Practical tips for your trip to Prague

You wanna go to Prague to enjoy what it has to offer to the fullest, right? So let me as a local cover a few practical tips for you that you should know so you can spend your time exploring Prague beauties and no need to worry about these things.

Let’s have a look at things you should know before you actually go to Prague, such as when to go to Prague, how to get to Prague, where to stay in Prague, if you should exchange money in advance, if you need a visa etc.

And following with practical tips to know when you are in Prague such as how to get from the Prague airport, how to get around Prague, which mobile apps will be useful for your stay in Prague and so much more.

So here it is, let’s dive into it.

Everything you need to know before you go to Prague

Are you planning your trip to Prague? Good for you! You won’t regret it. But before you go, make sure you have covered and considered everything listed below.

How to get to Prague

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is located right in the heart of whole Europe. You can reach it either by plane, train, bus or of course by a car.

Travelling by plane

There is a modern international airport – Václav Havel Airport Prague – that right now operates direct flights to approx. 115 destinations offered by 45 airlines. That makes Prague very reachable by a plane from all over the world either by direct flight or with transfers.

For budget travelling there are several low budget airlines that operate in Prague such as RyanAir, EasyJet, WizzAir, Vueling and more. For overseas flights from the US you can use services such as Delta Airlines, KLM, Air France.

Check SkyPlanner or Kiwi.com to find the best route options and cheap flights to Prague from your destination. Did you know that Kiwi.com is actually a Czech company based in Brno? 🙂

Speaking of Brno, there are more international airports in the Czech Republic, for example in Brno, Ostrava or Pardubice. But they are way smaller and offer limited flight routes and destinations compared to Prague (but you can check them as well, they might operate just your destination). 

If you can’t find any suitable plane route directly to Prague, you can also check nearby airports abroad that have good train or bus connections to Prague. That might be Dresden, Nuremberg, Vienna, Bratislava or Wroclaw.

Already in Prague looking for how to get from the airport to the city center? See the guide below.

Travelling by train

Are you planning to visit more European cities at once? In some cases it might be more convenient to use a train instead of a plane. For example from Vienna, Bratislava, Dresden the journey takes just a few hours and so in many cases it’s faster than plane connection. You can also check direct train connections to Munich, Berlin, Košice, Budapest, Linz – the journey is a little bit longer but still can be more convenient than a flight. 

Prague Main train station is located right in the city centre just a few minutes walk from Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square). You can use the Czech National Railways České dráhy or private railways RegioJet (my favourite one) or Leo Express for international journeys. The best way to check your train connections and routes is on Omio.com or Trainline.com. For international and also all local train connections check IDOS.cz/en.

Travelling by bus

To near capitals and cities abroad and also in Czech it can be the best to take a bus, because it can be the cheapest and sometimes also faster than any other means of transport when there is no direct railway or flight connection. To reach other European cities you can use FlixBus, RegioJet and other services. The best way to check your bus connections and routes is on Omio.com. Are you looking for a combination of train and bus? Check IDOS.cz/en.

Travelling by car

Of course you can come to Prague by car. There are several highways leading to the Czech capital city. Not all of them are connected directly to neighbouring countries. But that is an opportunity to enjoy nice countryside views along the way. 

Czech highways are subject to toll and you’ll need to pay for an electric vignette. In 2022 the Czech toll rates are:

  • 1500 CZK (60 EUR) for a year validation,
  • 440 CZK (18 EUR) for a month or,
  • 310 CZK (13 EUR) for 10 days. 

Please make sure to get the electronic vignette in advance online on the official website edalnice.cz/en. It is easy and fast. Or check here the official sales point and self-service kiosks. Do not buy it in any other place as it might be a tourist trap.

There are special “ECO rates” with prices reduced to half applicable if your car is fueled in some eco way such as natural gas or biomethan (for LPG applies standard rates) and the highways are completely free for electric vehicles, vehicles powered by hydrogen or hybrid vehicles, and also historical vehicles. For more details check the official website edalnice.cz/en.

There are no low emission zones in Prague so you can enter the city and the city centre as well. But remember there are paid parking zones in the vast majority of Prague so you will have to deal with parking (there are exceptions with no parking zones in the peripheries).

You have several options on how to deal with parking in Prague. Either you will book an accommodation with private parking option, you will leave your car at the edge of Prague on one of many P+R parking spots (find out more here) and continue to city centre by public transport, or you drive in to the centre and use one of the more expensive parking garages there. You can also park your car on the street and pay an hourly rate, but the amount of hours is limited (depends on the particular place). Find out more info on street parking on the official website parkujvklidu.cz/english.

Accommodation in Prague

Of course you have plenty of accommodation options in Prague that depend on your preferences – location, budget etc. So let’s start with the location! If you wanna be right in the city centre within walkable distance to the historical centre check Malá strana (The Lesser Quarter) or Staré město (The Old Town City). But be sure that these parts will be pretty busy and crowded. If you prefer something more calm and local but still very close to the centre, try Letná district, Karlín, Vinohrady, Dejvice, Bubeneč or Holešovice. 

I’ve picked up several hotels, hostels and Airbnbs that I recommend. Here are few tips:
budget hostel Plus Prague Hostel in Holešovice with swimming pool (night for 9 EUR)
design hotel: Hotel Josef in the Old Town (night for 130 EUR)
apartment with a view: Pretty Woman studio (2 nights for 290 EUR)
unconventional stay: Houseboat on Vltava river with Vyšehrad castle view (2 nights for 180 EUR)
unique stay: One Room Hotel in 70 m height in Žižkov Television Tower (night for 550 EUR on weekday, 850 EUR on weekend days)

How many days do you need for Prague

If you’re planning your Prague trip and don’t know for how long you should stay in Prague, I would recommend going for at least 3 or 4 days (2 or 3 nights). Of course you can enjoy the top Prague attractions in less time if Prague is a stop over destination or you’re in a hurry for any other reason.

But make sure you will come back for longer! 3 to 4 days are the best to have enough time to explore the main attraction and don’t be under time pressure. But you can stay for a week or two and still have plenty of options of what to see and what to do!

Weather in Prague and the best time to go

If it was up to me, I would go to Prague during spring time or autumn time, as it is my most favourite seasons of the year for enjoying Prague. There are a lot of parks and trees that make Prague more beautiful while they are blooming in spring and while they’re turning into the beautiful autumn palette colours.

The weather is also the most pleasant in spring and autumn, because it’s neither too hot, nor too cold. In summer the temperature can be around 30 degrees Celsius (86°F), in the winter, the temperature can be around 0°C (32°F) but also can drop lower. But! Prague covered with snow is also beautiful. And you can even cross country ski right in Prague :). So there is literally nothing that can stop you to enjoy Prague throughout the whole year.

Czech National Holidays

I always forget to check the dates of national holidays in the country I’m travelling to and sometimes I’m very surprised. Are you guilty of this too? Well, here you are. You’re welcome.

2022 Czech National Holidays

1 January – Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State, New Year’s Day
15 April – Good Friday (flexible date)
18 April – Easter Sunday (flexible date)
1 May – Labour Day
8 May – Liberation Day
5 July – Saint Cyril and Methodius Day
6 July – Jan Hus Day
28 September – St. Wenceslas Day, Statehood Day
28 October – Independent Czechoslovak State Day (created in 1918)
17 November – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
24 December – Christmas Eve
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – 2nd Day of Christmas

There are two “types” of national holidays when it comes to how it affects the opening hours of shops bigger than 200 square metres. On these dates large shops have to be closed by law:

1 January
18 April
8 May
28 September
28 October
24 December (shops are open in the morning, closing at noon at the latest)
25 December
26 December

On the other national holidays it might be open (and usually is), but it depends on the owner.

Travel insurance

If you’re travelling abroad, make sure you always have your travel insurance! It is an essential thing for travelling and you should never leave your country without proper travel insurance, because it can save you a lot of trouble.

Czech Currency

In the Czech Republic we have Czech crowns (CZK) because we’re not part of the euro area even though we’re in the European Union. You don’t really need to exchange your money in advance. 

You can easily pay with your card almost everywhere. If you need cash you can withdraw Czech crowns from an ATM. But please try not to use Euronet ATMs if possible because they will try to trick you into paying way more than necessary. It is safer to use the ATMs of Czech banks to be sure such as Česká spořitelna (Erste Group), Komerční banka or KB (Société Générale), Fio Banka, AirBank, ČSOB, UniCredit Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Equa bank or Moneta.

If this is not a good solution for you because of your bank fees, you can use an exchange office here in Prague. But beware, there are some that can give you a very very bad exchange rate. From my own experience I can recommend e.g. EXCHANGE in Kaprova street very close to the Old Town Square (where the astronomical clocks are).

Never ever exchange your money on the street (even if it is in front of an exchange office, that is actually an even bigger red flag). Always take a transaction receipt and remember that according to law you have a right to return the transaction back within three hours. If somehow you happen to fall into a trap or scam, call municipal police 156.

Car Rental

I don’t think that you will need a car in Prague, you can just walk or use the public transport for a longer distance. But if it is really necessary for you to have a car for your whole stay, you may want to book it in advance for better rates. Check rentalscars.com for best deals. Remember that with a rented car you will probably have to deal with parking (check the paragraph above about arriving in Prague with a car). 

For short term rentals in terms of minutes, hours and days you can use car sharing services such as Anytime (which I really love and use all the time), Uniqway (I’m a big fan of this project) or Car4way. The huge advantage of car sharing can definitely be fact that you don’t have to worry about parking, but it depends on terms of particular company.

Practical tips when you’re in Prague

Already in Prague? Hurray! Let’s check some tips that might be useful for you during your stay in Prague.

At the Prague airport

There are two main public terminals at Václav Havel Airport Prague. Terminal 1 (T1) serves for intercontinental flights such as flights to US, Canada, South America or Asia and also for non-Schengen flights such as flights to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ukraine, Romania and Turkey. Terminal 2 (T2) operates European flights within the Schengen area. The third terminal T3 serves for charter, cargo and private flights. Both terminals T1 and T2 are very close to each other approx. 5 minutes walking distance and are connected via airport building. So you don’t need to be worried that you’ll miss your flight if you arrive at the wrong terminal on your way back home.

The official website of Prague airport is prg.aero where you can check arrivals, departures and flight status. I recommend signing up for SMS notification about your flight. Upon arrival you’ll get a message with the number of a belt where you can collect your luggage. Upon departure you’ll receive updates about the status of your flight – opening of check-in, opening of gate and gate number, last call and gate closure. I find it very practical and use it every time.

How to get from the Prague airport

If you arrive in Prague by plane you’ll land at Václav Havel Airport Prague in Ruzyně district (northwestern edge of Prague). The best way to get to the city centre is to use public transport because it’s fast, cheap and it operates every few minutes. 

The fastest way will in most cases be taking bus 119 that will take you to green line A metro stop Nádraží Veleslavín. The other options are bus 191 that will take you to green line A metro stop Petřiny (but it is a longer ride) or bus 100 that will take you to yellow line B metro stop Zličín. From the metro stop you’re in the city centre in a few minutes. 

You can also take a taxi – the official airport taxis based on an agreement with the airport are Fix taxi and Taxi Praha or you can use services such as Uber or Bolt.

For more information you can check out my article The best way how to get around Prague.

How to get from main train station and bus station

The main train station in Prague is called “Praha hl.n.” or “Hlavní nádraží” and is located very close to the city centre. It is served by metro line C stop “Hlavní nádraží” and also with trams and buses.

The Florenc bus station where most of the international buses or coaches end is also close to the city centre and is very well served by public transport. There are 2 metro lines – yellow line B and red line C, trams and buses.

You can check my article The best way how to get around Prague for more detailed information.

How to get around Prague

I couldn’t recommend using Prague public transport more. It really is very reliable, cheap, fast, clean… Everything you really need. 🙂 You can use trams, metro, buses and also trains and for more adventure rides there are historical trams, ferries and funicular.

The second best option is to use bike sharing platform Rekola (I love it cause it’s local and it’s pink) or NextBike. If you really have to, there are also Lime scooters, but please, just don’t. It’s not safe to ride them on a street (where you should ride them), nor on the pedestrian walks.

You can get a taxi ride, where you can choose from Uber, Bolt or try Liftago which is a local app that lets you choose a driver according to his or her rating, price etc.

If you wanna drive on your own, for short and mid term lease you can use car sharing services such as Anytime (I use it very often and just love it), Uniqway or Car4way or for mid and long term you can rent a car – check out the options on rentalscars.com. There is also an electric scooter sharing company BeRider so you can try these, if you’re not afraid of Prague traffic.

But in fact, you can really discover most of the city by just simply walking. Everything in the city centre is pretty close and within a pleasant walking distance. You can discover so much more when you’re exploring the city on foot! Beautiful houses in tiny streets, hidden cosy cafés, old statues or modern street art and much more.

Moreover it is good to know that as a pedestrian, you have a priority at pedestrian crossing and a car driver must stop and give you right of way. But beware that trams have priority over pedestrians even at crossings.

And the second good tip to know is that last metro goes around midnight. After that you can use night trams and buses

Check The best way how to get around Prague for more information.

Tap water and public fountains with drinking water

Tap water is perfectly suitable for drinking in Prague and it actually tastes good so you don’t need to be afraid of drinking it and you don’t need to buy bottled water. That saves your money and also the environment. Win win. 🙂 Moreover you can bring your bottle and refill it on many public fountains with drinking water in Prague. You can find a map of them on mapy.cz/en. If you have Mapy.cz mobile app as I recommend below, just type and search for “drinking water”. Cheers!

If you’re in need of bottled water the bottle with natural water is marked with blue and says “neperlivá”, slightly sparkling water is green and called “jemně perlivá” and sparkling water is red “perlivá”.

Public toilets

Mapy.cz mobile app is also a perfect source for finding a public toilet near you. Search for “public toilet” within the app or take a look on online map: mapy.cz/en. Some of them are paid (10 to 20 CZK which is less than 1 EUR), some of them are for free. The opening hours are limited. You can usually find a public toilet in metro station lobbies, train stations, commercial centres etc.

Drinking alcohol in public, smoking in Prague

Speaking of public – it might be also useful to know that there are places where it is banned to drink alcohol in public. So you won’t get in trouble. Because you know, ignorance of law is not an excuse. It is forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages in over 800 certain designated public places. Generally they are these places and their surroundings: metro stations, schools, playgrounds, public transport stops, healthcare facilities, commercial centres, parks and Prague islands. You can check the places marked in a map here.

When it comes to smoking it is not allowed to smoke in restaurants, cafés, bars and any other indoor places. You can usually smoke in an outside seating of a restaurant or café. It is also forbidden to smoke on public transport stops.

Tipping

In the Czech Republic it is common to leave a tip, if you were satisfied with a service (restaurant, bar, café, taxi etc.). Usually it is around 10% of the bill amount.

Shopping groceries, cosmetics

If you need to shop for groceries, there are supermarkets like Lidl, Billa, Albert, Tesco and hypermarkets Globus, Kaufland, Tesco. In the city centre you can find small grocery shops called Žabka.

For cosmetics look for drugstores like dm drogerie, Rossmann and Teta Drogerie. Shops usually operate every day till 9 or 10 pm (depends on the location). You can find branches of Billa supermarket also at the airport and at the main train station.

Medical Emergency, Emergency pharmacies

If you need to call an emergency there is one emergency number 112 for all parts of the integrated rescue system (police, firefighters and paramedics). The operators speak several languages (English for sure). You don’t need a SIM card or credit for dialling 112.

If you need just one particular service, you can also dial:
150 for firefighters
155 for paramedics
158 for state police
156 for municipal police

If something happens to you and you need a medical emergency, but don’t need an ambulance, you can reach the special foreigners’ department at the Motol University Hospital. Large Prague hospitals also have an emergency department, you can reach these emergencies for adults as well as for children according to your location:
Motol University Hospital (Fakultní nemocnice v Motole)
Military University Hospital (Ústřední vojenská nemocnice) 
Thomayer Hospital (Thomayerova nemocnice)
Bulovka Hospital (Nemocnice na Bulovce)
Vinohrady Hospital (Fakultní nemocnice Královské Vinohrady)  

Teeth can hurt pretty bad so if you need to see a dentist immediately, check out these dentist emergencies:
Dental emergency service for adults:
Municipal Health centre Prague (Městská poliklinika Praha)
Thomayer Hospital (Thomayerova nemocnice)

Dental emergency service for children and adolescents up to 18 years:
University Hospital Motol (Fakultní nemocnice v Motole)

There are several nonstop or late night emergency pharmacies in Prague. Usually the large Prague hospitals have one and there are few others. You can check them marked in a map together with all medical emergencies mentioned above.

Luggage storage

Need to get rid of your suitcase or backpack and go explore the city? No problem, you can store your luggage at the airport (in Terminal 2 departures hall) and in the city centre at Main Railway Station, Masaryk Railway Station, Florenc Coach Station or you can use private services such as:
EasyLocker Prokopská 625/3, Prague 1
Luggage Storage Havlíčkova 2, Prague 1 and Olivova 7, Praha 1
Luggage Prague Haštalská 12, Praha 1

Shopping malls in the city centre like Palladium, Quadrio, Nový Smíchov and Flora don’t have luggage storage. You can find self-service lockers in shopping malls Galerie Harfa, Metropole Zličín and Centrum Černý Most.

SIM cards and mobile data in Prague

If you are an EU citizen, you should be fine with your home mobile and data tariff. If it is not your case or you just need more data, you can check these deals from local providers, that are Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile and several smaller ones. The best deals in terms of mobile data from the biggest providers are:
Vodafone 10 GB for 800 CZK (33 EUR) or 20 GB for 1299 CZK (53 EUR)
O2 5 GB for 449 CZK (18 EUR) or 20 GB for 1499 CZK (61 EUR)

So you can choose what works for you the best according to your data usage. If you’re arriving at the Prague airport the easiest way will be buying a SIM card from Vodafone, because they have a branch on the airport at Terminal 2. There is a machine that operates 24/7.

That’s it!

I hope you’ve found here some practical information that will help you with your Prague trip. Is there something else you would like to know? Leave it in the comment section below. Enjoy your stay in Prague!

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