Travel Tips

The 15 things to know before visiting Prague

Welcome my fellow travelers to the mesmerizing city of Prague! Prepare to be amazed by its rich history, architectural wonders and vibrant culture! Let me share with you some valuable insights to make the most of your visit before your journey to this mesmerizing capital of the Czech Republic.

Prague is a city of timeless beauty, where every corner reveals a story from the past. Its historic charm and architectural splendor create a captivating atmosphere that will transport you to another era. From browsing the hidden gems of Prague’s historic sites to indulging in traditional Czech cuisine.

It’s recommended to plan ahead and prioritize the attractions you want to visit. Research the historical sites, museums and neighborhoods that interest you the most. Consider booking skip-the-line or guided tours for popular sites to save time and gain deeper insights into their history.

So, let’s get started with the essential tips that will make your visit to Prague easy and memorable. Get set for creating the lasting memories as you explore the hidden treasures of Prague and let its enchantment captivate your heart.

In this comprehensive guide, we will uncover 15 key things you need to know before exploring Prague, ensuring a memorable and seamless experience.

1.       Prague’s Historic Charm:

Prepare to be captivated by Prague’s architectural wonders and preserved historical sites, including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Astronomical Clock. The city’s old-world charm is a sight to behold, so make sure to carve out ample time for exploring its hidden gems.

·       Research and prioritize the attractions you want to visit to make the most of your time in Prague.

·       Consider booking skip-the-line or guided tours for popular sites like Prague Castle or the Jewish Quarter to save time and gain deeper insights into their history.

·       Take advantage of early morning or late afternoon visits to popular attractions to avoid crowds.

2.       Best Time to Visit:

To avoid large crowds and enjoy pleasant weather, plan your trip to Prague during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and fall (September to October). The city’s mild climate during these periods allows for comfortable exploration and picturesque views.

·       Prague experiences cold winters, so pack warm clothing, including a coat, hat, gloves, and scarf if visiting during the colder months.

·       Summers can be warm, so bring lightweight and breathable clothing, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

3.       Local Currency:

The official currency of Prague is the Czech koruna (CZK). While many establishments accept credit cards, it’s advisable to carry some cash, especially for small vendors and public transportation.

·       Compare exchange rates at different offices or banks to get the best deal.

·       Avoid exchanging money at the airport or in heavily touristy areas as they often have higher fees.

·       Be cautious of street currency exchange services, as they may have unfavorable rates or try to scam unsuspecting tourists.

4.       Language:

Czech language is the official language in Czech Republic. However, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels and restaurants. We recommend you learn a few basic Czech phrases, such as greetings and polite expressions. It will enhance your interactions with the locals.

·       Learn a few basic Czech phrases such as greetings (“dobrý den” for hello) and thank you (“děkuji”) to show respect and enhance your interactions with locals.

·       English is widely spoken in tourist areas, but attempting to communicate in Czech will be appreciated by locals.

5.       Getting Around:

Prague boasts an efficient public transportation system. It includes trams, buses, and the metro. It makes easy to browse and navigate the city and reach your desired destinations without delays or problem. Here are some options to get around.

·   Prague Card: Purchase a Prague Card, which provides unlimited access to public transportation. This card offers free entry to major attractions as well.

·   Walking: Prague’s historic center is best explored on foot. The city’s compact size and beautiful streets make walking an enjoyable way to discover hidden gems and take in the architectural wonders. Wear comfortable shoes and  wander through charming neighborhoods and across iconic bridges.

·   Bike Rentals: Renting a bike is an excellent way to explore Prague. You can easily rent a bike in the rental shops or apps. Renting a bike for a few hours or a full day gives you the freedom to discover Prague self-paced way, stopping whenever and wherever you want.

things to know before visiting Prague

6.       Safety Precautions:

In general, Prague is a safe city. However, like any other popular tourist destination, it’s wise to remain vigilant. Keep an eye on your things in busy areas and avoid dark, isolated streets at night.

·   Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded tourist areas like Charles Bridge or the Astronomical Clock square.

·   Be cautious of pickpockets and keep valuables secure in front pockets or cross-body bags.

·   Avoid walking alone in poorly lit or isolated areas, particularly at night.

7.       Tipping Culture:

Tipping is customary in Prague, with 10% being the standard gratuity for good service in restaurants. It’s polite to round up taxi fares and leave a small tip for hotel staff and tour guides as well.

·   In restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of around 10% of the total bill for good service.

·   When tipping, you can round up the bill or leave small change.

·   If you receive exceptional service, feel free to leave a slightly larger tip to show appreciation.

8.       Traditional Czech Cuisine:

Indulge in the flavors of Czech cuisine, which often features hearty. Don’t forget to sample some famous Czech beer, which holds a special place in the local culture.

·       Don’t miss the chance to try traditional Czech dishes like goulash, svíčková (marinated beef), trdelník (sweet pastry), and hearty soups.

·       Sample Czech beer, which is an integral part of the local culture, and visit traditional pubs or microbreweries for an authentic experience.

·       Explore local markets, such as Havelské Tržiště, for fresh produce and traditional snacks.

9.       Must-Visit Neighborhoods:

Apart from the popular tourist areas, Prague has vibrant neighborhoods with distinct atmospheres. Here are some brief tips to help you make the most of your exploration:

·   Vinohrady: This trendy neighborhood is known for its hip bars, cozy cafes, and beautiful parks. Have a walk, sip on a cup of aromatic coffee in the lively atmosphere.

·   Žižkov: If you’re looking for an alternative scene, Žižkov is the place to be. Explore its bohemian streets with street art, visit quirky bars. Enjoy the local vibe in this neighborhood.

·   Malá Strana: Wander through the charming cobblestone streets of Malá Strana, known for its picturesque architecture and historic landmarks. Admire the magnificent Prague Castle, explore the Lesser Town Square, and savor the romantic ambiance.

·   Holešovice: Discover the artistic side of Prague in the Holešovice neighborhood. Visit contemporary art galleries, check out trendy design shops, and explore the bustling market at the Prague Market Hall.

·   Letná: For stunning panoramic views of Prague, head to Letná. This neighborhood offers breathtaking vistas of the city, a vast park perfect for a relaxing picnic, and an iconic beer garden where you can unwind with a cold drink.

·   Karlín: Experience the revitalized Karlín neighborhood, known for its modern architecture, stylish restaurants, and trendy cafes. Explore its vibrant streets and savor delicious culinary delights.

 things to know before visiting Prague

10.   Cultural Etiquette:

Respect local customs and traditions by dressing modestly when visiting churches or religious sites.

It’s also customary to greet people with a handshake and maintain eye contact during conversations.

·       Prague is known for its fashion-conscious locals, so dress stylishly and avoid overly casual attire when visiting upscale venues like fine-dining restaurants or the National Theater.

·       Pack comfortable walking shoes as the city is best explored on foot, and consider carrying a light jacket or umbrella for unexpected weather changes.

11.   Day Trips from Prague:

Take advantage of Prague’s central location and plan day trips to nearby attractions such as Karlštejn Castle, Kutná Hora’s bone church, or the picturesque town of Český Krumlov. These excursions offer a glimpse into the Czech Republic’s diverse beauty. Here are a few ideas for memorable day trips from Prague:

·   Karlštejn Castle: Embark on a journey to the magnificent Karlštejn Castle. Its located less than an hour from Prague. This Gothic masterpiece nestled amidst lush forests will transport you to a bygone era of knights and royalty.

·   Kutná Hora: Explore the historic town of Kutná Hora. It’s known for its UNESCO-listed sites, including the mesmerizing Sedlec Ossuary adorned with bone sculptures. Marvel at the beauty of St. Barbara’s Church and soak in the medieval atmosphere.

·   Český Krumlov: Step into a fairy tale in Český Krumlov. It’s a picturesque town with a well-preserved medieval center. Stroll along the winding streets, visit the stunning Český Krumlov Castle and cruise along the Vltava River for breathtaking views.

·   Terezín Memorial: Delve into the poignant history of Terezín Memorial. Its a former Nazi concentration camp. Pay tribute to the victims and gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust through exhibitions and guided tours.

·   Karlovy Vary: Indulge in the healing powers of natural hot springs in the elegant spa town of Karlovy Vary. Enjoy luxurious spa treatments, explore the charming colonnades, and sample the famous herbal liqueur, Becherovka.

12.   Museums and Art Galleries:

Prague boasts an array of world-class museums and art galleries. Prague is a heaven for art and culture enthusiasts. Explore Czech’s history, art and culture through these enriching experiences. Here are a few tips which might helpful for your itinerary:

·   Plan your visits: Research the museums and galleries you’re interested in and plan your itinerary accordingly. Take note of their opening hours, special exhibitions and any guided tours or events they offer.

·   Museum passes: Consider purchasing a museum pass or combination ticket if you plan to visit multiple museums. These passes often provide discounted admission and can save you money, especially if you’re an art enthusiast.

·   Guided tours: Many museums and galleries offer guided tours led by knowledgeable experts. Joining a guided tour can enhance your understanding of the artwork, history, and context behind the exhibits. Check the schedules and availability in advance.

·   Check for discounts: Some museums and galleries offer discounted admission for students, seniors, or specific time slots. Don’t forget to bring your student ID or any relevant identification to take advantage of these discounts.

·   Photography policies: Before snapping photos, be aware of the museum or gallery’s photography policy. While some allow photography without flash, others may prohibit it altogether. Respect the rules to preserve the artworks and maintain a peaceful atmosphere for all visitors.

·   Audio guides: If available, consider renting an audio guide. These devices provide detailed explanations and commentary about the artworks, allowing you to delve deeper into the artistic narratives and historical significance.

·   Support the museums: Consider making a donation or purchasing souvenirs from the museum shops to support the preservation and continuation of these cultural institutions.

13.   Festivals and Events:

Check the city’s event calendar before your visit to Prague, as it hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year. The Prague Spring International Music Festival, Prague Christmas Markets, and the Bohemian Carnevale are just a few examples of the vibrant celebrations that offer a unique cultural experience.

·       Check the city’s event calendar to plan your visit around festivals or events that interest you.

·       Book tickets for popular events in advance, especially during peak seasons, as they can sell out quickly

14.   Embrace the Enchantment:

Prague is a city that will truly captivate your heart. Here are some recommendations:

·   Follow the Cobblestones: Take the time to wander off the beaten path and explore the enchanting cobblestone streets. You never know what hidden gems you might stumble upon!

·   Capture the Golden Hour: Prague is known for its breathtaking sunsets. Find a cozy spot along the Vltava River. Take a photo of the mesmerizing vistas in the golden light.

·   Seek Local Recommendations: Don’t be afraid to ask the locals for their favorite spots to eat, drink, or relax. They often hold the key to hidden cafes, quaint bookstores, or charming parks that are off the tourist radar.

·   Experience a River Cruise: Take a leisurely cruise along the Vltava River and admire Prague’s stunning architecture from a different perspective. It’s a serene way to soak in the city’s beauty.

·   Uncover Street Art: Prague is a canvas for talented street artists. Keep an eye out for colorful murals and graffiti as you explore the neighborhoods, adding an artistic touch to your journey.

·   Join a Walking Tour: Gain fascinating insights into Prague’s history and legends by joining a guided walking tour. Knowledgeable guides will bring the city’s stories to life and take you to hidden spots.

15.   Souvenir Shopping:

Don’t miss the opportunity to bring home a piece of Prague’s charm with you. Look for traditional Czech souvenirs like Bohemian crystal, wooden puppets, handmade jewelry, and local crafts at popular shopping areas such as Na Příkopě Street and Old Town Square.

·   Look for traditional Czech souvenirs like Bohemian crystal, wooden toys, hand-painted ceramics, or marionettes.

·   Avoid buying souvenirs from street vendors or unlicensed shops, as the quality may be questionable.

·   Shop at reputable stores, markets, or galleries to find authentic and quality Czech products.

visiting prague

Prague, with its historic allure and cultural richness. It’s a destination that offers something for everyone. By equipping yourself with these 15 essential tips. We hope this guide will help you to be well prepared.  Navigate the city, explore its charm and create lasting memories during your visit. This city offers a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Embrace the enchantment of Prague and let it captivate and amaze you as you explore its hidden treasures.

So pack your bags and arm yourself with this tips, prepare to be captivated by Prague and lets get started to create unforgettable memories.

Stay tuned for more travel tips, hidden gems, and exciting adventures to inspire your wanderlust.

Also you can read The best things to do in Prague