A walk through the city of Prague feels no less than a walk through the pages of history. Churches, castles and buildings dating back to as far as the Medieval times are not hard to spot if you take a quick walk around the city. Neil and I recently explored Prague in 2 days and were left speechless at how much there is to see and experience! Ideally, we would have loved to spend more time in Prague, but given our constraints, I think we did a fairly good job of getting a taste of what the city is like. We immersed ourselves in Prague’s history as much as we savoured its culinary treats. So this article is going to be a compilation of all those experiences that we think you should not miss when creating your own 2-day Prague itinerary. But before we get into the details of what to do in Prague in 2 days, let’s get a few basic things out of the way.
How to get to Prague
Getting around anywhere within Europe has become a breeze with the availability of multiple modes of cheap transportation. Whether you choose to fly, self-drive, take a bus or a train, there are several convenient ways to reach Prague depending on where you are coming from. The following are a few
If you are travelling to Prague from somewhere within Europe, this has got to be our most preferred mode of transport. We travelled to Prague from Munich and took a train. The journey was only about 5 hours long and was absolutely comfortable and seamless. Because we were travelling during the low season, the train was fairly empty and we had our compartment to ourselves! That, plus the gorgeous views of German and Czech countryside definitely made it a memorable first train journey for us in Europe.
We booked our tickets directly from the Czech Railways website around 1 month in advance and found fairly cheap tickets for this route. Priced at only 450 CZK (approx. USD 20/INR 1450) per ticket to travel between Munich and Prague including seat reservation fees, I must say this was a steal. So if you’re heading to Prague from any of the following cities, we highly recommend you search for tickets directly on the Czech Railways portal for its ease of use and economical pricing: Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Krakow and anywhere else within the Czech Republic. Keep an eye out for trains labelled ‘No Transfers’ meaning you’ll get a direct train to your destination and ‘First Minute Fares’ meaning the price you see is the cheapest for that route. Apart from these cities, if you’re planning to enter Prague from anywhere else, I’d still suggest you check the railways’ website to see if they have any trains connecting the two cities because there’s nothing like a slow, relaxing train journey to cherish your holiday!
If train is not an option and you have more time in hand, travelling by bus is also a great way to travel through and between European cities. Pass by quaint towns and villages, taking in local community life and enjoying fuss-free travel at the same time. Think of it as a road trip minus the effort to drive and park your own vehicle. Our favourite way to book buses for travelling in Europe
This option is pretty obvious. You can easily fly into Prague from anywhere within or outside of Europe. If you are travelling from another European city, you may be able to take advantage of some of Europe’s budget airlines who run deals often throughout the year. Flying turns out to be economical within Europe if you don’t have check-in luggage, are able to book your tickets well in advance and need to get somewhere quick. The best way to check for flight tickets and compare prices is on Skyscanner.
Best time to visit Prague
The best time of the year to visit this wonderful city really depends on what you want. The peak travel season in Prague is its summer months from May to September. We have nothing against that. But mind you, if you are travelling to Prague in summer, you should be prepared for higher hotel prices and of course, loads of tourists everywhere. If you are okay with that, the summer months are great to explore the city. But if you are looking for a little peace and quiet, April and October are 2 months you should definitely keep in mind for planning your trip. These 2 months are characterized by pleasant weather and slightly lesser crowd. It’s a win-win!
However, having said that, our 2 days in Prague were spent in January, at the absolute peak of winter! During our stay, the temperature was hovering well below 0 degrees and we experienced some snowfall too. A lot of people will tell you to avoid travelling to Prague or other destinations in Europe during this time, mostly because of the cold. But this is the time of the year when the number of tourists thronging Prague is at its lowest, accommodation prices much cheaper and tourist attractions fairly empty. If you enjoy cold weather and want a bit of peace during your trip, I highly recommend visiting Prague in December or January. Get cosy with mulled wine and let a wintery Prague charm you!
Where to stay in Prague – Best locations to stay
Prague is a big city and it’s no mean feat to figure out where to stay in Prague especially on your first trip. Ideally, you don’t want to be too far from the main attractions but also be able to find suitable accommodation within your budget. As a first time visitor, it’s a good idea to have some basic knowledge of how Prague is divided into different small districts so you can choose the one that suits you best. For your ease of understanding, I have shortlisted the following neighbourhoods in Prague that are perfect for spending 48 hours in Prague.
The Old Town – Referred to as Stare Mesto in Czech, Prague’s historic Old Town is unarguably the most charming and picturesque part of town. The Old Town is also where most of the best things to see in Prague are located. The Old Town Hall & Tower, the Tyn Church, Charles Bridge are all located here, due to which accommodation prices are also on the higher side. The Old Town is known for its beautiful cobbled alleys lined with medieval buildings, great nightlife and is one of the best locations in to stay in Prague. If you don’t want to spend time taking public transport, the Old Town works best since most of the places you’ll visit in Prague will be within walking distance.
The New Town – Just bordering the Old Town on the east, Prague New Town is where the famous Wenceslas Square and the Republic Square are located. This part of town is known for its lively nightlife and is home to several clubs, pubs and local restaurants. But one of the biggest advantages of staying in New Town is the proximity to Old Town while keeping your accommodation costs low. Prague has a great public transportation system so getting around is very easy from here and hotel rates are much more reasonable than what you would find at the Old Town.
The Lesser Town – On the west of the Vltava River lies Mala Strana, also known as Prague’s Lesser Town. With the towering Prague Castle overlooking this part of town, if you are looking for a quiet and picturesque locality to stay, the Lesser Town is your best bet. If you enjoy quaint, old buildings and heritage cafes minus the crowd, but still in close proximity to the heart of the city, it’s a good idea to find accommodation in the Lesser town of Prague. This was one place where I really wished I booked one of the hotels near me as I strolled past some very interesting looking properties!
Places to visit in Prague in 2 days
Now comes the big question you’ve been waiting to get answered. Two days in Prague will give you just enough time to catch the highlights of this city. If you are looking to explore more offbeat attractions or maybe go on day trips from Prague, you’ll definitely need more than that. But since that’s all we had, we had to make the most of it! And I’m happy to tell you, it didn’t take us long to fall in love with this city.
2-day Prague itinerary – Day 1
1. Take a guided walking tour of Prague’s Old Town
The old part of Prague, usually referred to as Old Town, is also its most culturally significant part. Walking through narrow cobbled streets past buildings straight out of the pages of history is truly the best way to get a taste of Prague. But there is so much to see and explore, it is best done with an expert local guide who can not only help you navigate this part of town, but will be able to share a wealth of information. We found several walking tours that are conducted by the Prague City Tourism board and decided to opt for one of them because that was the easiest way to ensure that we were getting to go around with a knowledgeable, licensed guide. And given how vast the Old Town was, we were sure this would be the best way to see some of the most important landmarks of the city.
Our 2-hour long walking tour took us to the following points of interest starting at the Old Town Square:
- Astronomical Clock
- Theatre of the Estates (Mozart)
- Powder Tower Municipal House
- Pařížská Street
- Josefov (former Jewish Quarter)
- Charles Bridge
During the walking tour, our guide gave us a complete lowdown on all the places we visited and shared interesting details of Prague’s rich history. We honestly believe we wouldn’t have been able to see all of it by ourselves because it’s easy to get lost in Prague’s charming alleys!
Cost: 300 CZK (14 USD/950 INR) per person
Duration: 2 hours
Starting point: Guide office on the ground floor of Old Town Hall
2. Visit the Old Town Hall & Tower
One of the most prominent structures in Prague’s Old Town Square is the Old Town Hall and Tower. Sitting right in the centre of all the action, the Old Town Hall and Tower are a must-visit if this is your first trip to Prague. They hold inside them a slice of history you’ll not see anywhere else in the city!
Walk to the Prague City Tourism guide office located on the ground floor of the Old Town Hall and opt for a guided tour of its premises in a language of your choice. The tourism office will be able to tell you which group tour you should join based on your language preference and at what time. We opted for the English tour and our guide took us to every nook and cranny of the Old town Hall while narrating historic events and interesting anecdotes from the building’s past. The Old Town Hall is massive, comprising of several sections and halls, but our favourite was the underground Roman chambers. It is said that Prague is a city built on top of a city, and when you come here, you actually get to see what that means!
The tour of the Old Town Hall takes about an hour after which you are free to visit the Tower. Standing at a height of 60 feet, the Old Town Tower overlooks the town square and a huge part of the city. In fact, once you climb or take the elevator up to the top, you can walk around the corridor and get a glimpse of Prague from every angle. While from one side you can see the Tyn Church, on the other side you can see the Prague Castle far away in the distance and the iconic orange tiled rooftops of Prague’s houses all around. But no matter which way you look, the view is unparalleled!
Cost: 250 CZK (11 USD/755 INR) per person
Starting point: Guide office on the ground floor of Old Town Hall
3. Indulge in local delicacies on Dlouha Street
Located just off the Old Town Centre, away from the touristy madness, lies Prague’s Dlouha Street. At first glance, it may seem no different to any other street in the vicinity. But give it some time, and Dlouha Street reveals what makes it so special. A bustling hub of some of the best local eateries in Prague, if we could, we would have had all our meals here during our 2 days in Prague. If you are looking to eat some good Czech food minus all the tourist traps, you absolutely must come here.
Two of my favourite restaurants on Dlouha Street are Lokal and Nase Maso. Lokal is basically a local Czech pub/beer hall buzzing with people all day and night long! Make your way here early in the evening, get yourself a table and order the iconic Pilsner beer. Complement it with some local bar snacks like pickled/fried cheese and soak in the amazing vibes of Prague’s nightlife! If you’d like to have a bigger, hearty meal, I highly recommend trying their Beef Goulash either with bread or with potato dumplings. It’s a classic Hungarian dish but the Czechs have made it their own in a wonderful manner. The other restaurant I absolutely loved was Nase Maso, which is essentially a butcher shop extending itself as a small eatery serving some of the best meat dishes I had in Prague! Don’t get discouraged by the space crunch at the store or the fact that they are selling meat there because their food is absolutely delicious. Try their meatloaf and pulled pork burger for a filling meal anytime of the day.
4. Visit Prague’s quirky museums
We have all heard of Europe’s museums being some of the best for soaking in history and culture, and Prague’s museums are no exception. But there’s more to Prague’s museum trail than it’s National Museum. If you look beyond that, Prague’s museums can go anywhere from wacky to weird! Ever heard of a Sex Machines Museum? Or a museum dedicated to everyone’s beloved Lego? How about a Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments? A visit to one of these is definitely going to leave a lasting impression!
Prague 2-day itinerary – Day 2
1. Explore the Prague Castle
By virtue of its location, the Prague Castle is visible from many different places in the city and is one of the most popular places to visit in Prague. One of our favourite things about this 9th-century Bohemian seat of power was the tram journey to get there! Imagine a slow tram ride through a snowy Prague, passing by the Vltava River and intricately decorated buildings. Once we got to the castle, we realised why it is one of the must-visit attractions in Prague. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, we learnt that the Prague Castle happens to be the largest castle complex in the world! And the only way to fathom how big that
Entry fees: The Prague Castle complex is home to not just the royal palace, but other important places like the St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica and the Rosenberg Palace. Depending on how much you want to see, you can choose from a few different types of tickets to give you access to the various parts of the complex. Find all the ticket options here.
2. Marvel at the vast Wenceslas Square
Now that you’ve already seen Prague’s Old Town square, it’s time to see a bit of the newer part of town.
3. Dine at some of Prague’s historic cafes
Prague’s cafes or ‘Kavarna’ in Czech are legendary by themselves! By virtue of being one of the few cities that were not completely destroyed during World War II, Prague is home to opulently decorated cafes going back a few centuries! Unicorn-themed Instagrammable cafes may be all the rage these days, but nothing beats the charm of a vintage cafe where the likes of Franz Kafka (who was born in Prague) and Albert Einstein dined! If this intrigues you, I highly recommend you visit Cafe Slavia or Cafe Savoy for a tryst with history and food. Both these iconic cafes serve delicious local food in an unmatched setting. Try the Goulash at Cafe Slavia and The Savoy Plate at Cafe Savoy for an incredible experience.
4. Taste Absinthe at Prague’s Original Absintherie
If there’s one alcohol that seems to have a not-so-good reputation, it’s got to be Absinthe! Most Absinthes have an alcohol concentration of 70% and a distinctive aftertaste of fennel. Anyone who’s tasted this almost-mystical drink will vouch for the fact that the experience is very different from any other alcohol. So if you’re looking for a unique thing to do in Prague at night, drop by the Original Absintherie which is a bar as well as a museum dedicated solely to Absinthe. You’ll find hundreds of different kinds of Absinthe being served and sold here, but what stands out is the experience. Once you pick your poison of choice, your bartender will show you how to correctly prepare the drink for consumption. The process itself is fascinating! After you enjoy your tasting session with live music, do take a look around for the massive variety of Absinthe bottles on display. Maybe pick one up to take back home as a souvenir?
Travel tips for Prague
Now that you have a fair idea of our Prague itinerary for 2 days, let me share my insights on the best Prague travel tips based on our first-hand and experiences in the city. Because sometimes the difference between a good and a great trip is just a little extra inside information to help you prepare in advance!
1.Local transportation in Prague
Prague has an excellent network of
The best way to move around in the city, in my opinion, is to buy a public transportation pass for 24 hours that gives you unlimited access to all modes of transport. The 24-hour day pass costs only 110 CZK (USD 5/INR 350). Purchase it at the start of your day and you’re good to go for the next 24 hours! But there is also the option to buy tickets for a shorter duration if need be – 30-minute ticket for 24 CZK (USD 1.1/INR 76) and a 90-minute ticket for 32 CZK (USD 1.5/INR 102). Tickets can be purchased either from a self-service ticketing machine at train stations or from local tobacco/newspaper shops around the city.
A word of caution: After you purchase your ticket and before you use it for the first time to board a train/tram/bus, you MUST get the ticket validated. This simply means getting it stamped at one of the validation machines inside the bus or tram or at the entrance of any train station.
2. Taking taxis in Prague
The only time we needed to use a cab in Prague was to go to and from the train station with our luggage. You can simply use Uber to hire a cab
3.Finding vegetarian food in Prague
As you may have realised from reading about our favourite local restaurants above, Prague’s food does tend to lean more towards meat dishes. But that doesn’t mean there are no vegetarian foods to try or restaurants serving vegetarian food. Many restaurants make a non-meat version of the Goulash or even sandwiches. Some of the highly recommended restaurants for vegetarian food in Prague are: Lehka Hlava, Mezi Srnky, Namaste India.
4.Experiencing Prague in winter
Although Prague is beautiful no matter what the season, I would suggest you avoid travelling in the peak of summer. At this time of the year, Prague is thronged by thousands of tourists and you will literally be walking with herds of people. If you don’t mind the crowd or the waiting time to enter tourist attractions, then, by all means, go ahead! But if that’s not you, then consider travelling during other times of the year, especially winter. Prague is beautiful in December and January. In December you also get to see Prague’s famous Christmas markets which is an experience in itself. The city gets really cold during winter and it may even snow sometimes, but nothing a few layers can’t beat!
5. Navigating the Czech Railway system
If you are entering or leaving Prague via train, your journey will most likely start or end at Prague’s main railway station known as Praha Hlavní Nádraží. And in case you are trying to get to the station in the morning, during peak office hours,
A lot of travellers wonder if they need to book tickets to or out of Prague in advance or if it can be bought on the same day. The simple answer is yes, tickets can be bought on the same day at the station. But whether you should do it depends on a few things. Firstly, if you are travelling during peak season, I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the last minute to buy tickets. You may still find tickets but in case you don’t, that’s a risk you have to bear with. We were travelling in winter and the trains were mostly empty so it was easy to find tickets of our choice on the day of travel. Secondly, how soon or late you buy tickets determines the price. As I have mentioned earlier in the article, the price is much cheaper if you buy in advance. I personally prefer purchasing online from the Czech Railways website which is very easy to use and also lets you choose your seats.
6. Staying connected in Prague
Connectivity on the go is extremely important for us, especially because we heavily rely on Google Maps to find our way around in a new city. If you’re on the same boat, the most convenient way to stay connected throughout the European Union is to pick up a local SIM Card. There are different packages available from Vodafone that are suitable for tourists, but the average price we found was around 30 Euros for a SIM card with anywhere between 5-10 GB of mobile data. Just walk into one of the local Vodafone outlets in Prague and enquire about the costs and benefits. I would also suggest you check out a couple of stores before you finally buy a SIM card because we found some stores offering better value than others. But the best part is that once you buy a local SIM card, you can use it for your travel anywhere in the EU without any restrictions or additional charges. Just keep topping up the prepaid card as you go.
If you are on a time crunch, spending 2 days or a weekend in Prague is a great way to explore some of the most famous, historic sites in the city. But no matter what you see and do in Prague in those 2 days, take some time out to soak in the city’s vintage charm. Walk around aimlessly for a while, grab a coffee at a local cafe by the corner or maybe hop on a tram and go around town marvelling at the beauty of Prague. There’s truly no better way to get to know ‘The City of a Hundred Spires’!