Two Days in Prague
Here is a 2-day tour of Prague. You will need a good guidebook to look up details about what you will see along the way. I use the Prague guidebook by Eyewitness Travel Guides, but there are lots of good guidebooks.
Before you start the trip, buy a three day pass good for all Prague public transportation -- bus, tram, and metro. Then you can just hop on and off at will without having to worry about tickets during your time in Prague. The evening of your first day you should take a dinner cruise on the Vltava River. Try and book one in your hotel before you leave for the day, or during your walk in Prague keep an eye out for tourist information offices and stop in one to book a dinner cruise for that evening.
On your second night in Prague I would try to see a concert or performance, preferably something in the National Theater. If there is nothing available in the National Theater, then the Smetana Hall in the Municipal House or the Rudolfinum Concert Hall are beautiful. Again, try and book in your hotel before you leave for the day, or during your walk in Prague keep an eye out for ticket offices called “Ticketpro.”
Start your tour on the first day at the Museum Metro Station (Muzeum). Go up on the balcony of the museum and have a good look around the Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Namesti) area. Look inside the museum, but do not pay to go in or spend much time there. Start walking down Wenceslas Square, using your guidebook to see what you are interested in.
Walk down the right side of Wenceslas Square to Jindrisska Street (Jindrisska Ulice). Take a right and go about two blocks. On your right you will come to a post office (Posta). Go inside and look around, and then return to Wenceslas Square. Continue down Wenceslas Square to Na Prikope Street and take a right.
Walk down Na Prikope Street to the Powder Tower (Prasna Brana) and Municipal House (Obecni Dum). Have a look inside the Municipal House. Go through (under) the Powder Tower and walk along Celetna Street to Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti). Use your guidebook here to see what you are interested in. Definitely visit the Tyn Church and the St. Nicholas Hussite Church. Be sure to be in front of the Old Town Hall on the hour for the chiming of the famous Astrological Clock.
I would recommend going up in the Old Town Hall Tower for a nice view of Prague. The entrance is through the tourist information office to the left of the Astronomical Clock. Inside the Old Town Hall is a model of Prague that is free to view, and well worth the 10 minutes to see. Follow the signs to the Exhibition on the 4th floor.
From Old Town Square follow Karlova Street to Charles Bridge (Karluv Most). Karlova Street meanders so watch the signs (and other tourists). If you haven’t booked your dinner cruise for tonight yet, then on the way to the Charles Bridge find a tourist information office. They can either book it for you or tell you where to go when you get to the Vltava River.
When you get to Charles Bridge, go up in the first bridge tower for a short film about the bridge and a great view of the river area. Remember as much as you can from the film, many of the names will pop up again in the Prague Castle.
Cross the Charles Bridge and continue on Mostecka Street away from the bridge. Take the second left on Karmelitska Street and walk a couple of blocks to Karmelitska 9 (on the right hand side) to the Church of Our Lady Victorious (Kostel Panny Marie Vitezne) to see the Prague Infant Jesus (Prazska Jezulatko or il Bambino di Praga in Italian).
After seeing the infant Jesus, continue on Karmelitska Street (the name will change to Ujezd Street). On the right hand side you will come to the Ujezd Station for the Petrin Funicular Railway (Lanova Draha). The funicular uses the same metro/tram/bus tickets as any other Prague public transportation, so if you have your three day pass you are all set, you do not need an additional ticket.
Once you are at the top of the funicular railway take a right and walk to the Petrin Observation Tower (the mini-Eiffel Tower, called Rozhledna in Czech). Go up the 199 steps for beautiful views of Prague. There are several other nice sights in Petrin Park, use your guidebook to see what you are interested in.
At the top of Petrin Park, follow the Hunger Wall (Hladova Zed) to the Strahovsky Monastery (Strahovsky Klaster) and the Loreto Church (Loreta). Follow the signs; the wall will be on your right as you follow Strahovska Street slightly downhill. Use your guidebook to see the interesting sights around the area of the Strahovsky Monastery and the Loreta Church, both are worth the price of admission.
The Strahovsky Monastery has many nice sights, including a special library and the Church of Our Lady. There is a very nice view of Prague from just below the Strahovsky Monastery if you did not go up in the Petrin Observation Tower. From the Strahovsky Monastery follow the signs or other tourists to the Loreta Church. The Loreto Church bells are special if you are in the area around the top of the hour.
From the Loreta Church walk down the hill to the Prague Castle (Prazsky Hrad). Follow the signs and the other tourists. On the right hand side before you get to the castle is the Sternberg Palace which houses the National Gallery’s collection of European art with many by Old Masters.
At the Prague Castle use your guidebook to see what you are interested in, but be sure not to miss the St. Vitus Cathedral and the Golden Lane. Make sure you exit the castle the way you entered, do not follow everyone else down the Old Castle Steps to the Malostranska metro station. Instead, walk down Nerudova Street to the Church of St. Nicholas (Kostel Sv. Mikulase); you’ll enjoy Nerudova Street much more.
Use your guidebook to see the interesting sights on Nerudova Street. On the bottom of Nerudova Street on the right is the Church of St. Nicholas. It is worth going in for a look, but it will not seem as impressive as it might otherwise because you will have the St. Vitus Cathedral fresh on your mind. Exit the church and continue back down to the Lesser Town Square (Malostranske Namesti).
From Malostranske Namesti head toward the Charles Bridge and visit the part of the Lesser Town on either side of the Charles Bridge along the banks of the Vltava. Explore the old squares, palaces, churches, and Kampa Island. After exploring here head to your dinner cruise on the Vltava River.
The second day in Prague I would spend the morning in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) and the afternoon in Vysehrad.
Start your tour of the Jewish Quarter in Old Town Square. The street you begin on is Maiselova Street, on the left side of the St. Nicholas Hussite Church. You will know you are on the right street when you pass the Maisel Synagogue on your right. At the first intersection, take a left on Siroka Street to the Pinkas Synagogue. Buy your ticket here for all of the main sights in the Jewish Quarter. The ticket is 500 CZK, quite expensive compared to other attractions in Prague, but worth it.
After visiting the Pinkas Synagogue, exit by the back door into the Old Jewish Cemetery. Exit the Old Jewish Cemetery at the Klausen Synagogue which houses exhibits of the Jewish Museum. After visiting the Klausen Synagogue walk down Hrbitova Cervena Street to Maiselova Street. On Maiselova Street is the Jewish Town Hall, and straight ahead the High Synagogue and Old New Synagogue. After visiting the High Synagogue and the Old New Synagogue, continue on Hrbitova Cervena Street between the synagogues to Parizka Street. Take a right on Parizka Street. Follow Parizka Street to Siroka Street. Take a left on Siroka Street and walk past the Church of the Holy Ghost to the Spanish Synagogue. This completes the tour of the Jewish Quarter, now it is time for lunch. I will give you walking directions to the Cubist Houses, on your way check out the restaurants that you pass and stop at one that seems to fit your mood and price range.
From the Spanish Synagogue head away from Old Town Square on Dusni Street. When you reach Bilkova Street take a left. On the right hand side you will see the cubist style apartment building. After the cubist style apartment building is the Hotel Intercontinental. Keep heading toward the river on Brehova Street, and then take a left on 17 Listopadu Street. Follow 17 Listopadu Street to the Rudolfinum, home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and several wonderful concert halls.
After visiting the Rudolfinum go to the Staromestska Metro stop. It is diagonally across from the Rudolfinum. Take the metro to Vysehrad (Vysehrad metro station). Exit the station toward the Congress Center. Walk along the Congress Center to Na Bucance Street. Walk on Na Bucance Street, and take a right on V Pevnosti Street, passing along walls and ruins and through several gates to K Rotunda Street. Turn left on K Rotunda Street and follow it to Sobeslavova Street. Turn left on Sobeslavova Street and follow it to the walkway atop the fortified wall and take a right. Follow the walkway atop the wall, admiring the beautiful view of Prague and the Vltava. Last night on your dinner cruise you got a view of the old Vysehrad Castle ruins from the boat, now you get a much different view.
After admiring the view, head toward the large Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. The park next to the church has 4 large statues. Legend has it that for every time you walk a loop around the four statues you will add a day to your life. However, I do not know if you are supposed to walk clockwise or counter-clockwise, so I don’t do it for fear of walking the wrong way and losing a day off my life.
Visit the Church of St. Peter and Paul and then the cemetery behind the church. Among others, buried in Vysehrad cemetery are Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana, Josef Vaclav Myslbek, Alfons Mucha, Karel Čapek, Bozena Němcová, Karel Hynek Macha, Jan Neruda, and Mikolas Aleš. You should remember writer Jan Neruda because yesterday you walked down the street named after him from the Prague Castle to the Church of St. Nicholas in the lesser town.
Exit the cemetery and take a left on K Rotunda Street to V Pevnosti. Take a left on V Pevnosti, so now you are heading in the same direction that you were walking on V Pevnosti when you first entered Vysehrad. Follow V Pevnosti to the Brick Gate (Cihelná or Pražská Brána). There you will find a small museum with 6 of the original sculptures from the Charles Bridge. From there take Vratislavova Street down to the river and the Vyton tram stop. From the Vyton tram stop you can take most any tram to the metro.
On your second evening in Prague I would try to see a concert or performance, preferably something in the National Theater, Municipal House, or Rudolfinum Concert Hall.
This finishes your 2 day tour of Prague. You have seen more in two days than most people see in a week, congratulations!