What Makes Prague Unique?
It is the city of spires, red-roofed houses and of vividly decorated frescoed buildings. It is home to the largest castle complex in the world, and its scenery is made more dramatic at dusk, when the sunset rays illuminate the castle walls. Its historic Jewish quarter contains some of the most preserved attractions despite Nazi occupation, and it is “Old Town” features the oldest astronomical clock still in use. This mini Prague travel guide touches upon the highlights of the city in both Old and New towns.
Your Prague Travel Guide
Day 1 – Old Town and the Jewish Quarter
The historic centre of Prague is composed of many intersecting street alleys. All of which will eventually lead you to its grand town square. Get a good feel of Old Town by walking around its cobbled streets. Watch performance artists on the square entertain you with their tricks (though always be conscious of your belongings), or stay for the noon performance of the Astronomical clock. Visit the churches surrounding the square particularly that of Tyn Church and climb up the bell tower to have splendid views of the city. Peek into the same opera theatre where Mozart premiered Don Giovanni and just enjoy the beautiful buildings that line up the streets.
Then head north into the Jewish quarter and wander around. There are several sights of interest including the Old Synagogue, The Jewish Museum, the Old Jewish Cemetery, and the Spanish synagogue. End your day of sight seeing by heading east into New Town towards a local favourite called Café Palanda. Their burgers are phenomenal and they have several Czech beers to choose from. Come in early or make reservations because the place gets pack especially during weekends.
Day 2 – The Castle Complex and Charles Bridge
It literally takes all day to explore the attractions in this city’s castle complex.
In this Prague travel guide, begin by taking a tram across the Vlatava River and get off at Pohorelec stop. From here, you can start your walk by visiting the Strahov Monastery and Brewery. Unlike Belgium’s trappist beers, the monks here are not actually involved in the process of beer making, but lends the name because of its location adjacent to the monastery.
Grab some lunch and a pint at the café before making your way towards the castle grounds. The brewery serves traditional Czech food and a handful of their own brews. Continue onwards until your reach the main entrance of the castle. The walk is pleasant, with beautiful gardens and striking apartment buildings that used to be owned by nobility. Once inside, do not miss St. Vitus Cathedral and the Golden Lane with Daliborka. The former is one of the largest gothic churches in the world and its interior is covered with stained glass windows that illuminate the nave inside. The latter is a petite street made up of adorable little apartments, one of which the famous novelist, Franz Kafka, reputably stayed. Continue towards the South Gardens into the lookout points where you can clearly view photographic images of red-roofed houses, the river, and the rest of Old Town Prague.
Time your exit towards sundown and walk south to Mostecka. This street will eventually connect you to Charles Bridge. Considered to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, it becomes even more so at sundown. The bridge is pedestrian friendly and contains at least a dozen statues of religious significance. Wrap up your day by listening to one of the many chamber music offerings at churches or music rooms around Old Town. The cost is minimal and worth every penny.
Day 3 – New Town, Island Park, and River Cruise
On your final day, discover New Town Prague and get an understanding of the culture of the city today. It is a striking contrast to the romantic and bohemian Prague of Old Town. Wenceslas Square is its main attraction. It is a popular site for rallies, demonstrations, and celebrations of late, and contains several monuments dedicated to the country’s most famous individuals. The streets lining the square are full of modern hotels, high-end restaurants, and a variety of entertainment options, which makes it a very popular location particularly at night. From the top of the square, walk towards Mustek and then turn left on Narodni Boulevard towards the river.
This main junction is full of boutique shops and local restaurants including favourite, Jan Paukert. Try one of their open sandwiches, a specialty they have been perfecting for almost 100 years, and of course, get an order of apple strudel. After lunch, continue towards the river and head towards the island park of Strelecky ostrov. Reminiscent of Île de la Cité in Paris, it has some of the most picturesque views of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.
Cap off your stay in Prague in style by taking in a river cruise with dinner and live music. Lasting around a few hours, these cruises typically depart just in time for the sunset and include a hot and cold buffet, live bands, and heated indoor rooms.