21 Ways to Save Money While Traveling In Prague, Czech Republic

Prague does not need to market itself much: this enigmatic, beautiful city is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Just a few decades ago, not many travelers knew about Prague as it only regained freedom from communism in 1989. Today, Prague has grown to be a well-loved city where many people come and often never leave, its medieval towns, cobblestone paths, and post-Soviet charm leave a permanent mark for anyone who visits.

Despite the fact that Prague is a newcomer to the world of tourism, it is a friendly town to visit. It is also relatively easy to find affordable and economical ways to go about your trip, and save some money along the way. In fact, a city as beautiful as Prague does not require visitors to engage in many activities just to enjoy a trip. It is enchanting on its own, but if you aren’t careful you can end up spending unnecessarily.

We’ve done the research on the 21 ways you can save money while traveling to Prague. Read on below.

  1. There are many ways to arrive in Prague, depending where you are coming from and how much you are willing to spend on airfare. The Václav Havel Airport Prague serves numerous European and international carriers, as well as budget airlines. If you are planning to arrive by plane, purchasing your ticket to Prague can save you some money especially if you choose to travel via budget airline.
  2. Upon arrival in the airport the bus is the cheapest way to get into the town. Make sure that you already have Czech money before you leave to pay for your transport. A Public Transport booth is situated in Terminals 1 and 2 of the airport, which sells tickets to the bus services at lower prices (32 CZK) as compared to purchasing them from the bus driver (40 CZK). The Airport Express bus is another option to get to the city, but it will cost 60CZK. Other options to getting to the city include the Cedaz bus, shuttle, and taxi although these are significantly more expensive.
  3. Land transfers to the city are also plentiful in option, especially if you are coming from a neighboring town or country. Traveling by bus, rental car, or train is a great way to see the countryside if you have the luxury of time. If you are coming from another European city the most economical way to get to Prague is by taking the rail network, since the city is well connected to many others. Traveling by the European rail network is the most popular method of getting around especially for budget travelers who are looking to visit Prague and many other cities. Visiting Prague by train is quickest if you are coming from Berlin, followed by Munich, Vienna, Linz, Bratislava, Budapest, and Warsaw.
  4. Once you are in Prague, the best ways to get around are via their well-developed public transportation methods and by foot. It is not recommended to drive around, as Prague is known for their narrow streets. The city’s public transportation system is a combination of affordable bus, metro, and tram systems that are ultra-efficient, making getting around a breeze. Another bonus for foreign travelers is that the transport systems have English guides as well.
  5. Avoid hiring taxi services especially in touristy areas as they are known to charge much more. It is illegal to operate a taxi service without offering a receipt, so if you must take the taxi opt for a radio dispatched service at all times.
  6. Budget accommodation is easy to find, with numerous apartments, bed and breakfasts, and hostels abundant throughout the city. Most hostels and guesthouses offer free breakfast, and this will save you money on food. Online booking sites such as http://www.booking.com and http://www.agoda.com are a great place to start researching on accommodations, but if you prefer affordable self-catered apartments, AirBnB (http://www.airnbnb.com) is an excellent resource too.
  7. The best places to go for currency exchange are only banks and ATM’s. Other places have bad exchange rates, causing you to lose money unnecessarily. Also, do not change your money at the airport. The popular tourist areas also have a number of private services offering currency exchange, attracting unsuspecting tourists with seemingly attractive rates but they will charge you high commission fees.
  8. As a tourist in Prague, it always helps to count your money at all times. There have been numerous scams reported where tourists are shortchanged by as much as 100kc.
  9. When dining out, avoid restaurants that list its prices in Euros as these are generally more expensive. Restaurants may also offer bread and butter, while these are complimentary in other countries it is not always the case in Prague. It helps to be aware of this by asking if there will be an additional charge.
  10. Generally, Prague is a very safe city for travelers but it always helps to be aware. Pickpockets are skilled in this side of the world, noted hotspots for these scams are highly touristy areas in the city including the Charles Bridge. Tourists are always recommended to use bags which can be carried in your front pocket so you can keep an eye on it at all times.
  11. Save money on sightseeing by getting yourself a Prague Card, which provides discounted and free entrances to many of the city’s most famous attractions. Apart from saving you money, the Prague Card allows you hassle-free entrance to many attractions without having to wait in line. Just some of the many attractions you can visit with the Prague Card include the Basilica of St. George, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Wenceslas Cathedral, the Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower, Old Royal Palace with Vladisav Hall, Prague Jewish Museum, a free Vltava River Cruise, and discounts on car rental and airport transfers.
  12. Take in some local culture by visiting the local theatres and booking the cheapest seats. You will be able to appreciate a fantastic show at world-class venues at the National Theatre and the Municipal House without having to break the bank.
  13. Prague is a city that is rich in art, but visitors do not need to shell out heaps of money in order to enjoy them. Many of the city’s best galleries offer free entrances during certain days of the week:
  • The National Gallery houses an impressive collection of both contemporary and medieval art. Every first Wednesday of the month from 3:00 to 8:00 pm, no entrance fees are charged.
  • The Museum of Decorative Arts, a well-loved local heritage site with breathtaking opulent interiors, is free every Tuesday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Each exhibit at the museum is carefully thought out, with many interesting displays featuring Bohemian glass, ceramics, graphic arts, toys, and many more.
  • The Kampa Museum houses a stunning collection of works created by local artists who are living in exile. It contains a permanent exhibition, mostly of art which were acquired by Jan and Meda Mladek. Entrance to Kampa Museum is free every first Wednesday of the month.
  • The Galerie Display offers many artistic and cinematic experiences, and is free admission every Wednesday to Sunday from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
  • The Jiri Svetska Gallery has an extensive selection of contemporary and modern art, free to all from Tuesdays to Fridays at 12:00 noon until 6:00 pm.
  • The Moser Glass Factory is worth a day trip for learning about Bohemian glass. The museum has free admission on weekdays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and on Saturdays until 3:00 pm.
  1. Prague also offers many other free attractions, all you need is yourself and a camera. Almost every corner is so picturesque and perfect for that unique European photo op. Here is a list of the best free attractions in the city:
  • Take a stroll on the Vltava River, which is stunning during the day but truly breathtaking at sunset and on clear evenings.
  • Visit the Astronomical Clock, which has been around since 1410. Thousands of tourists come to see the clock every year to witness the oldest working clock in the world.
  • See the John Lennon Wall, one of Prague’s famous landmarks from the Cold War. This historical attraction became an outlet for political graffiti after John Lennon’s death in 1980.
  • Not only is Charles Bridge one way to get to Prague’s Old Town, but it is also popular with tourists. Here you will find a number of artists, entertainers, and musicians, making an excellent spot for people watching and soaking up the scenery. The best time to visit Charles Bridge is late at night or early morning if you want to escape the crowds.
  • The Dancing House is one of the unique establishments and a popular landmark of Prague. It is situated at the right riverbank, truly standing out of its neighboring Art Nouveau, Gothic, and Baroque establishments.
  • Stroll along the peaceful, charming Riegrovy Sady. It is recognized as one of the best parks in Prague where you can bring along picnic goods and refreshments for a relaxed day out.
  1. If you are looking for views that will take your breath away, head over to the Petrin Watch Tower, fondly referred to as Prague’s Eiffel Tower. Entrance fees are minimal, and to get the most out of your trip combine it with a visit to the Strahov Monastery and library which are just around 20 minutes away. If the climb tires you out, you can enjoy affordable food and refreshments at any of the two cafeterias situated in the tower itself or at the bottom.
  2. Prague isn’t exactly known as a culinary destination, in fact it is more widely known as a city where you can get great tasting cheap beer. However, the culinary landscape continues to evolve, with more restaurants now offering delicious food without a huge price tag. Ideally, tourists looking for good food while on a budget should stay away from the Old Town as well as Karlova Street, which are highly touristy areas and its vendors are known to sell food at exorbitant prices. Here are some tips on dining out in Prague:
  • Don’t leave the city without sampling some of the traditional Czech food, usually very meaty and gamey, as well as heavy on carbohydrates. These include goulash, Vepřo-knedlo-zelo, Koleno, Tatarák, Ovocné knedlíky, Pivo, Bramboráky  and Nakládaný hermelín.
  • Lunch specials are popular in Prague, as the restaurants target the working set who need to fill their tummies without spending too much. You may want to consider making lunch the biggest meal of the day because you can save a significant amount of cash on lunch sets, in fact they have been known to give fast food chains a run for their money.
  • Don’t be afraid to try the street food, some of which are extremely tasty. Wenceslas Square is known for its sausage stands, which make a cheap and filling snack.
  • The best way to find an affordable yet authentic good local restaurant is by following the locals. Ideally, the suburbs of Prague are a good place to start.
  1. If local food isn’t really your thing, don’t worry because the city has plenty of other options when it comes to dining on the cheap. Here are some recommendations:
  • Vietnamese Pho is a popular budget meal, as well as some spring rolls. Head over to Pho Vietnam or the Holesovice market for a wonderfully filling bowl of this Asian dish.
  • Osteria de Clara (Vrsovice district) serves excellent pastas that are ideal for sharing. Their pastas are also good value for money because of the large size. Try the other items on their menu of delicious Italian fare that won’t break the bank.
  • La Bodeguita del Medio (Kaprova 19/5, 110 00 Praha 1) For classic Cuban food and a vibrant atmosphere, La Bodeguita del Medio has a great selection for lunch as well as coffee. At night it turns into a more upbeat party place that also serves excellent pub food.
  • Wings Club (Lucemburska 11, Praha 3): An aviation themed restaurant, Wings Club offers a wide range of food including pasta, Mexican food, meats, and many more at decent price points.
  • Radost FX (Bělehradská 234/120, 120 00 Praha) is known for fantastic vegetarian fare in a classy, boudoir style restaurant. Radost FX has an interesting range of tasty vegetarian dishes including hummus, pasta, burritos, pasta, curries, and sandwiches.
  1. Prague enjoys the reputation of being a city where the beer is actually cheaper than water. The going rate starts at about $1 for .5 Liters of beer (in fact it’s possible to get it for even less), this can serve as your benchmark when deciding which bar or pub to drink at. Alternatively, you can also purchase cheap and good beer at the supermarkets which you can then enjoy at the park. Here is a list of some budget friendly places to also grab a drink while in Prague:
  • Café-Pub Atmosphere (119 08 Praha 1)
–          Sportsbar Zlatá Hvězda‎v(Smetanovo nábřeží 14, Praha 1)
  1. Don’t worry about tipping too much during your travels; the usual tipping amount is just around 10-20 CZK. However, if you found the service left much to be desired, you don’t have to tip at all.
  2. If you are booked at a self-catering apartment and enjoy your time in the kitchen, making your own food will cost a fraction of your restaurant bill. The city’s supermarkets are well-stocked with an extensive selection of premium meats, pastas, bread, and rice.
  3. Prague has numerous shopping options for the traveler who wants to buy anything from local delicacies to handmade goods. The city is dotted with boutique shops, markets, and shopping malls that have just about everything you need. Crystal, glassware, and jewelry that are made in the Czech republic are popular souvenirs for tourists. Some shopping tips:
  • The shops at the Old Town and Karlova are slightly more expensive as they cater to the tourists, but you can find some relatively well-priced glassware and ceramics at Dum Porcelanu (Jugoslávská 567/16).
  • If you are looking for exquisite fashion pieces at a bargain, Secondhand Fifty Fifty is known for their great collection of vintage clothing. Located at Slezská 28, those looking for good quality second hand goods are urged to take at least an afternoon to sort through their expansive collection of items.
  • Locally made cheese is excellent, and for a quick one-stop shop check out Cheesy. They have many branches all around the city as indicated on their website, but one of the more popular and complete shops is located in Jugoslávská 23.

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