Prague is the first city most people think of when planning a trip to the Czech Republic. And with castles, beer, stunning architecture and a great art scene, it's easy to see why!
The city of Prague is popular with tourists, but for good reason. There's tons to do, the locals are friendly and it's unarguably beautiful. And even though Prague isn't the cheapest city in Europe, the beer was still cheap (which made Ben happy) and traveling there can be affordable. You can actually get quite a lot for $10 in Prague!
Things to Do in Prague
In our opinion, Prague has a feeling of Western Europe meets Eastern Europe, and it is a joy to explore because there is both history and beauty.
There are so many things to do in Prague that you could spend a month exploring this city and not get bored.
We've put together a list of some of the best things to do in Prague on a budget to help you get started planning your trip to the Czech Republic.
1. Visit Old Town Square
The most iconic area in Prague is the Old Town Square. It's the center of the city and a gathering place for many people. You will find many street preformers and musicians in the center and loads of restaurants aroudn the perimeter.
2. Watch the Astronomical Clock
The Old Town Square also the home for the Prague Astronomical Clock, located on the south side of hte Old Town Hall. Our free walking tour guide told us it's the second most overrated tourist attraction in all of Europe (first being the Mona Lisa), but we found it quite fascinating.
Interesting Fact: Did you know that Prague is not the only city in the Czech Republic that has an astronomical clock? Find a much less crowded clock tower and many things to do in Olomouc. This lesser-known city is surprisingly majestic and a great addition to your visit if you have time!!
3. Learn about the Jewish Quarter
Close to the Old Town Square is the Jewish Quarter of Prague. There is the Old-New Jewish Synagogue (still trying to figure out that name) which first opened in the year 1210 and is Europe's oldest active synagogue. Across the street is the Old Jewish Cemetery which is a 15th century layered graveyard.
4. Find art installations
There are plenty of art installations in the side streets near the Old Town Square. Whether it be giant heads or mirrored displays keep your eyes open for art everywhere. It may be even falling from the sky.
5. Tour down Wenceslas Square
Take a walk down the massive Wenceslas Square, where many demonstrations and gatherings are held. In 1989, it was in this square where the fall of communism was announced. Lining the square, there are loads of shops and restaurants and at the southeastern end sits the National Museum.
6. Stroll across the Charles Bridge
One of the more famous symbols of the city is the Charles Bridge spanning the Vltava River. This 14th century stone bridge has two large towers on both sides linking Prague's old and new towns.
It's always busy during the day, so if you want to see it empty, be sure to go before breakfast and try to beat the artists, street performers and crowds.
7. Gaze at the Dancing House
Two bridges south from the Charles Bridge is the Dancing House, a modern office building that at first glance appears to be moving. The walk from Charles Bridge to the Dancing House gives you nice views of the riverside, the island and Prague's architecture.
8. Spread peace at the Lennon Wall
Cross over to the west side of the river and you've entered Malá Strana (Lesser Town). This area of town is known for its cute cafes, small streets and the Lennon Wall.
It's an entire wall filled with griffiti and street art that is mostly politically charged. Find the one design that speaks to you and take a selfie (of course).
9. Relax with Peacocks in Vojanovy Sets Park
Get a coffee to go and take a stroll through Vojanovy Sets. It's a beautiful park with resident peacocks that freely roam around.
Did you know the Czech Republic is a great place to teach English? Find out how to get certified to teach English abroad.
10. Check out the Franz Kafka Museum
Don't forget to visit the Franz Kafka Museum and the statue in front, famously now known as the Piss Sculpture.
As you walk up to the museum, you'll hear the sound of water running. And no it's not the river. It's a sculpture of two men swaying their hips and "peeing" into a small pool shaped like the Czech Republic.
The best part is you can send a text to a number on the sculpture and then one of the men will "write" your message spelling out each letter.
11. Explore the Prague Castle
Go exploring in the Prague Castle. It's a stunning fortress that overlooks the city on top of the hill. It is also the home to St. Vitus Cathedral, with its stunning stain-glass windows.
You can walk inside the massive cathedral, but in our opinion, we think the best view of it is from the back (or east side).
Continue further into the fortress to the Golden Lane, an area with with tiny shops and staged reenactments of what the shops looked like during medieval times. (Admission: 350 CZK = $17 USD)
12. Be charmed by Nový Svět
Take a peaceful walk down Nový Svět (meaning New World), a tiny picturesque street west of the castle. Find a cafe there and take a break from your long day.
13. Smell the flowers in the Royal Garden
The Royal Garden (Královská zahrada) north of the castle is stunning and if you have time take a stroll there. The schrubery is trimmed to perfection and the flowers change with the seasons.
14. Check out the view from Letna Park
A nice spot to visit in the afternoon is Letenský profil, a beautiful building north of the river in the setting of Letna Park. Be sure to stop by the Prague Metronome while you’re in the park too. And it's exactly what you'd expect, a giant metronome.
If end up in the park in the evening, there is a nice beer garden in Letna Park with picnic benches and views of the river and the city.
15. Drink a craft beer in Prague
Being the home country of Pilsner, you know there are plenty of places to drink in Prague. One of our favorites was the Prague Beer Museum Gastropub (Dlouha 46, Prague 1).
Order a beer from almost anywhere in the world but their speciality is Czech craft beers. And they are pretty dang good! The pub food is tasty as well.
Close by is the Lokal Dlouhaaa, a beer hall where they serve pilsner, and only pilsner (I’m sure they have other beer, but literally everyone had the light stuff). It's a fun laid back atmosphere and really budget friendly.
Note: Czechs love the foam on beer and will pour you a glass that way. Most glasses that came out were 40% beer and 60% head (that would never fly back home!). When they served us, it was more like 70-30 with beer heavy, but just don’t be surprised.
The main road for a night out is Dlouhá Street. You can choose from a more casual drink establishment or a full-on dance club.
And after a pint, you’re going to get hungry! So read up on the best places to eat in Prague and get a hearty meal to remember!
Hotels in Prague
The hard thing about choosing accommodation in Prague is that the city is so big. We stayed a little ways out of town and really wished we were closer. The best places to stay are near the Old Town Square and the Jewish Quarter, if you're walking distance to those, you are golden.
Luxury Hotel: Art Deco Imperial Hotel - Beautifully decorated with modern amenities like a spa and fitness center. Located 10 minute walk to the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, it's the perfect hotel.
Couple Stay/Mid-range: Hotel UNIC Prague - Built in 2013, this stylish hotel has on-site restaurant with a terrace and a bar with mouth-watering spreads. Only a 11 minute walk from the Old Town Square, you can't beat the price.
Budget Friendly/Social Atmosphere: Hostel One Home - Offering 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-bed dorms, spacious common areas, well-equipped shared kitchen, close to the metro and a breakfast buffet available every morning.
Are you going from Prague to Cesky Krumlov? Try riding on FlixBus. We rode with FlixBus throughout Eastern Europe and loved how comfortable and cheap they are.
Day Trip from Prague: Český Krumlov
This quaint little UNESCO World Heritage village that is woven around the Vltava River that passes through it. It's beautiful, so get your camera ready.
Things To Do in Cesky Krumlov
1. Visit the Cesky Castle
Cesky Castle overlooks the city and is fun to explore around. Go about an hour before sunset and catch the twilight hours in the castle. Arrive earlier and take a guide tour of the castle (Admission - 300 CZK = $15 USD).
2. Take a stroll in the Castle Garden
Wander through the Castle Garden (Zámecká zahrada) next to the Castle. During the summer months, there is a revolving outdoor theater (Otáčivé hlediště) in the middle of the park. Be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time.
3. Break a sweat playing outside
There are plenty of outdoor activities in and around Cesky Krumlov. Rent a canoe or raft and float down the Vltava River that weaves around the city. There are plenty of biking trails to explore or go horseback riding.
Hotels in Cesky Krumlov
Couple Stay/Mid-range: Penzion Kapr - A 500-year old renovated building keeps its historic charm while upgrading to modern amenities like WiFi throughout the property and flat-screen TV's in each room. Penzion is right on the river and steps away from the city center.
Budget Friendly/Social Atmosphere: Pension Cert a Kaca - Located in the heart of the city center, this hotel is cosy and simply decorated, and there is a shared kitchenette. Excellent reviews from other guests.
Traveling around Czech Republic
As you get closer and closer to Western Europe, the rail system become more of a viable option to travel between cities. There is a rail line between Prague and Cesky Krumlov but we opted to travel via bus which was quite nice.
Again as you get closer to the west the prices do start to increase, but the comfort level does too. You're no longer paying Romanian prices, but you don't have to deal with Romanian buses either.
10 Items to Pack for Traveling in Prague
Durable Backpack - We carry 40 liter backpacks everywhere we go. Both of our big bags are made by Deuter and we love them.
Packing Cubes - A backpacking staple, these cubes help keep your clothes organized in your bag.
Microfiber Towel - Always good to carry around a fast drying microfiber towel just in case your hotel/hostel doesn’t provide them.
Portable Battery Pack - It’s the worst when you arrive to a new city and your phone is dead. Keep it charged with an Anker Battery Pack, this one can charge your phone up to 7 times.
Bamboo Sunglasses - Tree Tribe polarized sunglasses not only look great, but for every purchase they plant 10 trees.
Steripen - Say goodbye to bottled water. You can sterilize your water right out of the tap with this UV light. We have used ours for years and have never gotten sick off the water.
Kindle Paperwhite - Download all your travel guidebooks onto your Kindle. You no longer have to carry around heavy books that take up space in your bag, and the Paperwhite verison lights up in the dark.
Collapsible Cups - If you’re like us, you will be drinking wine in Europe and these come in handy for picnic lunches.
Lush Solid Shampoo bar - No more worrying about liquid limits. One all-natural bar will last me up to 3 months and they smell great!
GoPro - One of the best ways to capture your travels. They are lightweight, take great pictures and video and they are waterproof up to 10 meters without a case!
Before you book your trip, think about this:
We never travel without travel insurance. It’s never fun to think about losing your stuff or the possibility of a delayed flight, missing a connection, or heaven forbid you get injured while traveling. It’s best to know that you’ll be covered if anything goes wrong. We have a whole article dedicated to figuring out the best travel insurance for you, but one company we really like is World Nomads. Get a quote in a couple minutes by filling out your information below:
European Train Travel
How are you traveling around Eastern Europe? One way to travel around Europe is by train and the best way to save money on trains is to buy Eurail Pass.
Now to be honest, we took one train in the Czech Republic in route to Prague. But, if you are traveling to multiple countries fairly quickly or traveling to Western Europe (which is most likely the case in the Czech Republic), purchasing a train pass might be your cheapest bet to travel around Europe. Check out the Eurail Pass prices here.
European Air Travel
Another great thing about traveling in Europe is airfare is so much cheaper than in North America. One of our favorite sites to book flight is Skyscanner. It’s so easy to use and we found some our cheapest flights using their “Show Whole Month” feature, where you can select your route and it tells you the cheapest days of the month to fly.
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