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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
… and the blogs
- Karlovy Lazne review
- When in Prague: get lost and beware of the clocks
- When in Prague: part two
- Café Dlouhá, Au Gourmand Bakery review
- Hotel Orange review
- Travel Photo: Franz Kafka Statue
- Travel Photo: St. Vitus Cathedral
- Photograph Prague
- The architecture of Prague
- Travel Photo: views of Prague
- Travel Photo: stained glass in St. Vitus Cathedral
- Travel Photo: St. George’s Basilica at Prague Castle
- My seven wonders of the world
- My UNESCO list