weekend in Prague
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Top Things to do in Prague and Where to Stay – Prague Travel Guide

My Prague travel guide has the top things to do in Prague, where to stay and top tips to make the most of this beautiful city.

Prague is often compared to Paris in terms of beauty, and after my recent visit, I can see why. Nicknamed ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’ it has architectural masterpieces around every corner, and most were untouched by war or natural disasters – a rarity these days. There are so many things to do in Prague, but the city is easy to navigate and most of Prague’s top attractions are within walking distance. This makes Prague the perfect option for a short break.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – The Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

About Prague

Walking around the city you cant help but be in awe of your surroundings. Prague’s historic centre was recognised as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1992.

The Old Town Square is the beating heart of the city and you will find Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic buildings here, as well as a massive medieval Astronomical Clock and pretty handcraft shops with colourful facades – it looks like something from a movie set.

The medieval Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the pretty neighbourhood of Mala Strana, and to Prague Castle – the largest castle complex in the world. 

christmas market break to Prague

I’m often asked when is the best time to visit Prague, and the simple answer is – any time! Prague has a temperate oceanic climate, with relatively warm summers and chilly winters. While summer time might be more pleasant for sightseeing, Prague is magical during the winter time. Christmas markets start at the beginning of December and if you are lucky have snow flurries, they will just add to the ambiance of the city.
 

 

 
Prague is a wonderful walkable city that is waiting to be explored at any time of year! I’ve listed some of the best things to do in Prague below, as well as some hotel recommendations to help you make the most of your trip. 

Top Things to do in Prague

1. Book a walking tour of the city

a walking tour of the Old Town is one of the top things to do in Prague

The best way to appreciate Prague’s beauty is on foot. There is so much to see and a good guide will show you the hidden gems in Prague as well as the top attractions. 

We booked a three-hour tour and our guide Yohanka was excellent. We learned about Prague’s extraordinary history and how the communists were forced out in 1989. We visited Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and Mala Strana, including the lesser known but worthwhile Wallenstein Gardens.
 

 

 
There are many different options to choose from including this top-rated five-hour tour through the same tour company that we used. This includes a visit to Prague Castle and lunch in a local restaurant. 

TOP TIP: Most of the Prague’s streets have cobblestones, hence a walking tour is better than a bike tour. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes! 

View tours
 

 

 

2. Visit Prague Castle

a tour of Prague Castle is one of the top things to do in Prague

Prague Castle is simply a must visit! According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m². The size alone should warrant a guide, but it is worth a trip, with or without a guide. 
 

 

 
Prague Castle is a maze of buildings including palaces and churches, and looks more like a modern village than a 1000 year old castle complex.

The jewel in the crown is St Vitus Cathedral, a massive Gothic cathedral that you can admire from inside as well as outside. We climbed the 287 steps to the top to get a panoramic view of the city. There is no open balcony, but it is worth the climb to see Prague’s beauty from above. 

view of Prague city from Prague Castle

TOP TIP: Don’t miss Golden Lane. A good guide should bring you here but if not look out for it’s Czech name, Zlatá Ulička. It is located on the opposite side to the main entrance, and its pretty streets are packed with colourful buildings that look straight out of a fairy tale.  

See more here
 

 

 

3. Walk across Charles Bridge

Sarah at Charles Bridge

It is inevitable that you will walk across Charles Bridge if visiting Prague, but if possible, try to visit early morning or late evening. It is one of the top things to do in Prague and therefore you can expect to find crowds there for most of the day.

This beautiful bridge was completed in 1402 and connects Prague’s Old Town with Mala Strana or Little / Lesser Quarter. It is lined with statues of Catholic Saints and filled with artists selling paintings, caricatures and souvenirs. 

You can climb the bridge tower near Old Town Square for a panoramic view of the city and Prague Castle. 

See more here
 

 

 

4. Be on time for the Astonomical Clock

Astronomical Clock, Prague

Prague’s medieval Astronomical Clock is the world’s oldest functioning clock. It is not only beautiful to look at, but at the top of every hour it puts on a 45 second show. Yes that’s right, blink and you will miss it! Its ornate design represents the sun and the moon, and when the clock strikes, a procession of mechanical Twelve Apostles ring in the hour. 
 

 

 
The animated show is frankly a little underwhelming, but it is one of the top things to do in Prague and deserves a visit if only for the clock’s beauty alone. 

TOP TIP: Crowds gather about 15 minutes before the hour and pickpockets have been known to take advantage when people are staring up at the clock. 

See more here
 

 

 

5. See Prague from the River

a river cruise is one of the top things to do in Prague

If you prefer a more relaxed sightseeing experience, then why not book a Prague cruise on the Vltava River. You can see many of Prague’s top attractions from the comfort of a chair. There are many cruises to choose from including sunset cruises and dinner cruises, but I have linked the most popular options below. 

View River Cruise
 
View Channel Cruise
 

 

 

6. Get lost in Mala Strana

Sarah, The Travel Expert, in Mala Strana

Mala Strana has many names including the Little Quarter and Lesser Town, but whatever you do, don’t miss it! Its pretty streets are a pleasure to explore, and you won’t find the same crowds there that you will find in the Old Town Square.
 

 

 
It is one of the oldest areas of Prague, and is brimming with Baroque houses and gorgeous alleyways. Some of Prague’s top attractions are here too including the Wallenstein Gardens, Lennon Wall and the Slivovitz Museum – see more on these below.

Irish people have a connection with Mala Strana too – it is home to the Church of Our Lady Victorious where the ‘Child of Prague’ is housed. Some may remember their parents putting the Child of Prague statue in the garden and praying for good weather! 

See more here
 

 

 

7. Stop by the Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall, Prague

If you’re a Beatles fan, or just someone interested in the history of the area, you will be happy to know that there is a monument for one of the biggest rock idols of all time – but it’s about more than just music.

The wall’s John Lennon-inspired graffiti became a symbol of resistance against communism and other political causes. Even when the wall was repainted by authorities, by the next day it was again full of poems and flowers. The graffiti on the wall will speak to you about how something seemingly innocuous as some drawings, can be a representation of power for those who have none.

See more here
 

 

 

8. Book a beer or brandy tour 

Prague beer tour

No trip to Prague would be complete without sampling some of their best beer – it is a must do in Prague!

There are many beer tasting tours available where you can taste various brews in order to claim beer-master status at the end!  This 90-minute Czech beer tasting and cheese tour includes a tasting of seven varieties of Czech beer paired with cheese and crackers.

See more here
 

 

 
If you prefer to combine a walking tour of the city, with some stops for beer along the way, then this three-hour trip might be for you.  You will visit three of Prague’s best micro-breweries and indulge in unlimited beer tastings and Czech appetisers at the last stop. 

TOP TIP: I suggest doing a beer tour on your first day, so you will know which beer to order during the remainder of your trip!

See more here
 

 

 
If brandy is your tipple, then the Slivovitz Museum might be more your scene. This is home to one of Czechia’s national drinks, which also happens to be one of the largest producers of fruit spirits in the world.

It is an interactive museum, most of which is self guided, with the exception of a virtual reality simulator ride about the life of a plum – which was an unexpected delight! You are the plum and it shows what a plum goes through before it is made into brandy.

fruit brandy tasting in Prague

The story of how Jelinek brandy was founded 400 years ago and how the company survived through the war against all odds is an interesting one. The tour culminates with a tasting of three types of brandy and canapés.  

See more here
 

 

 

9. Take in a show

one of the top things to do in Prague is to see the Opera

From Opera to Jazz, puppet shows to black light theatre, there are so many things to do in Prague at night time! In 1787 Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni premiered in Prague, at the Estates Theatre, and it is still showing there today.

We were very fortunate to get the opportunity to see it in one of the theatre’s famous boxes. While I am not a huge fan of opera, the Estates Theatre is stunning and I felt like royalty in the box – it was an incredible experience to be there, and the ticket cost just 1390 CZK – approximately €50! I can’t imagine a similar experience at home costing less than triple that amount.

See tickets here
 

 

 
If you prefer something less elaborate, take in one of the classical music concerts at Klementinum St. Salvator Church situated directly at Charles Bridge, or Tyn Church in the Old Town Square. These hour long performances cost just €23 and offer a taste of Prague’s cultural delights. 

See more here
 

 

 

10. Climb to the top of Petřín Tower

one of the best things to do in Prague is climb to the top of the Petrin Tower

The Petřín Tower is often referred to as Prague’s Eiffel Tower. It commands the best views of Prague city as the tower is 63.5m tall, and it sits on a hill that is 318m high. Getting to the Tower is no mean feat – it is an arduous 30 minute climb, but you can get a funicular assuming it is not under maintenance – which it was during our visit! 
 

 

 
The funicular departs from Ujezd street in Malá Strana, near Ujezd tram stop and you can purchase tickets in the same way as the Tram or Metro – see below. 

If you are taking the time to visit, you simply must climb the 299 steps to reach the top. However, there is more to visiting Petrin Tower than the view. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, cafés and attractions. I suggest you walk back down through the gardens and stop half way at one of the restaurants or pubs.

See more here
 

 

 

11. Shop Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square, Prague

Before my visit to Prague I had pre-conceived ideas about Prague’s famous square that witnessed many historic moments. While its not even remotely as beautiful as Old Town Square, it does have its advantages – its surrounded by shopping streets!

Prices in Prague are generally much cheaper than you will find at home, and as well as American favourites like the New Yorker, you will find top European brands such as Zara, Mango and Desigual.

See more here
 

 

 

Restaurants in Prague – where and what to eat! 

12. Have dinner in The Municipal House 

Municipal House, Prague

Dinner in the Municipal House is one of the best things to do in Prague – make sure you pre-book! This stunning building was opened in 1912 and was the location of Czechoslovakia’s declaration of Independence.

The restaurant is worth a visit for the ambiance alone – but the room is stunning and the food and service sublime. An equivalent restaurant in most European cities would cost a small mortgage, but prices here are reasonable and we were delighted to leave with a bill less than €150 for two including a bottle of wine and two Kir Royales.

Municipal House is one of the top restaurants in Prague

Don’t miss the foie gras mousse and the crepes suzette which are flambéed with Grand Marnier at your table, although the white chocolate apple dessert was my personal favourite. 

See more here
 

 

 

13. Don’t miss Manifesto Market

food at Manifesto Market, Prague

If you fancy a change from Czech cuisine, then Manifesto Market is the place to go. It is located in Andel, a 10 minute tram or taxi ride from the centre of Prague, but trust me it is worth the trip!

There are 16 different international food restaurants here, all under one roof – which is retractable during the summer months to take advantage of the swimming pool! Yes you read that right! In the centre of the market is a large rectangular shallow pool. This lends itself to a lively party style atmosphere in the evening, and a more relaxed vibe during the day.
 

 

 
We had the most delicious lunch here and it was such a treat to be able to sample small plates from different restaurants. We tasted Ukranian dumplings, Korean Kimchi, Greek souvlaki, Mexican tacos, Indian street food and the lightest Korean cakes! Everything we ate was delicious – as I am writing this I’m wishing I could return!

There are plenty of imaginative cocktails here too, as well as local Czech beers. 

Manifesto Market Prague with owner Martin Barry

Manifesto was founded by Irishman Martin Barry, who has also opened a Manifesto Market in Berlin and is due to open another Manifesto Market in Dublin in 2025 – watch this space!

TOP TIP: Manifesto Market is cashless, so make sure you have your cards with you.

See more here
 

 

 

14. Taste a Trdelnik

tasting a Tradlnik is a must do in Prague

Although originally from Slovakia, you simply can’t visit Prague without trying a Tradlnik. You will find them on most street corners and they can also be called Chimney Cakes. It tastes like a donut, only nicer! 

Dough is wound around a spindle to make a cylindrical cake and it is then grilled and glazed with sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts. You can also add additional toppings like chocolate and ice cream which I had to try – it was delicious! 
 

 

 

More restaurant recommendations in Prague

beer tasting in Czechia

Travel journalist Shauna McCrudden visited Prague recently and she shared some more recommendations on where to eat in Prague, as well as some top tips for getting around the city .

You can’t leave without trying some local dishes like goulash, or knedlíky (dumplings), says Shauna. Some restaurants in Prague that she recommend’s include:

Lokál – Known for its traditional Czech cuisine, Lokál has classic dishes like goulash and fried cheese at very reasonable prices. The atmosphere is pretty lively as there are long communal tables and a beer selection that makes it a favourite among locals which is probably why a local suggested it to me!
 

 

 
Cafe Savoy – Situated on the west bank of the Vltava River, this café has a Parisian flair and has a broad menu ranging from breakfast to late dinners. It was very busy when we arrived, but they managed to squeeze us in, so be aware that it is pretty popular! Their pastries are to die for, try the Savoy Tort and you won’t be disappointed!

Terasa U Zlaté Studně – We were feeling fancy one night so decided to eat at the Terasa U Zlaté Studně. Located near Prague Castle, this restaurant not only offers gourmet dining but it is one of the best restaurants in Prague with a view. The menu has a blend of Czech and international cuisines, and the wine list is pretty extensive too.
 

 

 

Top Tips for visiting Prague

Top things to do in Prague and where to stay

The Czech Republic uses the Czech Koruna (CZK), not the Euro. While most places accept card payments, it is a good idea to carry some cash for smaller vendors as you could be caught out.

Popular attractions like Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and Old Town Square can get crowded. Plan to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon for a more pleasant experience.
 

 

 
Figure out if a Prague City Pass makes sense for you. These passes can offer free entry to certain attractions and public transport, but make sure it aligns with your planned activities. Passes are from 1390 CZK (approx €55) for an adult or 990 CZK (approx €40) for a child.

Prague with tram

Transport tickets can be bought at yellow ticket vending machines, at ticket offices at metro stations, at Tabák/Trafika stores and
newsstands, and in tourist information centres. You can also buy tickets on board trams, simply tap and go.

However, if you are planning on using public transport a lot during your trip, download the Lítačka app and you can buy tickets for all methods of transport there.

A single trip costs 90c or €2 valid for 30 or 90 minutes, you can change trains as often as you like, even between the different means of transport. A day ticket costs €5.90 and is valid for 24 hours.
 

 

 

Where to stay in Prague

Cosmopolitan Hotel, Prague

Understandably hotel prices in the Old Town are the most expensive. However, if you stay on the other side of Charles Bridge in Mala Strana, ( also known as Lesser Town or Little Quarter) prices are much lower. This is a lovely area to stay in, it has less crowds, countless historic buildings, and you can easily walk to Old Town Square or hop on a tram. Prague’s public transport system is superb. We never waited more than 3 minutes for a tram and the metro is very easy to navigate. 

I have hand picked 3, 4 and 5 star hotels in Prague’s Old Town and Mala Strana as well as some picks on where to stay in Prague for families.
 

 

 

3-Star Ibis Praha Old Town

The Ibis Praha Old Town is located in the heart of Prague’s historical centre, with Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square just 500 metres away. If you are looking for hotels in Prague Old Town that won’t break the bank, then you have found one!

Check prices here
 

 

 

4-Star Botanique Hotel 

Botanique Hotel, Prague

I stayed in the Botanique Hotel and was very impressed with its sleek design, friendly staff and superb breakfast! It is about 15 minutes walk to Old Town Square but there is a tram stop outside the door, and metro station across the road.  

TOP TIP: Pay the €7 per night extra for breakfast – you will thank me later!

Check prices here
 

 

 

4-Star Adler Hotel

The Hotel Adler is superbly located on the edge of the Old Town and just 5-minutes walk from Wenceslas Square. It receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and offers good value for a good central hotel in Prague.

Check prices here
 

 

 

4-Star Appia Hotel Residences

Appia Residences Prague

The Appia Residences are located in the pretty area of Lesser Town (Mala Strana) just below Prague Castle and just five minutes walk from Charles Bridge. This boutique hotel has just 22 rooms and is set in a historic building with a romantic garden and terrace. Breakfast is included in the price and complimentary take-away coffee is also available –  this is one of the best value 4 star hotels in Prague.

Check prices here
 

 

 

4-Star Hotel Golden Key Prague Castle

This boutique hotel is located on pretty Nerudova street in Mala Strana and is one of the best boutique hotels in Prague. Located 7 minutes walk from Prague Castle, 9 minutes from Charles Bridge and 20 minutes walk from Old Town Square. Complimentary breakfast is included in your stay.

Check prices here
 

 

 

5-Star Grandior Hotel 

Grandior Hotel is one of the lowest priced 5 star hotel in PragueThe Grandior Hotel offers superb value for a luxury stay in Prague. It is modern in design and has received excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. It is located just 1200 metres from Old Town Square which can be reached on foot or by tram or metro which are both around the corner from the hotel.   

Check prices here
 

 

 

5-Star Cosmopolitan Hotel Prague

The Cosmopolitan Hotel is housed in a restored 1889 townhouse. It retained aspects of the historic building in a dynamic blend of modern and traditional styles. Located just 900 metres from Old Town Square with a trendy bistro restaurant on site, it is the place to been seen in Prague.

Considering the outstanding reviews this hotel receives, it is surprisingly well priced for one of the best 5 star hotels in Prague. If your budget allows upgrade to one of its designer suites – named after our favourite cocktails – such as the Gin & Tonic Suite or Martini Suite.

Check prices here
 

 

 

5-Star Buddha Bar Hotel

The Buddha Bar Hotel is one of the coolest hotels in Prague

This is the first Buddha-Bar Hotel in the world so if you are looking for one of the coolest hotels in Prague, with some luxury thrown in, look no further. This boutique hotel has just 36 rooms and three suites, and as you might expect from this trendy chain of Bars and Resorts, it is furnished in contemporary style with plenty of Oriental interiors.

The Buddha Bar Hotel is located close to the Old Town Square and Parizska Street – the designer shopping area, but at night time you may want to stay put and enjoy the underground Buddha-Bar restaurant, bar and lounge with live DJ sets.

Check prices here
 

 

 

5-Star Mandarin Oriental

If you are looking for the best hotel in Prague, and budget is not an issue, then it has to be the Mandarin Oriental. This historic hotel is housed in a 14th century restored monastery and is located in Mala Strana, close to Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. 

The Spa is located in a former Renaissance chapel – the only one of its kind in the world! There is a super restaurant on site too, as as you would expect from Mandarin Oriental it offers authentic Asian cuisine.

Check prices here
 

 

 

Self Catering Apartments in Prague

Andel Apartments

The modern Andel Apartments are located close to the city centre in Smíchov and offer excellent transport links for exploring Prague and the surrounding area. There are studios and one bedroom apartments as well as large two-bedroom apartments that are suitable for groups and families. Travel journalist Shauna McCrudden stayed here during her visit.

Check prices here 
 

 

 

Gold Art Apartments

self catering apartments in Prague

The Gold Art Apartments are centrally located, close to Old Town Square, and have a variety of rooms types to suit couples, groups and families. They are elegantly furnished and some units have a terrace and/or a balcony with city or courtyard views.

Check prices here 
 

 

 

Salvator Superior Apartments

Located just 5-minutes walk from the Old Town Square, the location and low price of the Salvator Superior apartments is hard to beat. These apartments receive great reviews from guests on TripAdvisor and are great value for central stay in Prague. There are one, two and three bedroom apartments available and deluxe apartments have a terrace. 

Check prices here 
 

 

 

Day Trip from Prague

Don’t skip Pilsen

day trip to Pilsen from Prague

As you can see there are so many things to do in Prague, but if you want to explore another city in the Czech Republic, then nearby Pilsen is a great choice. You can travel from Prague to Pilsen by train in 80 minutes, so it is a great choice for a day trip from Prague or a twin-centre holiday. 
 

 

 
Pilsen or Plzeň in Czech, is Czechia’s fourth largest city but it feels more like a small town. The historic centre has a massive medieval square in the centre, Republic Square, which is one of the largest squares in Europe. It is surrounded by colourful buildings that are a wonderful mix of architectural styles, and the Gothic St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral commands your attention in the centre.
 
TOP TIP: Make sure you go to the rooftop bar in the Central Hotel for a panoramic view of Pilsen’s Republic Square.

Sunset in Pilsen from Central Hotel

You could easily spend the day pottering around Pilsen’s pretty streets but there is more to this city than its impressive historic centre. Pilsen is famous for Pilsner Urquell – the brewery that created the world’s first pale lager 181 years ago. It has been copied all over the world since and inspired 2/3 of the world’s beers – think Pils, Pilsner etc. 

brewery tour, Pilsen

A tour of the Pilsner Urquell brewery is a must do in Pilsen. We visited the cellars where the first beer was made, learned about the fermentation process and saw the factory floor.  

The brewery is 62 hectares in size – it is bigger than the Vatican! Despite being two and a half hours long, the tour guide really held our attention and the beer tasting in the cellars at the end was greatly appreciated! 

Beer Spa in Pilsen

There are so many things to do in Pilsen that I recommend staying the night if time allows. Pay a visit to nearby Purkmistr Wellness Hotel and Spa and sample one of their world famous Beer Spas – yes I bathed in beer while drinking it at the same time! It is located 10 minutes drive grom the city centre, and you can even stay over – the hotel has 32 rooms! 
 
TOP TIP: Check if there are any concerts on during your visit. The Synagogue in Pilsen is the 5th largest in the world and holds concerts now.
 

 

 

How to get to Prague

aer lingus fly direct to Prague

We flew with Aer Lingus to Prague who fly direct from Dublin five times weekly. Prices are available from €49.99 each way including taxes and charges, and the flight duration only 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Getting from the airport to Prague city centre is pretty easy too. There is no train from the airport to the city centre, but there are cost- effective buses alongside regular taxis and Ubers – the journey time is approximately 30 minutes.
 

 

 
I hope this travel guide to Prague will help you see the top things to do in Prague, so you can make the most out of your trip to this beautiful city in the heart of Europe.

While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, prices and attractions are subject to change. Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you. 

I was a guest of Czech Tourism.

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