I had a strong hankering for visiting Prague ever since I saw the movie ‘Operation Daybreak’ as a kid. That wish was fulfilled when Jacky and I spent a few days in Prague and ‘The City of a Thousand Spires’ dazzled us like it has fascinated millions over a millennium. Prague has so much to offer from the hubbub of the New Town and the regal flavor of Castle District to the Gothic splendor of the Old Town and the charm of the former Jewish quarter. 2 days in Prague gives you ample time to experience the city’s classic attractions and a little bit more 🙂
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Table of Contents
How to Get Around Prague
The best way to see Prague and discover its many hidden gems is on foot. It is a very pedestrian friendly city and you will truly appreciate its charm by walking. Many of its major attractions are within comfortable walking distance of each other.
Many of Prague’s streets are paved with bricks, some of which have cracks, uneven angles and can become slick when wet. It is best to stick with a comfortable pair of flat shoes rather than heels as they can get stuck in the pavement.
A small portion of this 2-day Prague itinerary will require the aid of public transport. Prague’s transportation network of the metro, trams, and buses is cheap and reliable. A day ticket only costs 110 CZK. You can also buy 30 and 90-minute tickets for 24 and 32 CZK respectively. Remember to validate your ticket at the start of your journey in one of the validation machines. You can plan your journey here.
We wouldn’t advise using taxis unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s very difficult not to get conned unless you speak Czech or know the terrain. There are several taxi companies operating throughout Prague. Some of the more reliable ones are AAA Radiotaxi and Sedop. Uber is another option to get around Prague and is usually cheaper than taxis.
Your 2 Days in Prague Itinerary
This itinerary covers many of the important sights in Prague. You can also look into purchasing the Prague Card, which includes unlimited travel on public transport within Prague as well as free entrance and discounts to a number of attractions. Their website also features a calculator which lets you see whether the Prague Card saves you money on what you plan to see.
For your convenience, this post includes a free map of the top sights in Prague. You can find adresseses of the attractions by clicking on the icons in the map. We understand that everyone travels at a different pace so feel free to choose the destinations according to your own pace. Below we have compiled a list of the best things to see (or eat) in Prague over the course of 2 days:
- Lesser Town (Mala Strana) – Charles Bridge – Czech Pastries for Breakfast – Crawling Babies – Devil’s Channel – Lennon Wall – Piss Sculpture – St. Nicholas Church – Nerudova Street (Nerudova Ulice)
- Strahov Monastery Library
- Traditional Czech Lunch
- Prague Castle – St. Vitus Cathedral – Old Royal Palace & Vladislav Hall – Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička) – Lobkowicz Palace
- Dancing House
- Vysehrad Fortress
- Traditional Czech Dinner
- Hearty Czech Breakfast
- Letna Park
- National Technical Museum
- Jewish Quarter – Old Jewish Cemetery – Spanish Synagogue – Parizska Street
- Traditional Czech Lunch
- Old Town Square – Astronomical Clock & Old Town Hall – The Church of Our Lady before Týn
- Man Hanging Out
- Municipal House & Smetana Hall
- Powder Tower
- Jubilee Synagogue
- Museum of Communism
- Wenceslas Square
- King Wenceslas Riding on a Dead Horse
- Traditional Czech Dinner
Day 1 in Prague:
Today’s itinerary will cover the main sights in the Baroque streetscape of the Lesser Town (Mala Strana), the massive Prague Castle, and the Vysehrad fortress.
1. Lesser Town (Mala Strana)
Prague’s beautiful Lesser Town is possibly its most enchanting. The area was founded in the 13th century and is full of poignant sights that remind visitors of its long history. It is now full of grand palaces and exquisite Baroque buildings built during the reign of the Habsburgs, many of which serve as government buildings and embassies. Beautiful parks, lovely cafés, winding cobblestone streets and unassuming churches can be found here.
1.1 Charles Bridge
The best way to kick off your 2 days in Prague is by visiting Charles Bridge. It is undoubtedly Prague’s most iconic sight. The spectacular 600-meter bridge has witnessed processions, battles, and executions since its construction between 1357 and 1402. The viaduct was built in a Gothic style to replace its predecessor, the Judith Bridge. The bridge’s most distinguishing feature is its 30 statues. The religious figures were installed from 1683 onwards to lead people back to the church. One such statue is of St. John of Nepomuk. Rubbing it to attract good luck is an old local tradition. There’s also a brass cross midway across the bridge, of which it is rumored that wishes made on the cross will come true.
According to Czech legend, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV had the foundation stone of the Charles Bridge laid on the 9th of July 1357 at 5:31 a.m. This was no coincidence since Charles IV was a devout follower of numerology and carefully chose the date himself. When it is written in the chronology of the year–the day–the month–the time, it makes a palindrome, going upwards and then downwards: 1-3-5-7-9-7-5-3-1. He felt this would bring the bridge strength and good fortune.
Since it is the most famous sight in Prague, the Charles Bridge is crammed with artists, buskers, locals, and tourists during the day. The optimum time to visit is in the early hours as the sun rises over the Old Town bridge tower.
1.2 Breakfast at Cafe Lounge
You’ll need a good breakfast when you have a full day of sightseeing ahead of you. Cafe Lounge is an elegant cafe in the Mala Strana. Grab yourself a hearty meal and sample delicious Czech cakes and pastries like
While walking around the streets of Prague, you’ll encounter the ubiquitous sight of street vendors selling Trdelnik – a spiral-shaped dough cake grilled around a stick and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Trdelnik is touted as a ‘traditional Bohemian’ pastry, but its real origins lie elsewhere. Trdelnik is believed to have either originated in Romania or Slovakia. Czechs see Trdelnik as a bit of a ‘tourist trap’ and don’t like it associated with their cuisine. Although I like to keep things authentic while traveling, I tried one on a whim. It tastes pretty good, the crust has a really lovely, caramelized richness and the aroma of cinnamon is divine. So if you eat Trdelnik, just keep in mind that it isn’t really a ‘traditional Czech pastry’.
1.3 Crawling Babies
In Prague, there is plenty of artwork all over the city, ranging from the simple to the eccentric and quirky. Some of our favorites are the works by Czech avant-garde installation artist David Cerny. He first came to my attention when I saw his ‘London Booster’ sculpture at the time of the 2012 Olympics. He is internationally notorious for creating pieces which are darkly humorous, eye-catching and highly controversial. Many of his works can be seen around the city and we wanted to see his best ones. Seeing his works is one of the many free things to do in Prague and makes for instagrammable pictures.
The three crawling giant babies are situated in Kampa Park. These creatures with imploded slot-machine faces, which would make David Lynch proud, are part of Cerny’s “Babies” project – to make the hideously ugly Zizkov TV Tower more attractive. Gaze into the distance and you will see 10 of these eerie mutants scaling the brutalist eyesore that perennially makes the list of World’s Ugliest Buildings.
1.4 Devil’s Channel (Čertovka)
Devil´s Channel is one of the most beautiful places in Prague. It is an artificial channel, separating the Kampa Island from the Lesser Town. The name Devil’s Channel reputedly refers to a crotchety old lady who once lived on Maltese Square. There are lovely houses along the river, which give the channel the name ‘Prague’s Venice’. The Devil’s Channel was once the town’s laundry and milling area. The old mill-wheel is still on the channel making this place look even more picturesque.
1.5 Lennon Wall
Most of the vivid graffiti on this wall is dedicated to John Lennon and lyrics of the Beatles. Lennon was a major symbol of non-conformity for youths in communist-ruled Czechoslovakia. In the 1980s, fed up with the silence and repression, young people of Prague started to voice their anger and concerns via some paintings and messages on the wall. The hippies and the secret police once waged a long-running paint battle here, as the latter constantly tried to eradicate the graffiti artists’ work.
Ironically, Lennon never visited Prague, although the wall is one of Prague’s landmarks. The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost.
1.6 Piss Sculpture
The Piss Sculpture or simply “Piss” is possibly my favorite of David Cerny’s works. It’s an obvious crowd-pleaser. What couldn’t be funny about two gyrating, butt-naked mechanical men micturating into a pool shaped like the Czech Republic! It’s even possible to send an SMS to the number next to the exhibit and have these lads spell out your own personal message through urinating by wiggling their weeners.
1.7 St. Nicholas Church
The captivating St. Nicholas Church, with its massive dome, dominates the Lesser Town skyline below Prague Castle. This church is the purest and most exquisite example of high Baroque architecture. The church itself dates back to the 18th century and was designed by the father-son duo of the Dietzenhofers. The exterior of the church is pretty spartan, but its gilded interior is absolutely amazing. It features exquisite carvings, statues, frescoes, and marble pillars from the great artists of that era. I really loved the pulpit in the center that is sumptuously decorated with gilded cherubs.
St. Nicholas Church is open daily, check opening hours here. Entrance costs 70 CZK (cash only).
1.8 Nerudova Street (Nerudova Ulice)
Just beyond the St. Nicholas Church lies Nerudova street, a street lined with one-time palaces and fine houses that leads uphill to the Prague Castle. Jacky and I really enjoyed walking here. It used to be the last leg of the “Royal Way,” the king’s cavalcade before his coronation. Nerudova street is worth exploring for its many craft boutiques and galleries. It was traditionally an artists’ hub and is home to a high concentration of historic emblematic house signs.
2. Strahov Monastery Library
Strahov Monastery is Prague’s second oldest monastery and dates back to the 12th century. People flock here to see its Baroque library, which contains over 200,000 books and manuscripts, the earliest dating back to the 9th century. It is a must-see attraction in Prague.
The oldest part of this impressive collection is kept in the Theological Hall, built between 1671 and 1679. Its ornately decorated ceiling frescoes depict the profession of the librarian. It also houses a large collection of religious books and manuscripts and also features a cool collection of 17th century astronomical and geographical globes. Simply amazing!
The Philosophical Hall was added in the 18th century and this grand hall houses a large collection of books covering topics such as philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and history. Its high ceiling is adorned with artwork which depicts the history of mankind. The Strahov Monastery Library was definitely one of the highlights of our Prague journey.
The only catch is that if you want to see the library and halls up close, you must go on a special tour. Otherwise, a normal ticket only permits you to stand at the doorway of each room and gawk from behind a rope. You can order the special tour by sending an email to the library manager in advance. More information is available here. The special tour costs 400 CZK, lasts approximately an hour and includes permission to take pictures and videos. Even though it’s a little pricey I would recommend it because with just the normal ticket you won’t really see anything properly. The library is open daily and the normal ticket costs 120 CZK (plus an additional 50 CZK to take pictures).
It would be a good time to take a lunch break. Klášterní pivovar Strahov (The Strahov Monastic Brewery) serves some excellent local brews and Czech favorites such as pickled cheese and svíčková na smetaně (Beef sirloin with cream sauce).
4. Prague Castle
Prague Castle lies on top of Castle Hill in the Castle District and dominates the skyline of Prague like no other building. It is the largest ancient castle in the world with an area of 70,000 square meters. Visiting the castle is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Prague.
The first records of the castle date back to 870 and parts of it have been rebuilt over the years due to destruction or fire. As a result, you can see signs of many Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance features. It has been the seat of the Bohemian Kings and Holy Roman Emperors and since 1918, the residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle isn’t just one sight, rather it encompasses a number of points of interest including four churches, four palaces, sprawling gardens, and even a defense tower. The Prague Castle is a breathtaking sight to behold at night.
Did you know that the word defenestration (the act of throwing someone out a window as a means of execution) originates from an incident that occurred in the Prague Castle in 1618? When the Habsburgs attempted to make Catholicism the sole religion of the empire in 1617, the Protestants of Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic) took umbrage at the suppression of their religion. To demonstrate how vexed they were, Bohemian nobles in Prague tossed two Catholic regents and their secretary out of a window of the Royal Palace. Luckily, a manure pile cushioned their fall and they escaped. This event was also the catalyst that triggered one of the most calamitous wars in European history, the Thirty Years’ War.
The Prague Castle complex is open daily from 06:00 – 22:00. Entrance is free but many of its attractions keep different hours and charge a separate entrance fee. There are two tours (one long, one short) that can be taken, and guide you through the castle and include entrance to most of the main attractions. The full ticket costs 350 CZK and you can find more information about tickets here. Extra tickets are needed for some of the attractions like Lobkowicz Palace. You can decide which places to visit depending on the time you have and your interests. Below are the ones we would recommend:
4.1 St. Vitus Cathedral
The spectacular St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and the most important religious building in Prague. No visit to Prague would be complete without a visit here. Even though construction of the cathedral began in 1344, it took nearly 600 years to complete due to interruptions by wars, plagues, and fire. The immense construction time span gave rise to a blend of Gothic, Neo-Gothic architectural styles along with influences from the Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Some of its graceful spires rise out to a height of 96 meters, towering over the Prague castle complex. The burial crypts of Czech kings and Holy Roman emperors are located below the mausoleum here. It’s also home to the Bohemian crown jewels. The high chancel with an elegant net vaulting and the vivid Art Nouveau painted glass windows were easily the best part of the interior for me. The Last Judgment mosaic at the south entrance consists of over a million pieces of stone and glass!
St. Vitus Cathedral is open Mon-Sat: 09:00 – 17:00 and Sun 12:00 – 17:00.
It’s possible to get a glimpse of the interior of St. Vitus Cathedral from a little space below the western music gallery for free. The drawback is that it gets pretty crowded there though.
4.2 Old Royal Palace & Vladislav Hall
The Old Royal Palace dates back to the 12th century. It was built in the graceful Romanesque style making it one of the most interesting buildings in the Prague Castle complex. It was once the ruling seat of the Bohemian royalty. A quick visit here should be enough.
The main attraction of the palace is the imposing Vladislav Hall, which was built in the 15th century. With its entwined ribbon vaulted ceiling, it represents the climax of late Gothic architecture. It is the largest ballroom in Europe and has a length of 60 meters and a height of 15 meters. The hall has been used for a variety of purposes such as gatherings, jousting tournaments, and coronations. The Riders staircase leading into the building which permitted mounted knights for jousting competitions is truly a sight to behold.
4.3 Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička)
Golden Lane is yet another charming part of the Prague Castle complex. Contrary to its name you won’t find any golden pavements or items here. It is actually named for the goldsmiths who moved into the houses in the 17th century. One side of this small lane is lined with small, brightly painted historic houses that are built directly into the arches of the castle walls. The scenery is perfect for cute Instagram photos.
These picturesque houses now display medieval armory and textiles and sell tourist souvenirs. Golden Lane was a haven for poor artists and writers in the 19th and 20th centuries. The most well-known Czech author, Franz Kafka, even reputedly lived here for a year.
Entrance to the Golden Lane requires a Prague Castle ticket, but the entrance is free if you go after 17:00.
4.4 Lobkowicz Palace
The 16th-century Baroque style Lobkowicz Palace (Lobkowický palác) is the only privately owned building in the Prague Castle complex. It has been in possession of the aristocratic Lobkowicz family for over 400 years. The palace now features a museum that displays a cornucopia of historical and cultural artifacts, with paintings by Canaletto, Rubens and Velázquez being some of its major draws. The original scores of works and manuscripts by Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart are particularly interesting.
Since it is privately owned, an additional ticket is required for admission to the palace. Tickets cost 295 CZK and are well worth the price of admission. An individual audio guide comes with the ticket and also includes some anecdotes about the Lobkowicz family.
5. Dancing House
Your next stop will be the Dancing House (Tančící dům), a popular landmark set by the Vltava river in the New Town. This whimsical was completed in 1996 and stands in stark contrast to the classical architecture you find around it. The Dancing House building is colloquially known as “Ginger and Fred”, due to its iconic towers, which vaguely resemble the 1930’s Hollywood dancers, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The building isn’t accessible to the general public as it houses offices.
6. Vysehrad Fortress (Bonus)
If you still have any gas left in you, you can continue a little further to the Vysehrad Fortress, set high on a hill, overlooking the Vltava River. I personally feel that this is one of the best things to see in Prague and is somewhat of a hidden gem. This former fortress is steeped in history being built in the 10th century. The castle there has been the site of many significant events and has played a key role in the development of Prague, being involved in the Hussite Wars, as well as serving a royal residence in its past.
While walking around the grounds you will stumble across treasures like the imposing Neo-Gothic Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul that dates back to the 11th century. It features an intricately beautiful stone mosaic at its entrance. Adjacent to the church is Vysehrad cemetery, the burial place of many famous Czech personalities, such as the composer Antonín Dvořák. Vysehrad also contains the Rotunda of St Martin, a Romanesque structure that was used as a gunpowder storehouse during the Thirty Years’ War.
To cap off a perfect day of sightseeing, head to the fabulous U Kroka restaurant, which serves great rabbit and duck dishes along with some good vegetarian options too.
Day 2 in Prague:
Today’s itinerary will cover the main sights in the charming Old Town, the New Town, and a slice of Jewish Prague. It also includes more quirky art, Letna Park and some cool museums.
The perfect way to commence your second day of sightseeing in Prague is by heading to the popular EMA espresso bar, which serves some great fresh brews. They also have great cakes and pastries on offer.
2. Letna Park
Letna Park, which lies on the west bank of the Vltava river in Prague’s seventh district is one of the city’s numerous green oases. It has numerous paths for running or strolling, making it a hit with tourists and locals, who come here at all hours of the day. The best reason to come here is for the breathtaking view of Prague and the tranquil Vltava River with its many bridges. The picturesque vantage point is located near the Prague Metronome monument. This was my favorite of the many scenic viewpoints of Prague.
3. National Technical Museum
We went to the National Technical Museum on a whim, assuming it might not be very interesting. Boy, were we mistaken! This is the ultimate how-things-work museum with a collection of over 50,000 different artifacts. You don’t have to be a techno-geek to appreciate this museum as it is quite interactive. It is especially a great way to spend time if you’re in Prague with kids.
The smaller exhibits don’t require much time to browse through and include displays on architecture, household appliances (some cool vintage items are here, like a sewing machine branded Diablo), toys, chemistry, iron mining & steel production (there’s a meteorite on display found in Argentina that’s 5,000 years old!), astronomy, and photography. The star attraction, however, is the huge Transport Hall, which is loaded with vintage Czech planes, racing cars, trains, fire engines, and bicycles.
Opening hours are Tue-Sun: 09:00 – 18:00. Entrance is 220 CZK.
4. Jewish Quarter
Cross the Cech bridge to make your way to the Jewish quarter (Josefov). Roaming around the Jewish Quarter was one of the best things of our Prague trip and is definitely one of the must-see attractions in Prague. Even though the present-day Jewish community in Prague is small, it has left a strong mark on the city’s history over the last few centuries. Starting from the 13th century, Prague’s Jews were obliged to live in a walled community in the confines of the ghetto. The area gradually grew to become the biggest Jewish community in Europe, as well as an economic and cultural center of the highest importance.
Prague’s Jewish Quarter contains the most well-preserved Jewish historical monuments in Europe. Six synagogues, including the oldest active synagogue in Europe (Old-New Synagogue), still stand in this area in addition to the historic Jewish Town Hall.
During World War II, these synagogues stored valuables looted from Jewish communities and synagogues across the Reich by the Nazis. Ironically, Hitler had a perverted plan to build a museum in Prague, dedicated to the Jews as an “extinct race”!
Many of the famous sites in the Jewish quarter are part of the Jewish Museum which also includes the following: the Spanish Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, Maisel Synagogue, Klausen Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall, and the Old Jewish Cemetery. In order to visit any of these places, you are required to buy a ticket to the Jewish Museum, which allows access to all these sites. It is not possible to purchase a ticket only to one of these places. The Jewish Museum is open Sunday-Friday. Opening hours are 09:00-18:00 (April-October) and 09:00-17:00 (November-March). A ticket costs 350 CZK. Tickets can be purchased online or in one of the museum’s ticket offices.
While you could easily spend a lot of time exploring this charming neighborhood, our top recommendations in the Jewish quarter are:
4.1 Old Jewish Cemetery
The Old Jewish Cemetery is one of the most unforgettable and evocative sights in the Jewish Quarter. Established in the It is one of the oldest Jewish burial sites in the world, dating back to the first half of the 15th century. Initially, there was room for 1,200 plots, but due to the lack of another burial ground, the cemetery found itself with 12,000 headstones and up to an astonishing 100,000 estimated buried bodies. The oldest headstone dates back to 1439 and the final burial took place in 1787.
Because Jewish traditions dictate not to move bodies after they are buried, new layers of dirt had to be piled over the old tombs to make more room. In some places, the places are said to be 10 bodies deep and the settling of the ground over time has created lopsided tombstones pointing in every direction. This creates a very mystic atmosphere.
4.2 Spanish Synagogue
If there’s one synagogue that shouldn’t be overlooked in the Jewish quarter, it is the Spanish Synagogue. This is Prague’s newest synagogue having been constructed in 1868 on the grounds of a former synagogue. It derives its name from its Moorish-influenced architecture and swirling arabesque décor, which was inspired by the Alhambra in Spain. The interior is jaw-droppingly stunning with walls, doors and gallery balustrades being richly decorated with elaborate Moorish polychrome, gilded motifs, and stained glass. We absolutely loved this place.
The synagogue’s two floors display museum exhibits that lend insight into the evolution of Jewish culture in Bohemia from the late 18th century to the end of World War II.
Please NoteThe Spanish Synagogue is currently closed until further notice due to modernization.
4.3 Parizska Street
Parizska Street (Paris Street) is Prague’s most elegant boulevard and is its answer to the Champs-Élysées and 5th Avenue. This tree-lined shopping paradise has a spate of high-end fashion boutiques from Prada, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Swarovski, and more. It runs through the Jewish quarter, connecting the Old Town Square to the Čech Bridge. Its leafy atmosphere makes it worthy for a perfect stroll. What we really loved about this street is the wealth of swanky Art Nouveau buildings here, which have mixes of Gothic elements. The buildings at the intersection of Paris Street and Siroka Street are particularly lovely.
You can take a well-deserved lunch break at the fabulous Restaurace Mincovna. They have amazing food on offer at reasonable prices.
6. Old Town Square
Prague’s Old Town Square has been the city’s heart and soul for nearly a millennium. The square has historically been used as a marketplace and today it continues to host the popular Easter and Christmas markets. Travelers from all over the globe flock here to see its beautiful architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Be sure to admire the blend of Gothic, Romanesque, Rococo, Baroque and Renaissance architecture in the form of the colorful buildings surrounding the square.
It is true that in recent years the square has become over-commercialized with overpriced restaurants and cafes, horse-drawn carriages waiting to ferry tourists around, and tacky souvenir shops. This still doesn’t take away the allure of the setting.
6.1 Astronomical Clock & Old Town Hall
Prague’s famous astronomical clock is probably the best-preserved astronomical clock in existence. This landmark was built in 1410 by Mikuláš Kadaň, a clockmaker, and Jan Šindel, an astronomer. It is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still functioning. It displays Babylonian time, Old Bohemian time, German time, and Sidereal time. The clock also displays the movement of the sun and moon through the signs of the Zodiac. The beautiful bright colors are another fascinating aspect of the clock.
Each hour, animated figurines flanking the clock are set in motion. Death rings a bell and inverts his hourglass, and the 12 Apostles parade past the windows above the clock, nodding to the crowd. Finally, a cock crows and the hour is rung. The whole spectacle lasts about 45 seconds. I’ve read a lot about people complaining about the slightly underwhelming display. Granted, it’s nothing spectacular, but you have to take in consideration that this is a 600-year-old piece of machinery.
Given that the clock is in the Old Town Square, it’s always busy around here. Big crowds really gather around the top of the hour to see the moving statues. If this show isn’t important to you, you’ll definitely find fewer people in between the hour. If you really want to witness the spectacle, arrive at least 15 minutes early so you aren’t caught in the back of the crowd.
The Gothic Old Town Hall is the most famous building in the Old Town square and dates back to the 14th century. The tower of the Old Town Hall that features the astronomical clock offers surrounding views of the Old Town and surroundings. You can go up for a fee of 250 CZK. You can check opening hours here.
6.2 The Church of Our Lady before Týn
The splendid Church of Our Lady before Tyn (Tyn Church) is one of Prague’s most recognizable sights. With its two Gothic spires and fairy-tale-like appearance, it is probably the most recognizable church in Prague. Legend has it that the Tyn Church supposedly gave Walt Disney inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Fact or fiction, it is certainly a feast for the eyes during the day, and even more so at night brightly lit against a dark sky. An interesting and slightly overlooked fact is that the two towers aren’t identical, the larger one is ‘Adam’ and the smaller one is ‘Eve’.
The inside of the church is pretty impressive as well. A fascinating collection of historic tombstones and the oldest organ in Prague are the highlights. Unfortunately, photography is very rarely permitted so you’ll just have to go take a look yourself. There’s a voluntary entrance fee of 25 CZK. You can check the opening hours here.
7. Man Hanging Out
In the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, lies a statue of a man dangling in a suicidal manner from a rooftop. A closer examination reveals that the man is actually a bearded Sigmund Freud, casually contemplating his fate from a beam with his hand in his pocket. The “Man Hanging Out” is another one of David Cerny’s darkly humorous creations and numerous people have sincerely taken it for a suicide in progress.
8. Municipal House & Smetana Hall
The Municipal House is Prague’s marquee Art Nouveau attraction. The building’s exterior is embellished with stucco and allegorical statuary. The most beautiful and striking feature of this edifice is the mosaic above the main entrance, entitled ‘Homage to Prague’. The interior of the building is also lavish, and its lobby features a load of Art Nouveau figurines and murals, elegant chandeliers, and upholstered furniture. The cafe and restaurants double as museums of grandiose decor.
The regal Smetana Hall is the main attraction inside. It is the largest concert hall in Prague. The intricate details of the ceiling, the motifs, and the sculptures here are nothing short of gorgeous.
You can take a guided tour of the Municipal House at a cost of 290 CZK.
9. Powder Tower
Situated just beside the Municipal House lies the Power Tower, one of the original 13 entrances to the Old Town. The tower served as a storage facility for gunpowder in the 17th century. It was severely damaged during the Prussian siege of 1757, losing practically all of its sculptural adornments. It was rebuilt in the 19th century and its Neo-Gothic facade features sculptural decorations. Admire it from the outside and snap great photos!
10. Jubilee Synagogue
You should definitely see the Jubilee (Jerusalem) Synagogue. This was my favorite of all the synagogues we saw in Prague. The synagogue itself is the youngest and largest synagogue in Prague. It was built in 1906 and is a beautiful hybrid of Art Nouveau and Moorish Revival styles. The facade of the synagogue is characterized by a large arch and a rose-window with the six-pointed Star of David inside.
The breathtaking ostentatious interior is richly decorated with wrought chandeliers and a beautiful organ. Photos just don’t do it justice. There is an amazing exhibition of artifacts, photographs, and films upstairs detailing the history of Prague’s Jewish community post World War II.
The Jubilee Synagogue is open Sunday-Friday from 10:00-17:00. Entrance costs 80 CZK.
11. Museum of Communism (Bonus)
If you’re up for seeing one more museum, we would recommend that you pay a short visit to the Museum of Communism. It recounts what life was like under the communist regime that ruled over Czechoslovakia until the fall of communism in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. We really enjoyed the various displays such as the grocery store from Communist times (with the typically limited choices of food), and the chilling interrogation rooms used by the secret police, all of which are setup intricately and feel very authentic. I did, however, get the impression that the museum has a western bias and gives off staunch anti-communist propaganda.
The Museum of Communism is open daily from 09:00 – 20:00. Entrance costs 290 CZK.
12. Wenceslas Square
Your next stop for sightseeing will be Wenceslas Square. Although it is called a square, Wenceslas Square is actually a boulevard that stretches for about 750 meters through the heart of the New Town. It is a former medieval horse market that was redeveloped in the 19th century and is now the commercial hub of Prague. It is named in honor of Saint Wenceslas, Bohemia’s patron saint and there’s an equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslas in the square.
Wenceslas Square has been the site of many historic events in Czech history such as the mass demonstrations during the Velvet Revolution. It is now a popular meeting point and the numerous hotels, shops, and restaurants around the square attract swathes of tourists and locals alike. There are plenty of marvelous Art Nouveau buildings around the square constructed at the beginning of the 20th century. My favorite ones were Grand Hotel Evropa – its beautiful facade topped with a gilded sculpture group of nymphs, and the Lucerna Passage.
13. King Wenceslas Riding on a Dead Horse
Speaking of Lucerna Passage, it is the location of the “King Wenceslas Riding on a Dead Horse” sculpture. This surreal and humorous piece is another one from David Cerny’s oeuvre. It hangs from a lime-tiled dome ceiling and features the Saint sitting atop an upside-down, dead horse. It is a mocking reference to the equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslas in Wenceslas Square and presumably derides Vaclav Klaus, the former Czech President. Whatever Cerny’s intentions were, the outcome is hilarious and intriguing!
A great place to end your 2 days in Prague is the wonderful U tri Ruzi restaurant. It exudes a lovely old-school atmosphere and they serve delicious food with excellent brews.
Extending Your Stay
If you have any more time to spare than 48 hours in Prague, we strongly recommend that you stay for a little longer. It will give you a chance to check out some of the city’s outer lying attractions, more museums, and feast on yummy Czech food and beer. Plus, a day trip to Karlštejn Castle or Karlovy Vary is really a must 🙂
It’s handy to stay in or around the districts of the Old Town, New Town and the Lesser Quarter as they are a good base for sightseeing. There are plenty of good options here for all budgets.
Hostel: Hostel Prague Tyn, a great choice within 2 minutes of the Old Town square.
Budget: Palac U Kocku, an amazing budget hotel within 2 minutes of the Old Town square.
Mid-range: Archibald at the Charles Bridge, within 2 minutes of the Charles Bridge, in the Lesser quarter.
Splurge: Art Nouveau Palace Hotel, sumptuous top-choice within 5 minutes of Wenceslas Square.
Now, what do you think? Is Prague on your bucket list? Or is there anything else that shouldn’t be missed