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 consider taking 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 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. Try to buy tickets in your hotel before you leave for the day, or during your walk in Prague keep an eye out for ticket offices called “Ticketpro.”
Day One – The East Side of the Vltava River - New Town, Old Town, and the Jewish Quarter, starting at The National Museum/Wenceslas Square
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 Wenceslas Square to Stepanska Street (Štěpánská Ulice) and take a left. On the right-hand side you will see an entrance to the Lucerna Palace, called the Lucerna Passage (Pasáž Lucerna). Enjoy the art deco and functionalistic architecture. There is also a famous sculpture by Czech artist David Cerny, which is an upside-down version of the statue of Saint Wenceslas that you just saw at the top of Wenceslas Square. You can find Cerny’s art throughout Prague. If you like his work, find a list online and mark them on the map - several of them are on the walking tour route or very close and easy to visit. Another item worth seeing and doing in the Lucerna Passage is the paternoster elevator across from the Great Hall in the Lucerna Passage. There is a small charge to ride the elevator to the rooftop terrace, but it is well worth it.
Exit the Lucerna Passage at the opposite end from where you entered on Jindrisska Street (Jindrisska Ulice). Take a right and cross over Wenceslas Square, continuing on Jindrisska about two more blocks. On your right you will come to a post office (Posta). Go inside and take a number from the machine, as if you have business there. After you look around throw away the number and return to Wenceslas Square. Take a right to continue down Wenceslas Square to Na Prikope Street (Na příkopě) 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. 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.
After visiting Old Town Square, second the rest of the afternoon in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov). Start your tour of the Jewish Quarter on 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 the main sights in the Jewish Quarter. The ticket is 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. 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. This completes the tour of the Jewish Quarter.
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 continue on Křižovnická street to the Charles Bridge (Karluv Most). When you get to Charles Bridge, go up in the first bridge tower for a short film about the bridge and a magnificent 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.
Spend the evening in the Charles Bridge and Old Town area. The best view of the castle is at night on Smetanovo nábřeží street along the river past the Charles Bridge. To return to Old Town Square from the Charles Bridge, follow Karlova Street. It meanders so watch the signs (and other tourists).
Day Two – Mala Strana, Prague Castle, and Vyšehrad, starting at The Charles Bridge
Start day two on Charles Bridge. Cross the Charles Bridge away from the Old Town and continue on Mostecka Street to the Lesser Town Square (Malostranske Namesti). Visit the Church of St. Nicholas (Kostel Sv. Mikulase); Leave the square on Karmelitska Street and walk 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 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. The Strahovsky Monastery has many nice sights, including a special library and the Church of Our Lady. It is worth the price of admission to enter the monastery to see the famous library.
There is a beautiful view of Prague from just below the Strahovsky Monastery if you did not go up in the Petrin Observation Tower. After visiting the Strahovsky Monastery, follow the signs or other tourists to the Loreta Church. The Loreto Church bells are played at the top of the hour. Use your guidebook to see the interesting sights around the area of the Loreta Church. If you have extra time then it is worth the price of admission to see the inside of the church, but it receives mixed reviews.
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 down the Old Castle Steps to the Malostranska metro station. Take the green line metro (line A) to the Vysehrad metro station.
Exit the Vysehrad metro 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. Take a 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. On a dinner cruise you get a view of the old Vysehrad Castle ruins from the boat.
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 counterclockwise, 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.
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. Walk back to the Charles Bridge, visiting the Lesser Town along the banks of the Vltava. Explore the old squares, palaces, churches, and Kampa Island.
This finishes your 2-day tour of Prague. You have seen more in two days than most people see in a week, congratulations!