A short guide for those traveling in Prague for 2/3 days, with a mix of classic attractions and hidden gems suggested by locals!
Prague is a city that needs no introduction, and it's certainly one of the most fascinating and intriguing European capitals. But is it possible to visit it in just one weekend? Probably the answer is n, and our advice is to organize a stay in Prague for at least a week, in order to have enough time to settle in and to calmly enjoy the bohemian lifestyle of its most beautiful neighbourhoods (such as Malá Strana or Holesovice).
Many people are not lucky enough to stay in the Czech capital city for so long and they usually ask us what to do and see in Prague in 48 or 72 hours. It won't be easy, but in this article we will be concentrating on the best tips for a short but very intense holiday in Prague, pointing out both some classics not to be missed, and the special things to do that only locals know!
THE 3 "MUST TO DO" IN PRAGUE
Enjoy Staroměstské náměstí square
The Old Town Square (called Staré Město) is simply delightful, one of the most beautiful in all of Europe. Take it easy and do not miss the many wonders that it has on offer, such as the Churches of St. Nicholas and St. Mary of Týn, the elegant Kinský palace, or the famous City Hall with the super-instagrammed astronomical clock.
Stroll from the Charles Bridge to the Castle
At dusk we suggest leaving the old town of Stare Mesto and heading towards the characteristic district of Mala Strana, obviously crossing the charming Charles Bridge, a destination simply adored by the most romantic of travellers. Arriving on the other side of the Vltava you can reach the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral and the Prague Castle which literally dominates the city, in about 15 minutes. We advise you to go there during the evening or night because seeing it illuminated is a sight that leaves you breathless.
Be amazed by the Dancing House
Moving further south, on the banks of the Vltava is a really bizarre building, the incredible Tančícím Domě designed by the genius of Frank Gehry. The name means "dancing house", thanks to its dynamic profile which is rich in curved lines that make this structure very unique. Inside there are mostly offices, but we suggest you take a trip to the Ginger and Fred restaurant on the top floor where you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city (at dinner it is a bit expensive, but for breakfast or for lunch is definitely affordable with sweet and savory dishes ranging from 4 to 12 euros).
LOCAL TIPS AND TRICKS TO DISCOVER A DIFFERENT PRAGUE
Let's get lost in Vnitroblock (@Tusarova 31)
instagram picture by @niky.novo
Vnitroblock is a new multi-purpose cultural center in Prague, a contemporary space that combines different forms of art and entertainment in one location. There is a local designer shop, a lively café with excellent treats and snacks, a gym with dance classes, art exhibitions and even a small underground cinema (there are only 25 seats, so if you are interested in whats on offer then we suggest you book!).
Feeling sick in front of the dynamic statue of Franz Kafka (@Spálená 2121/22)
In Prague there is, of course, a museum dedicated to Franz Kafka, but not everyone knows that from 2014 there has been a kinetic sculpture by the Czech artist David Cerny dedicated to the genius of the famous author of "The Metamorphosis", inside the Quadrio shopping centre. At over 10 meters high, it depicts the head of Kafka through 42 parallel layers of stainless steel and weighs about 40 tons. Each layer rotates in an unpredictable way, creating a strange choreography that brilliantly gives an idea of Kafka's complex personality and all the inner doubts that tormented him throughout his life.
Feel inspired at Prague Creative Center (@Staroměstské nám. 1/4)
photo from the prazskekreativnicentrum.cz site
Next to the famous Pražský Orloj, the astronomical clock of the Old Town Square, there's a building that houses the Prague Creative Center. Many tourists, captivated by the beauty of the square, do not even notice it, but inside there is a beautiful, pulsating patio, a sort of cultural hub that hosts various co-working offices. It definitely worth a visit!
Be amazed at Dox (@Poupetova 1)
instagram picture by @m_svarcova
The Dox is a very modern Center for Contemporary Art with a nice café and a shop and a bookshop not to be missed (specially for lovers of art and design). It organizes events and exhibitions born with the goal to amaze, in fact the Dox's motto is: "In an age when growing numbers of people tend to think dangerously alike, art´s capacity to suspend, even for a moment, our habitual ways of seeing may well prove to be of its greatest value". And speaking of amazing things, since December 2016 there's also been a special space built on the roof of the DOX that takes its shape from an airship of the early twentieth century (you can see it from inside in the picture above). The 42-meter steel and wood structure serves as a reading space and hosts events and public discussions about art and literature (only during Spring and Autumn).
WHERE TO EAT IN PRAGUE
Prague is, on average, a cheap city and if you do not run into the classic tourist traps you should be able to eat well with €10 or less. Below we recommend a couple of places not to be missed!
Manifesto Market (@Na Florenci Street)
photo from the manifesto.city site
Bistro 8 (@Veverkova 8)
instagram picture by @bistro_8_letna
In the central district of Prague 7, a short distance from the National Gallery, you can find this beautiful place, especially recommended if you want to treat yourself to a nice brunch. The environment is modern and cared for, on the blackboard above the counter you can always find an updated list of fresh delicacies, including traditional Czech recipes and some more creative dishes...simply great!
Letna Beer Gardens (@Letenske Sady 341)
instagram picture by @anitagait
You will have to climb to the top of a hill in Letna park, but we can assure you that at the end the lazy traveller will be more than rewarded! This typical beer garden is very popular with locals, both for the offer of typical dishes and excellent beers, and for the priceless panoramic view of the city. In summer it is simply a must!
Cukrář Skála (@V Celnici 1034/6)
instagram photo by @evelinascooking
Lukas Skala is a famous Czech confectioner who has won many prizes thanks to his sweet creations offered to the guests of the luxurious Hotel InterContinental in Prague. Recently he opened his own pastry shop with a beautiful laboratory where he continues to create absolutely stunning desserts, mixing tradition and experimentation. The main shop is located near the Museum of Communism and a stone's throw from a nice "farmer market".
WHERE TO STAY IN PRAGUE
Here you are literally spoiled for choice and you can count on a wide range of hostels in Prague, simply unbeatable in terms of quality/price ratio. Modern and well-kept rooms, great hotel-like services and common areas where you can have fun while socializing with other guests. If you want to know more about this topic we suggest you read our article about the 10 hostels with the best reviews in Prague.
We hope you enjoyed this Prague guide and, if you do not have enough yet, you should read our previous article about unusual things to do in Prague. :)