Prague on a Budget: My 8 Best Travel Tips for the Czech Republic Capital
The City of a Hundred Spires
When I came to Europe this summer, I had no intention of visiting Prague—the capital (and largest city) of the Czech Republic. However, being that this would be my third consecutive summer visit to Paris, I told my boyfriend (and lovely host) that I was interested in exploring a bit.
I am all about a “treat-yourself” mentality, but only to an extent. Both Lucas and I are not in a position to pick up and bounce around. Even though it sounds easy enough since the wide variety of countries and cultures in Europe are so close to one another geographically, the costs of even a short weekend trip can add up quickly. You have to consider the costs of:
Transportation (Public or Uber-like services)
Still, I was set on visiting another city I’ve never been to. So, I opened up SkyScanner, which has been my go-to flight search tool for years (I always compare flights I find here against the Google Flights platform, too). I set the departure from Paris and the destination to “anywhere.”
Flights to Prague were shockingly inexpensive. We looked into it further, and were happy to find out that hotels were also inexpensive. Blogs we read all echoed the same idea: Prague is architecturally stunning, delicious, rich in history, and it is cheap. How is that possible?! It seemed too good to be true.
Regardless, we were sold (and excited)!
We purchased our flights and lodging for a 4 night, 5 day long weekend trip to Prague for a grand total of about $380 for flights and lodging for TWO people. Let’s break this down. I’m an excel-sheet budget-keeping kind of girl. Look at these total approximate costs (for both Lucas and myself) for the trip:
$380 for flights + hostel
$60 for Uber (we probably took about 10-12 rides, including to and from the airport)
$200 for food
$40 for a boat tour
$$ for shopping (that’s totally up to you!)
Okay, so if that hasn’t already convinced you to get to Prague ASAP, then let me share my favorite places to stay, see and dine in Prague.
1. Start your trip with a (boat) tour!
We didn’t do a boat tour until the last day of our trip, but I learned so much about the city in that short, hour-long ride that I really wish I had known from the beginning. It’s so much more meaningful to know a little bit of history behind all the bridges, buildings, statues, etc. before seeing them. We chose to do the Prague Boats 1-hour Devil’s Channel Cruise, which was about $20 per person and WELL worth it.
2. The Prague Castle
Pretty much any blog lists this castle as a must-see, and rightly so. It’s stunning in a Shrek-esque, fairytale kind of way. Oh, and it’s free! There’s also the COOLEST Starbucks nearby it, with the most amazing view of the city.
3. Charles Bridge into Old Town Square
While I do recommend checking this area out for the sake of crossing it off your list, I think it was a little too crowded for us to enjoy what it truly is. After learning more about the construction of the bridge from our river tour, I better understood why the bridge and its statues are so special. The area it leads you into is quintessential Prague (at least from a tourist perspective) and provides all the food, souvenir shops, chocolatier shops, candy barrel stores you can imagine. There’s live music at every turn, and you eventually make your way through the small labyrinth into the Old Town Square.
Here, you will find the famous Astronomical Clock (a little hyped up in my opinion but I also don’t think I fully understood its significance). The buildings in this square are stunning, and there is lots of good shopping nearby.
4. Stay at Hostel Dakura
Listen. I was traumatized by the hostel life during my study abroad experience in Spain a few years ago, when my friends and I took a weekend trip to Dublin. Sharing a room of bunk beds with strangers is all fun and games until…it’s not. Still, Lucas and I managed to find a place with outstanding reviews and a private room, so we went for it. I am so glad we did.
This place is clean, kind, and full of any and every amenity you need while traveling. It definitely has a younger crowd, but the hostel does have apartment-style rooms for families. The rooms were spotless, had two closets, a sink, a shower, comfy beds and a super helpful concierge. I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Oh yeah, and it was only $40 a night for one of their most expensive rooms.
5. Love Thai Food? Eat at Yam Yam
Yam Yam is a delicious Thai food restaurant in the heart Prague. If you choose to stay at the hostel I mentioned above, you have to eat here! We went here twice (almost three times but we decided against it in favor of venturing out and trying more traditional Czech foods), and it did not disappoint. We ordered a large appetizer, yellow curry with chicken, huge poke bowl, and side of noodles for under $30.
6. Craving a Burger? Try Street Burger Bistro
Deliciously classic and affordable, with modern decor and witty advertising. I had a refreshing citrus salad, Lucas had a bacon-egg-burger situation. It’s the perfect stop on your way to or from the Prague Castle.
7. Enjoy Drinks with a View at the Letná Beer Garden
A solid pour of white wine for $1.75. A pint of beer for about $2.50. Need I say more? If you’re looking for panoramic views of Prague with inexpensive drinks and plenty of seating (there are 30+ picnic tables in a central area—in more of a communal rather than crowded sense), this is the place. Plus, there’s a super cool skatepark Lucas and I stumbled upon after taking a little walk which has an even higher view of the city.
Come to find out, this skate park is where a 30-meter statue of Joseph Stalin (pictured) once stood. Now, there’s this sculpture of a red pendulum (also pictured) which we were told represents the idea that things are constantly changing, but time will always go on. How cool is that? It made me realize how much this country has endured in terms of power struggles, changes in leadership and administration, etc. It’s hard to believe that they lived under communist rule just 30 years ago.
8. Take it or Leave it: The Lennon Wall
In theory, this wall is full of historical significance and worth a visit. However, make sure you read up on its importance before visiting, because I was completely underwhelmed to find a super crowded, graffiti-covered wall with zero references to John Lennon or his music. After a quick Google search, I learned:
Other Things to Try…
I meant to eat one of the “trdelníks” but never got around to it. They’re everywhere! Definitely try one if you can.
If you are interested in the night life, I was told that the Karlovy Club is a must.
Lastly, I was also told to try CafeFin for breakfast and brunch!
What did I miss?
Let me know in the comments! Happy traveling!
Hungry for a creative career that enabled me to leverage the power of photography and social media—while capitalizing on an unrelenting work ethic—I turned my side hobby into a living, breathing business.