Prague, once the center of communist Czechoslovakia, is now a vibrant city and one of Eastern Europe’s top tourist draws. A beautiful and pleasant city, Prague managed to escape the abomination of Soviet-era architecture and remains one of the most architecturally interesting cities in Europe.
While Prague was once a fantastic destination for backpackers to rest their weary wallets, the city’s emergence to mainstream travelers has decreased the options for those looking to visit on a budget; however, it is still possible to visit Prague on a tight budget and have a good time.
Still, traveling in Prague for under $30 a day isn’t as easy as it once was. In fact, is it still even possible to get a night’s lodging, three meals, transportation, and a day of sight-seeing in for under $30 US? Let’s find out.
How Much Money Do We Have
As always, we will be working with a budget of $30 US. As of November 6, 2011, $1 US was worth slightly over 18 Czech Koruna. Therefore, our $30 is worth 542 Czech Koruna. Let’s see if we can have a fantastic day in Prague within that budget.
When traveling, the biggest expense after transportation is accommodation. Checking the booking options at HostelWorld.com, there are a plethora of options at around 300 Koruna (My personal recommendation for Prague, Sir Toby’s Hostel, has rooms as low as 77 Koruna if you book on certain nights, but using this figure would be cheating). This price will get you a dorm bed in a highly rated hostel, like Sir Toby’s, from HostelWorld.com.
With 300 Koruna spent on lodging, we have to be a little creative with our food budget. Therefore, we only have around 190 Koruna to spend on food today.
For Breakfast, pick up a loaf of good Czech rye bread. You should be able to find this in a grocery store or bakery for around 25 Koruna.
For lunch, head to one of the many stands that offer fried cheese sandwiches. While not for those wanting to eat super healthy, trying them is a must when visiting Prague. Imagine two pieces of bread put around a breaded hunk of cheese and you’ll have the general idea. A sandwich should cost you less than 75 Koruna.
For dinner, head to Wenceslas Square to get a large sausage for around 50 Koruna, which should leave you with enough left to get a pint of one of the world’s best beers, Pilsner Urquell, for around 40 Koruna
Total food costs: 190 Koruna
Generally speaking, Prague is a fantastic city to spend sight-seeing on a budget. Many of the attractions are free and one of the highlights is simply sitting and watching people.
Start your day off in Old Town Prague and marvel at the gothic churches and their massive spires and bell towers. While there, make sure to check out Prague’s astronomical clock (glockenspiel) which starts its show every hour. While not the most exciting thing you’ll see, this 600-year old clock is worth witnessing.
From Old Town Prague, make your way across the Charles Bridge (a tourist site in itself) to Lesser Town. This area encompasses the huge Prague castle and the area surrounding it. While Prague Castle is worth visiting, at 300 Koruna, the entrance fee is a budget buster for today. Instead, head to the and see the Precious Infant at Church of Our Lady Victorious. This isn’t just any baby doll, this doll is a revered religious icon (It still just looks like a baby doll to me though).
After checking out Lesser Town, head over to New Town to see Wenceslas Square which is filled with monuments commemorating Prague’s modern history. This is also a great place to have dinner and people watch.
Total sight-seeing costs: 0 Koruna
You will need to take the subway to get you from the hostel downtown and back. Everywhere else you’ll want to visit today is within walking distance. Therefore, we’ll need to buy two subway tickets for a total of 52 Koruna.
All told the day cost exactly 542 Koruna, or $30. We were able to get accommodation, three meals and some of Prague’s famous beer, and transportation from our hostel. We were even able to spend the day sight-seeing, though we had to do a lot of free things. However, it is possible to do Prague for a day on $30.