Prague: 5 Important Tips & Recommendations

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I have to start off this post by saying that I didn’t think that Prague was such an incredible city! I am absolutely in love with the Czech capital, but I do have to point out some important tips that will help you make the most out of your trip!

General Information:
Currency: Czech Crown (CZK)
Official language: Czech
Capital: Prague; population 1.2 million
Neighboring countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland
Population: 10.5 million
Land area: 78,867 sq km (30,450 sq mi)
European Union member: Yes, since 2004

TIP # 1: Currency

Czech currency

Let’s start off by speaking about the currency: Czech Crowns. 1 USD = 23 CZK approximately, and 1 EUR = 26 CZK approximately. [Sidenote] This change reminds me of Cuba, where, since they have double currency (Cuban pesos CUP and Cuban convertible pesos CUC), 1 CUC = 25 CUP, so I had the conversion down, didn’t have to think about it too much.

Because of the Czech Crowns’ worth, the bills are big (in number), and you could get scared when looking at a restaurant’s menu and seeing that a draft beer costs 35 CZK. But NO. A draft beer costs 1.36 EUR (1.50 USD) and is actually cheaper than water!

Try to always have this conversion in mind to avoid being ripped off, especially when taking cash out. Ask a local, or a tour guide for the best exchange houses, as some of them will charge up to 50% in change fees. And we don’t want that, do we? There’s one thing that I can tell you: don’t use the ATMs inside Prague airport and don’t use any ATM that is not a bank ATM.

We made the mistake of getting cash inside the airport so I’m speaking from experience. We took out 2000 CZK which was supposed to be less than 80 EUR but in total was 102 EUR!

So, I cannot stress this enough… be careful and fully aware of the exchange rate and fees!

TIP # 2: Tipping

Bill Prague

In Prague, like in the US, tourists are expected to tip at least 10% of the bill. You should look closely at your bill, as some places already include whatever percentage they think is fair. However, the majority will specify “Service not included” to remind you that you should tip. In these cases, you just tell the waiter or the person charging you the percentage that you would like to apply. But again, have the total amount already in your mind and check if they are charging you the correct amount.

TIP # 3: Getting around

Tram Prague

The best way to get around in Prague is by either Tram or Subway and you’ll be happy to know that it is not expensive at all! You can buy a combined ticket for all forms of public transport (tram, subway, and bus). A 30-minute ticket costs 24 CZK (0.93 EUR or 1.03 USD), a 90-minute one costs 32 CZK (1.24 EUR or 1.37 USD), and a full-day ticket costs 110 CZK (4.27 EUR or 4.71 USD). At the same time, however, everything is within walking distance, so I recommend you buy the 30-minute ticket every time you need it because otherwise, I think you’d be wasting money.

Also, keep in mind that the ticket machine only accepts coins.

TIP # 4: Fake authentic Czech products

Absintherie Prague

I know this is a contradictory title BUT it is true! Let me explain…

Prague, as most of the touristy cities, is full of tourist traps and fake souvenirs or fake “authentic” … anything are not an exception. The Czech capital is known for marionettes, Garnet crystals, Bohemian glass, wooden toys, Czech porcelain (Blue Onion pattern), beer, spa wafers, etc.

So many distinctively Czech products and still people will sell you random stuff claiming is Czech 😠.

What to avoid? Well, you should start by avoiding:

1. Matryoshka dolls or Russian dolls, which only by its name you already know it is NOT Czech!

Typical Czech toys are any kind of wooden toys and puppets or marionettes.

2. Also, don’t fall for “Original Absinth” shops (Czech write absinthe without the e at the end). Bear in mind that absinthe is originally from Switzerland and not from the Czech Republic, on top of that, Czech absinth doesn’t have the anise or the herbs that characterize absinthe everywhere else, and to make it a bit worse, the absinth they sell is way overpriced.

If you want to try a typical Czech drink go for Slivovice instead.

3. Trdelník, very popular in tourist areas in Prague. Yup, that’s it. Only popular among tourists. This is yummy pastry is NOT Czech! Trdelník is actually from Slovakia and if you like sweets, please, by all means, try it! But keep in mind that you are not eating a traditional Czech pastry.

A very traditional Czech pastry is Větrník or Kremrole.

TIP # 5: Restrooms

Maybe your reaction to tip #5 was “What about restrooms?! 🤨”. Well, let me tell you that in Prague, as in most of Europe, you have to pay to use the bathroom. So, make sure to have coins on you for when you receive the call of nature…

How do you feel about these tips? Do you think they will be useful for when you visit Prague? Let me know if I missed any important tip!!

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