Prague: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go
There is nothing like the rush of stepping off a plane into an unknown country. It’s a little scary and a lot of fun but more than anything, it can be addicting. International travel by U.S. citizens reached a record high in 2015 as more and more people are choosing to spend their money on experiences rather than stuff. In honor of this shift, we’re providing you with an inside look at some of the world’s top destinations. Our Travel Series provides you with a go-to guide of where to stay, what to eat, what to do, and any helpful insider tips that will help make your trip that much better.
Why you should go to Prague
Arguably the most beautiful European city, visiting Prague feels like stepping into medieval times. The city is covered with cobbled lanes, castles, and bridges with a distinct bohemian vibe. Prague has enough history to keep even the biggest history buff entertained, but if you find yourself uninterested in castles and history, then visit for the beer. The Czechs are famous for producing some of the world’s finest brews starting with the invention of the Pilsner Urquell in 1842. The city is full of beer halls, microbreweries, and beer fanatics. Join in the revelry with a beer in hand as you enjoy the splendor of Prague.
Where to stay
Prague’s neighborhoods are organized by a numbering system. Prague 1 is the heart of the tourist district and probably the best place to stay if you want to be within walking distance of almost all the big tourist sites. Check out Hotel Residence Bologna for a 3-star budget hotel or the Iron Gate Hotel & Suites for a high-end boutique hotel that is just a few minutes walk from Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. If you want to get out of the tourist district, look at hotels in Prague 2, 3, 8, or 10. These areas are known for being hip neighborhoods packed with expats and young Czechs.
What to eat
Prague is known for its hearty, meat-based cuisine. Order a goulash paired with Czech dumplings. When seeing the sites in Prague’s Old Town Square swing by Mlejnice for some traditional Czech cooking. If you’re in the city on a Sunday, do breakfast at the Naplavka Farmers Market and follow your morning with a walk along the river. When meandering through Prague’s impressive sights, keep an eye out for Trdelník, a sweet pastry made from dough that is cooked on a thick tube or stick and sprinkled with sugar and a walnut mix. Once you try it, no day will seem complete without one.
What to do
If you’re a beer lover and feel overwhelmed by the vast number of breweries, book a brewery tour with Urban Adventures. You’ll quickly get your bearings of the city while visiting local beer halls and eating Czech tapas along the way. If you’re a Beatles fan, drop by the John Lennon wall and the nearby Love Lock Bridge. Spend an afternoon exploring Prague’s Old Town making time to watch the astronomical clock’s impressive dance. Walk across Charles Bridge and spend a day in New Town to explore Wenceslas Square and visit the National Museum. Whatever you do, don’t leave before dropping by the city’s largest and most impressive landmark: the Prague Castle.
- Visit in the spring or fall when the weather is gorgeous and there are fewer tourists. If you love beer, consider visiting in May when the Czech Beer Festival takes place.
- If you want to see all the top sights but avoid mobs of tourists, visit the city’s main sights early in the morning or later in the evening.
- When taking public transportation don’t forget to validate your ticket upon entry. If they’re not validated and you get stopped, you’ll have some explaining to do.