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Prague Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Prague, Czech Republic

Prague (in Czech language written as Praha), the capital of the Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful and incredible cities to visit. Prague is a bowl-shaped city surrounded by hills, built on both sides of the Vltava River and impresses visitors with its deep-rooted history and architectural structure.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most popular destinations for a city break in Europe as an easy travel destination for everyone. To make your trip to Prague easier, we share the essential information you should know before traveling to Prague.

Currency

Although Prague is among the European Union and Schengen countries, it is still one of the countries that uses its own money. The official currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna (CZK). Czech coinage consists of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Crown pieces. Banknotes come in 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000.

For those who are going to Prague for the first time, dealing with a new currency can be a bit confusing. For this reason, we recommend making your reservations online by booking the accommodation via Booking.com or activities via GetYourGuide before going to the city.

Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept international credit cards. ATM machines are easily available throughout the city. Exchange offices are mostly in the city center. However, Prague is one of the most problematic cities in Europe for money exchange. The money you can get can be much lower than you expect because of the commission. It is useful to choose the place where you will change your money well, so you don't have to worry of being ripped off. If you will choose an unreliable currency exchange on the street, you might need to pay up to 40% commission. In many corners of Prague, you will also find the prices displayed in euros and often euros are accepted. However, the applied exchange rate is much worse than you can get, so you should always pay in the local currency. Detailed information about currency exchange in Prague and the best places to exchange your money can be found here: Best Currency Exchange Rates in Prague City Center.

Passport & Visa

Czech Republic is a member of the Schengen area. This means that to cross the Czech Republic border you need to have a valid passport and Schengen Visa, which allows you to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period, unless your passport lets you enter the Schengen area visa-free.

For EU / EEA citizens, no visa is required before traveling to Prague, Czech Republic. You just need a valid passport or chip ID card as a travel document.

Language

In the Czech Republic, the official language is Czech. In the touristy areas of Prague, many people can also speak English and/or German.

Here are some essential expressions in Czech to remember:

  • Hello = dobrý den
  • Hello = Ahoj
  • Bye = Ahoj
  • Yes = Ano
  • No = Ne
  • Thank you = děkují
  • Beer - Pivo
  • Wine – Víno

 

Prague Attractions

Prague is one of the richest cities in Central Europe in terms of places to visit and it is a very popular city for tourists. For this reason, we recommend you to purchase the entrance tickets of important places and to register for the relevant tours online before your trip. It can be easily done here: Prague attractions and activities.

Top tourist attractions of Prague are listed below.

Old Town Square

The very heart of the historical center of Prague, which was used as a market area during the Middle Ages. It is surrounded by magnificent historical buildings such as Jan Hus Monument, Tyn and St. Nicholas Church, Old Town Hall, and colorful food and beverage venues.

Old Town Square

Old Town Hall

One of the main buildings in Old Town Square with its 60-meter-high Gothic tower. Actually, it is a set of four buildings in different architectural styles that were renovated between the 15th and 16th centuries and began to function as a consistory in the late 18th century.

Astronomical Clock

Dating from the 15th century, Astronomical Clock is located on the south wall of the Old Town hall and is one of the most popular attractions in the city. A wild crowd gathers every hour in front of the Astronomical Clock Tower because between 9:00 and 23:00 the twelve apostles rotate.

Astronomical Clock

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the main tourist attraction not only in Prague, but also in the Czech Republic. This imposing castle was built in the Hardčany area in the 9th century and is among the largest castles in the world.

Prague Castle

St. Vitus Cathedral

One of the most important historical buildings of Prague with its lush valley in the middle of Prague Castle. The cathedral, which was built as a palace church in 1344 and completed in 600 years according to a rumor, is made in the Gothic style.

Charles Bridge

This iconic bridge spans the Vltava River with its more than 500 meters in length and 10 meters in width. King Charles IV began its construction in 1357, in a beautiful Gothic style. Both sides of the Charles Bridge are guarded by towers and 30 sculptures of Baroque architecture, most of them being copies of the originals.

Vaclav Square

One of Prague's two main squares, Vaclav Square, also known as Wenceslas Square, is located in the center of the new city (Nové Město district). There you will find the National Museum, as well as numerous restaurants, theaters and commercial establishments. There is also a statue of Saint Wenceslas sitting on a horse located in front of the National Museum building.

Vysehrad

The former seat of Czech emperors since the 10th century is built on a somewhat steep hill. The complex also has one of the oldest buildings in Prague, the Saint Martin Rotunda. Today, Vysehrad is a public park popular with locals and tourists.

Kampa Island

One of several islands located on the Vltava River, right in the center of the city. This tiny island attracts attention for its unique atmosphere and architecture. This is the place where many people spend time during the summer. You can also watch people riding the canoe, sunbathing and enjoying the sun.

Petrin Hill

It is one of the most beautiful and pleasant hills in the city that you can access by funicular. This hill was previously used as a vineyard and was opened to the public in 1825.

For impressive panoramic views of Prague, in addition to the castle and Petrin Hill with an observation tower built having the Eiffel Tower as an example, you can discover the Best Viewpoints in Prague.

Best Viewpoints in Prague

Other Attractions

Detailed information about the best places to visit in Prague can be found in the list of Top Tourist Attractions in Prague.

Prague City Card

If you would like to save while exploring Prague, for example at the entrances to the main attractions of the city, don’t miss out on our article Prague City Card.

With Prague City Card, you will get a free entrance to more than 60 attractions and 50% discounts on tours and shows. In addition, you can cruise along the Vltava River, and enjoy panoramic views on a complimentary bus tour. The city discount card is offered to travelers in 2, 3 and 4-day options.

Prague City Card

Day Trips from Prague

When planning your trip to Prague, you might wish to consider to extend your stay and take an excursion to one of very interesting places near the Czech capital that you can easily visit. After visiting all wonders in Prague, we recommend you to take one of the best day trips from Prague to see other jewels such as Karlovy Vary, Cesky Krumlov, Kutna Hora or the Terezín Concentration Camp.

In this regard, you can find our experience of a Half Day Trip from Prague to Karlštejn Castle and Day Trip to Karlovy Vary.

Apart from the cities within Czech Republic, you can also travel to Vienna and Budapest, two other cities in Central Europe that are as popular as Prague.

Nightlife in Prague

Prague is colorful in terms of nightlife. Nightlife in the city is not limited to night clubs and bars, but it carries to the streets through festivals. Moreover, the city has a variety of places where everyone can have fun, and the prices are quite affordable compared to many other parts of Europe. Check what you can do and what places to visit in Prague at night.

 

Prague Transportation

How to get to Prague

Prague is in a privileged location as Czech Republic is in the middle of Europe and therefore easy to reach by train or bus from other important European cities. Some of them are Berlin (in Germany, 350 km), Munich (in Germany, 370 km), Vienna (in Austria, 305 km), Krakow (in Poland, 535 km), Bratislava (in Slovakia, 330 kilometers) and Budapest (in Hungary, 525 kilometers). Tickets to Prague from these destinations start from 16-30 euro.

For current schedules and tickets check:

Berlin – Prague

Munich – Prague

Vienna – Prague

Krakow – Prague

Bratislava – Prague

Budapest – Prague

If you decide to go by train, in this case, it is best to arrive at the railway station Praha hlavní nádraží via Vienna or Slovakia or Germany.

How to get to Prague

From other locations further away in Europe, Prague is just as easy to reach by flying through Václav Havel Airport (PRG). There are direct flights from various parts of Europe to Prague. Several companies, including low-cost airlines, make direct flights there from London (1h55 journey), Paris (1h45), Madrid (2h55), Rome (1h50) and others. Flights to Prague can found online here

Prague is very easy to access that makes it an excellent option to be included in a travel itinerary together with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Austria or Germany.

Prague Airport to City Center

Prague Václav Havel Airport is located about 20 km from the city center. You can reach the city center from the airport with many transportation options such as a public bus, Airport Express, shuttle or taxi.

You can reach the city center from the airport easily by taking public transportation. You need to take bus No. 100 or No. 119 and then you need to transfer to metro. Those who arrive at Prague airport after 24:00 can take the bus No. 510 to get into the city. After midnight, travel by public transport is only possible using a combination of night buses with night trams as the metro does not operate after midnight. The ticket valid for 90 minutes costs 32 CZK, and 40 CZK if you purchase a ticket onboard the bus. With Airport Express (AE) bus, you can reach the center in about half an hour and the ticket costs 60 CZK.

Prague Airport to City Center

If you are travelling with a group of people or just want more comfort, you can use a taxi or try Uber. The taxi price from the airport to the city center should be approximately 650 – 700 CZK. You should ask the driver about the price in advance because the taxi drivers in Prague are famous for taking advantage of tourists and asking for unnecessary high amounts.

For a more comfortable journey, you can take Prague Airport private transfer. This is the stress-free way to transfer from Prague Airport, you will also get a complimentary tourist map and a guidebook.

Prague Airport private transfer

To make your arrival in Prague city center from the airport easier, we have provided more details here: How to get from Prague Airport to City Center.

Public Transport in Prague

Prague is a relatively compact city, so if you like to explore the city on foot, you will not need to use public transportation. The main places to see in Prague city are all within walking distance.

In addition to walking on foot, public transportation is also comfortable and well organized. The city of Prague is a highly developed city in terms of transportation as Prague public transport is cheap, efficient and safe.

There are 3 main metro lines: yellow, red and green that cover almost the entire city. The Prague Metro operates daily 05:00-24:00. Metro lines operate a service every 2-3 minutes during peak hours, and 4-9 minutes after 19:00.

Trams, one of the most used vehicles in the city, provide transportation to almost every part of the city. Therefore, you will not have a problem to find one in the city. The most used tram lines are lines 1, 14 and 22 as they provide transportation to touristic areas. Daytime trams operate daily 04:30-24:00. The most popular trams run every 4 minutes. Other trams run every 8-10 minutes during the week, and every 8-15 minutes on weekends. You can buy tram tickets from automatic ticket machines or from the kiosks in the city.

How to get around Prague

Another transportation system used in the city is the funicular connecting Petrin Hill with Mala Strana district that operates between 09:00 and 23:20 and runs every 15 minutes. There is also a ferry that connects both banks of the Vltava River and offers you spectacular views and a unique experience.

The Prague public transport tickets can be used on any type of public transportation and allow transfers between lines and different types of transport. Single ticket costs 24 CZK for 30 minutes and 32 CZK for 90 minutes. The short-term passes cost 110 CZK per day and 310 CZK for 3 days.

In addition, you can use a taxi as a more comfortable and convenient mean of transportation in the city. In case you want to use authorized taxis for tourist areas, you have to look for the Taxi stops. The Uber app also works great in this city. You can check our Prague Public Transport Guide for more information.

 

Where to stay in Prague

For being such a touristy city, Prague has numerous accommodation options from luxury hotels, mid-range hotels, or budget-friendly hostels that can meet the tourist density from all over the world. Prices for accommodation in Prague are generally affordable, lower than in other popular European cities. You should choose the place to stay depending on the purpose of the trip.

Prague is divided into 10 zones named Prague 1, Prague 2, Prague 3, etc. If you're wondering, where the best area to stay in Prague is, you should know that the most convenient is the area of the Prague 1 district that includes the regions of Josefev, Nove Mesto, Vinohrady, Mala Strana, Smichov. Staying in these central neighborhoods will allow you to reach the main tourist spots by walking a maximum of 20 minutes. In this way you will avoid using public transport constantly and save time and money. In addition to these, there are other areas that are also a good option. For choosing the best area to stay in Prague during your next holiday, check our guide to Prague Best Areas.

The best rated hotels with good service level and convenient location in the city are listed below.

Luxury hotels

Mandarin Oriental, Prague

Four Seasons Hotel Prague

Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Mandarin Oriental, Prague

Mid-range hotels

Grand Hotel Bohemia

Metropolitan Old Town Hotel

Hotel Questenberk

Grand Hotel Bohemia

Budget-friendly accommodation

Despite the fact that Prague is touristy, it has a good number of budget hotels and hostels of good quality. Unlike in other capitals, it is not necessary to get away from the center to find cheap accommodation. In the same historical center, there is a wide range of affordable accommodation although it is advisable to book in advance since the demand is very high. Recommended affordable options:

Loreta Hotel

Dependance Golden Crown

Miss Sophie's Downtown

Loreta Hotel

Recommended hotels

Our top recommendations for the best hotels in the center of Prague can be found here: 13 Best Hotels in Prague.

 

Eating and drinking in Prague

Prague cuisine, and Czech cuisine in particular, is mainly based on meat, both red and white, potatoes, soups and sauces. Traditional Czech cuisine has many relations with German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisine.

Czech cuisine

Some of the typical Czech dishes to try in Prague:

Knedlíky: It is the typical accompaniment to Czech dishes, kind of spongy bread cut into slices. They are also made from potatoes. In English they are often called dumplings.

Goulash: A fairly typical dish in Central European cuisine but here it is a very famous and highly preferred main course. Goulash is a very tasty beef stew, which is normally accompanied by knedlíky. The price varies between 5-10 Euros.

Gulášová polévka: Gulaš soup. It is like gulaš but made soup, with more broth.

Trdelnik: A traditional cake and sweet pastry. It is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix. This dessert can be bought on every corner and is a good refreshment on your sightseeing tour.

Vepřo knedlo zelo: Pork with knedlíky and sour cabbage.

Svíčková na smetaně: Roasted beef, cut into slices and accompanied with a delicious sauce made with vegetables and cream. Accompanied with knedliky.

Smažený sýr: Fried cheese.

Medovník: Typical Czech cake filled with honey cream and flavored with cinnamon.

You can have a pleasant time by participating in the tour called Medieval Dinner, where you will spend an evening in the heart of Prague enjoying a 3 or 5-course medieval dinner with unlimited drinks. You’ll be also entertained by a special medieval performance, in a show that includes swordsmen, jugglers, and belly dancers, all accompanied by music.

Medieval Dinner

Prague Beer Culture

Not to mention the beer culture when talking about Prague, would be a mistake. It is known that the Czechs are the largest beer consumers in the world. Some Prague breweries have been open for centuries, such as the famous U Fleku brewery. The best-known commercial beer is Pilsner Urquell, and you find it in almost all restaurants and bars of the city. If you are a beer lover, we recommend you do the Prague Beer Tour: 3 Hours with Unlimited Tastings. You will visit 3 of Prague’s mini-breweries, learn how traditional Czech beer is brewed and taste their special beers.

Czech beer

To learn more about Prague cuisine and eating and drinking venues, check our Prague food guides:

Food & Drinks in Prague: Best of Czech Cuisine

Where to eat in Prague: Best Czech Restaurants

Shopping in Prague

The best places to shop in Prague are the Old Town and Wenceslas Square. There are shops, design boutiques and markets, where different souvenirs are sold. You can get very nice magnets for an average of 2-3 Euros. If you are interested in antiques or food, you should visit Havel Market, one of the oldest markets in the city dating back to 1232. Most shops in Prague are open from 9:00 to 18:00, Monday till Saturday. If you are looking for a shopping center, Palladium in the city center will meet all your needs.

If you want to buy something unique to Prague, the first of these must be Bohemian crystal and porcelain. Crystal and porcelains produced in Czechia decorated the kitchens of many royal families.

Bohemian crystal

Another local option is puppets that you can find in all souvenir shops. If you have time, you can also watch the puppet theater.

You can get tax refund when spending 2,000 CZK or more money on your purchases at once, so don't forget to fill out the Tax-Free form and get your money back.

Prague Weather

Prague has four well-defined seasons and is characterized by mildly hot and rainy summers and snowy and cold winters. For this reason, the most recommended months for sightseeing in the capital of the Czech Republic are mid-spring, summer and early autumn, from April to September. If your dream is to see snow in this fairy-tale city, the ideal time of year for your trip to Prague is between January and February, just do not forget to put your thickest clothes in your luggage at this time. During Christmas, the streets of Prague that are already like postcards, become even more beautiful.

Prague Weather

Festivals in Prague

If you want to match your travel plan to Prague with the festival times that turn the city into a more colorful and livelier atmosphere, you should follow the schedule of the following festivals, both in winter and summer:

  • Prague International Music Festival (May)
  • Bohemia Jazz Festival (July)
  • Prague Winter Music Festival (January)
  • Easter Day (March, April)
  • Prague Writers Festival (November)

 

Prague Travel Tips

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