Europe,  On a Shoestring,  Travel

Prague – On a shoestring

The Czech capital Prague a UNESCO site, holds just as much fairytale romance and culture as its best European counterparts. The most notable thing about Prague is its relatively inexpensive, making visiting on a student budget ridiculously easy. It’s the cheap adult alternative to Disneyland – with just as much magic and charm.

Although in recent years Prague has developed a reputation as a Stag do venue and a must for inter railing, there is so much more  to offer besides beer. The four city quarters; Mala Strana, Josefov, Stare Mesto and Nove Mesto provide equal measures of culture, art and cuisine, which will amaze even the most experienced traveler.

Transport and attractions all offer discounts for students, which means you don’t have to fret about choosing between a beer at dinner and enjoying the top Prague sites.

There are so many ways to enjoy this city to the max without draining your student bank account.

Here I share my top tips to budget- search- save and make the most out of student travel. Travel that doesn’t conform to the expected norm.

Top Tips

Dishes to try:

Czech cuisine includes lots of roasted or seasoned meat, popular choices are pork and duck. Potato dumplings are served with lots of Czech dishes alongside gravy. More recently a wider variety of good quality vegetarian and vegan options have become available at restaurants across Prague.

  • Roast duck with potato dumplings and gravy is a delicious traditional Czech meal, which is also large enough to share.
  • Apple Strudel served warm, a lovely way to finish a meal or warm up on a cold evening.
  • Vegetarian potato pancakes.

Need for loose change:

Try to make sure you have plenty of change for WCs and transport machines. Its best to be prepared as most public toilets including ones at metro stations charge you to use them. Tickets for transport can be bought from a cashier or a ticket machine within stations, but machines only take coins.

Nightlife in Prague:

It depends on your budget and personal preference but there’s something to suit all tastes. Head to Old Square to hear some great musicians for free or to discover more about organised bar crawls. To find cheap beer at £1.70 visit bars off the traditional tourist routes and if clubbing is your scene you’ll want to be in Holesovice to soak up the authentic nightlife.

  • Cash only-  located in the Old Town, this bar serves up the best cocktails that Prague has to offer.  The staff are friendly and the bar has a classy but relaxed atmosphere.
  • Boat Parties–  starting at 350 czk includes unlimited drinks and stunning views of Prague.
  • Roxy Nightclub – offering DJ sets and live bands, entry is free on Mondays.

Shopping on a Budget:

A high majority of shops,sell the same classic souvenirs but at different prices so it’s best to shop around before you buy.

  • Pragtique – leave behind the I love Prague t-shirt stalls and bring home something unique and original
  • Kuraz –  find perfect gifts, apparel and hand made decorations by local designers.
  • Shop Souvenir – just of of Charles bridge lies this shop its your classic tacky souvenir hunting dream.  You’ll find ‘my girlfriend went to Prague and all I got was this lousy t-shirt’  and Absinthe.

Eating out at a low cost: 

Dining out on a budget is possible, you just need to try avoid dining in popular tourist areas, which are notorious for aiming prices high. If avoid the Old Town and Main Square you can find good food for £6!

  •  Café Slavia  just off the Old Square serves sandwiches for 45 czk and main dishes for just 95 czk.
  • Restaurace u parlamentu; located next to Staromestska station, serves up traditional Czech food at reasonable prices. Including dishes large enough for two to share for just 395 czk.

Budget – Search- Save

Budget:

Set your budget before you start searching for packages then you know how much you can physically afford.

This prevents draining your student bank account and ensures you have a little bit left over as a back up for any small additional costs you may experience.

You can get by on £20 a day per person in Prague, but if you want to splurge a little on visitor attractions budget to spend £35 each.

There’s a great app you can get to help aid your budgeting called Trail Wallet. It’s quick and easy to use helping to track your expenses in line with your budget.

Search:

Booking a package holiday? Expedia and Last minute.com are two of the top companies offering great budget deals.

Alternatively use sky scanner to get cheap flights and book a hostel via hostelworld or a apartment through Air BnB. When booking accommodation definetly avoid central Prague, instead look for places to stay in Prague 4,7 or 10 as these have quick metro access and are very affordable.

My top Air BnB Prague rental suggestions:

Best Hostels in Prague:

  •   Post Hostel – It’s modern, It’s new and it even has it’s own Hostel Cat. Plus more importantly… it’s a 15 minute walk from the city centre.
  • Sir Toby’s –  Located in the neighbourhood of Holesovice, an area full of interesting markets, restaurants and clubs. Perfect for walking home from the clubs in the early hours of the morning.

Travelling off peak during September, February and March is the prime time for low-cost flights and accommodation. If you are on a budget avoid travelling to Prague between November and January of course avoid school holidays like the plague!

Save:

Try to avoid travelling by taxis; if you arrive before 11.30pm you can get the 119 bus from the airport Dejvicka station. It’s a better money saving way of travelling to your desired final destination. The metro has three lines A,B,C  it’s  quick, efficient and cheap. Trams cost 36 kc for a hour  it’s a pretty cool way to travel round the city.

Take a free walking tour; there are plenty to choose from starting in the Old Town Square and travelling to all the top sites with a local experienced tour guide. The best part is you don’t have to pay, tipping is optional and you receive some great insider tips to help you enjoy your stay.

Don’t forget your student ID card or NUS card as most places offer discounted entry prices- a great way to save even more!

**This blog was first written in 2013 so prices might vary now**

Have you visited Prague before? Let me know your tips in the comments below…

Leave a Reply

Let me know what you think

Sign up to Elle Goes Global

Enter your email and stay inspired!

 

Subscribe!