Prague is one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. It is compact, comfortable, regal and sophisticated. Local guides came up with a simple rhyme: “If you arrived in Prague for five days, you will definitely come back to us again.” A fleeting acquaintance with this amazing city, its legends and traditions most often develops into a long-term friendship. And the desire to walk along Prague streets again and look at Wtlava from Charles Bridge is rarely succeeded by anyone overpowering.

How to get from the airport to the center of Prague?

Officially, the Prague airport bears the name of Vaclav Havel, and the people call it Ruzyne. From the air harbor to the center of the Czech capital is only 17 km.

Three city bus routes run through the airport. You can buy a ticket at a special counter inside the airport, in a vending machine at a bus stop or at the driver. To do this, you need a trifle in crowns. If there is none, it is better to exchange the minimum amount, since the exchange rate at the airport is always disadvantageous. To get to the center, just buy a limited ticket for half an hour.

The main things to remember:

– bus number 119 goes to line A, and number 100 goes to line B.

– Route No. 191 runs less frequently, but will take you to both branches. In this case, it is better to immediately buy a ticket for 90 minutes, it will be enough on the subway.

– buses run from 05:00 to 00:30.

There is also an aeroexpress train running from the airport to the railway station. You can use his services from 5.30 to 21.00, only the driver has tickets. He goes to the center without stops, in half an hour you will be there.

At night, the route number 910 runs. It passes about 40 stops so that tourists can transfer to other night transport routes. It works from 23.52 to 3.36, with an interval of about half an hour.

It turns out that there are night windows, when you can get to the center only by taxi. You will notice the cars right away – classic yellow with checkers, all of them are equipped with counters. You can choose a company on the yellow stand at the airport and place an order there. Taxis can also be booked in advance. There are carrier companies that accept even rubles. Go to the center for about 20 minutes. Cost about 500 CZK.

Prague astronomical clock
Prague astronomical clock

Where to stay in Prague? Areas of Prague

Staying in a special Prague atmosphere non-stop will help to stay in the center. These are, first of all, the areas of Prague-1 and Prague-2, hotels here are expensive and very expensive. 

Secondly, Prague-3 – prices are much more affordable and all the attractions are nearby. 

Living here, you can not only save on travel, but also wander through the amazing streets of Prague at any time of the day or night, gaining impressions and emotions. In my opinion, this is the best option.

The area of ​​Prague 6 is convenient for tourists – ancient streets and ultra-modern buildings, picturesque parks and luxurious mansions. Demand creates supply – tourism infrastructure is well developed here.

Cheap hotels can be found in Prague 5. Smikhov microdistrict is preferred; it directly borders the historical center. Budget accommodation for tourists is offered by cozy Prague-7.

And one more thing: recently a new territorial division was adopted. Now officially the capital of the Czech Republic consists of 22 districts. However, both the local population and tourists still prefer the old system. Moreover, the main tourist areas – 1,2,3 and 6 preserved both the name and the territory.

Staroměstská radnice
Staroměstská radnice

Public transport in Prague

To get started, take the free map in the metro, which shows all public transport routes. 

There is an option in Russian. It is very convenient, and will help out if suddenly the application on the phone stops working.

So,

– the metro is open from 05:00 to 00:00,

– tram – from 05:00 to 00:30;

– bus – from 4.30 to 00:30;

– train – from 04:00 to 00:00;

– cable car – from 09:00 to 23.30.

There are two transport zones. Tourists are interested in zone P, in fact, urban. Since zone O – suburban buses and some sections of the railway.

If this is your first trip to Europe, the fare payment system will surprise you. The passenger does not pay for travel, but travel time. You can use several buses and even different modes of transport during the time indicated on the ticket. For example, within an hour and a half. 

They puncture a ticket once at the beginning of the trip. Transport waiting times are also taken into account.

And now a few numbers. According to the data for August 2019, the minimum ticket for 30 minutes costs 24 kroons; standard – 90 minutes – 32 kroons; daily ticket costs 110 CZK; unlimited ticket for 3 days – 310 CZK.

A child ticket (from 6 to 15 years) is two times cheaper, for passengers under 6 years and after 70 – travel is free.

Prague keeps up with the times, so you can buy an SMS ticket here. It costs as much as the usual plus the price of SMS. The SMS message is sent to the number 90206, the text is DPT and the ticket price, for example, “DPT24”, “DPT32”, etc. Send SMS immediately when boarding a bus or subway. For those who send a message only when meeting with the controller, this will not help, a fine is guaranteed. By the way, the controllers in Prague are serious and adamant. Tourists are treated with respect, but “I do not understand you” will not work.

Of course you can cheat. So, if the accommodation is far from the center, and you come for a week or more, it is more profitable to buy a monthly pass for 670 kroons. Even greater savings – then sell it to newly arrived tourists or at a specialized forum on the Internet.

dawn over the city
dawn over the city

Czech kitchen. Restaurants in Prague

Czech cuisine is very similar to German, it has a lot of meat, sauerkraut, thick sauces and of course delicious Czech beer! The portions are always of impressive size, and the dishes themselves are very hearty and high-calorie, so forget about the diet for a while, relax and enjoy. Czech cuisine is worth it!

Czechs pay great attention to soups and you will be pleased with the variety, but you will not find borsch or hodgepodge here. The most popular, no doubt:

  • Polevka v chlebu (vole in bread) – soup in a large bread roll and this can be absolutely any soup;
  • Kulajda (kulayda) – a thick soup with mushrooms and potatoes. Served with sour cream;
  • Cesnecka (garlic) – garlic soup with smoked meats;
  • Gulasova (gulashova) – a classic goulash soup with meat in tomato-garlic sauce;
  • Cibulacka (tsibulachka) – onion soup with croutons with cheese.

Undoubtedly, many of you have heard about the famous Recene veprove koleno (baked pork knuckle) and every self-respecting tourist considers it his duty to try this yummy. Veprove koleno is a pork leg stewed in beer, served most often on a wooden plate with a side dish of sauerkraut. Keep in mind that the average weight of this dish is 2.5 kg and cannot be overpowered alone. Be sure to try goulash (Gulas) – a stew with a thick sauce, the Czechs are very respected and love this dish, goulash with traditional dumplings is served.

Czech dumplings

The famous Czech dumplings (czech knedlíki) are steamed pieces of flour or potato dough. They must be dipped in a thick meat sauce, they themselves are fresh to the taste and you are unlikely to like it, although there are a huge variety of species, even sweet ones. Another popular meat dish worthy of your attention: Vepro-knedlo-zelo – roast pork and stewed cabbage, served, of course, with dumplings.

The beloved wanderers in Prague are prepared in their own way and are called Bramboraky. Unlike butterflies, bramboraki is most often the size of your plate and therefore can easily be used as a main dish, less often, as a side dish. Most locals consider bramboraka to be the main national dish, which even suppressed dumplings.

Not without national desserts. The most popular: Trdelnik (Trdelnik) – fragrant hollow tubes of dough, generously rolled in a mixture of sugar, nuts and cinnamon; plum dumplings (Szilvasgomboc) – delicious boiled dumplings in a sweet breading; palanchiki (Palacinky) – sweet pancakes stuffed with fruits, nuts, ice cream, chocolate paste, etc. of your choice.

And of course, what kind of Czech Republic without beer? In terms of beer quality and quantity of its consumption, Czechs can argue even with Germans. In Prague, an unthinkable number of breweries and breweries, it makes no sense to single out any separate types of beer, there are so many that it is impossible to calculate with all the desire. Try, be surprised, enjoy!

Prague is a very inexpensive city, you can eat here much cheaper than in Vienna and do not forget about the serving size! On average, a bill in a cafe or restaurant, including drinks, is not more than 400 CZK (about 15 €), a snack with junk food is quite realistic for 150 CZK (about 6 €).

! Advice when choosing a restaurant: if possible, observe where the local population eats, the more locals have lunch / dinner in a cafe, the higher the quality of the dishes offered and the lower their cost.

And now about the places. If meat is Portefin Hus. They cook deliciously and you can order a shank of a minimal size. Serve it in onion gravy. Do not be alarmed by the name, gravy is very tasty. If the goulash is “Sadlu’s.” The interior is in the form of a knight’s castle, everything is conceptual, the goulash is very tasty. But the soup here is better not to take, it resembles a powder of cubes. Traditional Czech strudel must be eaten in Slavia. This is the oldest cafe in Prague. The prices are affordable, the strudel is delicate, tasty, from the first piece it gets into a golden notebook “I will definitely try it again”.

They feed tasty almost everywhere, but the sensations from the establishments are very different. Most of all I liked it in the Monastery tavern, located on the territory of the monastery. Mentally, cozy, simple.

Those who want to combine bread and circuses, who like animation in hotels and performances in restaurants will like the King Brabant establishment. According to legend, the tavern was opened in the XIV century and alchemists gathered here. Well, also among the famous visitors – Mozart, Kafka. Now there are shows in the medieval style – dancing beautiful ladies, dueling of knights and pirates. Waitresses, by the way, play no worse than artists. Real medieval Prague.

restaurants at the Old town square
restaurants at the Old town square

Attractions in Prague

Charles Bridge is the most famous landmark in the Czech capital. Monumental, global, polished with shoes and the looks of tourists. It is crowded at any time of the day. But Charles Bridge is also one of the most mystical places in Prague. Numerous legends surround him with a special aura. For example, they say that the architect made a deal with the devil himself, so that the bridge was the strongest structure and stood for many centuries. According to another legend, for the same purpose, wine, milk and eggs were added to the solution. Some initiative residents were so eager to help that they sent cheese and cottage cheese, and especially zealous boiled eggs so that they would not break on a long journey.

Prague Castle Seven hectares of magnificent castles, basilicas, churches, spectacular palaces, unique architectural monuments. The Prague Castle is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest castle complex in the world. And almost all the objects are perfectly preserved. There is a beautiful Royal Garden, a monumental summer residence of the king, a sample of the Gothic Cathedral of St. Vita, the pretty Zlata street where the royal alchemists once worked, and much later Kafka lived. A separate phenomenon of Prague Castle is the changing of the guard. It is held every hour, but the largest number of spectators is attracted by the midday ceremony, when the action is accompanied by the music of the orchestra.

Objects of modern art Prague is also a city of modern art. Here you will see the Dancing House, sculptures of pissing men, a museum of modern art and a procession of 34 penguins not far from it, black phantasmogoric babies, an embryo hanging on the wall of one of the Prague theaters, the wall of John Lennon, the intriguing monument “The Empty Cloak”. 

And also Kafka. The monument in the form of a ten-meter head of the writer, consisting of 42 mirrors, which are either scattered or assembled again, makes an indelible impression. 

All this is no less epic than medieval towers and graceful palaces of the 18th century.

Charles bridge across Vltava river
Charles bridge across Vltava river

The brightest holidays and events in Prague

Christmas Do you want a truly magical Christmas when miracles are in the air and the feeling of a holiday does not leave for a second? Then to you in Prague. Billions of garlands, cute Christmas attributes, spontaneous theatrical performances and fairs throughout the city. The main one is located on the Old Town Square, and it is a must to visit. Music, endless rows with a variety of goodies and all kinds of goods, far-fetched entertainment. And also Christmas Prague – these are concerts of classical music, nativity scenes and romantic narrow streets illuminated by yellowish lanterns, in the light of which snow falls so beautifully.

Czech beer festival Who loves beer, loves Prague. Each year, in mid-May, one of the largest and most popular beer festivals opens in the Czech capital. It lasts almost a month. Over a hundred varieties of beer (besides ordinary and popular, there are varieties with exotic additives and products of small breweries), classic Czech dishes and unusual snacks, beer contests and picturesque views of the park in which all this takes place. And also the general atmosphere of friendship and fun, numerous acquaintances and only positive emotions.

Prague Spring A large international music festival. Held in March, May, July and September. Symphony orchestras, famous performers of classical music, chamber ensembles. Every day, more precisely, the evening takes place in 5-6 concerts in parks, in concert halls and magnificent cathedrals.

the Powder tower
the Powder tower

Shopping in Prague. What to bring from Prague?

Prague is a shopaholic’s dream. There are all popular brands here, and prices are lower even without taking into account sales. In addition, from the point of view of shopping, the city is well-zoned. Elite brands are concentrated on Paris Street. Even if Versace, Dior, Hermes and the like do not interest you, just walk along this street. Spectacular Art Nouveau mansions, stylish shop windows, beautiful people – not a walk, but aesthetic pleasure.

The mass market is Wenceslas Square and the street Prikop going from it. H&M, Bennetton, Mango, Zara – the choice is wider, prices are lower than in Russian stores of the same chains. There are also stores of Czech brands. There are clothes of all styles, sizes and for every taste. As for shoes, pay attention to the five-story Bate store – a Czech brand that produces high-quality casual shoes. The lowest prices on the top floor – there is their outlet.

Prague castle
Prague castle

Of the shopping centers, perhaps the most famous is Palladium, it is located on Republic Square. There are all brands from prestigious to budget, mainly European chain stores. In Prikop there is another popular shopping center – Black Rose, it is more focused on affordable brands. I will single out the Fashion Arena from outlets – there is everything, and the prices are such that at the end of shopping you will have to buy a new suitcase.

Sales coincide with European – Christmas from late December to February, and summer in July. In Prague, it is also customary to arrange additional sales in April and October. They are not so grandiose, but in shops much calmer.

What should i take? Local cosmetics based on beer or Czech mineral waters are interesting, jewelry – take Czech pomegranates only with a “passport”, and remember that they are not larger than 3 mm in diameter; food products – all kinds of sausages, including horse meat, venison, venison, waffle-pay – very tasty and inexpensive; alcohol is beer and again beer. If you don’t like beer or want to be original, there are good Fernet liqueurs. Well, Becherovka, of course.

St. Vitus cathedral
St. Vitus cathedral

What to do in Prague with children?

Children entertainment in Prague is no less than adults. These are water parks, amusement parks, dino park, toy museum, lego museum, chocolate museum and more. Three objects deserve close attention.

Prague Zoo. Included in the top 10 largest zoos in the world. Five thousand inhabitants are ready to appear in all its glory to the guests at any time of the year. Lattices block only predators, the remaining animals are behind glass partitions. There is a valley of elephants, an African pasture where giraffes and antelopes live, the jungle where monkeys frolic. You can see the Galapagos turtles and polar bears, tapirs and penguins, gorillas and lions. Some species are very rare and are on the verge of extinction. To visit it is better to plan the whole day. The territory is large, there are a lot of animals, in addition, there are other joys – a railway, a playground, ice cream.

Children’s island. In fact, this is a large playground, but it is located on a separate island where a special ferry boat delivers guests. The entrance is free. Swings, climbing frames, attractions, slides, as well as a swimming pool, soccer field and other sports grounds. In general, everything that gives kids so much joy. There are separate playgrounds for kids and a restaurant with the colorful name “Rusty Anchor”.

Kingdom of Railways. The most popular exhibit is mini Czech Republic with a real landscape and a network of railways with stations, tracks, wagons that run along these tracks. There are also miniature copies of medieval and modern Prague. All this is especially interesting for boys and their dads. You can send them together on this thematic tour and go to the shopping center New Sichev, one of the largest in Prague, which is located nearby.

church of st. Ludmila
church of st. Ludmila

5 tips that will definitely come in handy when visiting Prague:

1. Change money at Wenceslas Square with the Arabs. The lowest rate and lack of commission, even hidden. Landmark – blue signs.

2. Dine at business lunches. In Prague, they are called “Denny Cape” and run from 11.00 to 14.00. But it’s better to come early, otherwise Czech managers are very hungry and eat a lot.

3. Buy a monthly pass from tourists who are about to leave.

4. There are shops in Prague where you can pay not only with crowns, but also with euros. Use crowns anyway, because when paying euros, the seller sets the rate that he likes.

5. Czech dishes are very satisfying, and portions are large. Do not order a lot right away. You always have time to order, but the likelihood that more than half of the dinner will remain on the plate is high.

Old town square
Old town square