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Prague is the perfect destination for fellow solo travellers. Here’s my guide to the best things to do in Prague and where you must stay on a budget.
I first visited Prague way back in 2008 on a Contiki tour of Europe and I instantly fell in love with the city’s snowy streets and beautiful architecture. It’s so cheap, has a great nightlife and there’s plenty of things to do. Prague definitely made an impact, so when I realised I could return on my 2017 solo Europe trip, I was very pleased. Keep reading for my complete solo traveller’s guide to Prague, which is filled with enough information and inspiration to help you plan a weekend in Prague or an even longer stay.
WHERE TO STAY IN PRAGUE
I absolutely loved staying at Sophie’s Hostel in Prague. It was one of the best hostels I stayed at in Europe. The five-bed female dorm was literally an apartment and I’m fairly certain it cost me about $20 AUD per night. We had a massive bedroom with five single beds arranged in a circle. Then there was a small kitchenette with a dining table and an ensuite bathroom. The hostel staff were also very friendly, there was an onsite bar and it was in a very convenient location. Sophie’s Hostel does offer breakfast, but I picked up a small loaf of bread with spread from the Tesco down the road, which set me back a staggering $2! If you do want to use public transport in Prague, there’s a metro station nearby and trams, and staff will happily help you with tickets.
THINGS TO DO IN PRAGUE
VISIT STRAHOV MONASTERY
From the hostel, I got the #22 tram to Strahov Monastery. It’s a beautiful building with amazing city views and there’s a famous 17th-century brewery onsite as well.
HEAD TO PRAGUE CASTLE
I decided to walk from Strahov Monastery to Prague Castle, because HELLO pretty views. The castle complex is massive and it’s the most important Czech monument. I just went for a wander with the hundreds of other tourists, but you can pay to visit most of the attractions. There’s the castle itself, as well a St. Vitus Cathedral, Rosenberg Palace and the photogenic Golden Street.
TAKE A PHOTO AT THE LENNON WALL
The Lennon Wall has existed since the 1980s and was once filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti, Beatles’ song lyrics and politically-focused messages. Today, it’s one of the top places to visit in Prague for fun photos, as it’s a colour explosion of indecipherable words and messages.
CHECK OUT VYŠEHRAD
Another place to visit in Prague is Vyšehrad, which is located just south of the city. It’s a fortified Medieval castle with hidden passages that’s been transformed into a museum. Guided tours are available if you’re keen to learn more.
WANDER MALÁ STRANA
Malá Strana is the Lesser Town and it’s filled with beautiful pastel-coloured buildings, restaurants and museums. As it’s connected to the other side of Prague by the Charles Bridge, expect an overflow of tourists. I made a beeline for a shop making trdelniks – the country’s traditional and delicious chimney cake. The hollow dough is rolled, baked and covered in sugar. I may have gotten mine coated in Nutella as well. YUM.
CHECK OUT PARK KAMPA
South of the Lesser Town is Park Kampa, which has very unique sculptures and pretty views of Prague’s Old and New Towns. Winner, winner.
CLIMB THE PETRÍN TOWER
One of the most popular things to do in Prague is climb the Petrín Lookout Tower. Sitting on a hill in Prague and offering even more city views, the landmark’s design was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. Visitors can get to the tower via a funicular or several different tram stops.
WALK ACROSS A BRIDGE OR TWO
Charles Bridge is without a doubt the most popular place to visit in Prague. During the day it’s heaving with people and locals selling souvenirs and photos. Although you should definitely go for a stroll across it once, I also recommend heading to nearby Mánes Bridge to take photos of the Charles Bridge itself, because it is made for photos. Please see evidence below.
VISIT OLD TOWN SQUARE
Prague’s Old Town Square is a beautiful historic square, located between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. It’s the place to visit in Prague and it’s home to the Prague Astronomical Clock, Old Town Hall (great for views), the Jan Hus Memorial, the Kinský Palace and The House at the Minute (where Franz Kafka lived in the 19th century). It’s full of tourists, but I couldn’t look away from the surrounding architecture. The colours! The details!
HEAD TO WENCESLAS SQUARE
Wenceslas Square is the main city square in the New Town of Prague. Although it was once the sight for many protests and political movements, today it’s home to many shops and fast food options. There’s even a Marks & Spencer, which totally surprised me! I became used to seeing them across the UK. Neighbouring Wenceslas Square is also the National Museum.
CHECK OUT HAVELSKÝ MARKET
Located in the Old Town, this market dates back to 1232. During the week is mostly stocks fresh produce, but on the weekends there are many souvenir stores. It’s a great places to pick up a souvenir (or, you know, another trdelnik).
EXPLORE THE JEWISH QUARTER
Prague’s Jewish Quarter is one of world’s best preserved. Neighbouring the Old Town, definitely go for a walk through the streets to see the Quarter’s six synagogues and to visit the Jewish Museum in Prague. Visit the Information Centre here to learn more about guided tours of the Jewish Museum, as well as Jewish Quarter tours.
INDULGE IN A BEER SPA
Have you heard of a beer spa before? This is Prague’s original and award-winning beer spa, where you essentially bathe in beer and can drink as much beer as you like while soaking.
PHOTOGRAPH THE DANCING HOUSE
DO A RIVER CRUISE
TAKE A WALK DOWN KRYMSKA
The New York Times actually named Krymska one of its favourite streets in Europe – not a bad accolade! I didn’t get there on this trip, but apparently it’s been revitalised in recent years and is now home to great restaurants, cafes and a gallery. I’m just upset I didn’t visit because it’s home to InCider Bar, which specialises in local hard apple cider. That’s right up my alley! Another street to check out is Veverkova.
SEE THE SUNSET FROM VÍTKOV HILL
Located northeast of the Old Town, Vítkov Hill is home to a series of walking trails, as well as the National Monument. From its elevated position, it offers a great view over Prague.
DO A DAY TRIP FROM PRAGUE
One of the places on my Europe bucket list is Český Krumlov, which you can actually visit on a day trip from Prague. Another option is Karlovy Vary, which is a historic Czech spa town, or Kutná Hora, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
WHERE TO EAT IN PRAGUE
KRCMA U PARAŠUTISTU
I visited this restaurant with a friend from Australia currently living in Prague. It’s a cosy pub with an English menu that serves a lot of Czech specialties, including baked pork knee and pork with cabbage and potato dumplings.
For burgers, check out DISH. It actually calls itself a fine burger bistro.
Sophie’s Hostel recommend Hajnovka and Vinohradský. Hajnovka was another place I wasn’t able to visit, but I thought I’d mention it, as it serves both Czech and international dishes. AND it was a local recommendation.
This was the other hostel recommendation, which I did get to visit. Vinohradský is both a brewery and a restaurant. For lunch I had a bowl of goulash and a beer for $9 (including tip) – bargain! They serve a lot of delicious Czech dishes at very reasonable prices.
This cafe was just up the road from my hostel as well. I met local friends here, who I worked with at the Vancouver Christmas Market (don’t you just love the fact Facebook is like an online address book?). It’s a cosy basement space that roasts its own coffee, but they also serve alcohol. I started with a hot chocolate, but then my friends said I had to try a shot of hruškovice, which is a pear liqueur. It wasn’t bad at all.
Plus, don’t forget to enjoy a trdelnik (chimney cake) and all the potatoes! I even found one of those twisted potatoes on a stick at a small store below Prague Castle. The best snack.
A FINAL PRAGUE TRAVEL TIP
I just thought I’d let you know that through a Google search I discovered Prague Airport Shuttle to get from the airport to my hostel. It was reasonably priced and a very easy way to get to my accommodation. They also gave me a pocket guidebook – how sweet!
As a solo traveller, I find Prague very easy to navigate. Although I didn’t go out at night, I felt safe walking back to my accommodation in the evening – the sun sets too early in fall and winter. I also think the locals are very friendly and willing to speak English. I’d definitely recommend Prague to fellow solo travellers.