Prague: Castles. Culture. Cheap.

 

Charles Bridge, Prague

Charles Bridge, Prague

When I learned “A-hoy” was “hello” in Czech (spelt “ahoj”), I was set on Prague. While I may have felt like a pirate whenever I said it (accompanied by a wink and a hearty arm swing), I failed overall as all the locals laughed whenever I greeted them. At least I tried…

My boyfriend, Jer and I wanted to go on a holiday to a place heaped with culture but being students with little savings, we needed it to be cheap. Prague ticked both boxes. With attractions to entertain all sorts, from the history-buff, to the party-animal, Prague has everything. After spending 5 nights there, I have nothing but good memories from our trip. The food was tasty, the giant gothic cathedrals were breathtaking, the medieval vibes made my pirate impression seem at home, the city was great fun to explore (and pillage) and at the end of it all, we had money left in the bank. BOO YEAH!

In total, the trip cost us €500 approx. each including 3 flights, other transport, 5 nights’ accommodation, food and sight-seeing. So, how did we do things on the cheap? Research and commitment to the cause!

We investigated it and all its spoils. We found brilliant accommodation in the city centre and got cheap flights using low-cost airlines. Being Irish, pale and ginger, I’m pretty weather-conscious, so I checked the forecast and packed accordingly: a combination of sundresses, jumpers and a raincoat. When researching our trip, a friend of mine gave me a travel guide which I found incredibly useful. Let’s Go Europe has a decent sized section on Prague and gives all sorts of helpful tips about travelling there. We would never have found delights like Kozička, a quirky, underground, goat-themed restaurant without it Read my post on Prague restaurants for more. I really recommend this travel guide to fellow students, or penny-conscious travellers as it gives a price break-down of everything it covers across a broad range of European cities and has real gems of information. Buy it here (Yarr… contrary to my pirate ways, I’ve sold my soul to The Man™, but it’s really a good investment… me maties)

Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Square, Prague

As for commitment to the cause: we employed euro-saving tactics! We bought all our breakfast, lunch and snacks at a nearby Lidl; this saved us heaps of money…and prevented hunger induced grumpiness which we’re both prone to. We had dinner out, and without breaking the bank. Digest the succulent information on our selected restaurants here. As Prague city is relatively small, we walked everywhere, avoiding any transport costs. We carried water bottles around to prevent us having to buy it when out… consequently, we were cheeky enough to learn which places didn’t charge to use their facilities and took full advantage of them (Starbucks in Old Town Square, take that The Man™). We took some fun “free” walking tours (you’re expected to tip) and other cheap entertainment, including underground tours which were great. Learn about them here. Another money-saving trick is the coupon. It’s common for museums and restaurants to have ties with other services around Prague, so they often give coupons to promote these. These offers are something we profited from nicely. Click here for our Tactical Coupon Recoup Chart! Entry to museums is paid but the ones we went to were very reasonably priced, not to mention entertaining. Discover a more detailed and bubbly description of visits to the Museum of Communism and the Mucha museum here.

In a final bid to save money, we flew with EasyJet to London Stansted, slept in the airport and went to Dublin with RyanAir early the next morning, packing food with us to tide us over. Our flights cost €110; make sure to book early if you do want to visit Prague (or anywhere for that matter), as prices rise quickly! There’s public transport from the airport to the city centre, via bus and metro. A word of advice on taking the bus to the city: have coins at the ready! Whether you do this by buying something in the airport or very nicely asking the guy at the Bureau- de-Change to swap some for your notes, do it. Bus drivers don’t sell tickets and the machines only take exact change. We didn’t know this and were really inconvenienced trying to find coins, as we arrived late and all the airport shops were closed. There are plain clothes ticket inspectors and they will fine you if you get caught without a correct and validated ticket – a tour guide told us that they deliberately target tourists so claiming you didn’t know won’t work. Validate tickets with the yellow boxes found inside the buses.

 Municipal House and Namesti Republiky Building

Look familiar? Vin Diesel’s character from XXX got shot at here. Think trays!

We stayed in the Orange Hostel on the main street of New Town, which is central to everywhere else in Prague. We got a private room (double bed) for €22 each a night. It was clean, secure and comfy so I’ve no complaints. There were a couple of clean toilet/showers directly across the hall from us so W.C.s weren’t an issue either. The kitchen area was small, but functional. There was free wi-fi available and a comfy common room with a free to use computer. The staff were friendly and the whole place had a warm atmosphere to it. In short, for the priced we paid, it was an absolute steal. Check it out here: http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/czech-republic/prague/3557/If this hostel isn’t for you, I’d still advise you to use http://www.hostelbookers.com. I’ve used this site countless times before and have always been happy with where I’ve ended up. They provide a really good rating system and feedback from other travellers which let’s you know exactly what you’re paying for.

I hope this brief overview of cost-saving tips has been of use to you, and that you have as much fun as we did in the beautiful city that is Prague. If you’ve any other euro-saving tips, please share! The more, the better! I’ll finish on this joke, as like Prague, it’s brought me much entertainment.

Why are pirates called “pirates”? They just ARRRRRE!

Why do they go “ARRRR!”? They just DOOOOOO!

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4 thoughts on “Prague: Castles. Culture. Cheap.

  1. Looks like you had a great trip! Love the photos. Old Town Square looks so different in summer – we were there for Christmas and it was completely full of market stalls and decorated to the hilt! Prague is just so amazing – loved it!

    • That must have been fantastic! One of the days we were there, there was some sort of festival happening with a huge stage set-up to one side of the square and loads of food stalls in the center of it. No decorations but if that’s my only complaint, I’m doing well. The smell of the place was amazing, especially as we hadn’t eaten at that point! Soon after we arrived, a bunch of gospel singers kicked off the show. All-in-all, a fun experience.

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