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The Ultimate Guide to Prague for TES 2019

Experience Prague like never before with our Ultimate Guide. We’ll take you away from the tourist traps and into the authentic heart of this incredible city, where you’ll spend less and see more!

Survival Guide: Top Tips that Every Prague Explorer Needs to Know

1. Don’t use Euronet ATMs or Exchange Shops! Instead, use banks. When you withdraw your funds, decline the local exchange rate and use the one from your own bank.

2. If you walk through Wenceslas Square at night, don’t buy anything off people if they offer it, unless you want some seriously overpriced oregano. It’s really best to avoid Wenceslas Square and Hlavni Nadrazi after dark. Prague is one of the safest cities in the world, but these areas are filled with drunk tourists which attracts the wrong type of people. Plus, the clubs around this area (except Lucerna) are just tourist traps.

3. If you’re on a crowded street, then the places around you are probably overpriced. Try turning off and see what you can find. Prague is probably the only city in the world where it’s a good idea to walk down dark alleys.

4. Be quiet after 10pm! Bars and clubs across the city are open late and we want it to stay that way, so please respect the quiet hours when going between bars or travelling home.

5. Don’t challenge the locals to drinking contests, you will lose! Czechs drink more alcohol per capita than any other nation on earth, and on average, they are a few inches taller. It’s a deadly combo and one of the main reasons you don’t see Czechs getting wasted.

6. Don’t ride a beer bike! Everyone will hate you.

7. These are not dogs! Don’t feed them.

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8. If you find yourself in a restaurant with stale pretzels on wooden racks then don’t eat them, they are gross and will cost more than your meal. You’re also in the wrong restaurant, which means you probably ignored tip number 3.

9. No graffiti or love-locks on bridges! People keep putting them up and the council keep taking them down. If you want to show your loved one that your love will last forever then why not get matching tattoos instead? Yeah… thought so.

10. Have fun! Seriously, Prague is a really chilled out city and a place for relaxing, enjoying good food, the best beer and awesome company.

Travel & Transportation

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Prague has one of the best public transport systems in the world and once you’re in the city centre, no journey should ever take more than 30 minutes. Here’s a quick guide to getting around.

Getting from the airport

Don’t get a taxi!

The taxis in Prague are notoriously shady and they often scam tourists. If you want a quick journey then you should use Uber, Liftago or Bolt. A journey from the airport to your hotel should cost somewhere between 300-400kc, depending on where you’re staying.

Uber has the same standard service you’d expect. Bolt isn’t quite as popular as Uber but offers a similar service. However, if you have more specific needs e.g. pets or more than 5 people, then Liftago is the best option.

Uber: Android, IOS

Liftago: Android, IOS

Bolt: Android, IOS

Public Transport

If you want to try out the public transport the moment you arrive, then here’s how.

Once you leave the terminal building, the bus stops will be right in front of you. There will also be little yellow machines where you can buy tickets. The ticket prices are as follows:

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You’ll notice that for the same price as a single Uber journey, you can get 3 days’ travel on public transport, and once you’re in the city centre, it’s your best option.

You can pay by card at the machines and you’ll get a ticket which looks like this:

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There’s a little arrow on the bottom. When you get on the first bus, tram or metro, there are yellow validation machines. Put your ticket in arrow first to validate your ticket. It will then be valid for the amount of time you chose.

Alternatively, 99.9% of public transport now has a pay as you go option. This is available at the validation points on buses, trams and metros and allows you to pay for individual journeys using a contactless card. If you plan on doing a lot of walking, then this might be the best option.

Route from the Airport

View Route

If you are staying at the Vienna House Diplomat, this is the best option.

Take the 119 to Nadrazi Veleslavin Metro Station then take the Metro to Dejvicka, which is about 3 minutes walk from the conference.

Other forms of transport

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One of the cool things about getting a ticket for public transport is that you’ll also have access to a few boats and the funicular railway up to the top of Petrin Hill.

The boats are located at:

P1 Sedlec - Zámky

P2 V Podbabě - Podhoří

P3 Lihovar - Veslařský ostrov

P5 Císařská louka - Výtoň - Náplavka Smíchov

P6 Lahovičky - Nádraží Modřany

P7 Pražská tržnice - Ostrov Štvanice - Rohanský ostrov

P8 Císařský ostrov - Troja


Things to See & Do

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There are plenty of guides online which focus on places like Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock, so we’re going to assume that you if you really want to see those, you’ll be able to find them for yourself. However, if you want to see a side of Prague that the tourists don’t know about, and trust us, you do, then check out these places instead.

Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace

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Location

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The Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace is probably the most overlooked attraction in Prague. It’s literally right next to Charles Bridge, yet thousands of people pass by it every day, without realising what’s hidden inside.

The entrance fee used to be just 1kc, however, today it costs a whopping 60kc! (about €2.30). For that price, you can escape the tour groups and see a stunning example of historical Czech architecture.

Zlute Lazne (Golden Spa)

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Location

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The Czech Republic may not have a coastline, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t beaches. In fact, if you take a short tram ride south of the centre, Prague has it’s very own beach resort with volleyball nets, workout area, bars, restaurants and even open-air cinema screenings.

Tram Stop: Dvorce

Tram No. 2, 3, 17, 97

Vyšehrad Castle

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Location

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Vyšehrad is Prague’s second castle and it’s rarely ever visited by tourists. It has amazing views over the city and a huge parkland to explore. It’s also the site of Vyšehrad church and cemetery, where many of the city’s most famous residents are buried including the composers Antonin Dvorak and Bedricht Smetana.

Added bonus: It’s free! There are also a lot of good restaurants and cafes dotted inside and around the castle grounds, making it a great place to explore.

Tip: If you want to visit Prague Castle (the main one) go after 5 o’clock and you can do a few of the paid parts e.g. Golden Lane, for free. If you want to go inside St. Vitus’s cathedral then you can attend the evening service on Friday at 18:00. There are also services every morning at 7am, so if you’re an early bird then it’s an experience worth having. Plus, if you are up that early, you can visit Charles Bridge and see what it looks like without the crowds.

Bars and Nightlife

You’re probably not going to visit Prague without having a drink or two. However, a lot of visitors tend to flock to the most expensive traps they can find, which are often filled with drunken stag parties. Here, we’ll show you some of our favourite spots, which are popular with the locals and expat communities.

Joystick Bar

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Location

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Are you a fan of beer and classic arcade games? Then check out the Joystick Bar, just off of Wenceslas Square. They have tons of retro machines and a few newer ones too.

Hemingway Cocktail Bar

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Location

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You’ll probably need to book a table in advance as most nights it gets full up, but that’s because it’s popular and has been a firm favourite for many years.

If you like cocktails, then Hemingway offers a huge selection, all crafted by expert mixologists.

CyberDog Robotic Wine Bar

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Location

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If you’re feeling a bit anti-social and don’t want to feel obliged to tip bar staff, then the CyberDog Robotic Wine Bar is the ideal place for a drink.

You can pick from a large range of drinks, which can all be expertly served by a robotic bartender. The bar is a little out of the centre, but it’s really close to Nove Butovice metro station on the Yellow Line.

Fun Fact: The word robot originates from Czech.

Vzorkovna

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Location

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To find this one, you’ll need to keep your eyes open. The entrance is between Benu Lekarna and Narodni Kavarna.

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If you like places that are a bit different, then Vzorkovna makes for an interesting night out. Popular with students and famous for its labyrinth of tunnels and grungy atmosphere, it’s a great hangout for a slightly wilder night.

The payment system is also a little unusual as you pay for your drinks at the gate on the way in. You’ll be given a card/wristband/keychain (it varies) with your credit on which you can then use at the bars downstairs. The drinks aren’t great and they are served in an array of glasses/jam jars or whatever else is lying around, but people go here for the atmosphere and to have a good night out in an offbeat setting.

Dining Out

Prague has some of the best places to eat in the world. Unfortunately, it also has some of the worst, most of which are tourist areas. But how do you know which are good and which are bad? Well, there’s one indicator that will quite often point you in the right direction.

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If the primary language is English, then you should double-check the place before entering, as this is often a sign that you are entering a tourist trap. Of course, it’s not always the case, but it is a pretty good indicator as it’ll show you which places target tourists and which target locals. Places which target locals rely on repeat custom and to get that they need to deliver good food and good service.

If you do hit a tourist trap, then another indicator will be bad service from the beginning. If you’re in the centre and the waiting staff are abrupt or rude when you arrive, walk away. Locals hate places like this as they give the city a bad reputation, and you’ll be doing the city and the local residents a favour by not supporting the tourist traps.

Now for the good stuff!

Prague has some amazing places for foodies and what’s more, the better the place, the more reasonable the prices! Why? Because they are targeted at the locals and not tourists.

Here are some of our top picks for eating out in Prague.

Fine/Conceptual Dining

Ambiente

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The Ambiente group have concept restaurants all over Prague, each one offering its own unique dining experience. We won’t list all of them here, but our favourites include Kuchyn which is right next to Prague Castle and has views across the city; La Degustation, Michelin Star tasting experience, and Kantyna, located in an old bank where you choose fresh cuts of meat and pay by the weight.

Kampa Park

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Location

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Kampa Park is right next to Charles Bridge and offers 5 different dining spaces comprising of three terraces and two indoor restaurants.

If you want to make your trip even more special, they also offer private speedboat hire with drinks.

George Prime Steak

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Location

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Experience beef at its best. These guys know how to cook a good steak. In fact, not only can you reserve your table, you can even reserve your cuts of beef in advance.

Sansho

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If you like Asian cuisine then Sansho offers an authentic pan-Asian experience. Owned and run by British chef Paul Day, Sansho offers a six-course dinner dining experience in a relaxed environment.

Prices ranging from 900kc - 1200kc (€23-€30) per person depending on the chosen menu options

Cosy and Casual

Wine Food Market

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Location

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This little gem is off the tourist trail and offers a huge range of dining choices. The restaurant itself is enclosed by various ‘market’ stalls where you can order fresh seafood, meat, pizzas, pasta etc. Not only that, but it also has its own delicatessen and wine shop, where you can buy bottles of wine to accompany your food.

Fun fact: If you want a tailor-made pizza then you can take your ingredients with you and they will prepare your pizza on a homemade sourdough base for just 50Kc. They also have the best espresso in Prague.

San Carlo

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Locations

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If you want to try the best Neapolitan pizza outside of Naples, then San Carlo is well worth a visit. They have three locations: the original which is in Nove Mesto and newer ones over the river in Malastrana and Holešovice. All are great, however, locals say that the original is the best and it’s also off of the usual tourist trails.

Traditional Czech Cuisine

If you want to try some traditional Czech cuisine while you’re in town, then here are some of the most famous dishes and where to find them.

Svíčková (pronounced Svitchkovar):

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Svíčková is a braised beef dish with a cream sauce, serves with dumplings, cranberries, lemon and whipped cream. It’s a slightly odd combination but it’s worth a try.

Guláš (pronounced gulash) or Goulash:

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Possibly one of the most famous dishes and a staple across Central and Eastern Europe. It differs from country to country but here in the Czech Republic it traditionally contains beef, tomatoes, onions, paprika and marjoram and is served with dumplings.

Pečená kachna (pronounced pe-chenah ka-hna) or Roast Duck:

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Roast Duck is a speciality in the Czech republic and usually comes served with sweetened red cabbage and dumplings. (Pretty much every Czech meal comes with dumplings)

Smažené Syr (pronounced Smar-zyeny seer) or Fried Cheese:

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This is a simple dish consisting of soft cheese fried in bread crumbs, but it packs quite a few calories and usually comes with fries. It’s not the sexiest dish in the world but it tastes pretty good.

Smažený řízek (pronounced Smar-zyeny (rz)izyek) or Schnitzel:

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Another firm favourite and often served at Christmas as a replacement for those who don’t like the more traditional Christmas Carp! You can often choose between vepřový (pork) or kuřecí (chicken) řízek and they are usually served with either fries or homemade potato salad.

If you fancy trying these dishes then there are a lot of good places to do so. Here are our favourites:

Cafe Imperial

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Location

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Owned by the Czech Republic’s answer to Gordan Ramsey, Zdeněk Pohlreich, Cafe Imperial boasts an incredible interior with a menu to match.

Kolkovna Olympia

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Location

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Kolkovna Olympia is owned by the famous Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell. They have restaurants all over the city, but for location, price and quality, Kolkovna Olympia at Ujezd wins hands down. However, it can get a little busy, so if you plan on going in the evening, be sure to book ahead.

U Bulínů

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Location

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U Bulínů is close to our offices, so if you are planning on paying us a visit, you can cross this gem off of your list at the same time. They have a great lunchtime menu and serve traditional Czech cuisine with a gourmet finish.

Pressed for Time?

If you want to try food from the top restaurants in Prague but don’t have much time during the conference, then you can have them delivered. Most restaurants in Prague now use delivery services, so you don’t have to miss out. Here are a list of apps to choose from.

Wolt will hook you up to many of the top restaurants in Prague for quick delivery to your location.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats is great if you want fast-food

Dame Jidlo

Dame Jidlo has a good range of mid-level restaurants and is the original Czech food delivery app.

Souvenirs

Looking to to take something back from your trip? Then here are some of the best places to go to get gifts!

Czech Design

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Czech Design brings together the works and concepts of Czech emerging Czech artists and offers 100s of original gift ideas. If you want to take home something truly unique, then definitely Czech out their collections.

Manufaktura

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Locations across Prague

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Manufaktura is an established Czech cosmetics company selling original Czech-made beauty and spa products. The company was originally founded in 1991 to supply tourists with a better selection of locally made products and has since grown into one of the country’s most popular brands.

Zahrada Na Niti

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Zahrada Na Niti is a local Prague design shop specializing in kokedamas, which are ornamental plants grown in moss-bound balls of earth. They create stunning decorations and all of the kokedamas found in Zahrada Na Niti are designed and created by local Prague landscape architect Lenka Hrubá.

For additional guides to what to see and do in Prague then check out Honest Guides Prague. These guys know everything there is to know about the city and make regular updates on their YouTube channel.

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