Many say the definition of beauty is the capital of Czech, Prague! A bohemian old city in a such modern and developed world gives to the visitor a unique ineffable sensation.
Without doubt, Prague deserves to be your next destination and deserves few minutes from your time to read about the essential tips.
When to go?
The best time to visit Prague is the spring. The weather is mild, the gardens are lovely and the city is not crowded.
March can be a bit cold but April and May are perfect. The autumn is a great time to visit Prague too, the weather is still equilibrated and the hotels prices are cheaper.
During summer, the weather is warm but sometimes very hot. The problem is the city is too crowded especially in July and August. Expect very long lines and crowded metros. More than that, you will struggle to take a good photo in Charles bridge or to admire Prague castle. Tourists are everywhere and long lines with the high temperatures will make entering a popular attraction a hard mission.
On the other hand, during winter, the city is very cold and quite. The landscapes of the white empty city after snow is wonderful and the hotels prices are very low. But it’s hard to bear the freezing weather unless you’re used to.
Is it safe?
Prague is a safe city and we rarely hear about a violent crime there but you should know that pickpocketing is common. Many thieves are really skillful and they steal in a very professional and artful way. So keep those precautions in mind:
– Try to avoid crowded metros and trams and stay away from the doors.
– Be vigilant in the tourist places like the old town square and Charles bridge.
– Don’t carry a lot of cash, don’t take out your wallet in busy areas and don’t draw attention anyway.
– Keep a photocopy of your passport and amount of cash for emergency in the hotel.
– Keep your backpack or handbag in front of you wherever you go.
– Of course, don’t think about that too much and ruin your trip.
Also, you will see many different people, drunk people and beggars especially at night or late at morning. Don’t be afraid, no one will disturb you. Just don’t talk to strange people and don’t go to calm and dark areas.
How to get around?
One of the most pleasant activities ever is walking around Prague. Beauty is everywhere: Old houses, cobbled streets, friendly people… You will reach the major tourist areas and you will never get bored but probably you will get tired. So you can use the public transport. It’s clean, punctual and the network between different mean of transport is well established.
The tram number 9, 20 or 22 takes you practically to all tourist areas. It’s better to download useful transport maps like metro or citymapper and save directions for offline use. If not, get a city map upon your arrival or you can note the names of stations you need to go and check them on the board in the stations.
There are announcements of the stations names on the trams and buses but be careful the name of next station is announced with the name of the current station. The on board displays make things clearer. The metro green line A takes you too to the major tourist attractions and the announcements are clearer.
The ticket price is 24 CZK valid for 30 minutes or 32 CZK for 90 minutes. A better option is to buy a 24 hour pass for 110 CZK or a 3 days pass for 310 CZK to save time and money. Be aware that you should validate your ticket in the yellow machines inside the buses, trams or metro stations.
Tickets are available in ticket machines, shops or hotels but pasees are not avaialble everywhere. You can find it at the airport, main tram and metro stations and some tour operators.
Bike riding is not very popular in Prague since there are few hills and some irrespectful drivers but bike paths exist.
Taxi drivers are known to be scammers too, many of them don’t use a meter, take the longest way and do anything to charge you more. So don’t stop any taxi in the street if you need one, instead call a well reputed company.
From the airport, you have many options to go to the city center. One of them is taking the bus number 119 to the metro station or take the airport express bus to the main train station for 60 crowns.
If you are coming by train you will stop in Praha Hlavni Nádraží which is the main train station in Prague. You should go out from the station and go down to the tram station and take the best one to your accommodation.
- Money exchange: There are many of money exchange bureaus, some of them pretending exchanging for 0% commision but they use it only for “sell” transactions and not the “buy” ones. It means that if you will change your currency for the czech Koruna they will charge you. Others have many hidden administration and taxes fees or use much lower exchange rate that the real one. So check the exchange rate on the internet or use mobile application and ask for how much you will get before exchanging. The exchange machines in shopping malls are known to have reasonable fees.
- Don’t ever exchange money from people in the street they will offer interesting rates but they will certainly defraud you. Eg: They can give you Slovak Koruna instead.
- Don’t use ATM machines on the airport: The travelex ATM machines. The charges are very high comparing to other ATMs in the city.
- If you’ve never been in a multicultural environment, this is your chance. You will find people with different races, ethics, religions and looks.
- People in Prague are extremely friendly. They help you without even asking and making friends is very easy. So don’t be shy to ask for help but be careful from strange people and don’t go with anyone to any place especially if you are alone.
- Not all people understand English there so don’t rely on the locals, sellers in shops or buses drivers to help you but don’t worry you will always find someone who talk your language or an experiment traveler to ask.
- Prague is a cheap city, but if you want to save more don’t eat from the restaurants around Prague castle. Their prices are relatively high compared to other restaurants.
- Cafes around Prague castle have stunning panoramic views over the city. You should not miss that. Plan to spend time there but remember that they are pricey compared to other cafes.
- If you’re going in summer, you will need to spend time in Prague more that you think. You should wait in lines for almost everything so take your time and travel slowly.
- Many natural parks and beauties around Prague are just awesome. So try to explore the neighborhoods or make a one day tour via a tours company.