This was my second time in Prague, but it may as well have been my first. My first visit was eight years ago with Jacob, and Prague was our first stop on a multi-city trip to Europe. I remember it as a romantic city, though this time I traveled with a close friend of mine on a girl’s trip. While Prague is a wonderful city to visit with a partner, it has so much more to offer than romance. Great food, walkable streets, beautiful architecture, and affordable pricing make it a top contender for any European itinerary. Read on for our Prague guide, including favorite eats and more in the city…
Preset Collection used in this blog post: Winter Collection
BEST TIME TO VISIT– MAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER IS PEAK SEASON, JANUARY/FEBRUARY IS THE QUIETEST TIME OF YEAR
WEATHER – SUMMER IS MILD, AVERAGING 75°F OR 25°C, WINTER IS COLD BUT SNOW IS RARE
GETTING AROUND – TRAMS, METRO AND UBER
CURRENCY – CZECH KORUNA, MOST PLACES TAKE CREDIT CARDS
LANGUAGES – CZECH, MOST PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH
NEARBY AIRPORTS – PRAGUE AIRPORT (PRG)
Where to Stay
Prague has tons of hotel and rental options conveniently located in the city center. As it’s a fairly affordable destination, you should choose whether you want to take advantage and enjoy a 4 or 5-star experience for half the price, or stay budget-friendly with a local Airbnb. While there are no shortage of Airbnbs, you’re less likely to find a ‘unique’ stay if you go this route. Most Airbnb’s here are modern, minimalistic apartments in recently renovated buildings; hotels tend to be housed in historic structures, including palaces and monasteries. (Hotel/Airbnb pricing guide: $ – under $100, $$ – $100-$200, $$$ – $200-$350, $$$$ – $350 & up).
We opted for location and value for our recent stay at Smetana Hotel. It’s located right in the middle of the city, a 2 minute walk from the famous Charles Bridge. While I loved the history of the hotel (it was formerly Pachtuv Palace, a 17th-century residence for a noble Czech family), I’m not sure it would be my first pick next time. The property itself is beautiful and the rooms are comfortable, though a bit dated. If you’re after one of the more picturesque stays in Prague I’d still recommend it. If you’re expecting top-notch service in a 5 star hotel, look elsewhere.
Hotels in Prague
Charles Bridge Palace – $ – classic Czech touches in this hotel, located 2 minutes from the Charles Bridge.
The Dominican – $ – this hotel came recommended to us for old-world Czech decor and clean, affordable rooms.
Mamaison Riverside Hotel – $ – Jacob and I stayed here years ago and loved the views onto the river, cozy rooms, and great service.
Residence Agnes – $ – the pastel pink facade of this 22-room boutique hotel is a photo opp in itself.
Old Prague House – $ – basic rooms in a quaint old building in the center of Prague.
Remember Residence – $ – these highly rated modern apartments are a great option for a longer stay in Prague.
Smetana Hotel – $$ – formerly a 17th-century palace, this central hotel is well-known and offers a unique glimpse of Prague’s past. Where I stayed.
BoHo Hotel – $$ – modern chic design in this boutique hotel right next to Prague’s old town square. Where I’d stay next time.
The Emblem Hotel – $$ – a rooftop spa and pool at this stylish hotel in the old town center.
Mandarin Oriental, Prague – $$$ – this luxurious hotel makes our list for being housed in a stunning 14th century monastery, with sweeping views of the river.
Augustine, a Luxury Hotel Collection, Prague – $$$ – elegant rooms across 6 historic buildings which date back to the medieval times. Where I’d want to splurge.
Airbnbs in Prague
Secret Garden Apartment – $ – located inside a charming Czech building in the center of Prague’s Old Town.
Riverside Flat – $ – an art nouveau space with views of Prague Castle from your own private balcony.
Modern Mala Strana Stay – $ – modern digs in this neighborhood apartment with a small balcony view.
Old World Prague – $ – a cozy space with deco-inspired features in the heart of Prague’s Mala Strana neighborhood.
Romantic Apartment – $ – elegant furnishings and easy access to Charles Bridge in this top-rated space.
Minimalist 2 Bedroom – $ – a spacious and stylish apartment located inside a 1940’s building in Old Town.
New to Airbnb? Here’s $40 off your first booking.
Where to Eat
During my first trip to Prague I didn’t have the best food experiences, so I was determined to turn that around this time. Prague is known to have tasty, affordable food options — so I turned to friends and locals for recommendations on some of the best restaurants and cafés in the city. Even when we ‘splurged’ (each getting an appetizer, main course, drinks, and dessert) our meals didn’t top the equivalent of 30 euros per person.
Alriso Risotteria Italiania – this cozy Italian restaurant located near the main square is entirely gluten-free, and tasty enough to bring any food lover regardless of diet.
La Bottega Bistroteka – we had the best meal at this fine dining restaurant with Mediterranean and Italian influence. Don’t miss their homemade desserts (or their pasta!).
Café Savoy – this French-inspired café is known for their mouthwatering ‘double’ hot chocolate served on a silver platter, amongst other things.
Choco Café – people obsess over the hot chocolate at this cozy café, for good reason. If you’re anything like us, you’ll walk home with some chocolate and macarons as well.
Lehka Hlava – yummy vegan and vegetarian food in this earthy restaurant close to the center of town. They accommodate gluten-free diets as well.
Pauseteria – we stumbled on this trendy coffee and brunch spot close by to the Astronomical Clock Tower and old town square, and it hits the spot.
Café Letka – by day Café Letka is a chic coffee spot, and by night it turns into a popular bar. It’s located in a removed neighborhood away from the main tourist sites, but is often packed regardless.
Republica Coffee – sip delicious coffee and enjoy a homemade pastry in this local coffee spot, which also serves drinks like their ‘Beetroot Cacao Latte’ and ‘Mint Coffee’.
What to Do
Prague is a walking city. With picturesque neighborhoods, parks with views, and gothic architecture, you can easily spend a day exploring and only scratch the surface. Read on for some of my favorite parts of Prague, along with curated activities (for when you need that break from walking!).
Walk across the Charles Bridge – this romantic old bridge is known for being crowded at all times of the day, so if you’re looking to catch it without people, head over early (before 8am!).
Visit the Old Town Square – best done in combination with the Astronomical Clock Tower, as mentioned above. The architecture around here is stunning and definitely a highlight of the city.
Spend an afternoon at Prague Castle – you can visit and walk around the grounds for free, which is what we did on this trip. Alternatively, book tickets in advance and plan to spend a good half day for a full visit.
Wander through Mala Strana – you’ll find plenty of charming streets, cozy cafés, and buildings in this old part of town.
Explore the Jewish Cemetery – this crazy cemetery looks straight out of a picture book, with centuries-old tombstones jutting out at all different angles. The Jewish Quarter is also worth seeing (if a cemetery isn’t your vibe).
Make your own perfume – this tiny perfumery lets you create your own fragrance to take home, a 2 hour private experience. Something unique to consider during your trip, as you’ll see fragrance shops all over Prague. Book in advance.
Go to the top of the Astronomical Clock Tower – you can find one of the best views overlooking Prague’s old town square from the top of this beautiful tower.
Climb up the tower at St Nicholas’ Church – this lesser-known spot (originally recommended to us by locals) offers more picturesque views of Prague, without the crowds.
Get a massage or spa treatment – lately I’ve preferred to get a massage at whatever hotel I’m staying at for a real treat. Getting a massage at Smetana Hotel was a highlight of my stay.
Walk through Letna Park– we enjoyed strolling through this large park for views of the river and bridges, though it’s best enjoyed in spring or summer.
Cruise along the river – for a different perspective of Prague, go on a boat tour on the Vltava River. This short tour is a great option for groups. It’s especially romantic in the evenings!
My top 3 favorite Prague photo spots