Prague Backpacking Travel Guide

Information on hostels, transportation, cheap food and drinks, sights to see, activities and more.

Search for Prague hostels at Hostelworld and budget hotels at Agoda.com

About


Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. Prague lies on the banks of the beautiful, meandering Vltava River that reflects the city's golden spires and 9th century castle that dominates the skyline. This historic atmosphere is combined with a certain quirkiness that encompasses the entire city. It is regarded by many as one of Europe's most charming and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Budapest and Kraków. Thousands of backpackers visit the city all year round to spend lazy days drinking world-famous Czech beer in the outdoor beer gardens and funky bars and clubs.

Hostels


Hostel One Home

A great friendly place to stay. They provide a free dinner every evening followed by a bunch of drinking games and finally a pub crawl. Security, location, cleanliness are all very high. The staff are all great fun, helpful and very easy to get along with. Because most of the hostel heads out in the evenings for an impromptu pub crawl, it's actually a nice and relaxing place of the evenings if you do decide to stay in. The activities provided make it an ideal sport for a solo traveller.

The Madhouse Prague

One of the most highly rated of our hostels in Prague. Daily activities, games, nightly group dinners and a homey atmosphere. The staff are fantastic to get along with and treat everyone very friendly. The social spaces provide the perfect setting for meeting fellow travellers over afternoon beers or hostel family dinners. Daily activities include anything from trips to beer gardens, to ice hockey games and impromptu nights out.

Sights and Highlights


Prague Castle

Prague Castle  is a castle complex dating from the 9th century. It is still the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of almost 70,000 m², at about 570 meters in length and an average of about 130 meters wide.

Tickets to enter the castle range from about 3€ up to 13€ depending on the areas of the castle the tour visits. All tickets are valid for 2 days, the day of purchase and following day.

Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge is an historic bridge across the Vltava. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town. This "solid-land" connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe.

The bridge is 621 metres long and nearly 10 metres wide. It is protected by three bridge towers. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 baroque and gothic statues originally erected around 1700.

Zlate rano, Praha

Free Walking Tours


There are a variety of high quality free walking tours available in Prague. All these free tours rate very highly on tripadvisor. You are expected to tip at the completion of the tour.

Sandemans Free Tour of Prague

Tours run everyday at 10:00, 10:45, 12:00 and 2:00 and run for 3 hours. The Sandemans Free Tour of Prague meeting point is in the Old Town Square in front of the Cartier shop and Czech tourism office, on the corner of Pařížská and Dlouhá street. Look for the team in red Sandemans New Europe T-shirts.

Discover Prague Royal Free Walking Tour 

Run everyday at Every day 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00! Duration is 2.5 hours. Meeting point is just off Old Town Square – at the Discover Prague Tour Office in the heart of the Old Town..

White Umbrella Free Tour of Prague

Daily at 10am and 11am. Duration is 3 hours. Meeting point is in the Old Town square, right next to the meeting point for the Sandemans tour.

To Eat


Lunch Specials

Lunch specials are a Czech classic associated with the concept of food vouchers. Many Prague restaurants offer lunch specials that target the food voucher holders, thus putting fast food chains through some pretty tough competition. A decent blog post exists on this subject over at tasteofprague.com and another good write-up is at foursquare.com. Following the sage advice given on those pages will enable to enjoy a high quality lunch for less than 4€.

Bistro Sisters

A famous deli style restuarant that specialise in chlebicek, a classic Czech open-faced sandwich. All of the sandwiches are available for less than 2€ and some as low as 1€. The daily soup special is only a little over 2€ and when you combine that with one a sandwich or two, you get a very filling but cheap meal.

Nase Maso

A pretty unique place. Nase Maso is a butchers shop that also has a kitchen. They serve simple Czech meals for very reasonable prices. Three thick slices of the best meatloaf in town cost under 4€, the same as three pieces of their sausages. Their burgers sell for around 5€. If you are really lucky, their pork belly braised for hours with lager and onion is to die for and costs around 5€. The beer available on tap is very welcoming, because there is often a bit of wait to get served here, such is its popularity.

For Drinking


Prague and indeed all the Czech Republic are rather famous for their beer. I will list a two of my favourite beer gardens below, but rather than get too detailed, I will just direct you to a couple of very detailed blog posts that contain a tonne of great information on local beer, pubs and craft breweries.

Letná Beer Garden

A great beer garden with an amazingly scenic view out over the city. A particular nice place to hang out during the summer months and enjoy some local tap beer. A grilled sausage stand nearby can provide with tasty snack while you soak up the beer and the view.

Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden

Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden is Prague's most popular outdoor place for drinking beer and watching sports. Whenever there is some nice weather, the beer garden is packed with thirsty drinkers; Czech, tourist, and expat alike. The garden offer great views over the city and is a popular spot for sunbathing as well. There are plenty of tasty grilled meat snacks available close by. An overall authentic Czech experience.

Transportation


Local

Public transport in Prague is very good and uses a combination of trams, buses and a metro. The public transport system is fully integrated into Google Maps. The easiest way to get around town is to use public transport directions using Google Maps.

You can find a range of different Prague transport maps in PDF form at dpp.cz/en/.../transit-schematics/

Getting In and Out

Berlin and Dresden

The train journey from Prague to Berlin takes 4hr 25 min. The train passes through Dresden at about the halfway mark. It is 2hr 15min from Prague to Dresden. Trains depart every two hours from Prague. Check timetables and buy tickets at bahn.com.

You can also catch a bus to save a bit of money. Head to flixbus.com/bus-routes/bus-prague-berlin. Bus prices to Berlin start at 19€.

Nuremberg

The easiest way to get to Nuremberg is by bus. Check out all the timetable options at flixbus.com/.../bus-nuremberg-prague. There is also a daily Bahn operated bus. It is number BUS42021 and you can find tickets online at bahn.de.

Vienna

Trains to Vienna depart roughly every 2 hours starting 06:50am. Check the timetables at seat61.com/.../prague-vienna-railjet-train and buy tickets at cd.cz/eshop/. A sleeper train makes the same journey each evening departing at midnight.

Bratislava Brno and Budapest

The Prague to Budapest train stops in both Bratislava and Brno. First train departs Prague at 05:49am and then every 2 hours after that. The trip to Bratislava takes 4 hours and Budapest is a further 2.5 hours after that. Timetables at seat61.com/.../prague-to-budapest-by-train and buy tickets cd.cz/eshop/

Wroclaw

A direct bus to Wroclaw from Prague can be booked through Polskibus.com. Ticket prices range from 10€ to 20€ depending on the time of day that the bus departs. Journey time is 4hrs 20mins..

Kraków

Getting to Kraków can be a little awkward. Currently there is no direct daytime train. There are a few other choices though. During the day you can catch a train to the town of Bohumín, a Czech town close to the border. The train to Bohumín takes about 3.5 hours. The final stretch across the border and into Kraków can be made with flixbus.com/ and takes a little over 2 hours.

Another alternative is to catch two trains. The first to Katowice and then finally on to Kraków. Book both of these trains at cd.cz/eshop/. Total cost should be around 35€.

Finally, there is a sleeper train that departs Prague every evening at 23:09 and arrives the next morning in Prague at 07:22. This is my preferred option. The sleeper train can also be booked at cd.cz/eshop/ but make sure you book the train at least 3 days in advance otherwise the booking is not possible. Also ensure you have correctly selected the reservation type as 'sleeper'. Sleeper ticket is about 34€.

Finally polskibus.com run a twice daily direct bus service. It takes 7hrs 30mins and only costs about 7€. It is not the quickest nor the most comfortable but it is the cheapest.

 

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