Delighted at the prospect of finally having posts of my ‘Travel’ section of my blog, I have split my Prague posts into 3; the first (this one) being my own tips for the city, the second being all about food and the third being a general storytime of my own schenanigans in the city.
I’m aiming to keep this short and sweet with just three top tips to keep in mind when visiting Prague.
Getting Around Prague
Assuming that you are arriving into Prague via plane, you will likely find yourself at Václav Havel Airport, approximately 15km outside the centre of the city. Getting in to the city centre is super easy and transport very cheap (at least compared to London – but then most places are!) I was visiting for 5 days so purchased a 3 day ticket for 310 CZK (£10.70), then once this had expired, a 24 hour ticket for 110 CZK (£3.80).
There are other options available for tickets including one for 30 minutes of travel and one for 90 minutes of travel. Tickets are valid on trains, trams and buses and are the same for all means of transport. You can easily purchase them from information points and vending machines at stations, using coins or cash and following the on screen directions. (It’s really easy even if you do not speak Czech!) Tickets can also be purchased, rather obscurely, in tobacco shops.
You must buy a ticket before travelling – whilst you do not need one to pass through any turnstile system like in other cities before boarding a train, tickets are subject to random checks by transport workers. Before you use the transport, be sure to validate your ticket. You can do this on little yellow machines, located on trams and buses or by the escalators if taking the train.
On my visit to Prague, my ticket was checked once on a late night tram where a girl got thrown off because she did not have a ticket, once on a packed airport bus (to catch out tourists trying to be sly) and there were no checks for us on the trains.
MAIN TIP: Just buy a ticket. They are cheap enough and a lot better than any fines.
If you are travelling on a budget like I was, you will probably have in place your own spending system for your travels. If your card provider charges you for using your card overseas, withdrawing some cash at the start of the trip can save you a lot in fees, as this way you will only pay once, instead of on each transaction.
When I visited Prague, I did not have an account with Starling – or another provider that does not charge fees. Arriving in Prague, I went to the cash point in the airport as I needed to get some currency right away.
A quick Google advised me that £160 was about 4800 Czech Kourna, so I put in the machine I wanted 4000CZK to make sure I wouldn’t overspend with whatever commission I would be charged. The machine told me if I went with the ‘guaranteed’ and undoubtedly fabulous rates, I would get my 4000CZK for £166.
On the other side of the split screen, there was an option to take 4000CZK without the conversion, dauntingly sitting alone on that side of the screen, not looking like it wanted to be selected. I went with this option anyway after figuring the cash with the conversion seemed to be an extortionate rate. When I checked my bank, right after the withdrawal, I got 4000CZK for just £138, which is as close to commission free you can get in an airport.
MAIN TIP: Get cash out of the cash machine and always use the ‘without the conversion’ option.
What to wear in Prague
I am definitely not a fashion blogger in any sense of the word (despite my fashion journalism degree), but I would definitely recommend taking rubber soled shoes with you with a decent tread.
Prague is an extremely slippery city, especially in the wet. When I visited Prague, it rained for a big chunk of my time in the city. I opted for some thick soled ballet flats from Carvela and a pair of casual shoes from Ugg and I managed not to slip at all.
MAIN TIP: It goes without saying, but make sure to check the weather before you travel. It had been 25°C the day before we arrived and was meant to be the same once we left but for the time we were there the temperature hovered between 4°C and 10°C!
Have you visited Prague? What unusual things would you like people to know about the city?