The Czech capital of Prague is nothing short of magical. Wandering throughout the city’s charming cobblestone streets, travelers will stumble upon treasures at every turn.
With architecture dating back to the middle ages, fascinating museums, beautiful parks, and plenty of delicious (and cheap) beer, it is no wonder that Prague has become one of Europe’s most visited cities.
But before setting off to Prague, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about traveling to Prague, including:
- What are the costs for travelers?
- Things to know about culture and etiquette
- What are the top attractions?
- How safe is it?
- Local food and drinks
- How good is the WiFi?
- How long can you stay?
Ready? Here are the top 7 things you need to know before visiting Prague:
Did you know… Prague’s Astronomical Clock is one of the city’s most popular attractions but is also the centrepiece of a dark and gruesome story dating back to the fifteenth century. According to local legend, Prague’s councilors had commissioned famous clockmaker Mikuláš from Kadaň to design a one-of-a-kind clock for the city. Once it was complete the coucilors were fearful that other cities would recruit Mikuláš to design even more magnificent clocks and Prague would be outdone. To prevent this from happening they blinded the clockmaker with a hot iron poker. In a dramatic end to the story, Mikuláš was driven mad by his blindness and full of revenge, threw himself into the clock, breaking the gears, and ultimately ending his own life.
1) Prague Affordability
The currency in Prague is the Czech Koruna or CZK. The current exchange rate is Kč10 CZK = $0.46 USD and $1 USD = Kč21.71 CZK.
Here are the average costs for travelers in USD:
Accommodation in Prague fluctuates quite a bit with the seasons, so if you can’t afford these peak summer rates, consider traveling during the off-season.
- Average hotel price: One night at a 3-star hotel typically costs around $190, or $275 for a 4-star hotel.
- Luxury 5-star hotels: Prague has some great 5-star hotels which average $350 per night. If you’ve always wanted to live in a palace – the Grand Mark Prague is situated in a 17th-century palace with rooms ranging from $330 – $9000 per night.
- If you’re on a budget: Prague’s hostels range from $15– $25 for a bed in a dorm, or around $50 – $80 per night for a private ensuite room.
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- A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two costs around $55.
- For a cheap meal at an inexpensive restaurant, expect to pay about $10.
- A beer costs between $2 – $3, and a cappuccino is about $3.
The best way to navigate Prague is on foot. However, if you need to get somewhere distant, have mobility issues, or just want to get to your destination faster there is a great public transit system.
- Public transportation in Prague is great. There are trains, trams, and buses that will transport you everywhere you need. Tickets cost $1.40 for a 30-minute journey (including any transfers), or you can buy a 24-hour pass for $5.50 or a 72-hour pass for $15.
- Taxi fares start at $2 and cost an additional $2.20 per mile. Uber is also available and is typically cheaper.
- Prague is also a fun city to explore on a bike. Bikeshare companies including Rekola and Nextbike have bikes throughout the city for about $1.40 per half-hour.
2) Culture And Etiquette In Prague
Check this list before your trip! Here are some of the major Dos and Don’ts in Prague.
- DO be respectful: If you are visiting a church, museum or historical building remove hats and sunglasses before entering, and don’t climb on statues or monuments.
- DON’T forget your water bottle: Tap water in Prague is safe to drink and there are public drinking fountains throughout the city. Bring your own refillable bottle to cut down on plastic waste.
- DO stand on the right: If you are taking an escalator be sure to stay to the right if you are standing to make room for walkers to pass you on the left side.
- DON’T waste time in lines: Book tickets for popular tourist attractions ahead of time to avoid having to wait in long lines.
- DO learn some Czech: When traveling it is always a good idea to learn at least a few basic words or phrases. Ahoj (uh-hoy) is Czech for hello, and dekuji (dye-ku-yi) means thank you.
3) Top Attractions in Prague
Prague is full of incredible things to see, do, and eat. Here are a few of the top things you can’t miss while visiting the city:
- Prague Castle – Located in Prague’s historic center, Prague Castle was built around 870 and has over 700 rooms. The 18-acre castle houses the crown jewels, historical documents, and other significant artifacts. Visitors can explore the castle on a guided tour or on their own.
- National Museum – Prague’s National Museum has over 2,000 exhibits featuring over 14 million artifacts. The building was closed in recent years but is now reopened after extensive refurbishments.
- Astronomical clock – Located in the Old Town Square, this 15th-century clock is a popular attraction. Each hour on the hour figures of the 12 Apostles parade past the windows above the clock. Visitors can view the clock from the square, and also take a tour of the adjoining Old Town Hall
4) How Safe Is It For Tourists?
Prague is a very safe place to visit. However, there are still some things that travelers should keep in mind to stay safe during their visit:
- Be aware of thieves: pickpocketing and petty theft is the most common crime that tourists encounter in Prague. Keep your valuables close at tourist attractions and busy areas.
- Buy tickets from the source: Some scammers try to sell fake tickets for events and attractions on the street. Avoid being scammed and always purchase tickets directly from the source.
- Know how to call for help: Emergency services can be reached by calling 112.
- DO get travel insurance: Travel insurance can help in health emergencies as well as with covering the costs of any travel mishaps during your Prague trip. For 5 great options, read more here.
5) Local Eats And Drinks
One of the best parts of travel is checking out the local cuisine, and Prague is a fantastic place to try new foods. Don’t let yourself leave without trying at least one of the following:
Prague is a great place to indulge in delicious foods. Be sure to try some of these traditional favorites.
- Koleno– an oversized portion of pork knuckle that has been roasted with herbs and beer for hours and is typically served with a dipping sauce.
- Knedliky – savory dumplings made of bread or potato often served alongside meat dishes.
- Bramborak – crispy potato pancakes commonly eaten for lunch
- Utopenci – a popular pub snack of sausage, onion, and pepper that pairs perfectly with a Czech beer.
- Beer – Prague’s favorite beverage is beer, and pilsners are the most popular variety. There are plenty of local brands to choose from, including several good craft brews. Beer is so popular in the Czech Republic that they are consistently ranked as the country that drinks the most per capita. It is estimated that the average Czech drinks 320 pints of beer a year.
- Becheroka – a traditional herbal liquor made from secret medicinal plants helpful in aiding digestion
6) How’s the WiFi?
Using Ookla, an internet speed testing service, the average internet speeds in Prague for April 2023 were 59.93mbps download and 17.54mbps upload.
7) How Long Can I Stay?
Americans traveling to the Czech Republic can stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without needing a visa. Passports need to have at least six months of validity past the date of departure and contain a minimum of 2 blank pages.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com