Visiting many European capital cities made me realize how cheap Prague is. Since I remember, Prague was super cheap, even much cheaper than Poland. I could afford a lot when traveling there as a teenager.
Now I’m back in Prague and the prices made me smile. Why? Everything is still affordable. I can sightsee a lot without paying a lot and, what is the most important, I can live for $25 per day without any problems, without any sacrifices! :-)
In today’s note I would like to share with you some budget travel tips on how to make your Prague journey even cheaper based on my experience (excluding the obvious info such as “dine out in local restaurants”, “sleep in hostels” or “don’t overspend money on souvenirs”).
Cutting costs in Prague
#1 Go couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is not only the best way to save some money on your accommodation, but also a great opportunity to make new friends, especially when you are a solo traveller. Look at me! I met Wysteria, my Taiwanese host, and we not only spent an amazing time exploring Prague, had fun and shared our travel experiences, but also became good friends and still keep it touch nowadays. Wysteria, together with her Taiwanese friends, took me to local places where we had delicious food on a budget, helped me improve my Chinese and talked a lot about her life as a foreign student. These days I didn’t focus on money a lot and didn’t need to control my budget as I was spending less than $10!
#2 Never cross the street when the red light is on!
You can pay up to 800 Czech crowns ($41) fine for doing so and the police never listen to your “I didn’t know” excuses. One British couple was caught and fined for that in front of me. They were both travelers and had no idea this is a serious offence in Czech Republic.
#3 Avoid Christmas markets when doing shopping
Prague Christmas markets can be very doggy as locals sell exactly the same stuff you can buy in shops or supermarkets with the one exception – the price, which is sometimes a few times higher. Handicrafts are rarely seen there, so there is no point in spending more for something you can get much cheaper in a supermarket.
#4 Buy your train/metro/bus tickets in kiosks
I lost some money trying to purchase a metro ticket from the ticket machine at the metro station. Sometimes I inserted a coin and never got my ticket, neither my money back. Most of machines are really tricky, so don’t risk and get your tickets from local kiosks.
#5 Visit museums, galleries and churches on Sundays
Sundays are the less crowded days and most of the entrances are free, especially between 10 am and 1pm so it is a great chance for art and history lovers to enjoy their time paying less.
My Sushi experience in Prague
Prague was beautiful and full of historical places I couldn’t take my eyes off. However, the best memories are those related with Wysteria – my Taiwanese host – and her best friends. They taught me how to make sushi the easy way, cook some spicy chicken with pasta (Asian style) and how to enjoy the food outdoor. Let’s start from Sushi!
*For those who do not know: Sushi is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice (shari) combined with other ingredients (neta), usually raw fish or other seafood.
In order to make our Sushi we needed hangiri, rolling mat, sweet potatoes, wasabi, avocado, gari, sushi rice, nori, kombu, some black sesame and panko with soy sauce.
Making Sushi is easy peasy. You just need to:
1) Wrap your bamboo mat (you can buy ready one in a shop) with plastic wrap.
2) Grab some rice and spread it gently over the nori, press the rice onto the nori and spread it gently.
3) Sprinkle all herbs and spices over the rice.
4) Line up the meat or the fish along the nori.
5) Line up some avocado and roll it.
6) Cut into 6-8 equal pieces in half – Sushi is ready! :-)
After we made our Sushi, we went for a picnic to Vysehrad Castle (built in the 10th century, on a hill over the Vltava River with such a beautiful scenery – a must see place when being in Prague).
We packed some cookies, chocolate, sandwiches, fruits, a bottle of wine, sushi and chicken meal into a basket and we were picnic ready! The scenery was beautiful. The sun was shining and we were sitting on the grass in the park enjoying the food and fresh air.
Below you can see the photos I took from the top of the castle.
Afterwards, we went for a walk to explore the stunning city at night. I was over the moon! My best trip to Prague ever!