One of the most common refrains in travel writing these days is to “live like a local”. If that’s the case, set your alarm for a full day of office work, followed by running errands and cooking dinner for your family. Sound like a dream vacation? But we get it. The phrase expresses more of an underlying desire – not to be treated like an outsider or expected to pay sky-high prices for pre-packaged experiences. What visitors need isn’t a taste of local life, but local advice. How do people get around the city easily and affordable? What tricks and scams do the residents know how to avoid? Which attractions will add value to your trip without requiring a wait in mile-long lines or massive crowds? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite local experts to share their valuable knowledge. Read on for timely tips from Prague City Tourism on accessible ways to explore the city beyond the most famous landmarks this summer. Then the social media stars of Honest Guide let you know how to avoid common scams and easy-to-make mistakes. So grab your Prague to-do list, double check it against this advice, and let us know if these words of wisdom made an impact on your trip. We always love hearing from our readers!
Prague welcomes millions of tourists every year, and a big part of Kateřina Pavlitová’s job is to help them make the most of their visit. Here are a few of her tips to enjoy your summertime trip to the Czech capital:
1. Use public transport, and don’t forget to STAMP YOUR TICKET to validate it when entering
the metro, tram, or bus. Inspectors don’t take kindly to excuses or make any exceptions to this
rule. On a lighter note, a Prague transport ticket also includes some fun rides, like the Petřín
fernicular and ferries across the Vltava river.
2. Go to a farmer’s market. These aren’t limited to locals buying fresh fruit and vegetables –
think more food-lovers markets with stands of ready-to-eat snacks and meals. Try Náplavka on
the Vltava riverbank or Heřmaňák in the Holešovice neighborhood on Saturday mornings.
3. Discover the many buildings of Prague’s National Gallery, giving visitors a great excuse to
venture across the city. Kateřina recommends the medieval collection and sculpture gallery at
the Convent of St. Agnes or the expansive collection at the Trade Fair Palace in Holešovice.
4. Get out of the city center. This summer is a great time to discover the Karlín neighborhood.
Grab a bite from the open-air food stalls at the new, no-cash-cards-only Manifesto Market, then walk a fewstreets over to experience Kasarna Karlín’s multi-functional arts space and outdoor cinema.
5. Wake up early and take a morning walk in one of Prague’s many peaceful parks. Kateřina
suggests the southern section of Petřín park around the Kinsky gardens, near the Smíchov
neighborhood, for a quiet stroll away from the crowds.
6. Mastering the Czech language is a tough task to expect from a visitor. Kateřina cautions that
using short forms like ahoj or čau instead of the formal dobrý den can actually be considered
rude. She recommends modesty and manners over expecting praise for learning a few words,
and sticking to polite, simple English.
7. Visit the Agricultural Museum. This newly remodeled building in Letná incudes multilingual,
interactive exhibits (tractors! live animals!) that are great for families, plus a rooftop garden for
a picnic with incredible views.
8. The Agriculture Museum garden isn’t the only high point in town. Kateřina recommends the
many impressive views from above the city. Find your favorite panoramic perspective of
Prague’s iconic red rooftops church and spires from the top of the Old Town Hall, the Charles
Bridge Towers, or the Powder Tower.
9. Try some seasonal summer treats. Keep an eye on the menus at Czech restaurants for fruit
dumplings (ovocné knedlíky) made with strawberries, apricots, and plums. Ice cream and gelato
shops are popular across the city, or stop into a corner store and try a Miša popsicle filled with
tvaroh, a soft white sort of cream cheese popular in Czech cuisine.
10. Of course, the local Pilsner is worth trying, but don’t stop there. Discover the expanding
microbrew scene at places like Lod’ Pivovar or Beer Geek. To get a taste of the
underappreciated local wine scene, trust the experts at Veltlin wine bar in Karlín or Vinograf’s
Prague Don’ts from Janek Rubeš and Honza Mikulka of the Honest Guide
Honza and Janek’s popular YouTube channel, Honest Guide, is devoted to saving tourists from scams and tourist traps in Prague. They offer local advice on what to avoid in order to honestly enjoy their hometown:
1. Don’t exchange money at the airport or on the streets. This is a surefire way to get terrible
rates, and scammers on the streets might even slip you some expired rubles instead of Czech
crowns. Check out the Honest Guide video for recommended exchange places or just pay by
card at most places around town.
2. These guys agree that public transport is the way to travel. Don’t hail a cab on the streets of
Old Town unless you want to pay multiple times a normal rate. Prague’s affordable, reliable
public transport system (or a nice walk) will take you anywhere you need to go.
3. While we’re on the subject, they’ve got another transport tip: Don’t try to board public
transport before others have finished exiting. Wait for passengers to get off, then hop on with
a clear path to keep things moving smoothly.
4. The Honest Guide guys are famous for their opinions on trdelník (a sweet, spiral of dough
covered in sugar and spice) – just don‘t call it a traditional Czech dessert. In Janek’s words,
“Go ahead, buy it, but just know that you’re going to look like a tourist. It’s like wearing an I-
heart-NY t-shirt in New York City.”
5. When you’re looking for souvenirs, stick to images that show the beauty of Prague, and
please don’t buy Soviet-era memorabilia. Instead of these symbols of occupation, try gifts with
a picture of St Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech Republic, or an image of the gorgeous
6. These guys have one thing to say to the stag parties and pub crawls in Prague – don’t take
your party into the streets. Find a club that’s made for your entertainment, but keep it quiet
when you leave. Remember that people live in the center of Prague and you wouldn’t want
someone shouting in front of your house at 3am.
7. Don’t come to Prague to do drugs. “This is not Amsterdam,” Honza says, and despite any
rumors you may have heard, drugs on the city streets are illegal. Getting arrested is not how
you want to spend your vacation.
8. The guys have a light-hearted tip for eating in a Czech pub: don’t eat dumplings with your
hands. This staple of Czech cuisine may resemble a piece of bread, but it’s meant to be eaten
with a knife and fork, making it easy to dip in the sauce of whatever you’re eating.
9. Don’t be afraid to explore or approach the locals. Honza recommends ducking into Prague’s
many passages and doorways to find hidden beauty across the city. He also encourages tourists
to ask for help, and is always happy to offer tips anytime he sees someone struggling to
decipher a map.
10. These guys love sharing their opinions on Prague, but they also recognize that every traveler
is different. Their overall advice is not to take any must-do or must-see rules too seriously –
just be respectful, be yourself, and enjoy all it the city has to offer.