On Day 1, you introduced yourself to Prague. Now it’s time to explore more of the city beyond the Old Town.
I’d recommend getting the 24-hour transit pass for 110 CZK (about $5 USD) to cover this itinerary since it takes you to different ends of the city, but you could also opt for one-way tickets (32 CZK for each 90-minute journey) depending on where you’re staying.
Day 2, let’s go!
Early morning: John Lennon Wall and Prague Castle
Since the 1980s this wall has been home to various graffiti, much of which pays homage to Beatles song lyrics or the concepts of peace, friendship, and harmony (like in Lennon’s “Imagine”). It’s constantly evolving as street artists layer new drawings and phrases over old ones and visitors add in their own signatures or life mantras.
I’ll warn you now: the John Lennon Wall is a hugely popular tourist attraction, and because its main draw is the photo opportunity, you’ll want to go in the early morning to get the best shot. This way, you’ll avoid the crowds and minimize the amount of strange shadows from the bright sun coming through the nearby trees. I went to the Wall in the late afternoon and it was nearly impossible to properly expose my photos, not to mention packed with selfie-takers.
After heading to the wall, grab a coffee or breakfast from a nearby restaurant and walk up to Prague Castle. The grounds open at 6am, so you can explore the castle gardens peacefully, then be one of the first visitors when the historical buildings open at 9am.
The castle exhibits are interesting enough and give a good contextual background, but the main gem of the complex is St. Vitus Cathedral.
The photos, of course, don’t even begin to do places like this justice. I spent at least half an hour simply staring in awe at all the intricate paintings on the walls, the detailed and colorful stained glass, and the amazing Gothic arches.
Even almost two months after my trip to Prague, I still think about this stained glass. It’s so stunning. In fact, everyone raves about Golden Lane as being the highlight of Prague Castle, but I 100% believe that it’s the cathedral that takes the cake.
A close second, though? The views. Prague Castle sits above the city, and it offers a wonderful panorama of the iconic red roofs and Danube River that just scream “Prague.”
Afternoon: Olšany Cemetery
After your romp through the castle, head to Olšany Cemetery (in Czech: Olšanské Hřbitovy) in the Žižkov neighborhood of Prague.
I admit I’ve got a thing with cemeteries (seriously, I somehow end up walking through one in almost every city I visit), but this one was something special. It started as a place to bury plague victims, so some of the graves originate from the 17th and 18th centuries, but they extend all the way through POWs who died fighting for the freedom of Czechoslovakia and even more modern headstones.
Olšany is huge, but if you’ve still got some energy, you can hop over to the New Jewish Cemetery around the corner for more. While Olšany has the graves of many notable Czech people, I’ll admit that none of them ring a bell. The New Jewish Cemetery, however, houses the burial site of Franz Kafka–admittedly the only famous Czech person I’m aware of–where you can pay your respects.
Side note: When I did my walking tour of Prague, my guide asked who recognized Kafka’s name, and I thought that was a silly question until I was one of two people to raise a hand. The guide then asked us where we were from, and said, “Yeah, it’s always the Americans who know him.” I didn’t realize he was so niche! You learn something new every day.
Evening: Drinks at Bukowski’s
Since you’re already in the notably trendy neighborhood of Žižkov, you might as well find a place to grab dinner and then head over to Bukowski’s Bar for some after-dinner drinks. While friendly to tourists (and my waitress spoke good English), it’s definitely more of a local spot, which is perfect after spending all of Day 1 and the morning of Day 2 doing the beaten-path sites of Prague.
Bukowski’s has candlelit tables that allow for a romantic/cozy ambience (I found the place by going on a Tinder date with a Czech guy here…but that’s another story), yet it’s also busy enough that it works as a place to hang out with friends too. Their cocktail list is long and creative and the prices are decent, so you may as well have a few.
Grab public transportation back to your accommodation and sleep off your cocktails to get ready for Day 3!