Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe, and as it is so popular, it can be very pricey.
If you know what you are doing, and plan well, you can still visit Prague if you only have a small travel budget. The key is to make sure you do your research before you set off, and choose your activities based on how much they are going to cost.
Prague is renowned for its cheap, great tasting beer, which is why it is a popular destination for stag and hen dos. There are also many fantastic value for money restaurants, although you may want to head a little off the beaten track to find them.
If sight seeing is your thing, then Prague is such a beautiful city, and much of it can be seen for free. It has even been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status, thanks to its stunning architecture and many places of interest.
This guide will give you some help in planning your trip and make sure that you get the most from the city, without breaking the bank.
The Prague Districts
As with many major European cities, Prague is divided into 10 main districts, with the river Vltava running through the centre.
One of the most popular tourist districts is Prague 1 – known as the Old Town, and where you will find major sights like Prague Castle, the Astronomical Clock and Old Town Square – the main market square.
There are so many things to do in the other districts, and if you are looking for cheap food and drink, then moving away from the tourist traps is recommended.
Prague Castle – Prague 1
Much of this imposing structure dates back as far as the 9th century, although regular modifications have taken place over the years. It is now one of the largest coherent castles in existence, and includes many historical buildings, such as the St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, the Picture Gallery and Golden Lane.
Guided tours are available, or you can purchase tickets for the specific areas of the castle that you would like to see. Circuit B is the cheapest at just CZK 250, and includes St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane and Daliborka Tower. The exhibitions, Powder Tower and Great South Tower are all extra.
If you are travelling as a family, then you can purchase a family ticket which offers an additional discount.
The Astronomical Clock – Prague 1
This is one of the main activities that you can do for free in Prague, and it is not to be missed. The medieval clock is situated near Old Town Square at the Old Town City Hall. Every hour, on the hour, a fantastic display is performed. Swarms of people gather round to watch the display, so get there early to get the best view.
The Charles Bridge – Prague 1
This famous bridge connects the two sides of Prague 1 over the river Vltava. On either side, there are impressive statues, and the view over the river with the old town buildings in the background is a memory that you will treasure.
The Dancing House – Prague 2
This architectural masterpiece is in sharp contrast with the historic buildings you will have seen in Prague 1. Built in the 90s, the building gives the impression of being twisted and squeezed. Admire it from the outside for free, and if you have the budget for it, venture inside to the restaurant on the top floor as you will get some spectacular views of the city, and some premium quality (and price) food and drink.
Vyšehrad – Prague 2
This 10th century castle sits on top of the hill, overlooking the river. Many famous people are buried in its graveyard, such as the art nouveau pioneer, Alphonse Mucha, Antonín Dvořák, and others. The castle features an open air theatre, St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Gallery, and the Gothic Cellar. Some of the castle can be visited for free, but even the paid areas are great value.
National Theatre – Prague 1
The Prague national theatre (Národní divadlo) is a spectacular building, inside and out. If you have the opportunity to take in an opera, ballet, or other theatrical performance here, then you won’t regret it. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour around the building which will cost you just CZK 120.
There is so much to see and do in this wonderful city, whether you like shopping, dining out, drinking, walks, architecture, culture, or just about anything else. Consider booking accommodation in one of the outlying districts and travelling in to the centre in order to keep your costs down. Many of the surrounding areas have vibrant nightlife, so you may find that you don’t even need to go into the centre.