Visiting Prague is an exceptional experience. It is an enduring and alluring European city. Saturated in history and culture, it’s rich with stories – national and individual. It is famous for its massive castle and tiny small cobbled streets. It can feel romantic yet intense, ancient yet energized. The summer invites young people to party in the streets. But these roads are also beautiful in the winter – lost in fogs, snow, and mystery. Are you thinking of visiting Prague? Read ahead for a guide to this spectacular place.
Where to stay when visiting Prague
Prague is the perfect place to party. It holds a distinct atmosphere of fun, vibrancy, youth and hidden moments of the evening. Are you looking for a hostel to accommodate the young, crazy traveler vibe? Clown and Bard is one of the most famous hostels in Europe. With its massive dorm rooms and downstairs bar, activity and energy fill the building. New sudden friends are everywhere, and there is always something to do – some rare route to take, a unique opportunity grasped. Don’t expect a quiet night – here; you won’t want one. The life of the place is addictive and will inspire you to embrace the magic of Prague all night long.
If you want a more chilled stay, Prague’s Heaven is one of the cheapest hostels in town. It has an excellent reputation – known for friendliness, comfort, and location. The style is minimal and artsy, clean but quirky. Found in a non-tourist area, it is cheaper than the center and more down to earth. You can wander around here at a slower pace. Find great local restaurants – traditional food and a laid back experience.
If you’re looking for somewhere a bit classier when visiting Prague, there are numerous hotels scattered about the city. But many hostels also offer private boutique style apartments at lower rates than hotel rooms. The best of both – the privacy without the high prices. Be warned: people flock in their hundreds to Prague during summer and other holidays. Book ahead, especially well in advanced for New Year’s Eve.
What to see
It’s difficult to know where to start in Prague. If you feel lost, a free walking tour is always a good choice for guidance around the main sights. Just be sure to find your route and favorite spots once you have settled into the place. Like any European city, a safe area to begin is the central hub. The Old Town Square offers a striking exterior. The dominant part of the town hall is its tower. Climb it and view Prague from its most central perspective. Or, stay on the ground and enjoy another famous feature – the Astronomical Clock. On the hour, its windows open revealing medieval figures dancing as an allegorical religious custom.
Prague hosts the largest ancient castle in the world, and the Old Royal Palace is one of its original sections. It holds stories of governors thrown from windows and knights arriving on horseback. It also hosts a striking view over beautiful gardens. For less majesty, visit the Golden Lane. It was where the ordinary people lived – once including Franz Kafka. It is cute and quaint but filled with a deeper ancient air that is certainly worth experiencing.
The museums of Prague embrace a diverse, and often chilling, history. To learn more about the city’s roots, visit the Jewish Museum, the Old Jewish Cemetery, or the Museum of Communism. Although pretty intense, these powerful experiences are the heart of the country itself.
Many Czech people felt inspired by John Lennon and his pacifist values. After his death, someone painted his image on a wall, with inspiring Beatles lyrics next to it. It is something raw and random to see when visiting Prague – an anti-establishment focus, especially when communist rulers were in power.
What to eat and drink
Prague is famous for its beer. For the authentic and cheap taste of the city, quieter streets offer good Czech brews. Pay little and grab beers like Budvar and Lev – classic, refreshing and great. Let’s talk about how cheap visiting Prague is. Even in the most expensive parts, prices are comparatively small. But follow the locals and you’ll find places for 25 Koruna a drink – that’s $1! At these prices, it’s hard to find a reason to stop having fun.
The bars of Prague have more to offer than their beers. The interiors are varied and exciting, in unique Czech style. Some are traditional; often underground with wooden arches and framed pictures lining the walls. Others embrace an underlying bohemian vibe – pop posters, small rooms, and cluttered tables. Fancier bars host stunning rooftop views over the night city. There is even Prague Beer Museum – a place to learn first-hand about the multiple tastes of Prague. Bars can range from 30 international beers on tap to only a few local, carefully selected ones. Funky glasses hold varying flavors. Be sure to grab some coasters – they always make a free and memorable souvenir.
A lot of Czech food is pork and cabbage based, often ordered with a side of dumplings. It’s quite simple but invests in making the most out of its flavors. It also focuses on tastes complimented by its impressive range of national beer. When visiting Prague, be sure to embrace the hearty, if not very healthy, national cuisine.
What to experience
As well as sights to be seen, Prague has moments to be experienced. One great way to get to know a new place is by visiting a café. They give an intimate, representational experience of a city. Full of the people of Prague, these are areas of activity, providing an impression of the culture and atmosphere. Upstairs cafes are a classic image of Prague. Pick one, take a book or simply people watch and grow an opinion.
Tired of the city? Take a tram to Prague’s park – Divoká Šárka. There is a range of opportunities here, from open-air theater to hiking to diving in the streams. The natural beauty offers refreshment from busyness and buildings. Or, stick closer to town – be sure to walk up Petrin Hill for some fresh air, and stunning views over the city. The TV tower is a city landmark, head towards it to reach this beautiful lookout.
The Vltava is the river of Prague. Be sure to spend time here – walking beside it, over it on one of the bridges, or on it during a river cruise. One extraordinary sight is Charles Bridge. Numerous destructions have forced it to rebuild and strengthen the stable structure it is now: a central presence of the city. Enjoy it in the evening, when the city illuminates and the water shimmers during the sunset.
Prague is a beautiful European city with a lot to offer. Growing in popularity, tourists increasingly realize its potential. Prices are slowly rising, authentic traditions becoming commercialized. Jump on the experience of visiting Prague now. Use this article to guide you. But remember – when visiting Prague, you find the most intriguing places by beating against the tourist tide.