Prague: The Ultimate Guide | STA Travel Blog
Raylin Pellatt (@rayy_baybay), is a major travel enthusiast having visited over twenty four countries (and counting)!.
Having recently graduated from Michigan State last year, she’s relocated to Prague and has put together a list of her must-sees for the Czech Republic’s capital city! It’s the ultimate Eastern European city break – what are you waiting for?!
The public transportation system makes it easy to get anywhere in the city quickly, all you need is a transport pass (available at Metro stations and certain convenience stores) and you have full access to trams, metros, and busses for the duration of your pass. However, the center of Prague is small enough to walk around.
Top tip: Download Taxify, an app similar to Uber. Although Uber is available, Taxify is way cheaper if you’re looking for a faster way of getting around (especially when the metros either slow down or shut down around 11pm and you’re still out partying).
It can be confusing knowing what area is best for the kind of trip you are looking for, so here is a quick breakdown of the Prague districts. The city is divided into different neighborhoods, each area offering something unique and exciting.
Old Town: If you’re looking to stay in the center of the action and close to all the local attractions, you will want to book a place in Old Town. Old Town puts you in the right area for some of Prague’s most famous landmarks including Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, and Charles Bridge. Old Town is the liveliest area of the city, so if you’re looking for something quieter and out of the way, you will have better luck finding accommodation outside of tourist central.
Karlin: Right next to the Vltava river, Karlin offers an authentic glimpse of local life. The popular travel magazine “Time Out”, even named Karlin as one of the Top 50 Coolest Neighborhoods in the World. Karlin’s west-side boarders with the city center while the southern and northern edges are along the Vltava River.
Vinohrady: Still central, with just a little more peace and quiet than the always bustling Old Town, this area is a big hotspot for young expats staying in Prague. On a map, you can Vinhorady mainly lies within Prague 2 and east of the river.
Zizkov: Located easy of the city center, Zizkov is similar to Vinohrady, with cafes and a lively nightlife and is best for those balling on a budget.
Some of the most popular most-see places are:
Charles Bridge: One of the most visited and picturesque views in Prague. The Charles bridge connects Old Town with the other side of the bridge and was commissioned by Charles IV beginning in 1357. As a less-known tip, check out the towers that stand on either end of the bridge, for 100 CZK you can climb to the top for even better views!
Prague Castle: There are great views of the Prague Castle throughout the city, but nothing beats getting up close and getting to see the details for yourself. The area surrounding the Prague castle gives you one of the best views of the city, with great street food options and occasional outdoor markets!
Astronomical Clock: Located in the center square of the city, you’ll want to time your visit to the Astronomical Clock carefully. The clock rings every hour on the hour, often times with a big crowd awaiting the display. The clock is 605 years old and still a sight to see! While you’re in the square, check out any of the restaurants surrounding the clock- especially the rooftop bar on top of the U Prince Hotel immediately across.
John Lennon Wall: If you’re a big fan of the Beatles or looking for some inspiration, the John Lennon Wall is a great place to spend some time or snap a pic. The best part of the graffiti wall is that it’s always changing with new writing and pictures from locals and tourists. If you want to leave your mark, I suggest bringing a sharpie or some paints because it is not always available at the wall!
These are all very well known and are commonly packed with tourists. If you’re looking for a new Instagram pic that you haven’t already scrolled past 10 times, check out one of these Instagram-ready locations:
- Dancing House: The Dancing House stands out as one of Prague’s most unique buildings, especially compared to the more commonly seen Gothic and Roman style architecture around the city. It was completed in 1996 and designed by architect Vlado Milunic with Frank Gehry. It sits on the banks of the Vltava River, so whether you are enjoying a drink at Glass Bar on the top of the building or viewing from outside, Dancing House will give your Instagram a pic that is worthy of a travel blogger (and making one or two people at home just a little jealous of your latest adventure).
- Letna Beer Garden: The Letna Beer Garden is known for three things: good beer, beautiful views, and also the small hike it takes to get to the top. Luckily, there’s a back way to reach the top that requires a lot less stairs, but either way what is waiting for you at the top is well worth sweating a little on your way. Look over the Vlatava River while eating some fried cheese and enjoying a drink with friends!
- Petrin Park: You might not have thought the Eiffel Tower would be a stop in a city that is quite a distance from France, but did you know Prague has it’s very own version of the French monument? If you’re feeling up to it you can take a hike though Petrin Park (or take the tram to the top) and enjoy the view of the Vltava River, gardens, and cafe at the top of the hill. For a small fee, you can even climb to the top of The Petřín Lookout Tower (aka the Eiffel Tower look alike).
You’re going to want to fuel up before a big night out in Prague. The food of the Czech Republic might not be as world famous like some of it’s European neighbors, but that doesn’t mean Prague is lacking any delicious restaurants or cafes. Some of the most well-known Czech delicacies (besides beer) include goulash and dumplings, soup and bread bowls, and Trdelnik.
More Foodie Tips
Prague is full of independent restaurants that offer unique eats. What you are NOT going to want to do is fall for the old tourist trick of a sign that reads “Authentic Czech food” especially if it’s in English. This place is likely to be overpriced food that isn’t even classic Czech. You will see a lot of this in Old Town, so try to get out of the center and find something out of the tourist route. Before you stop you will want to take note if the restaurant accepts card. It’s very common for restaurants to be cash only, so many sure you have the local currency available before dining out. If you’re looking to save some money, order a beer instead of water. In most places, you can find a beer or a glass of wine being cheaper than water!
And, of course, we couldn’t forget one of the most important aspects of travel: where we’re getting brunch. Prague offers a variety of eats and all different price points. Some of our favorites include:
Cafe Fin: Located right outside the Jiřího z Poděbrad metro stop, Cafe Fin is one of the most popular restaurants in Prague. You might want to get there a few minutes before opening in order to get a seat, but the food is well worth the wait. Cafe Fin offers the classics such as avocado toast, but the menu includes Vietnamese style food as well. Our recommendation? Anything on the Banh Mí section of the menu- you can’t go wrong!
Wafflin: Whether you are craving something sweet or savory, Wafflin has got you covered. Take your seat and fill out your customizable waffle order- if you choose to go savory you can pick toppings such as bacon, eggs, avocado, and more or go the sweet route with peanut butter, chocolate, nutella, and more. The possibilities are endless and so is our appetite when we’re at Wafflin!
If you’re looking for a more traditional brunch, check out Cafe Savoy or Satsang. Both include great egg dishes and bottomless mimosas. Both restaurants are beautifully decorated and will fill you up with a great brunch to get you ready to take on the day!
Did you know the Czech Republic drinks more beer per capita than any other country in the world? Here are some great places to drink some great Czech beer:
Prague Beer Museum: Instead of just drinking the beer, the Beer Museum allows you to experience the production while learning about the history of the many Czech beers- while tasting them along the way!
Prague Beer Museum
U Sudu: An extremely popular underground bar with cheap drinks and a great atmosphere can’t be beat, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at U Sudu! U Sudu has multiple levels and rooms with cave-like features, places to dance, play pool and foosball, and sit and talk!
Beer Bike: If you’re looking to see the city with a beer in hand, a beer bike is the way to go! Popular with stag parties, you and a few close friends can peddle your way through the city with unlimited beer and a great time!
Vinoteka: If beer isn’t your thing, don’t fret because there are plenty of great wines throughout the city. One of the most popular on a friday after work is the Vinoteka right off of the Jiřího z Poděbrad Square. Although there is no seating available, it’s still a very popular option to stand outside the building and people watch and chat the stress of the week away!
What currency does Prague use?
Czech Crowns (CZK). Some larger hotels and tourist restaurants may accept Euros as well as cards. As a note, 20CZK is around $1 or 1 Euro= 26.60 CZK. Many places do not accept cards, so make sure to have some cash on you before deciding where to dine!
How much money will I need for Prague?
The Czech Republic is a lot cheaper than most European countries. A large local beer such as Kozel will often set you back around 35 CZK ($1.50). A traditional meal can often be found for under 100 CZK.
How much does accommodation cost?
The most affordable options are hostels or Airbnb. For a shared room in a hostel, prices can start as low as $10/Night, while AirBnbs have a little larger of a range depending on the size and location.
Prague is a fulfilling city that makes it almost impossible to be bored with so many exciting events happening, outdoor markets such as Naplavka or Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, and so much to learn and experience.
Prague has something for everybody and it doesn’t take long to fall in love with the unique architecture, beautiful views, and everything else this city has to offer. Check out our full Travel Guide here.