A Weekend In Czech Republic

Our weekend in Prague was one of the best European city breaks we’ve had. From wandering the streets of the Old Town to drinking wine in Prague’s vineyard overlooking the city, this European destination has a lot to offer for a weekend break.

Whether you’ve got three days in Prague or more, this Prague weekend guide takes you through the best neighbourhoods, activities and foodie spots in the city.

A Weekend in Prague – What To Do in 3 Days

In this Prague weekend travel guide, I run through the best of Prague’s neighbourhoods. I highlight the tops spots in each neighbourhood, so you know exactly where to go on your weekend in Prague. To fit the best of the city into three days, I recommend splitting your days into these districts:

  • Day 1 — Prague Old Town & Mala Strana
  • Day 2 — Prague New Town, the Jewish Quarter & Vinohrady
  • Day 3 — Holešovice & Prague Vineyard
  • More Days? Day Trips from Prague

 

Prague Old Town

Czech Republic - Old Town Square

If you’re in Prague for the first time, then the number one thing to do on your weekend itinerary has to be the historic Old Town. No weekend in Prague is complete without seeing the Old Town.

Hit the cobblestones early for your first day in Prague. The Old Town, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle are heaving with tour groups waving little flags by 9AM. The stifling crowds can take the edge off the beauty of Prague’s most famous sights. It means you have to queue if you want a picture too. We started out at 7:30AM to avoid the chaos. Prague Astronomical Clock — Our first stop was the famous medieval astronomical clock. This 600 year-old clock is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest clock still operating.

Old Town Square — To the side of the clock is Prague’s Old Town Square. It’s lined with Gothic buildings, art galleries and schierův dům, the former home of Franz Kafka. In the centre of the square is the Jan Hus monument of a famous martyr.

St Nicholas Church & Church of Our Lady before Týn — Near to the Old Town Square, you’ll find these two well-known churches. We overheard a tour guide say that St Nicholas Church has changed denomination three times. It was originally protestant, changed to Russian Orthodox and is now Roman Catholic.

Charles Bridge — Wind your way through the Old Town to the Charles Bridge. This bridge is a famous sight in Prague and takes you across the river toward Prague Castle and the Mala Strana neighbourhood.

Prague Castle — Once you’ve made your way across the bridge, climb the cobblestone stairs to Prague Castle. You’ll be met with views over the capital city and a large sweeping square with street musicians. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site, built in the Premyslid Dynasty. Prague Castle costs 350 to enter. Inside, you can visit St. Vitus Cathedral and St. George’s Basilica.

 

Cafes in Prague Old Town

Cafe Club Misenska — Sip a leisurely espresso in their courtyard on your way back down from the castle. It hosts an intimate open mic night on Wednesday evenings.

Vinograf Wine Bar — If it’s after 4PM, then Vinograf will be open for wine and nibbles. Vinograf sell some of the best Czech wine there is, so don’t miss it. They’ll recommend you a wine based on what you like. Pair it up with cheese and olives.

 

Mala Strana

Mala Strana District - Prague's Little Quarter

Mala Strana is the hillside area that runs along the Vltava river. It’s a nice stretch of neighbourhood dotted with cultural landmarks and definitely a spot you’ll want to see during your weekend in Prague. These include the Kafka Museum, John Lennon Wall and Museum Kampa, the modern art gallery. Once you’ve had your fill of museums and galleries, head to Petrin park. The leafy Petrin Park leads up to the Strahov Monastery where you can get a stein of local Pilsner.

Kafka Museum — Inside the Kafka Museum, you’ll find letters and diaries written by the famous Czech writer. The dark, wooden floor-boarded museum contains various first editions of Kafka’s works. There are various personal artefacts of his, and representations of his works. Outside the museum is the distinctive and often photographed statue to two men peeing on the shape of Czechia. The sculptures are one of David Černý’s most controversial works.

John Lennon Wall — Follow the river along and walk under the passage way to the John Lennon Wall. The wall is covered in graffiti, art and political writing. The wall was first adorned with a mural of John Lennon in 1980 following his assassination. Through the 1980s, the wall became an outlet for young Czechs frustrated by the Communist regime. Now, the wall is drawn and written on regularly meaning the art continuously changes — though not always for the better.

Museum Kampa — Further along the river, you’ll reach the modern art museum. I loved the galleries when I first visit Prague almost 10 years ago but I wasn’t so captivated on my second visit. Museum Kampa contains the art collection of Jan and Meda Mládek, supporters of the Czechoslovak non-conformist artists. The weird giant baby statues outside the Museum Kampa — which can also be seen climbing the side of Zizkov Tower — are another of David Černý’s controversial art pieces.

Petrin Park and Tower — Wind your way up the hill of Petrin Park to reach the 63.5 metre tall Petrin Tower. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, Petrin Tower has a similar but not exact design. It’s built at a smaller scale than its French counterpart. We opted not to go up the tower because there are many beautiful, free viewpoints around Prague.

Strahov Monastery — Follow the path through the park and you’ll reach the Strahov Monastery. This monastery is surrounded by beer gardens. Pull up a chair and enjoy a locally brewed Pilsner in the fresh air. We recommend stopping for a beer at Velká Klášterní brewery, though the food here is overpriced.

 

Cafes in Mala Strana

Artic Bakehouse — This delicious bakery is a great place to grab a snack on the go. Their chalkboard menu features sourdough sandwiches with different fillings. I devoured a hot, salty toasted sourdough sandwich of green pesto and two cheeses. Sweets on offer include cinnamon buns, oatmeal cookies, danishes, croissants and a raspberry scones.

 

Prague New Town

What to Expect from Prague's Old & New Town | Radisson Blu

Prague New Town is the city’s commercial hub. The busy and metropolitan Wenceslas Square is at the centre of the New Town. It’s where you’ll find many of the chain hotels, shops and cafes. The Národní Museum of history and science is also located here. We skipped this large museum to spend time at the smaller Mucha Art Museum and cover more ground in other more authentic districts in Prague.

Mucha Museum — This small gallery showcases the gorgeous art of the Czech nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. The gallery houses a collection of his decorative panels, including his famed The Four Seasons. There is also a collection of Parisian and Czech posters.

National Theatre — The National Theatre is a stunning example of Renaissance Revival architecture. It’s often considered a national monument of Czech history. We passed by the outside to admire the architecture.

Vyšehrad Medieval Fortress — The historic Vyšehrad fort is set on uphill in southeastern Prague. Overlooking the river, this is a great spot to look out over the city. It’s also a popular place for Czechs to celebrate New Year’s Eve we hear.

Food & Coffee in Prague New Town

EMA Espresso Bar — Start the morning with a strong coffee at EMA Espresso Bar, one of Prague’s third wave coffee shops. The third wave coffee movement focuses on the quality of the coffee and how it is sourced, roasted and brewed. Basically it means you’ll get a delicious, quality coffee. EMA was probably my favourite coffee place in Prague and I left with a good buzz.

Manifesto Market Florenc — This hub of trendy open-air food stalls has something to please everyone. You’ll find Czech, Japanese, Middle Eastern, American and vegan food here, amongst others. Our favourite food stall was Hummus Nofech. Grab yourself a hot pitta and the best hummus you’ve eaten in your life.

 

 

Prague’s Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter: Visit Prague's Jewish quarter

Prague’s Jewish Quarter is steeped in a turbulent history. The ghettoization of the area started in the 13th century as the Jewish people of Prague were ordered to move to this small area of the city. As part of an initiative to re-model the city on Paris, much of the Jewish quarter was demolished by 1913. Buildings left untouched include the synagogues, the old cemetery and the Old Jewish Town Hall. These buildings survived through the Nazi occupation and are still standing today. These include the Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue and the Old-New Synagogue.

 

Vinohrady Neighbourhood

Prague- Vinohrady district

Vinohrady is Prague’s most trendy (and expensive) neighbourhood. It’s studded with international restaurants, hipster coffee shops and upmarket bars. This neighbourhood is where much of the vegetarian and vegan food scene in Prague is! Many of Prague’s expats and local young professionals live in this area of the city. We were fortunate enough to stay at a friend’s place here. On warm evenings, come over to drink al fresco at one of the many nice bars around The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord. It’s by the Jiřího z Poděbrad underground station.

Food & Drink in Vinohrady Neighbourhood

Restaurace Satsang — One of Vinohrady’s trendy vegetarian restaurants, Satsang is a neighbourhood favourite. Their menu features international dishes including pad Thai, massaman curry, pizza, and Beyond Meat burgers. The food is homemade and cooked by fresh by a talented woman who handles simultaneous pans and ovens single-handed. Try their Czech red wine, Dornfelder, it’s delicious.

Burrito Loco — Want cheap and cheerful food for a quick bite? Chow down on a chunky burrito from this Prague chain. Vegetarians and vegans are catered for here. Pro tip though: you’re better off ordering a vegetarian burrito which is stuffed with fried peppers and veggies and asking for no cheese/sour cream. The vegan burrito has no veggies and is instead just double the amount of refried beans.

 

Karlin Neighbourhood

Karlín – the hippest neighborhood in Prague | Scandinavian Traveler

This former industrial neighbourhood is being regenerated. It’s fast becoming a place known for its indies cafes, expensive bistros and buzzing nightlife. When we walked through during the morning, the streets seemed peaceful and quiet. The district is an eclectic mix of old factories and art nouveau buildings.

National Monument on Vitkov — Trek uphill to the National Monument and statue of Jan Žižka z Trocnova. After admiring this lofty statue of the Czech general, venture to the edges for great views of Prague. Don’t forget to bring water with you, as it’s quite a walk.

Kasárna Karlín — We came by day to check out this old military barracks that has been converted into a cultural centre, but really it comes alive at night. The courtyard area hosts outdoor cinema screenings throughout the summer. There’s a music hall, volleyball pitch and even coffee cupping events here if you turn up at the right time.

 

Holešovice & Prague Vineyard

The St Clara Vineyard (Vinice sv. Kláry) - Prague.eu

Holešovice has gone from from sleazy stag dos to hipster paradise, according to the Independent. We felt like this district was still a work in progress. There are more independent coffee shops, little cafes and odd art galleries popping up here. Factories are being revamped to house clubs and theatre performances. The district sits nicely next to the two huge green spaces of Letna Park and Stromovka Park.

DOX — DOX is Prague’s  Centre for Contemporary Art. Currently housing a huge airship. Too busy in Prague’s parks, we didn’t make it to DOX but it’s looks awesome.

Letna Park and Beer Garden — With sweeping views over Prague Old Town, Letna Park is the perfect place to drink a beer in the shade.

Stromovka Park — Prague’s central park is a huge green space to the north of Prague. At 100 hectares, there’s a lot to walk around, or you can simply sit and enjoy the peacefulness. We walked through the park to reach Prague’s Botanical Gardens and Vineyard.

Botanical Gardens and Vineyard — Yes, as well as great beer, Prague also has great wine. No weekend in Prague would be complete without sampling some of the local Czech wine, and where better than a vineyard! Maybe my favourite activity on my weekend in Prague was the botanical gardens and vineyard. This tranquil gardens is set on a hillside at to the north of the Prague and has glorious views across the city. Head up in the early afternoon to explore the gardens and unwind with a glass of wine as the late afternoon rolls in.

 

 

Got Extra Days? Day Trips from Prague

If you’ve got a spare day on your weekend in Prague, there are some excellent day-trips just outside the city.

Kutna Hora — This popular day-trip from Prague takes you to the beautiful town of Kutna Hora. You’ll stop by Sedlec Ossuary, the eerie bone church. It’s decorated with human bones inside. The second stop is the glorious St Barbara’s Church. It’s one of Europe’s most famous Gothic churches and a UNESCO world heritage site. It takes about an hour to reach Kutna Hora from Prague.

Book your day-trip from Prague to Kutna Hora and St Barbara’s Church.

Bohemian Switzerland National Park — Pull on your hiking boots for a day trip to Czechia’s Bohemian Switzerland National Park. Located the Czech-German border, this picturesque region makes for a great day-trip from Prague. We took the train to Decin and changed for a local bus to the village of Hřensko. From here you can begin the hiking routes. Expect to see gorgeous rock towers throughout the park. Check out hiking routes in the National Park here. It takes about 90 minutes to reach the National Park from Prague.