Europe

The Best Three Day Prague Itinerary + Travel Tips

Our trip to Prague marked the first time ever that we actually slowed down on a city break and really savored the experience instead of packing in as many sights as we could, and we loved it. We still saw the sights, of course, but we also made sure to spend a healthy amount of time wandering aimlessly down colorful cobblestone streets and relaxing riverside.

Everyone’s definition of slow travel will be different, but for us, this was it. With three days in Prague, you can easily see all of the city’s most famous sights, some of its lesser known gems, and still have plenty of time for sitting in warm cafes, watching the world pass by through a foggy window. In my opinion, that’s pretty much the definition of a perfect city break!

I have quite a few more posts in the works showcasing just how gorgeous this city is, particularly in autumn, but before I get to those, I’d like to share our three day Prague itinerary and guide in case you’re planning a trip of your own. Be sure to scroll down to the end for helpful Prague travel tips as well!

Day One in Prague

The Lennon Wall in Prague

Lennon Wall

It’s dirty and it’s grungy, and yet it’s always packed with people, so the first place you’ll want to stop on your first morning in Prague is the Lennon Wall.

Since the 1980’s, the Lennon Wall has been continuously painted over and over again with John Lennon-inspired art and Beatles lyrics among other graffiti. These days, it’s hard to make much of anything out anymore, but still, it’s worth a quick stop for a colorful photo, especially if you’re in the area.

  • Find the Lennon Wall on a map here.

Love locks on Lovers' Bridge in Prague

Lovers’ Bridge

Right next to the Lennon Wall is a popular spot for couples to leave a love lock behind, the Lovers’ Bridge. We saw the first of these love lock bridges in Paris, but have since found them in pretty much every large European city.

Romantic gesture or nuisance, whatever you think of them, they’ve become an increasingly popular thing to do, particularly for tourists. We’ve never left one behind, but I still like seeing them when we travel. These love locks can be found on a small bridge over the stream surrounding Kampa Island.

  • Find Lovers’ Bridge on a map here.

Petrin Hill Lookout Tower in Prague View of Prague from the Petrin Hill Lookout Tower

Petrin Hill Lookout Tower

When possible, one thing I like to do early on during a city break is find a place where I can climb up above the city and see it in panoramic view. It’s a great way for my navigationally-challenged self to get my bearings before trying to navigate from sight to sight.

One of the best places to view the city of Prague from above is the Petrin Hill Lookout Tower. There is a small fee to climb the tower, but it’s worth it. As is taking time to walk through Petrin Park afterwards, especially if you’re visiting Prague in autumn when the leaves are changing colors.

  • Find Petrin Hill on a map here.

Read More: Petrin Hill & Letna Park: 2 Parks with Great Views in Prague

Street food in Old Town Square in Prague

Lunch in Old Town Square

After a walk through Petrin Park, it’s time to head across the river to Old Town where you’ll quickly discover that Old Town Square is a mecca for delicious Czech street food. (Although, admittedly, you probably will pay more for it than you would elsewhere.)

Treat yourself to one of the kebabs with chicken and fresh veggies, and then – if you remember nothing else from this guide, then at least remember this – try the trdelníks. But beware, these little sugar and spice-coated pastries from heaven are crazy addictive. I don’t even want to tell you how many times I ate these instead of real food while we were here.

  • Find Old Town Square on a map here.

Colorful buildings in Old Town Square in Prague

Old Town Square

Old Town Square is Prague’s prettiest, but also busiest, public square. Quite a few of the city’s most famous sights can be found here.

There’s the astronomical clock that puts on a show for hundreds of tourists every hour, the Church of Our Lady Before Týn whose towering spires are one of the most recognizable features of the city, and the smaller, yet possibly more beautiful St Nicholas Church – all are worth a visit.

It’s easy to spend a couple hours exploring here, so I recommend seeing anything that interests you and then finding a place nearby to get dinner. (For a few suggestions scroll down to the bottom of this post!)

Read More: 5 Things to Do in Prague’s Historic Old Town Square

Charles Bridge in Prague at night

Prague at Night

After dinner, it’s time to head back to Old Town Square to see it glowing at night, and then head over to the Charles Bridge which is equally as stunning after dark. The view of Prague Castle across the Vltava River is brilliant from the Charles Bridge at night.

This city also has a pretty good nightlife (or so I hear) if that’s your thing, but since we were already up and about doing things by 9am every morning, we never got the opportunity to check it out!

Day Two in Prague

Early morning at Charles Bridge in Prague

Charles Bridge

Besides the Lennon Wall, one other place you’re probably going to want to visit early in the day if you want crowd-free pictures is the Charles Bridge. There are 17 bridges crossing the Vltava River in Prague and the only one anyone ever uses is this one. Kidding, of course, but if you try to walk across it mid-day during peak season, it’ll feel that way!

For your second day in Prague, I recommend starting the day here, preferably before 9am if you can. That’s when the buskers start setting up, and shortly after that it gets busy.

  • Find Charles Bridge on a map here.

Exterior of St Vitus Cathedral inside Prague Castle

Prague Castle

If you’re staying on the Kampa side of the river, you won’t actually cross the Charles Bridge because Prague Castle is on the agenda for today. And as it’s the largest ancient castle complex in the world, it’s going to be practically the only thing on the agenda. (FYI – If you don’t buy one of the various tickets offered, you’ll probably be in and out much quicker.)

Since we wanted to see a little more of the castle than just its most popular sight, St Vitus Cathedral, we opted for Circuit B tickets which included private areas of St Vitus Cathedral, St George’s Basilica, Golden Lane, and Rosenberg Palace. (The Old Royal Palace is usually on this ticket, but it was closed for renovations, so we saw Rosenberg Palace instead.)

FYI – There isn’t a whole lot of information displayed as you walk through Prague Castle, so if you’d like the benefit of a guide to tell stories and provide a historical context, you can book a tour here.

  • Find Prague Castle on a map here.

Tiny houses on Golden Lane inside Prague Castle

Golden Lane

If you buy a ticket into the castle, one of the first places you’ll want to stop is Golden Lane. Getting here early is key, because once tour groups start descending on this narrow street, it gets nearly impossible to walk down. (At least comfortably, anyway.)

It’s hard to imagine people living in the tiny homes that line Golden Lane, but they did for many centuries. Now-a-days they are little miniature museums to the lane’s past, but as these houses put the new “tiny house movement” to shame, moving around in them is difficult. Another reason to arrive early!

Stained glass windows inside St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle

St Vitus Cathedral

St Vitus Cathedral is open to all visitors free of charge, but if you purchase a ticket, you’ll have access to private (read: far less crowded) areas of the cathedral. Those without tickets are only allowed into the cathedral’s entrance, which turns into a madhouse pretty quickly.

St Vitus is the Czech Republic’s largest cathedral, and even though I haven’t seen the others, I can’t imagine them being prettier than this one. For more photos of this gorgeous place of worship, check out the link below.

Read More: 6 Things You Won’t Want to Miss Inside Prague Castle

St George's Basilica inside Prague Castle

St George’s Basilica

St Vitus Cathedral may hold the title of largest church on the castle grounds, but the oldest goes to St George’s Basilica. To enter this church, a ticket is required.

Out of all the places on our ticket, this one was my favorite. St George’s Basilica is not a large church, by any means, but I loved all the natural light and shadows inside it. It was so much fun to photograph. (FYI – The colorful exterior is completely at odds with what you’ll find inside. We almost missed this one because we couldn’t even tell it was a church from the outside.)

Changing of the Guard at Prague Castle

Changing of the Guard

Every day at noon, the Changing of the Guard ceremony is performed in the first courtyard of Prague Castle. There is a musical performance, as well as a parade. It’s nowhere near as large a production as the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, but it’s still worth your time to see if you’re already at the castle.

Be there about 5-10 minutes early to secure a good spot along the barrier if you want to take photos!

Walking trail in the Prague Castle moat in autumn

Prague Castle Moat

Prague Castle’s moat has got to be its most underrated feature. Technically called the Stag Moat (due to the deer breeding that happened here in the 17th century), the castle’s moat is actually two – an Upper Moat and a Lower Moat.

In both moats you’ll find the prettiest, tree-lined walking trails in the city, and they’re open free to the public, no ticket required. When we visited in late October, some of the trails were completely blanketed in colorful leaves, making this one of the most beautiful places we saw while we were visiting the city.

Nerudova Street in Prague

Nerudova Street

After leaving the castle, head towards Nerudova Street. On the way, you’ll pass an overlook with gorgeous views over the city. Stop there for a photo and then continue on to Nerudova Street, one of the most colorful streets in Prague.

Back in the day, houses in Prague were signified by symbols instead of house numbers, so if you lived here, you told people you lived at the House of the Two Suns or the House of the Red Lion vs just boring, old 47 Nerudova Street. Most of the house symbols have since been taken down, but they remain on Nerudova Street, which is pretty cool to see. This street also has the best trdelníks we tasted (and we tasted a lot), so there’s that reason to visit, too.

St Nicholas Church (not the same one in Old Town Square) is located in the square at the bottom of this street. Considered one of the most important Baroque churches in Central Europe, visitors are allowed in for a look around for a fee. We were pretty churched out by the end of the day, so we skipped it, but I just wanted to mention it since it’s so close by!

  • Find Nerudova Street on a map here.

Day Three in Prague

Wenceslas Square in Prague

Wenceslas Square

Our third and final day in Prague began in Wenceslas Square, the furthest sight away from where we were staying across the river in Kampa. Located in the New Town, this square doesn’t have quite the same old-world charm the Old Town Square has in spades, but several of the buildings and hotels in Wenceslas Square stand out from the rest due to their colorful designs and unusual architecture.

You’ll find lots of retail stores and restaurants over here, as well as the National Museum, but unless you pop in somewhere, Wenceslas Square will probably be a quick stop.

  • Find Wenceslas Square on a map here.

Havelské Street Market in Prague

Havelské Street Market

After Wenceslas Square, head over to Havelské Street Market where you’ll find all sorts of unique souvenirs and gifts to bring home. The market is open every day from 6am and vendors are selling everything from wooden toys and puppets to fresh fruit and vegetables.

Havelské Street Market is located off Melantrichova Street which connects Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square, so if you go that route, you can’t miss it!

  • Find Havelské Street Market on a map here.

Sandwiches inside Sisters Bistro in Prague

Lunch at Sisters Bistro

Sisters Bistro came highly recommended to us before our trip, so we made a point to eat there for lunch on our last day and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Serving up chlebíčky, traditional Czech open-faced sandwiches, the hardest decision we had to make at Sisters was which sandwiches to try. There were so many choices, and every single one looked good. (Well, maybe not the herring and wasabi, but definitely the rest.) Two or three chlebíčky are perfect for a light lunch.

  • Find Sisters Bistro on a map here.

A tour of the Jewish Quarter in Prague The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague

Jewish Quarter

The Josefov is Prague’s Jewish Quarter. Once a walled ghetto, the Jewish Quarter today is mostly a tourist attraction, one with a fairly steep admission fee if you want to gain entrance into the Jewish Museum, the synagogues, and the Old Jewish Cemetery.

I hear the ticket price is very much worth it if you’re interested in hearing the history of the city’s Jewish population, but as we had plans to visit Poland (a trip focused entirely on Jewish history) a few weeks later, we decided to skip buying tickets and instead simply see what we could see walking through the streets of the Josefov. (Which wasn’t a whole lot, to tell you the truth. If you’ve got time, a guided tour of the Jewish Quarter is the way to go!)

  • Find the Jewish Quarter on a map here.

The view from Letna Park in Prague

Letna Park

We ended our three day itinerary in Prague similarly to how we began it – in a park overlooking the city.

Letna Park (or Letenské Sady) is a beautiful public park across the river from the Old Town with tree-lined walking trails that offer multiple look-out points overlooking the Vltava River and city below. In some places in Letna Park, the views are even better than they are from Petrin Tower. (And they’re free here!)

  • Find Letna Park on a map here.

Prague Travel Tips

Budget-friendly Airbnb in Prague

Where to Stay in Prague

Our love affair with Airbnb began on this trip. We’d used Airbnb once before in Italy, but we had such a fabulous experience in Prague that we never again stayed at a hotel while traveling in Europe. (And probably would have done the same in Asia if hotels weren’t as cheap as they are here.)

We chose a lovely apartment just a few steps away from the Charles Bridge. (It’s this one here.) Our apartment had everything going for it – location, comfort, quiet, and less important, but still worth mentioning – it was adorably decorated and delightfully cozy.

Our location across the river from the Old Town was close enough that we could walk to most sights in under ten minutes, but far enough away that the vibe was noticeably more laid back. This central, but not too central, location also allowed us the option to return to our apartment anytime during the day to rest, which we did often.

Regardless of whether you choose to stay in a hotel or an Airbnb, I suggest picking somewhere in the Kampa/Mala Strana area if you’re visiting Prague on a budget. Accommodations are a little cheaper on this side of the city, but still perfectly convenient for walking to all of the major sights.

Search for the perfect hotel in Prague here.

How to Get Around in Prague

Getting from the airport to the city center via public transport requires taking both a bus and the metro which is why I recommend taking the Airport Express bus instead if you’re trying to save a little cash. Tickets on the Airport Express cost 60 CZK ($2.50 USD) and can be bought directly from the bus driver. The buses leave every half hour and terminate at the main station. From there, if you’re staying centrally, you should be able to make it on foot to your hotel.

If you don’t mind spending a little more, private airport pick-up is an even easier option. Prices for this service fluctuate, but generally range from $15 to $20. We booked transportation ahead of time with AAA Taxi Service, but you could just as easily use Uber or other ride-sharing services.

As for getting around to the sights in Prague, if you’re able, walking is the best way to get from place to place. Prague is a compact city, so it’s fairly easy to get around on foot without getting too tired. But if you’d rather not walk, public transport is also easy to use. A single ticket covers all forms of public transport (metro, bus, and tram) and is good for whatever time period you specify when you purchase it.

If you’re spending three days in Prague and plan to use public transportation to reach most places on this itinerary, purchasing a 72-hour ticket for 310 CZK ($13 USD) is the way to go. Otherwise, 30 or 90-minute tickets (24 or 32 CZK) are the most economical choice for getting around the city.

Map of Prague Sights

To make it easier for you to plan your Prague itinerary, I’ve plotted all the sights and locations above on a map which you can print or download to your phone from Google Maps here. The map will let you sort all of the sights by a single day, or you can view all of them together in case you’d like to structure your itinerary differently than we did.

Trdelník pastries in Prague Trdelník pastries in Prague

Where to Eat in Prague

No matter how you look at it, street food in Prague isn’t healthy, but it is delicious. Trdelník pastries, sausages with spicy mustard and sauerkraut, fried cheese sandwiches – you’ll find these cheap and filling culinary delights sold from carts in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, and elsewhere near major tourist sights.

If a proper restaurant or cafe is more your jam, you might enjoy these budget-friendly places to eat in Prague (all quality-tested on our own trip) –

  • Bella Vida Cafe – Relaxed atmosphere with views of the Vltava River
  • Karlova 30 – Traditional Czech cuisine conveniently located near Old Town Square
  • Na Kampe 15 – Cozy hotel restaurant near the Charles Bridge in Mala Strana
  • Sisters Bistro – A must-visit for an aesthetically beautiful and healthy lunch

The Best Time to Visit Prague

After being told multiple times by fellow travelers that we must visit Prague, we decided, sort of on a whim, to see what all the fuss was about and booked it for our autumn break. And, oh my goodness, did we choose the perfect time of year to visit.

Prague is beautiful in the fall. The city is full of trees and parks and all of the leaves were so rich in color, they almost didn’t even look real. Not to mention, the crowds were also significantly lighter in late October which made visiting sights around town a lot more enjoyable.

As the city’s popularity as a tourist destination has increased, naturally so have the crowds. They’re at their greatest during the summer months, but Christmas also sees a fair amount of tourism. (That being said, the opportunity to see Christmas markets would make visiting in December worth it, too.)

Obviously, if the only time you can visit is July, then of course you should still go. But if you’ve got a choice, you won’t regret going in the fall!

Read More: 15 Awesome Photography Locations in Prague

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A detailed three day Prague itinerary covering the city's most famous sights and some of its lesser known gems, with essential Prague travel tips for where to stay, where to eat, the best time to visit, and more. A detailed itinerary for three days in Prague that covers the city's most famous sights, some of its lesser known gems, and includes essential Prague travel tips for where to stay, where to eat, how to get around, and more.

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Camille Xin
    March 7, 2019 at 11:22 AM

    thanks for the post! I’m planing our Oct East European trip, but am fussing about the actual date for peak foliage. I have dates Oct 15-20, or Oct 18-22 (have to fly as I reverse the order of city), 2019. I was told the last three years have different time, 2016 end of Oct, 2017 beginning of Oct, 2018 mid Oct.

    what was your exact dates and year?

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      March 8, 2019 at 1:40 PM

      We were in Prague October 24-27. I think as long as you visit sometime in October, you’ll be pleased with the autumn colors. Trying to plan for peak foliage this far in advance will be difficult, even using past years as a reference. The seasons will always fluctuate year to year and there’s no telling what they’ll do, unfortunately. But even if you’re not in Prague for the city’s “peak” fall days, you’ll still get to see lots of color.

  • Reply
    Marina Carstens
    October 24, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    Prague looks beautiful. :) That Lennon wall is so colorful! Perfect photo op. I almost moved to Prague for 4 months once. My plan was to take the CELTA course and search for a job teaching English there, but my school in Korea shut down and my plans changed.

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 25, 2017 at 12:33 AM

      What a shame! Prague would have been a wonderful place to live for four months. It would have been a great location for exploring the surrounding countries, too! Did you ever end up completely the CELTA course? I was actually just reading about how all that works the other day!

      • Reply
        Marina Carstens
        October 27, 2017 at 7:59 AM

        I never did the CELTA. I ended up just finding a new job in Seoul and staying for 2 1/2 more years. I think if Brian ever gets a teaching job at an international school in Europe, I would do the course and try to teach English somewhere. I’d love to be able to work legitimately in Europe someday, but I don’t know any languages and I don’t have the kind of job where I could do that.

  • Reply
    Julie
    October 21, 2017 at 9:26 AM

    I loved all the street food, especially since most of it was cooked over an open fire! I still dream about the taste of the tredelniks!

    There were so many places I missed (we only had four nights there, and one of the days we visited Terezin camp, I’ve always been immensely interested in the Holocaust), but my favorite areas to explore were probably the Jewish Quarter (seeing the names of all the Czech victims of the Holocaust inside Pinkas Synagogue was heartbreaking) and Malá Strana, I was no expecting such vibrant colors right in the midst of Central Europe.

    It’s such an amazing city, I can’t wait to return one day.

    • Reply
      Julie
      October 21, 2017 at 9:27 AM

      P.S. I forgot to add that Sisters Bistro was one of the stops on our Prague food tour. So good!

      • Reply
        Sarah Shumate
        October 21, 2017 at 4:32 PM

        I am not surprised you made time to fit in a food tour in Prague. :) I wish we had, but we still got to try all sorts of delicious things on our own, too!

        I’ve never heard of Terezin, but I’m sure it was a sobering day trip. We visited Auschwitz in Poland a few months after this, and I don’t think I’ll be visiting another concentration camp ever again. That was a really rough experience.

  • Reply
    Rachel @ STCL
    October 12, 2017 at 8:25 AM

    Great tips! We only had about a day and a half in Prague so really had to cram things in, but were able to do most of these! Definitely a city I’d like to get back to one day!

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 14, 2017 at 4:01 AM

      That’s tough when you have such a short time to spend in a place, but better to go for a short trip than not go at all! Prague is nice in that you can certainly spend a week-long trip here, but if you only have a weekend, that’s okay, too!

  • Reply
    Valerie J. Wilson
    October 9, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Loved this, but your photography blew me away! I loved looking at the photos :)

  • Reply
    Kavita
    October 8, 2017 at 3:28 AM

    This is very much how we like to travel, seeing a fair bit but still relaxed and slow meandering and plenty of down time. I visited Prague as a teenager in the late 1980s and have been reluctant to go back, wondering how it would compare with my memories of a Prague before the international chain stores hit. But at the same time, I so want to go back and your photos just make me long to even more!

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 5:33 PM

      I can understand that feeling very well. I grew up in Singapore in the 90’s before moving back to my birth country just before the turn of the century. When the opportunity came up to move here again (almost 20 years later!), I was excited, but hesitant. It’s normal to not want your memories to be spoiled, but after being back here for 1.5 years, I can safely say I’m glad we came back! It’s fairly easy to separate Singapore of the 90’s from Singapore of the 2010’s. Hopefully it would be the same for you with Prague. :)

  • Reply
    ItsAllBee
    October 7, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    I have been wanting to visit Prague for a long long time and it still hasnt happened yet. For a second though it looked a bit like Warsaw or Tallin and those sausages are making hungry.

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 2:25 AM

      Tallinn does have those same orange-colored roofs, doesn’t it? I love those!

      Oh my gosh, those sausages WERE good. I love this part of Europe’s emphasis on meat and veggies. Reminds me of home! :)

  • Reply
    Snow to Seas
    October 7, 2017 at 4:17 PM

    Your photos are gorgeous! I also visited Prague in the fall a couple of years ago, and totally agree that it’s one of the best times to visit the city. The fall foliage is spectacular.

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 2:22 AM

      Thank you! I’m so glad you were able to visit in the fall, too. It’s such a perfect time to visit pretty much any city in Europe!

  • Reply
    BabiesWithBackpacks
    October 7, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Love this post! Prague looks beautiful, I can’t wait to get there some day!

  • Reply
    Kristen
    October 7, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Stunning! Your photos are gorgeous and your guide is super informative. Prague is near the top of my travel wishlist right now, I hope I can head there soon and use your suggestions!

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 2:20 AM

      I hope you can, too! I think you’ll love it! And thank you for the kind compliments! :)

  • Reply
    hijabiglobetrotter
    October 7, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    What a cute post. My friends have been raving about Prague and I can now see why. Your photos capture its beauty perfectly well. What camera do you use? Also those tradelnicks look scrumptious.

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 2:19 AM

      They ARE scrumptious! I have a wicked sweet tooth, so I’ll eat just about anything with enough sugar on it. ;)

      Thanks for the compliment on my photos! I use a Canon 6D, and I’m pretty sure all of these shots were with the kit lens that came with it – 24-105mm.

  • Reply
    Christina Guan
    October 7, 2017 at 12:21 PM

    I’m so in love with these photos! Prague is the best. I’ve been twice and did pretty much all the things on your itinerary. really great roundup of all the important must dos!

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 2:16 AM

      How lucky for you getting to go twice! I’d love to return someday! And thanks so much for the lovely compliment on my photos!

  • Reply
    Bernie
    October 7, 2017 at 6:40 AM

    I’m definitely saving this for future reference. What a beautiful trip and such a stunning place! I love the thought of houses known by their symbols; I’m updating my address to have a sign of a holly tree immediately. Thanks for the heads up about the beautiful airbnb too.

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 2:16 AM

      Oh, a holly tree! How lovely, and what a good choice! I think I’d choose some sort of bird myself! :)

  • Reply
    Coralia Varga
    October 7, 2017 at 5:21 AM

    Prague has long been on my Europe bucket list. We are still to visit! It looks just so beautiful. I’m going to save this for when we make it there (hopefully sooner rather than later!). We might take the train from Vienna :D

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 8, 2017 at 2:14 AM

      From one beautiful city to another – that sounds like a great idea! :)

  • Reply
    Holly
    October 2, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    Lovely post and recommendations! It’s been a while since I visited but loved this beautiful city and will definitely go back again.

    Holly x

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