The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Prague on a Budget

The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Prague on a Budget

This comprehensive Prague travel guide is your key to unlocking the magic of Prague regardless of your budget. Within it, you’ll discover:

  • Must-see sights: From the iconic Prague Castle and Charles Bridge to hidden gems waiting to be unearthed, we’ll guide you through the city’s most captivating landmarks.
  • Cultural experiences: From indulging in the local cuisine to witnessing captivating performances and exploring fascinating museums.
  • Practical tips: Navigating the city, understanding local customs, and planning your budget becomes a breeze with our tips and insights.
  • Hidden treasures: Discover secret corners, charming cafes, and unique experiences that only locals know about.

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply seeking a romantic getaway, Prague has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags, let this guide be your companion, and get ready to fall in love with the City of a Hundred Spires!

Travel Costs: Detailed Breakdown

Prague, the City of a Hundred Spires, offers a range of experiences to suit various budgets. Here’s a breakdown of estimated costs per person, per day:

Suggested Budget per person

  • Low: €30-50
  • Middle: €50-80
  • High: €80+

Detailed Costs

For first-timers, we’re breaking it down in even more detail for you to figure out your wiggle budget room.


  • Low: Hostels or budget guesthouses: €15-30 per night
  • Middle: Mid-range hotels or B&Bs: €40-70 per night
  • High: Luxury hotels or upscale apartments: €100+ per night

Check out our guide to the best hostels in Prague.

Public Transportation:

  • Metro ticket: €1.20 (30 minutes)
  • Daily pass: €8.50
  • 3-Day tourist pass: €18

Entrance Fees:

  • Low (mostly Free Activities): Prague Castle grounds (exterior), Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Lennon Wall
  • Middle: Prague Castle interiors: €12-18 (depending on specific areas), National Gallery: €8, Jewish Museum: €14
  • High: Lobkowicz Palace: €18, Black Light Theatre: €25-35


  • Low: Kebab: €4-5, Trdelník (pastry): €2-3
  • Middle: Mid-range restaurants: €10-15 for a main course
  • High: High-end restaurants: €20+ for a main course

Svíčková na smetaně (Beef sirloin in creamy sauce):

  • Low: €5-7
  • Middle: €8-12
  • High: €15+


  • Low: Takeaway or at a local bar: €1-2
  • Middle: In a cafe: €2-3
  • High: Specialty coffees or in touristy areas: €4+

Beer & Wine:

  • Low: Local bar or pub: €2-3 for a beer, €3-4 for a glass of wine
  • Middle: Mid-range restaurant or trendy bar: €4-5 for a beer, €5-7 for a glass of wine
  • High: Craft beer or special vintage wine: €6+ for a beer, €8+ for a glass of wine
Spring in Prague

Explore Prague: Things to Do

This is a shorter version of our travel guide for Prague

Top 10 Must Do

  1. Marvel at Prague Castle: The largest ancient castle complex in the world, boasting stunning architecture, historical significance, and breathtaking city views. Make sure to check out Golden Lane Street, home to a row of small houses painted bright hues, just as it was in the 50s.
  2. Walk across Charles Bridge: A medieval masterpiece adorned with baroque statues, offering amazing views of the Vltava River and bustling with street performers.
  3. Explore Old Town Square: Witness the astronomical clock chime, admire the Gothic architecture of the Church of Our Lady before Týn, and soak in the atmosphere of this central square. This is also where you’ll see the Powder Tower separating Old and New Town Prague.
  4. Descend into the Prague Underground: Discover a hidden network of medieval passageways and cellars, offering a glimpse into the city’s underground history.
  5. Take a stroll through Vyšehrad: Relax in this peaceful fortress park, offering panoramic views, historical monuments, and the Vyšehrad Cemetery, the final resting place of many Czech celebrities.
  6. Step back in time at the Jewish Quarter: Explore the synagogues, the Old Jewish Cemetery, and the Jewish Museum, learning about the rich history and culture of Prague’s Jewish community.
  7. Climb Petřín Hill: Take a funicular ride or hike up the hill, reward yourself with breathtaking panoramic views from the Petřín Lookout Tower, and explore the mirror maze.
  8. Witness the beauty of St. Vitus Cathedral: Admire the architectural grandeur of this iconic cathedral within Prague Castle, featuring stunning stained glass windows and intricate details.
  9. Visit the National Gallery: engage in Czech art, from medieval masterpieces to contemporary works, housed in various historic buildings across the city.
  10. Explore the Lennon Wall: A colorful canvas filled with John Lennon-inspired messages and artwork, symbolizing peace and love.

Free things to do in Prague, Czech Republic

  1. Wander through charming neighborhoods: Explore the unique character of Vinohrady with its Art Nouveau architecture, Žižkov’s alternative scene and street art, or Lesser Town’s historical streets and romantic atmosphere.
  2. Relax in parks and gardens: Escape the city bustle in the expansive greenery of Stromovka Park, admire the manicured gardens of Wallenstein Palace, or enjoy a picnic on Kampa Island.
  3. Witness the Astronomical Clock: Watch the hourly procession of the Apostles and other figures on the Old Town Square’s astronomical clock, a captivating display of medieval engineering.
  4. Take a free walking tour: Gain insights into Prague’s history and culture from knowledgeable guided tours, often with suggested tips for navigating the city.
  5. Browse the Náplavka market: Explore this lively riverside market, offering local crafts, souvenirs, fresh produce, and delicious street food.
  6. Attend classical music concerts: Enjoy free lunchtime concerts at various churches and historical sites throughout the city.


  1. National Gallery: Explore an extensive collection of Czech art, spanning various periods and styles, with free entry on the first Friday of every month.
  2. Jewish Museum: Learn about the history and culture of Prague’s Jewish community through exhibits and artifacts across several synagogues and the cemetery.
  3. Museum of Communism: Delve into the history of Czechoslovakia under communist rule, showcasing everyday life, propaganda, and significant events.
  4. National Technical Museum: Discover the evolution of technology through interactive exhibits, showcasing machinery, transportation, and scientific advancements.
  5. Mucha Museum: Admire the works of renowned Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, featuring his iconic paintings, posters, and decorative designs.
  6. Lobkowicz Palace: Explore the opulent interiors of this aristocratic palace, housing a collection of fine art, decorative objects, and musical instruments. (Free entry for children under 6)
Neighborhood in Prague
Landmark in Prague

Where to stay on a Budget

While the Prague Castle area and Old Town Square offer undeniable charm and central locations, they come with premium price tags. Budget-savvy travelers can find excellent options in several neighborhoods outside the city center:

1. Vinohrady: This trendy neighborhood boasts beautiful Art Nouveau architecture, a variety of cafes and restaurants, and excellent public transportation connections. It offers a lively atmosphere with a mix of locals and tourists, making it a great choice for those seeking a dynamic experience.

2. Žižkov: Known for its alternative scene and street art, Žižkov provides a unique and affordable stay. Explore quirky bars, independent shops, and the iconic Žižkov Television Tower. While not as centrally located as other areas, the metro makes it easy to reach major attractions.

3. Holešovice: This up-and-coming neighborhood offers a mix of historical buildings and modern developments. Explore the Výstaviště exhibition grounds, attend cultural events at the National Gallery, or relax in the greenery of Stromovka Park. Holešovice provides a peaceful and affordable escape from the city center, with easy access via tram.

4. Lesser Town (Malá Strana): Nestled beneath Prague Castle, this charming neighborhood offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the Old Town. Explore historical sites like Charles Bridge and Kampa Island, wander through narrow streets, and enjoy stunning views of the city. While slightly more expensive than the other options listed, Lesser Town remains a budget-friendly alternative to the pricier areas within the castle grounds.

Eating and Drinking

No travel guide for Prague can be complete without mentioning food. 

Water: You’re in luck! Tap water in Prague is safe to drink, so ditch the bottled water and refill your reusable bottle at any public fountain or tap. This not only saves you money but also helps reduce plastic waste.
Cheap Eats: Prague boasts a delicious food scene beyond expensive tourist traps. Here’s how to eat like a local without breaking the bank:

Skip the Tourist Hubs: Venture beyond Old Town Square and explore cool neighborhoods like Vinohrady, Žižkov, or Holešovice. You’ll find a wider selection of local eateries with significantly lower prices.

Affordable Eats

Local Markets: Prague’s food markets are great for budget-conscious travelers. Go check the local atmosphere and try these:

  • Národní třída Farmer’s Market: This market offers fresh seasonal produce, local cheeses, and a variety of hot meals from different vendors, perfect for a diverse and delicious lunch experience.
  • Náplavka Farmer’s Market: Located along the picturesque Vltava River, this market features street food stalls, local crafts, and stunning river views. Enjoy a unique and affordable lunch while admiring the scenery.
  • Havelská Market: Step back in time at this historic market hall. Explore the various food stalls selling everything from fresh meat and fish to traditional pastries and souvenirs. Grab a bite while soaking in the historical ambiance.

Explore Affordable Dishes: Look for these budget-friendly Czech classics:

  • Kebab: A ubiquitous street food option, kebabs offer marinated meat (usually chicken, pork, or lamb) served in pita bread with various toppings like vegetables, sauces, and cheese. Choose your favorite combination for a filling and affordable meal on the go.
  • Lahůdky (delis): These local shops are lifesavers for quick and budget-friendly meals. Find ready-made salads, sandwiches, hot dishes, and sometimes even baked goods like savory pastries or sweet rolls. Perfect for a grab-and-go lunch or a late-night snack.
  • Koláče: These sweet pastries, also known as “open-faced pies,” are a Czech staple. Filled with fruit, cheese, poppy seeds, or quark (a soft cheese), they offer a delicious and affordable way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Grocery Shopping: For the most budget-friendly groceries, consider these supermarket chains:

  • Lidl: This German discount supermarket chain offers a wide variety of groceries at competitive prices. Look for their private label brands for the best deals.
  • Albert: This popular Czech supermarket chain has a good selection of both local and international products. They often have special offers and discounts, so keep an eye out for weekly flyers.
  • Billa: A smaller supermarket chain found in convenient locations throughout the city, Billa offers a good selection of everyday essentials at competitive prices. They’re particularly known for their fresh produce section.

*Bonus Tip: Many bakeries in Prague offer discounted “včerejší pečivo” (yesterday’s bread) at the end of the day. These discounted loaves are perfectly fine for making toast or sandwiches, and they’re a fantastic way to save money on fresh bread.

How to get around

Exploring Prague efficiently and affordably requires navigating its diverse transportation options. Here’s a detailed breakdown to help you get around with ease:

Getting Around Prague


  • Metro: Prague’s metro system, consisting of three lines (A, B, and C), is the fastest and most efficient way to travel across the city. It operates daily from 5:00 AM to midnight, with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 1:30 AM.
  • Tickets: Single tickets (platí 90 minute) allow unlimited travel for 90 minutes after validation, including transfers between metro lines, trams, and buses within the validity period. Purchase tickets from metro stations, ticket machines, or authorized retailers. Consider multi-day passes (24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour) for unlimited travel within the chosen timeframe if you plan on using public transport frequently.


  • Trams: Prague’s extensive tram network covers most areas of the city, offering a scenic and affordable way to explore. Trams operate daily from around 4:30 AM to midnight, with some night tram lines operating through the night.
  • Tickets: Tickets are interchangeable with metro and bus tickets, allowing unlimited travel within the designated validity period. Purchase and validate your ticket before boarding at designated machines on trams.


  • Buses: Buses reach various neighborhoods and suburbs not easily accessible by metro or tram. They operate daily, with varying frequencies depending on the route.
  • Tickets: Similar to trams, bus tickets are interchangeable with metro and tram tickets, allowing unlimited travel within the designated validity period. Purchase and validate your ticket before boarding at designated machines on buses.

Tips: Download the “Dpp mobile” app for real-time bus schedules and disruptions. 

Cost-Effective Travel:

  • Purchase tickets in advance: Avoid queues and potential price increases by buying tickets at metro stations, kiosks, or authorized retailers before boarding.
  • Consider multi-day passes: If you plan on using public transport frequently, opting for 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour passes can be significantly cheaper than buying single tickets.
  • Validate your ticket: Always validate your ticket upon boarding trams and buses or at the entrance of metro stations to avoid fines.
  • Walk whenever possible: Prague’s city center is relatively compact and pedestrian-friendly, allowing you to explore at your own pace and discover hidden gems along the way.

Cheapest Way to Get To and From the Airport in Prague

  • Public transportation: The most economical option is taking bus number 119 from Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) to Nádraží Veleslavín metro station. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes, and tickets can be purchased at the airport information desk, ticket machines at the bus stop, or directly on board the bus.
  • Airport Express: For a faster but slightly more expensive option, consider the Prague Airport Express shuttle service. It offers direct connections from the airport to the city center (Hlavní nádraží) in about 35 minutes. Tickets can be purchased online, at the information desk at the airport, or directly from the driver.

Additional Tips:

  • Ride-sharing apps: Consider using ride-sharing apps like Uber or Bolt for occasional point-to-point journeys, especially at night or with heavy luggage. However, be mindful of potential surge pricing during peak hours.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available throughout the city but can be more expensive than other options. Negotiate the fare beforehand to avoid inflated prices.
  • Prague Card/Coolpass: If you plan on visiting multiple attractions and using public transport extensively, consider purchasing the Prague Card. It combines free or discounted entry to various sights, museums, and cultural venues with unlimited travel on public transportation for a chosen duration.
Walking in Prague

Best Time to Visit Prague

  • High Season (June-August):

Pros: Pleasant weather, long daylight hours, awesome atmosphere with festivals and events.
Cons: Crowded tourist attractions, higher accommodation prices.

  • Shoulder Season (April-May & September-October):

Pros: Fewer crowds, comfortable temperatures, beautiful fall foliage in October.
Cons: Occasional rain showers, some attractions may have shorter hours.

  • Low Season (November-March):

Pros: Budget-friendly travel, fewer crowds, unique winter experience with Christmas markets.
Cons: Colder weather with possible snow, some attractions may be closed.

National Holidays & Peak Festivals

  • Holidays: Prices tend to rise significantly during Easter week, Christmas markets (December), and Czech Republic national holidays (e.g., May 1st, July 5th). Be sure to factor these events into your budget and booking timeline if your travel dates coincide.
  • Prague International Film Festival (usually held in February): This prestigious film festival attracts cinephiles from all over the world, potentially impacting hotel and flight availability and prices. 
  • Prague Marathon (usually held in May): This popular marathon attracts thousands of runners and their supporters, contributing to increased demand for accommodation and potentially higher prices.
  • Prague Fringe Festival (usually held in June): This contemporary performance art festival brings in crowds and could influence hotel and flight prices. 
  • International Jazz Festival Prague (usually held in July): Music lovers flock to Prague for this renowned jazz festival, potentially affecting hotel and flight availability and prices.
  • Oldtimers Rally (usually held in August): This vintage car rally attracts car enthusiasts and could impact hotel room availability and potentially raise prices. 
  • Prague Autumn International Music Festival (usually held in September): This classical music festival spanning several weeks attracts music aficionados and could influence hotel and flight prices. 
  • Weekends: Prague is a popular weekend getaway destination, especially for travelers from nearby European countries. Expect higher accommodation prices, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year. Consider booking your stay in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak season or weekends.
  • Weather: While the low season offers lower prices, be prepared for colder temperatures and potential snowfall. November to March can be quite chilly, with average highs ranging from the low 40s to the mid-30s Fahrenheit. Snowfall is also more likely during this time. Pack warm clothes, and waterproof shoes, and check weather forecasts before your trip.
  • Opening hours: Some attractions, especially outdoor spaces and gardens, may have shorter operating hours during the low season. Research specific opening hours for the sights you’re interested in visiting to avoid any disappointments.

Backpacking Essentials & Safety Tips

Safety Tips

  • Stay Aware: Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas like public transportation and tourist attractions. Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas at night.
  • Beware of Pickpockets: Pickpockets can be an issue in any major city, and Prague is no exception. Keep your valuables secure in a money belt or a cross-body bag worn in front of you.

Common Scams

  • Fake Petition Signers: You might encounter individuals approaching you with seemingly legitimate petitions for your signature. These can be a distraction tactic while an accomplice steals your belongings. Politely decline and move on.
  • Beware of “Friendly Locals”: Some individuals might offer unsolicited help or companionship, leading you to secluded areas or attempting to distract you while an accomplice steals your belongings. Trust your instincts and politely decline unwanted assistance.

Things Not to Do

  • Mind Public Transportation Etiquette: Give up your seat on trams and metros to those in need, such as the elderly, pregnant women, or people with disabilities.
  • Leave No Trace: Prague is a beautiful city, and locals take pride in keeping it clean. Dispose of your trash responsibly in designated bins and avoid littering.
  • Keep the Noise Down: Respect the peace and quiet of local residents by avoiding loud noises, especially late at night, in residential areas.
  • Cross Safely: Obey traffic signals and only cross the street at designated pedestrian crossings.

Resources and Planning

Budget-Friendly Passes:

  • Prague Card/Coolpass: This all-in-one pass combines free or discounted entry to various attractions, museums, and cultural venues with unlimited travel on public transportation for a chosen duration (24, 48, or 72 hours). Ideal for frequent sightseers and public transport users.
  • Prague Welcome Card: Offers free entry to some museums and attractions, discounts on others, and unlimited travel on public transportation for 2, 3, or 4 days. A good option for those who want some freebies and discounted entry, but may not visit enough attractions to justify the Prague Card.

Budget-Friendly Tips:

  • Explore free attractions: Prague boasts numerous free activities, including stunning churches, historical squares, and scenic viewpoints. Take advantage of these free options to experience the city’s charm without breaking the bank.
  • Utilize free walking tours: Many companies offer free walking tours with knowledgeable guides, providing insightful information and historical context about the city. While tipping is optional, it’s a great way to explore and learn without a set cost.
  • Pack picnics: Purchase groceries from local markets or supermarkets and enjoy picnics in Prague’s many parks and gardens. This can be a cost-effective alternative to eating out at restaurants every meal.
  • Consider alternative transportation: While public transportation is affordable, walking or cycling can be even more budget-friendly ways to explore the city, especially for shorter distances. Additionally, renting a bike for a day can be a fun and economical way to cover larger areas.
  • Seek student discounts: If you’re a student, carry your student ID with you, as many museums, attractions, and even restaurants offer discounted entry or student rates.

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