I was hosted by Visit Czech Republic for part of my most recent visit to Prague. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The capital of the Czech Republic and the cultural heartbeat of central Europe, Prague is a spellbinding display of gothic, renaissance, cubist, and baroque architecture. This 3 day Prague itinerary will show you some of the best and most popular highlights in the city!
Unlike other European cities that needed to be rebuilt following the world wars, Prague has remained largely intact. Because of that, visitors can expect well-preserved cobblestone streets, colorful facades, ornately decorated bridges, and impressive landmarks, like the Prague Castle that resides on a hill overlooking the city.
I first fell in love with Prague on a one-day whirlwind adventure through the city when I was 19 years old and studying abroad in Europe. I knew then, after wandering through Old Town with a purse full of gingerbread, drinking mulled wine on the Charles Bridge, and admiring the boats and the pigeons passing below, that one day in Prague is simply not enough.
Recently, I returned to the Czech Republic and spent nearly three weeks in this Bohemian capital city. While most may not have the time to spend three weeks in Prague, it was a perfect opportunity for me to explore a bit of everything to create the perfect Prague itinerary for you!
So, how many days should you spend in Prague? This guide is for three days in Prague (which is pretty typical for first timers), but if you keep scrolling below, you’ll find tons of recommendations if you have more time!
The Ultimate 3 Day Prague Itinerary
DAY ONE: City Exploration and Famous Prague Landmarks
First-timers in Prague will be in awe after just one look at this city. Gothic towers loom over winding rows of colorful buildings as far as the eye can see, and hundreds of pigeons, ducks, and swans dance below the Vltava River’s 17 bridges.
A mix of modern magic and mysterious historical allure, Prague uniquely marries its lively beer culture, its complicated past with WWII and soviet rule, and its post-communist exploration of self-expression through art and food.
With so much to see and just three days in Prague, I recommend spending day one of your 3 day Prague itinerary getting acquainted with some of Prague’s most famous historical landmarks! You can take a guided walking tour or use these tips below to plan out your own DIY sightseeing day.
Prague City Tours
Walking tours are an easy way to get your bearings when visiting a new city. Not only will you get to explore with a local, you’ll also get to hear historical facts and anecdotes you’d otherwise miss if you wandered around on your own.
Prague Card / Prague CoolPass
Depending on how many attractions you plan to visit, it might be a good idea to get a Prague Card, also known as a Prague CoolPass. Perfect for a 3 day Prague itinerary, these cards get you free entrances and discounts throughout the city’s most popular attractions, shows, and shops.
Some things you can do for free with a Prague CoolPass:
- Climb up the Powder Tower for 360-degree views of Prague
- Visit the Petrin Tower (Prague’s very own Eiffel Tower)
- Tour to Lobkowicz Palace at the Prague Castle
- Take a quick river cruise on the Vltava River
Sightseeing in Old Town Prague
Charles Bridge / Karlův Most
Connecting Lesser Town and Old Town Prague, Charles Bridge (constructed in the 1300s) is the oldest Vltava River bridge still standing to this day. It’s an iconic monument in Prague and features 30 baroque statues lined on either side of the pedestrian walkway.
As the most popular thing to see in Prague, I recommend coming here first thing in the morning for the best chance of having it all to yourself. Or, if you like the buzz of a crowd, come at dusk for lots of people and the occasional street performer!
Old Town Square / Staroměstské náměstí
In the heart of Prague’s Old Town, Old Town Square was founded in the 12th century and has long been a central space for historical events both good and well, grim.
Here, you’ll find the Astronomical Clock and the Old Town Hall Tower. Every hour on the hour, from 9 am to 11 pm, the clock performs its little song and dance to visitors from all over the world. You may not be blown away, but put yourself in the shoes of someone seeing the clock come to life in the 1400s when it was first installed. Rumor has it that townspeople fled because they feared the clock was powered by black magic!
Across from the Old Town Hall Tower, you’ll also find the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, a famous symbol of Prague that dates back to the 14th century.
Be sure to look down on the ground outside the Old Town Hall Tower. You’ll see giant white crosses and a plaque featuring a series of names. These are the names of those executed in this square in the 1600s, most commonly via hanging or beheading. A grim yet fascinating reminder of a dark chapter in Prague’s history more than 400 years ago.
The Powder Tower / Prašná Brána
One of the original 13 city gates in Old Town Prague, this late-gothic tower symbolizes the separation between Old Town and New Town. On the facade, you’ll find the statues of rulers of the region.
The Powder Tower is located on the ‘Royal Way’ connecting Prague Castle with Prague’s Old Town center, and was a central feature of Czech coronation ceremonies.
In the 17th century, the Powder Tower was used to store gunpowder, giving it its present-day nickname.
Sightseeing in Hradčany
Prague Castle Complex
One of the largest castles in the entire world, the Prague Castle isn’t one structure but many, perched atop a hill overlooking the entire city. This massive castle complex dates back to the 9th century, and here, you can find several important landmarks like St. Vitus Cathedral, the Basilica of St. George, and the Spanish Hall.
The Prague Castle was a central seat of power for Bohemian kings, Holy Roman emperors, and Czechoslovakian presidents. Today, the Prague Castle is the official office of the president of the Czech Republic, and houses the country’s Crown Jewels, religious relics, art, and historical documents. This is a must-see for any Prague itinerary!
Things to do at the Prague Castle:
- Admire the impressive St. Vitus Cathedral, built in 1344
- See the Basilica of St. George, the oldest surviving church in the Prague Castle dating back to 920
- Walk down the Golden Lane*, a street filled with small, colorful houses that were once the homes of Prague Castle’s goldsmiths and servants
- Tour the Lobkowicz Palace*, the only privately owned building in the Prague Castle with its own family art collection
- Watch the changing of the guard every day at 12 pm
- Have a Czech meal and a Pilsner at Kuchyn, a restaurant celebrating the art of old Czech cuisine (plus, killer city views)
It’s free to enter the castle complex, but unless you have a Prague CoolPass, you’ll need to pay separate admission for the sites listed above with an asterisk.
Sightseeing in Lesser Town / Malá Strana
The Lennon Wall
A famous fixture of Prague since the 1980s, the Lennon Wall is located in a quiet area of Mala Strana surrounded by international embassies. The wall’s notoriety began after John Lennon’s assassination, with visitors from all over the world coming to pay their respects and leave a mark on the city.
Today, the wall has grown beyond an homage to the Beatles, and is now known as a symbol of love and global peace.
This is more of a quick photo-op stop, but be sure to bring a sharpie so you can leave your own message for the world!
Sightseeing in New Town
Dancing House / Tančící Dům
In a city filled with old historic buildings, the Dancing House is a bizarre attraction to stumble upon when strolling along the Vltava River. The building was completed in 1996 by architects Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry, and is said to symbolize the country’s transition from communism to democracy.
Look closely and see if you can make out the shapes of a couple dancing together!
While this is a fine stop to view from the sidewalk, you can also go up to the rooftop GLASS Bar for views of the river and Prague Castle. You’re required to buy a drink in order to enter the terrace, but they have everything from coffee to cocktails so you can go at any time of day.
The Head of Franz Kafka
If you’re wandering around New Town, you may come across a massive, moving statue.
This 42-layer kinetic sculpture depicts Bohemian writer Franz Kafka. His work is characterized by motifs like anxiety, aloneness, and alienation, which Czech artist David Cerny attempted to capture in this ever-changing sculpture.
If you’re familiar with Kafka’s work or want to learn more, the Kafka Museum in Mala Strana might be worth a visit.
Wenceslas Square / Václavské Náměstí
My local friends refer to this as the “Times Square of Prague.”
Named after the 10th century Duke of Bohemia, Wenceslas Square is the central business district of New Town Prague.
Here, you’ll mostly see shops, department stores, hotels, and restaurants. What you might not see (but should absolutely know about) is that this square has long been a hub of political activity in Prague. It was here that resistance against communism took central stage, and where demonstrations were held that ultimately led to the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
If you happen to find yourself in Prague for Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day on November 17th, there’s typically a massive parade in the city that ends in a free live concert here in Wenceslas Square.
DAY TWO: Prague’s Food, Beer, and Coffee Scene
Now that you’ve gotten familiar with some of Prague’s most popular sights, day two of this 3 day Prague itinerary is all about getting a taste for Prague’s food and drink scene.
This, to me, is just as important as Prague sightseeing because Prague is currently undergoing a bit of a post-communist era ‘foodie renaissance!’
Start your day soaking up the city’s cafe culture, followed by afternoon beers and a food tour to learn about the evolution of Czech cuisine.
Prague Coffee Scene
Czechs drink a lot of coffee. While communist rule unfortunately nationalized coffee for decades (meaning bland caffeine that tasted the same everywhere), today, coffee culture is alive and thriving in Prague and beyond.
You can – and should – visit an old bourgeois coffee house like Cafe Savoy (1893) or Cafe Louvre (1902). With high ceilings and traditional wood interiors, these cafes preserve the Czechoslovakian tradition of coffee and conversation enjoyed by the city’s upper class.
But with only three days in Prague, I recommend spending your mornings in a modern kavárna to savor this country’s post-communist cafe culture. Throughout my three weeks in Prague, I got really caffeinated. Here are some of my favorite spots.
Favorite coffee shops in Prague:
- Cafe Tone: Good wifi, tasty flat whites, and deliciously flaky croissants
- Pauseteria: A good pour over and a big breakfast selection
- Ty Kavo: Quiet coffee shop with cozy interiors and good wifi
- Republica Coffee: Coffee, cakes, and cocktails in a central location
- Kofárna Cafe: Cute neighborhood spot around the corner from Cafe Savoy
- Maze Lab Coffee: Stylish spot with specialty coffee
PRO TIP: Are you a serious coffee lover? If so, download the European Coffee Trip app during your 3 day Prague itinerary for even more coffee recommendations in this city and beyond.
Prague Breakfast Spots
I don’t recommend you skip breakfast on your trip, because there are so many spots in Prague to have an epic first meal of the day.
While I don’t consider myself a big fan of Czech cuisine in general, I can say that breakfast is my favorite time to dine in this city. From traditional Czech breakfasts of rye bread and meat, to more indulgent plates of eggs and truffles or crepes with jam, if breakfast wasn’t your favorite meal before Prague, it will be now.
Favorite Breakfast Spots in Prague:
- Eska: A cafe, bakery, and restaurant in a converted fabric factory that recently received a Michelin Bib Gourmand award. You’ll find old Czech techniques and modern interpretations throughout the menu, with some favorites including their Potatoes in Ash, their open-faced sandwiches, and their scrambled eggs (Czechs make some of the best, softest egg scrambles I’ve ever tasted).
- Etapa: A popular spot for locals and visitors alike, Etapa is a great breakfast and brunch restaurant with amazing bread and tasty offerings like a kimchi-stuffed grilled cheese and an Indian-inspired scrambled eggs. Also, mimosas!
- Den Noc: Pancakes are a staple of Czech breakfast cuisine, and you’ll find both sweet and savory varieties at Den Noc.
- Gourmet Pauza: A bit out of the way in Prague 5, Gourmet Pauza has simple but fresh and well-made food. The wifi is pretty good too and this is a more work-friendly spot than others on this list.
- Venue: A small spot with a lounge vibe, Venue has delicious fresh juices and comfort staples like chicken and waffles, breakfast hash, and avocado toast.
Experience Czech Beer Culture
The very first fact I learned about the Czech Republic when I visited 10 years ago? Beer in this country is cheaper than water!
While I didn’t actually pay enough attention to the bill to confirm or deny this, Czech beer is incredibly cheap and is a mainstay of daily life in this country. In fact, Czechs drink something like 40 gallons of beer each year – about one bottle a day!
There’s a finesse to beer culture here that you can’t visit Prague without experiencing. Congregating in pubs over good conversation and shared bites can easily lead to a tab of 6, 7, 8, or more beers per person (which bartenders generally keep track of using an old school paper tally system).
Czechs are fiercely loyal to domestic beer, the most popular of which is the Pilsner Urquell. Grab a pint (or 6) at a local pivovar!
Where to grab a beer in Prague:
- U Kunstatu
- Craft Beer Spot
- Ale! Bar
- Lod Pivovar
- Lokal Dlouhaaa
- U Sadu
- Craft House Prague
- Letna Beer Garden
Take a Prague Foodie Tour
For a time, the country’s culinary reputation wasn’t anything to write home about. Soviet rule in the late 20th century meant most restaurants had to serve standardized menus built with standardized ingredients. Czech restaurants doled out very straightforward flavors of the region – goulash, dumplings, pork knuckles, schnitzels, and sausages.
But in the last few years, young Czech chefs and restaurateurs have begun ‘taking over’ the country’s culinary scene, introducing new techniques and more high-quality ingredients while honoring Czech flavors and traditions.
You could spend a month eating your way through the city. But with only three days in Prague, I highly recommend taking a Prague Foodie Tour with Taste of Prague.
I love this tour because you get to experience several spots that represent the best of what Prague has to offer, from traditional beer halls to modern ‘renaissance’ cuisine. And, if you (like me) are unsure about heavy Czech food, this tour proves that there’s so much more to this country’s culinary scene than meets the eye!
I won’t tell you what restaurants we visited on this tour – you’ll have to experience it for yourself! Use this link to read reviews and reserve your tour.
Grab a Late-Night Dessert and Dine Where Einstein Dined
If, somehow, you still have an appetite for dessert, this would be the best time to visit Cafe Louvre. This 100+ year-old grand coffee house was a hotspot for rubbing elbows with the 1900s’ most famous intellectuals, like Franz Bretan, Franz Kafka, and Albert Einstein.
Today, you can enjoy everything from breakfast to late-night desserts and drinks at the Cafe Louvre. You can’t go wrong with a classic sacher cake, apple strudel, choux, or (my favorite) their peach cheesecake!
DAY THREE: History, Arts, and Culture in Prague
You’ve seen some of Prague’s most famous landmarks. You’ve gotten a taste of Prague’s food and drink scene. The final day of your 3 day Prague itinerary is all about diving deeper into Prague’s history, and appreciating Prague’s future as an arts and culture hub of central Europe.
Start your day with a visit to the Jewish Quarter, and spend the afternoon wandering one (or many) museums throughout the city. At night, I recommend enjoying a show or getting even better acquainted with Prague’s bar and beer hall scene.
Prague Jewish Quarter / Josefov
Around the corner from Old Town Square, Prague’s Jewish Quarter shines like a pristine, affluent center for some of the most high-end shopping and dining in Prague. But, as we know, Jewish people in Europe (including Prague) suffered centuries of uncertainty even before WWII.
Here, you’ll find a bunch of historically significant buildings each with their own artifacts and stories to tell. Plan to visit the Jewish Cemetery and any of the neighborhood’s six synagogues to learn more about Jewish peoples’ presence in the Czech Republic over the centuries. For starters, the Old-New Synagogue is the oldest active synagogue in Europe and dates back to the 13th century. The Pinkas Synagogue has the longest epitaph in the world, commemorating over 78,000 names of Jewish individuals who died in WWII. And, the Spanish Synagogue is one of the newest and most beautiful buildings in the neighborhood.
Be sure to look down at the sidewalks as you explore the neighborhood’s historic houses for ‘stumbling stones,’ which are little memorials honoring where Holocaust victims lived before they were deported or killed.
During the war, it’s believed Hitler wanted to preserve this neighborhood as the “Museum of an Extinct Race.” Today, it symbolizes a dark past and cautiously hopeful future for Europe’s Jewish population. It’s well worth a visit for any first-time visitor, even if you only have three days in Prague.
Prague Museums of History and Arts
By now, you’ll probably come to understand that Prague is one of Europe’s great cities of history, culture, arts, and above all, perseverance.
But if you need any more convincing, an afternoon at one of Prague’s many museums is exactly what the doctor ordered. From deep-dives into the city’s history and ideology, to the country’s budding but bold contemporary art scene, there are so many amazing opportunities to admire and absorb a bit more about this amazingly complex city.
Some museums in Prague worth checking out:
- National Museum: The largest museum in the Czech Republic, located in Wenceslas Square
- Museum of Communism: A dense but fascinating museum documenting every detail of life under communist rule in the country leading up to the Velvet Revolution
- Museum of Decorative Arts: The largest Czech museum dedicated to applied arts and design
- Franz Kafka Museum: A museum dedicated to Franz Kafka’s literature, life, and early work
- DOX Centre for Contemporary Art: A massive, progressive space featuring both international and Czech fine art, literature, and architecture
- Museum Kampa: A modern art gallery featuring central European art largely focused on the 20th century, a time of difficulty for creative expression of any kind
- The House of the Black Madonna: A permanent installation entirely devoted to Czech cubism, located within the first-ever building designed in this architectural style
Live Entertainment and Performing Arts in Prague
On your last night in Prague, you should definitely spend it enjoying more of the city’s beer and nightlife scene.
But, if you have a chance to, I suggest seeing a show at one of Prague’s beautiful, historic venues. There are so many opportunities for live music, dance, and performing arts in this city. You’re bound to find something that aligns with your three days in Prague.
Theaters and performance spaces in Prague:
More Time? Here are More Things to Do in Prague!
Have more time to spend in Prague? These suggestions might not fit in a 3 day Prague itinerary, but they’re great add-ons for those with 4 or 5 days in Prague (or more)!
- Climb Up the Petrin Tower: Prague’s own Eiffel Tower, the Petrin Tower is yet another amazing spot for panoramic views of the city. Go on a clear day if you can!
- Take a River Cruise on the Vltava River: These felt a bit touristy in my opinion, but they are a nice thing to say you’ve done. See Vltava River tour options here.
- Book a Beer Tour or Pub Crawl: Learn more about Prague’s rich beer culture by spending a night on a beer tour or pub crawl! See beer tour options here.
- Go on a Day Trip to Explore More of the Country: While this 3 day Prague itinerary focuses entirely on city exploration, Prague is a super central location for exploring the rest of the Czech Republic. Kutna Hora, Bohemian Switzerland, Pilsen, Cesky Krumlov, and Karlstejn Castle are all doable day trips! You can explore some guided day tours from Prague, take public transportation, or rent a car for a day to easily visit any of these places.
Where to Stay During Your 3 Day Prague Itinerary
There are endless places to stay in Prague, whether you’re looking for a hostel or a five-star resort. The first thing you should decide is where in the city you’d like to stay.
What neighborhood is best to stay in Prague? While Old Town Prague is going to be the most popular choice for this 3 day Prague itinerary given its central location, anywhere in Old Town, New Town, or Mala Strana (Prague’s historic center) will provide equally beautiful surroundings and convenient access to the city’s sights. It’ll largely depend on your personal preference, but here are some good things to know about where to stay in Prague:
Where to Stay in Prague: Old Town
Old Town Prague is the most popular place for visitors, especially first-timers looking to be in the center of it all. You’ll be in close proximity to some of Prague’s most famous sights, but you’ll also find a bit more of a ‘touristy’ vibe. However, that’s easy to look past given the undeniable beauty you’ll find as you wander around Prague’s historic city center!
Where to Stay in Prague: Mala Strana
A bit more hip and more quiet in comparison to Old Town, Mala Strana is perfect for travelers that want to be close to all the action, but with a more relaxed setting and slightly fewer crowds. You will be close to the Prague Castle and still find yourself just a 15-20 minute walk from Old Town Square!
Where to Stay in Prague: New Town
The irony of Prague’s New Town is that it isn’t really “new” at all (in fact, it dates back to the 14th century). New Town Prague is still very central and walkable, making it a good alternative to Old Town.
Where to Stay in Prague: Vinohrady
A popular spot for expats and young families, Vinohrady is quiet and beautiful while still being very central to the rest of the city. You’ll find a good selection of restaurants and cafes without having to look very far.
Where to Stay in Prague: Zizkov
Known as a more ‘budget-friendly’ neighborhood, Zizkov might be for you if you’re looking for convenience and cost savings.
Where to Stay in Prague: Karlin
While Karlin is a bit further away, I got the sense that this is a budding hotspot for trendy restaurants. If you want to stay right near the Vltava River and consider yourself a foodie, Karlin might be for you.
Where to Stay in Prague: Andel/Smichov
This is where I stayed for the majority of my time in Prague, along with Mala Strana. I love the Andel/Smichov area (also known as Prague 5) because it is where the left bank of the river begins to feel more local and residential. You’ll find more locals than tourists walking around here, but the buildings are just as beautiful as the historic center. And, Prague 5 is incredibly convenient. You’re a 15-20 minute walk to Mala Strana, and a 30 minute walk (or 10 minute metro ride) to Old Town Square.
Where to Stay in Prague: Holesovice/Letna:
Like Karlin, you can feel that this neighborhood is on the brink of being incredibly hip. It’s one of the most sought-after neighborhoods to live in Prague, and for visitors, it offers a local bohemian ambiance with enough distance from the city center for those hoping to escape the crowds.
Where to Eat and Drink in Prague
This 3 day Prague itinerary wouldn’t be complete without talking about where to eat and drink in the city. Here are some of my favorite spots from the three weeks I spent in Prague, plus some others I’ve heard great things about!
Prague FAQ: Tips to Know Before You Go
What is the best currency to use in Prague?
Though the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, they do not use the Euro! Instead, they continue to use their own currency, the Czech Koruna (also referred to as the Czech “crown”). The exchange rate is about 21 crowns to $1 USD, give or take. Most places will take credit cards so you won’t need to carry too much cash on you. Also, tips are not necessarily expected but they are a nice gesture at bars and restaurants. Plan to do 5 – 10%, or round up to the nearest 100 crowns.
What language is spoken in Prague?
The country is home to a population of 96% Czech speakers, with minority languages like Ukrainian, Slovak, Russian, Polish, and Vietnamese peppered throughout. In Prague, you’ll be able to get by easily with English, so much so that you might even start to take it for granted. But, if you visit smaller towns in the Czech Republic, this might not be the case.
Regardless, it’s always nice to learn a few polite phrases. Dobry den (good day / hello), dekuji (thank you), prosim (please), ano (yes), and ne (no) are all easy-to-learn Czech words you can use in daily conversation!
How do you get around in Prague?
Exploring Prague on foot is one of the great joys of this central European cities. But, there are a ton of other options for getting around in and outside of Prague!
- Renting a Car in Prague: The best places to rent a car in Prague are at the Prague Airport (Vaclav Havel Prague Airport) or near the Prague Main Railway Station (Praha Hlavní Nádraží). Use this link to compare rental car prices in Prague.
- Rideshare in Prague: Uber is easily available in Prague. As an alternative that might be cheaper and even quicker, I recommend downloading Bolt. Bolt is a European rideshare and food delivery app. Regardless of which you choose, it’s generally understood that rideshare apps offer better rates than taxis.
- Prague Metro / Tram: The Prague metro system is amazing, efficient, and affordable. You can purchase one-time tickets for 30 minutes, 90 minutes, 1 day, or 3 days. Tickets can be purchased via yellow machine near metro stops, on the metro itself, or via phone (at the time of writing, this might only be available to Apple users).
- Prague Train: The Main Metro Station is not far from the center of town, and can be used for day trips to other Czech cities, or for longer trips to neighboring countries.
- Prague Bus: Prague’s bus system typically services the more outskirts neighborhoods in the city, but is a reliable and cheap way to get around.
When is the best time to visit Prague?
Prague is an incredible city to visit year-round, and most of the recommendations included in this 3 day Prague itinerary are doable any time of year. While summer is always popular for European destinations, spring and fall tend to be the most ideal time for Prague in terms of weather and price. The low season for Prague travel is between November and March (excluding the holidays, which are a popular time to visit due to the city’s annual Christmas Markets).
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