Europe on a euro: Prague
Some of the best things in life are free … including travel experiences. Here are 15 ideas for free and inexpensive ways to explore Prague, the “City of 100 Spires.”
1. For an overview of sites, history and geography, start with a free 2- to 3-hour Sandemans New Europe walking tour. Tips are anticipated, and groups of 10 or more will pay a small fee per person (under 10 euros). Check times and reserve your spots online.
2. Hunt for bargains at the Havelske trziste (Havel’s market) and the flea market. Havel’s is open daily, and the flea market is the second Saturday of every month.
3. Cool off at the Zluté lázne resort, where you’ll find beaches, pools, playgrounds, beach volleyball, restaurants, paddleboats and more. Entry is 80 CZK (about $3.25) for adults, half-price for students under age 26 and free for kids less than 100 centimeters tall.
4. Shop for budget-priced, name-brand toys at Sparkys store; prices are cheaper thanks to the exchange rate.
5. Watch American films at the U.S. Embassy’s American Center every Tuesday night for free.
7. At the Gothic Old Town Hall, watch the 600-year-old astronomical clock announce the hour with ringing bells and mechanized figures of the Twelve Apostles.
8. Admire St. Nicholas Church’s exquisite frescoes and gold-encrusted stucco ornamentation, indicative of the lavish Baroque style.
9. Try a Czech beer or two at the Prague Beer Museum, a cleverly named pub with 30 brews on tap.
10. Snap an Instagram-worthy group photo at the John Lennon Wall, dedicated to the Beatles co-founder and activist.
11. Learn about the trials and triumphs of the Jewish community in the Jewish Quarter. In the 11th century, public policy required that all Jews reside in a small walled neighborhood. Six synagogues, including the oldest in Central Europe, and a 15th century cemetery still stand.
12. Spend a day exploring the 750,000 square feet of churches, residences and gardens inside Prague Castle. In addition to earning the title as the largest continuous network of fortified buildings in the world, the castle is significant because of its role as a royal and presidential residence and exhibition center chronicling hundreds of years of Czech history. The most inclusive entry ticket is priced at about $14.50 for adults, $7.25 for children ages 6-16 and students up to age 26, and free for younger children. The $29 family pass permits entry for up to two adults and five children under age 16.
13. Combine a tour, sightseeing cruise and meal with a Vltava River excursion. These three-for-one deals are priced at approximately $31 for adults at lunchtime or $46 at dinner, with significant discounts for children and students.
14. Walk among peddlers, fellow tourists and towering statues on the 14th century Charles Bridge.
15. Check the event listing on the official tourism website, and click the filter for “free” to see what’s on during your visit.
Tip: Check out the Prague Tourist Card, which is 46 euros for a two-day adult pass, 33 euros for students up to age 26 and children ages 6-15, and free for children under age 6. With the pass, you’ll get free entry to 50 attractions, free public transportation, a free two-hour city bus tour and lots of discounts.
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