Prague Travel Guide
Before I came to live here, I was in Prague already a few times. Those all were short, tourist visits but long and good enough to make me fall in love with the city.
Now after almost one year in Prague, I can only confirm how much this city has to offer. From drunk British youth to curious groups of Chinese tourists -everyone finds something to do in the capital of the Czech Republic.
I’m so glad that I have the opportunity to help you plan your trip to Prague. Below you will find the standard things that you should know before you visit Czech Capital, but also inside, “wannabelocal” advice. 😊
What to know before coming to Prague
Prague is a city with a long history but the 14th century is considered as Golden age of this city. During the reign of Charles IV (Karel IV) Prague experienced the biggest blossom in its history. And locals know that: most famous sight – Charles bridge, and one of the best universities in eastern Europe – Charles University is carrying his name.
After Charles IV. Prague had its ups and downs. With two world wars, communist regime, Hapsburg monarchy, and Czechoslovakia splitting between two countries, the city had many challenges to overcome. But thankfully all kings and leaders saw how nice this city is, so the city never experienced any big damages. For that reason, we all can enjoy today in beautiful and diverse architecture.
Here are some facts that you should know before coming to the city:
Czech Republic is part of the EU since 2004 but official currency is still Czech Koruna (CZK). One euro is around 25,5 CZK, depending on the exchange rate that day. For the best exchange rate go here.
Credit/debit cards are widely accepted. Many coffee shops and restaurants are accepting card so you don’t have to carry that much cash with you.
Do not use ATM that have only ATM sign on them. They will charge you a serious fee for withdrawing the money. The safest way is to use recognizable ATMs from well-known banks.
The official language is Czech, but you will also hear a lot of Russian or Slovak (since they were in the same country). Young Czech people are speaking mostly good English but I find that many older people that work in customer service (shops, restaurants, etc.) do not speak English. If I want to be honest, I think they just don’t want to. What can I say – Prague is beautiful, but customer service is bad.
Prague is perfectly safe! Besides local scammers, there is no serious crime happening in this city. So you can be relaxed and enjoy your vacation without any worries.
BE AWARE OF SCAMMERS! I’m very sorry to say this because I love this city so much. But waiters, taxi drivers and in general people who work in customer service will most probably try to scam you. I was a victim of the scam a few times just because I speak English. Of course, I need to point out that this is not a rule but be careful. Count the money waiter returned to you or pay attention to how much taxi driver charged you.
Prague has one of the cheapest and one of the best public transports in the world. More about this later.
Buy carefully your souvenirs: skip all the shops in the city center and head to the market at the end of Vaclavske Namesti on the way to Old Town – Havels Market. You will for sure get better prices than at the nearby shops.
Expat community in Prague is quite big. Me, being part of it, it only proves that many people decided to move to the Czech capital. The city is safe, it has a growing economy, many activities to engage in your free time and so on.
Best time to visit Prague
Before I start, I would like to point out that this is just my personal opinion and visiting Prague at any time of the year has its benefits. However, if you ask me, spring or early fall are the best, with early spring being my favorite. Prague is a city located on the river and it can get cold during winter months so I think you will not enjoy that much during January or February here.
On the other hand, July, August, and December are the busiest months of the year with so many tourists that can be sometimes overwhelming (just google Charles bridge at the busiest time). Coming in early spring here will give you clear blue skies, temperature high enough to enjoy long walks (because that is the best way to experience the city) and the normal amount of tourists.
Of course, during the December Christmas market, it is held around the city and it’s a magical time to visit the city. My advice is if you can visit the city during the week since, during the December weekends, the city is full.
Coming to Prague
Unless you’re arriving with a car, chances are that you will arrive either on the bus or rail station or airport.
Coming by bus or train
Prague’s main bus station (Florenc) and rail station (Hlavni Nadrazi) are one metro station or short walk distanced one from another. The location is great and near to the city center and reachable by metro, bus or tram.
Coming by airplane
The airport is located a bit outside of the city but it’s connected with public transport to the city center. You will be in the city center in less than an hour.
There are two buses you can use to get to the center:
- Bus 119 that goes every few minutes and drives you to the green line metro station Nadrazi Veleslavin. The metro is a 15 min ride to the city center. Altogether less than 45 minutes.
- Bus 100 that drives you to the metro station Zlicin where you will continue your journey to the city center with the yellow metro line. This bus drives less frequently but still often enough to get to the city center in less than an hour.
- If you arrive after midnight, there is a night bus that will take you directly to the city center.
Both rides will cost you only 32 CZK or 1.25 EUR. As I said, it’s pretty easy, fast and cheap to travel around Prague. Use google maps for exact times and lines.
Where to stay in Prague
No matter where you are located, I’m positive you will easily reach the city center. Due to excellent public transport connections, everything is easily reachable. I’m, for example working very (and I mean very very) far away from the city center but with the metro, I’m at my job in 20 minutes.
But if you want my suggestion (and you know you want 😊 ) Prague 2, 5 and 7 would be my personal choices, with Prague 2 being my favorite and place where I live. Who knows, maybe we will even see each other 😊
Use Airbnb, Booking or Hotels Combined to find cheap and good accommodation in Prague.
How to get around in Prague
Guys, I’m not kidding – public transport in Prague is one of my favorite things in this city. After visiting so many cities, I can 100 percent confirm that Prague has one of the best and the cheapest public transports. Not only that, it’s punctual (in 90 % of cases) and it has frequent rides and night buses.
You have several options:
- You can buy either a 30-minute ticket for 24 CZK (a little bit less than 1 euro) or 90- minutes ticket for 32 CZK (1,25 euro). Children under 6 and seniors older than 70 drive for free, while kids between 6 and 15 drive for half the price.
- However, if you plan to stay a longer time, I suggest taking either 24-hour pass for 110 CZK (around 4 euros), 3-day pass (around 13 euros) for 310 CZK or even a one-month ticket for 550 CZK (21 euro).
BONUS TIP: you can even buy a transferable month pass for 26 euro. This option is good if you’re coming for one or two weeks and then you can sell it to another person. Money sparing is always popular 😊 .
Things to do in Prague
There is plenty of things that you can do in Prague. And the best thing is that many of them are free or cheap. Below is a list of the things you need to do on your first time in Prague. If you’re interested to see how to combine this all on two days trip don’t forget to check my guide on how to spend two days in Prague.
Explore Old Town
Prague Old Town, with its center on Staromestske Namesti (or simply Old Town square), is one of the prettiest areas in Prague. If you’re anything like me, you will love cute narrow streets, colorful buildings, and Gothic architecture.
But sometimes I have the feeling that all the tourists are just there. So, I don’t go visit this place as much as I would like too. But if I chose to go, I go very early. Then you can indeed enjoy the beauty of the place and see all the details that you would usually miss.
BONUS TIP: You can climb to the Old Town Hall Tower for 250 CZK (around 10 euros) to get some nice views over the square. My advice would be to go to the U Prince, a rooftop restaurant where for 150 CZK you can drink a nice cocktail and have also a nice view of the place. The picture below is taken there, for example.
Visit the most popular bridge – Charles Bridge
Without any doubt, Charles bridge (Karluv Most) is the most popular attraction in Prague. And it’s always filled with so many tourists. We are joking that there are so many people on it that it will eventually just crash. But don’t worry, this 662 years old bridge is stable and deserves all the pomp that is around him. My favorite part of Charles bridge is the view on Prague Castle (well, mine and from 3495657 tourists). Come there early (7 am early) and you will have the place only for yourself. Well, for yourself and a couple of newlyweds that are having a photo session there. 😊
Check the view from park Letna
You can pay to get some of the views on Prague but the best one is for free. Park Letna has the best view of the city. Grab a beer and go catch a sunset there. it’s amazing.
Check Prague Castle
Prague Castle is part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites made up of historical palaces, offices, churches, gardens and so on. These days, this place is the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic but also a very popular and touristy area. Often crowded, it offers amazing views over the city. But for me, the favorite view is the view on the castle from the city: on the top of the hill above Vltava River, Prague castle is both impressive and glorious.
Walking around the castle and to see St. Vitus cathedral is free but to approach to many other sights inside the Castle will cost you 350 CZK. I found an excellent article where it is great explained what all you can see there and how much time or money you need.
You can come there using public transport or taking the stair from Malostranske Namesti. I like to start my tour at the castle and make my way down to the city. But this is up to you.
Visit oldest historic fort in Prague – Vysehrad
Often overlooked by many people, Vysehrad is one of my favorite places in Prague. It’s located on a hill, above the Vltava and it’s the place where the city was born. It gives amazing views on the city and it is an excellent place to take a walk on the fort walls, make a picnic, drink a beer with your friends and so on. A short walk down will take you to my next recommendation.
Visit farmers market on the pier of Vltava river – Naplavka
This place is located actually in front of my building and it is an amazing place to hang out with your friends during sunny days. There is plenty of boats that are turned into coffee places and pubs where you can drink a cocktail or eat some pizza.
The place is made to chill and every Saturday you will find there farmers market. The place has a vibe and it’s popular among tourists but also locals.
Have brunch in one of many trendy coffee shops in Prague
My absolute favorite to do in Prague. The city is filled with so many cool and stylish places that offer delicious options for breakfast or brunch. And not only that: while Czech cuisine is heavy, there are so many breakfast places that offer healthier choices. It’s no wonder I dedicated a special post about this topic. Eggs with goat cheese in Monolok, smoothie bowl in Cafefin or Buddha bowl in Cacao – it’s up to you. But you will enjoy it for sure.
Eat Trdelnik and drink a ton of cheap beer
From healthy to not so healthy but super delicious 😊 It’s all about balance, right?
Trdelnik is a famous sweet dish that is rolled dough, wrapped around a stick, grilled and then topped with… well, whatever you want 😊. I love mine filed with Nutella and strawberries. But basically, you can put bananas, ice cream, nuts… I love options with ice cream but remember this is a meal that is eaten while walking so it can get pretty messy.
And of course, you’re in the Czech Republic. This is a country wherein supermarkets you can find a bottle of beer cheaper than a bottle of water. It’s a true story and I saw it so many times. So, go ahead, drink beer because there is a lot of it around here. Kozel, Pilsen, Staropramen and many more are waiting only for you. 😊
Climb on Prague Eiffel Tower – Petrin Tower
Exactly, we have even Eiffel Tower here. Well, at least a smaller version of it. It’s located on the same side of the river as Prague Castle, but I must say, walking up there requires a little bit more effort. It’s possible to get there with a cable car and the ride is free is you have public transport pass. Anyway, getting on the hill you can go even higher up to the Tower. I can’t say how is it up there since I never went. But the gardens below towers and the view of the city were great.
Drive paddleboat to get the best views of the city
Another sunny day activity that is at the same time cheap and fun. It’s only 200 CZK (around 8 euros) to rent a paddleboat for one hour for 4 people. It’s an interesting and fun way to explore the city from the river view. This is a better option than paying triple more for the long and boring boat ride.
Take a photo in front of Dancing House – Tancica Dum
Because a one doesn’t see every day a building that decided to dance for a bit? 😊 Jokes aside, the building was inspired by a dancing couple and today is a popular tourist sight. You can visit a restaurant on the top, but I think, the building itself is enough of an attraction.
The picture is overtaken from Tuzemska Dovolena
Where to eat
Before I start this, I would like to say that I’m personally not the biggest fan of Czech cuisine. It’s a bit heavy for me but there are places where you can eat an excellent meal even for my standards. I have also asked my friends to recommend a few places so you guys wouldn’t be cut of some nice culinary experience only because I don’t like it.
For the best breakfast or brunch check out the post I dedicated especially to this. Breakfast is a special thing in Prague!
I would like to point out also that my reviews and opinion about a restaurant is not based only on the food they serve but also on their customer service. As I mentioned previously, the level of scammers and waiters who will easily give you less money back or be rude is quite high in Prague. Anyway, below is the list of the place I find good. The list will also be updated with time, as I will be visiting more places.
For Czech Cuisine
Hostinec u Sadlu
Klimentská 2, 110 00 Praha 1-Nové Město-Petrská čtvrť, Praha
This is my favorite restaurant in Prague that prepare Czech food. It’s also located quite central, near Namesti Republiky and 15 minutes’ walk from Vaclavske Namesti. The food is delicious and the prices, especially considering the portion are just fine. The whole menu you can find here.
Provaznická 385/3, 110 00 Staré Město, Praha
It doesn’t get more central than this restaurant. It’s at the end of Venceslav square and on the way to the Old Town. The food is good, and the prices are quite ok, especially when you consider the location. They have outdoor sitting for sunny days and it’s a go from my side. You can find the prices here.
U Tří Bojovníků
Vyšehradská 1355/17, 128 00 Nové Město, Praha
This place came as a recommendation from our friends. Although this place is basically in front of our apartment, we still didn’t get the chance to go there. But I have read reviews, check the prices and I can say it seems like a place to grab a good Czech lunch. The whole food menu, together with the prices you can find here.
My thoughts about this place are divided. I have read a lot of reviews about how they were scamming tourists and returning the wrong amount of money (in their favor of course). On the other hand, we never had such an experience. And sausages are great. Our recommendation is Prazska sausage and it costs 100 CZK.
For international cuisine
When it comes to different types of foods, Prague has a lot to offer. I am a big fan of Indian and Lebanon cuisine so I often eat at places that serve this type of food. Below are my favorite options:
All over the town
I know some people will judge me because I recommend a chain but trust me guys: I tried a lot of Indian restaurants in Prague and this one is my favorite. Considering the portion size, food quality and price, this place comes as the best in the end. And, I have a friend here who goes to India every year and she confirmed to me that Bombay Express food is most alike as street food in India. My personal favorite is Chana Masala for only 79 CZK (3 euros) but you have plenty of options. They are located all over the town, mostly in shopping centers and the whole menu you can find here.
Black Betty’s grill
Mánesova 7, 120 00 Vinohrady, Praha
Our most recent discovery is this place located a few minutes from Narodni Muzeum. They offer excellent burgers but also plenty of vegan options. The staff was polite, food came to our table in less than 15 minutes and it was excellent. A go from our side. The menu you can find here.
Na Příkopě 12, 110 00 Staré Město, Praha
Excellent Lebanon restaurant located in the city center with so polite staff that you start to question yourself are you still in Prague. It’s located inside a small shopping mall and it has a very nice outdoor sitting. You can find their menu here.
Kavarna Smetana Q
Smetanovo nábř. 334/4, 110 00 Staré Město
If you’re in the mood for some healthy options such as an avocado toast or chicken salad, this is the place I would recommend. Not only the food, but the staff and interior of the restaurant are amazing, and it’s located right on the Vltava so you will enjoy some nice views. The menu is available here.
Crème de la Crème
Národní 23, 110 00 Staré Město, Praha
If you want to try the best ice cream ever (and I mean EVER) you need to go to this place. I tried many ice creams around the world, but Crème de la Crème has, without any doubt, the best ice creams. Portions are based on weight, and the small one is frankly more than enough. Prices are available here.
How much money you will need
I’m not going to lie to you: Prague is not cheap anymore. The city has developed in every sense, economically and culturally. But that came with the price. Before I start to rage about the high rents (it’s my favorite topic), I want you to know that it’s still not as expensive as Paris or London of course. But I find often a lot of people thinking that Prague is super cheap and that they will need 50 euros for 3 days. Of course, you can survive with this amount of money if you are super frugal but just to show you how much it can be, I will post some of the most common prices:
- Breakfast + coffee in some of popular breakfast/brunch spots – 10 euros
- Cappucino – 2 euros in most of the coffee shops
- Lunch + drink per person – 12 euros
- Dinner + drink -12 euros
- Trdelnik in the city center and around – 3-5 euros, depends on the filling.
And as you can see, we easily come to 40 euros per person, and it’s only one day. Of course, you can avoid some of these expenses, buy your food in the supermarket and similar. Good thing is that most of the things to do in Prague and that are mentioned above are cheap or for free. You can choose to pay 250 CZK for the view in Old Town or go up in Letna Park and enjoy some amazing views of the city for free.
With accommodation you can still get the cheap deal: there are plenty of hostels that will cost you around 10 euros per night which is a good deal. If you want a private room for two, count that it will cost you 25-50 euros, depending on which location you choose.
And that would be it, guys! I have tried my best to give you all the best advice for Prague. It’s an amazing city and I’m sure you will enjoy your time there. If you’re maybe interested to see how to fit all the best stuff in two days, check my post How to spend two days in Prague. It’s an itinerary created by me after almost one year living in the city and I’m sure it will be helpful to anyone who is visiting Prague for the first time.
However, if you liked this post, don’t forget to comment and share. I look forward to hearing your questions and thoughts. And if you want to be first to see what new I have prepared for you, don’t forget to subscribe!
Till next reading,
Traveler To Be