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Arriving in Prague is like wandering into a fairytale. The cobblestone streets of this capital city are lined with pastel-colored buildings, their terracotta roofs and iron spires reaching toward the sky. Friendly pubs welcome you with inexpensive beers and comfort food. Happy travelers wander here and there, giant ice cream cones in hand. All this makes Prague a great choice for a weekend getaway.
It’s easy to be wooed by the charm of this city, but it’s just as easy to fall out of love. Between the crowds and tourist traps, dreamy Prague can quickly turn into a nightmare. However, if you prioritize spending time in the city’s beautiful green spaces and trying out the local cuisine, rather than checking off all the sightseeing boxes, you’ll have a lovely time.
Prague is a great city to visit for a weekend or as part of a longer route through Europe. It’s just a couple hours on the train from other capital cities like Berlin or Vienna. There’s plenty to do, but you can get your fill of the city in just a few days.
Here’s your weekend travel guide for Prague, Czech Republic.
What to Do on a Weekend in Prague
Enjoy Prague’s Outdoor Spaces
One way to make the most of your weekend in Prague is to enjoy its scenery. Some cities are best explored on foot, and this one definitely fits the bill. It’s full of green spaces, historical sites, and picturesque buildings, which are all easily walkable.
Petrin Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna)
Start out by making your way to Petrin Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna) on Petrin Hill. The lookout tower, which is based off of the Eiffel Tower, is situated atop the hill and overlooks the whole city. Built in 1891, it is 63.5 metres high with 299 steps leading to the top.
Visitors can walk up to the top of the tower. Halfway up the tower, you’re met with a wonderful view of the City of a Hundred Spires. However, climbing all the way to the top of the tower is not for the faint of heart. Reaching the tower’s peak requires ascending many stairs in through narrow passageway that creaks a bit from side to side.
Additionally, the park area around the tower is beautiful. It’s full of paths lined with bright green grass and tall trees and plenty of areas for lounging around.
Whether you dare to climb to the top of the tower or prefer to stroll around its base, this landmark is worth visiting during your weekend in Prague.
Petrin Lookout Tower opens daily at 10:00 a.m. During March it’s open until 8:00 p.m.; from April through September it’s open until 10:00 p.m; in October it’s open until 8:00 p.m.; and from November through February it’s open until 6:00 p.m.
Admission is 150 CZK, with reduced and family rates available. The Petrin Lookout Tower is located at Petřínské sady 633, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana, Czechia.
Střelecký Island (Střelecký ostrov)
Next, make sure to pay a visit to Střelecký Island (Střelecký ostrov).
The island is situated in the Vltava river near old town Prague. It has lots of green space, walking paths, and restaurants, plus it’s often a site for local festivals. It’s a wonderful place to grab a pint, sit on the grass, and people watch.
To reach Střelecký Island, walk to the middle of the Legions Bridge (Most Legií) and then take the stairs down to the island.
When in Prague, you must see the Charles Bridge (Karlův most). The historic, pedestrian only bridge connects Old Town Prague with the area of Malá Strana across the Vltava River.
The Charles Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Prague. King Charles IV ordered the construction of the bridge, which began in 1357. The bridge was originally called Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or Prague Bridge (Pražský most) and was completed in 1402.
Today, the Charles Bridge is full of street vendors, visitors, and passing locals. It’s the most convenient way to get from the Old Town area of Prague to the other side of the river, where you’ll find landmarks like the Prague Castle.
There is no fee to cross the Charles Bridge. The address of the bridge is Karlův most, 110 00 Praha 1, Czechia.
Another great way to spend some time outside and see the city is to walk up to Prague Castle. Sure, castles might often be more of an indoor activity, but there’s plenty to see outdoors at this castle complex.
Prague Castle sits high on a hill overlooking the city. Construction of the castle began in 870 and continued as buildings were rebuilt or added on until 1929. This historic castle has been a political center for more than 1,000 years as it served as the seat of power for Holy Roman emperors, kings of Bohemia, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. Today, it is still the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic.
While referred to as “Prague Castle,” it’s actually an entire complex that includes churches, palaces, towers, and gardens. As such a large area, you can easily enjoy this castle by exploring the grounds from the outside.
If you do choose to enter the castle, admission prices vary depending on which areas you’d like to see. All areas of the castle are open daily, but hours of operation vary depending on the area and time of year. Prague Castle is located at Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1, Czechia.
See the John Lennon Wall
If you’re a Beatles fan, make sure to take a stroll over to the John Lennon wall during your weekend in Prague.
The wall is owned by Sovereign Military Order of Malta and tributes to John Lennon began appearing on it during the 1980s. The order maintains the wall and allows the tributes to continue, though some parts are repainted as needed.
The wall itself is a combination of street art and graffiti, all providing various tributes to Lennon and The Beatles, along with all sorts of political messages. The surrounding area features Beatles-themed businesses and local musicians strumming familiar fab four tunes. It’s conveniently located and worth stopping by and paying tribute for any Beatles fan.
The John Lennon Wall is in a public area, so there is no fee required to see it. The tribute wall is located in the Malá Strana area at Velkopřevorské náměstí, 100 00 Praha 1, Czechia.
Where to Eat and Party on a Weekend in Prague
As in any city, perhaps the best thing to do is eat. Prague is no exception. Make the most of your weekend in Prague by filling it with great meals.
On top of delicious food, it’s also got some great nightlife to explore. Even if you’re not super into nightlife (like me!), it’s still fun to get a taste of it in Prague. The city is known for its all-night bars and clubs, and even if you’re still in bed by midnight, make sure to check a few out during your weekend in Prague.
Restaurace U Vejvodů v Praze
For some traditional Czech food, try Restaurace U Vejvodů v Praze. It’s a large restaurant in old town with lots of hearty meat and potato dishes and beers.
Restaurace U Vejvodů v Praze is open daily and located at Jilská 4, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia.
Klub Architektů – Empty Head
For a more modern take on traditional food, go to Klub Architektů – Empty Head (or Dutá Hlava). It’s also located in the heart of the city, but it’s tucked away underground in a little square. After all the heavy meats and potatoes, you may find yourself looking for a change of pace.
Klub Architektů / Dutá Hlava is located at Betlemske Namesti 169/5A, Prague 110 00, Czech Republic.
For some great vegetarian food, head over to Lehka Hlava (“Clear Head”). It features lots of creative plant-based dishes that you’ll enjoy whether or not you’re a vegetarian.
Lehka Hlava is open daily at Boršov 280/2, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia.
U Tří růží
Stop by microbrewery U Tří růží to sample some brews different from the traditional Pilsner Urquell. It’s conveniently located near the center of the city and has lots of great beers.
U Tří růží is open daily at Husova 10/232, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia.
Vinárna U Sudu
Next, for a different sort of atmosphere, grab a drink at Vinárna U Sudu (U Sudu Wine Bar). This quirky bar is housed in a series of subterranean caves and tunnels.
Vinárna U Sudu is open daily (and, well, nightly) until 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. The bar is located at Vodičkova 677/10, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia.
Lucerna Music Bar
Finally, for a taste of a typical club experience, head over to Lucerna Music Bar. They have live music and themed nights, like ‘80s, and is a great place for drinks and dancing.
Lucerna Music Bar is located at Štěpánská 61, 116 02 Nové Město, Czechia.
Tips for Visiting Prague (Plus a Few Words of Caution)
Tip 1: Skip some of the super touristy things.
Usually, doing the touristy things in a city can be fun. There’s a reason why some things become tourist attractions: they’re enjoyable!
However, in some cities, you’re better off skipping the crowds and the lines. Prague is one of those cities. For example, don’t organize your whole day around waiting to watch the astrological clock chime. If you happen to be in Old Town Square when it goes, then sure, turn around and watch, but it’s really not worth a bunch of planning.
Basically, play it by ear. If any area feels too crowded or uncomfortably touristy, skip it. Your time on a quick weekend trip is better spent elsewhere.
Tip 2: Watch out for the weird.
With its low prices, central location, and beautiful setting, Prague attracts an interesting crowd.
You’ll encounter bachelor parties, youth field trips, college students studying abroad, and all kinds of party people. You’ll see them drinking and galavanting and generally causing a ruckus. You might even see a naked woman slowly walking along the street while being filmed (this is a true story — we saw this in Prague).
Just keep your eye out for whatever kind of wild is coming your way in this city.
Tip 3: You can cover a lot of ground on foot.
The only time we used the metro in Prague was to get from the main train station to our accommodation in the city center. If you’re staying in a central location, you’ll probably be able to walk pretty much everywhere. If you prefer, Prague does have a public transportation system that includes trams, city buses and the metro.
Tip 4: Prague is pretty inexpensive.
Compared to other European capitals, like Oslo, things are pretty cheap in Prague. You can easily find beers for around $1 USD (the Pilsner Urquell is plentiful!), while food is also fairly priced. Plus, lots of the attractions are either inexpensive or free.
Tip 5: You *might* need to adjust your customer service expectations.
Americans visiting Europe often complain about the customer service. Of course, the level of customer service varies a ton depending on which city and what kind of business you’ve visiting.
Very generally speaking, in Prague, the customer service probably won’t be what you’re used to if you’re American. It’s just different. It shouldn’t ruin your weekend and it’s nothing to complain about. Just adjust your expectations and carry on your way!
Tip 6: Have cash handy.
The currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech koruna. Plenty of places are cash only, so make sure to always have some with you. Plus, the bank notes have some pretty cool art on them (you’ll find some donning work by famous Czech artist Alphonse Mucha). Of course some places do accept credit cards, but it’s a good idea to carry some cash.
Tip 7: Spring is a great time to visit.
During the spring in Prague, the weather is mild, everything is green, and there aren’t ton of tourists. This makes spring a wonderful time to spend a few days in this Czech capital city.
Prague is a charming city that’s well worth a visit. It’s easy to see anything you’d like during a weekend visit, and the trains in and out of town are easily accessible. The city is home to beautiful outdoor spaces, lovely city views, good food, and fun nightlife.
However, it’s possible to become overwhelmed by crowds and fall into the tourist traps. As long as you stick to the outdoor spaces, avoid the super-touristy areas, have some great meals, and go with the flow, you’ll have a wonderful time in Prague. Na zdraví!