Welcome to the Ultimate Affordable Travel Guide 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 Rarer still is the city that is not outdated by its own antiquity, that presents its storied history without getting lost in it.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 cobblestone streets of Prague’s Old Town are a mysterious warren bound to reward every curious explorer.
And this is all just the beginning.
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.
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 delicious Czech 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.
The city is also home to many parks, squares, and outdoor eateries where you will find locals relaxing during the warm months of the year. And if you like dogs, you’ll adore Prague. We have never seen so many beautiful and well behaved doggies all in one place before.
We love Prague so much that 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, one of the best cities in the entire world. And it is certainly a can’t miss destination for any traveler.
Prague Affordable 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 few price lists in this article to give you an idea of what things cost in Prague in order to better budget your trip.
The currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna (Kč).
While many shops in the center will accept Euros, to get the best bang for your “buck” we suggest you withdraw Czech Koruna from an bank ATM. We’ve found that the Raiffeisen Bank ATMs give us the best exchange rate with our US bank accounts.
The exchange rate from USD to Czech Koruna has been fluctuating around 1=22 and from Euro to Czech Koruna around 1=25 but you can find the most up to date exchange rates here.
Things to Do in Prague
As a cosmopolitan city there are a million and one things to do in Prague. From the most visited sites like The Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock, to some off the beaten path destinations like Jiřího z Poděbrad (we dare you to try and pronounce that) and Olšany Cemetery, it’ll be really difficult to get bored in this great city.
Additionally, most of worthwhile sites in Prague can be experienced for free or not much money at all.
- Old Town Bridge Tower – 100 Kč
- Old Town Hall – 250 Kč
- Walking Across the Charles Bridge – Free
- Watch the Astronomical Clock do its thing: Free
- Explore Letna Park: Free
- New building of the National Museum – 200 Kč
- For a list of Prague Museums and prices, click here.
We have two starter guides for anyone visiting Prague:
- First, take a gander at our article Top Ten List of Things to Do in Prague for First Time Visitors.
- When you’ve given that a look over, make sure to check out our guide for Getting Off the Beaten Path in Prague to discover the true heart of this amazing city. When in Prague exploring the city outside of the center is a must for anyone who really wants to feel its local vibe.
Also, Prague is host to myriad events. You can find a current list of them on the Prague Events Calendar webpage.
Where to Stay in Prague
Prague is full of affordable accommodation options, from hostels, to hotels, to apartments, the city has it all. It’s also full of overpriced accommodation options. So, let’s set the record straight. Here is a breakdown of each type of accommodation option and what you should expect to pay for them.
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.
In the meantime, here’s an overview of the starting price for hostel dorm beds in Prague. You can expect to pay $10.00 USD and up for a dorm bed in Prague. You can also take a look at HostelWorld to see current prices on hostels in Prague.
Hotels in Prague
There are hundreds of hotels in Prague of varying price ranges. A three star hotel near the Old Town center starts at around $90.00 USD a night and a five star hotel starts at around $250.00 USD a night.
Take a look at our guide: The Best Hotels in Prague for any Budget for our hotel suggestions or check out Booking.com for the latest prices on hotels in Prague.
Luxury Hotels in Prague
The Alchymist Grand Hotel & Spa Prague
The Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa is one of the best luxury hotels in Prague, and will definitely make your stay in this magical city that little bit more special! Ideally located in the centre of Prague, it takes the hassle out of getting around the city. In just 5 minutes you can reach Charles Bridge on foot! This charming and luxurious 5 star hotel is situated in a landmark baroque building which dates back to the 16th century.
For more options have a look at our article on the best places to stay in Prague depending on your budget.
Holiday Apartment Rentals in Prague
If you’re looking for a holiday apartment rental in Prague that offers all the services of a hotel or hostel, expect to pay €70.00 and up a night.
For suggestions on the best holiday apartments in Prague take a look at our guide: The Best Holiday Apartments in Prague. It includes a wide range of options, from luxury apartment rentals to affordable hostel apartments, for business travelers, families, couples, or small groups.
Airbnb apartments can easily be found within easy walking/commuting distance of the center. Unfortunately, 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 $50.00 USD/night during high season.
Our advice, when looking to rent via Airbnb, is to avoid the center. Instead, look for apartments in Prague 2 (Vinohrady), Prague 3 (Žižkov), Prague 7 (Letná and Holešovice), Prague 8 (Karlín) or Prague 10 (Vršovice). 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, Žižkov, 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 Krymská street you’ll have plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes to hang out in, among Prague’s coolest hipster crowd.
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:
Transportation Options: How Not to Get Ripped Off by a Taxi Driver in Prague
Unfortunately, stories about tourists getting ripped off by taxi drivers in Prague are becoming more and more common. As with all travel destinations, there is bound to be someone looking to take advantage of unknowing tourists.
To avoid getting ripped off by taxi drivers in Prague we suggest that you utilize public transportation as much as possible, and if you must take a car we recommend a local Czech company called Liftago.
Public Transportation in 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. Tickets start at about $1.00 USD (no that’s not a typo) for public transportation.
Below is some general information about public transportation in Prague, but for more information take a look at our complete guide to the Prague public transport system.
Here’s an overview of transportation ticket prices in Prague:
- Tram, Bus, Metro Tickets: 30 minutes – 24 Kč
- Tram, Bus, Metro Tickets: 90 minutes – 32 Kč
- Taxi – Set fee from 25-40 Kč and 14.90 Kč – 19.00 Kč per km
Trams in Prague
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 Kč for 30 minutes of use, or 32 Kč for a 90 minutes. You can buy tickets in many small convenience stores or metro station around the city.
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.
Taxis in Prague
Like in any other city taxis are hit or miss. You might happen upon 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 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 50Kč (about 15% – 25% off most rides) off your first ride.
Eating & Drinking in Prague
Eating Out 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.
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 $2.00 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.
Here are some general prices for eating out in Prague to give you an idea of how much money to budget for food during your trip:
- Daily Lunch Plate at a Local Pub (with beer) – 99 – 139 Kč
- Pho from Vietnamese Restaurant – 100 Kč
- Vegan Burger from Moment Cafe: 120 Kč
- Slice of Pizza – starting at 30 Kč
- Falafel Wrap – starting at 99 Kč
- Kebab Wrap – starting at 85 Kč
- Croissant – 20 Kč
- Full plate of Vegan food at Loving Hut 120 Kč
Some of our dining recommendations:
- Mr. Banh Mi: They’ve been serving up amazing Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches and Pho since 1975! Their cheap and generously sized sandwiches (100 Kč) make this is an excellent dining option for budget travelers. They even have two vegan Banh Mi options!
- 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 100 Kč. Try the Thai Red Curry or Pho and you won’t be disappointed.
- Country Life Restaurant: 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 120 Kč.
- 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 120 Kč.
Groceries in Prague
If you’re on a super tight budget, cooking for yourself can save you a ton of money. Groceries in Prague are very affordable and there are plenty of supermarkets, Farmers markets, and small Vietnamese run shops dotted around the city.
Supermarkets in Prague: The three main supermarket brands in Prague are Albert, Billa, and Tesco. Albert probably offers the widest selection of groceries at the best prices. Billa can be a bit more expensive, and Tesco (aside from the larger ones usually located in shopping centers) have the fewest options.
Farmers Markets: During Spring, Summer, and Fall, supermarkets pop up all over the city. Some of the best ones can be found at Jiřího z Poděbrad, IP Pavlova, and Náplavka. For more info on Farmers Markets in Prague head over to Taste of Prague’s guide here.
Vitnamcu Shops: These shops are all over the city. They’re what Americans would refer to as convenience stores of bodegas. They range in size but usually offer a good selection of beer, snacks, frozen foods, and sometimes good produce. They are open later than the supermarkets and on holidays and are all owned and operated by the Vietnamese community in Prague.
Here is some general prices on groceries from supermarkets in Prague to give you an idea on what to expect:
- Strawberry Turnover – 12.90 Kč
- Apple Turnover – 10.43 Kč
- Medium Onion – 4.60 Kč
- 3 Medium Tomatoes – 8.76 Kč
- Small Box of Salt – 8.90 Kč
- 2 Carrots – 4.25 Kč
- Head of Garlic – 5.75 Kč
- Nut Health Bar – 13.90 Kč
- Box of Rice – 11.90 Kč
- 5 Liter Bottle Water – 25.90 Kč
- 2 Slices of Deli Ham – 7.81 Kč
- Bag of Tortilla Chips – 35 Kč
- 2 Small Baguettes – 13.80 Kč
- Small Jar of Pickles – 29.90 Kč
- Strawberry Jam – 15.90 Kč
- Small Bottle of Hot sauce – 26.90 Kč
- Small Bottle of Horseradish – 17 Kč
- Box of Muesli – 53 Kč
- Soy Milk – 69 Kč
- Head of Broccoli – 23 Kč
- Coffee Filters: 40 ct – 20 Kč
- Bag of Spaghetti – 35 Kč
- Bar of Dove Soap – 20 Kč
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 28 Kč and about 12 Kč in a grocery store. Don’t worry if you’re not a beer drinker, wine and cocktails can also be found at exceptional prices in most bars around the city.
We heartily recommend the following places when out and about in Prague.
- 6 Pack of Beer from the Grocery Store – 69.90 Kč
- 500 ml Bottle of Beer from the Grocery Store – 11.90 – 17.50 Kč
- 300 ml Glass of Beer at a Bar – Starting at 30 Kč
- 500 ml Glass of Beer at a Bar – Starting at 35 Kč
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.
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!
Kavárna Blatouch: This cozy bar/restaurant is located near Namesti Miru and perfect to go with a friend, a date, or a group. We both love the decor, which reminds us an Edward Hopper painting, which is probably intentional since his work is featured throughout. By the way, don’t be deterred by the picture on their Facebook page. The interior is much nicer than the photo lets on.
Beer Geeks: Pisner Urquell is one of our favorites, but sometimes we get a craving for craft beer. When it hits, we usually head to Beer Geeks, the “biggest craft beer bar in Prague” according to their Facebook page. They also have decent wings, which isn’t so easy to find in Prague.
Boudoir: Boudoir is our favorite gay bar in Prague. Everyone, regardless of sexual orientation is welcome, and no matter what night of the week, you can bet there is a something happening at this lively bar.
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.” – Charles Bukowski. 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.
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 one or two.
Coffee Shops in Prague
Everywhere we look it seems like a new, high quality coffee shop is opens up in Prague. So for the love of god, please walk on by those shitty coffee chains that are all over the city.
You can expect to pay between 35 – 55 Kč for an espresso or Americano and cappuccinos start at about 55 Kč. Filter coffees are more but well worth the splurge from time to time as they can be outstanding.
Here are some of our favorite coffee shops in Prague:
Day Trips from Prague
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!
Other Information About Traveling to Prague
Many younger folks Prague speak English and almost all restaurants and businesses in the center of the city can accommodate English speaking guests. Anyone that speaks English can easily manage their way around Prague.
That said, it’s always a good idea to learn a few key phrases in the native language of any country you are visiting. Click here for a nifty list of Czech words you might want to know.
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 might be neighborhoods you want to avoid after a certain hour, but we’ve never seen them and 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.
When to Visit Prague
Guys, go here for our full guide on when to visit Prague and the Czech Republic for a in depth look on when YOU should come.
Generally the warmest and sunniest weather in Prague is found between the middle of April and the middle of October. This varies a bit year to year, of course. Prices in Prague are at their peak between May and the end of September, and you can expect to premium prices on hotels, hostels, and apartment rentals.
Fall can be a lovely time to visit the city (and the country as a whole) and prices are a bit lower than during the peak months. The weather won’t be as warm, but the autumn colors might make up for it. In general we advise people who want to save money to travel during “off season”.
Winter in Prague could be brutal, we won’t lie. There isn’t much sun, and the weather get get absolutely frigid. However, prices are greatly reduced from the warm summer months, and if you get lucky it might snow. And if it snows…well… have a look –
Pretty special, right? It is unlikely you will ever forget your snow day in Prague. So if you can handle bundling up and not seeing the sun for a few days winter is absolutely the BEST time to visit Prague if you are on a strict budget.
Prague on a Budget – Final Thoughts
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.
We hope this guide has helped you budget your trip to Prague. If you guys have any questions feel free to leave comments below, or email/Facebook/Twitter/whathaveyou us. We hope to see YOU in the City of a Hundred Spires soon. Safe travels all!
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.