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A Brief Overview of Prague
Prague, the city of a hundred spires, and the capital of the Czech Republic. With a fascinating history and some of the best and cheapest beer in Europe, Prague has become a must-see destination for anyone venturing through Central Europe.
Situated on the Vltava river, Prague is one of the better preserved medieval cities in Europe. Many of its buildings date back hundreds of years, and the city is steeped in history that dates from medieval times right up to the present. It boasts one of the best medieval castles anywhere in the world, and also an extremely well preserved Jewish Quarter with a fascinating and quite somber history.
While it’s definitely worth a visit to Prague, one thing you should note before you go is that it can be absolutely overrun with tourists, particularly in summer which is peak tourist season. If you’re checking out any of the main sites, expect it to be crowded, and expect to come across a variety of people in costumes trying to sell you tickets to shows or gimmicks. The number of tourists, and people trying to take advantage of tourists, definitely takes away from the charm of the city. But see Prague for yourself and make your own conclusion.
To make the most of your time in Prague, we’d recommend spending at least three nights. There is plenty to see and do during the day, and the nightlife is sure to keep you busy.
Top Tips and Things To Know
- Avoid eating in the Old Town Square or Wenceslas Square. The restaurants tend to be touristy and overpriced.
- Be on the lookout for scams, pickpockets, and overcharging taxi drivers. Always try and find out how much something should cost before you part with your money.
- The Charles Bridge will be crowded whenever you go, but if you head there either really early in the morning or late at night, you might avoid some of the crowds.
- Try the beer in Prague, most travellers consider it the best on the planet.
- You can download an offline map of Prague on google maps before you go. Zoom to Prague, search ‘okmaps’, and then download the area you have selected.
- Prague uses the Czech Koruna as its currency. Check the exchange rates before you go.
Where to stay in Prague
As one of the most visited cities in Europe, Prague has an abundance of hostels. The majority are located in the Prague 1 district, in either the old town or the new town. For the best experience here, we would recommend staying in the area between the new town and the old town. There are plenty of hostels and hotels around this area, as well as numerous restaurants and bars. You’ll also be within walking distance of the main sights in the old town, meaning you won’t have to worry too much about transport. If you’re travelling light, it’s a 15-20 minute walk from the main train station. If that seems like a bit much, a short taxi or tram ride will have you there in no time.
Getting Around Prague
The historical centre of Prague is quite compact, and if you are staying close by, the majority of the major sights and attractions will be within walking distance. Around half an hour of walking will get you to most places that you want to see. Therefore we encourage you to not be a lazy prick and stick to walking. But if you are a little fat and out of shape, there is public transport…
Prague has good public transport system, which is made up of a metro, trams and buses. You can buy either a single fare, one day, or three day pass, depending on how much you’re going to use it. A single fare costs 32 CK, a day pass 110 CK, and a 3 day pass 310 CK.
You can buy tickets from metro stations, some tram stops, information centres, tobacconists and kiosks in the city. You need to validate your ticket as you get on the tram/bus/train – at metro stations the machines to stamp your ticket are generally at the entrance, and on buses and trams they are at the door as you board. A day pass just has to be validated once at the start of the day.
Although the transport system can be a bit overwhelming, to see the main sites in Prague you only really need to worry about the trams ; they’ll get you most places in the city you need to go. The number 22 tram is the most helpful, as it’ll take you out to Prague castle, on the other side of the river.
If you would like more information on public transport in Prague, checkout the My Czech Republic website.