5 Tips for visiting Prague on a low budget
Prague is the Paris of the ’90s. – Marion Ross
Our 3 days 4 nights visit in Prague for less than 200 euro per person from Germany during easter holiday season.
Prague the capital city of Czech Republic, a long standing historical city which has over 700 years’ history behind its enormous amount of gothic style castles, churches and governmental settlements. It’s mystical, beautiful, cultural and more importantly affordable. Except for the old town area (specifically around old town square), it’s possibly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Prague. The prices of restaurants, cafes and hotels around are artificially and significantly inflated due to it’s flourished tourism industry.
My in laws still remember the past when Czech Republic had only just opened its door to the rest of the world after a long and presumably painful domination by the Soviet Union. Everything was cheap back then, Prague offered its true self to the world wide visitors with its local boutiques, authentic Czechs culinary and local customs. A weekend trip to Prague used to be an unbelievable bargain for many European travellers. Since then Prague has reinvent itself, evolved and became a cultural centre of the whole Europe.
Here is our holiday saving tips below for a romantic weekend trip for two in Prague:
1. DB Bahn offers cheap train and bus tickets to Prague
While this easter holiday season was quickly approaching us, we had only one week to decide where to go, away from Karlsruhe and Heilbronn. It’s unthinkable for us to spend 4 days doing nothing but watching TV whole day at home. Our searching however had proven to be unfruitful. There were really cheap flights with Ryanair from Baden-Baden to London (25 euro), but the return ticket would have costed over 100 euro. What a rip off!
Luckily, in the end Yogi found a really good deal with DB Bahn to Prague (29 euro). It’s called Sparpreis Europa, basically it means money saving. We use a price comparison APP called “GoEuro” for comparing prices among all transportation methods: buses, flights, trains and car sharing within Europe. In total, we spent 150 euro for the trains and buses for two people, which is a bit cheaper than driving ourselves. On top of that we did not have to worry about traffic jam and parking. Apparently it’s almost impossible to find a parking in Prague.
We left from Heilbronn, Germany around 9.30am in the morning and arrived in Prague, Czech Republic at 17.18 (5.18pm). I know the train ride seems long, but we had 2 stops in between, one at Öhringen and one at Nürnberg. The train ride was very relaxing, on time and without any hassles. We took a IC Bus from Nürnberg, which is also run by DB Bahn. There were real fast WIFI on board, which made me super happy.
2. Definitely use public transportations: metro and buses in Prague
I know it’s no surprise that public transportations are suppose to be cheap, however after comparing with many other European countries, Prague probably has one of the best and cheapest public transport services in the whole Europe. It costs less than 1 euro (24czk) for one way ticket within 60 mins. You can use it for metro, trams and even buses within that zone and time period. A daily ticket costs for only 3-4 euro (100czk). The metro and trams come really often, between every 5-10 mins, but closing early around midnight.
3. Buy single tickets instead of daily tickets when visiting the popular old town area
This tip is only for people who have lots of time and enjoy hiking. Most of the sightseeing spots, such as Charles Bridge, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague astronomical clock, the old town square are situated in old town area within walking distance.
Take C or A metro line, get off from Muzeum station. It’s also an option to get off from Mustek station by taking line A or B. The rest are all depending on how far you can walk. For us it wasn’t much effort to reach every important sightseeing spots on the same day by foot. It only left us with some seriously sour feet and legs, but we were fit again on the next day, and proudly continued with another 10 km hike.
Only buy daily ticket if you want to visit somewhere further away from the city centre, such as SAPA which is a vietnamese quarter in Prague. It opens everyday even on holidays.
4. Change your money to czk and change it at Palladium shopping centre
It’s not a problem to pay with euro in many shops and supermarkets, but the rate is usually very bad, around 24-25 czk for 1 euro plus 5% commissions. The only exception is at the Burger King of Prague train station which gives you 26 czk for 1 euro. However by law you can’t give a note of more than double of the amount you want to pay, in order to get money exchanged. For example, we ordered 2 meals from the Burger King which costed around 10 euros. We were unable to pay with a 50 euro note, but a 20 euro note. (By the way, movie cinemas in Prague only accept czk, so get your money ready before going there.)
We tried different places in Prague to change our euro to czk. The best and safest shop is in Palladium shopping centre at the underground level. You can ask the information desk there for the exact location. They give you 26 czk for 1 euro with no commission. At the beginning we changed 30 euro at the UniCredit Bank which gave us 722 czk. It’s also not too bad to change at our hotel 20 euro gave us 495 czk. You can do the math yourself.
5. The last but not least, don’t eat at the restaurant who marketing themselves as Czech food
The restaurant prices in Prague are generally reasonable, sometime could even be a bit cheaper than the prices in Germany. We went to U Medvidku hotel for some authentic Czech goulash and some fatty pork for lunch. There were lots of tourists because it’s appearance in Anthony Bourdain’s food show. However there were also many locals who only went there for a bottle of beer and read their newspapers.
Those sausage stands on the street and at easter fest around Muzeum station are also tasty and cheap. I recommend you to try the vietnamese restaurants in Prague, they are also quality and at a reasonable price, about 90-110czk for a bowl of pho.
Hope you enjoy my travel tips and have a great time in Prague. There is nothing like Prague. Drop me an Email or leave your comments below anytime.
I really love your blog and youtube channel. The duojiao recipe inspired me. I’ve been to changsha and chongqing a few times and love huajiao and lajiao!
Thanks Winston! Sorry for my late reply. Who doesn’t love huajiao & lajiao! I couldn’t live without them.