Prague is a beautiful place to visit but boy is it packed. We visited at the end of September hoping it would be quieter (and I’m sure it was) but it is still very busy. The best advice I have is to avoid the main touristy areas at peak tourist times i.e. from mid morning to mid afternoon and at dinner time. Instead visit other areas like Malá Strana, also called Lessor Town. In the foothills of the castle lies the beautiful Lessor Town, full of old buildings, cobbled streets, canals and great places to eat. This is where our AirBnB was located and we spent quite a bit of time strolling around visiting sites such as the Church of St Nicholas and the Lennon Wall and Pub.
A short walk from Malá Strana is the wonderful Prague Castle complex. I highly recommend going as early as possible to avoid the busloads of tourists that pour in from about 9am. Getting into the main complex is free and some parts of the interior of the church and castle are free to have a look around as well. The views over Prague from the castle are really beautiful looking out over a sea of orange rooftops.
By far the most famous site in Prague is Charles Bridge. Go early in the morning or around dusk (just before dinner) for the least amount of crowds. The bridge has great views over the Vltava River and across to Malá Strana and Prague Castle. The bridge was built in the 1300s and has seen an incredible amount of historical events.
Another big tourist spot is the Old Town Square where you can see the Astronomical Clock, Old Town Hall, Church of Our Lady Before Tyn and Jan Hus Monument. It is a stunning spot to visit but by golly it is rammed. We went at dusk to try and avoid some of the crowds but it was still busy. I recommend a quick walk around and then head off to check out the nearby Jewish Quarter (Josefov) where you can see the Old Jewish Cemetery and Museums.
Another good area to visit, especially if you will be leaving from Prague Main Station, is Wenceslas Square. The road is dominated by statue of Saint Wenceslas and the National Museum. When we were there on a Friday there was a small market and performance going on, perfect to stop for a beer and a listen. Not too far from Wenceslas Square is one of the most interesting places we visited in Prague and I highly recommend it. It is the Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral where during World War II (in 1942), it was the scene of the last stand of a number of Czech and Slovak patriots who had assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, otherwise known as the Butcher of Prague. The Museum underneath the Cathedral is free to enter and gives an incredibly moving and interesting display on the Nazi Occupation of Prague. Not many people visit this place so you can absorb everything in peace.
We very much enjoyed the food in Prague, from the delicious Czech Goulash to the sweet and tasty Trdelník, we ate well. In fact, our last memory of Prague was the most delicious pork knuckle we had ever eaten. So if you would like the best pork knuckle in Prague (also very cheap) head to Bredovský Dvůr located right near Prague Main Station.
Overall, our time in Prague was very busy and a lot of fun. There is so much history to absorb and ancient sites to see and we loved walking around and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. My only complaint is the huge amount of tourists (I grudgingly acknowledge that I am one…).
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 2 people for 2 days:
Accommodation – CZK1,006 (NZ$69)
Food/Drink – CZK1,763 (NZ$121)
Miscellaneous = CZK80 (NZ$6)
Transport – CZK80 (NZ$6)
Total spent – CZK2,929 (NZ$202)