Without any question the Czech capital has many beautiful things to discover. We from Hostelgeeks have been several times to Prague. In Winter and Summer.
With the help of our local friends, we created a secret Guide.
7 Secret Tips for Prague you can download over here.
Check our guide to the 3 best hostels in Prague here.
- The Roadhouse Prague – social & homely
- Sir Toby’s – stylish place
- Hostel One Prague – the backpackers choice
However, in this post we want to focus on the things you could and should avoid when visiting Prague.
Like in every popular destination, there are a few things you might want to skip to avoid disappointments and unpleasant experiences.
Quick list with 5 things NOT to do in Prague
It is based on our own experiences, friends recommendations, and stories brought to us.
Oh, any make sure to check out as well the 14 worst travel tips of all time – another great fun read!
1. Do not exchange money on the street (watch the video!)
We actually cannot believe we have to mention this, but, unfortunately, it still happens a lot.
When a random person on the street comes over and offers you to exchange your money to Czech currency, just don’t.
Seriously: nod and walk away.
It is a common trick to exchange your money for a weaker, and useless currency inside of the Czech Republic. Do yourself a favor and try to get the correct currency directly from your own bank.
Especially when you are in town only for the weekend, this one could be really annoying.
Remember: You get most likely the best conversion rate by your bank. So only take money from an ATM!
Here is an important video you should watch. it shows the scam of the money exchange in Prague and how to actually exchange your hard earned money.
2. Avoid a „Wikipedia-Tour“
We are seriously bored by this kind of tours – who isn’t?!
Sitting in any vehicle, trapped between big tourist groups, and the guide in front of you throws quotes taken from Wikipedia-articles at you.
„This building was built in blabla by the architect Petr Blablabla“.
If you are looking for different and alternative tours in Prague, we recommend the „Alternative Tour Prague“.
This tour is specialized on the artistic underground scene in Prague and gives you a surprisingly local perspective to the cities life.
Why surprising we hear you ask? Well, with a touristic tour you may not expect a total locals perspective. Alternative Tour Prague managed to convince us!
Here you will learn more about
- the graffiti and art scene in Prague
- different interesting projects around the city like an independent house with creative masterminds developing their own, independent system
- meet fun travelers from all over
Last but not least you will explore here the local Prague outside the city center. Alternative Tour is our recommended tour for Prague!
The photo below shows the bar we went to at the end of the Tour.
It is a 2nd hand shop, hip bar, and funky place to get a cheap beer with locals outside the city center. It reminded us of a setting from Peter Pan movie!
Besides the Alternative Tour Prague, the team also offers the BreakOut Prague Escape Game. Another activity outside the tourist box we highly recommend!
Where can you find cool tours for Prague? We recommend:
3. Avoid the City Center
Okay, this is not quite accurate, but somehow true.
The locals stay mostly away from the very city center and developed their own hip scenes around them.
Like in many other popular European destinations, the heart of the old town is such a beautiful pearl to visit and take photos.
However, locals do not drink or eat in the city center.
There the prices are higher and let’s call it “tourist-oriented” – no surprise, right?!
We have been working on the Geeky Guide Prague including secret Tips for eating, drinking, and having fun in Prague.
Get the 7 Secret Tips for Prague here.
4. Make sure you know the name of the country you are visiting
WHAT?! Yes…this happens!
It may be confusing by the names, especially for non-Europeans, but Czech Republic is not the same as Chechnya or Czechoslovakia. Chechnya is a different parts of the world.
Czechoslovakia is the prior name of what used to be the Czech Republic and Slovakia, prior to the split in 1993. It’s now called Czech Republic, or as it is called there, Czechia. (Thanks to Katie for correcting this)
When you talk with a Czech, try to not call his or her country by a different name. This may sound like a ridiculous recommendation to give, but due to our local friends, and the locals we met, this happens several times a day.
Also, Czech people consider their country located in Central Europe.
There are several definitions of Europe itself as a union, and as a continent, so this varies.
In a nutshell: Prague is the capital of Czech Republic, located in central Europe.
5. Plan less, enjoy more
In our opinion, Slow-Travel is the key for Prague.
It is very easy to get stressed here, to hurry from one sight to the other, from one tour to the next. Don’t fall for that! Just slow down, have a drink in a park, and watch the tram passing by, the dogs playing, and the people enjoying.
You can find many bars, cafés, parks, and hidden gems all over the city.
Prague is also home to the world’s oldest university. Many Czech and international students choose Prague for its easy-going life-style, and the various options to do in the city and surroundings. The city is not too big, and no doubt the absolute must-dos can be done very quick. Be selective, avoid touristic „must-dos“, and enjoy Prague from the slow travel perspective. You will appreciate it afterwards.
The photo below shows the Kolbenova Flea Market in Prague, taking place Saturdays and Sundays, next to Metro Station “Kolbenova”.
You can easily get here by taking the yellow line, direction to eastern Prague. This flea market is simply super interesting!
Nazi-badges, old bikes, weird pictures, and even a statues from very, let’s call them “influential” historical people.
This is the biggest flea market in the Czech Republic. It was a great experience, absolutely worth it!
Extra Tip 6: Not watching The Honest Guide
It would be a big mistake NOT to watch the youtube videos of the guys behind The Honest Guide.
In fact, their video guides are much more detailed than this basic introduction guide. This is truly one of the best local travel videos we have ever seen!
They share the nasty tourists scams you may encounter, they share their favorite bars, the best restaurants and many more fantastic tips.
Check their youtube channel with all videos.
Summary: Travel Mistakes Prague
If you decide to go on a trip through Europe, Prague should get a spot on your bucket list. It is a cheap, very secure city to visit. But remember all 5 points we just listed.
I recommend to stay at least 2 nights in Prague; it is worth it! 1 day is really not enough. Check this guide here on how to spend 2 days in Prague.
We collected also the 10 most common backpacker mistakes and how to avoid them.
Together with the Secret Tips you will enjoy it even more!
Check out our big guide to coolest hostels in Prague (party hostels included).
Lovely locals, a colorful tragic, interesting European and East-European history – what else do you need? Make sure you avoid these touristic things in Prague, calm down, and enjoy Prague one beer at a time.
We even included some booking hacks here as well.
Any recommendations for Prague?
We would love to hear your from you.
Share your thoughts, ideas and recommendations in the comments below.
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Hostel Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries