Prague or ‘Praha’ in Czech is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, and often as one of Europe’s most charming and beguiling cities.
The streets are lined with medieval, gothic buildings and the smell of cinnamon fills the air from nearby Trdelník vendors and you’ll constantly feel as though you have fallen back in time. But when the sun goes now, this city becomes alive with bustling bars and clubs and beer that is sometimes cheaper than water.
How to get to Prague
As a capital city, Prague is very easy to access from all parts of Europe. The international airport Václav Havel is around 12km from the city centre with trams and trains connecting regularly (Airport express train runs 5:00 am – 10:00 pm, every 30 minutes, Tram lines 5, 9, 26, 55, 58).
The main train station Hlavní Nádraží is 15 minutes walk from the Old Town Square, and buses run direct from neighbouring countries including Berlin, Vienna, Bratislava and Kraków. See Go Euro or Rail Europe for schedule information.
How to get around
Trams are regular and cheap in Prague, and take you wherever you need to go in the city. Trams run daily from 4:30 a.m. till midnight in 8 – 15 minute intervals, then night trams (numbers 51 – 58) run from 12.30 a.m. till 4:30 a.m. in 40 minute intervals.
You can find a connection here.
Want to ride around town and enjoy the sites? Tram 22 follows one of Prague’s most scenic routes, passing by the National Theater, through the main streets and continuing up to the Belveder, Prague Castle and Pohořelec.
Where to eat
Pastacaffé for the best coffee. The homemade waffles and pasta here are also incredible.
Pizzeria Vendemaria has superb pizza, perfect for dinner or hangover cure after a night out.
Good Food Coffee & Bakery is also a must for the traditional Trdelník – while you can buy these traditional pastries at many stores throughout the Old Town, Good Food makes them right in front of you, and hands it to you fresh and hot, perfect to munch on while walking across the Charles Bridge!
Where to stay
I cannot recommend Hostel One in Prague higher. I stayed here twice and both times were beyond amazing – not only are the staff the most friendly and fun people, the downstairs ‘Rave Cave’ bar hosts a party every night, then the staff take you out on a Pub Crawl – all free of charge! While it is significantly more expensive than other hostels in Prague, you are really getting your money’s worth here. There is no lock out time, the reception is manned 24/7, the atmosphere is unsurpassed and it is almost impossible not to make friends with everyone staying here. Oh, and did I mention free dinner every night?! Hostel One in Prague is one of my all-time favourites.
Idea of costs for one day in Prague
Local food and alcohol in Prague is ridiculously low-priced compared to neighbouring countries. While considered part of the EU, the Czech Republic is still using their local currency of Koruna. Exchange rates change daily but as a rule of thumb, 25 Koruna is around 1 Euro.
1150 Kč (€44) per day
– Hostel: 700 Kč per night during summer
– Groceries to make breakfast at Hostel: 50Kč
– Pizza for lunch: 140 Kč
– Free Hostel dinner
– 5 pack of beers: 140Kč
– Pint in a bar: 30Kč
– 24hour public transport pass: 90Kč
How long to spend in Prague
3 – 4 days to soak up the deep history as well as party atmosphere.
What to see and do in Prague
The Charles Bridge, built in 1402, is the oldest crossing over the Vltava river in Prague. Lined with baroque statues of religious figures and spanning 16 arches, the bridge is historically stunning but becomes flooded with tourists, beggars and merchants by around 9am, no matter the time of year, and remains packed for the entire day. Try to visit as early as possible to enjoy the bridge in its intended beauty.
To reach the castle from the Charles Bridge, you can either walk or you can take tram 22. The view back down to Old Town and beyond is breathtaking, and take your time to stroll through the castle grounds, watch the armed guards standing strong, and visit Golden Lane.
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square is a hustle of tourists and locals alike, and remains virtually untouched since the 10th century. Surrounded by historic buildings such as St Nicholas Church and the Old Town City Hall with the Astronomical Clock, take your time to wander through the alleyways around the square, and window shop at the many boutiques selling faux fur hats and Praha crystal and glass.
If you step outside the Old Town Square and head west towards Prague District 3, you’ll stumble upon the most endearing and refreshingly decorated neighbourhood. Even the sidewalk is tiled in a checker board pattern.
John Lennon Wall
Since his death in 1980, this wall in Prague has been a vibrant rainbow of modernism and youth, with scrawls of John Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from Beatles’ songs. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime, but still remains today. Even when the wall was repainted, on the second day it was again full of colour and quotes. As recent as November 2014, the Wall was repainted white with only the words “Wall Is Over!” remaining, but within hours the colourful graffiti was reborn by locals and tourists alike. The Lennon Wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost, but still represents a symbol of love, peace and resilience. Bring along a sharpie and add to this piece of history yourself.
Cross Club: Take a taxi across town to this fascinatingly futuristic club, crammed with many unusual artefacts and minimal electronic music. Beers are cheap, especially if you reuse your cup, and entry fee is minimal.
Retro Club: The decor is a little bit 50’s, the music is a little bit 90’s and the vibe is just all-round fun.
Roxy Prague: Huge dancefloor, great DJs mixing the latest dance music, no cover charge and plenty of bars, this warehouse-style club is a no-frills great night out.
Karlovy lázně: Situated 50 metres from the eastern end of Charles Bridge, Karlovy lázně is your one stop for serious clubbing. In a building which was originally a 14th century bathhouse, this 5 story building is the biggest music club in Central Europe. A fair entry fee is expected and lines can grow depending on the night’s events.
Day Trip to Cesky Krumlov, Bohemia
Take a step back in time to the quaint, medieval, fairy-tale like town of Cesky Krumlov with buses and trains departing from Prague everyday – see Go Euro for schedules and tickets.