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Prague Travel Tips: 10 Secrets You Need to Know Before You Go

Updated: Sep 28, 2023


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Prague is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Europe, but it can also be overwhelming and confusing for first-time visitors. There are so many things to see and do, and so many tourist traps to avoid. That’s why we have compiled this list of 10 secrets you need to know before you go to Prague. These tips will help you make the most of your trip, save money, avoid crowds, and discover the hidden gems of this amazing city.

1. Use public transport, not taxis Prague has a very efficient and cheap public transport system that covers the whole city. You can use metros, trams, buses, and even ferries to get around. A single ticket costs 24 CZK (about $1) and is valid for 90 minutes on any mode of transport. You can also buy a 24-hour ticket for 110 CZK (about $5) or a 72-hour ticket for 310 CZK (about $14). Just remember to validate your ticket at the yellow machines before boarding. Taxis, on the other hand, are notorious for overcharging and scamming tourists. If you really need to take a taxi, make sure to use a reputable company like AAA Taxi or City Taxi, or use an app like Uber or Bolt. Always agree on the price before getting in, and avoid taxis that are parked near tourist attractions or train stations.

2. Avoid exchanging money on the street One of the most common scams in Prague is the money exchange scam. Some people will approach you on the street and offer to exchange your euros or dollars for Czech crowns at a very favorable rate. However, they will either give you fake or outdated notes, or a much lower amount than agreed. You will end up losing a lot of money and have no recourse. The best way to get Czech crowns is to use an ATM or a bank. You can also use a licensed exchange office, but make sure to check the rates and fees carefully before handing over your money. Avoid exchange offices that advertise “0% commission” or “best rates” as they usually have hidden charges or unfavorable rates.

3. Learn some basic Czech phrases While English is widely spoken in Prague, especially in tourist areas, it is always polite and appreciated to learn some basic Czech phrases. Not only will it help you communicate better with locals, but it will also show respect for their culture and language. Plus, you might get better service or prices if you try to speak some Czech. Here are some useful phrases to learn:

  • Hello: Dobrý den (DOH-bree dehn)

  • Thank you: Děkuji (DYEH-koo-yee)

  • Please: Prosím (PROH-seem)

  • Excuse me: Promiňte (PROH-meen-teh)

  • Cheers: Na zdraví (NAH zdrah-vee)

  • Do you speak English?: Mluvíte anglicky? (MLOO-vee-teh ANG-leets-kee?)

  • How much is it?: Kolik to stojí? (KOH-leek toh STOH-yee?)

  • Where is…?: Kde je…? (KDEH yeh…?)

4. Try traditional Czech baked goods One of the best things about Prague is the variety of delicious baked goods that you can find in bakeries, cafes, and street stalls. From sweet pastries to savory snacks, there is something for everyone’s taste buds. Here are some of the must-try Czech baked goods:

  • Trdelník: A spiral-shaped pastry made from dough wrapped around a metal rod and roasted over an open fire. It is usually coated with sugar, cinnamon, nuts, or chocolate.

  • Koláč: A round pastry filled with fruit jam, poppy seeds, cheese, or nuts.

  • Buchty: Small buns filled with jam, cheese, or chocolate.

  • Větrník: A cream puff filled with vanilla cream and caramel.

  • Medovník: A honey cake made from layers of thin cake and cream.

5. Explore beyond the Old Town The Old Town of Prague is undoubtedly the most famous and visited part of the city. It is where you can find iconic attractions like the Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, the Charles Bridge, and the Jewish Quarter. However, it is also where you can find the most crowds, noise, and tourist traps. If you want to experience a more authentic and relaxed side of Prague, you should explore beyond the Old Town and venture into other neighborhoods like:

  • Lesser Town: The area below the Prague Castle that has a charming atmosphere and many historical buildings.

  • New Town: The area around Wenceslas Square that has a modern vibe and many cultural and shopping opportunities.

  • Vinohrady: The area east of the New Town that has a trendy and cosmopolitan feel and many cafes, bars, and restaurants.

  • Žižkov: The area north of Vinohrady that has a bohemian and alternative flair and many pubs, clubs, and art venues.

6. Visit the Prague Castle early or late The Prague Castle is the largest and most important landmark in Prague. It is a complex of buildings that includes the St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, the Golden Lane, and the Daliborka Tower. It is also the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic. The Prague Castle is a must-see attraction, but it is also very crowded and busy during the day. If you want to avoid the long lines and enjoy the castle more peacefully, you should visit it either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The castle opens at 6 am and closes at 10 pm, but the ticket offices and most of the buildings close at 5 pm. You can still walk around the castle grounds and admire the views after 5 pm, but you won’t be able to enter the buildings.

7. Discover the hidden gems of Prague Prague is full of hidden gems that are often overlooked by tourists. These are some of the places that will surprise you with their beauty, history, or uniqueness:

  • Lennon Wall: A wall covered with graffiti and messages inspired by John Lennon and his songs. It is a symbol of peace and freedom.

  • Dancing House: A modern building with a curved and twisted design that resembles two dancers. It is a contrast to the traditional architecture of Prague.

  • Petřín Hill: A hill that offers panoramic views of the city and has a mini version of the Eiffel Tower on top. It is also a great place for a picnic or a hike.

  • Kampa Island: An island on the Vltava River that has a tranquil atmosphere and a park with giant sculptures by David Černý.

  • Vyšehrad: A fortress on a hill that has a cemetery where many famous Czechs are buried, a basilica, and a park.

8. Enjoy the nightlife in Prague Prague has a vibrant and diverse nightlife that caters to all kinds of tastes and preferences. Whether you want to drink beer, dance, listen to music, or watch a show, you will find something to suit your mood in Prague. Here are some of the best nightlife options in Prague:

  • Beer pubs: Prague is famous for its beer culture and has many pubs where you can taste different kinds of Czech beers. Some of the most popular pubs are U Fleků, U Medvídků, U Zlatého Tygra, and Lokál.

  • Clubs: Prague has many clubs where you can dance to various genres of music, from techno to rock to hip hop. Some of the most popular clubs are Roxy, Cross Club, Lucerna Music Bar, and Karlovy Lázně.

  • Jazz bars: Prague has a rich jazz tradition and has many bars where you can listen to live jazz performances. Some of the most popular jazz bars are Reduta Jazz Club, Jazz Dock, AghaRTA Jazz Centrum, and U Malého Glena.

  • Theaters: Prague has many theaters where you can watch plays, musicals, operas, ballets, or puppet shows. Some of the most popular theaters are National Theatre, Estates Theatre, Laterna Magika, and Black Light Theatre.

9. Check out the festivals and events in Prague Prague hosts many festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate its culture, history, art, music, food, and beer. These are some of the festivals and events that you should not miss if you are in Prague:

  • Christmas markets: From late November to early January, Prague turns into a winter wonderland with festive markets that sell handicrafts, ornaments, food, and mulled wine. The most famous markets are in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

  • Easter markets: From late March to early April, Prague celebrates Easter with colorful markets that sell decorated eggs, wooden toys, flowers, and sweets. The most famous markets are in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

  • Prague Spring International Music Festival: From mid-May to early June, Prague hosts one of the most prestigious classical music festivals in Europe. It features concerts by renowned orchestras, soloists, choirs, and chamber ensembles from around the world.

  • Signal Festival: In mid-October, Prague becomes a canvas for light art installations that illuminate its monuments, buildings, streets, and parks. It is one of the largest light festivals in Europe.

  • Czech Beer Festival: In late May to early June, Prague celebrates its beer culture with a festival that offers more than 150 kinds of Czech beers from different breweries. It also features live music, food and games, and souvenirs.

10. Book your accommodation in advance Prague is a very popular destination, especially during the high season (from April to October). That’s why it is important to book your accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment and high prices. You can find many types of accommodation in Prague, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. Here are some of the best websites to book your accommodation in Prague:

  • Booking.com: A popular website that offers a wide range of hotels, apartments, and hostels in Prague. It has many filters and reviews that can help you find the best option for your budget and preferences.

  • Airbnb: A website that offers private apartments and rooms in Prague that are owned by locals. It can be cheaper and more authentic than hotels, but also riskier and less reliable.

  • Hostelworld: A website that specializes in budget hostels in Prague. It has many options for solo travelers, backpackers, and groups.

  • Expedia: A website that offers package deals for flights and hotels in Prague. It can be convenient and affordable if you want to book everything at once.

We hope that these tips will help you have a wonderful and unforgettable trip to Prague. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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