10 Best Travel Tips for Prague

For your trip to Prague to go perfectly, it is not only necessary to choose the right hotel and visits. In addition, there are some details that can make the difference. Here are some tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

9 min read

10 Best Travel Tips for Prague

Prague Post | ©Felix Mittermeier

When preparing a trip to Prague we usually focus on researching what to see and do in Prague. Undoubtedly, this is the most important aspect, especially in places that offer enough attractions to spend several days without stopping to know all its corners.

However, we forget some practical details that can mark the course of the trip. For that reason, in this article I leave you some tips so that nothing goes wrong, such as knowing the system to buy tickets for public transport or the advantages of acquiring a tourist card to save a little.

1. Try to visit the main sights during off-peak hours.

Prague Castle illuminated at dusk| ©Mo
Prague Castle illuminated at dusk| ©Mo

The two most visited sights in Prague are the city's castle and Charles Bridge. This means that both monuments are almost always full of people, to the point that the visit becomes overwhelming.

To try to avoid crowds, especially in high season, it is important to know the schedules (in the case of the castle) and take advantage of the less crowded hours (if we talk about the bridge).

  • Charles Bridge: the most comfortable will be to approach early in the morning or in the evening, when there are not so many people in the area. It is also a good idea to take advantage of the time when most tourists are eating.
  • Prague Castle: my advice is to visit it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Another tip that can help you avoid the crowds is to enter through the east gate, even if this means having to climb a lot of stairs. If this is not possible, the entrance to the Deer Moat (Jelení příkop) is another good option.

Book tickets to Prague Castle

2. Take a guided tour

The Moldaba River from Letná Park| ©Harry Metcalfe
The Moldaba River from Letná Park| ©Harry Metcalfe

Prague is a capital with a rich history and you will always enjoy it twice as much if you know about it. In order to have these explanations, it is best to hire one of the guided tours offered in the Czech capital. On the one hand we have the most typical ones:

  • Tour of the castle and surroundings: where you will learn all about the Prague Castle and visit other nearby places like the church of St. Nicholas and the royal gardens of the hand of an expert guide.
  • Tour of communism: in addition to learning about this era and visiting key points such as the Old Town Square, Vaclavske Square or Narodni Street, you will enter a nuclear shelter.
  • Tour of the Jewish Quarter: with which you will have the opportunity to visit the old cemetery and the many synagogues of the city.

But there are also other more special tours that I recommend you to book:

  • Pub tour: you will visit 4 different pubs in the city without queuing up and with an open bar at your disposal.
  • Ghost tour: you will hear the darkest legends while you walk through the darkest streets of the city at night.
  • Tour with cruise: lasts a full day and is the most complete, as it not only includes a city tour, but also a cruise and lunch.

Book a tour of Prague

3. Save with the tourist cards

In the Prague Metro| ©Jakub T. Jankiewicz
In the Prague Metro| ©Jakub T. Jankiewicz

Like other major cities, the Czech capital has made available to its visitors some tourist cards that can mean significant savings when visiting it, such as:

  • Prague Card: you are going to be able to enter many tourist attractions for free, as well as take public transport as many times as you want.
  • Prague City Card: its main advantage is the discounts on several of the most common tours, as well as the entrance to public museums and several restaurants. Like the previous one, it also includes a pass for public transportation.
  • Prague CoolPass: includes entrance to the river cruise and the city's tourist bus, as well as the enjoyment of more than 60 attractions in the city.

Before purchasing any of them, I advise you to do the math to see if it is worth it. Compare the price of the card with the discounts and free tickets it offers and decide if it is worth it. All cards can be purchased with different validity periods, usually for 2, 3, 4 or 6 days.

Book the Prague CoolPass

4. Include gastronomy in your travel plans.

Eating Koleno| ©Luke Porwol
Eating Koleno| ©Luke Porwol

On a trip to Prague you can not miss the discovery of a very unknown gastronomy outside the borders of the country. To get started it can be a good idea to hire a gastronomic tour around the city.

Although in my article on what to eat in Prague you will be able to see more options, on your trip it is almost mandatory to try dishes with:

  • Koleno (pork knuckle)
  • Schnitzel (breaded steaks)
  • Or goulash in its Czech version
  • The trdelnik

Tips for eating in Prague

Finally, it is always convenient to know the custom of tipping in the city. In the case of Prague, it is customary to leave between 10 and 15% of the total bill.

In addition to its food, the Czech Republic prides itself on the enormous variety and high quality of its beer. In fact, it is the country that leads the list of consumption of this drink per capita worldwide and in its capital there are many good breweries in Prague where you can taste them.

If you want to go deeper into the subject, you can sign up for an organized beer tour and try them in a big way.

Save by exploring the less central restaurants

Avoiding restaurants in the historic center so as not to overpay is one of the tips that obviously does not only apply to Prague. Nothing prevents you from having a coffee in front of the astronomical clock for example, but you should know that the price will be much higher than if you go only a few streets away.

In general, the restaurants whose prices are well above the city average are those located in the Old Town Square. Fortunately, as you can see in this article about restaurants in Prague, you don't have to go too far to find great value for money.

Book the gastronomic tour in Prague

5. Don't go to the Jewish quarter on Saturday

Prague Jewish Cemetery| ©Midnight Believer
Prague Jewish Cemetery| ©Midnight Believer

One of the most interesting areas of Prague is its Jewish quarter. To visit it you can hire one of the tours that go through the area and, thus, learn about its importance for the life of the city from your guide. However, there is one thing you should keep in mind, especially if you go on your own: do not go on Saturday.

Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath, is the day of rest in that religion, so the synagogues are closed, as well as many stores in the neighborhood. So, if you go on that day, you will miss, for example, all that the Jewish cemetery has to offer.

Book a tour of the Jewish Quarter

6. Don't miss a visit to the interior of the Prague Town Hall.

Prague City Hall| ©Sheila Thomson
Prague City Hall| ©Sheila Thomson

Although the Prague City Hall is right in the center of the city, many do not get to make this visit and focus only on the castle, Charles Bridge and the Jewish quarter. However, one of my tips is to enter this monument to discover one of the secrets of the city.

Thus, under the ancient medieval city were excavated numerous tunnels, rooms and dungeons that today can be visited by entering from the town hall of Prague. The subway visit is almost always guided and allows access to this world invisible to the naked eye.

Book a tour of the Prague Dungeons

7. Adapt to Prague's timetable

Charles Bridge at night, Prague| ©Andrew Milligan
Charles Bridge at night, Prague| ©Andrew Milligan

One of the challenges for Spaniards when traveling to other European countries is adapting to meal and shopping hours. In Prague, although there are differences, this adaptation is easier, since being a very touristy city you can find places open almost at any time.

Although Czechs usually eat, at the latest, around 13:00, many restaurants in Prague continue with the kitchens open until later. In fact, it is not uncommon to be very late and want to eat something around 16:00 and find that locals are already starting dinner.

This ease at lunchtime does not correspond to dinnertime. In that case, the most appropriate time is no later than 20:30 and after 21:30 you may find many kitchens closed. Although the opening hours of restaurants in the old part of town are later.

What if I eat outside Prague?

If you decide to do any of these excursions around Prague, especially if you do it on your own and want to stay overnight. Outside the capital the timetables are even more restricted.

Book an excursion around Prague

8. Take advantage of public transport in Prague

Prague Tramway| ©Jorge Franganillo
Prague Tramway| ©Jorge Franganillo

The best way to get around Prague, at least in the areas where the main attractions are concentrated, is on foot. However, you may need public transport to get to your hotel or to visit a more distant place.

Prague has a good public transport network (consisting of buses, streetcars and metro) with very affordable prices. In addition to single-trip tickets, you can choose from day, two-day or 3-day passes.

Tickets and passes can be purchased at Relay stores, tobacconists or from machines located next to almost every stop and are valid for any of the city's public transport modes, including the boat from Náplavka Smichov.

Tips to make your experience the best

  • One thing to remember if you are going to buy your ticket at the machines is that they only accept coins, so keep a few in case you need them.
  • To see the timetables of each line you will only have to look at the signs placed at the stops and at the entrance to the metro stations.
  • Do not forget to validate your ticket. When entering through any of the transport gates, you must validate your ticket at the ticket validator inside. There are usually many ticket inspectors and, many times, they seem to focus on tourists and give them substantial fines that can ruin your vacation.

9. Tips on how to get the best exchange rate

Czech Koruna| ©Francisco Gonzalez
Czech Koruna| ©Francisco Gonzalez

Although the Czech Republic belongs to the European Union, the country was never part of the Eurozone. Its currency is the Czech koruna, so you will have to change money during your trip.

My first advice is to do it already at your destination, but never at the airport in Prague. In the center there are many exchange offices and I recommend that you compare what each of them offers to choose the one that suits you best. If you can get close, the best rates are in the Jewish quarter.

Card or cash?

Another way to have kroner in cash is to use one of the many ATMs in the city. However, the commissions for withdrawing money are usually high (unless you have a typical travel card), so it is better to pay with the card than to withdraw money with it.

In the tourist area of Prague you will not find problems to pay with a card, either in restaurants, bars or stores. In more distant areas I advise you to ask first to make sure.

10. Buy your souvenirs in the markets

Havelská THR Market| ©Steve Minor
Havelská THR Market| ©Steve Minor

If you want to take a souvenir from Prague or bring a gift to someone you will not find a better place than the markets of Prague. In addition, these places are also very interesting to visit and allow you to get a (brief) insight into how the locals live and what they usually buy. The most outstanding ones are the following:

  • Havelská THR market: there is a great variety of goods, from vegetables and other foodstuffs to handicrafts made of wood and other materials. Here you will be able to find the best wooden puppets in the city. Moreover, the market is the oldest in Prague and is worth a visit just to see it.
  • River Town Market: one of the most popular markets in the city. In this case you will not find too many things to give as gifts, since the most common products are food and clothing, most of the time imitation.
  • Flea market: this market is located in Kolbenova, in a large old courtyard. In addition to food, you will find antiques, clothes and some exotic objects, almost always second hand. To enter you must pay a small entrance fee, less than one euro per person.