Budget Travel, City Guides, Czech Republic Blogs, Studying in Berlin
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City Guide: Prague, Czech Republic

This post is part of my series of city guides, designed to give you a bit of an introduction into the city in question: activities, accommodation, transport, restaurants, food and nightlife. It’ll also basically act as a contents page for everything I’ve ever written about the place. With this is mind, I have updated my initial ‘a guide to Prague on a shoestring’ article to fit with the series.

During August 2013, I was staying in Berlin, a mere five hour train ride from Prague. On discovering Berlin’s fantastic train links, my travel buddy and I decided we had to take advantage of them and so, one weekend, off we went for a whirlwind trip to the Czech Republic. Although we were only there for two days, and while you could surely spend longer in Prague, I think our stay was pretty perfect for travellers on a budget/tight schedule.

Language and currency:

It wasn’t until the day before that it occurred to us that they speak Czech in Prague and not German. It also turns out they use Koruna (about 33 CZK to £1) and not Euros. So far, so good.

Activities

Free walking tour: 

Technically these are not free as you are expected to pay a tip but this does mean you just pay what you can afford and what you think the tour was worth. We walked all over Prague in a few of hours and saw all the sites we wanted to see, whilst learning about the city’s history from our guide. The sites included the astronomical clock, the Jewish Ghetto, churches and the statue of Kafka. Also, Prague’s architecture is so beautiful that just wondering around is an activity in itself.

Prague Castle:

This castle complex can easily fill a day. It is here you’ll found the famous St Vitus Cathedral. You can buy various passes that allow you into a certain amount of the complex so if you have time and money to see the whole thing you can but if you are limited in both you can get a lesser pass.

What did I miss?

I’m a big fan of museums and galleries. They are a great way of exploring the history and culture of a place but we didn’t get to go to any during out 2 day stay. I don’t feel as though we missed out but if I could have stayed longer, that’s what I would have done.

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Nightlife

From pub-like bars serving absinthe, to underground bars with dance floors, Prague is a good city if you want to paint the town red.

Bed Lounge Bar:

I think you can probably guess the theme of this bar: beds. Kick off your shoes, and lounge back on a bed-like chair with a cocktail. It’s not the cheapest bar in the city but its pretty comfy.

Karlovy Lazne Nightclub:

If you’re only in Prague for a couple of nights, you have to end up here. It’s the biggest music club in central Europe with five floors, each with a different theme, genre and dancefloor. It’s like your entry fee buys you five clubs in one. We had a fantastic night there and didn’t realise the clock ticking away – usually by 2am I’m ready for my burger but on this occasion I didn’t even look at my watch until 4.30am. It is possibly one of my favourite clubs ever and the entry fee was more than reasonable at about £5.

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Accommodation:

Hostel Orange:

This was a fantastic find and surprisingly cheap (about £12 for a bed in a big dorm). We had a very clean dorm room and bathroom and the staff were friendly. Hostel Orange has a prime location on Wenceslas Square (I did get lost trying to find it but that was more my fault than the hostel’s). I couldn’t always connect to the wifi and there are A LOT of stairs if you’re on the top floor but it was worth the climb – at least I got some exercise.

Transport

Walking:

Prague is small enough that from the centre you can pretty much just walk everywhere you need to go. In fact, it is such a beautiful city that it is probably preferable to do so. I found it pretty easy to get lost in the city when I was looking for the astronomical clock; there are a lot of clocks in Prague it turns out. However, when I got lost for non-clock related reasons I found a lovely little bakery. It turns out that getting lost is an activity to get involved with- not too lost, you need to be able to get back again, but just get lost enough to find somewhere great.

Underground:

I planned to walk from the station to my hotel in the central Wenceslas Square, however I then realised that I had no idea where that was so ended up taking the underground train. It was pretty cheap and pretty quick so its not exactly a decision that I regret.

Cafes

Café Dlouhá, Au Gourmand Bakery:

I found this gem when I got lost in Prague (for a second time) and it was proof that you find the best places when you get lost. It was a cute, bohemian French-esque bakery. My croque monsieur was tasty and not badly priced. It was the perfect accidental find.

Food

Goulash and dumplings:

Wherever you go you have to sample the local cuisine and in Prague this means goulash and dumplings. I love goulash so this was not a problem. We asked our free walking tour guide to recommend somewhere to go so the place we found was tasty and reasonably priced. I’m not sure how I felt about the bread dumplings but my plate was practically swimming in sauce (just the way I like it) and they were perfect for mopping it up. I had similarly ambiguous feelings towards the sauerkraut too,which we tried just because we wanted to know what it was.

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… and the blogs

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15 Comments

  1. Good and useful info 🙂 We are in Prague again in July so will be sure to take on some of your suggestions!!! Ps – we too haven’t made up our minds about bread dimpling 😉

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    • Thank you- I hope my tips come in handy and you have an amazing trip! I think I need to go back to Prague to try the bread dumplings again, just so I can really make up my mind 😛

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    • You’re welcome, thank you for your comment! Prague really is an amazing city, I would definitely recommend a trip!

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    • Thank you, I hope they come in use! Sometimes the best way to travel is on a shoestring, it’s always a good feeling when you feel like you’ve got a bargain!

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  2. This is great! I am most likely moving to Prague next Fall for a while and this was handy! I went to Prague once on a whim and fell in love! I agree with you, Prague is so easy to walk around and time flies as you get to see all the amazing architecture!

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  3. klutzykeeli says

    Hemmingway Bar is an incredible place to go in Prague! They serve absinthe, old school cocktails from the 1920s and high end cigars. It’s near the Vltava on the Old Town side of Charles Bridge.

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  4. I love Karlovy Lazne and love the review. When I was there we couldn’t do the walking tour it was too cold but we did the tram, walk and boat tour. Love Prague, good post.

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    • Thanks for your comment! I didn’t get a chance to do the tram or the boat tour but hopefully I’ll get to go to Prague again! I went in the summer so it was warm but there was a huge thunderstorm- I spent a while on my walking tour sheltering!

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  5. Great city guide! When I visited, we were huge fans of the Karlovy Lazne Nightclub…we stayed in that one club the entire night (and half of the morning hours like you sound like you did). When I visited, there wasn’t even a cover charge for the normal floors, just the ice bar on the first floor. Another fun “nightlife” activity we did this summer was the Boat Party Prague. While the boats weren’t exactly the nicest thing I’ve ever seen, if you’ve got a good group of friends on one, it can prove to be a pretty good time with some great views at night, especially of the Prague Castle. Hope to one day re-visit this city and try some of the other things you suggested!

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    • Thank you! I did stay in Karlovy Lazne until about 5am without even realising- each floor felt like somewhere completely different! I’ve never been to a boat party before but I’d love to go on one. I can imagine Prague is a pretty good place to do it- it’s so scenic! I guess I’ll have to go back too!

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