Fun and Cheap Things To Do in Prague

I love exploring Prague when I am not in class and I especially love finding things to do that don’t cost a ton of money. While it is still a working list, I’ve complied some of my favorite, inexpensive things to do in Prague.

-Visit the Národní Muzeum (National Museum)

The National Museum is very easy to get to by tram or metro. If you take the tram, it is only a couple minutes walk from the stop Václavské náměstí. The metro is even more direct, as the museum has its own stop (Muzeum). Tickets to the National Museum are not too expensive, as they offer a student discount. A student ticket costs 150 CZK (~$6)

The museum is a giant, grand building. There are multiple floors with various exhibits in the old, historic section and even more to see in the new museum building. The two buildings are connected via an underground tunnel and I highly recommend walking through it. As my Art & Architecture professor put it: “The tunnel is an exhibit in itself”. Some of my favorite exhibits is the Hall of Minerals, Ancient history, and Czech composers.

-Visit the Autumn and Christmas Markets (and snack on a Trdelník)

In downtown Prague, you will see various stalls and carts loaded with trinkets and food. While the Christmas markets are super popular in late November and December, I also enjoyed walking through downtown when they had Autumn markets decorated with colorful leaves. One of the most common treats sold at the markets is called a Trdelník (Chimney Cake). It is dough that is rolled and baked until golden. I love getting mine filled with ice cream, but you can also purchase nutella or jam filled chimney cakes. My roommates and I crave them every so often, so I know I will definitely miss them once I go back home. A Trdelník typcially costs anywhere from 100-180 CZK (~$4-$7) depending on the fillings you choose.

-Stroll through Letná Park

I love walking through all of the different parks in Prague. It is absolutely free and you can get amazing views of the city without all the tourists. One of my favorites is Letná Park. It’s situated near the Vltava River and offers amazing views of Old Town. The park has lots of tree lined pathways and benches to relax and enjoy the view. It even has a restaurant near one of the entrances.

-Watch a show or opera at Národní divadlo (National Theatre)

One of the excursions during my Czech Intensive course was to visit Národní divadlo and watch a Czech opera. It was a fun experience and very easy to get to since the threatre has its own tram stop (Národní divadlo). Operas run 3 hours long, so it is time-consuming, but the theatre is beautiful and it’s a fun excuse to dress up in fancy clothes. Many people take attending a performance at the National Theatre seriously, as lots of people were dressed as if they were attending a wedding. However, as long as you do not wear jeans and a t-shirt, you can wear whatever feels comfortable. The opera I watched was called Rusalka. It reminded me of a dark version of the Little Mermaid. Fortunately, the opera had English subtitles. The ticket prices vary based on your seat selection. Standing room tickets are cheapest (although 3 hours is a long time to stand). Regardless, there are various seating options and watching a Czech performance is a unique cultural experience that you might want to try at least once.

-Walk around Vyšehrad

My apartment is located near Vyšehrad, so I might be biased, but it is one of my favorite spots in Prague. You can tour some of the buildings for a small fee, but the tours are only conducted in Czech, so I haven’t gone on one. Walking around the complex is free and I love going around sunset because the views are great. Vyšehrad has a neo-Gothic church that is a neat photo op, there are at least two cafes you can stop at, and lots of green space.


Travel & First days in Prague

The end of summer arrived before I knew it, and it was time to pack my suitcase and make sure I was prepared for my semester in Prague. I started packing a few days before my trip. I took a while to decide what to bring for three months, but I managed to only have my carry-on and one checked bag.

My journey to Prague was long but worth it. I had a very early morning flight on September 2nd from Denver to Dulles International Airport so I had to wake up around 3am in order to get to the airport and allow for enough time to get through security and get to my gate. I somehow managed to lose my phone charger cable while going through the security line. After my flight from Denver to Dulles, I had a little bit of a layover so I purchased a new charging cable (for $40!). I did have enough time to get a snack before boarding the plane to Brussels, so it worked out in the end.

The flight to Brussels had lots of people. It was a packed flight, and many people had issues finding overhead bin space for their carry-on bags. I was worried I would have to check my carry-on, but luckily a flight attendant helped me find space in a bin near the front of the plane. I wasn’t flying in first class, but my carry-on bag got to haha.

I had an aisle seat on the fight, which I liked since I didn’t have to crawl over anyone if I needed to get up. The people sitting in my row did not speak much English, but they were friendly. I don’t know if it was because I was so hungry, or if I developed a sudden affinity for quinoa, but the Southwest-inspired chicken with quinoa meal they served on the plane was delicious.

Once we landed, I had to navigate the Brussels airport, which I had never been to before. I followed the signs to the terminal I needed, but an airport official stopped a group of us and had us take a confusing detour, but I eventually found my way. One thing I found interesting about the Brussels airport was the massive shopping areas. I’m used to seeing duty-free stores in American airports, but I had to walk through a giant department store and various other stores before getting to my terminal. Another unique aspect of my airport experience was that everyone boarded the plane based on seat number, not boarding zones like in the U.S.

My flight from Brussels to Prague felt like it took no time at all, mainly because I could no longer stay awake in an effort to avoid the worst effects of jet lag, so I took a lovely nap. I happened to sit in front of a fellow student from my program on the plane, so we walked over to baggage claim together and waited for our bags. Our ISA coordinators met us outside the secure area, and a group of us waited until 1pm for everyone to arrive.

Our coordinators divided everyone up into vans that would take us to our apartments since the apartments are spread throughout the city. The van I was in did not have a large trunk area, and in order to make everything fit, one bag would need to sit on the floor in the front passenger seat. However, the van driver was not having it, and we waited while he argued with two of our coordinators in Czech. It must have been decided that it would be okay to make an exception just this once because six of us piled into the van and we were soon on our way to our apartments.

While the building looks a little beat up, my apartment is great on the inside. It is a two-bedroom apartment and I live with three other roommates. I opted not to request to live with anyone specific and I would recommend it since you get to meet new people from DU and other colleges.

The Prague ISA program has you hit the ground running. After dropping our bags off in the apartment, we were given instructions on how to take the tram to the ISA office for our first day of orientation. The first day of orientation only lasted two hours and was super chill. I met all four of the ISA coordinators and they went over basic information since we were going to have a full day of orientation the next day.

The second day of orientation was my favorite because we took a tour of Old Town Square. Lucie, one of my coordinators, also teaches part-time at a nearby school so she was super passionate about giving us all the historical information. She gave us a brief history of the Czech Republic and pointed out various sites and buildings along the way.

After a full weekend of orientation, I just relaxed and prepared to start my two-week Intensive Czech course on Monday.