Ways to make a trip to the Czech Republic cheaper
In this post I will tell you how to make a trip to the Czech Republic cheaper during the crisis. You can also use this example to make a trip to any other European city cheaper.
1. Visa .
Get your visa yourself. The visa fee for the Czech Schengen visa is only € 35, but many travel agencies like to get rich on visas and charge tourists up to € 100.
To get a visa you only need a passport, a photo, health insurance, booked hotel or an apartment, a copy of the page with a photo and page with the registration of a regular passport, tickets, certificate of employment or bank. You can apply for a visa in the Czech Consulate in the following cities: Moscow, St.Petersburg, Yekaterinburg. Or in visa centers, which are scattered all over Russia: Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Saratov, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Omsk, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ufa, Krasnodar.
You can save a lot on accommodation if you will not stay in a hotel, and in an apartment. In the center of Prague there are many good apartments with a kitchen. But if you want you can find a cheap hotel. Keep in mind that on the popular site Booking.com hotel prices can be much higher (hotels pay a very large commission to Booking.com) than on other sites for booking hotels, so it is convenient to use a resource Hotellook.ru, which compares hotel prices on several booking sites.
Let’s compare for example the cost of booking the same hotel on these two sites from October 6 to 13: Booking.com has a rate of $414 and Hotellook.ru has a rate of $301 to $372. As you can see the difference is significant.
The price on Booking.
The price on Hotellook.
For example: you can rent an apartment in Prague on the Russian version of the most popular web site for booking apartments Airbnb.
You can save a lot on your trip to the Czech Republic if you fly to Dresden or Vienna. Why do I advise to fly to these cities? It’s simple: from the airports of these cities you can take direct comfortable buses to the center of Prague. The travel time from Vienna Airport to Prague city center is 5 hours, the travel time from Dresden Airport is 2.5 hours. You can also buy tickets for the bus on the site Infobus. The site is in Russian, shows the prices of all bus companies and you can pay for the ticket in any currency.
Flight prices can be compared on the Aviasales website, where we also buy bargains.
4. Get from the airport to Prague by bus
If you’re flying into Prague, take a bus from Vaclav Havel Airport to the city center on your own. The article “How to get from Prague Airport to downtown” details where to buy a ticket, which bus to take, and where to get to Prague. The cost of the trip from the airport to the city will cost 32 CZK (€1.2).
Use of public transport in Prague is only necessary, calculate how many trips you will have and consider whether it will be profitable for you to buy a pass. If you have the stamina, and the hotel is in the center, you can not spend money on travel at all.
You can save a lot of money on food when you travel. The article “How to save on food when traveling” and “How to organize breakfast on vacation” describe in detail how you can reduce the cost of food. If you rent an apartment, you can eat breakfast at home, go to restaurants that have business lunches at lunch, and cook dinner at home in the evening. Even cheaper to eat at the Vietnamese, where a hearty second course costs € 3-4. In general business lunch in Czech restaurants even in the center of Prague, consisting of a second course, soup and beer, costs € 4-5 .
Do not buy tours of the Czech Republic and Prague, walk around the city without a guide, enjoy and take beautiful pictures. To avoid getting lost, you only need a map, which you can get at any information desk for free. And to learn the history of the city and country, just buy a guidebook.
8. Trips around the Czech Republic
If you want to visit Czech cities or go to Vienna or Dresden, calculate how much it will cost by Czech rail or bus. For example, a round-trip bus ride to Český Krumlov will cost you 400 Crowns (€15), for a tour in a travel agency you will pay €35-60. Although in Prague there are agencies which offer tours for € 20, but they are scammers who write fake receipts and with them you won’t get anywhere and won’t see any money. You can also buy bus tickets on the Infobus site, the site is in Russian, shows the prices of all bus companies and you can pay in any currency.
Before buying souvenirs go through several stores to compare prices. If you buy souvenirs at Havel market, you can bargain there. I remember a friend of mine buying a Schweik magnet at a market for 50-60 kronor and 120 kronor at the Havel market. Plum, Becherovka, wafers, chocolate sets, cookies are better to buy in a supermarket, even in the supermarkets in the center of the prices are much lower than in the stores with souvenirs.
10. Exchange offices
Use only trusted exchangers with good exchange rates. Do not change money at swindlers and impostors. There were cases when people came to the Czech Republic with € 500 and lost the money just by changing it into Hungarian currency instead of Czech, which is worth nothing. The vacation is spoiled, of course, and to stay without money in a foreign country is still a pleasure. Even if you lose 10-30% of the amount of € 500, changing money in a bad exchange office will not bring you joy.
You may also be interested in
Sites to save money when traveling!
Hotellook – Comparison of prices and discounts for hotels and apartments in 50 different booking systems (Booking, Agoda, Ostrovok.ru, etc.). Plan your trip in advance and save up to 40%!
✈ Search the cheapest air tickets without extra charges from the reliable agencies of Aeroflot, S7, Ural Airlines and all known airlines of the world.
Cheap to Prague – 10 Tips for Your Self-Travel
10 tips from the old-timers, how to travel cheaply to Prague on your own. What are the nuances to be aware of? We tell you about our trip – how to save on everything and how much money to take.
The Czech Republic takes tourists from Russia. For convenience, we give pre-departure prices for travel and flights. Information about visas and flights may not be up to date, please check official resources. Take a look at the list of open countries.
Our review of an independent trip to Prague
The city is popular with both independents and packaged tourists – in both cases you can go to Prague for cheap. We went on our own as part of an Euro-tour and stayed there for a week. Our review of Prague is controversial. Did you like it? 50 to 50. Our hearts and stomachs were captured by the national cuisine, beer and some of the sights. However the city was disappointing because of overestimated expectations: there isn’t that notorious atmosphere, a lot of tourists and beggars, some sights are frankly boring and overblown. Will we come back? More likely to the Czech Republic, but not to Prague – we think the provinces are much more interesting!
Watchtower on the Charles Bridge.
Take a vacation in the low season
Prague is an all-season city, but it peaks in the spring-summer and winter holidays. Spring, summer and the first half of fall are good for walking around the capital and trips to neighboring cities. All gardens, parks and museums are open, beer gardens and terraces are open and festivals take place. Minuses – a lot of holidaymakers and high prices.
In the fall is very beautiful when the trees turn yellow. The selling season begins, but the weather turns bad. Winter is mild but windy. It’s great to see Golden Prague in the snow and visit the Christmas fairs. The disadvantages – it is cold and rainy, some attractions are closed, such as the gardens. But the prices of accommodation and tours are low, except for Christmas and New Year holidays.
So, if you want to save money on your trip and are willing to put up with the changeable weather, plan a trip to Prague in the low season. We went in late November and got a great three-star hotel for the low price (only 32 euros). However, do not expect Prague to be deserted. November would seem to be a dead season, but the tourists were full of everything. It’s scary to imagine what happens in the summer.
During the low season, think carefully about your closet. Dress warmly, because at the top of the hills the wind blows out all the curiosity. For example, in Vysehrad in November we only dreamed of a glass of scalding mulled wine. Do not forget an umbrella and waterproof shoes.
The square behind Týn Church.
2. Do it yourself
To travel to Prague, you need to get a Schengen visa. To do this it is important to submit the documents correctly. We advise you to do everything yourself, because there is nothing extraordinary about getting a visa to the Czech Republic. The visa fee is 35 euros. Plus the visa centers charge an additional service fee of 25 euros. Time of execution is from 5 days, but the application can take up to 30 days.
Do not forget about the insurance! It will protect you from costs in case of emergency. Apply for it at Compare.ru or Cherehapa. The price starts from 300 rubles per week.
Riegrovy Gardens. There is a view of Prague Castle.
3. How to buy cheap tickets to Prague
Prague is a popular destination, so you can get on your own quite inexpensive. We advise to look for tickets on Aviasails. Learn the secrets of cheap flight tickets search.
There are direct flights from many cities in Russia – from 14 thousand rubles in high season, and from 9500 rubles in low season. The cheapest flights are from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Do you want to travel cheaply to Prague from Russia on your own? There are 3 ways to save money:
- Lowcosters or combinations of “plane + bus”. It’s cheap, but there are inconveniences. But you can see another city on the way. These options will suit those who travel light. Pobeda flies from Moscow to Karlovy Vary – you can buy a cheap ticket and take a bus to the capital.
- Use a cheap last minute tour for the sake of the flight. Sometimes there are trips to Prague cheaper than the flight – the price includes hotel, meals and transfers. If you do not like the hotel on the cheap tour, you can book another one on your own.
- Buy an inexpensive ticket for a direct scheduled flight on a special offer or in low season.
Look for the last minute tours on Level.Travel and Travelate – they will find the best deals among different tour operators. Want to save your money? Check out our 7 rules for buying tours online.
Nerudova Street in Mala Strana.
4. How to book a cheap hotel in Prague on your own
In the low season hotels are a little cheaper. If you are planning a trip to Prague in the high season, think in advance where you will stay. There are a lot of tourists even in the off season, so look for accommodation several months in advance! That way you will have a wide range of inexpensive options. Book a hotel on Rumguru on your own and an apartment or condo on Booking.com.
How much does lodging cost? A bed in a hostel from 7€, hotels in the center from 25€. We stayed in a near perfect 3* hotel in Nove Mesto for 32 € – Royal Court Hotel. We also rented a cozy apartment in Žižkov for 27 € per night.
Advice from experienced travelers: find out about the heating, because out of season it can be very cold.
How to save money and find a cheap, but good hotel in Prague
- Choose a hotel with a rating of at least 7 out of 10.
- Read the reviews carefully – even expensive hotels have flaws.
- Housing is not necessary to rent in the center: transport is convenient and inexpensive, and the distances are short. Stay in the neighboring areas – it’s cheaper and more interesting. For example, we walked from Nové Město and Žižkov to the center.
- If the hotel is far from the center, check if the subway or bus stop are close.
- A hotel with breakfast saves a lot of time and money.
- It is convenient if there are supermarkets and inexpensive cafes nearby – check on Google Maps or Maps.Me.
- Read the main rules of the hotel search.
The best accommodation in Prague:
The apartment in Prague we stayed in. (Photo: airbnb.ru / Central Modern Pop Art Music Studio)
5. How to eat cheap in Prague
At lunchtime you can eat inexpensive almost everywhere, because a business lunch costs about 70-200 CZK, depending on the type of establishment. It is called Denní nabídka and is served from 11 to 16 or 12 to 15 hours, except on weekends. And in general, the cheapest place to eat in Asian cafes, pubs and canteens.
How to save money on food in Prague? We had breakfast at the hotel (when we moved to an apartment we cooked ourselves), had business lunch at a beer house or a cafe, and dinner at a Chinese restaurant or a beer house. Sometimes we bought groceries for dinner in the supermarket. It was very economical.
We advised to try roulka, dumplings, trdlo, fried cheese and different kinds of beer, of course! We especially liked the dense Pardubice porter at pivnice U Járy.
Trdelník – very tasty stuff! Try it with chocolate. (Photo: unsplash.com / @romankraft)
6. Take cheap public transportation
Transport to/from the airport. You can save money in Prague on the trip from the airport to the center and back – use the bus and subway. That’s how we got there. This option is not suitable if you have a lot of luggage. Conveniently, the buses run even at night. Tickets cost from 24 CZK. Read more about how to get from the airport to Prague.
For the historic center transport is not necessary – the distances are minuscule and it is more pleasant to pass them on foot. And to get to sights farther from the center, such as Vysehrad, use the subway.
The subway is simple and straightforward. There are also buses, streetcars and funiculars. There is a nostalgic streetcar – it takes tourists to historical sites.
In Prague, a unified ticket system – bought a pass is valid on all modes of transport. The ticket costs 24 CZK for 30 minutes, 32 CZK for 90 minutes, 110 CZK for 24 hours, 310 CZK for 3 days. There are passes for longer periods. We used the passes for 30 and 90 minutes. The latter is convenient when traveling to the airport. Transfers are unlimited for a specified time. The ticket must be stamped at the entrance or it will not be valid. Keep it until the end of the trip.
Tickets must be purchased from vending machines at the entrance to the metro, tobacconists, kiosks and minimarkets. It is advised to buy tickets in advance – sometimes the metro is closed, the machine is out of order, etc. The vending machines accept only change – once we had to look for the store to change money.
Cab thanks to the convenient system is not really needed, because the transport runs even at night. The boarding costs 40 kroner, 1 km – 20-28 kroner.
For trips out of town, use trains or buses – they are inexpensive. For example, we went to Kutna Hora by train. It is advantageous to take round-trip tickets for two people at once – they cost 356 CZK. Itinerary planner →
A cute retro streetcar in Prague. (Photo: Adam Gut / flickr.com)
7. See the sights of Prague for free
To travel cheaply to Prague, you need to think about the cultural program – the total amount of money spent on sightseeing and excursions. For example, we almost did not spend money on them, and saw a lot of things. Here are our tips on how to save money on excursions on your own trip to Prague.
Architecture. You can see almost everything in Prague for free and on your own, without guided tours! Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Jewish Quarter Josefov, Prague Castle and Hradcany, Mala Strana and Petrin Hill, Vysehrad – all this is available to everyone. You can walk and see for free, except the Golden Lane at Prague Castle – but even there at 16:00 or 17:00 are allowed free of charge. Well, for the entrance to many buildings you have to pay.
Museums, palaces, galleries. They are, of course, almost all paid. But you can save money here, too: find out in advance when they have an open house (usually the first Monday of the month), or plan a trip to the Night of Museums. Some are free all year round, such as the Lapidarium and the Museum of the Infant Jesus. See what free museums there are in Prague.
Temples and cathedrals. Paid churches are realistic to see for free – usually in the front without problems. But from there you can not see the details. For example, you can go to the Cathedral of St. Vitus and the Tyn Church.
The view from the square to the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral.
Tours. There are free sightseeing tours, but they are in English – from Prague Extravaganza and Royal Walk free tour.
Before you travel to Prague on your own, plan your itinerary carefully. There are many sights in the city, and even more information about them on the internet – and it all comes in an avalanche for the tourist. When we realized that we were drowning in this flood of information, and time was short, we just bought a pocket guidebook Lonely Planet. We dislike them for their pathos, but in some cases they are a real salvation!
If you want to see as much as possible in a short time and save money, buy a Prague Card – it gives you free admission to 60 attractions, discounts and all sorts of goodies. It is designed for 2, 3 or 4 days and costs 62, 72 and 83 euros respectively.
Map of Prague with sights
After our trip to Prague, we decided to briefly describe our own itinerary – we hope it will help you. In addition to the list of places to see in Prague on your own, it gives useful information: addresses, prices, opening hours, our review, etc.
View from St. Vitus Cathedral to the square. (Photo: unsplash.com / @stijntestrake)
8. Free entertainment in Prague
You can save money when you travel to Prague not only on sightseeing, but also on entertainment:
- Visit gardens and parks – such as Obora Hvezda, Kampa Island, Letenské Gardens, Wallenstein Palace Park.
- Changing of the guard at 12:00 at Prague Castle near the Presidential Palace. Very crowded, come early if you don’t want to look at the back of your head.
- There are free open-air film screenings in the summer – check the link for what, where and when.
- See swans and nutria on the Vltava River next to the Kafka Museum – they are not afraid of people and eat from their hands. There’s a magical view of the Charles Bridge!
- Free or inexpensive concerts are held in some non-tourist cathedrals.
- See a free performance at the astronomical clock on Old Town Square.
- Look for installations and sculptures that are scattered around the city. Most of them are works by David Cerny.
- Go to Nový Svět Street in Hradčany – there are picturesque houses and few tourists.
- If you come at Christmas time, don’t miss the Christmas markets – they open in the evening.
Inexpensive entertainment in Prague:
- Rent a boat and see the city from the water. An hour costs 350 kronor, the boat seats 4 people – you can find companions and split the cost.
- Take streetcar number 22 – the route goes through the historic sites.
9. How to save on tours in Prague
Look for the author’s interesting excursions in Russian on the Tripster website.
We prefer to see the sights and walk around Prague on our own. However, we understand that in some cases, tours are better.
When it is worthwhile to take tours:
- The first acquaintance with the city, if there is no time to prepare for the trip;
- Interested in the history of the city, its legends and myths – in this case take the author’s;
- it is impossible or difficult to visit the place by yourself (for example, closed dungeons, bunkers, tunnels, castles and fortresses that are hard to reach).
If you want to get acquainted with the city through the guides, then choose the tours with a lot of positive reviews – so you won’t get a pig in a poke.
To save money in Prague, take a group tour – they are much cheaper than the individual.
New tours cost cheap: the guides set a low price to earn reviews and gain customers. But then you can not be sure of the quality of the tour.
10. Money, ATMs, currency exchange in Prague
You can buy currency in Czech Republic in Czech crowns. If you go with cash, it is better to have dollars or euros, and in the city to exchange. And even better – keep it all in an account or on a card.
Where to withdraw money without fees? We used ATMs of the ČSOB (Československá Obchodní Banka). Many ATMs don’t charge a fee, but your bank might, so check the conditions. We went with the card Tinkoff All Airlines – no withdrawal fees at any ATMs for amounts over 3,000 rubles. We also used it to pay in stores, cafes, pubs, and the hotel.
Do not change money at the airport – the exchange rate is atrocious, plus they take 5%. The airport does not change money at the airport – the exchange rate is atrocious, plus they take 5%.
The airport is a good place to get money. In the center the exchange rate is more or less the same and adequate. Make sure there are no commissions.
How much are the products in Czech Republic
How much does a trip to Prague cost?
We spent 8 nights and 6 full days in Prague. Here are our expenses for those days (calculation for two people). You can use them to calculate the cost of your trip to Prague. Airfare is not budgeted because we flew to Prague from Brussels and then left for Vienna.
|Hotel and apartment||20 000 rubles|
|Food (cafes and supermarkets)||10 400 rubles|
|Sightseeing||3 200 rubles|
|Transportation (subway + train)||1 400 rubles|
|Total||35 000 rubles|
The cost of our trip to Prague was 35 000 rubles (with the euro exchange rate of 70 rubles). If we add airfare from Moscow it would amount to about 65 thousand rubles for two people – about how much a trip to Prague for a week would cost. As you see, the main expenses are tickets and lodging, and the food, transportation and sightseeing are inexpensive.