Prague is one of the underrated capital cities of Europe. As a student of history, I remember reading about Prague Spring – a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia after World War II and I wondered what the socio-political environment would have looked like in those days. Prague is interesting as it still continues to combine and co-exist with the new and old norms of life, having withered away from the erstwhile Soviet Union and now exists as the independent state of Czech Republic. Prague is a classic romantic city, in my opinion and it definitely deserves a spot on your travel bucket-list. Traveling and exploring Prague over the weekend or a few days, will give you a sense of what this beautiful country has to offer. This is your ideal 2 day Prague travel itinerary that covers the best experiences, sight-seeing spots and gives a sense of their past and many unique traditions.
Prague 2 Day Itinerary: Things to do in Prague in 2 Days
Prague Travel Itinerary – Day 1
Your first day in Prague should start with the best. Visiting the old town-square of Prague will invite you to a world of wonders, filled with beautiful spires and red roof top buildings. Once you arrive at the old town, you are welcomed by bridges that are built over the Vltava River, some dating back to 12th century AD. You should assign one full day to explore the old town and I am sure you will be mesmerized by the romantic evening spirit in the golden city of 100 spires.
Things to see in Old Town Prague
The Old Town is the oldest and the most beautiful part of Prague. The core of the historical center is Old Town Square, which started as a marketplace and since then it has been the site of many political and cultural events which have eventually shaped the history of Prague. Visiting Old Town Square is FREE
Old Town Square – Old Town Square is the most popular part of Prague as it draws a lot of tourists to the area. This square has preserved buildings and monuments from the 14th century, which includes: the Church of Our Lady in front of Tyn, the Old Town City Hall and the Baroque church St. Nicolas.
The Astronomical Clock located in the old town square is a worldwide attraction. This clock was added in the early 15th century. The clock is mounted on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall. The clock is popular due to the hourly show, called “The Walk of the Apostles”. At every hour, the astronomical clock shows figurines of the apostles and other moving sculptures striking time, shaking and dancing. According to local legend, the city will suffer if the clock is neglected and its good operation should be in place. (In 2015 – the astronomical clock celebrated its 605th anniversary)
The clock is beautiful to look at – with its dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon and displaying various astronomical details along with statues of various Catholic saints. This area is usually super crowded at any time of the day. This is also a popular wedding photo-shoot location.
In the same square, you will find the second popular landmark of Old Town Square which is the Church of Our Lady in front of Tyn. The main church was built in the mid 14th century and its interiors boasts of one of the most elaborate altars in the whole of Czech Republic.
Kinsky Palace, also located in the Old Town Square is a beautiful rococo style palace with delicate pink and white stucco facade. It was built in the mid 18th century on the grounds of two old hotels.
This palace is a very significant landmark and has witnessed many important pages of history. Countess Kinsky, also known as Baroness Bertha von Suttner, was born at the palace in the mid 19th century – she was the first Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1905. The palace also saw the birth and demise of communism. In the mid 20th century, the beginning of Communism was announced from one of the balconies of the palace and about 4 decades later, the then president Vaclav Havel proclaimed that Communism would never return again to the Czech Republic.
Charles Bridge is one of the iconic structures of Prague. It was built by King Charles IV over the Vltava river. This new bridge was originally called Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge but since the 19th century, it has been popularly called the”Charles Bridge”. The Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and figurines, originally erected in baroque-style but are now replaced by replicas. The main bridge is protected by three bridge towers, 2 of them are located on the Lesser Quarter side and one on the Old Town side, which is the Old Town Bridge Tower.
The Old Town Bridge Tower is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Europe. The tower was built in the second half of the 14th century together with the Charles Bridge on its right bank side not only as a fortification, but also as a certain type of triumphal arch.
Places to visit outside of Old Town
One of the must visit places in Prague is the Letna Park. Letna Park is a beautiful park located on a hill called Letna and it offers amazing views of the Old Town, along with the Vltava river. It is a steep hike to access the park, but it is all worth it. From old town, you can see a unique shaped building, it is called the “Hanavský Pavilion”. It was built as an exhibition hall, but is now a resting stop for Letna Park visitors.
One of the oldest living Jewish synagogues are located in Prague. Called the Old New Synagogue, this was built in the late 13th century. The Old New Synagogue have gone through so much history, fires and destruction, but it still stands strong. The synagogue is a testimony to Jewish contributions to Prague.
Just outside of Old Town Square you will see a beautiful building on Prague – 1 street. That is Prague’s State Opera House. Built in the 19th century, this opera house was called the German Theatre in those days. Currently, home to 300 performances a year, this theatre was a hot seat of democratic rallies in the 1950’s. You will see this theatre on your way to the Old Town Square.
Of course with all the sightseeing, you will be hungry. Grab a bite to eat, something Czech – something traditional. If you walk around Old Town, you will find chimney cakes or “Trdlnik”. Trdelnik is a cake made out of dough via a roller or a stick, and laced with sugar coating. You can also get it with a cream filling of your choice. I had 2 – one with chocolate and one plain! 1 chimney cake with cream filling was less then 2 Euros.
You won’t be starving at the Old Town Square. There are lots of food and restaurant options to try. Definitely try Czech Goulash – goulash is a soup made of meat and is seasoned with paprika. Goulash originated in Hungary. Between the Hungarian and Czech versions of Goulash – I LOVED the Czech one, it was thicker then a regular soup or stew! I still cant get over it. It was so good and spicy.
At the old town, you will also find the oldest living markets in Europe. Called the Havel Market dates back to the 13th century. Other then fruits and food items, you will also find souvenir stalls here. They offer souvenirs like Czech crystal and glass jewelry, decorative birch boxes and wooden toys, common tourists souvenirs like post cards, fridge magnets, etc
There are additional tours that you can take at the Old Town. Prague Food tours are very popular – where you can taste Czech cuisines and beer. Book a 3 hour Beer tasting tour here
Ghost Tours are another “in” thing to do in Prague. Ghost tours in Old Town are very spooky and interesting at the same time. It is a walking tour, where you will hear legends and stories of some notorious and unheard side of Prague’s by-gone past. Book your Ghost Tour here
If you are interested in enjoying a boat ride or cruise on the Vltava river, you can do that from the Old Town area. A unique concept, called “botels” exists here, where boats with standard hotel facilities like wifi, toilet, bed, etc are available to rent. River cruises in the evening are very popular as well. You can see the city of Prague shine in all of its glory in the evening.
Don’t leave the Old Town without experiencing the beauty of Prague’s glory at night. This will be your treasured moment, for ever.
Prague Travel Itinerary – Day 2
The next morning, we woke up at Hotel International. Hotel International is the largest Socialist realism living building in Prague. This historic building has witnessed many Communists meetings and leaders in action. We enjoyed our stay at the hotel, the rooms were spacious, it provided us with free breakfast (Czech delicacies) and the location was great. Supermarkets, restaurants and bus stations were located very close to the Hotel International. Consider your hotel booking at Hotel International here
Your Day 2 of Prague itinerary will transport to a fairy-tale land. Lets head to the Prague Castle. Can you believe that the Prague Castle is the world’s oldest castle which is also a living castle? The Czech President actually resides here.
The day of our visit, the President was at his residence. And no, I didn’t get to meet him. But I did have a fabulous time at the Prague Castle District. The Prague castle has a very intriguing past. Stories of traitors being thrown out of the castle windows (the word “defenestration” originated after this incident), jewel crowns stolen, church named after dancing saints and the list goes on.
Have you seen the movie Anthropoid? It is based on the true story of Operation Anthropoid, the World War II mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich was the main architect behind the Final Solution and he was assigned by Hitler to rule over Czech’s in Bohemia-Moravia areas. His assassination occurred at the Prague Castle District.
Did you know, the Prague Castle holds a Guinness book of world records for being the largest ancient castle in the world?
At the Prague Castle, you will find a beautiful church – St Vitus Cathedral. It is a Roman Catholic church, built in gothic style. The architecture of St. Vitus Cathedral had great influence on the development of Late Gothic style characteristic for Central Europe.
The interiors of the church are very beautiful. It is a living church – depending on the day and time of your visit – the church could be very crowded.
Located within the Prague Castle complex, is St George Basilica. Don’t be fooled by the bright red color of the church walls – this is the oldest surviving structure in the Castle district and dates back to 920. It is now a concert hall and an arts gallery.
Franz Kafka lived for many years, by Prague Castle. A small lane called the Golden lane – has tiny houses. House 22 belonged to Kafka and he lived there with his sister. It is cute lane with memorabilia and exhibition areas.
The castle grounds also has a beautiful garden, called the Royal gardens.
There are beautiful vineyards located just outside of the Castle district. You can access beautiful views of Prague Old Town from here, so don’t miss it
There are souvenirs stores and open cafes inside the castle complex.
The Prague Castle is the most visited tourist location in the entire Czech Republic. At Prague Castle, you can view the old town in all its glory, hear interesting stories from different pages of Czech history, find school kids admiring/laughing at (naked) figurines and absorb beautiful views from the castle grounds – it is one of the unique places to visit!
Entrance to the Prague Castle District is not free. Check out ticket prices here
Another interesting thing to see is the Dancing House. Instagram is full of pictures of the Dancing House. Also called the Fred & Ginger House – this building is a arts and cultural center built in the 20th century. It is believed to be a neo-baroque style of architecture. There is nothing much to see, other the building itself from the outside. It did have a significant past – the building is located on the site of a house destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945.
Experience Prague Local
After enjoying the majority of the day in sightseeing pursuits, consider wandering in and around a local neighborhood. We decided to head back to our hotel, Hotel International. As we wandered through the neighborhood, we could still see the impact of the communist rule. State owned buildings that were in very dilapidated condition – but still occupied by tenants. Well, now you can own property and fix these apartments at your own costs. But some were in need of dire repairs.
Slowly privatization is making way into society, but there is a whole generation that is surviving on 1960’s Communist pension. A local told us there are as many cars as there are people in Prague. But not that many own these cars, the disparity between the rich and poor is wide. There was a supermarket – Kafland – by our hotel and things are really cheap as compared to Munich or Toronto. They sell Czech beer and mostly sparkling water. I say this because, we had a hard time reading Czech and finding regular distilled water. Actually, we don’t know Czech at all. And if I visit again, I can never tell whether its sparkling water or not, from their labels.
Few blocks away from the hotel, was a Chinese restaurant – they served the delicious schezwan & rice in Prague. 4 dishes with 2 drinks for 10 Euros.
Prague is beautiful and I have 2 images of Prague. One image is above – where the picture speaks for itself. The second one is embedded in memory. On our final day, in the evening, we walked by many houses – houses that were abandoned, with graffiti on them, some dilapidated- yet half full, half empty. The feeling was very melancholy and dark – I can see that the city had gone through such phases of turmoil and now just looking to heal. The city has some areas that are much loved then the others.
In 2 days, I was able to see a lot, but I am hoping to get back to explore and understand Prague. As a tourist, a weekend trip or 2 days travel itinerary is all you need to explore the city’s finest areas. Each day you can pick one area and stick there for the day, not only will it be convenient, but you will also be able to live the morning to evening experience there. Once you arrive at the Castle District or Old Town, the rest of the tourists areas can be explored on foot.
Travel Tips Prague, Czech Republic
Here are some of my quick tips for your Prague Tour and Itinerary. Before planning your trip to any European Country, read this Europe Planning 101
Czech Republic is part of Schengen agreement of countries. So if your passport requires you to get a Schengen visa to visit Europe, then you will need a schegnen visa to visit Prague. Czech Republic shares its border with Germany and Austria. Crossing between these countries was easy – there was no border control.
Currency & Budget
Czech currency is called koruna or KNR. It is also called Czech crown. Typically 1 Euro = 25 KNR (for easy math)
Euros are widely accepted. But any change back is provided in Czech crown most of the times. We had a lot of loose change – which we later used to buy some souvenirs, as other European countries don’t use Koruna.
Health & Safety
Prague is a safe city to visit – at any time of the day and any dark alley or even a ghost town. Thefts, murder, accidents are rare in Prague. But make sure you take travel insurance for travel requirements and for minor bruises or if you have too much fun. Hospitals and doctors are available when you need them.
There could be occasional pick-pocketing incidences, by the Charles Bridge or Old Town Square – as it is super crowded with tourists. But it is not as alarming as Rome or Paris.
Food in Prague
Now I have to show you a picture of Goulash, before we share something else
The round -white shaped thing (dumpling) is mashed potato and spicy goulash. So of course, you have to try this. We had goulash at Hotel Baterka restaurant in Old Town Square for 149 KNR
Don’t forget chimney cake, Becherovka or herb drink – try this with tonic water, rum and Czech beer. For more ideas on food in Prague, check this out
Local transportation is efficient and economical. There are buses and trams to commute to and from the city centre. There was a bus stop right outside out hotel. Tickets can be purchased in stores, transit vending machines and even from your cell-phones. Find more information about their transit prices
Taxis are readily available and they are not very expensive (for 6 Euros we could travel from Old Town Square to our hotel, 10 minute drive).
Hotels and Accommodation
Prague, being a tourist destination in one of the cheapest European countries, offers a variety of accommodation options. Hostels, airbnb, hotels and high-end luxury resort stays are all available in Prague. Prices range from 25 euros to 260 euros, depending on the property and the area you are staying in. Luxury and historic hotels are located near Old Town Square of Prague as well. Check out some awesome hotels deals in Prague
As mentioned, we stayed at Hotel International for 2 nights. This hotel is located away from Old Town, but commute is easy. Bus stop was located right outside the hotel property. Free breakfast was included. Staff were good. The property had witnessed so many communists meetings here and their interiors speak to those by-gone days. The hotel was clean and very classy from inside and out.
Prague, was an absolute delight. If you have been following our journey on Instagram, you would know that Prague is one of my favorite cities. It was like an instant connection. I fell in love with Prague, even before I visited Prague. So you can only imagine the madness when I experienced all this.