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Travel Prices in Prague, Czech Republic

When I published this guest post on the price of travel in Prague three years ago, I had never been there. I skipped right over it and went to Moravia for a biking trip on my first Czech trip and never got to the capital. I just spent a few days there at the end of another trip to the Czech Republic last week though, so I’m updating this post on costs in Prague with some personal observations and new photos. The good news is, Prague prices haven’t really gotten worse. While the Czech city is more expensive than the rest of the country by 50-100%, it’s still a great value compared to many other European capitals. Most of this text is from Roman Jelik, a Czech-born resident who publishes the Travel Prague site and he has confirmed the accuracy of his numbers.

travel prices in Prague - St. Charles Bridge

Prague is smack in the middle of Europe but can be a great bargain if you are careful about how and where you spend your money. The city of a million residents was host to nearly eight million visitors last year. Close to a million of those were Germans coming over the border for a holiday, but there were also nearly half a million Americans flying in for their vacation. Most came to be taken back to a time of castles, kings, cobbled streets, and medieval stone bridges. The city of a thousand spires does not disappoint. Standing at the base of the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and looking down at the patches of red rooftops and narrow streets one can easily imagine the city as it existed five hundred years ago.

A delicious microbrew pint in the Old Town tourist district in Prague Czech Republic Food & Drink Prices in Prague

The first thing you will notice is how cheap the beer is – and it’s really good beer. A half liter of the popular Pilsner Urquell costs an average 32 CZK at a non-tourist bar, which at current rates is about $1.50 USD. Or to put in another way, if after a few hours of chatting with your friends you find that you drank 7 mugs of beer you still have spent less than $10. The very affordable beer price probably has something to do with the fact that Czech people hold the infamous distinction of being the highest per capita beer drinkers in the world with 148 liters per person per year. (3 beers per day average if you count every resident: babies, the invalid, people who don’t drink…) They aren’t stuck in their ways though so you’ll find a wide variety of options beyond the original pilsner.

You would think that with all that beer drinking there would be a lot of beer-bellied people stumbling around. Yet there are plenty of skinny people. Even though a hardy plateful of goose, cabbage and dumplings glazed with grease is enjoyed once and a while, it is not uncommon to have nothing more than a bun with a couple slices of ham for lunch. All throughout Prague are delis with various hams, fish and potato salads. The salad is served on a little plate and costs around $2, the buns cost $0.15 each. There are little tables at which you can stand and eat your bun and salad. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s delicious, it’s filling, and best of all you spent under $3. It’s common to see sandwiches for $2 or so, on good multigrain bread or fresh-baked buns.

$2 sandwich in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Prices for Hotels & Hostels

You are not going to be able to find great deals if you plan to stay at a hotel in central Prague. The prices are similar to hotels in other major European cities. Expect to pay anywhere between $90 and $150 for a double room at a regular 3-star or 4-star hotel. (Check current prices from multiple sources here.) Of course as you move closer to the Charles Bridge or Old Town Square the prices rise proportionally. Prices dip down a bit as the temperature drops, then shoot up in the summer high season. (Tim here – I found a nice hotel with buffet breakfast for $99 a night including taxes in August, and got $20 worth of Bonwi reward points back for it, but near the Staropramen brewery a few kilometers from Old Town.) Hostel bed prices average around $19 a night for a dorm.

To save money, and experience what most tourists never do, you should consider staying at a pension just outside of Prague. Celakovice is a pleasant 25-minute train ride through the countryside. With 10,000 residents, the riverside village has all the amenities you need: a town square with church-bell tower, restaurants, bakeries, delis, butchers and even a supermarket. For $40 a night you can stay at a fully furnished apartment with kitchen, couch and bath located right on the main square.

Celakovice village

The train to Prague departs twice an hour and costs $5 for a return ticket. Staying at a pension enables you to make your own meals and relax in the sleepy town when you need a break from the crowds of the big city.

Transportation Costs in Prague

Prague taxi ratesTaxis have a terrible reputation in Prague. There was a time when if you stood at the airport with your bags and hailed a taxi you where no better off than a fresh carcass on the Savannah. Stories abound of oblivious tourists paying $200 for a 30 minute taxi ride to Prague. There was probably some truth to these stories as now there are set prices for taxi rides to the center of the city. No need to haggle or debate – just pay the amount stated on the signs in the airport. A taxi ride to the city costs approximately $30 depending on where exactly you need to go. You might argue this is still expensive just to get into the city, or you can look at it the other way and consider that you saved $170.

Update: Uber (but not Lyft) is available now in Prague as well, which I took from my hotel to the airport for about $17 in a nice “Select” car. There’s also a similar local service called Liftago which I used multiple times in another Czech city. It is basically a multi-taxi service with the standard rates, but one you can pull up on your phone without calling anyone and you can see how far away the driver is. No fear that you’re overpaying or that you’ll have to phone someone in Czech.

In terms of land area Prague is a tightly packed city and most of the interesting tourist sites are walking distance from each other. The popular Royal Walk through Old Town, over Charles Bridge, and up to Prague Castle starts from one side of the city and ends on the other; walking at a leisurely pace it can be done within a day. There are many other long walks that get you out of the packed central zone, with printed maps available at the tourism office. See more info here.

If you really need to get to the other side of Prague quickly and cheaply I would recommend the public transit over a taxi. For just over $1 you can get a one-way ticket or for under $2 you can purchase a 90 minute pass which enables you to use any combination of metro, tram, and bus to get to anywhere in Prague. A full-day pass is under $6.

Admission and Activity Charges

If you are on a budget, this is a city where there is no great reason for you to spend any money on admission. The city is best experienced on your feet and from the street. The buildings and statues are the museum. The underground restaurants and the delicious cheap beer they serve is your entertainment. The Old Town square is free, the Charles Bridge is free, walking up to the castle and sitting on the royal lawn is free. (Note from Tim: when I walked by the castle entrance area, there were six busloads of tourists waiting in line to pay the admission and enter. Ugh.)

the famous castle in the summer tourist season when Prague prices are high

Tourist Traps in Prague

Prague can be a very cheap city to visit but it can also be very expensive. It depends where you pull out your wallet. Because there are so many tourists and almost all of them visit the same few sites, it is just good business sense for a shop or restaurant owner to raise their prices and collect as much as they can. To avoid overpaying follow the simple rule of never buying anything in a popular tourist spot or on streets connecting the sites. Here’s an app to tell you whether your are in Prague tourist trap. Simply walk 200 meters in a random direction till you are safe in local territory and buy your goods there.

List of Important Prices (in USD – at rate if 1 USD = 22CZK):

Price of travel in Prague Czech Republic

half liter mug on tap: $1.20 (locals’ place) to $3.50 (microbrew in tourist area)
half liter can: $0.80 – $1.20
2 liters of Kofula (Czech Coke): $0.50
bottle of respectable local wine: $8
bottle of respectable Czech vodka: $5
bun with fish salad: $3
rabbit, cabbage, dumplings: $6
goulash with dumplings: $5
large sausage in bun from street vendor: $2 – $2.50
glass hot wine from street vendor: $2
1kg Czech apples: $1
2kg of potatoes: $1
loaf of Czech bread: $0.50
100g Czech ham slices: $1

24 hour public transport pass: $2
3 day public transport pass: $14
3 hour train to the beautiful Czech city Ceský Krumlov: $12
1 hour bus to ski hill in northern Czech: $4
1 hour bus to spa town of Teplice: $3

Average nightly AirBnB price for 2 in summer: $140
Number of AirBnB options for 2 under $100 in Old Town in August: 14
Hostel bed prices: $11 to $31 (average around $19)

Here are some more tips to check out: 8 Insider’s Tips on Traveling to Prague

Prague: Get Your Guide

This is a guest post by Roman, a travel writer living in Prague, who also shot the outskirts and taxi photos. He shares tips and advise on his website Prague Travel. He invites you all to come for a beer or two or three.

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Filip

Friday 30th of August 2019

There is a strange situation with weed in Prague. You can smoke and grow, but you can`t officially sell it. So in shops you can buy only fake for tourists. The same things is with MDMA and coke, you can free walking with 2 gramms of both, for your personal use. Also, street dealers can offer you a weed: I give you 50% that it will be fake, and 100% that it would be about 0,4-0,5 gram. Price depends how foolish for him you are looking, from 250CZK to I dont know how much. The best way is to meet with people, that lives there for more than 10 years and have an opportunity to look and feel the smell, before you buy. The real 1 gramm of perfect weed will cost a little bit more (about 400 CZK, and a little bit cheaper if you take more). If you are looking for something like this, I can help you, email me [email protected] or write Wickr: Praguestuff . Also, I can say that Prague is not only a weed-city. There are a quality coke (about 3000 CZK per real gramm) and mdma there, the only question is to find good quality.

Cindy Marshall

Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

Tim, My daughters college roommate lived in Prague while she studied abroad and she said that It was much, much cheaper than living in the U.S.A. I live in the central part of the state, which is Arkansas. Can you please give me some information on the difference in the costs of living here and Prague, also do they have free health care?

Oprea Petrul

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

I'm in the airport, right now, writing this. The city is great... fantastic. Beautiful architecture, streets, people....I will recommended, no doubt. But, the prices, written here, are fake. A pint of beer is between £3 and £4. 1L is £6. (pub prices) Meals are also more expensive than London. I saw a lot of websites advertising price numbers that are wey less than real... started to think that they are sponsored.

Prague is expensive...

Regards, from terminal 1, Preague

Sean

Sunday 7th of July 2019

It depends on where you buy it mate. The prices are spot on in a lot of places.

Rafael

Friday 19th of April 2019

Why does it look like you wrote it on 2018 when you obviously did it before? if you edited the article then, that's what it should say.

Tim Leffel

Friday 19th of April 2019

Rafael - The whole first paragraph is about the updates, which both of us worked on. Did you skip it?

Luke

Tuesday 5th of February 2019

This was a great read, thank you. I will go for the food and beer prices alone. Here in Seattle I am paying at least $30 a meal and if I decide to Uber in the city at night rather than take public transit I have to pay inflated prices. If a tourist trap raises the price of a beer from $1.50 to $4.00 I will pay that with a smile on my face. Thanks again for the great read.

Russ

Thursday 3rd of January 2019

Roman and Tim Thank you for your great post. I can add a few more recommendations for your readers >>

Daily Free tour of Prague A daily 3-hour free walking tour of the main sights of Prague. The old city, museums and cathedrals, synagogues, and bridges … Pass 3 times a day, you can register in advance.

Prague city card This is a tourist map with which you can visit 50 different attractions of the city (museums, parks, galleries, zoo) for free. You can buy it on arrival in the city (at the airport or in the center) or order online (it will start when you activate it).

What this card gives: • free use of all modes of transport in the city (metro, trams, buses, even funiculars and a suspension road in the Zoo); • free entrance to 50 locations in Prague (Prague Castle, Prague Zoo, Royal Gardens, Jewish Museum, Old Town Hall, Pet?ín Observation Tower, National Gallery, National Museum, Troy Castle, Vyšehrad); • free bus sightseeing tour of the city; • transfer from the airport; • a boat trip on the Vltava; • discounts (from 20% to 50%) to visit other museums, various cafes, bars, etc.

Cards are available for 2 days (€ 46 – full, € 33 – preferential); 3 days (€ 56 – full, € 40 – preferential); 4 days (€ 65 – full, € 47 – preferential).