(This is a guest post by Cal Bailey.)

Charles Bridge, Prague (best things to do and eat in Prague)

Prague is renowned for being one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Some might argue that it is up there among the world’s most beautiful. Prague is a historical city with incredible cityscapes and landmarks, hence the nickname “city of a hundred spires”. Expect to feel a sense of wonder as you explore the Old Town Square, photograph colourful baroque buildings and gothic churches, and cross the pedestrianized Charles Bridge with its towering statues of Catholic saints (photo above).

Charm is something Prague has in abundance, and that is why it appeals to all kinds of travellers. Solo travellers come to Prague because it is not only beautiful, but safe and affordable too. Another advantage is that it’s possible to comfortably cover most attractions in Prague over a weekend. Or you can take an extra few days and really immerse yourself in the local culture.

This mini guide reveals some of the best things to do and eat in Prague.

Getting to and around Prague

Already in Europe? Then getting to Prague is easy. Train is probably your best bet, and you might benefit from a Eurail pass if Prague isn’t your only stop, as it gives you unlimited train travel during your trip. Another option is to fly to Prague International Airport via a budget airline like Easyjet, Ryanair, or Transavia.

In Prague you’ll find public transport user-friendly, with free trams serving most of the city. Watch out for taxis though – plenty of people don’t realize that drivers “see foreigners coming”, so to speak. This could dent your budget unnecessarily, so Uber is a better option if you want to travel by car.

Tram in Prague (best things to do and eat in Prague)

Tram in Prague

Fun things to do in Prague

Cross the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge, which crosses over the Vltava River, has an interesting history dating back to the 14th century. This is on most visitors’ agenda, and it will reward you with epic views of the old city. The many musicians and artists performing on the bridge are sure to enhance your stroll. You might also head up the Charles Bridge tower for even better views. From here you’ll enjoy an unforgettable panoramic view of the city.

Charles Bridge at night, Prague (best things to do and eat in Prague)

Charles Bridge at night, Prague

See the Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

Another of the great sights of Prague that won’t cost a penny is the Old Town Hall, which consists of a beautiful Gothic tower with a bay chapel and the Astronomical Clock, known as the Prague Orloj. Every hour on the hour, 3D figurines above and around the clock face come to life, delighting the crowd below. Another creation to come out of the early 14th century, it is the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, and the oldest one still operating.

Astronomical Clock at Old Town Hall, Prague (best things to do and eat in Prague)

Astronomical Clock at Old Town Hall, Prague

Admire the graffiti on the John Lennon Wall

Head over to Malá Strana (Lesser Town) and you’ll find lots of cute cafés, quaint little streets, and of course the iconic John Lennon Wall. Back in the 80s, political strife resulted in frustrated teenagers who were unhappy with the government rule and communist regime. They vented their frustrations through politically charged graffiti, featuring John Lennon as their pacifist hero . Today the wall is a colourful artistic cornucopia on which you can see symbolic depictions of peace and love. If you’re a Beatles fan, this shouldn’t be missed. It won’t cost you a penny and is very Instagram friendly!

John Lennon Wall, Prague (best things to do and eat in Prague)

John Lennon Wall, Prague

Lounge in Letná Park and Beer Garden

If travelling solo, you might want to meet other travellers or some locals to hang out with. If so, Letná Beer Garden in Letná Park (along the Vltava River) is a great choice. From here you can look out over the city, grab a beer on tap and while away some time at a picnic table. Note that the Beer Garden menu is a little limited, so you can always grab some snacks and drinks to take to the park instead. This could work out cheaper too.

Vltava River, Prague (best things to do and eat in Prague)

Vltava River with gorgeous Prague skyline

Interact with an unusual statue at the Franz Kafka Museum

Head to the Franz Kafka Museum for an interesting couple of hours looking at first edition Kafka books, original letters, diaries and drawings created by Kafka. In case you didn’t know, Kafka was a German-speaking bohemian Jewish novelist who wrote short stories. He is considered to be one of the most influential figures in 20th-century literature.

In front of the museum you can find a very interesting statue. It’s affectionately nicknamed the ‘Piss Sculpture’, and consists of two men standing opposite each other and urinating (water, of course) into a little pool in the shape of the Czech Republic. There’s fun to be had here: if you text a number on the sculpture, one of the statues will “write” your message letter by letter. Novelty factor abounds!

Where (and what) to eat in Prague

Some of Prague’s more traditional dishes are fruit dumplings, potato soup, goulash and roast pork. These are particularly good foods to consume over the winter period, when Prague can get quite chilly. Here are some of the best dining options for solo travellers on a budget:

Sample various delights at the Christmas markets

If you happen to be here over Christmas, you’ll be able to make the most of the lovely Christmas markets. These are a great opportunity to mingle in the festive atmosphere, trying out delicious local foods, drinks and sweets. However, be warned that scams are not uncommon. Christmas markets are pickpockets’ hotspots unfortunately, so protect your belongings well. Likewise, know your banknotes so that you don’t get short changed at stalls.

Prague Christmas Market (best things to do and eat in Prague)

Christmas Market – Prague in winter has some advantages!

Fill up on avocado toast at Caféfin

Caféfin is a great café, especially if you like the idea of filling breakfasts and artistic lattés. The avocado toast here is second to none, and the portions are huge! Head here if you like the sound of tasty Asian fusion cuisine at reasonable prices.

Treat yourself to gingerbread at Pernickuv Sen

Pernickuv Sen is a wonderful little pastry shop that draws people in from all directions thanks to the enticing scents wafting from its doors. Freshly baked gingerbread is something you have to try at least once in Prague, and this is the pastry shop for it. As you’ll undoubtedly want more, you can grab one of their prepared boxes to take home.

Gorge on goulash at Tlustá Koala

You can’t pass through Prague without eating goulash at least once. Tlustá Koala is one place of many that serves it up, but it’s one place that won’t leave you disappointed. One of the best things is the price –for less than 9 euros (*) you’ll be getting a fabulous traditional beef stew with homemade bread dumplings. It goes pretty well with the local beer too!

A cafe in Prague (best things to do and eat in Prague)

A typical cafe in Prague

When to visit Prague

The best time to visit Prague would probably be the spring and early autumn, as the weather is mildest and crowds are minimal. If you like higher temperatures, head over in the summer, but note that this is the most expensive time of year to go. The city is at its busiest, so hotels hike their prices. It’s comforting to know that off-season, budget hostels will cost you little – probably between 7 and 22 euros per night. (If you want a private room, you’re looking at 25 to 40 euros).

If you’re heading to Prague in winter, you will avoid the worst of the crowds, but wrap up warmly as it isn’t one of Europe’s warmest cities. One thing is for sure though: whatever time of year you go, Prague can’t fail to secure itself a place not only in your memories, but your heart too.

(* Note: the currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech koruna (Kč). The euro, worth about 25 Kč, is not widely accepted.)

About The Author:

Cal Bailey runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years spent backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about life on the road or his blogging, you can read his latest blog posts.

(All photos from Pixabay.)

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