Prague is a fascinating city. Every single building is a work of art and it’s so beautiful that you don’t know where to look most of the times. There isn’t a best time of the year to visit it, it’s beautiful all year round. From beautiful detailed historical buildings to the Frank Gehry’s Dancing house, from the amazing Prague Castle complex to the ancient Jewish quarter, here you can find my itinerary for 3 full days walking through the best of Prague and enjoying the best Czech food and beers.
We went in June, at the beginning of summer, and the weather was quite nice. But if you want to get the most out of this city, you might want to go in May, when the Beer festival and the Spring Music Festival take place.
- Day 1 – Stare Mesto, the Old Town
- Day 2 – Jewish quarter and Charles Bridge
- Day 3 – Prague Castle and John Lennon wall
Click on the links to go directly to the Day you want to read.
It’s rainy and cloudy, but finally I’m in Prague!
We arrived around 2 PM with growling bellies, having eaten only crackers and water before we took off. “Let’s eat at the airport”, “There’s nothing good to eat here, let’s eat on the plane”, “There’s nothing good to eat here either, let’s eat at the station”, “At this point we could just eat in the center” – No! Enough! I was on the verge of fainting, so I stopped at one of the kiosks in the train station and ordered a spinach and feta stuffed puff pastry roll to get enough energy to reach the hotel.
We rest for about half hour, then we go out again.
First thing to do: change the currency! Czech Republic is part of Europe, but they didn’t adopt the Euro currency. Since the bus ticket machines were so modern and accepting bank cards, we though that most placed would accept bank cards so we just changed 50 euros just to be safe. But oh, we were so wrong (I’ll explain later).
Walking around we manage to see the main touristic spots already. We walked past the beautiful Národní museum, then we walked along the Wenceslas Square and then ended up in the beautiful main square, the Old Town square. The smell of Trdlnìk, or Trdlo (I know, so many consonants!), the sweet chimney pastry, is strong in every road, as the kiosks selling them are pretty much everywhere.
As soon as we arrive in the square we are attracted by a different smell, the delicious smell of roasted Prague’s ham and sausages, coming from the kiosks on the right side of the Old Town Hall. Inebriated by the smell, we decided to start looking for a place to eat dinner, even though it’s only 5 PM which for us is super early.
We start looking at all the menus of the restaurants we come across, and even though they mostly sell the same food, we struggle to convert the Koruna to Euros and we notice that in some places there is a huge difference of prices for the same food, which made us wonder.
During the search, we ended up in a cute market on Havelskà in Stare Mesto, which was selling mostly handmade stuff and souvenirs for tourists. They had many wooden crafts and many paintings, but I ended up just buying some beautiful handcrafted metal earrings.
What to Eat
When I didn’t have more strengths to walk, we put our fate on TripAdvisor and we go towards the closest restaurant with the best reviews, but as soon as we get there we are not attracted by the underground, tiny dark room and we decided to not risk our lives on the first day (we are not brave at all).
We go to the next best thing nearby, a cute rustic restaurant called Mlejcnice, in Stare Mesto.
We started with some pickled Brie cheese, one of the best food revelations I had. I didn’t know you could pickle cheese, and I didn’t know it would taste this damn good!
As a main course I had a Goulash in a bread bowl (Goulash is originally from Hungary, but the tradition expanded throughout Central and Eastern Europe during the centuries.
My boyfriend instead went all-in and ordered a huge pork knuckle which must have been about 1 kg (2 lb)! He did his best bust couldn’t finish the whole thing.
At the end of this delicious dinners we encounter one of the realities of Prague, tips. If you’re American you won’t have problems, but for us central Europeans, tips are a mystery. When the waiter brought the check, he clearly pointed out that tips were not included in the bill, but they also weren’t optional. In my head I started panicking: how much do I tip? What is the price conversion? How much did this dinner actually cost?
The first thing that came automatic to me, which is what I usually do, was to round up the total. The waiter then looked at me and said “oh, so just 1 euro tip?” PANIC. My head started running again to the best of its abilities, but math was never one of my strong suits, so I started getting out all the coins I had. The waiter seemed happy, I could have a sight of relief and I still had no clue how much I paid in the end.
As usual, we stuffed ourselves with the buffet breakfast and then we went out. First destination of the day was the Dancing House of Frank Gehry. One of the best things of this funky architectural building, is the striking contrast between modern and old, being surrounded only by historic buildings.
The weather was cloudy and chilly, it was supposed to rain as well but thankfully it never did (yay!).
We then decided (actually, HE decided) to walk back to the city center. Along the way there where so many beautiful buildings. The attention to detail in every building is phenomenal and they make the city look so elegant.
We walked past the National Theatres, both the old and the new ones. Then we walked on Charles Bridge, the most famous and crowded bridge of Prague. We then went back to the Old Town square and ate a light lunch in a small cafè behind the Church of Our Lady before Týn.
After lunch we walked back in the square and noticed some people on top of the Old Town Hall tower, so we immediately decided we wanted to go there (I love high point views!). The gorgeous astronomical clock was unfortunately under maintenance, so it was completely covered by a painted cloth, but what I didn’t notice is that they put a screen on top to show exactly what the clock would do when every hour. We accidentally walked there at 2 PM and were able to see the cute animation with moving skeletons and figures, before going up the tower.
After this breathtaking view, we walked around the Jewish quarter. We saw Franz Kafka’s house (from outside because they were renovating it) and statue, then we wanted to visit the Spanish Synagogue and we were then struck by the second reality of Prague: almost nobody accepts bank cards, you need to pay cash 9 times out of 10. I wish I knew before going to Prague because we already changed all the Euro cash we had, after searching for a long time for the best change rate. We then though to withdraw Euros from an ATM and then change it again but it doesn’t work this way. We tried 4 times to withdraw from different ATMs (our only option anyway) and every time we got a worse exchange rate! In the end I think we spent more money on exchange rates than on actual products.
Anyway, we went back to the Synagogue and purchased the Jewish tour ticket, which would allow us to visit all the Synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery. We are not religious, but it was still beautiful and humbling to see this part of history.
The cemetery especially was really moving, in this enclosed garden there were more than 12.000 tombstones, but more than 100.000 Jewish people were buried there, one on top on the others during the centuries, since the 15th century.
We walked back to the hotel to rest and refresh before going out for dinner.
What to Eat
Following a friend recommendation, we went to the Prague Beer Museum (which is not literally a museum, but a pub), they have several tasting menus with Czech craft beers, I decided to go for the 5 hoppy ones and my boyfriend for the 5 dark ones. To eat we both had a spicy grilled sausage with mustard. Now this is the kind of dinner I was expecting to have: beer and sausage!
After dinner I had to have the famous Trdlo, and I went for the best place to get one: Good Food. They have delicious flavors and I got the most chocolate-y one, it was sooooo good! Like a croissant filled with ice cream. What a better way to eat this delicious treat than walking on Charles Bridge at sunset, listening to street musicians play and sing?
Bonus of the night: We witnessed some random fireworks on the river while walking on Charles Bridge. What a perfect day to end the evening!
As first thing of the day we went directly to the Prague Castle, which is what would take most of the time. We bought the most expensive ticket which would include all of the buildings in the castle complex. We started of course from the St. Vitus Cathedral, which had a mile-long queue. We thought we would have to spend the whole day on the queue but surprisingly it was quite fast.
The inside of the Cathedral was breathtaking. Amazing gothic architecture and colorful stained windows. We then went to climb up the tower (of course), but – surprise! – the price was not included in the main ticket, so we had to buy a separate ticket. We had to climb almost 300 steps to get to the top and I thought I would die on those steps (my boyfriend was fine and reached the top 20 minutes before me). But the view was so worth it. We continue the tour of all the other churches and museums but there wasn’t anything really special that I would recommend. The Golden Lane was quite cute though, it’s a street with all historical houses still furnished as they were at the time. This is the kind of things I like to see, having the feel of how life was at that time.
At this point we were starving so we sat at the first cafè we could find. We ordered a sandwich and lemonade. The lemonade was nice, but the sandwich was awful and overpriced. Next time we would go for a hot dog.
After we left the Castle, we went to see John Lennon’s wall. Is a large wall
completely filled with graffiti, mostly of Beatles song and a large face of John Lennon. As a bonus there was a nice musician playing the guitar and singing the Beatles’ songs. It really made the atmosphere special.
We then walked past the Lovers’ Bridge, which is a tiny bridge with thousands of locks. But since nowadays you can find these locks in every bridge of the world, it didn’t feel really special.
For dinner we decided to stay close to the hotel because we didn’t want to walk anymore, but after dinner we took the Metro to go to the center one last time.
We went to a nice bar on the river and sat outside, watching the sunset over the river and Prague Castle. We drank the 2 local liquors, Becherovka and Slavovice, I hated both. To clean our mouths, we ordered a slice of cake and Martini Rosso, now we’re talking.
We take some deep breaths of warm air and relax before going back to the hotel. This short holiday was over soon but we enjoyed every single second of Prague. See you next time!
Here are my outtakes of this trip:
- Esthetically Prague is beautiful in every corner, like few other cities in Europe.
- The public transportation works very well, both Metro and Tram.
- The food is always good (if you’re not vegetarian) and with good prices.
- There is plenty of things to do and to see. I wish we could stay more days!
- Some Czech people are quite rude, they don’t like tourists and they don’t try to hide it.
- If you’re walking or standing in the way of someone, they will push you hard out of their way and will not even apologize.
- If you don’t have cash you’re in for a very bad surprise. Don’t try to withdraw from ATMs if you don’t want to get ripped off by the exchange rates.
- It’s full of Asian people. E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E.
Have you been to Prague? What is your favorite part of this enchanting city?