Prague

Prague is a city that will enchant you with its charm, its history, and its atmosphere. It is a city that has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, the birth and death of legends, and the creation and destruction of art. It is a city that has something for everyone, whether you are interested in castles, churches, museums, or pubs. In this blog post, I will share with you some of the most important things to know before you visit Prague, how to get there, what to do and see, and where to eat and stay.

What to Know Before You Visit Prague

Before you pack your bags and head to Prague, there are some things you should know to make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Language: The official language of Prague is Czech, but you will also hear some people speaking English, German, or Russian. Many people in Prague can speak some English, especially in the tourist areas, but it is always polite and helpful to learn some basic Czech phrases, such as hello (ahoj), thank you (děkuji), and excuse me (promiňte).
  • Currency: The currency of Prague is the Czech koruna (CZK). You can exchange your money at the airport, banks, or exchange offices, but you will usually get a better rate by using your debit or credit card at ATMs. You can also use your card to pay at most places, but it is always good to have some cash for small purchases, tips, or emergencies.
  • Climate: Prague has a continental climate, with cold and snowy winters and warm and sunny summers. The average temperature in Prague is 9°C (48°F), but it can vary from -3°C (27°F) in January to 24°C (75°F) in July. The best time to visit Prague is from April to October, when the weather is pleasant and the flowers are blooming. However, you can also visit Prague in the winter, when the city is covered with snow and offers a different scenery and atmosphere.
  • Transportation: Prague has a good public transportation system, consisting of metro, tram, bus, and train. You can buy tickets at kiosks, vending machines, or newsstands, and you need to validate them before boarding. A single ticket costs 32 CZK and is valid for 90 minutes on any combination of metro, tram, or bus. You can also buy a 24-hour ticket for 110 CZK, a 72-hour ticket for 310 CZK, or a 30-day ticket for 670 CZK. If you are staying for at least 3 days, you can also consider buying the Prague Card, which costs 1,390 CZK and includes unlimited public transportation, free entry to 60 attractions, and discounts on other attractions. You can also use taxis, Uber, or bike-sharing services, but they are more expensive and less reliable than public transportation.
  • Safety: Prague is a safe city, but like any big city, it has some risks and dangers. You should be aware of pickpockets, scammers, and beggars, especially in crowded and touristy areas. You should also avoid walking alone at night in dark or isolated streets, and be careful when crossing the roads, as drivers can be aggressive and unpredictable. You should also respect the local laws and customs, and avoid any political or religious demonstrations. If you need any help or emergency, you can call 112, the European emergency number, or 158, the Czech police number.

How to Get to Prague

There are many ways to get to Prague, depending on where you are coming from and what your budget and preferences are. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • By plane: Prague has one main airport, Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG), which is about 15 km from the city center. You can take a bus, a taxi, or a private transfer to reach your accommodation. The airport is served by many international and domestic flights, from low-cost to full-service airlines. You can also fly to other nearby airports, such as Dresden (DRS) or Brno (BRQ), and then take a train or a bus to Prague.
  • By train: Prague has several train stations, but the main one is Praha hlavní nádraží (Prague Main Station), which is located in the center of the city and connected to the metro line C. You can take trains from many other cities in Europe, such as Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, or Munich. You can buy train tickets online, at the station, or at authorized agencies, and you need to validate them before boarding. A train ticket from Berlin to Prague costs 29-49 EUR and takes 4-5 hours. A train ticket from Vienna to Prague costs 19-39 EUR and takes 4-5 hours. A train ticket from Budapest to Prague costs 19-39 EUR and takes 6-7 hours.
  • By bus: Prague has several bus stations, but the main one is Florenc, which is located on the east side of the city and connected to the metro lines B and C. You can take buses from many other cities in Europe, such as Flixbus, RegioJet, or Eurolines. Buses are usually cheaper than trains or planes, but they are also slower and less comfortable. You can buy bus tickets online, at the station, or at authorized agencies, and you need to show them to the driver before boarding. A bus ticket from Berlin to Prague costs 15-25 EUR and takes 5-6 hours. A bus ticket from Vienna to Prague costs 9-15 EUR and takes 4-5 hours. A bus ticket from Budapest to Prague costs 15-25 EUR and takes 7-8 hours.

What to Do and See in Prague

Prague is a city that has so much to offer, that you will never run out of things to do and see. You can spend days, weeks, or even months exploring its attractions, and you will always find something new and exciting. Here are some of the most popular and recommended things to do and see in Prague:

  • Take a free walking tour: Walking tours are a smart way to orient yourself to a new city, learn some history, and hear about the main attractions. There are a TON of free walking tours in Prague, so you’ll have plenty of options. Most tour companies meet near the astronomical clock in the Old Town Square and last 2-3 hours. They will give you an overview of the main sites, like the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the Jewish Quarter, and more. My favorite company is New Europe. It operates free tours around Europe and tends to have upbeat guides and lots of historically accurate information. Free Tours by Foot is another great option. If you are looking for a paid tour, check out Prague Alternative Tours, which runs amazing alternative art and history tours throughout town, run by local artists. The Prague: Ghosts and Legends Tour is another alternative tour option for those who want a more niche-focused (and spooky) tour. It’s really fun. I highly recommend it.
  • Visit the Old Town Square: The Old Town Square is the heart and soul of Prague, and the most beautiful and lively square in the city. It is surrounded by colorful and historic buildings, such as the Old Town Hall, the Church of Our Lady before Týn, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the Kinský Palace. You can also see the famous astronomical clock, which dates back to the 15th century and displays the movement of the sun, the moon, and the zodiac signs. Every hour, you can watch the procession of the twelve apostles and the ringing of the bells. You can also climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
  • Cross the Charles Bridge: The Charles Bridge is the most iconic and picturesque bridge in Prague, and a symbol of the city. It was built in the 14th century, and it connects the Old Town with the Lesser Town. It is decorated with 30 statues of saints and historical figures, and it offers a stunning view of the river and the castle. You can also find many artists, musicians, and vendors on the bridge, adding to its charm and atmosphere. You can cross the bridge by foot, bike, or segway, and enjoy the scenery and the vibe.