Prague (Praha) is the capital of the Czech Republic, one of the most beautiful and famous tourist cities in Europe with 18 bridges spanning the Vltava river. Dubbed the “little heart” of Europe, Prague still retains much of the ancient architecture in the center. Prague is a vibrant city with a combination of art, music, dance, film, and drama. So, is Prague worth visiting? Yes, definitely. Let’s discover one of the most visited destinations in Europe through our Prague travel blog (Prague blog, Praha blog) with the fullest Prague travel guide blog (Prague city guide, Prague visitors guide) for a wonderful trip to Prague on a budget for the first time from how to get there, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do … and suggested Prague itinerary for 2 days to find out the answer!
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This jewel of original European architecture is an extremely beautiful and romantic city with spectacular scenery, tranquil gardens, surf boats and walking trails along the narrow stone paved roads. Despite its history of over a thousand years, the capital of the Czech Republic remains a thriving and modern city with luxurious hotels, delicious restaurants serving traditional Czech and international cuisine, trendy clubs and enchanting pubs.
Go through the World War II, it still retains the ancient features of massive castles, vibrant nightlife or rich cuisine. So this city still has a special attraction for tourists around the world.
Prague visitor guide: When is the best time to visit Prague?
Summer is a tourist season in Prague, so there are many tourists coming from June to August. The weather is quite hot but it is very tiring when you have to jostle and hustle, you should avoid this time and go in April, May or September, November is quite reasonable.
Winter in Prague is very cold, snow is covered with red roof tiles and streets create poetic and romantic scenes. We highly recommended that you should spend time on Christmas to visit Prague. In Prague as well as Budapest, these are great places to celebrate Christmas, the moment of the New Year’s transfer with a new look of the city, and the place is decorated like a wonderland.
Prague travel blog: How to get to Prague?
Prague or the Czech Republic has a great advantage that is located in the center of Europe contiguous between Eastern Europe and Western Europe, so transportation here is very convenient, especially if you traveling to Germany because of benefiting from super good train system of this country.
Fly to Prague and getting from airport to city center
You can fly directly from Vietnam to Prague or fly internally within the Schengen countries with cheap European airlines such as EasyJet or Ryan Air, arriving at Václav Havel Airport Prague airport. The right of the arrival hall of the airport is the bus stop, you catch the bus number 119 or 100 to get to the nearest station where you have reserved hotel in the city center are the corresponding Nádraží Veleslavín and Zličín metro stations. The ticket price is CZK 32 (EUR 1.24)/one way, usually there is not much room for luggage in the bus. If your baggage is over 25 cm x 45 cm x 70 cm they will require you to purchase an additional ticket for baggage is CZK 13 (EUR 0.50). There is also a type of private airport bus, Airport Express, with a ticket price of CZK 60 (EUR 2.32).
Take you from the airport to Nádraží Veleslavín Metro Station (metro line A), very close to the center of Prague is the Old Town, Lesser Town, New Town, Prague Castle or whatever you are stay on this A line . The bus runs continuously about 7-20 minutes/ trip, each trip takes 13-17 minutes. The first trip from the airport departs at 4:20am and end at 11:45pm. The reverse trip from Nádraží Veleslavín departs at 5:00am and ends at 0:30am the next morning.
Take you from the airport to Metro Zličín station (metro line B), the end stopping point is close to the area of New Town (Nové Město) or Smíchov district. The travel time about 15-20 minutes with frequency of 15-30 minutes/trip depending on traffic situation. The first trip from the airport departs at 5:45 am and ending at 23:39pm, if traveling from the city at Zličín station, the first trip departs at 5:30am and end at midnight, stopping at all 3 terminals of airport: 1,2,3.
Run between Airport and Central Station (Hlavní nádraží) on Line C of the Metro system. So this bus usually runs on the train’s schedule at the central station like trains of SuperCity, EuroCity and InterCity.
Arrive in Prague at midnight
Take the bus 510 to Divoká Šárka then catch Tram 51 to the city center, there will be no Metro running at night. You can check the schedule of this bus on this page: dpp.cz.
Train to Prague
In addition planes, to getting to Prague you can also take a bus or train within European countries. To travel from Prague to other European cities you will have to go to Hlavní Nádraží central station, the ticket counter in the basement. Usually, you should buy tickets early to get the cheap tickets, which can be booked via the Czech Railways’s website. From the central station you can take the Metro to your hotel.
Prague blog: Getting around Prague by public transport
Public transport in the city is operated by The Capital City of Prague Transport Company, these means of transport are diverse including:
- Metro, Trams
- City Bus line number 100-299 (daytime) and 500-599 (night time)
- Intercity bus line number 300-399 and 600-699.
- Petřín hill cable car
- Public ferry
- Some trains run into the city.
You can buy train or bus tickets right at the airport, this is the type of ticket that can go all types of public transport in the city. Each station has information about schedules and departure points, destinations for tourists. There are many different types of tickets for you to choose, which is a ticket with price of CZK 32 (EUR 1.24) valid within 90 minutes and a ticket with price of CZK 24 (EUR 0.93) valid within 30 minutes. In addition, if you plan to stay in Prague longer and travel many times during a day, you should consider buy a Pass ticket (travel ticket by day) for 1, 3 or 5 days. But I think that you need to consider if you only moving around nearby places, you do not need to buy a Pass because of getting around the city mainly to walk to see the scenery, determine which day moving a lot, let’s buy.
Types of single tickets and day tickets to travel in the city
- Ticket type of 30 minutes: Price at CZK 24 (EUR 0.93)
- Ticket type of 90 minutes: Price at CZK 32 (EUR 1.24)
- Ticket type of 24 hours: Price at 110 CZK (EUR 4.26)
Looking on the map you can see the Metro system of Prague divided into 3 main lines with symbols A, B, and C. However, you need to pay attention to some main points for your trip.
- Line A is most popular with tourists because it runs between the main attractions are Prague Castle (Malostranska), The Old Town (Staromestska) and Wenceslas Square (Mustek, Muzeum). Line A also connected to the airport at Nadrazi Veleslavin point.
- Line B connects to Bus 100 to go to the airport at Zličín station.
- You can transfer Lines at intersection points such as Můstek station (lines A and B), Muzeum station (lines A and C) and Florenc station (lines B and C).
Czech Republic is one of the most civilized countries in the region near the old Eastern Europe, so like some other European countries like Germany, so when traveling by metro in Prague, there is no need for a ticket checkpoint but they enhance people’s self-awareness. If you get on a train without a ticket, and be found you will be fined EUR 30, but you should also be aware that there will be imitators as inspectors, before they check you, ask them to give out the inspection card first to avoid fraud.
How to travel to Prague’s main tourist attractions
Prague Castle: If you go to Prague Castle from Charles Bridge, you will have a hard climb, instead you can take the Tram 22, go around the hill behind the castle, through the Královská zahrada gardens , and enter from the back of the castle.
Sapa market of Vietnamese people: The market is located near Sídliště Písnice station, you can reach here by taking bus number 113 or 197.
Taxis in Prague are expensive, and there are fraudulent charges, very rarely the driver turns on Meter and if they are foreigners, the chances of being cheated are quite high. You should choose some more prestigious services like Uber to moving instead taxi in the city.
Exchange money in Prague
The exchanging money in a city is usually a small, normal thing, but in Prague, it is a big problem have to say. Simply, the exchanging money in Prague is extremely chaotic, extremely high exchange rates and lots of scams. Even when you go to the big exchange points in the commercial centers, the central station, they looks very big and beautiful, but in fact, it is very “disgusting”. I used to exchange money at the central station, the store is beautiful, but because of did not study thoroughly and did not bother to look at the exchange rate table (because I thought the exchange rate is the same at everywhere). And the results felt like being cheated, exchanged EUR 100 ~ 2.700.000 VND, received ~ 2.200.000 VND, calculated to take up to ~EUR 19.11 of fee.
There are many exchange money points in Prague, most of which charge a very high difference fee from 20 to 30%. There are places where write a vague fee for exchanging money, and there are some places with the big signboard write 0% commission, but it can still be a scam. If spending in small shops, buying train tickets, single bus tickets, street food, 99% they only accept CZK currency without accepting Euro. For someone who is a newcomer and there are only 2-3 days here, and feel strange, what is the plan for spending in Prague?
- Using the credit card is primary and only uses very little in cash: In most transactions such as hotel payment, shopping in shopping malls, dining at restaurants, you can use the card. Using card can cost you 2.5-4% of the exchange fee (depending on your bank), but it is still better than exchanging money for up to a few dozen % of the fee.
- CZK money exchange: When most payments are mostly made by card, you can exchange a little cash in case of when going out. You can withdraw money from ATMs (the withdrawal fee is also quite high), or exchange some at the money exchange kiosks. In the Central area, Old Town has many exchange points, you should check first and choose the place with the lowest fee to exchange. Remember to exchange a little enough to use.
- The best place to exchange money (according to local peoples’ instructions), with truly 0% commission, is Jindřišská 12. Exchange here you may have to queue for a long time because there are many people who come to exchange.
Prague blog: Where to stay?
In Prague, the backpackers often chose Old Town Square as their accommodation. The most convenient way to get here is to take bus 119 to Nadraza Veleslavin, which is the nearest Metro stop. From here you change to the Green Line A (to Depo Hostivar) and get off at Staroměstská station, this is the nearest station for you to walk to guesthouse or hostel in Old Town Square. If you want to stay in a hostel, you can refer to Hostel Franz Kafka hostel, the room rates is very good, and it is located right in the Old Town Square, surrounded by many bustling shops. In addition, you can go to Airbnb to find more options about hostel rooms.
If you want to stay in a private room in a better hotel you can consider the Hotel Dar only 50 meters from Old Town Square, a 3-star hotel with room rates from $70/night. The hotel is designed in ancient architecture style from the 19th century, looking very interesting. From the hotel room, you can view Kozna Street, the bustling streets in Prague old town. The hotel also serves food if you have a need. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
For those who are passionate about architecture and love the weird things, it is can’t help but try to stay at the Dancing House, a 4-star hotel with room rates from $123/night, the Prague’s most unique super-outstanding architecture. This hotel is not only a masterpiece of architecture, it is also a luxury hotel, located 1 km from Charles Bridge and National Museum, the bedroom overlooking the romantic river and city. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
In Prague, if not using Couchsurfing, the cheapest is probably Camping – sleeping in a tent. The price for each night here is about EUR 4-5 and you can find information about some quite prestigious camping sites at www.drusus.com.
Below we recommend some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Hotel General (Address: Svornosti 1143/10, Anděl, 150 00 Praha Smíchov-Smíchov, Czechia / Phone: +420 257 318 320), a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $75/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Don Giovanni Hotel Prague (Address: Vinohradská 2733/157a, 130 00 Praha 3-Žižkov, Czechia / Phone: +420 267 031 111), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $44/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Park Inn Hotel Prague (Address: Svobodova 1961/1, 128 00 Nové Město, Czechia / Phone: +420 225 995 225), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $130/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com).
Grandium Prague (Address: Politických vězňů 913/12, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia / Phone: +420 234 100 100), a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $90/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Czech Inn (Address: Francouzská 240/76, 101 00 Praha-Vršovice, Czechia / Phone: +420 210 011 100), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $11/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Ibis Praha Old Town (Address: Na Poříčí 1076/5, 110 00 Petrská čtvrť, Czechia / Phone: +420 266 000 999), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $92/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
The ICON Hotel & Lounge (Address: V Jámě 1263/6, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia / Phone: +420 221 634 100), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $115/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Hotel Residence Agnes (Address: Haštalská 943/19, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia / Phone: +420 222 312 417), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $154/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Hotel Rott (Address: Malé nám. 138/4, 110 00 Josefov, Czechia / Phone: +420 224 190 901), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $89/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Hotel Julian (Address: Elišky Peškové 197/11, 150 00 Praha 5-Smíchov, Czechia / Phone: +420 257 311 144), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $93/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Questenberk Hotel (Address: Úvoz 155/15, Hradčany, 110 00 Praha 1 – Hradčany-Praha 1, Czechia / Phone: +420 220 407 600), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $99/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com or Agoda.com).
Prague on a budget: What and where to eat?
In Prague there are many attractive street food hidden deep in every small alley, corner is always interesting thing for you to explore.