Ever since the Iron Curtain came down, cheap Prague has been a budget traveler’s dream. Lucky for tourists, Prague is not a city with a huge number of paid attractions to nickel and dime you to death. Instead, a lot of Prague’s charms are free to anyone who likes a leisurely walk across a small city center.

Your vacation dollars go farther in Prague than in many other places in Europe. Check out our tips for a fabulous, inexpensive Czech holiday!

Architectural stunners are 100% free

The Czech people are justifiably proud that of their architecture. Parts of Prague Castle date back as far as the ninth century, but the entire historical city center is an architecture buff’s delight and almost all of it is entirely free to visit. The Tyn Church on Old Town Square, the 800-year-old Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock are just three of the impressive monuments to visit. Much has been made of the fact that Prague remained virtually untouched by the Second World War, and there are even a few modern architectural wonders to behold, like the dancing building (nicknamed Fred & Ginger) that was designed by Czech architects in collaboration with Frank Gehry. The full architectural tour of Prague could take a true devotee many weeks to cover with very little cash outlay.

Cheap Prague dining

Though the days when you could get a couple of beers and a full meal for under a buck are long gone, food in Prague is still on the inexpensive side. You certainly can eat well for under $20 a day. The grocery stores are full of inexpensive breads and cheese if you’re really on a budget, but there are moderately priced budget restaurants all around the city. The American-run, Bohemia Bagel is a fast, budget option in the little quarter (Malá Strana), and you can get traditional Czech food at many small bistros as well.

As for dishes to sample, we recommend the fruit dumplings – served proudly as a main dish. The most traditional recipes use plums year-round, but you can also get seasonal varieties that have strawberry and apricot fillings. They are served with a side of sweet cheese or puddle of delicious butter and sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. Cheap beer is ubiquitous – locals will tell you the only three words you need to get by in Prague are “jedno pivo, prosim.” That’s “one beer please.” That’s all you need to know.

Cheap drinking in Prague

A lot of college students come to Prague in search of the elusive “green fairy,” known as absinthe, mainly because the wormwood/botanical-based liquor has a legendary reputation for it’s hallucinogenic capabilities. No matter that the modern version is much watered-down (and even it’s reputation seems to have been wildly overstated). Most bars in Prague will have absinthe on the menu alongside a large variety of Czech beers and spirits. You can drink very well in Prague for pennies on the dollar, and a lot of people do. It’s no wonder that Prague has become the “Stag and Hen Party” capital of Europe (that’s the British-ism for bachelor and bachelorette parties. In recent years, city government has tried to curb Prague’s party rep but it’s still a very trendy place to drink yourself under the table for less.

The Charles Bridge is cheap Prague

One of the most stunning monuments in Prague is Charles Bridge. Unfortunately, actually seeing it can be a challenge because of the teeming crowds that descend upon it daily. From just after sunrise to well after midnight, the bridge becomes a carnival of buskers and vendors. To experience its majesty, get yourself to the bridge at just before dawn (when the crowds haven’t begun to gather yet.) The pedestrian-only bridge, completed at the beginning of the 15th century, connects the Old Town to the Malá Strana (Little Quarter) across the Vltava River. The bridge’s crown jewel is the assortment of baroque statues that line the balustrade – rub the plaque on St. John Nepomuk and local lore says you’ll guarantee yourself a return visit to the city.

Tram #22 is the best cheap tour of the city

The most scenic way to see Prague is to catch one of the old, herky-jerky trams and hop on and off at your leisure. Tram #22 offers a greatest-hits of the city sights and spans the Vltava River so you get the Little Quarter and Prague Castle views alongside the Old Town points of interest. We recommend springing for a 24-hour ticket if you plan to hop on and off. It’ll set you back about five bucks. Tram 22 runs from 5am to 1am daily, about every 5 minutes. There’s even a night train #57 if those hours don’t work for you, but it only runs twice per hour so waiting is common.

Cheap Prague accommodations

Hotels in Prague are quite affordable (many go for under $100/night), but summer demand makes deals a bit harder to come by. Most people think they want to stay in the city center, but if you’re booking in the summer months you might have trouble sleeping this close to the all-night action. We recommend staying a bit farther out on one of the metro lines in a more leafy and suburban part of this sprawling metropolis. Prague’s metro is very efficient, will take you right downtown and is very inexpensive. Book your accommodation early to get the best deals if you insist on being near the old town, but remember that the party doesn’t stop in Prague until well into the wee hours.

What are your favorite inexpensive or free things to do in Prague? We’d love to hear in the comments below! Do research for your specific city pairs using our best time to buy flights tool. You can also check out our International Airfare Study and posts on budget Paris and London.

search cheap european flights

2 Comments

    • Hi Victoria,

      We can definitely assist you in finding the right hotel for your trip to Prague. Do you have any specific dates in mind? Do you have a budget you’re aiming to keep for the hotel?

Post a Comment