I’ve had the great privilege to visit the wonderful city of Prague many times. As my love for the city grows, I’ve been less and less motivated to explore more of the fantastic country. Though I really wish I had, I still have absolutely no regrets because my visits to Prague have been such a treat! Before I carry on you should know there is only one hostel in the whole of Prague you must stay in the maximise your experience and have a brilliant time.
The Madhouse Hostel, with owners Kraig and Rod and incredible staff. They will make sure your stay in the city is the best it can be. I have stayed there all three times and wouldn’t go back to Prague until I could make sure I could get a bed for at least a week at the hostel. A bed in one of their four dorm rooms will set you back $AUD32-$35 (€22-€25 ) in the peak seasons but I can honestly tell you if you’re wanting to treat yourself to accommodation this would be the hostel to do it at and you definitely won’t regret it.
How does free breakfast, unlimited rice and pasta, free tea and coffee and delicious cheap dinner sound to you? Taken out by the party animal staff members every night to explore different clubs and bars in the city and shown some hidden favourites that only people who have stayed there long enough can find. Some of my absolute favourites include Harleys, Chapae Rougue, James Dean, Red Room and Golden Tree and ending every night at Burrito Loco! I have made life long friends with people while staying there. It’s small and everyone feels like family. The facilities are incredible and even though you’re having a hectic party every single night, the hostel is so comfortable and the perfect place for those hung over mornings.
Okay enough about where to stay and let’s carry on with what to do! Even though I have been there so may times I still haven’t done as much as some. I get distracted by the flawless beauty of the city and sometimes just spend hours walking around and finding quirky hidden gems. Some will say that the main square of Prague is disgustingly busy and full of tourists – ignore it. if you’re going to let that bother you, then why are you overseas? I have never found it an issue, and even though the main square is beautiful and the clock tower is worth a look at, there is so much more in Prague to explore! Though while you’re staring up at the brilliant clock tower make sure you’re holding on tight to your belongings, this time of day is known for pick pocketers.
I really recommend you spend a morning or afternoon hitting the museums starting with the communism museum and ending at the sex museum. Leave enough time to explore a few of the museums but those two are definite must sees. Similar to the town square, people say that Charles Bridge is just too busy and you don’t get to really enjoy it, yet once again I have no idea what they’re complaining about. Stroll slowly along the Charles Bridge and enjoy the highly overpriced handmade crafts as well as the live music and friendly people who are always up for a chat.
Head up towards the palace and enjoy the beautiful view of my favourite city, pack a picnic for the afternoon and lay in one of the many peaceful parks by the river.
Bring a marker and head over to the John Lennon wall. Make your own artwork on the wall and enjoy the reading the work by others too.
There are many free walking tours on offer in Prague and the selection can be overwhelming. When you head to the main square there will be many people wearing orange, yellow, green and red t-shirts trying to convince you to join in on their walking tour. After going on a few of these tours I can say my favourites were the Discover Prague Tours – look out for the yellow t-shirts and umbrellas! Sometimes I tend to zone out on a tour, if the tour guide isn’t giving me much I will let my mind wander. The tours I come back from actually remembering the information – well that says it all!
I’m a little bit sceptical when it comes to pub crawls, some are known for being epically awesome as others can be a complete waste of money. In Prague there are three pub crawls that I know of and above all I recommend the Drunken Monkey pub crawl! It did change a little the fourth or fifth time I went, so you no longer get a free t-shirt. But how does unlimited beer, wine and fruity shots sound for the first two hours as well as a free non-watered down shot at every destination afterwards sound? Always a great group of people from the hostel and an excuse to have an extremely messy and enjoyable night. We all know best friends are made at our lowest point of the evening. 😉
One thing you should know about Prague or Czech Republic in general is that it is one of the cheapest countries in Europe when it comes too food and drink. The currency can be confusing to understand at first but know you can stay in Prague for a very long time at a very affordable price.
Lastly if you’re into organic foods, good yet inexpensive wine, homemade soups, nuts, as well as yoghurt covered fruit and chocolate you must visit one place. I happened to pass it when going for a stroll through the park and over the water and I am so glad I did. It’s called Zdravicek and located at Holečkova 63 Praha 5. The chocolate and yoghurt covered fruit and nuts are set up like a sugar station, grab your paper bag and fill as you please then paying by weight. The soup was delicious and I enjoyed the organic cakes and pastries. The store isn’t too far from the John Lennon wall so if you’re headed that way I highly recommend you walk the extra few minutes too Zdravicek.
If you have the time or wanting to explore more of Czech Republic, definitely take the short journey from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. I’ve heard incredible things and the photos apparently don’t do this magical city justice. I really wish I had taken the time to make the trip – others say you really only need one night and at least an entire day to explore the tiny town – but there’s always next time. The Little Travel Gypsy editor, Olivia, spent three nights there and easily could have spent more.
Krumlov is around five hours from Prague by bus. The bus will let you off outside the city, because the streets are too narrow and delicate for vehicles! Though you only need one day to catch the city’s sights, Krumlov is the perfect place to recover from your partying time in Prague and the perfect place to make friends that will last. Hostel 99 is the only place to stay for $AUD14-$17 (€10-€12) per night. The slightly eccentric owner, Zazu (that’s not a typo), will take good, if slightly strange, care of you. No bunks as well, which, as all travellers know, is a huge bonus! But what to do in Cesky Krumlov? Get a pedicure for only twelve euro at the small shop near Hostel 99. We all know the toll travelling takes on our feet, so take care of them! Stop by the Van Gogh cafe, a bar filled with Van Gogh paintings (oddly enough). They will give you cheap yet delicious tequila and will shun you if you dare to ask for salt and lemon. Take a boat ride down the river, climb to the top of the castle for panoramic views of the city, go on the river pub crawl and shop in the market square. Cesky Krumlov is an idyllic country town.
As Prague is an extremely popular backpacker tourist destination transport to and from Czech Republic is easy, fast and affordable. Student Agency is one of my all time favourite bus company’s and luckily enough they travel through most of Eastern Europe and throughout Czech Republic, with free hot drinks, a gorgeous stewardess, air conditioning, leather seats and an electrical socket. Berlin, Germany to Prague: €34 with Student Agency. Munich, Germany to Prague: €32 with Student Agency. Vienna, Austria to Prague: €18 with Student Agency. Vienna, Austria to Cesky Krumlov: €32 with CK Shuttle – they will pick you up directly from your hostel. Bratislava, Slovakia to Prague: €14 with Student Agency. Budapest, Hungary to Prague: €23 with Student Agency. Krakow, Poland to Prague: You will find this route to be very difficult as hardly any buses or trains will go direct and the ones that do are extremely expensive. The best suggestion that can all be done in one day is to take the bus public bus from Krakow to Cieszyn for €4 (on the Polish / Czech boarder) then take the short walk to Cesky Tesin and catch a train directly to Prague for approximately €14 – €18.
Overall, Prague is one of my favourite cities in Europe (clearly after my three time return) and I really hope you make the time to spend some quality days there – you won’t regret it! One day I will go back to explore more of Czech Republic, but for now the city of Prague will remain forever a favourite in my heart.