4 days in Prague: an itinerary on a budget

4 days in Prague: an itinerary on a budget | PACK THE SUITCASES

This is my tried-and-tested budget itinerary for spending 4 days in Prague with a group of friends. It includes where to stay, where to eat and drink, and things to see in the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic/Czechia. It really is tried and tested, not just from when I did it with some of my friends a few years back, but also by other colleagues/friends/random people who I’ve sent it to in the form of a very long email ever since. And yes, recycling and padding out an email I’ve been sending to anyone going to Prague is a very lazy way of getting a blog post out this week. I regret nothing.

It’s always hard planning travel with groups rather than just with one person or alone because you have different budgets, tastes and diets to consider. I think my friends were happy with this Prague itinerary when we went, particularly with how little we spent.

Prague is an easy city to do on a budget. Four days there was enough to see the main sights without feeling too rushed. Before we get into what to do on each day, it’s useful to go through a few things to ‘know before you go’…

4 days in Prague on a budget: basics you need to know before you go

Getting there

  • You can fly to Prague from Manchester airport with budget airlines Jet2 or EasyJet or from Liverpool airport with RyanAir in just over 2 hours. Obviously, prices go up and down so always use a flight tracker to get the best deal.

Eating and drinking

  • We bought breakfast in to eat in our apartment for all 4 days. This saves time as well as money, because you can eat while you’re getting ready. Hairdryer in one hand, croissant in the other: living the dream.
  • Eating out but eating well can be done on a real budget. I found so many incredible restaurants that cost us under £10 a head for a hearty meal.
  • But to save even more, pick up nibbles at a supermarket for the day and take a reusable water bottle to fill up too.
  • Prague is officially the cheapest city in Europe for a pint, so you’ll be fine for nights out. Buying spirits and mixers or a few bottles of fizz from a shop to pre-drink is also a classic money-saving trick. You don’t need me to tell you that.

Accommodation

  • We stayed at at Aparthotel City 5 (Vltavská 11, Praha 5).
  • This serviced apartment was our little home for the week and couldn’t have been better.
  • We wanted to get a 6-person apartment but it was fully booked so we had two 3-person apartments next door to each other, which actually worked out better for space, bathrooms and hair-straightening facilities.
  • Each apartment was about 2000 koruna (about £68) per night between all 6 of us, so for the 4 nights we had in Prague, this was only a total of around £55 each.
  • Absolute bargain, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Getting around

  • Prague is a very walkable city. My itinerary is almost all on foot.
  • Watch the cute-but-deadly cobbles. Pack your flat boots or Converse for day time. Heels will be an instant regret, and I say that as someone who lives with cobbles on a daily basis.
  • The metro is extremely affordable. Buy your tickets before getting onto the trams. You can buy a 3-day pass, which is only 310 koruna (just over £10).
  • You’ll probably only need a taxi after a night out or if you’re laden with luggage. Like in many cities, they can easily be a massive rip off. Only ever use a real, registered taxi and keep your eye on the meter (more tips on this page).

4 days in Prague: an itinerary on a budget | PACK THE SUITCASES

Day 1: Arriving and our budget aparthotel

  • Arrive in Prague airport and get a taxi into the centre of the old town. The taxi cost roughly 767 koruna (about £25). Well worth it when you’re in a group with lots of suitcases.
  • Check in at Aparthotel City 5 (Vltavská 11, Praha 5). This serviced apartment was the dream (see more on it above in the little overview). The lovely owner Kristina greeted us with beers and maps, giving us an overview of the city. I normally recoil from interaction with hotel staff but this was genuine friendliness and made us feel really welcome. Lovely stuff.
  • All we had time for on arrival was a quick walk round the old town and Charles Bridge before needing food. Let’s be honest, unless you’re some kind of sadist who gets early morning flights, the day of arrival is just about unpacking, a brief explore and getting fully into holiday mode.
  • We also went to get some bits and pieces in for breakfast throughout the week.
  • When we were all sorted, we ate nearby. I’d planned two choices of Oliva or Vidlicky A Noze as they seemed the best both a 10 min walk from the apartment. Vidlicky has slightly more surrounding bars, so naturally we ended up there. It was cheap and cheerful, possibly nothing to write home about other than the price. About £3.50 (100 koruna) for a veggie main. Can’t argue with that.

4 days in Prague: an itinerary on a budget | PACK THE SUITCASES

Day 2: Prague castle, cathedral and main sights on a budget

  • After breakfast, we got the tram towards Billa Hora from Na Knížecí by our apartment, getting off at Pražský hrad (castle area).
  • We explored around the castle bit, which was full of gorgeous cobbled streets and old buildings. You know the kind of thing. This is meant to be a very brief itinerary so I won’t bang on about it too much. I really recommend this as a first area to explore to get a flavour for Prague.
  • After a few hours of walking, we had lunch at Kafe U zelenych kamen (Green Stove Cafe). Beer and panini for 95 koruna (around £3)! Oh and cake, of course. It was really cosy and could have been proper touristy and awful, given it was so close to the castle and all the touristy bits. But it wasn’t. Hooray.
  • Looking at the gorgeous outside of the castle is free but the third courtyard ticket office charges 250 koruna (£9ish) to get inside. This ticket includes St Vitus’s Cathedral, which is the golden beast in the picture below.
  • After that, we walked down to find the John Lennon wall – all of us grew up in Liverpool, so this was a must-do. It’s a wall filled with Beatles-themed graffiti near Charles Bridge.
  • Again, we saw Charles Bridge – this time in daylight. I had a good marvel at it. As much as it’s achingly touristy, it is iconic and full of character. There were the usual street artists, performers and scammers around. So, much like being in other capital cities like Rome and so on, you have to do the being-careful drill: bags close to your body and no waving your phone around.
  • Later on, we ate near a restaurant I’d researched to death near Charles Bridge. Amusingly, the restaurant has now closed down, so this recommendation is entirely useless to you. Soz. But they had a Michael Buble impersonator on. So at least you’re avoiding that. I don’t want to suggest any particular alternative that I’ve not actually tried and tested myself, but there were plenty of places round there so I’m sure our friend TripAdvisor could help, with the obligatory ‘cheap eats’ tickbox put to good use.

4 days in Prague: an itinerary on a budget | PACK THE SUITCASES

Day 3: A cultural day in Prague on a budget followed by a taste of the nightlife

  • Another unhealthy breakfast consumed, we trammed it over to Staroměstská (a lazy 3 stops, but when on holiday and in the rain…).
  • We kicked off the day with a good explore round the Old Jewish Cemetery (Stary zidovsky hrbitov). This was full of history. Due to a lack of space, the graves are piled on top of each other in layers up to 10 deep. I’ve never seen anything like it. Really worth seeing.
  • We got a Ticket B, which cost 330 koruna (£11.50ish). This let us into the Maisel Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery,  Klausen Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall, Spanish Synagogue and the Robert Guttmann Gallery. Obviously, we didn’t have time to see all of them but we managed to do the cemetery, the hall and two of the synagogues.
  • Although the ticket didn’t cover going inside it, we did look at the fantastically named Old-New Synagogue from outside.
  • Before lunch, we mooched round Ungelt Square just round the corner, which was very pretty and not a bad background for some tourist-free selfies…
  • We then had lunch at a lovely café, the name of which I very helpfully didn’t write down. From extensive Googling, I’m 99% sure it was Cacao. Even if it wasn’t, the reviews look solid so you’d be fine.
  • Next up, the Museum of Communism. It cost 290 koruna (£10ish) to get in. I love stuff like this, but it wasn’t the best communist history museum I’ve ever been to. I’m not sure how my friends felt about being dragged round it as it isn’t really their cup of tea… but hey, that’s the beauty of being in charge of all travel/holidays and doing the itinerary, right?
  • It was Saturday night so back off to our apartment we went to change, emerging a few hours later with a 75% increase in hair volume and heels.
  • We went to eat at Ambiente Pasta Fresca. It’s next to Charles University, so easy to spot. This was our most extravagant meal of the trip, coming to the dizzy heights of about £30 for three courses plus booze. It felt a lot fancier than other places we’d eaten but still didn’t break the bank. The food was excellent and I could’ve eaten my prawny starter 10 times over. Highly recommended.
  • Very full of food and wine, we sashayed up to Bar and Books cocktail bar. Drinks ensued.

4 days in Prague: an itinerary on a budget | PACK THE SUITCASES

Day 4: Pootling around and a walk up Petrin Hill

  • A late start…
  • We headed to clear the proverbial cobwebs at Petrin Hill. Our tram tickets covered the cable car that took us to the top, but we decided to walk up through the park instead, given the state of our heads at this point. There’s a viewing tower (with lift) that gave some gorgeous photo opportunities.
  • Time for tea and a cake at a café on the hill, which I believe was Petrinsky Terasy. There’s that or another one on the hill where you can have a good old people watch and something to eat – all for a the usual Prague cheap prices.
  • After that, we strolled through the Old Town Square and waited for the astronomical clock to go off, while looking at the Old Town Hall and other very grand and imposing buildings. We made a mental note to re-visit the Old Town Hall at night because it had a viewing gallery in the tower. And as anyone with a camera will know, these things are always more twinkly at night. We did end up doing that, and it’s where all of the evening photos throughout this post are taken from.
  • By the time we’d taken everything in the square in, the astronomical clock was ready to do its thing. You’ve probably heard about this bad boy – he has all sorts of animated figures and elaborate performances. It’s worth seeing, and of course it’s free.
  • After that, we did a tour. I’d recommend always doing a free walking tour in every city you visit to get your bearings on the first day (particularly great ones I’ve been on include Sofia, Zagreb and Ljubljana). On the first day is key. On the last day may be somewhat pointless. But sometimes, you find things you’ve not seen before. Prague has loads of types of tours to choose from, from food tasting to looking like a moron on a segway. But you can’t go wrong with a free walking tour.
  • For our last supper, we ate quite close to ‘home’ at U Kroka. What a cosy way to end the holiday that was and again, a right bargain (about £15 each for two courses). It was one of the few places with more than one or two veggie options too. I wish we’d been to this part of town earlier on the trip because the area it was in was really pretty and I’d have liked to explore it a bit more. There were some really nice little bars around and it had a lovely atmosphere.

4 days in Prague: an itinerary on a budget | PACK THE SUITCASES

Day 5: Departure day

  • Oh what, did I lie and say it was 4 days in Prague? Well it was 4 proper days and nights…. but we also had this 5th morning for a couple of hours. And what did we do with these last precious moments, encumbered by our luggage and mildly hungover? Went to the nearest shopping centre to see what high street shops Prague had to offer. Answer: pretty much the same stuff we have in the UK. Groundbreaking.
  • Taxis to airport and The End.

Side note: I’d love to go back to Prague with my other half. I adore going on friend holidays, but when you’re in a big group everything is harder to fit in, it takes longer, and you have to plan or you won’t get tables in restaurants easily etc. I feel like it was an introduction to Prague without getting under the surface. And that’s fine, but it does leave me wanting more.

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