..mid-May to mid-September or during the Christmas holidays, for those of you that can stand the cold but also love the holidays (and the Christmas markets!).
..relaxing and inexpensive way to see the most important sights and meet new neighborhoods (for the price of a standard ticket ONLY)
..combo tickets. Get them instead of singles and save you some money.
..cheaper than mineral water. That’s why you should order beer instead of water, if you would like to quench your thirst!
..pitchmen; they are probably invalid/counterfeit.
Prague is a city that hides dangers and traps. But Tips for Prague will make your travel life easier. It is best to know everything before you get there, in order to avoid lines, move around comfortably and save money and time.
- The best time to visit Prague is mid-May to mid-September or during the Christmas holidays, for those of you that can stand the cold but also love the holidays (and the Christmas markets!).
- National currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
- Most Czechs speak English on an average level.
- You should always carry an umbrella, no matter the season, as rain lurks even on sunny days (it’s a must during spring and autumn).
- Humidity makes wearing a jacket necessary, even during the summer months (at least in the evening)!
- Late hours are not recommended for cash withdrawals. You should prefer indoor ATMs for your transactions, as you may draw some pretty devious looks.
- Make absolutely sure you choose a currency exchange agency that has no commission.
- Prefer money exchange agencies that are located in the south side of the city and not on central streets! These ones always offer better exchange rates and do NOT have commissions. (You might waste some time, but you will save money!)
- When visiting the public restrooms, make sure you have some coins.
- You can get around using the metro, tram, bus and taxis.
- Inside the means of public transport there are many pickpockets. So, you should always keep your hands in your pockets and on your bags.
- Tickets are single and valid for all means (metro, tram, bus).
- The Prague Card grants free access to all means (including the lift in Petrin Hill and the express bus to the airport).
- The cost of a standard ticket is around 1.20€ and lasts for 1.5 hours.
- Another option is the single-trip ticket that costs around 0.90€ and lasts for half an hour.
- Pets are allowed, as long as they are leashed and wearing a muzzle or are kept inside their kennels.
- If you carry a suitcase or your pet in its kennel, you have to pay an extra 0.60€. If your pet is not in a kennel, you have to pay for a full ticket.
- Children aged 10-15 get a reduced ticket, while those under the age of 9 can ride for free (children over 6 years old must have an ID).
- You can obtain tickets from automatic ticket machines or ticket booths.
- You can get passes for either one or three days.
- You must always validate your tickets, as checks are frequent and ticket collectors are not conciliatory towards tourists.
- If you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to buy tickets, you can get them via SMS! For a standard ticket, just type DPT32 and send it to 9020626; the same applies to reduced tickets (DPT24) and 24-hour passes (DPT110). Notice: the numbers change according to ticket prices.
Václav Havel Airport-City Center:
- City Bus: With the cost of a standard ticket and a frequency of a bus every only 10’, it is the most advantageous solution. The trips lasts 30-40’ until the Dejvická or Nádraží Veleslavín stops from which you can take the metro.
- Airport Express Bus: one every half an hour and leaves you at the train station.
- Taxi: it is the most expensive way, as for a 30-40 minute trip, the cost is 22-33€.
- Private transport: you must have arranged reservations for this one.
Notice: transportation to and from the airport between 00.00 and 04.00 is complicated and lasts 2 hours. Getting a taxi would be the best option.
- The metro is served by 3 lines, with routes from 05.00 to 00.00.
- The trains’ frequency is one every 2-3 minutes during rush hours and 4-9 minutes the rest of the day.
- The stops where you can change lines are three: Muzeum, Můstek and Florenc.
- It takes 2 minutes to get from one transit station to another.
- The stops with the M sign show that there is also a metro station.
- You cannot get tickets inside the buses, except for a few less busy lines.
- Night bus lines numbered 501-513 run from 00.00 to 04.30.
- By using the tram, you can have access to parts of the city that are not served by any bus line.
- Night tram lines 51-59 run from 00.00-04.30.
- Riding the tram line 22 is a relaxing and inexpensive way to see the most important sights and meet new neighborhoods (for the price of a standard ticket ONLY)
- Night tram line 57 follows the same route as line 22, but passes twice an hour.
- The stops with the M sign show that there is also a metro station.
- You cannot get your tickets inside.
- The renovated tram line 91follows the route from the Old Town to the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana).
- Parking in the blue city lines is prohibited, as they are meant for residents only.
- You can park in the Orange zone (2 hours max) and the Green zone (6 hours max), 08.00-18.00 for about 1.50€ per hour.
- Inside the city you will find parking garages, with prices ranging from 7€ (GARAGE ŠPANELSKA) to 40€ per day (Parking Slovan). The closest to the city center…the pricier.
- For a parking garage the average cost per hour ranges 0.80€ to 2€, depending on the zone that it is in (1, 2 or 3)!
- You can find free parking spaces in the Praha 5 area, a 20-minute walking distance from the city center.
- The tariff is around 1.50€ and you are charged 1.00€ for every extra kilometer.
- In various spots in Prague, red and yellow signs have been placed, indicating the valid prices.
- Ask in advance how much the ride is going to cost.
- It would be wiser to call a cab, rather than catching one randomly.
- The company’s name and the license number must be written on the taxi’s front doors.
- Make sure you always check the tariff, as some drivers raise it “accidentally”.
- Make a deal for the cost of the ride, because sometimes they might take you for a tour around the city, in order to make more money.
- If you have scheduled to visit lots of sights, you should obtain the Prague Card.
- Don’t miss out on a Black Theatre show.
- Wander around the city at night; it looks even dreamier dressed in all the lights.
- Take part in one of the free walking tours.
- Explore the city on foot, by bike or by tram line 22.
- Notice: some sights offer combo tickets. Get them instead of singles and save you some money.
- Avoid visits during rush hours!
- Visit it 7.00-8.30 or after 01.00 in order to avoid large crowds and have the chance to take photos more easily.
- During rush hours, lots of pickpockets try to come in close contact, claiming that they are trying to get through the crowd and end up stealing whatever they can grab. Make sure you avoid these sorts of contacts and keep your money and valuables in front of you while holding them tight.
- You can get inside without purchasing a ticket and just enjoy your coffee.
The Powder Tower
- Choose the combo ticket for the citadel.
St. Vitus Cathedral
- Treat yourself to a walk up the church’s tower, as you will have the chance to pass by the clocks and bells. The panoramic view that it offers is magical.
St Nickolas Church
- Attend one of the concerts that are performed in the afternoons. (Late March to early November: Wednesday-Monday at 18.00.).
- Step on the watch platform and enjoy the view for free.
- Make a reservation and ask for a table by the window.
- Avoid its narrow pathways, as they get kind of dangerous late at night!
Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock
- Choose to watch the hour change either at 9-10 in the morning or 8-9 at nigh.
Petrin Hill/Petrin Tower
- If the weather is cloudy, visibility will be limited.
- It is not suggested for a visit, if it is foggy or the atmosphere is not clear.
- Get up on the hill easily and comfortably using the lift (for only 1€!).
- Avoid the square after 23.00 at night, as many sketchy fellows circle it at that hour.
Church of our Lady before Tyn
- Access to the church is achieved through the third arch (from the left).
- Get up on the Municipal Hall for a better view of the church.
The Street of Alchemists or Golden Lane
- After 17.00 (April-October) and 16.00 (November-March) entrance is free and it is less crowded.
- At the end of the Lane, don’t miss the chance to visit the Daliborka Tower, a medieval prison.
- Notice, entrance is not allowed in the famous library, unless you have made a reservation.
- Photo-taking is charged with approximately 2€
- Take the guide offered for a more efficient tour.
- There are lots of combo tickets for the castle, which include entrance to the castle, the Treasury, the Bell Tower, the Exhibition, St. George’s Basilica, the Golden Lane and the Powder Tower. Choose the one that best suits you.
- In order to avoid large crowds and very long lines, visit it 08.00-11.00.
- You can get tickets from the information office, which you can find there.
Franz Kafka Museum
- Purchase the museum’s guide, as it will be really handy for a lot of parts in your tour.
- It would be best to read up on some facts about Kafka’s life and works, before visiting the museum, in order to better understand what you see, especially about the fictitious topography part.
- Next to Kampa Island, in Velkopřevorské Náměstí Street, you can see John Lennon’s wall, which stands as a symbol of freedom, love and peace.
Tourist Traps ⚔️
- Many taxi drivers that do not speak English very well suggest a price, e.g. 9€, but when you reach your destination they ask for 15€, claiming that you just misunderstood! In such cases, you should ask them to write down the price on a piece of paper from the start.
- Notice! You should only get taxis from the taxi rank and not randomly from the street. Some carry taxi signs without actually being ones…so you or your wallet might be in danger!
- Avoid the shops that the taxi drivers recommend, as they get commission and they are often of poor quality.
- Notice! Most hotels recommend bars and restaurants from which they get commission! Most times these places are NOT remotely decent.
- In some restaurants the prices on the menus are false! So, when the bill comes, you may have been charged extra! And when you ask for the menu to check the prices, they bring you another one with the higher prices! In this case you should call the police.
- Do not exchange money by the various pitchmen that might approach you. It may seem as a profitable offer (in comparison to the agencies), but the money is FAKE!
- Do not buy public transport tickets from pitchmen; they are probably invalid/counterfeit.
- On Charles Bridge, during rush hours, lots of pickpockets try to come in close contact, claiming that they are trying to get through the crowd and end up stealing whatever they can grab. Make sure you avoid these sorts of contacts and keep your money and valuables in front of you while holding them tight.
- It is considered an insult to leave your tip on the table (they see it as charity)! It would be better to tell them to keep the amount in which the tip will be included.
- Check if the tip is included in the bill, otherwise a standard tip is around 10-15% of the cost.
- In this city, beer is cheaper than mineral water. That’s why you should order beer instead of water, if you would like to quench your thirst!
- Choose a not so “commercial” store to buy your souvenirs. You will find the products you want at possibly half the price, compared to the central stores.
- If you are interested in an item, do not hesitate to haggle to get it at a lower price! But do not overdo it…it’s not like Istanbul’s Kapalıçarşı!
- Try the Trdelnik sweet pastry.
- The right way to say “cheers”: hold your glass, look the other person in the eyes, say “Na zdravi”, quickly hit the table with your glass and then drink!