Prague is a medieval time capsule located smack down in the center of Europe. After finally breaking free from mommy dearest (aka Communist rule) in 1989, Prague has been on a non-stop climb to the top; showing the world all the excitement, culture, and beauty they’ve been missing.
Take this guide with you so you can complete all the wonderful things Prague has to offer.
Currency: Czech Koruna (which translates to Crown in English)
Language: Czech People speak Czech. Not Russian so please don’t be “that guy”
Speaking of language. Here are a few helpful phrases:
Cheer: Na Zdravi
Thank you: Dekuji
Hello: Dobrey Den
A few don’ts
Don’t go to a club on a Monday or Tuesday. It’s a waste of time. If you’re looking to party with the local crowd then go on a Thursday night. Wednesday-Sunday are the partying days, although by Saturday most people are too hung over to go out; therefore, Thursday is a perfect clubbing day.
Don’t say Czechoslovakia. It’s Czech Republic and has been for some time now.
Don’t call the Czech language Russian. Many Czech people don’t even like the Russians. Yes they are both of Slavic nature, but Czech people are proud of their country, language, and Central European location, so don’t compare them to Russians.
Don’t wear your shoes into a Czech person’s home. They will sometimes offer you slippers to change into, but if not your socks are fine.
Getting around Prague
Like most European cities, Prague is well equipped with rails, trams, subways, and buses to make getting around quick and easy. Uber is also very popular there and safe. I personally used Uber all the time.
A few helpful apps to help you get around are – Google Maps and 2GIS. Both can be used offline.
Prague is divided into 10 districts. Prague 1-10 with Prague 1 being the most popular for visitors (aka the touristy area). My other personal favorites are Prague 2 and 7.
Prague 2 is a beautiful neighborhood filled with dozens of shops, amazing restaurants, and one of the best beer gardens in Prague – Riegrovy Sady. Not to mention a local hot spot along the Vlatva River known as Naplavka.
Prague off the Map is a great resource for learning what every neighborhood has to offer. Check out their site here.
Now that you are equipped with some tips and facts, here are 30 things to do in Prague for first time (or multiple time) visitors:
Food & Drink
Breakfast at James Dean
This place resembles an old fashion American diner decorated with Marilyn Monroe and obviously James Dean. Located in the middle of Old Town and Jewish Quarter.
I recommend coming for brunch to enjoy mimosas made with their freshly squeezed in-house orange juice. Then sit back and enjoy the jukebox play all the classics we love.
Drink a Tank Beer
Obviously the Czech people love their Pilsner, but they also love their Tank Beer. In my opinion Tank Beer is often overlooked by many tourists, so grab one and enjoy.
Eat, Drink, and be Merry at Strahov Monasterie
All the beers are named after the Saint Norbert, they also offer remarkable views of the city. It’s a steep walk up and down, so wear comfy shoes.
Take a shot of Slivovitz without making a horrid face at the end
Since you will be spending a fair amount of time in Prague 1, stop by Krcma and take your shot of Slivovitz. It’s a local bar with cheap prices, and medieval interior. Seriously, I don’t think that place has been touched by the 21st century.
Go to Las Adelitas to eat some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had
Mind you, this is in Prague of all places and it still so good. This is by far my favorite place to eat in Prague (my little piece of home). Their food is so delicious they have three locations around Prague.
Local Things to Do
Eat a true Czech dessert, not a Trdlneck
Yes Trdlneck are so yummy, but they are actually true to Hungarian culture not Czech.
Go on your own pub crawl
I went on the organized Prague Pub Crawl and was seriously disappointed. Prague has an incredible bar scene, which means you better get to drinking. Check out my post on which bars are a must see while in Prague. Drunken Satisfaction guaranteed.
Make friends with a Czech local
Go into the first local bar you see, sit down with confidence, get out your Google translate, and chat away. I’ve learned some Czech during my time in Prague, so I was happy to use it during conversation.
Talk about their good history of King Charles, Wenceslas, and Havel. You will find that many are proud of their Bohemian past and love to talk about it.
Stroll through Naplavka by day and party by night
Naplavka is the Czech’s version of a beach side party. At night groups of people come out with drinks, and sit alongside the river chatting away. You will find houseboats, now turned into bars, line the docks offering food, drinks, and live music.
Go to a hockey or soccer game
Depending on the time of year, if you can catch a live sporting game, GO!
Go to a grocery store and pour your own wine from the draft
I brought an empty 2L water bottle and filled it from the dispenser. It cost me about $2 for some pretty good Moravian wine.
Touristy Things to Do
Snap a photo with the Dancing House
While I agree the architecture of this building is fascinating, there’s not much the Dancing House offers. Still you must snap a photo and maybe even go inside.
Walk around Old Town Square
Old Town Square is very touristy but necessary for any first time visitors. Something is always going on to keep you entertained. It’s also home to the famous Astronomical Clock.
Quickly tour the Prague Beer Museum so you can enjoy your 4 free samples of beers
The museum itself was very MEH, but you get to sit in a cool cave at the end and enjoy 4 different samples of beer.
After you realize the Prague Beer Museum is ok, go to the SECOND Prague Beer Museum and get a sample of all 40 beers! The level of intoxication will vary depending on your group size.
Stroll down Parizka Street for some (window) shopping
Think of this street as the Rodeo Drive of Prague. A place for high end, luxury brand shopping. It’s also located in the Jewish Quarter; the most expensive neighborhood in Prague.
Count the Spires around the city
They don’t call Prague a city of a thousand spires for nothing. How many can you count?
Climb the steps if Petrin Lookout Tower
Prague’s very old rendition of the Eiffel tower. Climb to the top and admire more amazing views.
Take the Discover Prague free walking tour
Note: Don’t forget to tip your guide in the end. I tipped 100 CZK ($4 USD) per person when I went. Hopefully you get the guide Ashley, because he was awesome.
Art and Museums
Rudolfinum for a classical music concert
I must say, I didn’t make it to a concert due to time conflict, but I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the beauty of the concert hall and of course the music.
The entrance to the hall is covered with a red carpet making it all the more convincing to dress up for a fancy evening over classical music.
Tour Prague Castle
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if a castle is what you are looking for, you will not find it. That big Gothic Building you see in all the pictures is actually St. Vitus Cathedral. The buildings around it did once belong to the high and mighty, but today it’s used by the current President. Still a gorgeous place to visit.
The Discover Prague Tour does a walking tour that covers all the castle grounds without actually going inside. It’s 200 CZK ($8 USD) for a 3 hour tour. TIP: Take the 5 pm tour for less crowds and better pictures.
Find the fake windows in old Baroque buildings
Baroque buildings are meant to be symmetrical, so when some were built uneven, painters would paint fake buildings to keep it true to the baroque style. HINT: There’s one around the Prague Castle grounds. Can you spot the fake windows?
Enjoy Art Nouveau at the Mucha Museum
Have a beer in one or all beer gardens
Sadly, if you visit Prague in the winter months, these beer gardens will be closed.
Stroll Wenceslas Square
Another popular square in Prague – one of the main and original ones. Today, Wenceslas Square is a center for business, shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Enjoy a sliver of nature at Jeleni Prikop
A strip of land around the backside of the Prague Castle that used to serve as a moat but now is a scenic walking path.
Paddle Boat along the Vlatava River
Nothing beats taking in the city view than from the river. You may even befriend a few swans while you’re out there.
Watch the changing of the guards at Prague Castle
Take a Vintage Car Tour
I put this on the list as a “what not to do” unless you’re really not up for walking, I recommend the walking tour over this one. Looking at the vintage cars from the outside is better anyways, but still first timers love them.
Tour the Jewish Quarter
Make sure to stop by the oldest operating Synagogue in Europe. Right across from the Synagogue is an over-crowded cemetery. There you will find a few notable people, but what really makes this place unlike any other, is how many people are buried there.
Back in the day when Jews were only allowed to live in the Jewish Quarter, they where also only allowed to be buried there. Since the Jewish religion does not believe in cremation, all the deceased had to be buried there, pilled on top of each other in this one small cemetery.
Some tombstones have multiple names. When the Jewish people had asked for more land, the government said no and instead gave them more dirt so this cemetery is high above the ground only packed in by the walls surrounding it.
Pay your respects at the Lennon Wall
It goes without saying the Lennon Wall is a must for any first timers in Prague. It really is remarkable. The wall is always changing as people leave messages daily.
Share your Prague must-do’s in the comments below!