Start your day off at the ‘centre’ of Prague – the Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock (Staromestska Radnice). You’ll probably have seen pictures of this a hundred times before your trip, but only up close do you see its intricacies and superb context of gothic carvings and gold angels – a great way to start the day. There are market stalls selling traditional Czech crafts and produce at different times of the year, so a good place to come back to if you’re buying gifts. This part of the city is a history-lover’s dream with superb Gothic architecture and quirky details in every corner. In the Old Town Square you’ll see the grandly named Church of the Virgin Mary before Tyn, the Jan Hus monument and the beautiful renaissance-era Kinsky Palace. On the other side of the street from the clock is the super-cute and fairly-priced Café Mozart, perfect for a strong coffee with an impressive selection of cakes. You’ll be doing plenty of walking today,so don’t feel too guilty…
There’s a lot to see in this part of Prague so you don’t need to stray too far yet.The National Gallery sits just off the Old Town Square and it’s hosting the Alfons Mucha Slav Epic Exhibit until December2015, a collection of giant Art Nouveau paintings inspired by Slavic mythology and the history of the Czech nation. They’re epic in every sense of the word and well worth a bit of time. Prefer to keep exploring a bit more outdoors? Then stand facing the Jan Hus monument, and to the left you’ll soon find the Old Royal Palace and philosopher Franz Kafka’s birthplace. If you’ve worked up an appetite, George Prime Steak (Platnerska 19), one of the best places in the city for a meaty lunch(12pm–2.30pm), is a short stroll away. If you fancy something a bit lighter, you can grab a tasty snack from one of the many street stalls in the Old Town Square.
Next, head up towards the Jewish Quarter to experience the unique vibe of this part of town. There are a wide variety of synagogues to see, and the Jewish Cemetery is a fascinating place to spend a bit of time.
When in Prague… go to the opera! Prague is world famous for its fantastic operas, with tickets a fraction of the price of those in the UK. They don’t get much grander than the State Opera, a beautiful building with great facilities and an ever-changing cultural programme throughout the year. For dinner, get a table at the nearby Bredovsky dvur restaurant (Politickychveznu 13). It’s a charming local venue with domed brick ceilings, rustic fittings and cosy lighting. Try traditional Czech dishes such as deer in wine sauce with nuts and potato or boar log with wild potato dumplings and red cabbage. If you fancy partying after all that food and culture, the Aloha Bar & Club is a hedonistic gem, hidden away on a small side street in the Old Town (Dusni 11). The Hawaiian themed cocktails might not be especially traditional, but they sure are good!
Start your day with a caffeine fix at the charming Tricafe (Anenska 188/3). You’ll get some of the best coffee in town here, with plenty of freshly baked sweet and savoury breakfast options. The carrot cake is pretty unmissable. From here you’re really close to the iconic Charles Bridge with its many baroque statues – 30 in total. Cross the bridge and take in the wonderful views of the river, being sure to take some photos along the way. When you reach the other side, you’ll be in the Lesser Quarter (Mala Strana), teaming with baroque buildings and churches. Perhaps the most impressive are the Church of St Nicholas and the majestic Wallenstein Palace – currently home to the Czech Senate. The palace also has some beautiful gardens, so why not kick back and relax here for a bit?
Be prepared for a steep climb up to the castle complex – but it’s worth every step. When you finally stumble across the wonderfully preserved Golden Lane, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into the Middle Ages. Further along you’ll come to the Lobkowicz Palace with its impressive art collection, St George’s Basilica and the breath-taking gothic splendor of the St Vitus Cathedral. Finally you’ll come to the Valdstein Palace, withits own unique style and ornamental gardens. Have lunch at the Vikarka Restaurant – it’ll be busy in high tourist season, but the food is excellent, hearty, Czech fare – just what you need after all that exploring.
If you’re in the mood to party, Lavka Bar & Club has got it all– set on the riverbank on the Old Town side, next to Charles Bridge, this venue has a brilliant terrace facing the river,with some stunning views up to Prague Castle. Back in the old town, try some local beers at Kozicka (Kozi 1), a vibrant,buzzing Czech cellar bar near the Old Town Square.
If you would prefer an operator-run tour of Prague, you can check out the options here using TNT Tour Search.