I hope this helps some of you travelers!
I always took my guests on this route of Prague. Of course, you can mix and match based on your own preference. But I found that this hits the major spots in 2-3 days.
Start in Old Town Square. Time it so you can see the astronomical clock chime every hour. Honestly, the actual moving clock isn’t that great, but it’s very old and beautiful so worth the crowds.
From here, continue walking through Old Town until you reach Charles’ Bridge. There are signs that point in the direction- in Czech it is Karluv Most.
Upon crossing the bridge, turn left before passing the McDonald’s. The square in front is called Malostranske Namesti- there is a lovely cathedral here (entrance fee) and there are steps leading up to the castle a bit further up as a side note.
Keep to your left and you will see the John Lennon Wall.
The story behind the wall is that during communism, John Lennon was represented as peace. People would paint his face on the wall and the authorities would paint over it. This went on for a while until the authorities gave up and once communism fell, the wall still stands for peace and love. However, there are sometimes messages painted on the wall that aren’t exactly peace and love and acceptance.
In the morning there is less people of course. Careful with the wall as it can have fresh paint on it and sometimes there are performers singing The Beatles or John Lennon songs.
Make your way down a little alley/bridge where there are a lot of locks of love. Heading right you will come to a park. Go to the water and make your way towards the Yellow Penguins. Here is a good view of the bridge.
From here, you will see 3 statues that I fondly call, Ugly Baby Statues.
There are two stories I have heard about them. Both, to me are viable.
1. The bar codes on the faces represent how at the end of communism, the people were not individuals, but numbers.
2. The bar codes represent how in today’s society we are all in engaged with technology and soon won’t be people anymore.
There used to be statues on the TV Tower, but were taken down.
At this point you will be near Andel and you can grab a bite to eat at one of the Czech Restaurants I have suggested in this post.
Near the statues, there is a church that holds a baby Jesús statue that has over 300 clothes. It’s free and worth checking out to see its different outfits from all over the world. The chuch itself is also very pretty.
After lunch you can go to the castle (path 2 below) or you can cross the bridge towards the opera house (Narondi Divadlo). To the right you will eventually see the Dancing House. An architectural wonder in Prague since it’s more modern than the rest of the buildings. Walking to the left you will have another great view of the bridge and castle.
After this, I suggest to my guests to give the Prague castle couple of hours. They can either do it in the afternoon or the next day. You can walk up the hill (using the steps from Malostranske Namesti or incline from Malostranska), which is great exercise or take tram 22 or 23 to Prasky Hrad stop (tram 23 does not run as often, but it does hit all the major sites kind of like a hop on hop off tourist bus).
You will need to go through security, simple X-ray machine and bag check as the castle is still an active government building.
There are 2 tours of the castle available: short and long. Depending how much you want to know about Prague history and the castle, I suggest the short tour. You don’t need a ticket to enter the cathedral. There is also a changing of the guard ceremony at 12 each day; however, it is not like the Buckingham Palace or anything.
If you took the tram up, make sure to make your way to the other side of the castle (where the people who walked enter) as it offers lovely views of the city.
If it’s summer, I recommend going to Letna Park/beer garden. It offers delicious beer with a great view of the city. If it’s not summer, you can still see the view.
Finally, visit the Jewish quarter. If you are interested, many of the synagogues have the history of the Jews in Czechia. The Jerusalem synagogue, not in the Jewish quarter/it’s near the train station, is my favorite. A combination ticket for the Jewish quarter is good for a week.
These are the top sights in Prague.
If you have more time or did these really quickly, I suggest the following:
The TV tower is another architectural anominally in Prague. You can go to the top, but I think it’s a bit expensive and the view not quite worth it.
The memorial on top of Vitkov park offers a nice view and is for free. This memorial houses a museum on Czech history from WW2 till now. I recommend it.
Petrin hill has the mini effiel tower and you can go up it via many stairs for a nice view for a decent price.
Vysehrad is another park a bit outside city center, which has a nice beer garden in the summer, nice Prague views, and a lovely church and cemetary.
There is a lot to see in Prague and lots of day trips to do, but I hope this helps get you started!