Czech out: Fun things to do in Prague in 3 days

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Prague or Praha, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is rightly nicknamed as the ‘Mother of Cities’. A city that has two faces. The first face is of an ancient city attracting eight million tourists every year. The second face is of a modern pulsating city experienced by its one million residents every day. Whether you are seeking cultural immersion or unbridled fun, you will find yourself easily succumbing to its atmospheric life. Frankly, first time I found it too overwhelming. There were too many tourists wherever I went. But then I found a method to the madness and discovered many fun things to do in Prague, which were both popular as well as offbeat. And, in the end, I too succumbed to the magic of Prague.

One thing that I loved the most about the “City of a Hundred Spires” was its tolerance towards freedom of speech and action of its citizens. And, that explains why so many great men lived here – Franz Kafka (one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century), Tomás G. Masaryk (Philosopher, professor, and Czechoslovakia’s first president), Václav Havel (Author, dissident and first president after Velvet Revolution) and David Černý (sculptor renowned for his modern and provocative works set in contrasting traditional places).

Fun things to do in Prague: See the sculptures of David Černý
Fun things to do in Prague: See the sculptures of David Černý

During my several visits to the Golden Prague I realised the city has as many attractions you could wish of a European capital; avant-garde architecture from every era, countless lively pubs and restaurants serving world’s best beers and cuisines, and plenty of museums, cathedrals, theaters, opera houses, gardens, and other attractions to treat every visitor. If you are planning to visit Prague soon, make sure you bookmark this article.

10  Fun things to do in Prague in 3 days:

1. Visit Prague Castle and Castle District

Things to do in Czech Republic: Go beyond Prague
Prague Castle and Castle District

The world’s largest coherent castle complex is a UNESCO world heritage containing nearly every architectural style of the last millennium. From the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral to the Romanesque Basilica of St. George, Bohemian baroque buildings to early 20th century renovations, the complex brings alive the history of the city and its many layers. Visit early morning to avoid crowds or at sunset at getting a great panoramic view of the old town and bridges of Prague.

2. Get amazed by the Strahov Library

Fun things to do in Prague: visit the Strahov Library
Fun things to do in Prague: visit the Strahov Library

One of the world’s most beautiful libraries, the Strahov Library is the largest monastic library in the country, with two stunning baroque halls from the 17thand 18th centuries. Thanks to numerous renovations it remains strikingly well-preserved, perched atop a hill with magnificent views of the city. 

3. Explore the Vyšehrad Citadel

The 10thcentury citadel atop Vyšehrad hill overlooking the River Vltava is a complex of building and structures full of history and legends. It has played a pivotal role for 1000-years in Czech history – as a royal residence, military fortress and religious centre. The panoramic views from this peaceful and relaxing place is incomparable to anywhere in Prague.

4. Walk on the Charles Bridge 

Fun things to do in Prague: Walk the Charles Bridge

The 14th-century bridge is the oldest functional bridge on the Vltava river in Prague and is the second oldest stone bridge in the Czech Republic. Interestingly, King Charles IV, who had it built, had it finished on 9th July 1357, at 5:31. So, the exact time and date of it being finished is in the year 1357 on the 9th day of the 7th month, at 5:31, or1-3-5-7-9-7-5-3-1. For a fantastic view, walk up the bridge tower by paying just 100 CZK.

5. Stroll through the Old town square

Fun things to do in Prague- Stroll through the old town
Fun things to do in Prague- Stroll through the old town

Enclosed by buildings of different architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Baroque, the Old Town square or Staroměstské náměstí is a must visit historical central plaza of Prague. Listen to the oldest mechanical clock of its kind in the world – the astronomical clock that has chimed every day since1410. The clock has recently been refurbished and is surrounded by four statues representing four cardinal sins: vanity, greed, death and lust.

6. See the Jewish town of Josefov

Fun things to do in Prague- Visit the Jewish cemetery
Fun things to do in Prague- Visit the Jewish cemetery

Located just a stone’s throw from the Old Town Square, the Jewish quarters have magnificent old-new synagogues and old Jewish symmetry with 12,000 tombstones.

7. Climb the Petrin Hill

Fun things to do in Prague: Climb the Petrin Hill
Fun things to do in Prague: Climb the Petrin Hill

This 318m-high hill is the green heart of Prague. Perfect for someone looking for quiet, tree-shaded walks and fine views. Don’t forget to visit the lookout tower and mirror maze.

8. Marvel the beauty of the Dancing house

Fun things to do in Prague: See the Dancing House

A modern architecture piece of the architects Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić from the 1990s that faced a lot of flak initially but is now a famous landmark and even won an award by the TIMEmagazine. The two towers of the building are a reminiscence of the dancers Ginger Rogers (the glass tower) and Fred Astaire (the concrete one).

9. Appreciate art and culture at National theatre

Fun things to do in Prague: Watch a show at the National Theatre, Czech Republic
Fun things to do in Prague: Watch a show at the National Theatre, Czech Republic

With a tradition spanning over 130 years, the National Theatre is not only one of the symbols of national Czech identity but is also an important part of the European cultural space. Contrary to its name, the National Theater is made up of four artistic companies– the Opera, Drama, Ballet and Laterna magika. It artistically manages four stages in three historical buildings: the National Theatre (1883), the State Opera (1888), and the Estates Theatre(1783), and the more recently opened New Stage (1983). Unlike the other European cities, it’s more economical to watch high-class performances in Prague.

10. Get nostalgic and inspired at Lennon Wall

Fun things to do in Prague: visit the Lennon Wall
Fun things to do in Prague: visit the Lennon Wall

At first glance, the Lennon Wall is like any graffiti-covered wall you see around the world. But this wall is special, thanks to its unique history – Prague’s equivalent of the Berlin Wall. John Lennon Peace Wall helped inspire the non-violent Velvet Revolution that led to the fall of Communism in former Czechoslovakia in 1989. Even though JohnLennon never lived in Prague but after his death on 8th December 1980 he became a pacifist hero for many young Czechs. An image of Lennon was painted on a wall opposite the French embassy along with political graffiti and Beatles lyrics. Despite vigilant eyes and repeated coats of whitewash, the secret police could never manage to keep the wall clean for long, which became a monument of free speech and the non-violent rebellion of Czech youth against the Communist regime.

Where to eat and drink in Prague:

Fun things to do in Prague: Beer tasting
Fun things to do in Prague: Beer tasting
  1. Medieval Tavern: One of the oldest pubs in Prague situated under Prague Castle has opened daily since 1375. Many myths and legends are related to this pub. Everyone from kings, musicians and even criminals have drunk here. Every week from Tuesday to Saturday this underground labyrinth comes alive from 7 pm to 10 pm with a medieval feast, music, dancing and juggler show.
Medieval Tavern Bar, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Prague Foodie Tour:Try the authentic taste of Prague with locals in their style while listening to their childhood stories and getting acquainted with their customs and traditions.
  • Jazz boat: Touristy but a romantic way of exploring the historical city. The 2.5-hour-dinner Jazz boat floats on the waves of Vltava river as you enjoy a live concert of professional Jazz musicians and relish the panoramic Prague views of illuminated city monuments.
Fun things to do in Prague: Dine on the Jazzboat
  • Manifesto market: Thanks to my local friend Veronika, I experienced a completely cashless place – a container village – the first of its kind in the Czech Republic and one of the firsts in Europe. What was once a derelict wasteland full of garbage is now a hip gastronomic paradise full of life and new ideas. Manifesto Market is a place where youngsters, office goers and locals convene to enjoy art, design, music, workshops, films and a variety of global cuisines and flavors.
  • Café Louvre: The vintage café has welcomed esteemed guests from Franz Kafka to Albert Einstein since 1902. Perfect place to staple the Czech foods like beef goulash with Carlsbad dumplings or confit duck leg with red cabbage and potato dumplings.
  • Café Slavia: Over the years the historic café has been a favourite hangout spot for actors, playwrights, writers, and anti-communist dissidents.
  • Letná Beer Garden: A place to relax and drink Czech beer under leafy chestnut trees with sweeping views of the Old Town across the Vltava river.
  • Pivovar Boršov: A 12th century hidden brewery in the old town but tucked away from the hullaballoo of the crowds is a must-visit place for any beer guzzler.

Where to shop in Prague:

  • Manufaktura: For traditional Czech handicrafts and souvenirs like trays, candles, ceramics, herbal soaps and linens.
  • Palladium: A downtown shopping centre with 170 shops and 30 restaurants across five floors.

Where to stay in Prague:

Seven days hotel Entrance, Prague, CZ Republic

Prague is divided into areas 1 to 10 with two clear demarcations- “upriver” and “downriver”. If you stay in Prague 1 or 2, you stay close to many attractions and public transport is always easy to find. Here are the suggested accommodations for every budget:

  • Luxury: Four seasons, Savoy, Aria, Augustine
  • Mid-range: Boutique Hotel Seven Days, Alchymist
  • Budget: Savic, Sophie’s, Corinthia

Suggested itinerary for fun things to do in Prague in 72 hours:

  • Day 1: Old Town, Jewish Quarter, Charles Bridge, Medieval Tavern
  • Day 2: Prague Castle area, lesser town, Kafka Museum, Jazz Boat
  • Day 3: Museums, theatre, off the beaten, shopping, beer garden and cafés

What to pack for Prague:

  • Clothing: Prague’s weather is veryunpredictable from mid 40s in summers to sub-zero in winters with unannounced showers any time of the year. Therefore, pack layers of clothing and comfortable walking shoes. In spring and autumn, a light trench jacket and a small umbrella will protect you from odd showers. In winter, bring a warm coat, hat and gloves to ward off the sub-zero temperatures, and waterproof warm boots to cope with snow and ice.
  • Gadgets: European 2-pin electrical adaptor, camera, extra batteries, memory cards, and power banks.

Prague nuts and bolts

  1. Visa: Schengen visa for the residents of countries like India. The Czech Consular in India is infamous for not providing visas on time. I almost missed my trip despite submitting all documents in time for an official trip where I was invited by the Czech Tourism itself. Therefore, apply at least 3-4 weeks in advance and pay special attention to your documents.
  2. Currency: Czech Koruna, roughly 23 CZK to one USD
  3. Language: Mostly Czech and basic English
  4. Etiquettes: Generally, people don’t smile at strangers and might come across rude, including the hospitality staff. The accepted tip is approximately 10-15% of the total bill.
  5. Best time to visit: Late spring(May-June) and early fall (September)when the weather is mild and there are lesser crowds. December is a great time to experience the Christmas markets.
  6. Getting in: You can fly in or take a Eurail/bus from any of the big European cities like Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava etc. I used the Eurail global Pass that let me board any train at any time across 28 countries in Europe. In summers, a lot of repair work happens on rail tracks and roads, therefore, frequent delays and changeovers are a common phenomenon. Factor in that in your travel plans.
  7. Public transport: Tram and metro are cheap, efficient and highly integrated modes of local transport in Prague. You can buy metro/tram cards at any nearby grocery stores next to the stations.
  8. Walking tours: The cobblestoned streets of the historic city are best explored on foot in the company of a local expert.  I highly recommend walking tours of Context tours in Prague, which are led by historians, teachers, journalists, and other knowledgeable local experts. I took two extremely immersive and enriching private tours with them – PragueCastle District and Strahov Monastery and GreatMinds, Grand Spaces: Prague’s Cafe Culture
  9. Best view: Climb 138 steps to the top of the Old Town Bridge Tower for unforgettable views of the Charles Bridge, the Vltava River, and Prague Castle.
  10. Day tours: You can take day tours to Pilsen, Kutna Hora, Cesky Krumluv and České Budějoviceand Bohemia Switzerland. However, it’s much better to spend a few days in these places.
  11. Where to go next: Explore the Bohemia and Moravia regions

Hope these Fun things to do in Prague in 3 days inspire you to visit the heart of Europe soon. While I recommend visiting Prague, I would urge you to also Czech out other chapters of the land of stories – Czech Republic.

For more info, don’t forget to read:

Have you ever visited Prague or Czech Republic? If yes, I would love to hear from you.

Inspired? Pin these to your Pinterest boards

Disclaimer

I was invited by the Czech Tourism  as a featured speaker at the TBEX Europe Conference. However, everything expressed above is based on my personal experiences in the country during my several visits. Images used are shot by me. Please do not copy anything without written permission.

24 Comments

  • Shreya Saha says:

    Wow there are so many things to do and so many places to see in Prague. I definitely need a day in the Castle District. You have nicely depicted other things like places to stay and food to eat more. It is great.

  • Marya says:

    Born and bred in Asia, I actually got to know Prague and the Czech Republic in general through my love of football. When I was a teenager, there was an Indonesian novel that had gone viral during that period and the setting taken in the novel was in Prague. That was the first time I knew that Prague is such a beautiful city, and if anything romantic. I’m still yet to visit the city or the country in general. But the more I read about it, the more I want to go there someday. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Christine says:

    Wow…this place looks beautiful. SO many amazing places to see and things to do from the culture, food, and history. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy Chung says:

    What beautiful photos! I went to Prague in the winter time and the landscapes and colors look completely different. Love the snow covered sidewalks as I looked down from Charles Bridge and walking down Petrin Hill. I didn’t visit the library and now I’m kicking myself but we just ran out of time despite it being high on my list. You’ve inspired me to go back. Maybe I’ll go in Spring this time around!

  • Arnav Mathur says:

    This blog literally brought back all the memories of my trip. Prague was the first European city that I visited and it set the ball rolling. Theres so much to do in Prague, that I need to take a trip again, maybe in the summer months.
    Walking through the old town is hands down an amazing and exhaustive experience in itself.

  • Jennifer Maune says:

    Old town square looks so much fun. Would love to see the castles and all of the architecture too! Wonderful list!

    -Jennifer

  • Debjani lahiri says:

    Prague left me speechless as this was the main destination for me to plan my Europe trip. Your visual representation is very unique. Keep it up.

  • Debjani lahiri says:

    Prague was one of the main reason for me to plan my Europe trip. In fact, I have been following you on Instagram. Your visual representation of the city is way attractive. Also, you have beautifully covered all aspects in detail

  • Luci says:

    I never knew how beautiful Prague was and rich in history. I just added this to my bucket list of places that I need to go to.

  • Laura Pedlar says:

    Prague is known as a popular destination for UK stag parties, which has been a bit off-putting for me but your blog post has shown the cultural side of the city. There is certainly plenty to do there. It seems like a perfect weekend city break. I particularly liked the idea of visiting Manifesto Market – sounds cool!

  • Zoë says:

    Oh wow, you genuinely have listed an answer to every possible question I could ask about Prague! Your photos are stunning (I was amazed by the library) and I adore the Lenin wall. It looks like a lot to pack in for a 3-day trip!

  • Rajesh Bhardwaj says:

    Archna, I am highly impressed by your serious effort. Your work on Prague has great insights. It must have taken a lot of time to grasp everything. All your expressions are very authentic and first-hand knowledge. You also cover such wide scale. Thanks a lot for sharing, Please keep this spirit.

  • Anjali W says:

    The Prague Castle and Castle District look so picturesque. I am sure visiting the old town and the bridges must have been amazing. The architecture of the dancing house looks really interesting and fun. This guide is so resourceful as you have put all the useful information about Prague at one place. I am sure to put this guide handy when I visit Prague.

  • Daniel says:

    Prague is such a beautiful city. I spent a couple of years there while I was doing my masters. This virtual tour brought back so many nice memories! Thank you for that 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    I love this list! I didn’t really care about Prague, but after hearing about it from Gilmore girls, some girls while traveling and your list, it definitely has a lot to offer!

  • Ryan K Biddulph says:

    That old skool tavern looks brilliant Archana. I see a court jester laughing in the background.

  • Parnashree Devi says:

    Prague has always been on my list. This is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. You have covered everything beautifully. Architectures of this city simply stun me each time I come across any photo. You have captured each photo really well. More than anything else, I am absolutely stunned by the Strahov Library. Hopefully, I will make it to this destination soon 🙂

  • Medha Verma says:

    Prague is one of my favourite European cities. I love your picture of the sunset on Charles Bridge! I’ve got a few of my own but nothing close to how amazing this one is. Castle District is a must-do in my opinion as well but what I missed out on was Strahov Library. It looks superb!

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman says:

    What a beautiful piece. Very well paced and filled with excellent photography. I wonder what Google would say about “unbridled fun in Prague”. Turns out this article was the 2nd entry. Great job! I love the castle district and going to the Medieval Tavern looks, well…. medieval. I can’t wait to visit Prague and check out all of this fun this for myself.

  • Annick says:

    Prague is on my list of destinations to visit in 2019. I’ve wanted to walked on the Charles Bridge and see the Dancing House. There are so many cultural places to see! The Manifesto Market sounds intriguing and delicious. Great suggestions on an itinerary.

  • Lisa says:

    This is an excellent and detailed guide to Prague, especially as I’ve not yet been! I’d like to go when it’s less busy, but I don’t think that will happen. I actually like the sound of a touristy jazz boat ride, don’t know why! And of course, the famous bridge would probably be a first stop. Hope to visit next year!

  • Clarice says:

    Wow! I did not realize that there’s a lot of things to do and see in Prague. The mix of modern and ancient sites makes it really interesting. Would love to do #5 and #7. Looking forward to traveling someday.

  • Vidya Tiru says:

    First of all, I want to say I love how much detail you provided and how you organized it (I hope to write more posts like this sooner than later – inspiration abounds in posts like yours).. and the photos are amazing. You have made me add one more place to my must-visit list.

  • Nadalie Bardo says:

    Is there anywhere so stunning as Prague! I really wish I’d visited when I had the chance, but one day soon we shall meet.

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