Guide to Prague – all you need to know before visiting

Prague is the capital city of Czech Republic and has played a huge role in European history from its foundation onwards. With almost 8 million visitors per year, Prague has a lot to offer to tourists in every season. I was there in February and it blew my mind at every step I took there. Here you can find the ultimate travel guide to Prague, all you need to know before visiting this wonderful city and what to see and do here.

What to see

Charles Bridge

Built between the 14th and 15th century, this beautiful bridge crosses the Vltava river and offers you one of the best views of Prague Castle. Be quick if you want to see it without anything on the arches: repairs will start in late 2019 and are supposed to take 20 years. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to walk on the bridge, but if you want to take pictures of the bridge, you might need to photoshop the arches a bit (ok now I’m kidding a bit).

Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral

Built in the 9th century, it is the largest castle in the world and one of the most visited by tourists. That said, you’d better book your tour beforehand. Unfortunately we didn’t book it on time and we saw only the part that was accessible for free. Here you can find more about it.
In the same area you can visit St. Vitus Cathedral for free. Built 5 centuries later than the castle, it has a typical gothic style. It is majestic and definitely one of my favourite cathedrals along with Uppsala’s Domkyrka and Cologne’s.
This is the official website of the cathedral.

Church of our Lady before Týn

Located a few steps away from the Old Town Square, the church of our Lady before Týn is your basic postcard monument and an example of gothic architecture just like St. Vitus Cathedral. Pictures inside were not permitted, so I guess you have to go there yourself to see how beautiful and majestic it is. The entrance is free.

Old town Hall with Astronomical Clock

The Astronomical Clock is so suggestive that it is one of the things you cannot miss in Prague. However, if you want to see one of the best views over the city, then visit the Old town Hall. I thought it was smaller but it was actually very interesting and if you go up the tower, you will see the spectacular old town square and the Church of our lady before Týn from a totally different perspective. I believe that the price increases year by year, in early 2019 the entrance costed around 150 CZK/6€ for students (perks of being a student in Europe, I guess!) and 250 CZK/10€ for a standard ticket.

Dancing House

Definitely one of the most interesting pieces of architecture, the Dancing House (Tančící dům in Czech) is not exactly one of those historical monuments Prague is worth visiting for. However, if you like unusual things, this building is for you! The only part that tourists can visit is the ninth floor, where a restaurant is currently located. I haven’t tried this restaurant (yet!) but rest assured that the view must be gorgeous.

Mucha Museum

I literally cried when I visited this small museum since Mucha is definitely one of my favourite artists ever. That’s also where I learned how to actually pronounce his name. Prague is the city of Art Nouveau and of course Mucha is one of the highest representative of this style.

Here you can find more about admission fees and opening hours, and you can even request a guided tour (highly recommended!).

(This picture was taken outside the museum)

There are so many other things to see that I’d suggest you to spend here at least 5 days. I will have to come back to see what I missed because we only spent there 3 days.

Where to eat

Restaurace U Šumavy

It probably is a bit touristy, but it was one of the restaurants that offered Czech food. I asked for advice when it came to order food and we got the most typical dishes there. It’s really hard to find a restaurant that serves Czech food and at the same time that isn’t a tourist trap, I hope to be luckier next time that I’ll visit Prague.

Old town square

The keyword here is STREET FOOD. I believe that street food is a great way to discover one country’s food scene at a way lower price than you would eat in a restaurant.

Sausages, bread, sauerkrauts and potatoes: you just have to choose what you want to try. It’s quick, filling, typical, and definitely delicious. You can buy it basically anywhere in the city.

Do you want to try something sweet? Then try the trdelnik roll, a kind of spit cake that is actually considered a tourist pastry by Czechs. It’s not exactly wide spread in the whole country but trust me, you won’t regret trying it.

Proti Proudu

I had dinner here with a local and we were surrounded by locals only. Definitely away from the touristy places. This bistro has industrial-minimal interiors and we had the chance to meet the owner: service is great and he always had a smile on his face while suggesting us what to eat.
This is their official website.

Where to sleep

Hotel Amarilis

Located in the heart of Prague, Hotel Amarilis was the perfect accommodation to visit the city by foot only. Coming from a country with euros, it was cheaper than what you would usually get in Rome for the same price, for instance. I booked it through Booking.com thanks to a discount code that allowed me to have 15€ off the total price. Not bad since you can easily get a dinner for two for 15€ in Prague! So why not offering the same discount to you? Make sure to book through this link!

Breakfast is continental and you can find a variety of food. We also had lunch at their restaurant and it was super delicious!

Czech facts!

  • Try the so-called Kofola, the Czech version of Coca-Cola. It has a different taste than Coke, a bit fresher and slightly bitter. I tried it at U Šumavy.
  • There are more than 2000 castles/castles ruins all over Czech Republic. It’s probably one of the countries with the most castles in Europe! Prague Castle is the largest in the world, for instance.
  • Czech Republic is the country with highest occupational rate, especially amongst young people.
  • Tipping is mandatory, especially in restaurants. Whether if you liked the service or not, it’s always nice to tip at least 10%. It’s expected, so don’t forget to do it!

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