Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeru / Inca TrailStockholmChicagoParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburgIstanbulLas VegasJamaica, India/Golden Triangle, AucklandSingapore, Moscow, The Oregon CoastSeattlePortlandand Hawaii IslandsAlaska Skiing, and Brazil.

So this weeks travel destination includes Prague. I received the following email from reader Jana:

“I’ve been dying to go to Eastern Europe and first on my list is Prague. I am going to try to bundle it with some other cities, but about how many days would you suggest dedicating just to Prague? Also, is there anywhere else in the Czech Republic you’d suggest visiting while there? In Prague what are the things I must do? I’ve heard it is a great walking around city and the food is great. Any restaurant suggestions? I am also looking to use hotel points, if possible, but am okay paying for a hotel for a better location – doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but a good location is a must. Thanks all for the help!”

If you’ve ever been to Prague please help out reader Jana by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at dealswelike@gmail.com to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

  • dhammer53 said,

    If you really want to see the city, spend a minimum of 4 full days in Prague.
    We added an extra day to do a day trip to Terezin. You can do this on a tour, or by taking the bus. It’s a ~60 minute ride. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresienstadt_concentration_camp

    We also wasted a day by going to the Bones Church (don’t recall the city). Maybe if you have young children?? My advice, don’t go.

    If you want to overnight somewhere, or are headed to Wien (Vienna), then go here http://www.karlovy-vary.cz/en/ I wish that I would have known about this before we departed.

    Beer is cheap. The food is nothing special in Prague. YMMV.

  • David F said,

    Going to Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg in October.

    3 Days each in PRG & VIE. 2 Days in SZG.

    I’m also interested in any responses.

    Thanks.

  • Thomas said,

    Went there earlie October last year, 3 full days is great, two of those to walk around and one for any extra activities, one of our favorite walking city’s. it’s super cheep to eat and drink there. Beer is about $1, dinner for two with bottle of wine was $25 in a courtyard off the busy street. Roads in the city are confusing but we did use the train and that seems pretty squared away. Safe city but beware pickpockets, usually hang out at busy crosswalks, you can watch them work just off busy walking bridge there when you have to cross that first street, they cross the street, bump you to distract then when you look at them, there partner would go for wallets and such…. Walk another 20 yards…. Then turn around and do it again crossing back across the road! Be smart, keep low bill denominations and you should be all set. Otherwise, it’s vary vary safe in the city center area… Outside that there is graffiti everywhere!

  • Thomas said,

    Small bills and change is for buying things! Not because of the pickpockets! Bathroom…. 15 cents, 50 cent observation towers, 40 cent train ride, street venders and restaurants usually have limited cash on hand when they first open so paying with a big note, they may not be able to make change.

  • Kurt said,

    ThePointsGuy had a helpful post on PRG a few days ago that you mgiht want to check out: http://thepointsguy.com/2013/04/destination-of-the-week-prague/

    I’ll also be doing a VIE + PRG trip over Thanksgiving this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing other recommendations listed here as well :-)

  • Winston said,

    Prague is in my top 5. I have been there 3x, but each time getting more expensive than the previous visit. Stay in the Old town(stare mesto), or Mala strana. For points redemptions, there is a Marriott and Renaissance across each other not far from old town square. If you have PC points, there is an Intercontinental in a great location along the river. If you would like a cool boutique type hotel, I recommend Design hotel Josefov. Great location and great value. Spend at least 4 days on your first visit. Eat at Kampa Park just at the foot of Charles bridge, other than this, stay away from restaurants on old town square. Find better places in the small side streets off the square. Tretter’s is a good place for cocktails at night- it’s in old town -Josefov area. For a side trip out of Prague- go to either Karlovy Vary or Cesky Krumlov. Cesky K is a Unesco designated town. Very quaint. Karlovy Vary is where Hotel grand pupp is- scene of Casino royale movie (James bond), and last holiday (queen latifah). Enjoy!!!

  • Charlie said,

    I also highly recommend Cesky Krumlov. It’s a trek to get to, but one of those places you’ll never forget.

  • Anne - Music and Markets said,

    Every year our clients’ favorite restaurant on our Prague Spring Tour is U Zlaty Studny, on the terraced hillside below Castle Hill. A wow of a view, exceptional service, cuisine and wine. Pricey – but a worthy splurge!

  • Infohound said,

    Visited Hungary, Czech Republic and Austria in Winter 2008. Prague has lovely architecture most of which was unscathed in the World War 2 bombing. We went to the Opera off Wenceslas Square. The Opera House is not nearly as impressive as the one in Budapest, but it was a nice cultural experience. We enjoyed the Castle grounds and walked down through Mala Strana, stopping for a bite in that area. Also, the Old Town area of Prague was nice. Walked across the Charles Bridge at night – mind you this was all in winter, so a summer experience might lend itself to better experiencing the city. On the other hand, the Christmas markets were in full flow and we enjoyed stopping at food stalls and having fresh crepes etc. I would suggest at least 3 days in Prague. Stayed at the Hilton on a points redemption – there are two in Prague, ours was close to the main train station.

    We took a 2.5 hour bus ride to Cesky Krumlov – the ride is reasonably comfortable and uneventful. Cesky Krumlov is an absolute gem – we stayed at Penzionek Olšakovský
    Parkán 114
    381 01 Český Krumlov
    Tel./fax +420 380 714 333
    Tel. +420 604 430 181
    Email: J.Olsakovsky@post.cz
    http://www.olsakovsky.cz

    The stay itself was one of the highlights with the owner’s mom being such a warm and wonderful host. Ate at Mastaal restaurant in the main square, visited the castle grounds, browsed through the quaint stores and generally tried to live like a local. Two days in Cesky is quite adequate. We took a 2 hour taxi ride from Cesky to Linz in Austria and took a train from there to Vienna (left at 3:30 am from Cesky and arrived in Wien at 10 am). We went to see the Lippizanner stallions show in Vienna. Would have liked to have stayed in Austria for more than a morning, but departed the same day for Budapest. I haven’t mentioned anything about Budapest here, but we enjoyed our five days in Budapest more than any of the other locations mentioned above. Good luck and have fun. It’s a lovely part of the world to visit.

  • Grant said,

    I’m going to Prague and Vienna next January so I am interested in learn what other recommend. I do know that the train from PRG to VIE takes about 4:30hours.

    I was doing research on hotels in both cities and think Hilton Old Town Prague is a pretty good deal.

  • Garrett said,

    Been to Prague twice in the last 2 years for a few days each time. I would give prague 2 to 3 days. There is a lot that you could do in the area extra. Some of the best places in Germany are only a few hours by train away. When I was there, both times we were on a very low budget. We stayed out of the city about 15 minutes by their subway. The subway is a little sketch, but at the same time it is only a buck or so each way to ride and trains are consistent. If you wanted to stay somewhere outside of downtown, there are a lot of good options on the subway map. Most of prague is really inexpensive anyway for hotels, so you probably wouldn’t need to stay out of the downtown part of the city. Hope these few ideas help.

  • DenoC said,

    I went last yr and stayed at the Hilton Old Town on points. I highly recommend. Good lounge, car service to/from airport (do it), central walking location. Must sees are the castle, golden wall (both available with one pass), Jewish quarter and the st Charles bridge although that’s gotten very touristy. Food was not great, but from what I’ve read we missed out on some good spots. Beer is excellent. Both are cheap. Great city to walk around and see all the random art which I liked quite a bit. 3 days max is my opinion. Also known for its legit Thai massage parlors which we went to for a foot massage after the 2nd day.

  • DenoC said,

    Also climb the stairs of the church. Separate entrance, fee. Good workout to get to the top, but the views are amazing.

  • Mike said,

    Took my wife and parents to prague last fall. They loved prague but their favorite parts of the trip were visiting Karlovy Vary and Hluboka castle. We took the train (about 2 hours) to Karlovy Vary. Stayed at the Grand Hotel Pupp where movies like Last Holiday and Casino Royale were filmed. Then we did a one way car rental and hit a few castles on the drive back to prague. Hluboka was the favorite by far.

  • Leigh said,

    I lived in Prague. The Residence Belgicka, in the Vinohrady neighborhood, is a great hotel in a beautiful area off the tourist track. I wouldn’t recommend staying anywhere around Old Town because it’s just so crowded, and nowhere in Prague is more than ~30 minutes away. Near Belgicka is the Riegrovy Sady beer gardens, just off the Jiriho z Podebrad metro stop on the green line. You will find some expats here, but mainly Czechs, unlike the beer gardens at Letna. Walk to the west side of the park for amazing views of the sun setting over the castle.

    You should also visit the Strahov monastery/brewery on the hill on the other side of the city. Take the 22 tram to Pohorelec; on the left side of the street just up the hill, you’ll see a red railing. Follow that to the entrance of the monastery grounds. Every season there’s a new beer brewed specially on the premises, and they’re all amazing.

    Kutna Hora, which is where the bone church is, is a fun day trip. Terezin, the internment camp, is also very interesting. If you go, definitely get a guide to take you. There are a lot of smaller sites scattered throughout the town that would be difficult or impossible to find on your own.

    As for food, I don’t remember many of the names of my favorite Czech restaurants, but if you walk into almost any pub in Vinohrady (where Residence Belgicka is; alternately, off of the Namesti Miru or JZP stops on the green line) they’ll have something for you to try. If you want something outside of Czech, Ariana is an AMAZING Afghani restaurant just off of Old Town Square. Masala in Vinohrady is good Indian.

    Buy pastries from Albert, the grocery store. They’re amazing.

    If you really want to get off the beaten path in Prague, visit Sapa, which is their version of Little Hanoi. It’s about an hour on public transit, and it’s in the middle of nowhere, but the food is amazing. I wouldn’t recommend going at night, though, as it’s not an easily accessible area and you wouldn’t want to get stuck there.

    Public transit is your friend in Prague. Don’t take taxis unless you’ve had the hotel call one for you. I don’t recommend hailing them on the street; it’s asking for trouble. Prague is by and large very safe, but many of the parks are best avoided after dark, unless you’re visiting the beer garden.

    Dresden is about 2.5 hours away by train, and I believe Berlin is 5. Bratislava, in Slovakia, is not far, but probably not worth the trip unless you have a specific reason for wanting to go.

    I don’t think paying to go inside the castle is worth it; it’s been a few years since I was there, but nothing was labeled inside and it wasn’t particularly well-maintained. You can walk around the grounds for free, which is what I recommend doing.

    Prague in the spring and summer is magical. Enjoy!

  • dude26 said,

    I would spend 3 days in Prague. Last time I was there few months ago, stayed at the excellent Radisson Blu which is in a great location. Also, used my Club Carlson Gold status to do a stay-4-nights-pay-for-2 and it was turned the cost of the stay so cheap, I could’nt even think about using points.

  • Michael W Travels said,

    I’d recommend 5-6 days for Prague with 2 being used for half-day trips. Prague is a great city for walking and wandering around. I recommend a guided tour of the Jewish Quarter which starts at one of the old synagogues. It’s very interesting and informative. You can also spend around a half day + in the Castle Quarter. A fun night time activity can be going to a show put on with marionettes. As for day trips, I recommend Terezin and Kutna Hora’s Sedlec Ossuary which has the bone church. The bone church is an unforgettable site and well worth visiting.

  • Metro Duo said,

    We spent 5 days in Prague last summer and had an excellent time. We took the train from Budapest, which was a very inexpensive ride.

    We rented an apartment through AirBnB that was a short walk from the train station and very near Wenceslas Square. We signed up for a tour with one of the agencies near Wenceslas Square and were very impressed with the guide, who also does private tours. Her listing on TripAdvisor (the first review is mine): .

    We either walked or used public transit; we didn’t try taxis.

    We went to a ballet performance at the Opera House (US$32 ea for first balcony seats), visited the modern art museum (great Picasso collection), wandered the streets.

    The medieval-era Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square puts on its show on the hour but can be very difficult to see mid-day because of the throngs of tourists. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the hour and hang out.

    The Charles River Bridge is lined with some very good musicians playing for tips and vendors selling trinkets of varying quality. Still nice to walk across. The street musicians were generally very talented.

    Prague was a big Jewish center prior to the Nazis, and there are several synagogues worth visiting, particularly the Jerusalem Synagogue (which was around the corner from our apartment), beautifully restored, and the Old New Synagogue (built in the 13th century) in the Jewish Quarter, which was preserved by the Nazis as part of a planned anthropological museum.

    Restaurants? Meh… Czech food tends to be very heavy and uninteresting.

    We’d love to go back to explore some of the environs mentioned in these comments.

  • dubaych said,

    The Charles Bridge is not GETTING touristy; it has been so for at least a quarter century. But that’s OK. Just hit the bricks and connect the dots — great suggestions in comments above (the dots, the sites you want to see) and so many surprises awaiting around every corner (the unexpected pubs and galleries). Get an old-school paper map (your hotel will probably have one) and trace your route but keep your eyes up. You won’t go wrong, and don’t worry about the crowds.

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