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Three Days in Prague

Updated: 2 days ago

To kick off our trip, we had three days in Prague (well, really 4 but we didn't do any sightseeing before our 9:00a flight on the last day). We arrived early Friday morning on our SWISS flight from Zurich and, after dropping our bags at the Andaz Prague, we headed out to explore.


Day 1

We didn't have much planned for our first day in Prague since we flew in that morning. With no delays we arrived in town early and went sightseeing for a couple of hours while our room was prepared. To first get our bearings, we decided to walk through Old Town down to the river.


A Street in Old Town Prague
A Street in Prague's Old Town

Along the way we passed through Old Town Square which is flanked by the Church of Our Lady before Týn and City Hall which features a 600 year old astronomical clock as part of the facade.



We zigzagged through the streets and ended up in a small park near the concert hall with a great view of the Charles Bridge.


A view of the Charles Bridge from Old Town Prague
View of Charles Bridge from Old Town Prague

We took a different way back towards the hotel, crossing through Old Town Square from another direction. We crossed under one of the old, 15th century city gates and returned to the Andaz where we checked into our room and napped for a bit to recharge.



The jet lag hit us harder than anticipated and we slept for two and a half hours. At 2:30p we headed out for the afternoon and began the walk over to the Vyšehrad, a fortified castle surrounded by a large brick wall overlooking the Vltava River. It is not a short walk and was right around two miles from the Andaz to the gate. Along the way, we passed Wenceslas Square, which is home to the National Museum.



It took almost an hour for us to make the trek, which went through some less touristy and more residential parts of the city. Since the castle is perched at the top of a hill, we had to do some climbing before reaching the gate.


Brick Gate at the Vyšehrad in Prague
Vyšehrad Brick Gate

Upon entering the gate, the grounds rise almost to the level of the top of the wall. It is possible to either continue along the road or use a set of stairs to complete the climb, which places you at the edge of the grounds.


Grounds of the Vyšehrad Castle in Prague
Vyšehrad Grounds in Prague

The Saints Peter and Paul Basilica is located on the grounds and we paid a small fee to go inside and look around. While not on the beaten path, the church had a commanding presence.



There was a restaurant across from the basilica and we stopped in for a quick snack for Mrs. ATX and a Czech Pilsner for me before heading down towards the river.



On our walk back to the Old Town, I noticed a landmark building on Google Maps. The Dancing House, designed by Frank Ghery, sits along the river and sticks out from the surrounding buildings thanks to its wild facade.


Frank Ghery's Dancing House in Prague Czech Republic
Frank Ghery's Dancing House in Prague

A bar was located on the rooftop and we headed up to grab a drink and check out the view. The view was nice, but the rooftop was packed with people trying to get drinks and take pictures. We had a single drink and headed off to find something for dinner.



For dinner, we strolled back to the Old Town and stumbled upon Kozlovna Apropos, a Czech restaurant near Charles Bridge. I had a delicious schnitzel while Mrs. ATX had Goulash served in a bread bowl.



We finished dinner before 7:00p but our travel weary bodies were about to turn into pumpkins. On the walk back to the hotel we stopped and grabbed a Trdelník, a Czech Chimney Cake . These are served from stalls all over Old Town and was a nice way to end our first day in Prague. Our tired travel bodies were asleep before 8:00p.


A Czech Trdelník in Old Town Prague
Czech Trdelník from Old Town Prague


Day 2

Even though we retired early the night before, we didn't make it down to breakfast until 10:00a. After fueling up, we called an Uber over to Prague Castle for our first major tourist attraction of the trip.


St. Vitus Cathedral Exterior in Prague
St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle

Mrs. ATX preordered our tickets through a third party company, which allowed us to skip the line, and met our guides in front of the Cathedral. The lines were long in February so I can only imagine how chaotic it would be during the summer.


Tickets in hand, we headed to the front of the Cathedral and began our self guided tour. The Cathedral itself was large and ornate though the layout for tourists had some tight, cramped spots.



It took roughly half an hour for us to tour the Cathedral. Afterwards, we headed across the square to Prague Castle. Part of the castle is still used by the king today, though we were only able to tour the older part.


If ornate is what you're looking for then this isn't the castle for you. The space is relatively spartan and feels more like a high school gym than a castle.


Ballroom at the Prague Castle
Prague Castle Ballroom

Though the interior wasn't over the top, the castle did have great views over the city of Prague.


View of Old Town Prague from Prague Castle
View of Prague from the Prague Castle

Finished with the castle, we were halfway through our tour of the grounds. It was such a beautiful day that we decided to stop for a quick bite at an outdoor cafe located nearby. A beer for me, hot chocolate for the Mrs., and a brat to split and we were recharged for part two.



For the second part of our tour, our first stop was at the 10th century St. George's Basilica. The exterior was bright and colorful while the interior was muted and subdued.



For the final part of our visit to the castle complex, we headed to The Golden Lane, a street lined with 16th century houses that have been preserved as close as possible to their original state.


The Golden Lane in Prague
The Golden Lane at Prague Castle

While quaint on the outside, it was an absolute nightmare on the inside. We took a visit to the knight museum which is mostly located in the upstairs of one of the buildings. While the exhibits were interesting, the place was absolutely overrun with people and it was impossible to move at times due to the crowds. It hit a point that it actually felt unsafe inside the building and Mrs. ATX and I left as quickly as possible.


Free from the knight museum, we decided to take the slow way back to the Old Town, on foot. The walk itself was a little over a mile and, while it could be done in half an hour, we took a few detours. As we descended the hill we had a great view of Prague and eventually ended up on the banks of the Vltava overlooking Charles Bridge and Old Town.



We walked along the river in the direction of the Lennon Wall. I had no clue it existed but Mrs. ATX had seen it on social media. On our way over, we passed a funky gremlin statue keeping watch over a canal.



As we continued on towards Charles Bridge, we came across a festival on a small street between Kampa Park and the bridge. Food vendors were set up, a band was playing, and the paramedics were even serving beer. We stuck around for an hour or so and mingled amongst the locals.



After enjoying some local food and beer, we strolled across Charles Bridge back into Old Town and over to the Andaz to rest and relax during happy hour.



For dinner, we headed to Old Town Square and picked one of the many tourist restaurants that line the square. While the food was mediocre, you're really paying for the view.



We were feeling a little tired after dinner but not quite ready to call it a night. Next to the hotel we found a cool little whiskey bar and I had a nightcap of Czech whiskey before turning in for the night.


Goldcock Czech Rye Whiskey
Goldcock Czech Rye Whiskey at Whiskeria Bar


Day 3

For our third, and final, day in Prague we had nothing but rain in the forecast. After another great breakfast at the Andaz, we called an Uber and headed over to the Strahov Monastery. On the monastery grounds is a small brewery which came highly recommended by my parents. It seemed like as good a place as any to try and wait out the rain.


The Strahov Monastery Brewery in Prague
Strahov Monastery Brewery in Prague

The beer menu had a wide selection, way beyond the pilsners that we saw everywhere in Prague. They even had a selection of non-alcoholic brews which Mrs. ATX appreciated.



We stayed at the brewery for about an hour and considered ordering lunch as the food from the restaurant looked fantastic. Ultimately, the rain lightened up a bit and we decided to walk through the Petřín Gardens over to the Petrin Tower with the idea that we could always head back if the rain got too heavy.


A rainy day at the Petřín Gardens in Prague
Rainy day at the Petřín Gardens

The Petrin Tower was built after a group of Czech tourists went to Paris in the late 19th Century and decided they wanted their own Eiffel Tower. It's a major tourist attraction in town but we didn't go up as the weather kept any good views at bay.


Petrin Tower in Prague
Prague's Own Eiffel Tower

At this point the rain was starting to pick back up so we made the short dash over to the inclined railway station which took us down to the Malá Strana neighborhood. There we found the Kolkovna Olympia restaurant and stopped for lunch.



We had another delicious meal (I really like Czech food) and, since the rain had stopped again, we decided to walk the 30 minutes over to the National Museum instead of taking an Uber.


Crossing the Vltava River on the Legion Bridge in Prague
Crossing the Vltava River on the Legion Bridge

It was after 4:00p on a Sunday when we arrived at the museum which meant the crowds were pretty light. We bought our tickets online before arriving and just had to do a quick scan at the entrance.


The interior of the National Museum in Prague
National Museum Prague

The exhibits that we were most interested in were in the natural history area. The most impressive to me was the massive Fin Whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling.


Fin Whale Skeleton Hanging in the Czech National Museum
Fin Whale Skeleton Hanging in the National Museum

In addition to the whale, the exhibit featured thousands of other animals including an elephant, rhinoceros, and wooly mammoths.



It was almost 5:30p when we left the museum and we made the short walk back to our hotel to start packing. Around 8:00p we were getting hungry and the concierge, who was from Italy, recommended her favorite Italian restaurant in town, Le Cinque Corone. It was a short walk from the hotel in Old Town.


Unfortunately when we arrived, the restaurant was closed for renovations. The sister restaurant however, Pizzerie Pulcinella, was right next door so we audibled and still had a fantastic meal.


Pizzerie Pulcinella Pizza in Prague
Delicious pizza to cap off our last night in Prague

Stuffed from dinner, we took one final stroll through Old Town Square before calling it a night. We had to be up early in order to head to the next stop on this adventure.



Summary

While both Mrs. ATX and I enjoyed our time in Prague, I left feeling slightly underwhelmed. I chalk this up to the fact that everyone I spoke to about Prague absolutely loved it and I went in with higher expectations than I typically do when visiting a new city. Also, the dreary weather didn't help much but that is to be expected in Europe in February. We will definitely be back, though hopefully with better weather and tempered expectations.


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