Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, attracts millions of tourists every year. As they use their own currency Czech Koruna (CZK) for payments, for getting it you will need to withdraw local money from ATM or exchange your foreign currency. How to get the best currency exchange rates in Prague?
During our last visit, we found out that there are several rules that you need to follow if you are willing to get the best (or at least fair) currency exchange rate in Prague.
How to get the best exchange rate in Prague?
1 – Avoid scammers
Ignore any person who will be approaching you on the street and offering you to exchange currency. They will be offering much better exchange rate than you can see anywhere. Use common sense, as the exchange rate just can’t be better than the market rate (current market rate can easily be found on Google). At the end of the day you will be scammed if encountering with scam-masters like that.
2 – Don’t exchange currency at the airport or train station
Currency exchange rates at Prague Airport are unfair as there’s no competition around and the only money changer can rip off tourists the way they want. You can find much better exchange rates in the city so you shouldn’t exchange your money at the airport or exchange there as little as you would need for getting into the city. How bad are the rates at Prague Airport you can find out here: Currency Exchange Rates at Prague Airport (PRG).
Even if exchange rates of the most popular currencies at Prague Main Railway Station are a bit better than at airport, they are still much worse than you could get in the city center. If exchanging any of less popular currencies at the train station, you are losing about 1/3 or even more of your money. More about currency exchange rip-off at Prague Train Station read here: Currency Exchange at Prague Main Railway Station.
3 – Skip Interchange
Interchange is the company operating currency exchange offices at Prague Airport. They also operate several branches in the center of Prague. Currency exchange rates offered there exactly as bad as you are getting at the airport!
Offering uncompetitive exchange rates isn’t the worse thing at Interchange. The way they are displaying and advertising their rates is! On the big screen at the office you will see very high exchange rates being displayed and you might think that you are getting the best deal in Prague. No way!
They are displaying “We Sell” foreign currency rates only, so it’s not the rate you will be getting when exchanging your foreign currency. It means that this rate you can get when buying back your foreign currency (EUR, USD) and paying by Czech Koruna. And even these “We Sell” rates are worse than you would get elsewhere.
For seeing the real offer, look for a list of paper with the real exchange rates and you will be unpleasantly surprised of how bad they are!
4 – Look for 0% commission
Displaying good exchange rates and secretly charging crazy high commission was a very common practice in Prague for a long time. However, currency exchange market in Czechia seems to be shaken up already as most of the places now proudly display “0% commission” sign.
To avoid being ripped-off, ask the money changer to confirm if there’s no commission or any other hidden extra charges for exchange there and make sure that the displayed rate is the one you will be getting.
5 – Shop around
Expect to see a big number of money changers in the center of Prague as currency exchange offices can be found almost on every street corner in the touristy part of the city. Even if you are not willing to waste time searching for the best currency exchange rate in Prague, compare exchange rates of at least 2 or 3 money changers found nearby. The difference between the rates can easily be as big as 10%, especially if you are comparing smaller money changers with Interchange.
6 – Check the rates online
Many of Prague’s reputable money changers display current exchange rates on their websites. You can easily compare their rates in a couple of minutes and head straight to the office offering with the best currency exchange rates in Prague.
Money changers that are worth to be checked when looking for the best currency exchange rate in Prague (sorted by the exchange rates offered on the day of writing):
X Change Grossmann - xchangegrossmann.cz
Alfa Prague - alfaprague.cz
Praha TOP Exchange - top-exchange.cz
Exchange 8 - exchange8.cz
EXCHANGE - exchange.cz
AuraAktiv - smenarna-praha-1.cz
Huspak Exchange - huspak-exchange.cz
EuroChange - eurochange.cz
Make sure to compare ordinary exchange rates if you’re planning to exchange less than 1000 EUR.
7 – Get VIP rate
If you are planning to exchange a significant amount of foreign currency in Prague, don’t miss a chance to get VIP exchange rate. Most of money changers from the list above offer special VIP exchange rates for big transactions. VIP rates are normally offered when exchanging foreign currency equivalent to at least 25,000 or 30,000 CZK (~1000 or 1200 EUR).
Best Currency Exchange Rates in Prague
How good are the best currency exchange rates in Prague City Center?
For answering this question, we will compare the best ordinary exchange rates (not VIP) offered in Prague at the moment with current market rates.
Best USD to CZK exchange rate in Prague
The official USD exchange rate at the time of writing is 23.43 CZK for 1 US Dollar, so the best rate offered in Prague (23.30 CZK/USD) is just by 0.13 CZK or 0.6% lower than the market rate.
Sounds like a very fair deal that can easily compete with interbank rate that is charged when withdrawing Czech Koruna from ATM.
Best EUR to CZK exchange rate in Prague
The official EUR exchange rate at the time of writing is 25.83 CZK for 1 Euro, so the best rate offered by the money changer in Prague (25.70 CZK/EUR) was by 0.13 CZK or 0.5% lower than the market rate.
Even better exchange rate than you can get for USD!
Best GBP to CZK exchange rate in Prague
The official GBP exchange rate at the time of writing is 28.81 CZK for 1 Pound Sterling, so the best rate offered in Prague (28.55 CZK/GBP) was by 0.26 CZK or 0.9% lower than the market rate.
Not as good as Euro or US Dollar exchange rate but still easily acceptable as you can hardly expect to get such a good exchange rate in UK.
Exchange rates of other currencies in Prague
Exchange margin for less popular currencies is normally higher in Prague and can be about 1-3% or even a bit more, if very exotic currencies are exchanged.
Take your time and check websites of all the best money changers in Prague for finding the best deal as the difference between their rates can be higher when it comes to exchange of not so common currencies.
Getting the best exchange rate in Prague
You need to do your homework online and visit your selected money changer for getting the best exchange rate in Prague because most of them are not that easy to spot when just passing by. Money changers on the main touristy streets normally give lower rates.
During our visit, the best EUR exchange rate seen on the street was by 3% lower than the market rate. As we were exchanging just 50 Euros and needed Czech Koruna urgently, losing a bit more than 1 Euro for currency exchange wasn’t such a bad deal. However, exchanging larger amount at one of the best money changers in Prague would definitely be worth it.