Prague is probably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This is due, in large part, to the Vltava River that runs through it and over which stands the famous Charles Bridge. Taking a boat ride on the river and canals is one of the delights that this city has in store.
You can take a boat ride in Prague by day or by night, choose a tour more focused on the sightseeing experience or the gastronomic experience. Here's my favorite:
This gourmet buffet dinner cruise focuses more on the gastronomic aspect of cruising along the Vltava, with views of Prague's main buildings lit up at night. The boat is fully glazed, allowing you to enjoy spectacular panoramic views while you dine, no matter where your table is located.
You can also enjoy a live band during dinner and at the buffet, you will be able to taste and choose from appetizers as well as local and international dishes.
Why I like this option: this is undoubtedly the most complete experience, as the cruise has a longer duration and allows you to enjoy the best views of the illuminated city to the rhythm of live music.
Recommended if... you are looking to take your experience to a more premium and complete level, bring out your best finery for a night aboard a luxurious vessel in Prague!
What you should know about boat tours in Prague
Cruises are a different way to enjoy the city and see it from a different point of view, so it is the best way to complete your visit to Prague and relax after touring its streets. I would say that the great advantage of doing a Prague tour by boat is that you are spared the big crowds of traditional tours meeting other groups of visitors. It's a more relaxed experience perfect to put the finishing touch to your trip.
Most sightseeing cruises include some kind of commentary in English about the sights of Prague that you will see along the way, but you should keep in mind that these experiences are always complementary to a walking tour of the city where you will get to know the buildings and areas of the city first hand.
The entrance fees
Many of the operators who run these tours do not clarify whether or not you need to print out the confirmation email that you will receive after booking your boat tour. My recommendation is that you take it printed, as sometimes there is no way to know if it is necessary or not and you will save yourself possible inconveniences.
Prague boat tours itinerary
Most boat tours have a similar route, departing from the piers of the Old Town and taking you to points on the Vltava River from where you will have panoramic views of the Charles Bridge or Prague Castle.
Organize your boat tour of Prague
To make your experience as comfortable as possible, here are the answers to some questions you're likely to ask yourself before taking a boat ride in Prague.
How to get to the pier
First of all, you should check the exact address of the meeting point of your boat tour. Most of them depart from the Old Town jetties, which you can easily reach on foot from the Old Town Square. Some tours set the meeting point directly under the Astronomical Clock or in one of its adjacent squares and will guide you to the pier so you won't get lost.
Departure days and times
Almost all Prague boat tours are available every day of the week, with departure times mainly at sunset (around 6:00 pm) for sightseeing cruises and sunset (around 8:00 pm) for gastronomic cruises.
Where to dine after the Prague boat trip
In case you opt for a sightseeing boat ride that does not include lunch, you will most likely finish the experience around 9:00 pm, just in time for dinner. Therefore, I leave you with some recommendations for dining in the area of the piers of the Old City:
- Kmotra: the oldest pizza restaurant in the city is very close to the river and they make pizza the traditional way, in a stone oven, with homemade tomato and mozzarella. Pizza is always a good idea, and even more so if it's at the end of a long day of sightseeing.
- Krčma: one of Prague's gems that is just a five-minute walk from the Old Town Square. Here you will find traditional Czech food at a reasonable price, far from the overpriced tourist restaurants. Its atmosphere is somewhat gloomy being in a basement, but after the first impression it turns out to be quite a cozy tavern.
- Café Savoy: With a menu of traditional Czech dishes and French cuisine and an elegant wooden interior, this is your choice if you are looking for a classy restaurant. The stars of the menu are the veal tartare and roast duck, as well as chef Michal Mlejnek's five-course menu. The desserts are out of this world and all the pastries are made in-house, which is why you can also come to Café Savoy for breakfast. Being on the other side of the bridge, you can take a stroll from the pier and work up an appetite.
How to dress
Despite what it may seem, taking a boat ride in Prague is just another tourist experience and therefore you don't need to dress too smartly. That said, try to avoid wearing sporty clothes and above all don't wear flip flops, as the boat deck can be a bit slippery and it can get a bit chilly at night.
Seeing Prague at night is very worthwhile and from the boat, you will have beautiful views of the Charles Bridge and the Castle illuminated, so remember to take some pictures so you don't forget the magic of the city after the sunset. You will have the opportunity to do it from the boat, so prepare your cell phone or set your camera on night mode to enjoy every shot.
Other interesting activities in Prague
Guided tours of the city
As you already know, taking a boat ride is a complement to a city tour, where you will see Prague's sights up close and in detail. To help you choose the best Prague tour for you, I have written a guide about Best Tours and Day Trips from Prague and all the options you have to do it.
Get to know Prague Castle
You will probably want to explore Prague Castle at the end of the boat ride, and the truth is that taking a tour of the area is the experience that I highly recommend on your trip to Prague. If you want to know the best way to visit it, you can read my article about Prague Castle: Prague Castle Tickets and Tours.