Prague Experience on the Cheap & My Sushi Day with Taiwanese Hosts

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 travelling there as a teenager.

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Historical Prague

 

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! :-)

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Charles Bridge and the Old Market Square

 

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

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Me and my hosts, Taiwanese girls, preparing our food for picnic

 

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!

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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 travellers and had no idea this is a serious offence in Czech Republic.

#3 Avoid Christmas markets when doing shopping

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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

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My metro ticket

 

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

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Spectacular view of Prague at night!

 

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.

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Our Sushi preparation

 

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! :-)

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My picture perfect Sushi – so proud of it :-)

 

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).

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Me and girls enjoying our picnic

 

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.

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Best panorama photos I took from the top of Vysehrad Castle in Prague

 

Afterwards, we went for a walk to explore the stunning city at night. I was over the moon! My best trip to Prague ever!

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Are you Sushi lovers?  Have you been to Prague? ;-)

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50 Comments

  • I love Prague! I also couchsurfed when I was in Brno, not far from Prague. It was a great way to see the city and get to know a really friendly local. Having a picnic is also a great way for spending an afternoon on the cheap.
    Thanks for the post Agness!
    ps- I love sushi too!!! :D

    • Never heard of Brno, but will check this place out. I agree CS is awesome if you want to make friends and explore the city properly like “the local way”. Glad you hear you are a sushi lover :):)

  • Great pictures! I love Prague, it’s been a while since I’ve last been there, but it’s always great. Such a beautiful city, it’s right up there with Paris. Actually, I think I like Prague better.

    • If you make me decide whether I like Paris or Prague the most, my answer would be PRAGUE! Much cheaper and more beautiful :) and… romantic as well!

    • It was also one of my favourite European cities I have ever visited – historical, simple, peaceful with a special atmosphere :)x

  • Tasty looking sushi! I made it at home once – it was time consuming, but sometimes it feels really satisfying to eat something that took a lot of effort to prepare.

  • Asolutely love Prague, I spent almost 3 months there and fell in love with the city, and actually all of Czech Republic. I agree with you – don’t cross on a red, they are strict on that. Same with buying tickets, I got ripped off from one in Hlvani Nadrazi (sp?) station. Biggest thing – definitely visit Vysehrad Castle; when I was there it was almost completely empty. I also Couchsurfed most of my time there and met some amazing people I’m still good friends with, but I stayed in hostels a few times and didn’t pay much more than $5-ish per night. Touristy places can be expensive, so don’t be afraid to wander. And never pay more than 40 CZK for a pint unless it’s something really special. I want to go back!

    • Thanks a lot Chris for sharing. The castle was also empty when we went there which we loved. It’s a peaceful place where you can do some jogging, have a picnic and relax without seeing so many tourists. Czech hosts are one of the best when it comes to CS experience. They have such a passion to show you around their city and tell you some interesting stories, don’t they? I am not a pint lover, but will tell my friends not to spend more than 40 CZK :) I WANNA GO BACK TOO! Let’s go back together :-)!

      • Agreed! I stayed at five different CSers in Prague and they were all fantastic, I love Czech people :) We should definitely go back together! I’ve been on my European tour for 10 months and I don’t think I’m going to stop any time soon. Still so many places I want to go and go back to.

      • Wow, you are very experienced with CS in Prague! My hosts were amazing people, but they were all Taiwanese. Didn’t hang out much with Czech people apart from a lovely couple I met who showed me around, they were best people I have ever met on my travels! We should get back together. I’m back in Europe in August for at least 2-3 weeks :)

      • Yeah, once I met a couple local Czech CSers I just fell in love, I had to meet more. They’re reserved and a bit standoffish at first, it seems, but once you get to know them they’re the best people ever. BTW, I love Polish people too! I spent a week and a half in Poznan and want to go back to Poland so bad. Couldn’t get enough of the dumplings :) I’ve met a few Poles since then and always get along so well. Well I’d love to meet up. Send me an email at the email address you see in the WordPress dashboard there. My travel plans are basically “whatever” so I’m sure we can figure something out :)

      • So happy to hear that :) I love Polish dumplings, could eat them all day long, seriously! I met a few Czech travellers and they were all so open-minded, outgoing and friendly. Right now I’m in China, so if your plans are “whatever”, why don’t you come over!!! Chinese dumplings are much better than Polish!!!

      • Keep me posted mate. By the way, your social media icons on your website do not work. Tried to subscribe to your blog and like your FB pan page, but I couldn’t. Check it out and let me know :)

      • That’s awesome. Thanks a lot! Just followed you on Twitter, but Facebook doesn’t work (as you said it not published yet). Keep me posted. We really enjoy your website, would like to follow your adventures there as well.

  • Your pictures are lovely as always. Your sushi picnic sounds really nice especially since it was by the beautiful Vysehrad castle. That’s so cool that you are able to create these friendships while you travel.

    I saved money in Prague by not buying metro tickets and instead just jumped on. I know it’s bad but I was a poor college student! Shh!

    • This is actually what people do all the time – jumping on the metro without buying tickets! :-). I was advised to do so, but I am too honest I guess. One night I couldn’t get any tickets and just jumped on without it and remember how scared I was!! That’s not for me! :):):)

    • I admit I did the same! The first week or two I was there I bought tickets but never got checked, then a local said they rarely check and if you see them just get off the tram. So I didn’t, and kept an eye out and never got checked. I did buy tickets for the metro though, just in case :)

      • LOL, my Taiwanese friends did the same. They actually were able to distinguish the ticket conductors from the rest of passengers :) How cool is that!

  • I have some work colleagues going to Prague this week. I feel jealous about this. Loved Prague when I was there and I want to go again soon. Glad to see that you are having a good time. How’s the weather?

    • That’s a real pitty you can’t go with them. The weather was superb, sunny but a little bit cold which is more than I expected in early November. Maybe you can make it next time :-)

  • Oh how I’d love to go back to Prague soon! Totally love the city. Great to hear that it is still a reasonable cost too. Last time I was there I remember the Old Town Square becoming quite pricey since it is full of tourists, but just off there was a more reasonable price.

    • I found the Old Town Square also pretty expensive in terms of food in comparison to local restaurants, but in comparison to Poland it was still cheap to me :)

  • Great post! I loved Prague! It has so much medieval art and architecture – and it is so affordable! Exploring Vysehrad was my absolute highlight, too! :)

  • My experience is different from yours. I went to Prague last year. I didn’t find this city cheap. I paid 30 euros for accommodation that offered bed and breakfast. Yes, I agree that this place is cool and full of enjoyment but I don’t think Prague is cheap and good for a budget traveler.

    • Have you booked your accommodation online before you went to Prague or found it when you were already there? You definitely paid too much. I saw hostels for 10 euros, but no breakfast was included. Go couchsurfing next time.

    • Yeah when I first got to Prague I thought “this city isn’t as cheap as people made it out to be” but after spending a week or so there I found it to be quite cheap if you stay out of the main touristy areas. For accommodation you just have to look around – 30 Euros is far too much. I was either Couchsurfing or staying in hostels (around $5 a night usually) – I even found one night for $3.68! (http://www.travelsizerobot.com/a-room-in-prague-for-3-68/) Although that’s admittedly not the norm.

      • $5 is a cool price for a hostel. There are so many Czech people who would host travelers no there shouldn’t be a problem to find one. Thanks for the link!

  • Love it – I’ve always managed not to spend much in Prague as well. I’ve often stayed in district seven – around here there are so many cheap bars and restaurants (and I love the Cross Club in the neighbourhood) that are so cheap and full of locals. I try not to eat in the Old Town as it’s such a gamble in terms of quality, but if I do it’s usually for lunch and in the quieter streets just a few minutes walk of the main square. Also, I’ve climbed Prague Castle twice for free – I had no idea there was a charge the first time, and the second time nobody sold me a ticket either! It’s a pretty good view and is worth the charge anyway, but even better when it’s free :)

    • I climbed it too for free, just once, not twice :) I was not asked to pay for that either as far as I remember. Need to check that.The Cross Club in the neighbourhood? What a pitty I have not gone there :(

    • I love Cross Club! I went there at least seven times when I was in Prague. Can be an iffy crowd, but still good fun. I like the Holesovice area as well, it’s not very expensive and you’re right, there are some really good places to eat and drink around there.

      I didn’t have to pay to get in the castle either – I think what you have to pay for is to go into the cathedral and museums.

      • I must go to Cross Club next time. I’m back in Europe in August for a couple of weeks so heading to Prague is a must!

  • I’m having fun exploring your site, reading some of the older articles but when I saw this one about Prague I had to comment, it will come in handy as we are planning to visit Prague this spring. Great tips and photos!

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