28+ things you wanted to know about Prague and the Czech Republic
Charming cobbled streets and colourful buildings, Christmas markets, an excellent food scene: what isn’t there to love about Prague?
The capital of the Czech Republic is one of Europe‘s most popular destinations; if you’re considering a trip to Prague, you might need to know the answers to some of these questions.
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1. Where to stay in Prague?
Prague has a full range of accommodation options, from camping by the river to five-star luxury. Stay in the centre (Prague 1) for proximity to the main attractions, or go a little further out if you’d like to be away from the hordes of tourists. Prague is very walkable and has a good public transport system, so you’ll always be able to get into the centre. Check out Booking.com for hotels or hostels, or consider an apartment rental if you’re a group.
2. Is Prague worth visiting?
Absolutely! It’s a beautiful city with centuries of history. The public transport is good and there’s an excellent range of high-quality food. It’s a very popular tourist destination, but even if you don’t like crowds there’s plenty to do away from the most popular sites.
3. What to buy in Prague?
First and foremost: beer. Try a variety of different ones and take a couple of bottles home as souvenirs. If you’d prefer something personal, head to Charles bridge and buy a CD from a busker or have your portrait sketched by one of the artists. Avoid the tacky souvenir shops at all costs, but if you do want something to take home, a handmade wooden toy is a good option.
4. What’s the weather in Prague, Czech Republic?
Prague has a continental climate with warm summers and often snowy winters. You’re looking at temperatures of around 0°C in winter and early 20’s during summer. Although summer is warm, it can be wet — take a rain jacket.
5. Is Prague safe?
Yes, Prague is a very safe city. As in most major cities, pickpocketing can be an issue, so take normal precautions with your belongings, especially at the train station and on public transport.
6. Is Prague water safe to drink?
We have always drunk the water in Prague and have never had any problems. You can drink the water from most taps unless there is a “do not drink” label, such as on trains. Water from fountains is usually not drinkable, so fill your water bottle from a tap.
7. Is Prague on the euro?
No, the Czech Republic uses the Czech koruna (CZK/Kč), also called the “crown”. One euro is worth about 25Kč (in 2018).
There was a plan to adopt the euro but the plan was suspended in 2005, and now most Czech people would prefer to stick with the koruna.
8. Is Prague in Czech Republic?
Yes, Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic.
9. Is Czech Republic part of the European Union? Is Czech Republic part of Schengen?
Yes, the Czech Republic has been part of the European Union since 2004. It is also part of the Schengen Area border-free zone.
10. What’s Czechia?
Since 2 May 2016 Czechia is the official short name of the Czech Republic.
11. Is Prague in eastern Europe?
That’s a good question! Some sources say Prague is in eastern Europe, but others disagree. Czechs consider themselves central Europeans, not eastern Europeans, so it’s better to say that Prague is in central Europe.
12. Where is Prague?
Prague is in the Czech Republic, located slightly to the north-west of the centre of the country. The Czech Republic (or Czechia for short) is bordered to the west by Germany, to the north-east by Poland, and to the south by Slovakia and Austria. It’s very easy to get to Prague from Berlin and Vienna (among many other connections!)
13. Is Czech Republic the same as Czechoslovakia?
Nope. Czechoslovakia is a country that existed from 1918 until 1993, when it peacefully dissolved into the two countries of Czech Republic and Slovakia. Don’t call the Czech Republic Czechoslovakia, you’ll sound horribly out of date and will probably offend someone.
14. Is Czech Republic part of Russia?
No, and it never formed part of the USSR either.
15. Is Czech Republic communist?
No. Czechoslovakia was a communist state from 1948-1960 and a socialist republic from 1960-1989. The modern Czech Republic is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic: it has democratic elections.
16. Which Prague district should I live in?
Consider Karlin, in Prague 8. It’s close to the centre but not full of tourists, and there are a lot of great restaurants.
What to do in Prague
17. What to see in Prague/What are the best Prague attractions?
The top three things to see in Prague are the astronomical clock, the castle, and Charles Bridge. Listen to our Prague podcast for more tips!
18. Where is Prague Zoo?
Prague Zoo is located in Prague 7, beside the Vlatava River and to the north of the Old Town. To get there, catch bus number 112 from Nádraží Holešovice metro station on line C.
19. Where is Prague’s Old Town Square?
The Old Town Square is located in Prague 1, between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge.
20. Where is Charles Bridge located?
Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava River between the Old Town and the Lesser Towns of Prague, in Prague 1. You can cross it to get from the Old Town to the castle.
21. Which Prague castle inspired Walt Disney?
Sources disagree! Prague Castle itself was probably one of the inspirations, and the Tyn Church in the Old Town Square was another of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
22. When was Old Town Square founded?
The Old Town Square was used as a market place from the tenth century. Many of its main buildings were built in the 12th and 13th centuries, such as the Old Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady before Tyn. The astronomical clock was installed in 1410 and is the oldest astronomical clock still running.
23. When was Czech Republic founded?
The modern Czech Republic was founded on 1 January 1993 when Czechoslovakia was dissolved into two separate countries: Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Czech state was formed in the 9th century, and was part of various empires throughout its history (such as the Great Moravian Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire). Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918 when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
24. When was Czech Republic dissolved?
The Czech Republic is a modern country, it has not been dissolved!
25. When was Charles Bridge constructed? When was Charles Bridge first opened?
King Charles IV commissioned the bridge in 1357 and it was opened in 1402. It’s the oldest bridge in the city and replaced a bridge that was damaged by a flood.
26. Is Prague expensive to visit?
Prague is a very economical place to visit, much cheaper than neighbouring countries like Austria or Germany.
27. Which Prague guidebook should I buy?
That depends on your travel style. We found that the Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring has enough information on the city to make the most of a short trip, though it lacks historical background. The Rough Guide worked well for that. Since Prague is such a visually rich city, Eyewitness‘s visual slant is perfect.
28. Do I need travel insurance for Prague?
It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance. You might already be covered if you have other insurance policies, so check with your insurance provider before you travel. We use World Nomads because they are great for independent travellers.
29. Where should I go after Prague?
You could stay in the Czech Republic and visit Kutna Hora, Ceske Budejovice or Cesky Krumlov. Germany is also a good option — travel west to Dresden or Leipzig, or south-west to Nuremberg or Munich. Alternatively, you could go to Slovakia, Austria, or Poland. Vienna is a favourite! Prague is a great starting point for a larger trip around Europe due to its central location.
This episode of the Indie Travel Podcast is sponsored by Welcome Pickups.
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