-style statues, and unique structures
Prague is full of quirky & creative street art, baroque-style statues, and unique structures. Let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy the visual journey.
Prague Astronomical Clock
It is a medieval treasure in the Old Town Square of Prague. A major tourist attraction, it gathers hundreds of tourists from all over the world every hour for a fascinating mechanical performance of Apostles, moving statues and visualization of time, which in the Middle Ages was considered one of the wonders of the world.
It is currently undergoing a reconstruction and should be back in place by the end of October 2018.
Charles Bridge built in the 14th-century is the most iconic bridge in Prague and it is bustling with various activities throughout the day. It is best to visit it early in the morning at about 6 am if you want it free from the parade of tourists, and for some great photo opportunities. You will cross it innumerable times when staying in Prague, make sure to cross it at night as well when it is illuminated in all its glory. It is decorated with many baroque-style statues which will surely make you stop and admire its beauty.
Church Of Our Lady Before Tyn
It is an impressive Gothic church with Baroque style interiors in the Old Town of Prague. Its twin spires with a large figure of Virgin Mary nailed between them makes it an unmissable landmark in Prague.
The towers are 80m tall, but if you look carefully, you can see that they are not symmetrical. One, Adam, is larger than the other, Eve. This representation of the masculine and feminine sides of the world is characteristic of the Gothic architecture of the period.
The church is an awe-inspiring sight during the day, and even more so at night, brightly lit up against a night dark sky.
Clementinum is one of the largest building complexes in Europe. It is just a stone’s throw away from the Charles Bridge and comprises many impressive attractions such as National Baroque Library of the Czech Republic, Astronomical Tower, Meridian Hall, Mirror Chapel and few other amazing religious buildings.
The National Baroque Library deserves a special mention because it is one of the biggest and oldest European libraries, and contains around 6 million documents! It is considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and its interiors are stunning! Sadly, you are not allowed to take pictures inside the library.
It is advisable to book a tour beforehand to visit the Clementinum.
Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Jewish Quarter
The Jewish quarter is situated between the Old Town and the Vltava River. Its history started in the thirteenth century when Jews living in Prague were ordered to empty their homes and settle in this area. The Jews were prohibited from living anywhere else in the city and were joined by other outcasted Jews from different European nations.
It is advisable to take a Jewish Quarter Walking Tour which will enlighten you regarding various attractions and the history of Jews.
Prague Jewish Museum
It is one of the oldest and most visited Jewish museums in Prague. There are various synagogues in the Museum, and our free walking tour guide told us that they are a must visit.
If you are pressed for time, you should at least visit the Pinkas Synagogue. After the World War II, this synagogue was turned into a memorial for the Jews, and its walls are covered with 80,000 names of the Jewish victims, their personal data and the community to they belonged. It is truly a heart-wrenching experience.
The 2 most important synagogues are the Old-New Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue.
A statue dedicated to Franz Kafka stands outside the Spanish Synagogue.
Old Jewish Cemetery
It is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and one of the most important Jewish historical monuments in Prague. 1 lac individuals are buried beneath it under the 12,000 headstones which are crumbling and clustered together. Jewish custom forbids the removal of old graves, so the dead were simply piled on top of one another for centuries. It is located in the neighborhood of Josefov. Each tombstone tells a story, and if you have time, do visit this outstanding attraction of Prague.
You can book the tours for the Jewish Quarter here:
Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Wenceslas Square
Franz Kafka Head
Franz Kafka Head is the 11-meter high silver rotating head of the Czech writer Franz Kafka in Wenceslas Square. It is a fascinating attraction to see 42 moving panels of the statue spinning in different directions to provide the outline of Kafka’s face. It is a very unusual attraction and you can easily spend 25-30 minutes admiring the full show of the statue. It is a hidden gem in Prague, and you have to go through many local shops, gardens and small by-lanes to reach it. But it is totally worth it!
Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around New Town
Dancing House – Fred and Ginger
This unique building called the Dancing House is situated in the New Town and is about 20-minutes walk from Wenceslas Square. It is named after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and resembles a pair of dancers. This differently styled structure stands out among all the gothic and medieval style architecture in Prague.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the general shape of the building is now featured on a gold 2,000 Czech koruna coin issued by the Czech National Bank?!
Best Places to Visit in Prague In & Around Malá Strana/Lesser Town
Malá Strana is the oldest neighborhood of Prague and you feel as if you have been transported back in time. It is also known as the Lesser Town and has impressive architecture, old buildings, casual eateries, traditional pubs, and cafes to check out. Cobblestone streets, ancient churches and unforgettable sights, you will have lots of interesting activities to do when in this medieval district.
Petrin Hill resides on the left bank of the Vltava River between Malá Strana and Strahov. It offers fabulous panoramic views of the city from the Petrin Observation Tower and lush greenery all around. There are 299 steps to the top of the tower and it is totally worth going to the top. You can even ride the funicular railroad to the highest point of Petrin Hill.
There is also a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower, a great spot for clicking a couple of pictures!
There are beautiful gardens in the Petrin Park and you can easily spend hours here.
The Infant Jesus of Prague in the Church Of Our Lady Victorious
It is the 16th century Roman Catholic statue of Jesus Christ as a newborn child in the Malá Strana. It draws many devotees worldwide to honor the Holy Child. Numerous Catholic pilgrims pay homage to the Infant Jesus of Prague every year and it is one of the major pilgrimage centers in Central Europe.
St. Nicholas Church and its Adjoining Tower
St. Nicholas Church in the Lesser Town of Prague is a late-Gothic and Baroque church built between 1704-1755. Don’t forget to climb the adjacent tower, which is just over 200 steps tall and offers stunning views of Prague. You can buy the tickets at the base of the tower.
John Lennon Wall
This unique and very popular wall in Prague is located in Malá Strana. It is covered with quotations, graffiti, and lyrics of John Lennon and The Beatles group. In 1988, it was used by the Czech people to express their frustration and anger against communism. Now, it represents the global ideas of love and peace. There are street performers near the Lennon Wall, and it is truly a charming place to visit.
Kampa Island is one of the most beautiful city islands in the world, and it is located close to the John Lennon Wall. You get awesome views of the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral from here. It is a peaceful place and you can spend hours by the riverside just admiring the stunning views it has to offer.
You will spot David Černý’s Giant Crawling Babies in Kampa Park and also the line of yellow penguins near the Kampa Museum.
There is a small bridge covered with love-locks over the Devil’s Stream.
We even found a painting of Lord Ganesha on one of the walls advocating peace and love. 🙂
Saint Wenceslas Vineyard
This age-old vineyard offers one of the best views of Prague. It is free and open to the public. It is a beautiful and romantic place and you can enjoy magnificent views of the city. You can click some lovely pictures here without hundreds of tourists. You can even have your lunch here along with some local wine. It looks beautiful in the evening too.
Peeing statue at the Franz Kafka Museum
The 2 bronze men outside the Franz Kafka Museum are a controversial structure made by artist David Cerny in 2004. They robotically move their metal genitals to spell out text messages with their pee in a basin which is of the shape of the Czech Republic map! It is quite unique and denotes out of the box thinking.
Towers in Prague
We would rate the numerous towers in Prague in the following order so that it becomes easier for you to decide which ones to climb and which ones to skip.
1) The Old Town Bridge Tower (because views are awesome in every direction),
2) The Powder Tower (for a great global perspective on everything else),
3) The Old Town Hall Tower (just because of the great views looking down on the Old Town Square),
4) The Petrin Observation Tower (for a bird’s eye view of Prague – try to go for sunset),
5) The Town Belfry by St. Nicholas Church (for up-close views of the Castle District),
6) The Lesser Town Bridge Tower – last only because it offers some of the same views, but less spectacular, as the Old Town Bridge Tower.
So, do you have any questions about planning your trip to Prague? And, is there anything else you’d like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
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