Prague

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*Prague is my absolute favorite city in the world. I studied abroad there and I’ve spent a total of 6 months in the city.  Inside of this Prague Guide, you’ll not only learn about the city, but you’ll get my recommendations for things like — culture, food, nightlife, and things to do.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! And please check out my other posts on Prague:
10 Things to do in Prague
5 Czech Foods to Try

Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Prague
Best Czech Beers to Try
Top 10 Czech Words

General Thoughts

Prague is one of the 4 cities on earth that I call home.  It’s my favorite city on this planet, and I can confidently say that if it wasn’t for Prague, then I wouldn’t be where I am today.

After studying abroad there for 5 months in the Spring of 2012, I completely fell in love with this city and everything about it.  My semester in Prague was my very first trip overseas, and it is what opened my eyes to traveling and immersing myself in new cultures.  I’ve already been back to visit 3 times. 

The city is astonishingly beautiful- with ancient medieval castles, old-fashioned bridges across the Vltava River, and stunning medieval architecture surrounding the city. Maybe I am a bit biased, but there is just a magical feeling in the air. I will always call Prague my home, and it’ll forever have a special place in my heart.

Aside from the historic aspect, Prague is also known for its beautiful parks and beer gardens, where Czechs love to hang out with their friends and drink lots of beer.  One of the most common places that Czechs hang out on is called Petrin Hill- a huge grassy hill overlooking the Vltava River.  On a sunny day, you will see hundreds of people casually getting wasted with their friends.  In the summertime, casually getting wasted pretty much happens everyday for young Czech adults.  It’s just a thing.

In general, The Czech Republic is very cheap because their currency is the Koruna and not the Euro.  Therefore, you can be a bit more adventurous and you don’t have to feel like you are lighting money on fire.  Czech food, beer, and taxis are all extremely cheap compared to most countries in Western Europe.

Transportation in Prague is flawless.  There is an underground metro and an efficient over-ground tram system that goes everywhere.  Given that Prague is a relatively small city, it’s very easy to get from one place to another.  In fact, you can get anywhere in the city within 20 minutes on public transportation.  I prefer to travel on the above-ground tram, because it’s nice to see the beautiful architecture of Prague out the window.  The tram operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the metros close around midnight. 

Alright, let’s look at some quick facts:

Quick Facts

CuScreen Shot 2014-03-11 at 6.21.46 PMrrency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
LanguageCzech
Population: 1.3 million (city), 2 million (metro)
– Prague was founded in the 8th Century
– Prague is the historical capital of Bohemia, and the 14th largest city in the EU
– About 5 million tourists flock to Prague every year making it the 6th most visited city in Europe
– Prague Castle is the largest castle area in the world at 18 acres
– Czech people drink the most beer per capita in the world.  Each head drinks an average of 43 gallons every year
– Charles Bridge is a famous historical bridge that was built in 1357. It has 30 detailed Baroque-style statues lined up from front to back.
– Prague is separated into 10 districts
– The Czech Republic is considered one of least religious countries in the world

Culture & People

At first, you might find Czech people to be a bit unfriendly and intimidating.  They often won’t smile at you and they are usually reluctant to give you attention.  Many public areas, like the metro stations, are eerily quiet. 

However, you should really make an effort to meet Czech people because they are awesome individuals once they open up to you.  I have made dozens of Czech friends over the years visiting Prague and I still keep in touch with them to this day.  They are warming people and they are always looking to have fun. 

When it comes to partying, the Czech’s know what’s going on.  I’ve never met a more liberal culture when it comes to nightlife. On any given night of the week, I would see plenty of Czech teenagers and young adults at the bars, drinking beer after beer and joking around with their friends.  It’s kind of amazing.

 

This leads me to my favorite part of Prague culture: the BEER The Czech Republic drinks more beer per capita than any other country in the world, and Czech Beer is delicious and cheap.

The beer is actually cheaper than water (I’m not kidding), and a liter of beer will cost you about $2-4!  The touristy areas around Prague (like Old Town Square) will charge a bit more for the beer, but if you go to local bars outside of the city center, then you can get wasted for cheap.  There was a local bar 2 steps away from my old apartment and my friends and I used to go and get hammered for 100CZK ($5USD)… Not a bad deal, eh?

I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and make some new local friends! Click this link to learn the Top 10 Czech words to keep in your back pocket 😉

What to Do?

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In Prague, you will never get bored.  

No mater the day or time, there are loads of things to do. It’s one of those cities that you can just wander around by yourself and always find something cool or interesting to do.  The cobble-stoned streets around Old Town, the old historic buildings in Wenceslas Square, and the many distinct alleyways is what gives Prague such a unique feel.

You can knock out most of the touristy things in one day, because everything is centered around Old Town.  Literally you can walk from The Charles Bridge to Prague Castle, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Vyshrad and Petrin Hill in one day.   It’s great because you won’t feel so much pressure to hurry places, like most other big cities in Europe.

Trust me on this next piece of advice: go to a beer garden! 

In my old neighborhood called Namesti Miru, there was an amazing beer garden on a mountain that had the best views of the city (shown in picture).  The name of the beer garden is Riegrovy Sady.  There is an endless amount of cheap local beers, along with a café of Czech specialty dishes.  You can either sit outside at the long wooden tables (German style), or you can take your beer and snack to the huge grassy hill and have a picnic.  It was my favorite spot to hang out in Prague. In the summer, local bands will frequently have free concerts, which gives it a great cultural experience.

For a more complete list on what to do in Prague, check out my post on 10 Things to do in Prague!

Also, see my list on the Top Czech Beers to Try in Prague!

The Food

Czech Food is either hit or miss for people.  

Some love it and some people hate it.  Basically, if you like meat and potatoes- they you’ll love it.   I never got sick of the food after living there for 6 months.  The local specialty dishes are Goulash Soup, schnitzel, and beer and potatoes.

I recommend eating at a local Czech restaurant for the authentic experience.  It’s pretty cheap- no meal will cost you more than $8USD- and that includes a half-liter of beer.

If you want to learn about the best local foods, then please read my post on 5 Czech Foods to Try.

The Nightlife

I literally went out 6 nights a week when I lived in Prague.  I just couldn’t get enough.

The nightlife in Prague is incredible and rapidly growing in popularity, as people are realizing how cheap and fun this city is.  

I know all of the hotspots like the back of my hand.  There are more underground dive bars than I can count.  If you like to go clubbing, then you will have a blast in Prague.  There are dozens of fun clubs ranging from small hipster clubs to giant Ibiza-style EDM clubs.    No matter which day of the week it is, there is always a place to go out.

Don’t forget that Czech people are crazy (in a good way).  It seems like nobody in Prague has a real job, because everyone goes out drinking every night. On weekends, don’t expect to get back until the sun rises the next morning because the clubs are open late and you will be having so much fun!

If you want to know all the hotspots, then read my Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Prague!

*Thanks for reading!  Have you been to Prague before?  

*Please comment and share your experiences with me!

Related Posts about Prague
10 Things to do in Prague
5 Czech Foods to Try

Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Prague
Best Czech Beers to Try
Top 10 Czech Words

21 thoughts on “Prague

  1. My father and I will be visiting Prague for a long weekend during our 3 1/2 week trip to Europe this Summer. These posts are super helpful!

  2. Hey Drew, I am going to be in Prague for NYE 2015/2016 and am finding it difficult to work out which is the best way to spend it! I am 24 and will be with my boyfriend- we both love partying and were considering the pub crawl. Can you recommend anything? Thanks,
    Sarah

    1. Hey Sarah – def do the pub crawl! Or just walk up and down Dlouha street and go to all the fun bars and clubs there. It’s gonna be crazy on NYE. Enjoy!

  3. Nice article. I hope it will encourage some people to visit this beautiful city. Adding it to my “Central East Europe” pinterest board. Keep traveling and blogging!

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