Prague Airport is situated just outside the city center, but it’s highly convenient to head into the center for a few hours if you have a layover. While there are attractions throughout the city, you can find most of Prague’s best landmarks and museums centrally located along the Vltava River. Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Prague’s Old Town, and a dozen other notable landmarks are all clustered in the same area, so if you have a lengthy layover and want to see the sights, you can really pack a lot in.
Since you’re likely to have bags with you, drop them off at a Prague Airport luggage storage before heading into the city. Your exploring will be much easier if you do.
How to do a layover in Prague
Prague Airport is about 7 miles from Old Town and the rest of the city’s best landmarks, so it’s fairly quick to get back and forth. The fastest way to get to the city center is via taxi or rideshare, with the trip only taking 30 minutes, even in the worst traffic. If you want to stick to a budget, there are buses, trams, and a subway to take. The ideal way to do this is to take public transit into the city, see how much time you have, and take a rideshare back to the airport.
The bus station outside Terminal 2, Exit D, will take you to the city center for less than $2.00 and the round trip takes less than an hour. From there, you can take the 119 bus to Subway line A (green signage) to downtown. It may sound complicated, but it’s a seamless process.
Here are the best things to do during a layover at Prague Airport:
Walk across the Charles Bridge
Aside from Prague Castle, the most recognizable landmark in the city is the historic Charles Bridge, which vaults over the Vltava River. Connecting Old Town to Prague Castle, this wide bridge will be filled with travelers crossing between the two sides or milling about to appreciate the stellar views of Prague. It’s one of the best vantage points for pictures, and the cheery atmosphere is a great way to get a sense of the place.
Explore Wenceslas Square
This long public square more closely resembles a pedestrianized street, but it truly is the beating heart of the historic Old Town. You’ll likely pass through Wenceslas Square on your way to landmarks like the Týn Cathedral or Astronomical Clock, but it’s worth stopping and enjoying the hustle and bustle of this beautiful square. It’s been the site of some of the most important moments in Czech history, including numerous revolutions, executions, and joyous occasions for the Kings of Bohemia.
Get some steps in at Letná Park
This leafy park is one of the most beautiful open spaces in Prague and is the perfect spot to stretch your legs between lengthy flights. Lined with paths snaking their way through little groves and gardens, Letná Park is situated in the Prague 7 district, which is an easy commute from Prague airport via rideshare or taxi. There’s even a beer garden lined with long benches and picnic tables!
Catch some sun and vibes at Náplavka
If you’ve done enough sightseeing and just want to chill out, head to the Vltava River bank (castle side) to Náplavka, a mini boardwalk complete with a farmer’s market and beer garden. The views are incredible, as is the people-watching, and you’ll enjoy watching the ducks float past as you sip on delicious Czech pilsner.
Get some culture at Rudolfinum
Situated beneath the Rudolfinum Concert Hall, where Prague’s best opera and orchestral performances take place, this classic art gallery features a rotating program of art exhibitions. It’s a beautiful building and free to check out.
Check out the Astronomical Clock
One of the most popular attractions in Old Town is this marvel of Medieval engineering. The world’s oldest functioning clock, the Astronomical Clock features ornate details and a mechanical show where figurines of the 12 apostles parade between small openings every hour. Crowds gather around the 55th minute every hour to catch this adorable (and slightly kitschy) show. It’s a fun little distraction worth checking out if you’re exploring Old Town during a layover.
Sweat a bit by climbing Petřín Hill
This heavily wooded hill has a walkway heading from the riverside all the way to a loft perch that overlooks the rest of Prague and provides stellar views of Old Town and other important landmarks. A few rose gardens dot the hill, making it even more photogenic, and the Hunger Wall is a must-see. The steep climb is doable but provides a bit of exercise if you just indulged in a hearty Czech meal or need to stretch your legs after a flight.
Prague Castle (for longer layovers)
If you have most of a day to explore Prague during your layover, you can fit in the most popular attraction in the city. With more than 1,000 years of history packed into a single castle, this castle is the single most important place in Czechia.
Deservedly designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Prague Castle has been the seat of power for the Kings of Bohemia throughout the centuries and even the Holy Roman Empire at one time. Perched atop a hill overlooking the river, it’s impossible not to notice this impressive castle boasting Gothic architecture and a crown of towers and churches. It’s the seat of the Czech government to this day, but it can be toured. At the very least, you can stop by the castle for a closer look.
Check out the stunning interior of Týn Church
Prague’s Old Town boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to centuries-old churches. One of the best is this Czech iconic Gothic cathedral, Týn. Overlooking Old Town Square, this church’s distinctive baroque facade is unmissable from the street. You can head inside to appreciate the interior’s well-preserved features, like its intricately carved 17th-century altar. It’s quick to admire from the street and completely free to tour.
Check out Vyšehrad, Prague’s lesser-known castle
Vyšehrad’s fame might pale in comparison with Prague Castle, but this castle’s twin neo-Gothic spires make it one of the coolest landmarks in the city. Built during the 19th century by the first Czech ruler of Bohemia, this castle was the seat of Prague’s earliest local dynasty that lasted a few centuries.
If you’re planning an excursion into Prague during your layover, you’ll want to store your luggage somewhere secure. The best and most convenient option for this is a luggage storage service like Bounce. With convenient locations throughout Prague’s travel hotspots and ones near the airport, Bounce has you covered with reliable luggage storage. You can book on the go via the intuitive mobile app, and you’ll enjoy responsive 24/7 support from a dedicated staff.