Prague is a capital exceptional and even magical in its quietest days. Merry voices of visitors and locals alike can be heard throughout the year, all due to the splendor of the Czech Republic’s capital - its diverse architecture a journey through history, its long standing culture a testament to the city’s deep-set roots, and the loveliness of its people illuminating the city of a hundred spires.
Although the capital may sleep at night (a good thing for some), Prague is as bustling in the day as any other city around the world. If you are wondering just how long a holiday you should take to this European historical wonderland, we’ve not only recommended three set dates for a fulfilling trip, we’ve also listed down our favorite landmarks and attractions not to be missed. For a fool-proof holiday, contact one of our professional local guides to get the most up-to-date and accurate information.
You are in Prague for a day, the fleecy clouds and distant wavering hills greet you early in the morning. It can be a struggle trying to pick which of the dozens of popular landmarks to visit with your limited time. Fortunately, many of the capital’s must-see attractions are situated in or near the Old Town Square. The Square is the historic core of Prague, the heart of its narrative, and probably one of the busiest areas in the city. For a day trip, starting early is key to fully enjoy the beauty that Prague has to offer.
The Old Town Square is famous for its Christmas and Easter markets. If you don’t find yourself in Prague on those occasions, fret not, as daily markets, street performers, musicians, and cafes are more than what you need to keep busy for a morning. As you walk the Old Town, you might notice a crowd of people gathering in front of a blue and yellow mechanical clock on the Old Town Hall wall. Every hour between 9 am and 11 pm, the medieval Astronomical Clock puts on a show parading the twelve apostles. Other figures on the clock are set in motion as well, including a skeleton representing death ringing the time, and a vain man and a miser shaking their heads as if they understood the skeleton’s meaning. It is definitely a spectacle not to be missed.
Cross the Vltava River and enter Mala Strana, the home of Prague Castle, where kings and queens roamed and noble men feasted. In truth, the complex is sizeable enough to be enjoyed for a whole day, but a few hours will suffice to appreciate the art nouveau stained glass windows of St. Vitus Cathedral, the Romanesque features of St. George’s Basilica, and the iconic spires of the many palaces.
After you saunter through the Old Town and pay a visit to Prague Castle, our guides suggest you cross the Vltava River on Charles Bridge. The Vltava River flows through the city, and the best and most scenic way to cross it is at sunset on Charles Bridge. As the high spot of the day has mostly ended and visitors begin to trek back to their hotels, enjoy a quiet and uncrowded view of Prague Castle up in lights at night, unquestionably a lovely way to end your day.
2 Day (Weekend) Trip
With two days in tow, a more relaxing time can be arranged. For your first day, it is still best to visit the most popular landmarks. In order to make sure you don’t miss anything important, take a look at GoWithGuide’s customizable tour packages to make the most of your day. Being accompanied by one of our professional guides is an advantage, as it is the locals who know the ins and outs of the city, and can get you to the best spots before the crowds.
On your second day, you can explore the Prague Castle complex at leisure, as there are quite a few activities to do, museums to see, and churches to admire. If this is not to your predilection, then maybe exploring the Jewish Quarter is. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is historically important as it possesses some six synagogues. It is also the birthplace of celebrated novelist Franz Kafka. Take a snap of his commemorative statue on Dusni Street if you have the time.
End your day with a stop at the Powder Tower (or the Powder Gate), separating Old Town and New Town. This late-Gothic tower is actually one of the original gates of the city, and is the entrance of the monumental coronation processions of old Czech royals, thus an important element of the Royal Way. Walk the paths of royalty and enjoy the Powder Tower at night as it is lit up to brilliancy when the sun sets.
5 Day (Week-long) Trip
Prague is so much more than its city center - its romance bountiful in its suburban towns filled with secret gems. Discreetly lying in the southern part of the city is a true fortress fit for medieval kings - Vyšehrad. Featuring the Rotunda of St Martin, the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the Vyšehrad Cemetery, the fortress is worth the trek. Because most tourists flock to Prague Castle, you will find Vyšehrad less crowded, leaving you with more room to enjoy the amazing neo-Gothic architecture and city views in relative tranquility.
A trip to any country is never complete without a proper taste of its local cuisine. Start off with some chlebíčky, a Czech open-faced sandwich with a variety of toppings like salami, ham, and eggs. A proper staple in the Czech diet, chlebíčky can be found in your neighborhood deli, the more local and old-school, the better! One taste of svickova (braised beef), and you will be begging for seconds. Every restaurant will have its own recipe, so feast to your stomach’s delight and be your own MasterChef as you choose the best svickova in your area. Finally, top it off with a hearty dessert in the form of buchty, or sweet buns. Stuffed with different fillings such as poppyseed, jam, or cheese, this sweet dessert is enjoyed by natives and their Czech fairytale heroes (packed by the hero’s moms, of course!).
Finally, travel two hours west and be greeted by the smells of thermal springs and the premonition of a day built around relaxation and wellness. After all the walking, admiring, and learning, a dip into one of Karlovy Vary’s various curative hot springs is the next best thing. This spa town is as unique as it is historic, being used as a place of relaxation since Charles IV organized an expedition to the area. Appropriately translated to “Charles' Baths”, Karlovy Vary has had no want of love throughout the years, eagerly visited by celebrities for its renowned spas and treatments, and frequently used as a location for films, including Last Holiday and Casino Royale.
Prague resonates a charm and delicacy that is hard to ignore. It is a maze of nostalgia perfect for a European adventure. No matter how long your stay may be, you will no doubt be enchanted by the capital's many jewels. Make the most of your trip by booking a customizable private tour with our trusted local guides.