The pretty Czech capital used to be one of the least expensive cities in Europe to visit, but these days it is unfortunately not so wallet-friendly. However, there are plenty of ways to explore the city without having to worry that you’re blowing your budget. From taking in the stunning examples of architecture around the Old Town and enjoying a walking tour of the city, to checking out artworks and listening to music, there is much to love in Prague that you can soak up at a low cost.
Whether you having been saving up for a trip to this European wonderland for years, or have utilized the best travel credit cards to earn benefits to get you there, don’t fear that you can’t explore Prague on a budget. Read on for some top spots and activities around the city to put on your itinerary today.
Take a Walking Tour
One of the best ways to get acquainted with Prague is by walking its pretty cobbled streets. There are a number of companies in the city providing guided walking tours for free (although they do ask for a tip), but one of the most popular choices for tourists is Prague Extravaganza. Their walks are run by local volunteers, and tours depart twice a day.
The Old Town & Jewish Quarter tour lasts for two hours, and meets at the Powder Tower at Namesti Republiky. As its name implies, this walks takes visitors on a stroll through the gorgeous medieval streets of the striking Old Town, and then through the city’s Jewish Quarter. Tours introduce walkers to sites such as the Old Town Square, Saint James Church, Tyn Church, a Franz Kafka sculpture located in the area where the famous writer was born, the Old-New Synagogue, and the Old Jewish Cemetery.
While you’re in the Old Town Square, don’t miss checking out the famous Astronomical Clock. It is built onto a Gothic tower that presides over the hotchpotch of buildings that make up Prague’s Old Town Hall, founded in 1338. The clock is one of the most popular attractions in all of Europe and charms crowds with its 45-second performance every hour, on the hour.
If you’d like to continue on after the first tour ends, you can join the Charles Bridge & Prague Castle 90-minute walk that starts after a 15-minute break. This will give you the chance to see one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the breathtaking Prague Castle. Dating from the 9th century, the castle is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic.
Listen to Music
If the price of a ticket to see the Czech Symphony Orchestra is outside your budget, don’t worry, you will still be able to listen to beautiful music while staying in the city. On the Charles Bridge (completed in 1390, and the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Vltava river), you can enjoy the musical stylings of an array of jazz bands, string quartets, and solo violinists who busk there regularly.
Other places to go for free or cheap concerts (with everything from classical musical to jazz) are the Prague Conservatoire, and the Czech Museum of Music that is located inside the Church of Mary Magdalene.
If you prefer dancing the night away and listening to top local DJs, head to the famous Roxy nightclub. Operating since 1992, Roxy is situated within the old shell of an Art Deco cinema, adding to its charm. The cover price is free in some areas, with individual pricing set for others.
Examine David Cerny Artworks
Prague’s most famous living artist (and its most provocative), David Cerny, has created many intriguing artworks over the years, some of which are displayed all around the city and can be seen for free. For example, head to the garden of the Futura Gallery to see an installation named “Brownnosers,” where you can climb ladders to peer into the backsides of two large statues and watch videos of an actor eating baby food; or watch ten oversized, and quite creepy, infants crawl up the Zizkov Television Tower, in a sculpture named “Babies.”
Admire Prague’s Architecture
If you’re a lover of impressive architecture, you won’t be short of buildings to admire in Prague. Some of the best to make sure you tick off during a visit to the city are: the Basilica of St. George, an impressive Romanesque building; St Vitus Cathedral, one of the most richly-endowed cathedrals not just in the Czech Republic, but in all of Europe; and St Nicholas Church, a striking example of the Baroque style.