Prague

Prague

One of the most diverse cities we’ve visited in Europe, Prague has everything, from modern sites and sounds to old-world-style tradition, busy nightlife to quiet countryside, and everything in between.

 

First, the basics.

Currency. Prague uses the Czech Crown or Koruna (czk). For more info, see our post on currency exchange.

Plugs and Adapters. Prague uses Type E adapters, which also fit with Type F adapters. The older Type C is still in use in some areas, like on trains, in some older buildings (of which there are many!) and apartments. See our tips on which adapters and converters you will need.

Getting Around. We found the Deutsch Bahn train system site and app to be a necessity for getting around Europe. It includes up-to-date schedules and station info for much of Europe, even outside Germany where DB is based and their lines do not run. You can purchase tickets using one of the most reliable and trusted train sites in all of Europe. We relied on the DB for much of our train scheduling and ticket purchases.

Hot tip: We highly recommend downloading the DB’s smartphone app “DB Navigator” to make your train-travel life even easier while traveling abroad.

We also found it handy to have a paper map to supplement using our phones to navigate, as cell service can be spotty and wi-fi not always handy. Luckily with an international travel plan, using our cell phones in Prague was very easy. Be aware that batteries tend to run down faster when you’re on the move using navigation and often looking up directions or sites of interest. Find out more about using your cell phone overseas in our post

We found walking to be the best way to take in all the sights and sounds and desserts we could find! Pick a starting point, like Old Town Square, and just start walking. We averaged about 9 miles on foot each day we were in and around the city, but you can certainly take in a lot of history and culture in far less than that. The bus and tram system is easy to navigate and runs frequently. We had no problems picking an attraction, finding the nearest bus stop and heading right there, typically in around 30 minutes or so. There are definitely peak times and rush hour traffic, so be sure to plan accordingly when making your way around town.

Prague has a quite a large, modern central train station, Hlavní Nádraži, which contains several places to eat, small grocery and pharmacy options, currency exchange counters, tourist maps and tours info, so you can generally become oriented to the city.  There are airport shuttles, tram and city subway connecting lines, so you can get anywhere you need to go from here.

 

 

Some History

Prague, located on the Vltava River, is the capital city of the Czech Republic. It is thought that the city originated at the point of Prague Castle on the north side, and the fort of Vyšehrad in the south in perhaps the 1300s. With so much history and modern advancements, you will definitely want to plan to spend a few days getting to explore all the Prague has to offer.

Things to See and Do

The Prague Astronomical Clock was first installed in 1410. This makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working. You’ll find the clock on the southern side of the Old Town Square. There is an hourly show where you will see some amazing mechanical intricacies, moving wooden statues, and musical highlights that date back centuries. During the Prague Uprising of WWII, the clock was badly damaged but was able to be fully repaired to its original working order in 1948. Get to the clock at least 10-15 minutes before the top of the hour, as crowds tend to gather awaiting the show and it can be difficult to see during more popular times of the day. There is plenty of people watching to do and an abundance of street performers and entertainers to keep you occupied while you wait!

The famous Charles Bridge is a must see. Be prepared to walk across and back, as it is a pedestrian-only bridge. While you’re out on the Prague Castle side, you will find tons of great places to eat, grab an amazing Czech beer, and shop at the plethora of stores along the medieval cobblestone streets. Be sure to head up to Prague Castle. Even if you don’t tour the full grounds and interior, the view of the city from the Castle is worth the walk up – and it is a climb! You might also like to check out this free self-guided walking tour.

The John Lennon Wall memorial is covered with Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from Beatles songs. This caused frustration for the Communist regime, but even after they painted over it young Czech students re-graffitied it.

Hot Tip: At the Lennon Memorial Wall, wear black or dark solids to stand out amongst all the bright colors in selfies and pictures.

Known as Castle on the HeightsVyšehrad Castle is a historical Fort built in the 10th or 11th century. It’s thought to be the first settlement in Prague. Here you’ll find the Grebovka vineyard, a Jewish cemetery, and Art Nouveau architecture. Be sure to walk all the way to the back so you can catch the great views of the river.

 

Other sites include Letna Park where you will find a great beer garden and amazing sunset views of the city, the world-famous Prague Zoo and the Franz Kafka museum.

Bike Tours. If you want to get off the beaten path and out of the city for a little countryside tour, we highly recommend Praha Bike Tours. They offer plenty of sightseeing tours around and within the city limits, but one particular highlight on their itinerary of tours is the one day ride to historic Karlstejn Castle. Visit where the Czech crown jewels were once kept, and hear the fascinating stories of how they were secured to prevent theft during the Nazi invasions of WWII. You’ll ride as a group for this 25 mile (40 km) ride at a moderate speed that’s accessible to even novice riders, with frequent breaks for snacks, drinks and bathroom trips. The tour culminates in a delicious traditional Czech lunch, followed by a walking tour of the Castle where you will find all kinds of shops and food vendors selling delicious treats like gelato. Once you complete the Castle tour, you load up the bikes onto a trailer and take the train back into to town (ticket price is included with the tour). For those concerned about the distance, they also offer E-bike tours to take the edge off any hills you might encounter. You’ll pass through rolling countryside, rivers and creeks, and small provincial Czech towns that will make you want to stay for good! Guided tours ride rain or shine, so be sure to come prepared with clothes for the weather.

The Food

Don’t miss the soups, the traditional pork roast with dumplings, the goulash, potatoes, sauerkraut, and crépes! You’ll notice all of these dishes include their share of fat and sugar, but we’re pretty sure you’ll walk off all those calories as you make your way around this dynamic city. We recommend pork roast with dumplings and a Czech lager as the perfect post-long-bike-ride meal!
Fruit dumplings and dishes are both desserts and meals in the Czech Republic. There is a local variation of a pancake, with stewed plums, poppy seeds, and a hearty but not overly sweet whipped cream.
In Prague, you can also find traditional Turkish coffee service. Those sensitive to caffeine should steer clear. Get ready for the strongest coffee you’ve ever had in your life, and beware the mud!

Don’t Forget The Beer!

The Czech Republic has the highest consumption of beer per capita and a long history of beer brewing. Czech beer is world-renowned. There are microbreweries all over the city which you can tour and taste. The annual Czech Beer Festival occurs for two weeks in May every year. You can sample around 70 local Czech beers and 50 other international beers, so be sure to arrive thirsty! Post-fest, Prague has great public transportation with its bus lines, and Über is as reliable and fun as it is anywhere. We loved every beer we tried! Na zdravi! (cheers!)

 

We have presented information here that compiles tidbits from several different sites and from our own experience. Our hope is that our work will save others countless hours of searching to find the answers they need. Please remember that we cannot make any guarantees or promises regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information. This website is for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional advice. Travel safely!

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