Prague is a picturesque city centered on either side of the Vltava River. It’s charming cobblestone streets and cozy vibe make it the perfect place to explore by foot. Ideally you will have more than two days in this romantic city, but any time spent here will leave you wishing you had more. Below is a curated guide for getting the most out of 48 hours in Prague.
In the A.M. grab a coffee and quick nibble at Tricafe, a coffee shop in Old Town on a quiet street near the Charles Bridge. They hand brew their coffee and have other specialty espresso drinks as well. It’s set up like you’re sitting in a friend’s living room with couches and eclectic chairs to lounge in. There are delicious treats with vegan and gluten-free options available.
After getting your caffeine fix and a bit of a nosh, start your walking tour. Head toward the Old Jewish Cemetery, the largest of its kind and a significant historical monument in the city. Next, walk across the river bank toward Letna Park via the Cechuv Bridge.
Climb up to the giant Prague Metronome and get a sprawling view of the city. You’ll see tourists and locals alike snapping photos, painters painting the scenery and poets finding their inspiration. After taking some pictures and appreciating the view, enjoy a stroll through the park.
By this time you will have worked up a proper appetite; take a more residential walk up to to Misto—a hip cafe with minimalist decor. The food is light in comparison to traditional Czech cuisine and there is something for everyone here (including gluten-free and vegan options.)
If you need another round of coffee or tea in preparation for the walking and site seeing ahead, stop into Kafemat on your route to Queen Anne’s Summer Palace.
Once you get to Queen Anne’s, the line may be long, but it’s the best way to get into the castle complex (the castle line is always longer!) You can either purchase a ticket to get you inside Queen Anne’s Summer Palace, or one to walk the grounds on your way to the castle (I would choose the latter to save on time.) You can also purchase an audio guide to help you navigate your way through the main sites or just enjoy the visual scenery.
Walk through the gardens, down to the “deer moat”and toward Prague Castle. Once inside the castle area, climb to the top of the St. Vitus Cathedral for a beautiful view. Explore the castle grounds, maybe peep into some galleries or museums and enjoy some of Prague’s greatest cultural treasures.
When you’ve had your fill, take the exit toward Novy Svet, (the cutest street that ever was!) a small, windy, cobblestone road in a little neighborhood above the castle. Walk to Novy Svet Kavarna, a cozy cafe, for some mulled wine or libations of choice. The tiny balcony in the back has a lovely view overlooking the garden. If it’s cold, see if you can snag a spot near the fireplace.
Walk past the Strahov Monestary to Petrin Hill and enjoy another beautiful view. Make your way to Charles Bridge in time for sunset, by taking the funicular or hiking your way down.
Have an aperitif at U Staré Studny, a basement-level cognac and wine bar in a cave-like setting. The atmosphere is cozy and you feel as if you were set back in time a few hundred years. If you’re in the mood for sophisticated cocktails and champagne, try L’Fleur in Old Town.
Start your day early with a good cup of coffee or tea at Original Coffee in Old Town, where they roast their beans in house.
Work up your appetite for breakfast by walking down to Vysehrad Fortress, another castle surrounded by a cemetery, Basilica and sprawling greenery. You’ll get yet another beautiful view overlooking the city and Prague Castle.
If you want a traditional Czech breakfast with a Neo-Rennaissance ambiance, head to Cafe Savoy, across Legion’s Bridge, right along the Vltava river bank. Even if you don’t intend to eat here, it’s worth it to stop in and have a cup of tea or coffee and appreciate the architecture and setting. Or, if it’s Saturday, check out the Naplavka Farmers Market near Vysehrad. Otherwise, head to Cafe Lounge for a stylish breakfast.
Walk up to Kampa Park and check out the Modern Art Museum, or just enjoy the grounds. Meander through the shops and small streets at the base of the castle and perhaps pay a visit to Shakespeare a Synové, a little bookstore on another adorable, cobblestone street.
Navigate your way across the crowded Charles Bridge into Old Town and see St. Nicholas’ Church, St. Agnes Cathedral, the Astronomical Clock and the Old Town Square. Get lost in the small streets of Old Town and wander into the shops scattered throughout this area.
Head over to the hip Karlin District, essentially the Silverlake of Prague. If this pace is making you tired, grab another coffee or tea at Muj Salek Kavy before tasting some natural wines at Veltin Wine bar. If natural wine isn’t your thing, pay a visit to Vinarna Bokovka, located in a little courtyard off the beaten path, where the wines are hand-selected by some young sommeliers.
photo credit: AC Almelor & Mary Bell