Prague – An Affordable Travel Guide

Prague travel guide, Prague on an affordable budget

Welcome to Prague.

Rare is a city that bares its stately grace without a hint of pretension. Rarer still is the city that is not outdated by its own antiquity, that presents its storied history without getting lost in it. Rare is the city that embraces without consuming. Rare is Prague.

The city’s most iconic structure, Prague Castle, sits atop a lofty hill watching over the lazy Vltava river like a stern yet proud grandfather. Burnt orange rooftops add vibrant color to the “City of a Hundred Spires”, and even the sun seems to want to contribute to the amalgamation of hues. Every evening, barring rain, the setting sun dyes the sky’s canvas, perfectly in harmony with the aesthetics of the city.

Resplendent, hefty with history, and seemingly brimming with undiscovered locations, the crooked cobble-stoned streets of Prague’s Old Town are a mysterious warren bound to reward every curious explorer.

And this is all just the beginning.

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Disneyland…for Grown Ups

As you can probably tell we really do love Prague. It has become our favorite city in Europe for a number of reasons. Aesthetically it is absolutely breathtaking. You can walk around for days, weeks, even months admiring the myriad of architectural styles. You can get lost in the maze-like Old Town and discover something new each time you do so. You can take a stroll along the banks of the tranquil Vltava day or night, cross and marvel at the views from one of the river’s several bridges, visit one of the many verdant parks, or climb Petrin Hill for a panorama of orange rooftops and burnished spires.

Whatever you do, the feeling of walking around in a fairy tale wonderland will be hard to shake. Prague is Disneyland for adults, where the sights are always amazing and the beer flows freely.

There is a laid-back ambiance to Prague that is missing in a lot of cities. While it can, and does, get busy (mostly near the center), we rarely felt the sort of stressed out go-go-go tension you find in larger cities.

Best Hostels in Prague

Prague offers a wide variety of pubs, restaurants, eateries, and cafes. Unfortunately, and we would be remiss if we did not mention this, the city’s inexpensive nightlife is a big draw for stag parties (European bachelor parties, which can be very public and very annoying), but it is easy to avoid these marauding groups of inebriated men on the weekends by staying away from the very center of Old Town at night. Trust us, there is a LOT more to Prague than the Old Town. But more on that later.

We love Prague so much, we visited it two years in a row, and after our second visit decided to make it our home for eight months. It is, in our opinion, a can’t miss destination for any traveler.

prague travel guide
The Dancing House

Prague Travel Guide

In order to facilitate your trip to the amazing city, whether you are backpacking in Prague or just visiting on a limited budget, we have prepared a brief (yet comprehensive) budget guide to Prague. We think Prague can be a very affordable destination, if approached properly. We have included a price list near the bottom of this article to give you an idea of what things cost in Prague.

Accommodations in Prague

Hostels in Prague

Hostels are a dime a dozen in Prague, and not all of them are worthy of your patronage. We prepared a nifty article profiling some of the absolute best hostels in Prague. Take a look at our guide: The Best Hostels in Prague

Hotels in Prague

There are hundreds of hotels in Prague. A three star hotel near the Old Town center starts at around $40 USD a night and a five star hotel starts at around $250 a night. Take a look at our guide: The Best Hotels in Prague for any Budget

budget travel guide to Prague

Apartment Rentals in Prague

If you’re looking for apartment holiday rentals in Prague that offer all the services of a hotel or hostel, check out our article featuring the best of what the city has to offer. It includes a range of options, from luxury apartment rentals to affordable hostel apartments, for business travelers, families, couples, or small groups. Take a look at our guide: The Best Holiday Apartments in Prague.

Airbnb apartments can be found within easy walking/commuting distance of the center. Over the last couple of years Airbnb rentals have become a big business and prices have skyrocketed as the popularity of the site grows.  A decent apartment right around the center will run you a minimum of $50/night during high season.

Our advice, when looking to rent via Airbnb, is to avoid the center. Instead, look for apartments in Prague 2, Prague 4, Prague 7, or Prague 10. All are nice neighborhoods with easy tram/metro access to the center, and have plenty of rentals available. Airbnb can be very affordable, especially if you are traveling in a group of three or more people.

Below are two excellent apartment rental options on Airbnb.

  • Located in one of Prague’s coolest neighborhoods, Zizkov, this cozy one bedroom apartment can accommodate up to 4 guests. It’s an excellent choice for couples or small groups traveling together.
  • Located in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Prague, Vršovice, this one bedroom apartment is the most beautifully decorated Airbnb rental we’ve seen in the city. It’s cozy, comfortable, and full of character. Also, since it’s located on Krymska street you’ll have plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes to hang out in, among Prague’s coolest hipster crowd.

Airbnb discount

Long Term Apartment Rentals

Finding an apartment for an extended rental can be frustrating, as many landlords are unwilling to rent for less than a year. If you need an apartment for 6 months, your best bet is to try the following sites:

Move to Prague – Jan at Move to Prague can assist you in finding a short term rental in Prague for a low fee. He is a pleasure to work with and his services come at a much lower price tag than the steep rates that brokers charge.

SRRealty – Online apartment listings

Another potentially great way to find apartments is through expat groups on Facebook and Couchsurfing meetups.

Want to book accommodations in Prague? We recommend using the following sites:

1 2 3

Wenceslas Square, Prague
Wenceslas Square

Eating & Drinking in Prague

Eating Out

Eating out in Prague doesn’t have to be expensive.  If you avoid restaurants in the main square and circumvent the fancier, pricier fare found around the Old Town, you can have a nice meal for about $6.00 or delicious “fast food” like falafel, whatever passes for pizza (anywhere from $1.50 to $2 per slice), or delicious Vietnamese Pho for about $5.00. Prague has seen a rise in vegan cuisine over the last few years, and there are many vegan options available in and around the city for those who have chosen to adopt a compassionate lifestyle.

Some of our dining recommendations:

Madame Lyn Vietnamese Restaurant
Madame Lyn serves tasty Vietnamese and Thai food at affordable prices. Their daily, two course lunch menu is a steal starting at about $4.00. Try the Thai Red Curry or Pho and you won’t be disappointed.

Country Life
Country Life is a vegan buffet serving up country style dishes and healthy meat alternatives. You pay by weight but can easily get a big plate of food for under $5.00.

Dhaba Beas
Also a buffet style, pay by weight restaurant, Dhaba Beas offers delicious vegetarian and vegan Indian cuisine. A plate full of curry, dhal, rice, and mimosas can run you as little as $6.00.

view of the Charles Bridge, Prague on a backpacking budget

Drinking in Prague

The Czech Republic drinks more beer per capita than any other country in the world.  That translates into cheap prices for brews which can be acquired at a local bar for as little as $1.40 and even less in a grocery store.

We heartily recommend the following places when out and about in Prague.

Cash Only
Located in Old Town, Cash Only is our top recommendation for outstanding cocktails in the center. The bar is relaxed, staff are friendly, and the music is good. Our favorite libations are the Rested Martinez, similar to an Old Fashioned made with gin, and the Cucumber Scramble, a classy version of a Margarita made with tequila (lots of tequila) and cucumber.

Don’t forget to bring plenty of cash because these expertly made cocktails start at about $6 and you won’t want to leave without trying at least a two.

Blue Light Bar
Despite being mere steps from Charles Bridge, Blue Light Bar somehow manages to have a local vibe. Though the name hints otherwise, the cavernous interior is washed in mysterious red light, and every inch of the walls are covered in etchings from patrons who have left their mark. The beers are cheap and it’s a great palace to chat the night away with friends or a date.

30 Beers on Tap at Prague Beer Museum
30 Beers on Tap at Prague Beer Museum

Prague Beer Museum
Despite the name, the Prague Beer Museum in Prague 2 is a pretty cool place to hang out. They have good live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night downstairs, but you might prefer to sit at the upstairs bar and stare at the long line of beer on tap. 30 different brews, who has the time? Why, you do, of course!

U. Vejvodu Bar
After walking around the town center for hours the urge to have a cold beer always hits…well, us anyway. We’ve found ourselves resting our weary feet and satisfying our parched throats many a time at U. Vejvodu Bar. The best part is that you can get a pint of Pilsner for under $1.70, there are always pretzels on the table, and the bartenders seem like they’ve been around for ages.

Chapeau Rouge Bar
Chapeau Rouge might be the most well known bar in the Town Center. On a Friday or Saturday nights the bar is hectic, loud, and smokey. If you’re looking for a lively night out in the center this the place to go.

Bukowski’s Bar
“What is your advice to young writers?” “Drink, fuck, and smoke plenty of cigarettes.”

If, like us, you’re a fan of Charles Bukowski then the bar’s name is probably enough to get you there. Even so, you should make a trip to Bukowski’s because it’s located outside of the town center and you’ll get the chance to experience a different side of Prague. You’ll be surprised to find that the streets of Prague outside of the center are quiet, peaceful, and charming at night. A nice contrast to the bar’s lively, energetic atmosphere.

Things to Do in Prague

As a cosmopolitan city there are a million and one things to do in Prague.

Take a look at our Top Ten List of Things to Do in Prague, for starters. Prague is also host to a myriad of events. You can find a current listing on the Prague Events Calendar webpage.

When in Prague we totally recommend exploring outside of the center. Check out our guide for getting off the beaten path in Prague to discover the true heart of this amazing city.

Transportation around Prague

One of the great things about Prague is the relative proximity of all the neighborhoods. It’s not a huge city by any stretch, and most areas of Prague are well connect by public transportation.

Trams

A Tram Passes the Church of Saint Ludmila
A Tram Passes the Church of Saint Ludmila

Our favorite form of mass transit in Prague is the tram. The tram harkens back to a bygone era, and it is one of the coolest ways to get a look at the city as you are traveling from point A to point B. Tram lines cover almost the entire city, and the trams run frequently throughout the day. Regular service stops at around midnight, when it is replaced by a small (and slower) system of night trams.

A tram ticket costs 24 Czech Koruna (Kč) for 30 minutes of use, or 36 Kč for a hour. You can buy tickets in any convenience store or metro station around the city.

Click here for a comprehensive Prague tram map and here for the night map.

Taxis

Like in any other city taxis are hit or miss. You might happen on the nicest driver on the planet, or you might get stuck with a scamming schemer dead set on milking you for every penny. Best way to avoid the hassle? Use a taxi app. We recommend Liftago, for a number of reasons.

Liftago

Liftago allows you to request a taxi and receive quotes from multiple drivers in the area before committing to the service. It gives both the drivers and the passenger more flexibility in choosing fares. A rating system lets you know what previous passengers thought of a particular driver. Passengers can choose the best offer according to estimated fare, ETA, and driver ratings. Pretty sweet!

However, what we really like about Liftago is their impact creating a greener traffic pattern. By optimizing driver routes and allowing passengers to pick taxis based on proximity, the app’s algorithm saves thousands of useless kilometers from being driven by disorganized taxi fleets. A big win for drivers, passengers, and environment.

Click here for the Liftago app and be sure to use the discount code JUSTAPACK for 50 CZK (about 15% – 25% off most rides) off your first ride.

Metro

Prague has a metro system with three lines, totaling 62 kilometers of tracks, and 61 stations. It’s all relatively new (having been built within the last 40 some odd years), cheap, simple, and efficient.

Click here for a metro map and some useful things to know when taking the metro trains around Prague.

Communication

Many younger folk’s English in Prague is excellent and almost all restaurants and businesses in the center of the city can accommodate English speaking guests.

Click here for a nifty list of Czech words you might want to know.

Safety

We found Prague to be an extremely safe city, especially in the vicinity of the Old Town. During the six weeks we spent here to date we have encountered zero crime, day or night. We never once felt threatened while walking around.

Of course there are probably neighborhoods you want to avoid after a certain hour, but we highly doubt you would find yourself in them anyway. As with any foreign destination, use common sense and err on the side of caution, especially at night.

Day Trips from Prague

Cesky Krumlov, day trips from Prague, Czech Republic

There are a TON of reasons to visit Prague. However, if you are in town for longer than a few days we highly recommend you take some time to see a bit of the Czech Republic outside of its capital.

There are many places to go, like the fairy tale town of Cesky Krumlov pictures above, so we wrote this handy guide about day trips from Prague just for you guys!

Prague Price Guide

Prague Caste and Charles Bridge in Prague
View of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge from the Old Town Bridge Tower

Traveling around Europe on a budget can be a difficult undertaking. You might find yourself burning through your funds faster than intended in many countries and cities.

Thankfully Prague, and the Czech Republic in general, is not one of those places.

So, after all is said and calculated, what is the minimum daily expense for travel on a budget in Prague, Czech Republic?

With a dorm bed in a hostel, eating out three times a day, and a few beers you can get by easily on $35.00 or less. If you want a day laden with sight seeing, visiting historic locations, and eating fine food you can expect to tack on at least $25.00. If you want more extravagant accommodations like a hotel or private room increase your budget accordingly. If you select a hostel with a kitchen, cook your own meals, and skip the brews you can manage on about $20.00 a day.

Have a look at our price list below to get a better idea of what groceries, accommodations, drinks, transportation, and activities cost in the city during Peak Tourism Season.

For the current exchange rate between the Czech Koruna and the U.S. Dollar click here.

Is Travel Insurance Necessary

Prague’s Rooftops and Spires

Prague’s Rooftops and Spires

Red Price Guide

Budget Accommodations

Check out our Best Hostels in Prague article for more details and discounts.

Budget Eating Out

  • Pho from Vietnamese Restaurant – 100 Kč ($4.75)
  • Veggie Burger from LoVeg – 215 Kč ($10.20)
  • Slice of Pizza – starting at 30 Kč ($1.42)
  • Falafel Wrap – starting at 60 Kč ($2.85)
  • Kebab Wrap – starting at 85 Kč ($4.03)
  • Croissant and Coffee – 45 Kč ($2.13)
  • Plate of Vegan food at Country Life Restaurant – 118 Kč ($5.60)
Photo Credit: LoVeg
Lunch with a View Photo Credit: LoVeg

Budget Groceries

  • Strawberry Turnover – 12.90 Kč ($0.61).
  • Apple Turnover – 10.43 Kč ($0.50)
  • Medium Onion – 4.60 Kč ($0.22)
  • 3 Medium Tomatoes – 8.76 Kč ($0.42)
  • Small Box of Salt – 8.90 Kč ($0.28)
  • 2 Carrots – 4.25 Kč ($0.20)
  • Head of Garlic – 5.75 Kč ($0.27)
  • Nut Health Bar – 13.90 Kč ($0.66)
  • Box of Rice – 11.90 Kč ($0.56)
  • 5 Liter Bottle Water – 25.90 Kč ($1.23)
  • 2 Slices of Deli Ham – 7.81 Kč ($0.37)
  • Bag of Tortilla Chips – 56.90 Kč ($2.70)
  • 2 Small Baguettes – 13.80 Kč ($0.65)
  • Small Jar of Pickles – 29.90 Kč ($1.42)
  • Strawberry Jam – 15.90 Kč ($0.75)
  • Small Bottle of Hotsauce – 26.90 Kč ($1.28)
  • Small Bottle of Horsreadish – 16.90 Kč ($0.80)
  • Box of Museli – 52.90 Kč ($2.51)
  • Soy Milk – 64.90 Kč ($3.08)
  • Head of Broccoli – 22.90 Kč ($1.09)
  • Coffee Filters: 40 ct – 19.90 Kč ($0.94)
  • Bag of Spaghetti – 26.990 Kč ($1.28)
  • Bar of Dove Soap – 25.90 Kč ($1.23)

Drinks

  • 6 Pack of Beer from the Grocery Store – 69.90 Kč ($3.32)
  • 500 ml Bottle of Beer from the Grocery Store – 11.90 – 17.50 Kč ($0.56)
  • 300 ml Glass of Beer at a Bar – Starting at 28 Kč ($1.33)
  • 500 ml Glass of Beer at a Bar – Starting at 35 Kč ($1.66)

Activities

  • Old Town Tower – entrance for viewing deck 90 Kč ($4.27)
  • Prague Beer Museum – tasting and tour 250 Kč ($11.87)
  • New building of the National Museum – 60 Kč ($2.85)
  • For a list of Prague Museums and prices, click here.

Budget Transportation

  • Tram, Bus, Metro Tickets: 60 minutes – 24Kč ($1.14)
  • Tram, Bus, Metro Tickets: 90 minutes – 32 Kč ($1.52)
  • Taxi – Set fee from 25-40 Kč ($1.19 – $3.08) and 14.90 Kč – 19.00 Kč ($0.71 – $0.90) per km
Prague Palace Gardens
Prague Palace Gardens

Expenses for activities you might want to partake in should not be factored into your daily budget. This becomes overly complicated. An easier way of going about things is to calculate your minimum daily expense and then set aside all left over funds you care to spend into an “activities” pool. Thus on a day when we went to a museum or had a few extra drinks in the evening we did not consider ourselves over budget even though we spent a bit more, we just subtracted it out of the “activities” pool.

Sunset Views on Charles Bridge
Sunset Views on Charles Bridge

 


 

Disclaimer – We have included a few handy little affiliate links in case any of our readers want to book accommodations. We receive a small commission for any sales made, without any additional cost to you, our dear reader.

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14 thoughts on “Prague – An Affordable Travel Guide

  1. And beer flows freely! I love it! I’m glad you liked my favourite city and could live there for eight months and still enjoyed it.

  2. Beautiful photos of Prague! Also, I really like your idea of trying to connect with fellow travelers on Facebook or in travel groups for couch surfing and local stays. Hotels can add up fast and hostels can as well.

  3. Ahoj, greetings from Prague 🙂

    i would love to reblog this, adding a few notes and my own photos beside your gorgeous ones. How can I do that?

    1. Hi Andrea,

      Hello from Prague too! 🙂
      We’re glad you liked the article. We would be happy for you to include a link to our article but please do not reproduce the text. Let us know if you have any questions. 😀

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  6. Hi! Wonderful article! We are so glad that you had a great time in Prague! Just one note about the safety paragraph from us. There is no dangerous neighborhood in Prague, just few areas in the city center. If you want to be super safe than avoid the Wenceslas square and the train stations area (Masarykovo and Main Station) late in night. But always always watch your belongings – pick pockets hot spots – Astronomical clock at the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and the tram 22.

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  8. U Vejvodu is one of the biggest rip-off joints in Prague! ( they were fined a record amount recently for their dubious practices – overcharging etc).
    Like the waiters, those pretzels Have been there for ages too – and they’re not cheap either.

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