Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Prague - Best way to spend time in 3 days?

Prague - Best way to spend time in 3 days?

Oct 5th, 2005, 05:44 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41
Prague - Best way to spend time in 3 days?

From the travel guides I've read, it looks like there is a lot to do. I'm leaving in a few days for prague, I would like one day to explore the bone ossuary in Sedlec and kutna hora as a day trip. the remaining two (and a half) days will be spent in prague, I realize that there are five 'parts' of the city, so where do I start?

I know that I would like to do the castle and Castle Area one morning/early afternoon and probably the old town in the same day (or should I schedule the old town for the next morning?)

Am I getting too worried or should I just show up and start wondering?

I've never been to prague and am quite perplexed about it's size.

thanks to all who respond
-Bill

insidethefall is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 06:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,617
Hi
the center of the Prague that most tourists want to see is sort of defined by the Charles Bridge. On the eastern side of the bridge is Old Town where so many of the sights are, and just south of that is New Town with Wenceslas Square and a few other popular sights.
On the west side of the bridge is Mala Strana, the Little Quarter, which includes a great shopping area, picturesque winding streets, and, farther up, the Castle district.

Both Fodors and Frommers on line have good suggestions for short visits to Prague, and I have a file with suggestions. If you'd like to see it, email me at [email protected]

Where are you staying?

I think a morning to about 1pm or so spent at the Castle and its environs is a good plan. On the way down the hill toward the Charles Bridge, stop into St Nicholas church of Mala Strana, it's a Baroque gem.
Have lunch in Old Town and explore the square.

If you can book a guided tour of Muncipal House in advance, it's one of the most beautiful buildings anywhere.
Tours in English are infrequent,and as I said, must be reserved in advance.
As for further sightseeing, it depends on your interests. Have you looked at a guidebook? What did you have in mind?
elaine is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 06:07 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,510
I don't know what five parts you are referring to. Officially, Prague has a lot more than 5 districts. In terms of main areas a typical tourist might encounter, I can think of about five, maybe that's what you mean -- castle area, Jewish qtr (Josefov), Old Town square area, Mala Strana and then the area near Wenceslas Square.

It completely depends on what you like to do, but I would more likely schedule an entire day for the castle area as there is more to do in that general area than the castle complex--I especially liked the Loreto. I might tack on some parts of Mala Strana to the end of that day, walking down from the castle area, and maybe seeing St Nicholas church and that part of Mala Strana.

I'd do Old Town square area a second day. You might be able to do that with the Jewish Qtr and/or Wenceslas Square.

The third day would be your day trips. I did like Kutna Hora very much, good choice.
Christina is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 08:36 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,770
Prague is just a wonderful city for wandering. I enjoyed taking in some of the same views numerous times. Even though it was mobbed with tourists, I made a point of wandering through the Old Town Square numerous times. I would try to avoid packing every second with sites and try to spend some of your time just taking it in.

Andrew
Andrew is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 08:46 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 115
We just returned from Prague last week and the previous advise is very good.
We found the old town could take a whole day of walking and exploring as could the castle area.The famous astrological clock in under repair and covered (as is the one in Venice) Get a good read on the trolly cars as they are very helpful and cheap in getting around.
To our great surprise, Prague is HUGE!
There are definitely tourist areas and then others. Once you are out of the immediate Old Town area, you will never see more graffiti in your life. We were completely shocked! EVERY building in Prague has been tagged and you must use the most care in the train station as that is supposedly a dangerous hang out.We kept our eyes open and did fine, but there were some poor beggars that approached us.
The Charles Bridge looked like a mob evacuation scene as herds of people were heading our way as we attempted to cross the bridge from the castle side.It was completely packed with wall to wall tourists from all over the world. Of course there were droves of street entertainers and kiosks as well.We were advised to keep a firm grip on valuables as pick pockets are all over, but we had no problem.
what a shock! And we expected it to be such a CHARMING city! The Palais Prague hotel was indeed charming and away from the mobs, we used the trolly to get to the old town area.
The Jewish cemetery and ancient temple required a $15 entrance fee per person and a $5 requirement for the USE of a yamulke (skull cap) for the men...and the wait was very long.This was a big surprise.A huge thunderstorm was bearing down, so we passed and headed back to the hotel.
We took the train from Prague to Vienna.Very nice and the scenery was quite interesting. The ride was about 4 hours and the train was very comfortable, especially with reserved seats in NON SMOKING! Even if you are a smoker, that could be a life saving issue. The food in Prague was fantastic, especially the Kampa Group restaurants,Kampa Park on the river by the Charles Bridge and Square near the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. Their risotto dishes are fantastic!
You are heading for a really interesting part of Europe. Prague is not "cute and charming" but crowded, expensive and very colorful. I guess the time to see the former"charming part" was 10 years ago.Generally speaking, the inhabitants were very friendly and kind to us.Enjoy and see as much as time allows.
delor is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 09:48 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,770
delor, I was in Prague last month too, and it was 300kc (just over $12) for all of the cemetery and the rest of the Jewish Museum except the Old New Synagogue. I was given a yarmulke and certainly did not have to buy one. Too bad you missed the Terezin Children's Exhibit - artwork the Jewish kids at the Terezin concentration camp drew to help them cope with their situation. Many of those kids died in the camps. Extremely moving.

Yes, the Charles Bridge is mobbed with tourists and peddlers most of the time. If you want to see it without tourists, get up early. It's pretty much empty at 6AM! You can have it almost to yourself, except for another jetlagged tourist or two.

By the way, Budapest is covered with graffiti as well.

Andrew

Andrew is offline  
Oct 6th, 2005, 08:09 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,617
from above, delor
"The Jewish cemetery and ancient temple required a $15 entrance fee per person and a $5 requirement for the USE of a yamulke (skull cap) for the men...and the wait was very long.This was a big surprise.A huge thunderstorm was bearing down, so we passed and headed back to the hotel."

Too bad,imo you missed one of the highlights of sightseeing in Prague.
What part was the surprise? The fee to tour the synagogues (money used to maintain them and for Holocaust research)or the long line? By the way, as Andrew said, there is no charge for the paper skullcaps, which are disposable. There is a long line at many attractions in Prague because it is a very popular place with tourists these days.

"And we expected it to be such a CHARMING city!..."Prague is not "cute and charming" but crowded, expensive and very colorful."
Were you expecting some sort of theme park? Prague is a large modern city, with the pluses and minuses of other large cities, but lots of pluses.
The city center largely survived WW II intact, to allow us to enjoy the Baroque architecture. The transportation system is good. The distances in the town center are walkable. The prices are still lower than most of the other capital cities in Europe where the euro rules.
There are some issues with the tourism having in some ways grown so fast, and being accompanied by petty crime and some gaps in customer service, but the crime issue can unfortunately be discussed regarding most large cities.
elaine is offline  
Oct 6th, 2005, 09:12 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,510
Some of this is perception, of course, as I've been there in busy periods and while Prague is very popular with tourists now, I wouldn't describe it as exactly as mobbed or wall-to-wall.

I think Delor must not have found out anything about Prague before going and perhaps hasn't traveled much to popular European cities. If so, one wouldn't be surprised at the size of the city since that is factual, nor that large cities have some graffiti, or that there would be lines for the Jewish museum, which is one of the most popular sites. I think the surprise was at the lines. I would not say graffiti was everywhere, even outside the main tourist areas. I don't know why delor was shocked at the suggestion that one should be careful with valuables as there could be pickpockets. That is good advice for all travelers in large cities and unfamiliar surroundings, especially if you carry around a lot of stuff and are kind of not used to being alert in a big city.
Christina is offline  
Oct 6th, 2005, 03:16 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 115
Well, folks, I did do an in-depth study on Prague before travel as I love to jump in with both feet and make my own observations, unless of course there are well known problems to be aware of.
I liked Prague and my observations posted were accurate. I can say after visiting Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Vienna and a return trip to Venice, that Prague was generally a delightful surprise and probably my all around favorite.
Fact: They did charge $5 for the use of a skull cap and asked that they be returned.
We spent almost a full day at Auschwitz-Birkenau while in Krakow and were more than fully in shock and pain from the experience. All the books and TV shows or movies don't prepare you for the real thing.
That's why after spending all day on our feet in Prague and with a major storm bearing down in the late afternoon and with no umbrella, we decided collapsing at the hotel to be the wise choice for the balance of the day.
Prague is definitely a place I can see returning to some day, and pick up extra spots and details we had no time for this trip.
According to friends and family who have been there, the graffitti is a relatively new problem that will be solved soon.
delor is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 02:44 AM
  #10  
jeg
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 123
Though it's getting away from the original intent of the thread, I'll second Delor's feelings about Prague (both the good and the bad). I, too, am a daily user of this forum and I do a lot of research about travel plans, and I was surprised by the crowds in Prague. It was easily the most crowded place I visited this past summer. That's not to say it wasn't beautiful (it was!). As to the comment, "What were you expecting, some kind of theme park?" Prague felt much more theme-parkish than Budapest or Krakow.
jeg is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 05:14 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 428
Hi -
The Prague castle is very good, but I suggest going after noon when the crowds thin out. They sell about 6 different combination tickets - I suggest the one for the church, tower (287 steps but great view) and old palace. The other sites in the castle can be skipped. I also recommend the Strahov library and Loretto in that area. The Jewwish museum is well worth the fee (you can wear any hat) as well as the Old-New synagogue. I also enjoyed Karlstein castle - it is a nice 30 minute train ride from Prague ($2 return fare)
mbgg is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:48 AM.