Prague 3-Day Travel Guide – What to See and Do in the “City of a Hundred Spires”

  • 18.08.2023 11:20
  • Bruno Arcos

Have a look at our Prague 3-day travel guide and discover the best the city has to offer, including hotels, restaurants, tips to avoid tourist scams and even a detailed list with everything you must see and do in Prague in 3 days.

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Poetically known as the “City of a Thousand Spires”, due to the numerous domes, towers, and spires that pierce the skies of the Czech capital, the fabulous city of Prague is one of the most beautiful and fascinating European destinations.

Blessed with one of the best-preserved historical centers on the planet, Prague is an authentic architectural masterpiece where Gothic, Baroque and medieval styles coexist and complement each other, adorning the bustling banks of the Vltava River. It is a city that breathes history and tradition while maintaining the bohemian vibe that has made it so popular among student communities – in short, a place for all kinds of travelers!

That being said, we invite you to have a look at our Prague 3-day travel guide and discover the best the city has to offer, including hotels, restaurants, tips to avoid tourist scams and even a detailed list with everything you must see and do in Prague in 3 days.

Prague 3-Day Travel Guide

Ryanair

How to get to Prague – Flights from Ireland

Considering this is the largest and most important city in all of Greece, it comes as no surprise that Athens is served by the country’s biggest air hub: the Václav Havel International Airport.

As such, if you’re traveling from Ireland, it is possible to fly directly to Prague from Dublin with Aer Lingus and Ryanair.

Prague 3-day travel guide – Best time to visit the city

Not a lot of wiggle room to be creative here! Considering the city is located in Europe, Spring, Summer and Fall are definitely the most sought-after months when it comes to booking a trip to Prague, with the period between May and September standing out as the most researched. However, keep in mind Summer months can at times feel unbearably hot in the Hungarian capital!

On the other hand, you may choose to visit during shoulder-season, when temperatures tend to be more pleasant, the streets less crowded and the prices smaller. However, and for those strong-willed enough to face the harsh Czech winter, visiting Prague in during low-season can also feel refreshingly rewarding, especially considering it houses one of the very best Christmas markets in Europe.

Documents needed for your trip to Prague

Since the Czech Republic is part of the EU, Irish citizens only need to show a valid ID Card in order to be granted access to the country.

Prague 3-day travel guide – Withdrawals, banking fees and travel budget

With the Czech Koruna (Kr) as Czechia’s official currency, any withdrawal using an Irish bank card might incur in the payment of several different fees. Besides the percentual fee referring to the currency conversion, some Irish banks may also charge a flat commission for withdrawals made outside Ireland. In some instances, you may well end up paying 5%-6% of your original withdrawal in banking fees.

On the other hand, exchanging money before your trip is not a viable solution either. Besides not being any cheaper, it’s also not safe or wise to carry so much money on you during your trip. As such, we recommend using the services of online banking fintech companies such as Revolut, N26 or Monzo.

Although each have their own limitations and fees, they allow you to withdraw a certain amount in foreign currency without any fees involved. And even after that threshold is reached, costs are much smaller when compared to traditional banks. Sign up for Revolut for free >> to get 3 months of Premium.

It’s worth noting that in Prague, as in most European countries, electronic payments are extremely common, and the need to withdraw cash is becoming increasingly rare. Nevertheless, if you do need to do so, we recommend using the following banks, which, at the time of writing, do not charge any withdrawal fees:

  • Raiffeisenbank
  • Komerční banka

On the other hand, if you prefer to carry some cash and exchange it at your destination, here are 5 currency exchange offices in Prague with very favorable reviews:

Prague 3-day travel guide – Common scams and frauds

First and foremost, let me clarify that Prague is an incredibly safe destination. With low crime rates and virtually no record of any terrorist attacks, this is the kind of place where you can feel comfortable both during the day and night.

However, and much like you would do in any other big city, using your common-sense is key. That means no taxis whose drivers refuse to start the meter, no accepting help from strangers when you’re using an ATM or trying to buy metro tickets and always keeping an eye out for your stuff when you’re walking through busy areas. Also, since the local currency is different, do not exchange money on the streets. In fact, even at currency exchange offices, it’s a good idea to double-check the amount before completing the transaction, as some places in the city are famous for having hidden fees.

Also around these more touristy areas, pay special attention to the cafes/restaurants menus. Unfortunately, it is quite common in Prague for certain establishments to try to overcharge foreign visitors by adding unrequested items to the bill or serving extras, like bread or pretzels, without your consent.

Where to sleep in Prague – Hotels and Accommodation

If you’re looking out for a place to stay on our Prague 3-day travel guide then we got your covered!

Although the city can no longer be considered cheap for European standards, Prague remains a relatively affordable capital compared to its Western counterparts. Naturally, this is also reflected in the price of accommodations.

That being said, here are a few hotel options which have passed our value-for-money test:

Prague 3-Day Travel Guide – Transportation between the airport and the capital centre

Upon landing in Prague, the best way to reach the city is by using the Airport Express (AE) Bus. These vehicles depart directly from outside terminals 1 and 2, and the whole trip to the Central Train Station (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi), right at the heart of the city, might take about 30-50 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. These buses operate daily from 05h30 and 21h00, with a new vehicle departing every 15 to 30 minutes. As for prices, tickets cost 100 CZK.

On the other hand, if you’re running on a tight budget and are looking for a cheaper alternative, you may rely on public buses. Out of the 3 daytime options, the 119 line is the most popular alternative, transporting passengers between the airport and the Nádraží Veleslavín metro station (20 minutes), where you then may use the same ticket and take the tube to the city center in about 15 minutes. The bus stop is located outside terminal 2 (exit D), with a new bus leaving every 5-20 minutes between 04h20 and 23h40. The ticket can be bought directly from the driver or at one of the airport’s kiosks for 40 CZK. If you land in Prague in the middle of the night, you may catch night bus 910 to the IP Pavlova metro station, less than 2km away from the Old Town. This line operates between 23h50 and 03h50, with a new bus leaving every 30 minutes. Prices are the same as the daytime line.

Finally, you can hire a taxi to take you straight to your place of accommodation, although the same exact trip will take you back 20€-25€. In this case, our recommendation is to use online platforms such as Uber.

Prague 3-Day Travel Guide – Public transportation

While Prague has a fairly comprehensive and diverse transportation system, which includes the metro, buses and trams, the reality is that its historic center is relatively compact, allowing you to easily explore all the major attractions on foot.

That being said, and if you really need to rely on public transportation, you’ll most likely end up using the metro.

Prague Metro – Maps, Tickets and Fares

When you consider the city’s size and population, it’s quite surprising that Prague’s metro system consists of only three distinct lines, with a new expansion for a 4th line on the horizon. Regardless, the current network conveniently cover the entire historic center of the Czech capital, making it incredibly useful for tourists.

The metro operates every day from 5h00 to midnight, with an average waiting time of 4 minutes during rush hour, and up to 10 minutes throughout the rest of the day.

When it comes to tickets/fares, prices depend on the length of your trip. If your trip takes no more than half an hour, you can grab a 30-minute ticket for just 30 CZK. But if you’ll be on the move for a bit longer, it’s better to go for the 90-minute ticket, which costs 40 CZK. Furthermore, these tickets are also valid on both buses and trams. In an extremely important side note, don’t forget to validate your ticket when boarding public transportation, otherwise you will get fined, even if you have an unused ticket.

However, if you plan on using the metro frequently, it’s worth looking into the daily and multi-day options available:

  • 24 hours: 120 CZK
  • 72 hours: 330 CZK

Both passes include a ride on the Petrin Funicular and are valid for the public buses between the airport and the city center. However, keep in mind you can’t use them on the Airport Express (AE) bus.

Prague 3-day Travel Guide – Free walking tours

While in Prague, you have the option to explore the city with a free walking tour. These tours, led by local guides or tour companies, offer guided visits to the historic center, sharing intriguing stories about each place and providing valuable cultural context. Even though these tours are technically free, it’s customary to show appreciation for the guide’s efforts by leaving a tip at the end. In Prague, a reasonable minimum tip would be around 125 CZK.

That being said, here are a few companies that run free walking tours in Prague:

Prague 3-day Travel Guide – Hidden Treasures

With 3 days in Prague, and although there is definitely plenty to see, you will have enough time to at least cover the main highlights.

Be that as it may, and because we believe a good traveler must always be able to explore beyond the obvious, we wanted to add a few more obscure places to your list of things to see and do in Prague in 3 days:

  • Visehrad
  • Strahov Monastery Library
  • Klementinum
  • Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
  • Letna Park
  • Olsany Cemetery
  • Kampa Island

Prague 3-Day Travel Guide – What to See and Do in 72 Hours

Despite its size and history, Prague is a city where the main tourist attractions are concentrated within a relatively compact area, allowing you to get a good grasp of the city’s highlights in just 3 days.

Without further ado, here’s what to see and do in Prague in 3 days:

Prague 3-Day Travel Guide – Day 1 – The Old Town and the Jewish Quarter

For your inaugural day in Prague, we recommend starting your time by exploring its breathtaking Old Town, the most stunning district in the city, and dare I say, one of the most beautiful quarters in all of Europe. That being said, you’ll enter Prague’s historic core by passing through the iconic Powder Tower, one of the city’s original Gothic gates that to this day still separates the Old Town from the New Town. Right next to the tower, make sure to visit the Municipal House, a stunning public building known for its free art exhibitions and ornate interiors, housing the magnificent Smetana Hall, one of the Czech capital’s prettiest concert houses/theaters. From here, it’s time to move on to the Old Town Square, which is considered Prague’s historical and cultural heart. Surrounded by some of the city’s major landmarks, you’ll be able to visit the awe-inspiring Church of Our Lady before Týn, climb the Old Town Hall Tower (300 CZK) for panoramic views, and, of course, see the iconic Astronomical Clock first-hand, the oldest working clock in the world, which has been ticking for over 600 years.

Once you’ve soaked in the Old Town’s beauty, venture into the adjacent Josefov district, also known as Prague’s Jewish Quarter. This was one of the very few Jewish districts to survive World War II, and legend even has it that Hitler himself decided to spare Josefov in order to create a “Museum of the Extinct Race” once the war was over. Nowadays, it’s possible to wander around as you discover many synagogues and other historical sights, such as the Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue (the prettiest), the Old-New Synagogue (the oldest in Europe), the Pinkas Synagogue or the Ceremonial Hall, where all Jewish death rites were observed before burial. Just nearby, the Old Jewish Cemetery is a place you don’t want to miss, standing as probably the most important monument in the entire district. An impressive sight, with over 12.000 tombstones cramped and layered on top of each other. To explore all these fascinating places in Josefov, grab the Prague Jewish Town ticket (550 CZK), available at any ticket counter. If you’re okay with skipping the Old-New Synagogue, the Jewish Museum in Prague ticket (400 CZK) covers all the other spots and is slightly cheaper.

As the day draws to a close, head toward the Vltava River banks and take a detour to Klementinum (300 CZK), a former Jesuit college boasting a breathtaking Baroque library. The tour includes a glimpse of the library, the building’s very own astronomical clock and an opportunity to climb the astronomical tower for yet another incredible view of Prague. Finally, end your day on a magical note by crossing the iconic Charles Bridge. Flanked by 30 stone statues, it’s one of Czechia’s most iconic and recognizable images, connecting the Old Town to the charming quarter of Malá Strana, on the opposite side of the Vltava.

First day wrap-up:

  • Old Town of Prague
  • Powder Tower
  • Municipal House (Smetana Hall)
  • Old Town Square
  • Church of Our Lady before Týn
  • Old Town Hall Tower
  • Prague Astronomical Clock
  • Josefov – Jewish Quarter
  • Maisel Synagogue
  • Spanish Synagogue
  • Old-New Synagogue
  • Pinkas Synagogue
  • Jewish Ceremonial Hall
  • Old Jewish Cemetery
  • Klementinum
  • Charles Bridge

Cheap restaurants in the Old Town and Josefov:

Prague 3-Day Travel Guide – Day 2 – Prague Castle and Malá Strana

Glancing onto the other side of the river, it is now time to explore the historical district of Malá Strana. On this bank of the Vltava, the main highlight is the magnificent Prague Castle (250 CZK), officially the largest castle complex in the world. Within its vast 70.000 square meters, you’ll find some of the city’s most famous buildings and places, such as the gigantic Saint Vitus Cathedral, whose towers can be seen from almost anywhere in Prague. While you’re here, make sure to check out as well the likes of the Saint George’s Basilica, the Old Royal Palace and the picturesque Golden Lane, a colorful alley where castle servants and artisans once lived. Interestingly, famous writer Franz Kafka actually lived on this street back in 1916 and 1917. Adjacent to the castle, you can also check out the beautiful Royal Garden for free.

Once you’re done with the castle, I highly recommend taking a little detour to the often-overlooked Strahov Monastery (150 CZK), a religious complex with stunning cloisters and altars, but especially worth visiting due to its Philosophical Hall and Theological Hall, two stunning libraries whose ceilings are covered in amazing frescoes! Starting your way down back to the river, take your time to wander through the charming streets, classic façades and hidden alleys of Malá Strana, stopping at Saint Nicholas Church and at the famous Lennon Wall. The latter, a literal wall covered in colorful graffiti paying tribute to John Lennon’s image, work and ideas, turned out to become one of Prague’s most uncommon attractions. It’s an interesting story, since the former communist government in Czechoslovakia was hell bent on erasing all these impromptu messages, inadvertently transforming the wall into a symbol of resistance. Finally, for one of the very best sunsets in Prague, make sure to head to Kampa Island and watch the quasi-magical way the twilight illuminates the façades of the old buildings.

Second day wrap-up:

  • Prague Castle
  • Saint Vitus Cathedral
  • Saint George’s Basilica
  • Old Royal Palace
  • Golden Lane
  • Royal Garden
  • Strahov Monastery
  • Saint Nicholas Church
  • Lennon Wall
  • Kampa Island

Cheap restaurants in Malá Strana:

Prague 3-Day Travel Guide – Day 3 – From Vysehrad to Petrin

On your final day in Prague, it’s time to venture a bit beyond the city center and explore the “new” (well, relatively speaking) part of the city. Let’s kick things off at the Vysehrad Fortress, an ancient royal residence perched on a rocky promontory, which is nowadays considered one of the most pleasant and peaceful spots in Prague. Besides the stunning views and the Slavin Tomb, Vysehrad’s most prominent symbol is the humongous Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. From there, you can hop on the metro / tram or take a leisurely 30-minute walk to Wenceslas Square, the vibrant heart of the New Town (Nové Mesto) and the usual gathering place for protests, celebrations and other mass demonstrations. This is also where you’ll find the recently renovated National Museum (280 CZK), the country’s largest cultural institution, dedicated to showcasing the rich natural and cultural history of the Czech Republic.

For lunch, head back towards the river to capture the iconic Dancing House, Prague’s modern architectural wonder, which – as its names suggests – takes the shape of two people dancing (well, sort of). Halfway there, make a quick stop at the Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, which might just look like your ordinary Orthodox church but holds a fascinating backstory. During World War II, much like the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, Czech territory was under the oppressive rule of Nazi Germany, governed by the ruthless Reinhard Heydrich, a man even Hitler described as particularly cold and insensitive. Frustrated and outraged, the Czechoslovak secret services carried out an assassination attempt against Heydrich, resulting in the killing of the SS officer in an armed attack. In the days that followed, an intense manhunt ensued, leading to several indiscriminate massacres, until one of the men betrayed the group, revealing their whereabouts to the Gestapo. Turns out the insurgents had sought refuge precisely in the crypt of this cathedral, where they valiantly fought against the superior forces of their opponents in a fierce battle. Nowadays, you can visit this crypt and witness firsthand the place where the group hid and fought until their dying breath.

To bring the mood back up, take a leisurely walk along the eastern bank of the river and enjoy the beauty of the National Theatre, before crossing Legion Bridgeand take a funicular ride (60 CZK) up to Petrin Hill. Once at the top, embrace the jaw-dropping views from atop the Petrin Lookout Tower, which was built in the style of a mini-Eiffel Tower. As kitsch as it may sound, it provides some of the best panoramic vistas in the city – the perfect spot to bid Prague adieu!

Third day wrap-up:

  • Vysehrad Fortress (Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul)
  • Wenceslas Square
  • National Museum
  • Dancing House
  • Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
  • National Theater
  • Petrin Lookout Tower

Cheap restaurants in Nové Mesto:

Got more than 3 days in Prague? Then we recommend the following day trips from the Czech capital:

Cesky Krumlov – Regarded as the quintessential day trip from Prague, Cesky Krumlov and its charming historical center have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dominated by the enchanting local castle, the town appears as if it has been taken straight out of a fairy tale, even rivaling the legendary capital in capturing the attention of (many) tourists.

Kutná Hora – Another extremely beautiful Czech city, Kutná Hora, just 1 hour from Prague, just an hour away from Prague, draws visitors with its splendid cathedral, imperial palaces and Gothic monuments. In the suburbs, an absolute must-visit is the Sedlec Ossuary, a historic chapel whose interior is adorned with the bones of over 70.000 people.

Karlovy Vary – Beyond its classical buildings, Karlovy Vary (also known as Karlsbad) is mostly famous for its numerous thermal baths. With several natural hot springs flowing underground, this small town has been healing bodies and souls since the 14th century.

Ponte Bastei – Nestled in the heart of Germany’s Saxon Switzerland National Park, what truly takes your breath away about this bridge is its location, bridging a dramatic set of rock formations suspended nearly 200 meters above ground. From a natural standpoint, it’s quite possibly Europe’s most impressive bridge.

Dresden – Also located across the German border, Dresden is one of the most underrated destinations in the Old Continent. Brimming with Baroque churches and palaces, we challenge you to come over and find out why Dresden is often called the “Florence on the Elbe”.

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