Prague 5-day Itinerary
Prague is a well-preserved medieval city that fortunately avoided the devastation of wars (except that one time when the Americans bombed Prague as they thought that it was Dresden). Crisscrossed with cobblestone streets, this city also lures people with its sunrise-shuttering nightlife, tantalising cuisine, weird museums and eerie monasteries.
The sole reason why I went to Prague was because I wanted to visit my friend, without much intention to explore what Prague has to offer. I was in Prague for Christmas and it was love at first sight. It was my first time celebrating Christmas in such a cliché, dramatic setting (think: wintery white Christmas in Prague, Christmas presents, mulled wine, hot chocolate and an elaborated Czech-styled Christmas dinner). Prague will always have a special place in my heart.
Don't let the number of tourists deter you from visiting Prague. One glimpse of Prague castle will make the battling with the hordes of tourists worth it. This itinerary will help you out on planning what to do and where to eat in Prague. Feel free to modify it to fit your length of stay.
Join a walking tour to get yourself oriented to this city. There are heaps of walking tour options for you to choose from (and some of them are free). Most of them start at the Old Town Square.
My favourite one is by Sandemans New Europe Tour. They run a free tour which takes to the major attractions in the city. The earliest one starts at 10:00 am but if you arrive at the city later, you can consider joining the latest one, which is at 2:00 pm. It runs for 3 hours. Make sure you reserve your spot online a day or two before.
Old Town Square
The walking tour is quite hasty, so you don't get to see much of the Old Town Square. Go back to the Old Town Square and you can choose to:
- Explore the underground catacombs showcasing Prague during the Medieval Period.
- See the Astronomical clock, although I think the hourly chime is overrated. The mechanical design of the clock was considered one of the wonders of the world back in the Middle ages. It's been running for 600 years and the time is still precise as of now.
- Visit the majestic cathedrals that are ringing the square. I personally like Tyn more than St. Nicholas. Check out their official websites to see if there is any free classical concert.
- Just hang around! Dine in at one of the alfresco restaurants and watch the world goes by.
Start your day by exploring the largest ancient castle in the world. You'd be mad if you miss it.
The castle complex includes:
- St. Vitus Cathedral
- Old Royal Palace,
- St. George's Basilica,
- Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower,
- Powder Tower,
- Rosenberg Palace
Tickets come in packages, and they all have different prices. Check their official website for more info on pricing and opening hours. Bring your student card to enjoy a 50% off.
Just outside the castle ground, there is a lookout point where you can oversee the whole city. If you want to have a coffee, there's a Starbucks over there as well.
The ticket is valid for two days. So if you can't finish visiting them all today, continue tomorrow if you want.
Café Savoy is recommended by my friend from the Czech Republic. With breathtaking interior design and architecture, this café is a destination itself.
Café Savoy a good place to stop for lunch as it's located at Malá Strana (the same side as the castle). If you are not a fan of pastry, try their signature beef cheek goulash and I'm sure it will blow your mind.
After that scrumptious lunch, head to Petřín which is a hill covered by parks entirely. The main attraction here is the Petřín lookout tower, which mysteriously resembles Eiffel tower.
Other attractions include:
- Mirror maze
- Rose garden
- Memorial to the victims of Communism
- Štefánik's Observatory
Yes, like John Lennon. This wall was just an ordinary wall. Toward the end of Communism, young Czechs air their grievances by writing John Lennon lyrics on this particular wall. If you want to, you can also write or paint on it too!
This is one of the most beautiful bridges I've seen, and that explains why there are so many tourists around.
This is a pickpocketing hotspot so beware of your belongings. I know this sounds really old but please don't put your wallet in your back pocket. It's nice to look at the souvenirs and the people painting there but at the same time, be aware of your surroundings.
Stay for the sunset. The sunset here is to die for.
U zlatého tygra (The golden tiger)
Our tour guide recommended U zlatého tygra (which is a beer hall) to our tour group and a lot of us went here for dinner. The dinner was so good that a few of us came back here the next day!
The food here is fantastic. Make sure that you get yourself a Pilsner beer, which is a really famous Czech beer. You can try one of their many fruit beers as well.
If you are adventurous enough, try out their tatarak, which is a really traditional Czechoslovakian dish prepared with raw beef mince and raw egg.
Few people know about the existence of this beautiful castle. Means what? Fewer people are gonna photobomb in your photo.
Vyšehrad was also a castle for the Kings of Prague back in those days. It also contains one of the oldest surviving buildings in Prague, which is the Rotunda of St. Martin from the 11th century.
Vyšehrad also provides a spectacular upriver view of the other side.
Take a relaxing stroll along the river towards the city and you will see the famous dancing house. The major concern was the dancing house was too outstanding compared to its humble neighbours like the Art Nouveau and Baroque houses. Upon finishing, the building looks so peculiar that it raised so many fiery debates and dramas.
Another name for the building is "Fred and Ginger", which are two dancers. The glass tower is Ginger and the concrete tower is Fred. Work your imagination. It's called the Dancing House for a reason.
Restaurace U Provaznice
Pub food is really popular in the Czech Republic and it's not uncommon to see Czechs have lunch at pubs and bars. U Provaznice is highly rated due to its affordable price, authentic flavour and the food presentation.
Duck and goose are the common poultry in the Czech cuisine. Be sure to try one of their duck dishes garnished with sweet plum sauce. It comes with Czech dumplings too so you can use it to soak up all the sauce!
I don't recall any English menu there though, so be prepared.
Just like other European capitals, Prague has got a lot of museums, and also some weird and wonderful ones.
Check out one of these:
- Coffee Museum
- Apple Museum (as in Steve Jobs' Apple)
- Sex Machine Museum
- Museum of Communism
- Miniature Museum
You can also go to the touristy one like the National Museum if you want to. The Neo-Renaissance interior design and the architecture actually amazed me more compared to the exhibits.
If you are not a museum person, you can check out Prague Zoo or go on a river cruise instead.
Prague's gotta be one of the best party cities in Europe. There's a reason why the Czech Republic has the highest consumption of beer in the world. It's freaking 142.6 litres per person per year. You know how much that is?
Prague has it all: nightclubs, countless pubs, underground cave bars (I know right!), rooftop terraces, dive bars and beer gardens. How can you not party in this city? Moreover, beer in Prague is cheap. Even if you are not a fan of beer, other kinds of alcohol will be relatively cheap compared to Western Europe.
Famous clubs are:
- Karlovy Lazne Club (largest club in Central Europe)
- Retro (Cheaper and equally lit)
- Sasazu (more expensive, but normally they have international DJs)
This is one of the most gorgeous (if not the most) libraries I have seen. The baroque library hall is stunning.
However, entry to this magnificent library is only limited to people who paid for a tour, which includes the Astronomical clock and the monasteries.
Another way to enter this library is to pay for an hour-long classical concert at the Mirror Chapel. Tickets info can be found here.
Old Jewish Cemetery
This is the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe which dates back to the 15th century. It was closed by Emperor Josef II as citizens in Prague regarded burying within the city wall as unhygienic. The last tombstone dated 1787 which belongs to a poet.
You can arrange for a tour which will include the Jewish Museum as well (not the Old New Jewish Synagogues).
Stroll along the 5th Avenue of Prague. Do some souvenir shopping if you want. Make sure you try Trdelník (a Czech-styled split cake).
Explore the city on your own. Buy some souvenirs or postcards if you want. Rest and pack up for the day trip on Day 5.
Go on a Day Trip
There are many day trip options from Prague
- Kutna Hora - Sedlec Ossuary is a must-go destination while in Prague. It is a Roman Catholic chapel which the interior was made entirely out of bones. The chapel is said to contain skeletons of 40,000 - 70,000 people. Upon entering the main hall, you'll be invited by the masterpiece, which is a chandelier made out of at least one from every human bone.
- If Sedlec Ossuary is a bit too much for you to handle, Karlovy Vary might be a better alternative. It is 2 hours away from Prague by car. This idyllic town is so timeless that as if everything stops when you are there. Dotted with top notch spa resorts, Karlovy Vary is also a famous spa town in Central Europe.
- Cesky Krumlov - I think a day trip is probably too short to see everything in Cesky Krumlov. You can make it a 2-day trip and move on to somewhere else. I will dedicate a post to Cesky Krumlov soon.