Your Last Minute Food & Travel Guide to Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a city with stunning preserved historical architecture known for its Prague Castle that’s the largest castle complex in the world and the pedestrian Charles Bridge that crosses the Vltava river, with statues of important people in the history of the city.
We spent about 6 days exploring the city after attending Travel Blogger Exchange in Ostrava. We can’t find a guide that explains the food scene and how to’s of navigating the city and discerning what’s touristy and what’s local. Most of the information is from backpackers and bucket list travellers who just want to check the city off their list.
Here are our insights, learnings from mistakes and last minute food and travel guide to the City of Prague, Czech Republic (or Czechia).
HOW TO PRAGUE
Google Map list: https://awesm.pl/howtoprague
You’ll arrive at or depart from the Prague Airport named after Václav Havel, the last president of Czechoslovakia in 1992 and the first president of Czech Republic in 1993.
Terminal 1 – for International and non-Schengen flights
Terminal 2 – for Schengen flights
Terminal 3 – for Cargo and Private Charters.
For more info, visit www.prg.aero.
The fastest way to go from the airport to the city is via AE (Airport Express) Bus.
You can buy a one-way bus ticket for 60 Kč from the bus driver.
The AE Bus drops off at the Prague Main Station, the main train station from which to go to different cities around Czech Republic.
The Prague Metro is very efficient and has three lines—Red, Yellow and Green—but it is underground so you need to go up and down steep elevators.
The transport ticket system is an honesty system with random checking like the ones in Germany and this part of Europe. This means there’s no toll gate, no security guards to stop you from boarding a train.
If you get caught during the random checking, you pay a hefty fine.
We would usually buy different tickets per day:
• 24 Kč one-way ticket for 30 minutes;
• 32 Kč from 90 minutes; or
• 110 Kč if we expect to take more than 5 rides throughout the day.
Once you have your ticket, make sure that you stamp it on your first use.
For more info, visit www.dpp.cz/en/fares-in-prague/.
Tip: You can also get an unlimited 2-day (58 Euro ~ 1,500 Kč ) or 3-day (68 Euro ~ 1,750 Kč) Prague Card that gives you free entry to Top 50 attractions. I don’t think it is worth it and you’ll just be forced to go to touristy places that are just a waste of your time. For more info to compare, visit www.praguecard.com.
Our favorite way to go around the city is via tram because it is quite convenient and on the street level. You can pretty much go to your destination around the city with a combination of tram + walk in a few minutes.
Take note that the ticket is applicable to all public transport—metro, tram and bus.
DON’T do the Hop On Hop Off; this is bad advice I received from another traveler.
It’s always late, and you’ll just waste time going around places that you get to appreciate with a mere look. The staff typically are first timers because nobody stays in this job and most of them are not service-oriented.
I only remember 1-2 stories from the commentary and, in the end, you just wanted to say you went around Prague. Going around Hop On Hop Off does not count in my opinion because you don’t experience any local culture by sitting on the bus.
II. CHARLES BRIDGE STRATEGY (BEST PRACTICE)
We’ve been to Charles bridge (or Karlův most) three times during the trip and here’s the best way to experience it.
Start on this Old Town side of the bridge where you can have a vantage point of the Prague Castle, Charles bridge and this calm part of the river reflecting the structures.
Best to go early in the morning as early as 7.00 – 9.00 am to get a clean shot of the bridge and to be able to get your signature portraits with natural morning light.
As you walk across the bridge going to Malá Strana (known as Lesser Town), make sure to go down and appreciate it from the river banks.
This is also the best time to go to John Lennon Wall nearby without the crowds.
We missed this during our first-morning visit so I had to go back the next day to take a cleaner shot.
Walk towards Legion bridge and Legion Island (or Střelecký Ostrov) along the river banks.
Make sure you catch sight of David Černý’s alien “Tower Babies,” crawling near Museum Kampa, up close.
Once you reach the next bridge, you’ll find one of the best breakfasts in Prague at Cafe Savoy.
French Breakfast (435 Kč). Prague ham, grilled pork sausage, hard-boiled egg, vegetable tart, potatoes, French toast with seasonal fruit and maple syrup, croissant, breads, farmers’ butter, hand-squeezed orange juice, cafe-au-lait.
We lazily enjoyed our French Breakfast of omelette, good croissant, coffee and French toast in Prague.
Don’t forget to grab one of their Czech pastries like Karamelovy Vetrnik before you go. Budget about 400 Kč/person.
It’s already open by 8am and it gets crowded going to lunchtime. You’ll love the high ceiling and romantic French feel.
Don’t forget to check out the open kitchen in the basement when you go to the restroom.
Monday-Friday, 08.00 am-10.30 pm
Saturday-Sunday, 9.00 am-10:30 pm
Lokal U Bílé kuželky (near Charles Bridge)
We don’t recommend the restaurants around Charles Bridge because most of them are very touristy except for Lokal that’s hidden near the Malá Strana side of Charles Bridge.
Lokal is known for the freshest local draft beers in town from Pilsner Urquell (39 Kč for 0.3l) and Our Kozel black beer (51 Kč for 0.5l).
Order their 6-week ripened special fried cheese with their tartar sauce (169 Kč – 150g) or Prague ham with creamy whipped horseradish (125 Kč – 100g) to go with the beer.
You’ll love the old tavern ambience with lighted designed graffiti on the wooden walls.
Check out the inn if you need to stay for a night in the cool Mala Strana area.
Monday-Thursday, 11.30 am-12.00 mn
Friday-Saturday, 11.30 am-1.00 am
Sunday, 11.30 am-12.00 mn
III. CONQUERING & SURVIVING THE PRAGUE CASTLE
Prague Castle is the largest coherent palace complex in the world and the dominating structure in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Historic Centre of Prague.
Telephone:+420 224 373 584
Email: e-mail: [email protected]
Prague Castle complex: Open daily, 6.00 am-10.00 pm
Information Centre: Open daily, 9.00 am-5.00pm
(9.00 am-4.00pm during the winter season)
The Palace Complex is already open as early as 6am, and it is best to go there before 8am to be able to get a clean photo of the historic structures without the crowds.
St. Vitus Cathedral opens at 9 am, the time when tourist buses arrive at the cathedral. You can stay at the entrance area for free.
I would recommend going up the hill via Tram 22 and alight at Pražský hrad stop.
There’s a ceremonial changing of the guard that happens at 12.00 noon in the first courtyard.
My favorite mural is the Last Judgment Mosaic depicting heaven and hell at the St. Vitus Cathedral.
You can exit via the Southern Gardens and walk down through the Old Castle stairs.
Don’t miss the awesome view of the rooftop of Malá Strana neighborhood.
Prague Castle Circuit B—To Tour or Not to Tour?
The Information Centre opens at 9.00 am and we chose the Prague Castle – Circuit B (250 Kč/ person) which includes inside access to the St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George Basilica and the Golden Lane.
We got an audio guide for 3 hours (350 Kč) so we could go at our own pace. Check out the Prague Castle Price List.
Take note that the ticket is valid for 48 hours but you can use it only once.
Hop On Hop Off provides a Prague Castle tour but this is only in the free areas of the castle with added commentary.
I don’t recommend this and it would be better to just get a tour from a licensed professional guide at about 400 Kč for 4 persons for an hour.
You can attend the mass service to get access inside St. Vitus Cathedral at the following times:
Monday to Saturday: 7.00 am Mass
Friday: 6.00 pm Mass
8.30 am Mass
10.00 am Mass (celebrated in Latin every last Sunday of the month)
5.00 pm Vespers (not from July to September)
For more info, visit www.katedralasvatehovita.cz.
St. Vitus Cathedral
With a tour fee, you can enter the Neo-Gothic part of the Cathedral with chapel and tombs of saints and royalty.
This is the Silver Baroque Monument of Czech Saint John of Nepomuk, the patron protector from floods and drowning.
The most beautiful part is St. Wenceslas Chapel which houses the relics of the saint, with walls adorned by semi-precious stones and with artworks depicting the passion of Christ.
The feast day of St. Wenceslas is on September 28.
Don’t miss to read the explanation of the Last Judgment Mosaic at St. Vitus Cathedral.
Old Royal Palace
Imagine the Royal Banquets and Coronation festivities that happened here at the Vladislav Hall.
You’ll love the view from the southern wall observation deck of the Garden on the Ramparts and of Prague.
Don’t miss to get a close up look of the St. Wenceslas Crown, Royal Orb and Royal Sceptre.
St. George’s Basilica
The Romanesque Church of St. George Basilica is the second church at Prague Castle.
You can see what remains of the chapel consecrated to St. Ludmila and tomb of Prince Vratislav, the grandmother and father of St. Wenceslas.
It’s not as remarkable as other churches but it is significant to the story of St. Wenceslas, the Patron Saint of Czech.
This is the 16th century preserved dwellings of the servants, defenders and goldsmiths (hence the name Golden Lane) of the castle.
It’s quite crowded and, for me, the most interesting part after St. Vitus Cathedral because you get to see how people lived in this era.
I would go here first at 9.00 am to take a clean shot of the Golden Lane and explore it before the crowds arrive.
It’s worth the entrance fee but did you know that it is free to go in after 5.00 pm?
For more info, visit www.hrad.cz/en/prague-castle-for-visitors.
IV. OLD TOWN (Prague 1) ✔ AND WHERE TO EAT
The Old Town Square is a historic square in the city of Prague.
Prague’s neighborhoods are labeled from Prague 1 to 10, with the Old Town area as Prague 1.
We would exchange our money at the corner of Maiselova and Kaprova Streets in Franz Kafka Square as advised by the Honest Guides.
You can go up the Old Town Hall Tower for 250 Kč for a 360 view of the Old Town neighborhood.
You can buy your ticket on the 3rd floor and go up to the elevator all the way to the top.
Best to go down via the spiral ramp down the tower.
Here’s the awesome view of the Old Town Square from the tower.
Monday, 11.00 am-10.00 pm
Tuesday-Sunday, 9.00 am-10.00 pm
The Havelska Market is a tourist trap and it is OK to skip this.
If you ever needed to go to the mall, visit the Palladium mall for local Czech brands.
Opens daily from 9.00 am-10.00 pm (except Sunday) and closes at 9.00 pm.
As you go around town, make sure to stop by the Book Tunnel at the Municipal Library of Prague.
You can’t miss the rotating head of writer Franz Kafka by Czech artist David Cerny.
It’s a kinetic artwork made of 42 layers of reflective stainless steel.
You can find the locations here in Google Maps: https://awesm.pl/howtoprague.
Where to Eat
Our favorite place to eat is the Gourmet Passage area along Dlouhá street in Old Town.
Naše maso serves butchery-fresh Czech cows and pork meat from a self-service counter where items are prepared from scratch.
Check out their Naše maso menu.
The bestseller is the aged hamburger (215 Kč – 180g) cooked medium with a good meat-bun ratio.
Order the beef tartare to really taste the flavor of freshly butchered meat that you can spread on the bread.
Make sure to ask for and order their special meat dish for the day.
Butchery: Monday-Saturday, 8.30 am-10.00 pm
Monday-Friday, 10.00 am-10.00 pm
Saturday, 10.00 am-6:00 pm
For dessert, walk beside Naše maso to the confectionary plant of award-winning pastry chef Lukáš Skála.
Check out the traditional Czech desserts like the Laskonka (50 Kč) and their home-made ice cream.
Don’t leave Prague without tasting one of the best Kremroles (44 Kč) in town.
Monday-Friday, 9.00 am-9.00 pm
Saturday, 10.00 am-9:00 pm
Sunday, 10.00 am-8:00 pm
Warning: Trdelník a popular street-side spit cake is not a Czech dessert. Locals don’t like it but it has taken over the City of Prague.
We never tried it and we don’t recommend it. Don’t be caught posting it on your Instagram.
The main Lokal branch is located along Dlouha street, a 1-minute walk from the Gourmet Passage.
Here you’ll get the freshest draft local beer in town in a tavern-like feel.
You can try their fried or fermented cheese, Parma ham and salads.
Monday-Saturday, 11.00 am-01.00 am
Sunday, 11.00 am-12:00 mn
Tip: If you are into wine, make sure to check out the passage between Lokal and Naše maso to this secret wine bar with a laundry installation art.
One Sip Coffee
After your meal, make sure to head over one of the best third wave coffee place in Prague at the back of Gourmet Passage.
Check out One Sip Coffee Menu.
You can get a Cappucino (55 Kč), some pastries and local Ajala Chocolate from Brno.
Monda-Friday, 9.00 am-6.00 pm
Sunday, 10.00 am-5.00 pm
A Guided Food Tour
Sometimes a food tour is a good option to gain a good amount of insights both about the culinary traditions of a place as well as the best places where to try this or that specific food. We recommend going on one of the following tours, which are very different from one another but still worth checking:
• a Withlocals Prague food tour to know about Prague food heaven within a private setting, and avoiding the mainstream options.
• a Taste of Prague tour to know more about the local food scene and the best places to eat in Prague. For more info, visit www.tasteofprague.com.
This is Naše maso 2.0 which has the same butchery-fresh meat but charcoal-grilled, with a canteen ambiance located in a former bank office.
You can order different meats priced on a per gram basis. Check out the Kantyna Menu.
You can get a communal plate of meats with sauces and fresh local beer.
Monday-Sunday, 11.30 am-11.00 pm
Butchery: Monday-Friday, 10.00 am-11.00 pm
Saturday-Sunday, 11.30 am-11:00 pm
Manifesto is a community food market in the city of Prague with curated food, container van design and a totally cashless set-up.
Check out Manifesto to try good food from other cuisines other than Czech and to see where the local foodies hang out.
We tried Argentinian burgers and steak cooked over Josper Grill at Gran Fierro ( see Gran Fierro Menu).
Monday-Sunday, 11.00 am-10.00 pm
Breakfast: Monday-Friday, 8am ~
U Modre Kachinicky
The Czechs really know how to do a good duck meal and The Blue Duckling place comes in highly recommended.
Get the Grilled and Smoked Duck Breast (540 Kč) served on a mixed salad with raspberry sauce and roasted pumpkin seeds.
Pair the duck with a glass of Pinor Noir 2016 (195 Kč).
The place is quite romantic, authentically local (not touristy), and they do serve the best duck in town.
Monday-Sunday, 11.30 am-11.30 pm
Prague Boat Cruise Sunset
We tried the 50-minute sightseeing river cruise ride (13 Kč/head) around Vltava River, turning around in Charles Bridge.
For more info, visit www.prague-boats.cz.
We got it as part of the Hop On Hop Off ticket and it was just OK during sunset.
I felt we just wasted our time, so make the most of it by taking your selfies at the Charles Bridge.
Letna Park Sunset Session
We enjoyed going to the Letná Park (Letenské sady) during sunset and listening to a local band.
We bought food from the local supermarket and had a picnic near Containall-Stalin Outdoor Cultural Center and Bar (see menu).
This is a historical landmark where the statue of Stalin was located and the perfect spot for an awesome night view of the city.
For Catholic pilgrims, don’t forget to hear mass and pray to the miraculous image of the Infant Jesus of Prague.
He answers prayers quickly. Make sure to pray for your relatives and friends.
You can buy an image of the Sto. Niño in different sizes and varying robe colors with corresponding meanings:
WHITE – festive colour of purity and holiness
RED – the colour of blood and fire, royal colour
VIOLET – solemn colour symbolizing repentance
GREEN – the colour of life and hope
PINK – the colour of subdued joy
GOLDEN – festive colour
BLUE – festive colour specially on the feast of Our Lady
Make sure to have yourself and the image blessed at the left side of the church when you enter.
Take note of the English mass schedule every Thursday and Sunday.
Church of Our Lady Victorious and Prague’s Infant Jesus
Klášter Pražského Jezulátka, Karmelitská 9, 118 00 Praha 1 – Malá Strana
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Telephone: +420 257 533 646, +420 257 534 144
Thursday, 5.00 pm English mass
Sunday, 12.00 nn English mass
For more info, go to Times of Services.
V. THE HIP KARLIN NEIGHBORHOOD (Prague 8)
One of the best neighborhoods to stay in is the hip Karlin neighborhood in Prague 8, a former industrial place gentrified after the great flood in 2002.
We stayed in a Karlin AirBnb along Thámova St. conveniently located across the Křižíkova (yellow line) metro station and the tram stop.
Eska is a modern Czech restaurant specializing in fire-baked bread and food proudly made of Czech ingredients conceptualized by head chef Martin Štangl.
This is the best breakfast we had in Prague that is distinctly local.
We love the off-the-beaten-path location in Karlin, friendly service and fine industrial breakfast ambiance.
We had Breakfast Karlin (315 Kč) served with salmon trout, vegetables, egg, granola, herbs, sweet curd cheese, fruits and soft drink.
I enjoyed the Bread with Roastbeef (175 Kč) with celery, apple and chive.
Egg Patty with ham and roasted vegetables (238 Kč) with onion, mustard and pickles is also quite popular.
This is a good place to buy your food during your stay or pasalubong.
Monday-Friday, 8.00 am-11.30 pm
Saturday-Sunday, 9.00 am-11.30 pm
Můj šálek kávy
The name translates to My Cup of Coffee, and it is the best place for third wave coffee in the Karlin area.
They also serve breakfast, and we love their pastries and ice cream.
Monday-Saturday, 9.00 am-10.00 pm
Sunday, 10.00 am-6.00 pm
Explore the Karlin area where you can find specialty shops like this Lavender Shop.
For lunch, you can go for grilled chicken cooked by girls in grils.
You can order the 1/4 grilled chicken (115 Kč) with coleslaw (45 Kč), grilled zucchini (55 Kč) and smoked mayonnaise (30 Kč).
U Nádražní lávky 81/2, Praha – Karlín
Telephone: +420 731 631 835
Monday-Friday, 11.00 am-3.00 pm, 4.00 pm-10.00 pm
Saturday-Sunday, 11.00 am-10.00 pm
Thank you for reading this guide all the way to the end and we wish you an awesome trip to Prague.
Please feel free to add to this guide or write in your questions or suggestions to improve this guide via the comments section.
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We paid for our meals, accommodations and transportation. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.
P.S. Visit the Strahov Monastery and check out their centuries-old library for 120 Kč/head + 50 Kč photo fee.
Strahov Monastery Library
The Theological Hall, built in the 16th century, has the statue of St. John the Evangelist, a book wheel, big terrestrial and astronomical globes and beautiful ceiling frescoes as highlights.
The Philosophical Hall, built in the late 18th century, features the ceiling painting entitled, “The Spiritual Development of Mankind.”
Check out the intricate writings and drawings in one of the bible books on display.
Open daily, 9.00 am-5.00 pm
Lunchtime break, 12.00 pm-1.00 pm