Once one of Europe's cheapest cities, Prague has gotten costlier over the last few years as its popularity has increased. But never fear Cheapos. Just follow our tips and you'll have a fabulous trip without feeling that you'll have to sell your first born child.
Prague Budget Tips
One of the Prague Information Service locations is in the Mala Strana Bridge Tower (pictured). Even the tourism centers are quaint in Prague! Photo: nickhull.
Tourist Office Information
We always recommend stopping by a tourist information center (in Czech: turistické informační centrum!) as soon as possible. Prague's tourist information centers carry tons of information and pamphlets detailing special events, free concerts and art festivals. The municipal Prague Information Service (PIS, or Prazska informacni sluzba)is located at Rytírská 31. It is open daily from 10 AM until 7 PM from April through October, and from 9 AM until 6 PM from November through March.
Find additional branches in the Old Town Hall on Staromestske nam, in the Mala Strana Bridge Tower, and in the Praha-hlavni nadrazi train station, adjacent to the metro entrance. While hours vary at each branch, all are generally open from 10 AM until 8 PM in the summer and from 10 AM until 6 PM in the colder months.
Be sure to pick up a copy of the monthly publication Culture in Prague. Published in English, it provides an invaluable guide to the city, replete with well-researched listings. For more information check out the Prague Tourist Office website.
Prague's Art Nouveau Municipal house cuts a striking contrast against the city's Gothic architecture. Photo: c_e_s.
Museum Prices and Discounts
Museums in Prague are generally a good value. Always check for reduced ticket prices for children.
Admission prices on popular museums in Prague:
Completed in 1912, this Art Nouveau building, steeped in Czech history, today houses an exhibition hall and a concert hall. Tours are offered daily from either 11 a.m.-3 p.m. or 1-5 p.m.
Prices: CZK290 (adults); CZK240 (students, children aged 10-18); 500 (family--2 adults and 2 children under 18); free for children under 10.
This cathedral in Mala Strana (one of three churches in Prague called St. Nicholas) is held to be a paragon of the Baroque style. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the low season and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the high season.
Prices: CZK70 (adults); CZK50 (students); free for children under 10.
Located in Old Town Square, this Gothic complex holds art and history exhibits and features a tower with great city views. The famous Astronomical Clock adorns the exterior. Hours are from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. (It opens at 11 a.m. on Mondays.)
Prices: CZK100 (adults); CZK70 (students); CZK20 (children).
Located inside this former convent (the first Gothic building in Prague) is a wealth of Medieval and Renaissance Czech artwork. The exhibits are open daily, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Prices: CZK150 (adults)/CZK80 (reduced or after 4 p.m.)/CZK200 (family); free (children under 10).
Standing proudly at one end of Wenceslas Square, the National Museum is one of the more imposing buildings in Prague. Photo: Brekhus.
The most famous building of Prague’s National Museum, prominently situated at one end of Wenceslas Square, is closed until July 2015 for major renovations. Fret not, though, as many exhibits are still displayed in the New Building, in Vinohrady, as well as at the National Museum’s many other satellite locations. The New Building is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended hours often on Wednesdays.
Prices: CZK100 (adult)/CZK170 (reduced)/CZK170 (family).
Appropriately located in the modern, up-and-coming neighborhood of Holesovice, the Veletrzní Palace is Prague’s modern art museum. It is open daily, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Prices: CZK 180 (adults)/CZK 90 (children, students and seniors),CZK 240 (families).
Featuring the works of renowned Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha, this museum is just a few blocks from Wenceslas square. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Prices: CZK180 (adults)/CZK 120(children, students and seniors)/CZK490 (families).
An iconic sight, the Prague Castle towers over the city from atop its perch in Hradcany. The enormous complex features a variety of historic, religious and civic attractions and also contains the home of the Czech head of state. The complex is open from 5 a.m. to midnight, though the various buildings and attractions have different hours.
Prices: CZK250 (adults)/CZK125 (reduced)/CZK500 (family) for the short tour.
The Havelska Market can bring a bit of color to even the grayest days in Prague. Photo: lumierefl.
Tons of free sights augment Prague's inarguable status as a budget-friendly destination. Prague is particularly well-suited to pedestrian travel. For most tourists, every street corner, bridge, clock tower, and castle is picture-perfect. Views from the Charles Bridge are deeply inspiring. So many people have popped the question from its vantage points that such stories now sound clichéd.
Havelska Market, Prague's very best produce and flower market, sits on the north side of Wenceslas Square. Initiated in the 13th century, it still functions today as a commercial center. All sellers are required to be producers of their own products, a stipulation that creates a wonderful community of farmers, gardeners, and craftspeople.
Join the crowds for the striking in of each hour at the 15th century town hall clock at the Old Town Square. Daily from 8 AM until 9 PM in warmer months and from 8 AM until 8 PM in winter, the clock rings in the hours to adoring fans for free.
Admission to the National Museum on the first Monday of the month is free.
Senior discounts exist in Prague. However, to obtain some discounts, membership in a particular association may be required. Members of the AARP get discounts on hotels, airfares and car rentals. They can be reached in the United States at 1-888-687-2277 and online.
The International Student Identity Card, ISIC, the most widely accepted form of student ID, provides discounts on sights, accommodations, food and transportation. Many of the museums in Prague are already so cheap, one can forgive the backers for not offering more discounts. However, some places do have the usual offers of admission discounts of 20-50% to ISIC members.
All cardholders have access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. In the US call 1-800-223-7986 or visit the ISIC online. Applicants must be degree seekers of a secondary or post-secondary school and must be at least 12 years of age. The card costs US$25 and is valid until the end of the year issued.
For non-students 25 years and younger, the International Youth Travel card, IYTC, also offers many of the same benefits as the ISIC. The card costs US$25 and is valid for one year from the date issue.
Travelers with student cards, such as ISIC and IYTC qualify for big discounts from travel agencies. Most flights from budget agencies are on major airlines, but in peak season some may sell seats on less reliable chartered aircraft.
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