Written by Emily Christian-Michaels
Having spent two and a half days in Prague I discovered the beauty of a city still standing after multiple wars and invasions, with history looming over crowded markets and people hovering on every street corner.
Prague in early spring leaps to life after a long winter of fur coats and scarves – it's time for the locals to shed the winter garb and join the tourists in the sun along the bank of the Vltava River or in the markets in the New Town Square. The crowds multiply as the temperatures rise and by midsummer Prague is a happening tourist hub. However, I went in early spring just as the people were starting to come out of their shells and the sun offered just enough warmth for flip-flops and knit cardigans.
Three days in Prague is easily spent wandering along cobble stone alleys and shopping on Charles Bridge, but don’t miss the world famous clock and the Jewish cemetery. I may not be an expert but I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, and I love it, so here goes.
Begin your trip to Prague in the Old Town Square where you will see the most famous clock in the world and one of the city’s top tourist sites. If you happen to be in the heart of the square at the top of an hour stand and watch the clock work it’s magic, however I was slightly disappointed so if you miss it don’t worry. Do not miss the top of the clock tower though, where you can either hike up the stairs or take the lift to the top where all of Prague will sprawl before you.
Head back to the heart of the square where you’ll see the peaks of the Týn Church and a statue of reformer Jan Hus and you can meander through the Old Town Square Markets. Next you can head towards the Jewish Quarter passing through Kafka Square named after the famous writer. It is worth stopping in one of the legit crystal stores in the Jewish Quarter and maybe buying a souvenir or two.
The Jewish Museum is located in the heart of the area and will admit you to the Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Klaus Synagogue, and the Ceremonial Hall.
After an afternoon of synagogues and cemeteries, walk to the Charles Bridge, which elegantly crosses the Vltava River and boasts hundreds of vendors selling jewellery, art, and food. During the day and late afternoon there are more vendors and also a lot more people so make your way though, then find a restaurant on the other side of the river to grab a bite to eat while the sun sets over the city. After the sun is down head back across the bridge to see Prague Castle lit up on top of the hill, appearing to float above the city.
After a well deserved nights rest, it is time for Prague Castle, which really requires a few hours. I, unfortunately, spent little time at the castle but the trip is well worth at least five to six hours of your time. Start at the Trahov Monastery and then head to the Prague Loreto while making your way to the Castle Square. Do not miss the views from St. Vitus Cathedral and the inside of the of the castle where you’ll see St. George's Basilica.
After a few hours of touring the inside complexes of the castle, spend some time touring the various gardens and lookouts offering astonishing views of the countryside and the city, then walk down the winding ramp to the bottom of the hill and head to Lesser Town. From Malostranské náměstí, in the centre of Lesser Town, walk down to Karmelitská Street to the Church of Our Lady of Victory where the Infant Jesus of Prague is kept. This is a good area to spend the evening eating and drinking some of Prague’s local beers.
However, if the sun is still up and you’re not ready to be done for the day you can take a trip over to Kampa Island where you’ll have great views of the city and Charles Bridge. Kampa Park offers picturesque views and a serene calm where you can relax for the evening.
This is a busy day so hopefully you got your rest and have some comfy shoes. Start at the National Gallery where you’ll have to decide what you’re going to see and what you’ll save for next time with hundreds upon hundreds of fascinating exhibits and artefacts. Next there is a museum for the twisted – The Torture Museum. This is not a must see but is an entertaining way to explore a bit of creepy history and learn more than you ever wanted to know about torture. Then head to the river and grab a bite to eat on one of the boats that will happily glide you up and down the river while you nibble at pork and dumplings, all gulped down with a good lager.
The river is beautiful but don’t waste the day relaxing, after an hour or two on the water head back into town and do a little shopping... or a lot. Prague has all the famous brands you love and a ton of interesting boutiques - some can hurt the wallet though. The rest of the day is yours but don’t forget to look up in your shopping frenzy and admire the architecture and beauty of Prague.
If you have a bit more time in Prague or don’t love to shop the way some of us do, here are a few suggestions of other things to do in the city: there is the Dvorak Museum for music lovers which was the home of Antonin Dvorak for over twenty years until his death in 1901. There are evening concerts at the Dvorak Museum, which can be a pleasant way to spend a night, I’m sure. There is also the Smetana Museum and the Mozart Museum for those truly devoted to music. Or if you are not a music lover but rather a nature lover take the funicular up the hill to Petřín Hill where you can walk through the gardens and parks and people watch.
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