Ahh the smell of Trdelník and the vision of twinkling Christmas lights amongst a bustling open market are the first things that come to mind when I reminisce on my 10-day trip to Prague, Czech Republic. This was my first travel adventure abroad and it just so happened to also be my first semi-solo trip. I know, I dove right into traveling face first, but experiencing traveling this way is what sparked my crazy passion for international travel. Prague was so amazing, I immediately booked a trip to Dublin, Ireland after I got home because I was on such a traveler’s high!
My university was offering a short term study abroad program to Prague so I signed up on a whim and without knowing the professor or any of the 8 students. I didn’t realize until after I graduated what a truly amazing opportunity this was because it was planned out perfectly for us and at a fair rate. I’ve found that booking vacations that are a package deal tend to save a lot of money, but they need to be tailored to your travel style or else the savings aren’t worth it.
Below is a list of sections that will outline every aspect of traveling to Prague, Czech Republic that you will need!
The Czech Republic uses the Czech Koruna or CZK as their currency, but Euros are accepted in most restaurants and stores as well. The credit card machines will ask you what type of currency you would like to be charged in and sometimes it is cheaper to use the Euro over Koruna, but it will display on the machine what the difference is. They even offer to charge in U.S. dollars at some places, but for a much heftier fee.
The official language of the Czech Republic is Czech, which almost all of the citizens speak. Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and a very popular travel destination for those who enjoy European vacations, which means almost everyone speaks English! You may find some bars or little old family restaurants that the staff have not perfected their English or even know English at all, but fear not because the local hangouts are some of the best places to get the true feel of the city and have the best food (if you didn’t already know that, I just taught you one of the most valuable travel tips you will ever learn).
Below are a few common words and phrases to learn before your trip to be better prepared! (I added Pivo to the top of the list because it will be the word you use the most while traveling through the Czech Republic)
I recommend using two types of transportation to get around Prague: the metro and the trams. There are also buses and taxis, but I do not recommend either. I did not see a lot of buses especially when traveling between different parts of the inner city so I don’t consider it to be a main option. In regards to taxis, there are a lot of taxi scams where they charge travelers who aren’t Czech a ridiculously high fee.
My number one choice was the tram because it feels safe, it provides you with beautiful scenic routes to admire, and it provides a nostalgic feel of old world Europe. I liked using the metro, or as Americans would call it a “subway,” for further distances when we had to get from one end of the city to the other. It was efficient and felt safe, but it is definitely not scenic since it is underground. Metro and tram passes are not very expensive and you can pick the range that you will need them for. I was there for 10 days so I just kept buying 3 day passes that cost me 310 CZK or $12.25 USD.
Where to Stay
During my trip to Prague, I only stayed at one hotel and it was absolutely wonderful with reasonable prices and a great location! I highly recommend Angelo by Vienna House to anyone staying in Prague whether you have a taste for luxury or are a bargain hunter. The average nightly rate is around $100 USD per night, which includes complimentary breakfast every morning.
I am a sucker for a complimentary breakfast, but this was no ordinary hotel breakfast; it was a true European feast every morning, which I so desperately needed before my adventure packed days. They had everything from meats and cheeses to homemade chocolate croissants and for the Americans like me, they even had some scrambled eggs and silver dollar pancakes. During the cold weather we were having, I really appreciated the vast variety of teas they offered with extras such as honey and lemons to add to your individual tea pots.
On top of their extraordinary breakfasts, the front desk was extremely helpful with anything we needed from exchanging money to sending post cards back home. At one point, I even lost my keys to my suitcase lock (check out my safety blog to learn more about suitcase locks) and the maintenance guy came up within minutes to save the day. He was so nice and more than willing to help me out. This is a 4-star hotel with 5-star accommodations and service.
My favorite part of every section of my blogs: FOOD! The Czech Republic is a Polish girl’s paradise, besides Poland itself, and I took advantage of every dumpling I laid my eyes on. Below is a list of my favorite restaurants I dined at, but if you are interested in the full list and what I ate at each restaurant, check out my Prague Food Tour blog post!
Botel Matylda Ristorante
Hombre Del Mundo
Better Mexican food than I’ve had in the United States
Authentic Czech experience and food
La Petite France
The ‘sweetest’ bakery (pun intended)
Zebra Asian Noodle Bar
If you happen to be craving Asian while in Europe, like I was…
Old Town Square Christmas Market Food
Best Czech comfort food
Things to Do
The possibilities are endless when in the fairytale land of Prague, Czech Republic, but these were some of my favorite experiences I had while traveling through the country. If you want the full list of my adventures with descriptions, click the link to my What To Do in Prague, Czech Republic!
It is a must to go to the top at night (my favorite view of Prague)
Be prepared to walk these sprawling grounds with your jaw dropped through every building
Chefparade Cooking School
Fun, traditional, delicious
Touristy, but necessary to take in all of the culture Prague has to offer
The sole reason to travel to Prague around Christmas time
John Lennon Wall
Legendary; whether you’re into the Beatles or not, the colors and the phrases painted on the wall will make you want to ‘come together’
I am a fan of budgeting before traveling and an even bigger fan of Excel spreadsheets (formulas and all). Check out my How to Budget for a Tripblog post to prepare for your next vacation! Compared to the United States, Czech Republic is one of the cheapest countries I have ever been to. The food is reasonable, the hotels are beautiful and cheap, and transportation is cheaper than any Uber I have ever taken. I highly recommend Prague as a budget-friendly and extraordinary European vacation. It doesn’t get better than that!
Prague is generally a safe place with minimal severe crimes, but they do have problems with misdemeanors like pickpocketing and taxi scams. Pickpocketing is a problem at any popular travel destination because tourists are easy targets, which is why these crimes occur mostly where there are crowds. Taxi scams are another tourist targeted crime in which the taxi drivers charge excessive rates and tack on fees to unknowing travelers. Traveling on the metro or tram is a way to avoid this scam, but be careful of pickpocketing on these types of transportation! To learn more about travel safety and how to avoid scams and crimes like these, check out my travel safetyblog post.