If you want to really enjoy your stay in Prague, slow down! Don’t hurry; don’t try at every cost to “tick off” every tourist attraction you read about in your travel guide. You’re best off avoiding the main tourist routes with their crowded sights, overpriced restaurants and shops with kitschy souvenirs. Instead of finding out historical facts, names and art styles connected with Prague monuments, take a good look around you and really get a sense of the places where you are. Instead of taking thousands of pictures try to remember what you simply see. Let yourself take in the sounds, smells, tastes. Share your joy with your friends and travelling companions.
Prague has much more to offer than just Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the Jewish Quarter and the astronomical clock in the Old Town Square. There are plenty of other spots that can give you an intense experience. Prague’s charm is made up not only of historical monuments, but to a great extent also its terrain and everyday contemporary life. Climb the Prague hills and enjoy the views, stroll along the banks and isles of the Vltava river. Leave the historical centre behind for a while; sit down in local cafés, restaurants and pubs.
Avoid shops with tawdry souvenirs and shopping centres with international brands. Why not instead buy something original made by young Czech artists, art designers and fashion designers in a small shop or gallery? Walk through the parks of Prague and have a picnic. Don’t get lured by touts and, instead of a concert held for tourists, get a taste of the authentic local culture.
Although the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU) it uses the Czech Koruna (CZK) as its currency. Here are the current exchange rates by the Czech National Bank (ČNB):
100 ≈ 4 EUR or 4.5 USD 200 ≈ 8 EUR or 9 USD 500 ≈ 20 EUR or 22.5 USD
1000 ≈ 40 EUR or 45 USD 2000 ≈ 80 EUR or 90 USD 5000 ≈ 200 EUR or 225 USD
If you arrive by plane or train, don't change money at the airport and the main train station. The exchange offices there have unfair rates and commisions. If you have EURO bills, you can "change" them to Czech Korunas, if you go to the BILLA Supermarket (airport terminal #2 or the lowest level of the train station) or Starbucks (airport terminal #1). Buy something small and you will receive back Czech Korunas. Billa and Starbucks have a good rate, much better than exchange offices at the airport and train station.
If you need to exchange other foreign currencies after your arrival to the main train station (Praha – Hlavní nádraží), there is the only reliable exchange place – the desk #11 at the main ticket office of the Czech Railways company (ČESKÉ DRÁHY) at the lowest floor of the station. Avoid all the other exchange places at the station.
Be also careful changing money in the city centre. Choose only exchange offices with 0% commission and good rates (as much as close to the rates by the Czech National Bank; see above). Avoid places that charge high commission fees (up to 30%!) or buy 1 EUR for an exchange rate lower than 24.50 CZK. Always(!) ask how much you can get for 100 Euros before you change your money. If they offer you less then 2450 Czech Korunas, look for another place.
If you want to withdraw from an ATM, that is probably the best way how to get Czech Korunas. However, always choose the option "WITHOUT conversion" (the LEFT button)! If you withdraw with conversion (= a very bad rate), you lose about 10 % of your money. For more details go to Rick Steves’ Travel Tips.
Use ATMs of the reliable Czech banks: ČSOB, Česká spořitelna, KB, UniCredit or Raiffeisen (if possible, avoid ATMs by Euronet). Most restaurants and stores accept cards, so you usually don't need to withdraw more then CZK 2500 (around 100 EUR or 120 USD).
The Prague public transport is cheap and reliable. For the journey from the airport, you need to buy a 90 minutes ticket (fare 32 CZK). You can buy it and pay by card at the Czech Tourism info centre (usually no queues) or Prague Public transport company stand (usually longer queues). It is also possible to buy a 24-hour pass (110 CZK). There are also vending machines (with a touch screen) at the bus stop that accept cards. Don't forget to validate (stamp) your ticket, when you get on the bus #119 (direction Nádraží Veleslavín, green A-metro line) or #100 (direction Zličín, yellow B-metro line). Don’t validate the ticket again, when you change to metro or tram.
The Google Maps Route Planner includes connections and timetables of the Prague public transport. For more details go to the Prague public transport website or watch the useful videos by Janek Rubeš (the Honest Prague Guide).
If you take a ride around the city centre, the price should not exceed 250 CZK. Call a dispatcher (see the list) to avoid being ripped off. Always ask for a receipt!
If you have chance, get a free printed copy the USE-IT PRAGUE MAP with great insider's tips (see the list of distribution points), download the JPG, PDF or free app at Apple Store.
Watch other useful videos by Janek Rubeš (HONEST PRAGUE GUIDE), especially the video "10 Tourist Traps in Prague".
Read the blog with a very useful "before-arrival" article or the Prague Foodie Map by TASTE OF PRAGUE.
Get the printed book PRAGUE SUPERGUIDE .
FOURSQUARE can provide you with reliable tips for local coffeehouses or Czech restaurants.
Check The Official Tourist Website for Prague PRAGUE.EU. You can download brochures with useful information and tips, e.g. Prague in Your Pocket, Prague Cafés, Wine in Prague and the newest Prague Preview.
The official travel site and brochures by CZECH TOURISM can provide you with useful information about the Czech Republic.
Join me for a private walk or bike tour. I’ll be happy to recommend other interesting places, nice restaurants, cafés, music clubs, cultural events etc. to make your stay in the Czech Republic more colourful.
from the Strahov Monastery | from the Charles Bridge before 9am | from the Střelecký Island | from the Vyšehrad Citadel | from the Petřín View Tower | from the Letná Park | from the Riegrovy sady Park
Letná | Stromovka | Kampa | Petřín | Střelecký Island | Riegrovy sady | Divoká Šárka
The National Gallery | Galerie Rudolfinum | DOX | Prague City Gallery | Jaroslav Fragner Gallery
Bio Oko | Kino Aero | Kino Lucerna | Kino Světozor | Ponrepo
Alfred ve dvoře | Archa Theatre | Divadlo Na zábradlí | Jatka78 | National Theatre | Ponec Theatre | Studio Hrdinů | Teatro NoD
Jazz Dock | Palác Akropolis | Dejvická Klubovna | MeetFactory | Potrvá | Café V lese | (A)VOID Floating Gallery | Klubovna 2. patro | Neone
fashion, design & jewellery stores
I like good food prepared with love and care. I am always happy to recommend to my friends newly opened as well as traditional restaurants, bistros, cafés and bars with an agreeable ambience, friendly staff and reasonable prices. Come for a walk or bike ride with me and enjoy my favourite places to eat and drink!
Mincovna (restaurant) | Lokál Dlouhá (pub) | Loď Pivovar (brewery) | Mistral Café | Kafe•DAMU | TriCafé | Bistro No. 19 | Onesip Coffee | T-Anker (rooftop restaurant) | Lehká hlava (veg) | Crème de la Crème (ice cream)
Malostranská Beseda (restaurant) | Lokál U Bílé kuželky (pub) | Cukrkávalimonáda (café) | Café Míšeňská | U staré studny (wine bar) | Mlýnská kavárna (café & bar) | Angelato (ice cream) | Café Lounge | Café Savoy
Kavárna Nový Svět (café) | Klášterní Pivovar Strahov – Sv. Norbert (brewery) | U zavěšenýho kafe (pub)
Palanda (burger restaurant) | Dhaba Beas Na Poříčí (veg) | EMA espresso bar | Hospoda U Kruhu (pub & beer garden) | MamaCoffee Vodičkova | Café Neustadt | Super Tramp Coffee
Nové Město (South) & Vyšehrad Castle
I Need Coffee | Puro Gelato (ice cream) | Na Břehu Rhôny Výtoň (wine bar) | (A)void Floating Gallery (bar & beer garden) | Čekárna (café) | U Kroka (restaurant) Hospůdka Na hradbách (beer garden)
Café Jedna | Kumbál Café | Bar Cobra | Bio Oko (cinema bar) | Bistro 8 | Mr. HotDoG (fast food) | Erhart Café | Peperoncino (restaurant) | Café Letka | Záletná (bistro & beer garden) | Letná Beer Garden | Klub AVU (café) | Café Lajka | Kavárna Pod Lipami (café) | Lokál Nad Stromovkou (pub & restaurant) | The Farm (bistro) | Cukrárna Alchymista (café)
Prague Market – Hall 22 (farmers’ market) | Barry Higgel's coffeehouse | Bitcoin Coffee | Signature café (at Vnitroblock) | Port 58 (restaurant) | Twenty7 (restaurant) | Phill’s Corner (café) | Home Kitchen Jankovcova (bistro)
Pražírna (café) | Kaaba (café) | Dish (burger bistro) | Vinohradský parlament (restaurant & pub) | La Bohème Café | Zmrzlinář (ice cream) | Javánka and Co. (bistro) | Moment (veg) | The Tavern (burger bar) | Kofein Restaurant | Prádelna Café Antonínovo pekařství (bakery) | Las Adelitas (Mexican restaurant) | U Vodoucha (pub & restaurant) | Coffee Room | Vinohradský Pivovar (brewery)
Žižkavárna | U Kurelů (pub) | Bukowski's Bar | Pracovna (café) | Café Pavlač | VinCaffé (wine bar) | Tiky Taky Bar | U Slovanské lípy (pub) | Aerobar
Parlor Café (ice cream) | Kafe Karlín | Café Frida | Lokál Hamburk (pub & restaurant) | Polévkárna (soup bistro) | Můj šálek kávy (café) | Tea Mountain (tea shop & bar) | Veltlin (wine bar) | Eska (restaurant & bakery) | Podolka Karlín (veg) |
Coffee House | Café V lese | Café Sladkovský | Café Jen |
and many others…