Prague

Travel Guide Europe Czech Republic Prague

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Introduction

A View From Atop

A View From Atop

© Mavr8k

The political, cultural and economical centre of the Czech Republic for over 1,000 years, Prague is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, falling behind the cities of London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin as the sixth most visited European city. [1] Prague is a much smaller city than the others though and as a result, the hordes of tourists swelling into the cobbled streets and onto Charles Bridge can be overwhelming, particularly in the peak summer season. The historic centre of Prague, comprising the Old Town (Staré Město), the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana) and the New Town (Nové Město) was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1992.

This city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by World War II, Prague's compact medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveller's thirst for adventure.

It is regarded by many as one of Europe's most charming and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Budapest and Kraków. Millions of tourists visit the city every year.

Prague was founded in the later 9th century, and soon became the seat of Bohemian kings, some of whom ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. The city thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century - many of the city's most important attractions date back to that age. In 1348 Prague became an university town, which it has remained ever since. The University, which is sometimes claimed to be the oldest in Central Europe was split into a German and a Czech language part in 1882 with the German language part shut down in 1945, thus ending the claim of "oldest German university" Prague might have reasonably held until then. The city also went under Habsburg rule and became the capital of a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It had a German-speaking majority well into the 19th century, and even after then, maintained a significant German-speaking minority until the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia following World War II. During that period, Prague would give rise to several prominent German-language authors, perhaps the most notable being Franz Kafka, known for works such as Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis) and Der Process (The Trial). In 1918, after World War I, the city became the capital of Czechoslovakia. After 1989 many foreigners, especially young people, moved to Prague. In 1992, its historic centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries and Prague became capital city of the new Czech Republic.

The Vltava River runs through Prague, which is home to about 1.2 million people. The capital may be beautiful, but pollution often hovers over the city due to its location in the Vltava River basin.

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Neighbourhoods

Prague consists of fifteen districts, numbered from Praha 1 to Praha 15. Praha 1 is the oldest part of the city and the area where more travellers spend their time. Praha 1 can be further divided into the following five areas:

  • Old Town (Staré Město).
  • The Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana).
  • New Town (Nové Město).
  • Jewish Town (Josefov).
  • Castle (Hradčany).

The other 14 districts can be organised into the following geographic areas.

  • Northern Prague - Praha 7, 8, 9.
  • Eastern Prague - Praha 3, 10, 14, 15.
  • Southern Prague - Praha 2, 4, 11, 12.
  • Western Prague - Praha 5, 6, 13.

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Sights and Activities

Astronomical Clock, Prague

Astronomical Clock, Prague

© DenOS.08

Landmarks

  • Astronomical Clock (Orloj) - It was designed and built before it was found out that the earth circles the sun. Thus it is not accurate. Still it does toll every hour with a display of wooden saints "conducted" by the clock's skeleton. Some Prague schoolchildren are taught how to read this clock, though many have forgotten it by the time they are out of school. It is located in Old Town Square.
  • Belvedere (Belvedér).
  • Bethlehem Chapel (Betlémská kaple) - This chapel is mostly known as being the place in which Jan Hus, the Czech reformer, preached. It was almost completely demolished, but later rebuilt by the Communists in keeping with the original plans. Address: Vaníčkova 7, Praha 6., Price: 60/30 Kč
  • Carolinum.
  • The Charles Bridge (Karlův most).
Dawn stroll on Charles Bridge

Dawn stroll on Charles Bridge

© david.byne

  • Church of Our Lady Before Týn (Týnsky chrám).
  • Church of Our Lady Victorious (Kostel Panny Marie Vítězné) - This church is the first Baroque church in Prague and home of the Infant of Prague, a small wax statue believed by some to have blessing and healing powers. It is common for devotees to construct intricate garments for the Infant and many of these are on display at the church. Admission is free, unlike many of the churches in Prague. Address: Karmelitská 9, Praha 1
  • Clementinum.
  • The Dancing House (Tančící dům) - Also known as the Fred and Ginger Building is a work of modern architecture designed by Frank Gehry. The address is Rašínovo nábřeží 1.
  • House of the Black Madonna (Dům U černé Matky Boží)
  • Lapidárium.
  • Municipal House (Obecní dům).
  • New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice).
  • Old Jewish Cemetery (Starý Židovský hřbitov).
  • Old-New Synagogue (Staronová synagoga).
  • Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) - Located in Old Town this square was the home of the city's marketplace during medieval times and still today is the center of much activity.
  • Pinkas Synagogue (Pinkasova synagoga).
  • Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) - This castle is one of the largest castles in the world and a great sight.
  • St. Nicholas' Church (Chrám Sv Mikuláše).
  • St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrála sv Víta) - St. Vitus is a stunning cathedral located in Prague Castle.
DSC_6629

DSC_6629

© kookie888

  • Spanish Synagogue (Španělská synagoga).
  • Wallenstein Palace and Gardens (Valdštejnský palác).
  • Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí).

Museums

  • Crypt at Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius (Pravoslavný Katedrální Kostel sv. Cyrila a Metoděje) - Here parachutists who tried to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich hid in 1942. Outside of the crypt is a small museum about Operation Anthropoid. Address: Resslova 9a, Praha 2., Price: 60/30 Kč
  • Jewish Museum - It is not actually a museum, but rather a group of six important Jewish sites including: the former Ceremonial hall, Klausen synagogue, Spanish synagogue, Pinkas synagogue, Maisel synagogue, and Old Jewish Cemetery.
  • Franz Kafka Museum - It's an exhibition of the Prague-born literary icon's life. Address: Cihelná 2b, Praha 1
  • Mucha Museum - It's a museum of the works of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Address: Panská 7, Praha 1., Price: 120/60 Kč
  • Museum of Communism - This museum gives a history of Communism in Czechoslovakia, and more specifically Prague. Admission is. It is located above McDonald's next to the Casino. Address: Na Příkopě 10 Praha 1, Price: 180/140 Kč
  • Museum of Decorative Arts (Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum).
  • National Museum (Národní muzeum).

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Events and Festivals

Prague Spring International Music Festival

The Prague Spring International Festival is all about music and performing arts, with a number of shows taking place around the city from mid-May until early June. The first event took place in 1946 and continues to grow in popularity every year.

Summer Shakespeare Festival

For literary lovers, this is often the highlight of the Czech events calendar, a two-month long celebration of arguably the finest playwright who ever lived. From June until September, Prague Castle is home to a series of performances which take place in the stunning Burgrave Palace courtyard.

United Islands of Prague Festival

Held around various venues in Prague, including some of the large river islands, the United Islands Festival takes place from June 16 to 25. A celebration of the people and the quirks of Prague’s most interesting and mysterious cultures, the event is primarily a music festival, but is also an opportunity to explore the Czech Republic’s outlying islands. Things are cranked up a notch during the evening when events move to nightclubs and music venues, with partying, singing and dancing well into the night.

Prague Autumn International Music Festival

This momentous music festival has become a key fixture on Prague’s cultural calendar and is one of the most popular events in Europe. Local Czech and international musicians and performers travel to the capital to celebrate the best of classical music, including big name stars with crowds attending by the thousands.

Verdi Festival

The Verdi Festival is a month-long event celebrating stage arts such as ballet, opera, and theater. Held in September at the stylish Prague State Opera house, it’s a must-see for lovers of the classics.

Other Events and Festivals

  • Three King's Day (06 Jan 2014) - A procession of camels and actors in costume takes place every year to mark Three King's Day, ending at a nativity scene in front of the Loreto. Although the actual day is on January the 6th, the procession is usually on the 5th.
    ] (6 January).
  • Anniversary of Jan Palach's death (19th of January) - Jan Palach was a student who burned himself to death, protesting the 1969 Soviet occupation.
  • Easter Monday (March/April)
  • Labour Day (1 May).
  • Liberation Day - The day that Prague liberated itself from German occupation in World War II. During soviet times, this was celebrated on May 9, the day the Red Army entered Prague.

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Weather

Prague sits literally in the "Heart of Europe" and lies between the more temperate Western European and more arid, continental climates. Some winters can be very snowy, others see relatively few days with snow and much milder conditions. The driest months are the winter ones; the wettest the summermonts of July and August with sometimes heavy showers and thunderstorms, mainly after hot days. Prague's averages range from minimum -5 °C in January to 23 °C in July.[2]

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max0.4 °C2.7 °C7.7 °C13.3 °C18.3 °C21.4 °C23.3 °C23 °C19 °C13.1 °C6 °C2 °C
Avg Min-5.4 °C-4 °C-1 °C2.6 °C7.1 °C10.5 °C11.9 °C11.7 °C8.7 °C4.3 °C0.2 °C-3.3 °C
Rainfall23.5 mm22.6 mm28.1 mm38.2 mm77.2 mm72.7 mm66.2 mm69.6 mm40 mm30.5 mm31.9 mm25.3 mm
Rain Days6.85.66.27.39.810.39.18.875.576.8

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Getting There

By Plane

Ruzyně International Airport (PRG) near Prague services flights to destinations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Czech Airlines, the national flag carrier, has its main hub here and serves many destinations, including Almaty, Beirut, Belgrade, Bucharest, Cairo, Damascus, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Kiev, Kuwait, Larnaca, London, Manchester, Minsk, Moscow, Odessa, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Skopje, Sofia, Split, St. Petersburg, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Yekaterinburg, Yerevan, Zagreb,Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Bratislava, Brno, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Helsinki, Kosice, Krakow, Ljubljana, Madrid, Marseille, Milan, Munich, Oslo, Ostrava, Paris, Riga, Rome, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Tallinn, Thessaloniki, Venice, Vilnius, Warsaw, Zilina and Zürich. Their charter flights go to/from Hurghada, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Porlamar (Isla Margarita, Venezuela), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), Rhodes, Sal (Cape Verde), Samos, Varadero and Zakynthos. There are a few dozen of other airlines serving some other destinations as well.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: To Prague centre, take bus number 119 to Dejvická metro station, and transfer on to the green metro line (Line A) or tram there, or bus number 100 to Zličín metro station (yellow Line B) which is further from the city centre. A trip takes about 40 minutes. After midnight when the metro line is closed, night-bus number 510 runs from the airport, offering 4 transfer points to centre-bound trams en-route. Also number 179 can be used for a longer but more interesting travel to Nové Butovice metro station (yellow Line B). Since 14 December 2008, the bus line AE (Airport Express) also provides nonstop service between Terminals North 1 and North 2, and the Prague Main railway station every day from 05:00am to 10:00pm, leaving every half hour.
  • Car: rental cars and taxis are both widely available at the airport.

By Train

Czech Railways operates trains throughout the country to and from Prague. Direct night trains connect Prague also with Cologne, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Zürich, Basel, Krakow, Minsk, Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

By Car

Prague has highway connections from five major directions. Unfortunately, the highway network in the Czech Republic is quite incomplete and some highways are old and in poor condition. Thus, the highway connection from Prague to the border of the Czech Republic is available only in two directions: southeast and southwest.

The southwestern highway (D5; international E50) leads through Plzeň to Germany. The D5 highway continues in Germany as A6. Riding from the state border to Prague takes about an hour and a half (160 km/99 mi).

The southeastern highway (D1) is the Czech Republic's oldest and most used highway but is in a rather poor condition. It leads through Brno to Bratislava in Slovakia. It offers a good connection to Vienna, Budapest and all traffic from the east. It runs for 250 km (155 mi), and usually takes over two hours.

To the northwest, you can take highway D8 (E55), but it is not complete to the German border. It ends now at Lovosice (about 60 km (37 mi) from Prague and starts again in Usti nad Labem and continues to the northern Germany via A17 (Dresden, Berlin, Leipzig).

To the northeast, you can take highway R10 (E65). It is strictly speaking a motorway, not a highway, but it has four lanes and differs little from a highway. It leads from Liberec to Turnov. It is not regarded as an important access route, as there are no major cities in this direction (Zittau in Germany, Szczecin, Legnica and Wroclaw in Poland), but it offers a good connection to the Czech mountains Jizerské hory and Krkonoše (Riesengebirge) with the best Czech skiing resorts.

To the east, you can take the newly completed D11 (E67), which goes to Hradec Kralove. It leads to Poland.

By Bus

Check the timetable for more information on buses between Prague and numerous cities and towns in the Czech Republic. Eurolines has international connections to and from Prague.

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Getting Around

By Car

Prague can be congested at times, especially during rush hour in the morning and late afternoon and on popular holidays. Parking is not overly expensive, but ideally you leave your car at home and visit Prague by public transport.

By Public Transport

Prague's public transportation is operated by the Prague Public Transport Company. It consists of metros, trams, buses, and a funicular. Tickets must be validated as soon as you enter the station or vehicle. Tickets are good for unlimited transfers for 30 minutes or 90 minutes, with passes for one, three, five and 30 days also available.

Large backpacks and luggage are subject to an extra fee that must be purchased with your ticket to avoid fines. Tickets good for 1 or more days allow for one bag free. For a complete list of the latest fares, see this Prague Transport Company list. Use the Journey Planner to organise your travels and find connections between different modes of transports.

By Foot

Much of central Prague can easily be navigated on foot, including both banks of the river and crossing the Charles Bridge.

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Eat

Lunch is traditionally the main meal in Prague. Czech cuisine is typically based around pork or beef with starchy side dishes such as dumplings, potatoes, or fries. Fish is not as popular, though these days it is widely available. Popular Czech desserts include fruit dumplings (ovocné knedlíky), crêpes or ice cream. Trdelník has also become popular in Prague, especially among tourists, with many small bakeries selling the sweet bread encrusted with sugar and chopped walnuts. Most restaurants become very crowded during lunch and dinner, so consider making a reservation or eating earlier than the locals.

The tip should be about 10 to 15% - in cheaper restaurants or pubs you can get away with rounding up the note or leaving a few extra coins. Otherwise, it's customary to leave at least 20-40 Kč or €1-2. Taxes are always included in the price by law. Many restaurants in heavily-touristed areas (along the river, or with views near the castle) will charge a cover or "kovert" in addition to your meal charge. If this is printed in the menu, you have no recourse. But a restaurant will often add this charge to your bill in a less up-front manner, sometimes after printing in the menu that there is no cover. Anything brought to your table will have a charge associated with it (bread, ketchup, etc.) If you are presented with a hand-scrawled bill at the end of the meal, it is suggested that you take a moment to clarify the charges with your server. This sort of questioning will usually shame the server into removing anything that was incorrectly added. Some waiters might be impolite especially to people from eastern Europe. Pay no attention to this, and simply find another restaurant.

If you're on the look out for fast food, you won't be able to move without tripping over street vendors serving Czech style hot dogs and mulled wine in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in New Town. If you're after Western-style fast food, the major chains also have a large presence in Wenceslas Square and the area immediately around it. Most beer halls also serve light snacks or meals. Definitely try the hot dogs (párek v rohlíku) - they're very different to the version you get in the West. Small, hollowed-out French baguettes are used for the bread, filled with mustard and ketchup, and then the frankfurter is inserted afterward. This turns the bread into a convenient carry-case and means you don't get ketchup all over your hands. Make sure you get mustard, even if you don't normally like it - unfortunately the hot dogs are somewhat flavorless and need that extra bit of kick. Prices range from around 15 Kč for a small one to 45 Kč for the terrifying-looking 'gigant'. Note that the size of hot dog relates to girth rather than length.

Be careful when ordering food without looking at the prices. There are many places in the center which are known for charging horrible prices to people who did not look into the menu. Charging more than 170 Kč for a basic local lunch is too much. Especially restaurants with large outdoor spaces at Old Town square are known for charging extraordinary prices for a simple meal. If a restaurant advertises itself as "Czech" and "traditional" too much, it might be another sign of potential rip-off - truly traditional restaurants never advertise themselves as traditional.

Another common scam connected to food is charging for food by weight. They, for example, say that the price is 100 Kč, but do not mention that the price is for 100 grams, leaving you to pay 400 Kč for a basic meal. This is especially common at the Old Town square, at the stalls with 'Prague Ham'.

  • U Medvidku - Originally a brewery, U Medvidku has also expanded its establishment as hotel and restaurant. The restaurant area is very big and pleasantly decorated as an old austrian-hungarian style. There are lots of traditional meals and of course lots of beers to choose from, and although this place seems to attract many tourists, the prices are less expensive than in most tourist restaurants. If you are willing to experiment new flavors, make sure you try their beer ice cream! Address: Na Perštýně 7, 100 01 Praha 1, Česká Republika, Phone: 00420 224 211 916, Hours: 11:30am - 11:00pm, Price: average

Allegro, Veleslavínova 2a, Prague 1, ☏ +420 221 427 000. Every Day: 07:00 - 23:00. Chef Andrea Accordi serves up modern Italian cuisine in this restaurant located inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Prague. Considered by many to be the best restaurant in Prague. Very Expensive.
Ambiante Pizza Nuova, Revoluční 1, ☏ +420 221 803 308. An upscale place which does a very accurate rendition of Neapolitan pizza, but whose real selling point is the amazing play area for small and smallish kids.
La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise, Haštalská 753/18, Prague 1, ☏ +420 222 311 234. M-Sa: 18:00 - 24:00. Often voted as the best Czech restaurant, with price matching the quality. But if you have the cash, it's supposed to be a culinary experience as no other. Menu from 2200 Kč to over 4000 Kč with wine included. One of two restaurants in Prague with a Michelin star.
Grand Cafe Orient, Dům u Černé Matky Boží, Ovocny trh 19, ☏ +420 224 224 240, ✉ cafeorient@volny.cz. Coffee, tea, cakes and sandwiches with free wi-fi between Namesti Republiky and the Old Town Square.
La Casa Blu, Kozí 15, ☏ +420 224 818 270. Spanish/Mexican food at good prices, close to Dlouha Trida tram stop. Free wi-fi internet. Service can be slow. edit
Lokál, Dlouhá 731/33, Prague 1, ☏ +420 222 316 265. Every Day: approx. 12:00 - 24:00. A new member to famous Ambi restaurants group, this is the place, where traditional and modern blend together. While evoking Czech pubs from times years ago, everything is brand new. Beer (35 Kč) and food (100 - 200 Kč) is very good. Large non-smoking section in the back.
Hybernia (Needle House Restaurant), Hybernská 7, ☏ +420 224 226 004. The name of this restaurant comes from the enormous skewers of meat and vegetables they serve, balanced vertically on an especially designed plate. Once you figure out how to handle them, they're great. The restaurant has great service and strongly flavored dishes. Entree approximately 250-300 Kč, bottles of wine 350-1000 Kč.. edit
Touch Restaurace & Lounge, Jakubská 744/4, Prague 1, ☏ +420 222 322 685. 11:30AM-11:30PM. Specialized in feathery dishes, modern cuisine, meals. Excellent food well presented. 150-400 Kč.
Konvikt, Bartolomějská 11, ☏ +420 224 247 033. Authentic local pub and restaurant.
Chabad Kosher Shelanu Restaurant & Deli- Great Place, 8 Břehová, ☏ +420 221 665 141. Hours: Sun- Thurs:9AM-11PM, Fri: 9AM-3PM - Friday: Sabbath dinner only by reservation, Saturday: Sabbath lunch only by reservation. starting at 110 Kč per person.
King Solomon, Široká 8, ☏ +420 2 24 81 87 52, fax: +420 2 74 86 46 64, ✉ solomon@kosher.cz. Hours: Sun. - Thurs.: 12PM-11:20PM (Kitchen closes at 10:30PM), Friday: Sabbath dinner only by reservation, Saturday: Sabbath lunch only by reservation. Kosher restaurant. 550 Kč per person. Credit card payments accepted with a 1,000 Kč minimum charge.
Dinitz Kosher Restaurant, Bilkova 12 - Prague 1 (next to the Spanish Synagogue), ☏ +420 222 244 000. 11:30 - 22:00 Shabbat Meals by prepaid reszervations. Middle Eastern specials, in this Israeli restaurant offering Glatt kosher meals. The highlight is the Famous Sampler Menu, which consists of many tapas-style plates & mixed grilled meat on skewers. business lunch 378 Kč.
Kolkovna, V Kolkovně 8, Prague 1, ☏ +420 224 819 701, fax: +420 224 819 700, ✉ info@kolkovna.cz. Offers a combination of the tradition and uniqueness of the Pilsner Urquell brand and traditional Czech cuisine fused with modern gastronomy (French, German and International influences).
Kafka Snob Food, Široká 12 (Just of Pařížská), ☏ +420 725 915 505. Good breakfast, nice place to sit at a street table with a coffee. Service can range from very good to poor depending who is working that day.
Indian Jewel, Týn 6, ☏ +420 222 310 156. Very good Indian restaurant.
Kavárna Obecní dům, náměstí Republiky 5 (In the Municipal Hall), ☏ +420 222 002 763. Good selection of food in an interesting setting.
Marina Ristorante, Alšovo nábřeží (Just south of the Mánesův bridge.), ☏ +420 605 454 020. Italian restaurant on a boat providing views across to lower town and the castle.
Cafe Restaurant Střelecky Ostrov, Střelecký ostrov 336, ☏ +420 606 750 002.
Bakeshop, Kozi 1, ☏ +420 222 316 823. A cafe with a large selection of warm drinks and cakes. Finding seating is not guaranteed during the busiest hours of the day, so check for seating before ordering unless you're planning to eat underway.
Pizza Coloseum, Ovocný Trh 8, Staré Město, ☏ +420 224 238 355. 10:00-23:30. A cozy pizzeria with a wood fired pizza oven in the center. The pizza of the house for 215 Kc is a treat. During the evening hours, it is recommendable to make a reservation since the place tends to be very crowded.
Five Rivers, Krizovnika 10, 110 00 Praha 1 (near Charles bridge and clock tower), ☏ +420 222 312 513. Every Day: 11:00 - 10:30. Family friendly Indian restaurant, bar, cafe. Menu includes vegetarian and non vegetarian starter, main course and dessert. Free Wi-Fi, historical exhibit, no selfie ban. 40-400Kč.
Restaurant Nuance, Malé náměstí 138/4 110 00 Praha 1, ☏ +420 224 247 400, ✉ info@nuancerestaurant.cz. 11.00 - 23.00. Czech cuisine and cuisines of surrounding european countries are a base for the innovative and creative meals of our chef Michal Paulík.

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Drink

Pubs (in Czech "hospoda") abound throughout Prague, and indeed are an important part of local culture. The exact brand of beer usually vary from pub to pub, and recommendations are difficult to give as natives are usually willing to argue at lengths about their preferences. The most internationally recognized beers are Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj) and Budweiser Budvar (Budějovický Budvar). There are other brands famous among Czechs like Svijany. If you are looking for a beer brewed in Prague, go for Staropramen. Usual prices for a half-liter glass are between 25 and 40 Kč, based on the brand and locality, while certain restaurants at tourist areas like the Old Town Square are known to charge more than 100 Kč for a euro-sized glass. There's also a booming craft beer scene with many brewpubs in the city.

In Prague it is customary, especially at beer halls, to sit with a group of people if there are no free tables, so go ahead and ask if you can join.

There are also numerous night-clubs in Prague. Not all of them are good, it is often quite difficult even for locals to find the right one, as some are often overpriced, empty or just bad. Locals tend to go to clubs at around midnight, mostly on Friday and Saturday, but Wednesdays and Thursdays are often also OK. In summer, any day of the week should be fine, as there are many foreigners. Most of the night-clubs are in the centre of Prague, although there are some a bit further, mostly aimed at local students. Nightclubs are generally much more expensive than pubs, with beer costing between 50 and 100 Kč. Entrance fees should be small, do not pay more than 100 Kč for entrance unless there is some really good DJ playing.

It is very common to see people drinking outside. It is forbidden to drink at many public places (you can find a map with all 837 of them here). There are however many public parks where it is not forbidden to drink and where it is very popular to drink. Young people often predrink in parks or at riversides and then head to some club in the center. Even if you drink on places where it is forbidden, police will probably not bother you, but they might use it against you if you are too disruptive to your surrounding.

Prague has also many excellent tearooms (in Czech čajovna) which serve different kinds of teas from around the world. Shishas (hookas) are often smoked in these tearooms (smoking ban does not apply to shishas) .

AghaRTA Jazz Centrum, Železna 16, ☏ +420 222 211 275, ✉ info@agharta.cz. Daily 7PM-1AM, live music from 9PM-midnight. AghaRTA is another well known jazz club, and organizer of the Prague Jazz Festival.
Al Capone's Cocktail Bar, Bartolomějská 3, ☏ +420 224 212 192. M-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Sa 6PM-3AM, Su 6PM-midnight. Al Capone's is a small and family-like bar, located in the very centre, with acceptable prices. Beer 25 Kč-70 Kč, cocktails 45 Kč-80 Kč.
Chateau Rouge, Jakubská 2, ☏ +420 222 316 328. Three-floor club in the old town. Plenty of tourists, including Americans and pub crawl groups, to be found any night of the week. free entry, Staropramen 40 Kč.
Karlovy lázně, Smetanovo nábřeží 198, ☏ +420 222 220 502, ✉ info@karlovylazne.cz. This self-styled "biggest music club in Central Europe" is right next to Charles Bridge, with 5 floors of clubs each featuring a different style of music. It is frequented by Czech teenagers and German high school students. There are security guards at the door who search entering patrons. It is more often than not incredibly dirty and filled with very young males.
Music Club Zlatý Strom, Karlova 6, ☏ +420 222 220 441. Daily 8PM-6AM. Lively half dance club, half go-go club. Watch out for the bucket mojito cocktails for 599Kč! Free entry for women.
U Zlatého Tygra (The Golden Tiger Pub), Husova 17. 3PM-11PM daily. If you aren't easily scared off by smoke so thick you can touch and mean-looking Czechs that look like they would rather shake you than share a table, then this place is a must-stop. It is almost always crowded to standing capacity but if you stop by just before closing during the week, you can usually grab a table next to a local or knowledgeable expat and have some great Pilsner Urquell for 34 Kč a half liter, a price that is almost charitably low for the city center. There's also a simple menu of snacks and mains for around 35 Kč-90 Kč. Check the picture on the wall- that's President Bill Clinton drinking here. Favored hangout of the late Czech author Bohumil Hrabal, whose bronze bust stands watch over the heads of patrons.
Barock, Pařížská 128/24, ☏ +420 23 29 221. 8:30AM-1AM. This oh so trendy bar is filled with lithesome wannabe supermodels and cool hipster dudes that accompany them. It's the place to be seen, especially while nibbling on the Japanese snacks on offer.
Restaurant Franze Kafky, náměstí Franze Kafky 24/3 (Just of the square next to Church of St. Nicolas). Pleasant place to sit with a drink and people watch in the evening when the establishments on the old town square insist on food only customers.

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Sleep

Prague has a wealth of accommodation options, many of them within walking distance of the town centre. Peak season generally runs from April to October and a major influx of visitors can be expected during New Year as well. Prices for accommodation can be up to twice as high in the peak season and reservations are advised. Otherwise, the main train station, Hlavní nádraží, has an accommodation booking service for hotels and hostels upstairs. Normally, tax and breakfast are included in the room rate.

Read our guide on the best areas to stay in Prague

Around Hlavni Nadrazi, the main train station, there are many touts offering cheap accommodation. Many are Czech residents renting part of their apartment for extra cash. Prices don't vary much between them, but some may not be trustworthy so be cautious.

Even during peak season, dorm rooms in hostels close to the city center can be had for around 350 Kč (€14) per person per night. Prague has its share of rough and ready youth hostels with a party vibe, but there are many with a more relaxed atmosphere and some housed in beautifully restored buildings as fancy as any hotel. Many hostels also offer private rooms, with or without shared bathrooms, for much cheaper than a pension or hotel room. There is a boutique design hostel movement with many hostels rivaling hotel accommodations.

For those looking for something a little different, a 'botel' (boat hotel) may be an appealing option. Usually relatively well placed, with gorgeous views. Most are moored on the south of the river in Praha 4 and 5, but the best is to stay in Prague 1, next to monuments to visit by foot, in the Lesser Town district (Mala Strana) or in the Old Town (Stare Mesto). Prices vary from €20 to €120 per person.

Apple Hostel, Náměstí Republiky 7, Králodvorská 16, ☏ +420 777 277534, ✉ applehostel@applehostel.cz. 5 min on foot to Old Town Square or Wenceslas Square. Kitchen, internet, lockers and a TV/music room. Free breakfast and no curfew. From 280Kč for a 12-bed dorm room during low season to 1190Kč for a single room with a private shower. Rates are higher at peak times.
Botel Florentina, Dvorakovo nabrezi, Pier no 7, ☏ +420 739 002 550, ✉ info@florentinaboat.cz. Boat moored close in the centre. Cruises, restaurant. Depending on season, last minute deals.
Four Seasons Hotel Prague, Veleslavínova 2a/1098, ☏ +420 221 427 000, fax: +420 221 426 000. On the river very close to the Charles Bridge. The Four Seasons is best known for having lowered the wall in front protected it from the flood. But when dry it's as close as you get on the right bank to everything in Prague. Bed and breakfast for 2 people is approximately €250, advance purchase packages are available for as low as €195 per night.
Hilton Prague Old Town, V Celnici 7, ☏ +420 221 822 100, fax: +420 221 822 100. 305 rooms, including 20 suites in a central location, 5 min walk from Palladium shopping centre. Gordon Ramsey's Maze Prague restaurant is open throughout the day. Kosher food is available.
Hotel U Tri Bubnu, U Radnice 8, ☏ +420 224 214 855, ✉ info@hotelutribubnu.cz. Well located small 3-star hotel with unique rooms.
Hotel Cerny Slon, Tynska 1, ☏ +420 222 321 521, ✉ slon@hotelcernyslon.cz. Small, family run 4-star hotel a few meters from the Old Town Square. Rooms have private bathroom, satellite TV, IDD telephone, WiFi and safety deposit boxes.
Intercontinental Prague, Náměstí Curieových 43 / 5, ☏ +420 296 631 111, fax: +420 224 811216, ✉ prague@interconti.com. One of the older Western hotels in Prague, the Intercontinental is located very close to the centre Around €160.
Marriott Hotel, V celnici 8, ☏ +420 222 888 888.
Old Prague Hostel, Benediktska 2, ☏ +420 224 829058.
Pension U Medvídků (literally: at the bear cubs, 5 min walk form Old Town), ☏ +420 224 211 916, ✉ info@umedvidku.cz. On the site of an old brewery that is now a Czech Budweiser (Budvar) restaurant, the pension building houses a brewing museum and shop. It is also connected to a smaller bar that is open until 3AM. The rooms are clean and atmospheric. Ask for a room at the very top (#43 is a good pick) to avoid street/restaurant noise. Rates are seasonal but start from around 1550 Kč/2300 Kč/3100 Kč per night for singles/doubles/triples off peak. Add an extra 10% if you want one of the beautifully restored historical rooms.
The U Prince, Staromestske namesti 29, ☏ +420 737 261 842. Comfortable beds and beautiful marble bathrooms. The terrace bar has a view of the city and Old Town Square.
Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town, Hradební 9, ☏ +420 296 398 100. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Near Old Town Square Modern equipment and services in a historic building dating back to 1930. Recently completely renovated rooms have internet, free WiFi in common areas. rooms from €68.
Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague, Jakubská 8, Prague 1, ☏ +420 221 776300. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: noon. Vibrant music and oriental aromas in the historic city centre of Prague. Rooms from €418.
Hotel Melantrich, Melantrichova 5, ☏ +420 224 235551, ✉ reception@melantrich.euroagentur.cz. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Comfortably equipped fully en-suite rooms.
Grand hotel Praha, Staroměstské náměstí 22 (opposite the Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Square), ☏ +420 606 600 583, ✉ info@grandhotelpraha.cz. Luxury hotel in a historical building. Rooms with a view of the Apostolic Clock and the Old Town Square.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wifi is available in many restaurants and most cafés, especially in larger cities. In particular, all branches of Starbucks, KFC, Gloria Jeans Coffee and Costa Coffee offer free access. You may need to ask a waiter for the passphrase. There are also some hotspots available on the streets and some city quarters (for example in Prague) offer free wifi coverage for everyone. However such coverage is usually very slow and unreliable and you may need to create an account (using a web browser and the page it is automatically redirected to) to be able to use it. In most larger cities, there are also several internet cafés available.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls
There are three main mobile phone operators using the GSM standard, their coverage is very good (except in some remote, mostly uninhabited areas). If you find using roaming with your own operator too expensive or you want to have a Czech phone number, you can buy an anonymous prepaid card from any of the three main operators.

You can call emergency numbers from any phone for free (even without any card). The universal emergency number 112 is functional and you can use it, however you will reach only a telephone operator who will need to contact the real emergency service for you. To save precious time, it is best to call directly the service you need: 150 for firefighters, 155 for medical emergency, and 158 for state police.

Post

Ceska Posta is the national postal service of the Czech Republic. It offers good services with reliable, affordable and relatively fast delivery of postcards, letters and parcels. Postcards and letters weighing up to 20g which are being sent to countries within Europe cost 17 CZK, other countries cost 18 CZK. Within the Czech Republic, prices start at 10 CZK. Opening times of post offices vary but most of them are open from around 8:00am to 6:00pm or 7:00pm Monday to Friday, closing at noon on Saturday, closed on Sunday and public holidays. Larger and/or central post offices might keep longer hours and some have English speaking staff. You can buy stamps here, or at newspaper stands, kiosks or some small (souvenir) shops. Post offices offer a few other services, like (international) money transfers as well. FEDEX, DHL, TNT and UPS offer courier services as well, with fast but relatively expensive services.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 50.087811
  • Longitude: 14.42046

Accommodation in Prague

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Prague searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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