48 Hours in Prague: The Ultimate Itinerary

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Taylor McIntyre / TripSavvy

Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and for good reason. Millions of visitors flock to the Czech Republic’s capital each year to take in the city’s hundred spires, explore the expansive Prague Castle, and enjoy a few pints of the country’s famous pilsners. Whether you’re in Prague for a relaxed weekend or to do some epic sightseeing, it’ll be tough to do and see everything in 48 hours, but here are a few ideas on how you can make the most of your time.

01 of 06

Day 1: Morning

Old Town Square and Church of Our Lady before Týn in Prague at sunrise. Czech Republic
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9 a.m.: The first order of business once you land at Prague’s Václav Havel airport will be getting yourself to the city center. You can grab a taxi, ride-share, or use public transportation. Prague taxi drivers are notorious for ripping people off and using a ride-share app such as Uber or Bolt will get you a much better deal. If you'd rather take a taxi, use one of the official airport taxi services like FIX Taxi or Taxi Praha. They have set mileage prices and can be reserved online. If you’re on a budget and don’t have a ton of luggage, there is also a public bus that goes directly from the airport to a metro line. It’ll take roughly 30 minutes to get to the city center from the airport via public transportation depending on the bus and metro schedules, so the best option is to purchase the 90-minute ticket for 32 Czech koruna.

10 a.m.: After dropping your bags off at your hotel and freshening up, you’ll likely be hungry. Café Savoy is one of the most beautiful breakfast spots in the city, but it’s very popular so it’s a good idea to book a table in advance. If you had a long flight and are in the mood for something more casual, Coffee Room makes excellent avocado toast and smoothie bowls.

11 a.m.: Now that you’ve filled your stomach, it’s time to start exploring Prague. Dive right in by heading straight to Old Town Square. The gothic spires of the Church of Our Lady before Týn will be instantly recognizable but are no less impressive in person. You’ll find the city’s famous astronomical clock just across the square. This medieval clock is the oldest of its kind in the world, so make sure to find your way there to watch it chime on the hour.

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02 of 06

Day 1: Afternoon

Vyšehrad, Prague
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2 p.m.: Continue your sightseeing adventure by winding through the streets of Old Town to Prague’s Jewish Quarter, also known as Josefov. Take your time exploring this historic area; there are many sites worth visiting. Prague’s Old Jewish Cemetery is the oldest remaining Jewish cemetery in the world and is included as part of the city’s Jewish Museum. The Old-New Synagogue should also not be missed. Prague’s Jewish Quarter is the birthplace of famous novelist Franz Kafka so you’ll likely encounter several references to him in this part of town, including a memorial to him on Dusni Street.

4 p.m.: You’ll probably be pretty tired by this point, so take some time to relax in one of Prague’s beer spas. Enjoy unlimited beer straight from the tap while you sit back and soak in an oak tub filled with natural extracts and ingredients from the beer-making process. There are several locations throughout the city that provide this unique bath experience including two branches of the Original Beer Spa.

If you’ve got a bit of energy left and would rather keep sightseeing, hop on a tram or metro to Prague’s “other” castle, Vyšehrad. Wander around the complex, which dates back to the 10th century, and enjoy the views from the Hospudka Na Hradbach beer garden located within its walls. You’ll also have great views of Prague Castle and the Vltava River from the other side of the complex.

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03 of 06

Day 1: Evening

Aerial night view of Prague old town architecture and bridges
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6 p.m.: Czech food should definitely be on the agenda for dinner since it’s your first night in Prague. While there are many restaurants in the Old Town area serving traditional Czech cuisine, they are can be crowded and are often very overpriced. Try to find a restaurant that looks good on a quiet side street away from the crowds or make a reservation ahead of time to enjoy the cozy, underground atmosphere at Krčma. Sample Czech specialties like goulash, fried cheese, or svíčková, a dish that consists of marinated sirloin beef and bread dumplings in a thick cream sauce. Booking a Prague food tour might be a good option if you want to taste a bunch of different dishes and learn more about the local cuisine.

8 p.m.: Make your way to the Prague Beer Museum after dinner to sample some of the country’s best microbrews. There are 30 craft beers on tap, giving visitors the opportunity to try regional beers from small breweries around the country without having to leave Prague.

If you’re more of a wine drinker, check out one of Vinograf’s locations. Each one over 350 bottles and at least 35 types of wine served by the glass and over 350 bottles, providing an enormous selection to choose from. This is also a great opportunity to try wine from the Czech Republic and the sommeliers can tell you all about the country's winemaking culture.

11 p.m.: Prague is known for its wild nightlife so there won’t be any shortage of places to visit late at night. Clubbing fans will be delighted to learn that the city is home to Central Europe’s biggest music club: Karlovy lázně. It has five floors, each playing a different style of music so you can dance the night away with whatever genre of music you are feeling in the moment.

Jazz Dock is a great option for lovers of live music or those in the mood for something a little more relaxed. It sits right on the Vltava River, and it’s large glass windows offer a different perspective on the city at night.

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04 of 06

Day 2: Morning

Prague castle
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8 a.m.: Get up early, grab a quick breakfast from your hotel or a bakery, and head straight to Prague Castle to beat the long lines and crowds. You will have to go through a security check to get into the castle complex so check ahead of time to make sure you aren’t carrying any of the forbidden items. Prague Castle holds the Guinness World Record for the largest ancient castle in the world so be prepared to spend some time here. The ticketed parts of the castle don’t open until 9 a.m. but the complex itself is open from 6 a.m. so there is still plenty to see if you get there early.

10 a.m.: Once you’re done at the castle, wander down through the streets of Malá Strana, which is also known as Lesser Town. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and the streets are dominated by colorful Baroque architecture. Another colorful attraction you’ll find in this neighborhood is the graffiti-covered John Lennon wall. While visitors are no longer allowed to add their own contribution to this famous piece of art, it’s still a great place for taking photos.

If you didn’t get enough of Kafka the day before, a museum dedicated to the author is not far from here. Even if you’re not interested in Kafka, making the trip over to the museum is worth it to see the unusual statue of two men relieving themselves outside by renowned Czech artist David Černý.

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05 of 06

Day 2: Afternoon

Charles bridge and the skyline of Prague, Czech Republic
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12 p.m.: Lokál U Bílé kuželky in Malá Strana is a great spot to grab lunch. They serve casual Czech cuisine with Pilsner Urquell beer straight from the tank. This beer travels the shortest distance to your glass so it’ll be some of the freshest you’ll find in Prague. If you’re not up for day drinking but still want to enjoy this Czech specialty, you can order a slice or beer foam: options that have a higher foam to beer ratio.

2 p.m.: The sightseeing continues with a stroll across the historic Charles Bridge. Construction began on this masterpiece way back in 1357, and today, it is one of the most popular attractions in Prague. After spending some time on the bridge admiring the views and replica statues, hop on the metro at Staroměstská and get off at Muzeum. This will put you right in front of the impressive National Museum (Národní muzeum) and at the top of Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí), which has been the site of many famous demonstrations.

4 p.m.: If the weather is nice and you’d rather be outside than admiring the 14 million items in the National Museum, make your way to either Náplavka Riverbank or the Letná Beer Garden. At Náplavka, located on the bank of the Vltava, you’ll be able to enjoy a drink and some food on one of the boat bars. If you'd rather look at the water than be on it, grab something to go and sit on the edge of the river, dangling your feet over the water. Letná Beer Garden, in Letná Park, on the other hand, provides panoramic views of Prague from above. Either option is great for a relaxing afternoon in Prague and and both are popular with the locals.

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06 of 06

Day 2: Evening

dusk in charles bridge with mala strana distric and Prague Castle.
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6 p.m.: After enjoying some time outside, grab a quick dinner and head to one of Prague’s famous black light theater performances. Black light theater is a unique performance style that involves using optical illusions created with UV lights, bright costumes, and a black backdrop to tell a story through movement and sound. It’s become increasingly popular in the Czech Republic in recent years, with many black light theater companies based in Prague. There is no dialogue in traditional black light theater performances so there’s no need for translation. 

10 p.m.: Top off your trip to Prague with a glass of absinthe. There are over 100 kinds of this legendary beverage just waiting to be tried at Absintherie. The highly-trained staff will introduce you to the proper way of serving and drinking absinthe so that you get the full experience. Hemingway Bar also has a sizable absinthe list. This well-known bar is famous for its range of creative cocktails making it a great option for absinthe newbies. After enjoying a few drinks, take a late-night stroll along the Vltava River for one last look at the stunning views of Prague Castle lit up and to say your farewells to beautiful Prague

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