Is Prague Expensive? (Tips For Visiting This Year)

Is Prague Expensive? (Tips For Visiting This Year)

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You don’t get the nickname “the City of a Hundred Spires” for no reason; Prague is a gold mine of stunning architecture. The city is the hub of all things medieval and Gothic and, unsurprisingly, is the capital of the Czech Republic. It is in central Europe and is a popular stop-off on the hallowed Eurorailing itinerary. Consider it a real superstar amongst European city breaks.

You can spot the Catholic saints on top of Charles Bridge, take photos in Old Town Square, and cruise down the Vltava River. It’s easily one of the best cities to visit in Europe for compact city-center sightseeing.

Of course, the real question is, “Is Prague expensive to visit?” In short, Prague can be cheap to visit, especially if you compare it with other major European cities. The city had a pretty drastic rise to fame in the 1980s-90s, and with that, its tourist prices rocketed. If you’re planning a trip to Prague, it’s a great idea to have a rough budget in mind. In this guide, we’ll break down all the costs of visiting so you can be well prepared.

Costs of Flights to Prague

Prague Travel Costs

Airfare will be your biggest cost, depending on your destination. For the sake of this section, we’ll split you into two groups: North American travelers and EU travelers. Obviously, we have readers outside of this demographic. Still, US flight prices are relatively similar to those in other regions like Oceania. So we’ll keep things simple with just two groups.

Flying From North America

If you’re flying from the US, you can find airfare at around $250 off-peak, averaging around $500-600 for return tickets. Of course, this hikes in summer, with airfare from the West Coast rising to around $1,000.

Here are a few examples of different airfare costs, which vary per departure destination and period:

$930 return from LAX to Prague in June (two stopovers)
$650-80 return from LAX to Prague in October or January (one stopover)
$650 return from JFK to Prague in June (two stopovers)
$540-50 return from JFK to Prague in October or January (one stopover)

If you want more reasonable prices, flying from the East Coast out of season is your best bet. You’ll find cheaper rates if you’re okay with changing for more stopovers.

Flying From Europe

If you’re flying from Europe, the first thing to consider is whether you should even fly. Many countries, including France, have a strict policy on short-haul flying, with some even mandating overland alternatives for short distances.

If you are already based in Europe, consider traveling to Prague via train. You can actually catch a train for just over $100 from London to Prague, spending an adventurous 20 hours on the rails, passing through beautiful cities like Paris and Stuttgart. It is one of the easy options to pick. But if that isn’t feasible, you can find flights from $30 to $150, excluding luggage fees.

Total Suggested Budget from US: $600 for return airfare.
Total Suggested Budget from EU: $100-200 for return airfare or train fare.

Costs of Prague Accommodation

Accommodation costs in Prague

Prague has a real mix of accommodation, which is good news for people across all sorts of budgets. You can find a luxury choice in the center, use public transportation to reach a mid-range option in the trendy suburban outskirts, or pick an inner-city dorm room.

There are a few choices when it comes to finding places to stay. The most sought-after tourist areas (with the largest price tags unless you book hostel accommodation) are Stare Mesto (the Old Town) and Nove Mesto (the New Town). You could also stay more off-the-beaten-track in places like Karlin for reduced accommodation rates and a less touristy atmosphere.

Generally speaking, though, you have three options: a hotel, vacation rental, or hostel. We’ll provide some recommendations and a cost breakdown for each.

Option 1: A Hotel for $80-400 a Night

Hotels are the most expensive option when staying in Prague. To get the best value for money, make advance reservations to get the best room, look for properties with breakfast included, and check your location—e.g., is the street central or annoyingly noisy at night? Prague is a bit of a party destination, so it pays to double-check these things. Remember whether you want to pay extra to be central or use public transportation in exchange for cheaper rates, too.

There is a good range, though, for different budgets. For instance, check out these top hotel choices:

1a. The Grand Mark Prague ($$$)

The Grand Mark Prague is a 5-star property full of history with rooms for prices of around $400 a night. You get an included breakfast, bike rentals, and access to facilities like a fitness center on site.

2b. Pytloun Old Armoury Hotel Prague ($$)

Pytloun Old Armoury Hotel Prague is a gorgeous 4-star property with superior rooms starting from prices of $170 per night. Its medieval-style restaurant is the real highlight of this property.

3c. Elysee Hotel ($)

You can bag rooms at the Elysee Hotel for nightly prices under $100, sneaking it into our budget category for your trip. The 4-star hotel has comfortable room choices with handy amenities like kettles.

Option 2: A Holiday Rental For $120-600 a Night

Our holiday rental in Prague

Going self-catered is fantastic sometimes. You just get that extra independence and the chance to cook pasta in your PJs when you don’t quite feel like dining out. Whether you want comfort or grocery bills rather than expensive restaurant tabs, Prague has many rental choices. And an apartment might be more suitable than a room if you travel in a group.

Just check out some of these for your trip:

2a. Apartment with Roof Terrace ($$$)

This four-bedroom apartment sleeps 12 guests and has its own rooftop overlooking Prague. At a price of $430 per day, it’s a great luxury option.

2b. Cozy Prague Apartment ($$)

This property is a beautiful place to base yourself when visiting. For nightly prices of nearly $120, you get a one-bedroom apartment just five minutes on foot from the central attractions.

Option 3: A Hostel For $20 a Night

If you really want to keep the price low, a hostel is a great choice. In shared facilities, you can cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a low cost using groceries.

3a. White Wolf House Hostel & Apartments ($)

White Wolf House Hostel & Apartments is great for budget travel. It offers a shared kitchen and dorm rooms starting at just over $20.

Costs of Food in Prague

Cost of food in Prague

Food is modestly priced in Prague. A casual meal costs around $10, and a sit-down meal for two costs $50. Groceries are even cheaper: a dollar for a pint of milk, $8.50 for 1kg of chicken, and around $2.50 for eggs.

If you do fancy partying, you should spend under $3 for a beer and $6 for a standard bottle of wine. Here’s a rough breakdown of essential food costs, though:

Luxury: $50 per person

If you eat out at a sit-down restaurant for every meal, budget around $50 per person. Add an extra 10% for an optional service charge. I doubt you would do this every day, but you can have it within your budget.

Mid-Range: $35 per person 

If you are happy to grab grocery food for breakfast and lunch and just eat out for dinner, that cost will drop to $35. This is usually what we do. It saves a bit of money and adds in a little variety.

Budget: $15 per person

If you plan to use groceries at self-catered accommodation, you can spend as little as $15 a day. Just make sure you have accommodation that allows you to cook your own food.

Total Suggested Budget: $15 to $50 per person per day, depending on whether you’re planning to go self-catered or eat out every meal.

Costs of Things To Do in Prague

Cost of Activities in Prague

Prague is beautiful, even if you just walk around, and you can enjoy many free things. In one day, you could easily spend nothing on sightseeing in Prague just because of all its beautiful (and free) architecture. You can visit the following amazing attractions totally free of charge:

Old Town Square
Prague Astronomical Clock
Charles Bridge
Statue of King Wenceslas
Statue of Franz Kafka
Lennon Wall

Some of the best things to do in Prague are free, and you can get a great taste of its architecture and history on your trip without spending a dollar. If you’re visiting Prague for the first time, these are all great things to tick off your list.

However, if you are willing to splash a bit of cash, we’ve got plenty more things for you to experience. Why not choose a few from both lists?

Charles Bridge in Prague

Prague’s paid attractions include Prague Castle, the Museum of Communism, the National Museum, the Museum of Senses, and special activities like sightseeing cruises, medieval experiences, and beer spas. The prices vary per activity, but here’s a rough summary of what you could spend:

Total Suggested Budget: A price of $0-120 per day, depending on your interests.

Costs of Transportation in Prague

Transportation costs in Prague.

If you are staying centrally in Prague, you won’t need to worry about the price of public transportation. You just won’t spend anything on transport as you are within walking distance of all the main attractions. The only transportation cost for this scenario is your airport transfer, which is as cheap as $5.

If you are staying on the outskirts, you may have to factor in a transport cost. Remember that many accommodations offer complimentary very cheap bike rentals. But if not, you can take Prague’s bus or Metro systems for a cost as little as $1.50 a ride.

Consider a car rental only if you are planning major day trips. Even then, Prague is so well connected that you’ll likely just take public transportation or a guided tour—like a tour to Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland via group coach.

Total Suggested Budget: An average of $3 per person when taking no day trips, plus the $10 total cost of airport transfers.

Saving Money in Prague: 5 Top Tips to Save Money

Prague Budget tips

This budget doesn’t have to be set in stone when you visit Prague. You can easily cut the cost of a trip to Prague by just being savvy during your stay. The city has tons of free things to do and cheap room options. And even if you don’t want to compromise on activities and accommodation, there are ways to limit your spending while out and about. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Get Used to European Tipping

No matter what you are doing in Prague, be it jumping on a tour, eating at a restaurant or taking a taxi, it pays to know the European standard for tipping. As a standard rule, a tip of 10% is fine at a sit-down restaurant. Don’t expect to tip if you grab a takeout breakfast or groceries. Similarly, even a casual lunch doesn’t necessarily mandate a tip. It is quite a change from the US approach to tipping and lowers your overall cost.

Keep tipping for more formal environments, like sit-down dinners. Also, always make sure to tip your guide if you are on a tour. Just knowing tipping etiquette can save you lots of money while visiting Prague.

2. Research Tourist Traps Beforehand

Prague has so many tourist traps, from polka music CDs to beer and rituals like touching statues. Research beforehand to know that the attractions and activities you’re paying for are worth their salt, and check cancel policies. And similarly, use your common sense – do you really want to pay for the trinket or queue to touch some shiny metal? If you’re feeling a little pushed for time to research yourself, just check out the tourist traps we dodged the hardest here.

3. Consider Travel Times

What time of year you travel to Prague can massively impact its cost. You could visit in the middle of summer, when prices are hiked. Or you could visit out of season, from January until May. These months offer more budget-friendly experiences, with cheaper accommodation rates and activities. March onwards is particularly nice because you get the sunnier weather, too.

4. Get Your Walking Shoes On

We’ve clearly established that public transportation in Prague is cheap when you’re savvy. However, walking is still a much more affordable alternative. Get those walking shoes on and take to the city streets with gusto. Given how compact the Old Town is, you can see so much on foot in Prague, no matter your age or fitness level. Don’t spend money on public transportation if you can help it.

5. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle

There are many countries where you have to factor bottled water costs into your budget. Prague is not one of these; water is safe to drink in Prague. Just bring a proper water bottle so you can refill it at your accommodation. And voila—you’ve saved yourself plenty of petty cash while visiting Prague. Better yet, you’ll be much better hydrated and much less likely to fall foul of heatstroke in summer. It’s a win-win.

The Price of Visiting Prague: FAQs

Tip to Prague city center

Are you feeling more prepared to visit Prague? Budgeting is a fantastic way to approach a new city. And with all this information, you’ll get the most out of the city without any nasty surprises for your bank account. Whether you use public transportation, stay in a 5-star room, or take luxury private tours, these guidelines will see you through.

What about some more practical advice before you visit Prague? In this section, we’ll go over some important FAQs.

How much does a meal cost in Prague?

You can get a casual sit-down dinner for under $10 or a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant for $50.

Is Prague an expensive city for tourists?

Accommodation in Prague’s city center and eating out in the old town can be pricey for tourists. However, with some advance planning, Prague isn’t massively expensive.

Is $100 a day enough for Prague?

Definitely, $100 is enough for mid-range accommodation, casual meals, and one paid activity. Budget more if you want to stay in one of the more central or luxurious hotels in Prague city center.

How much should I budget per day in Prague?

Budget between $50 and $75 a day to enjoy Prague, not including accommodation. Accommodation in Prague ranges from $20 in a hostel to $60 for a mid-range hotel in the outskirts and $150+ for luxurious central accommodation.

So, Is Prague Expensive?

The Lennon Wall in Prague

No, comparatively speaking, Prague is not expensive next to other major European cities. You can easily get by on $100 a day in a mid-range hotel or $50 in a hostel. While there are “expensive” choices like high-brow central hotels and Old Town fancy restaurants, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to save money. It is all about planning a budget before your holiday in Prague; this way, you know how to cut your trip cost.

Are you interested in visiting more of the Czech Republic? Here’s our complete travel guide. The country is simply stunning, with a culture and nature that inspired the likes of William Shakespeare. There’s loads to see, so why not add some extra time to see the rest of the Czech Republic after visiting Prague?

Plan Your Next Trip to Prague With Our Suggestions

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