When asking others about their study abroad experience, you’re often told incredible stories about travelling all around Europe, especially for spring break. I thought a more relaxing (and cheaper) alternative would be to just stay in Prague, and luckily, I had a friend from London come to visit. This idea came about when we couldn’t decide where to go, since other locations were either too expensive or too inconvenient for us. Below you will find out more about our spring break in Prague that will hopefully help you get a better idea of what it’s like to stay, but also what it’s like for others to come visit!
Transport: RyanAir, Prague public transportation within the city
Accommodation: Osadni dorm
Group Size: 2
Cost for Visitor: $300 USD
Public Transportation: $20 (a few 24 hr and 72 hr passes)
Entrance Fees: $40 (attractions, exhibits, etc.)
Cost for Me: $120
Other: $40 (attractions, exhibits, etc.)
What We Did: A General Breakdown
Prague Castle (Circuit B ticket)
Old Town Square
Paternoster Elevator in City Hall
Kavarna Kocici (Cat’s Cafe) Karlin
Highlights and Tips!
Some might think spending spring break in Prague is a missed opportunity to explore the rest of Europe, but having a friend visit for the week gave me more motivation to find interesting sites and hidden gems to bring her to (and finally see for myself!). Since my friend was not too interested in tourist attractions, the only two we visited were Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. We did these on two separate days, and woke up extra early for both. We took a lot of inspiration from Honest Guide on YouTube, especially “Prague Without Tourists,” “Hidden Places,” and “Secret Places.” (*maybe you could link to his Youtube channel?)
TIP: WAKE UP EARLY. It’s a shame now that it’s nearing the summer season, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle are ridden with tourists. But, they are indeed beautiful, so set an alarm, sleep earlier, do what you must to wake up and really appreciate these sites the way they should look!
Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace: A True Hidden Gem
My friend found in one of the Honest Guide’s videos the Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, a old Baroque palace in Old Town, situated right off the Charles Bridge. The admission fee is ONE CROWN. 1 CZK. You pay at the ticket counter downstairs, and the receptionist will direct you to the entrance of the palace. The payment gets you into the old rooms of the palace, including an incredible Baroque hall. Since the palace is off the beaten path and (thankfully) very undiscovered by most tourists, so chances are you will have a mostly empty palace all to yourself to explore! Once you enter, a guard who wanders the rooms will ask to see your ticket, but besides that you are left pretty much alone. My friend and I had a full 30 minutes alone in the hall to take some photos; however, I have had some friends inform me that they were told by a guard that photos are prohibited.
Strahov Monastery: A View Without the Sea of Tourists
One area that we unintentionally discovered was the Strahov Monastery. We actually visited it because the Honest Guide pinned a viewpoint nearby. Despite this, the monastery itself was very beautiful and even in the early afternoon, was free from the monstrous sea of tourists found at Charles Bridge or the Castle. The monastery complex also houses a beautiful library (which NYU Prague actually took some of us to during Alchemy Week!), but sadly, I did not have enough cash to purchase the tickets, so BEWARE: BRING CASH. The view, however, was absolutely amazing and was perfect for panoramic photos of Prague! I definitely recommend checking out the monastery, even if it’s just for the view. While you’re there, you can have lunch at the monastery brewery restaurant, where the beer is actually made at the monastery.
Some Other Favorites!
There were several other stops we made during our days exploring Prague that were also a nice escape from the crowds of tourist in the city center. I’d like to give a special shoutout to these hidden gems and I recommend you check them out!
Paternoster Elevator in City Hall
DOX Center for Contemporary Art
This gallery is just a couple of blocks away from Osadni dorm! Would definitely recommend it for a rainy day or any day you want to explore the Holešovice area.
I had an incredible time staying in Prague; I was able to relax, I served as a tour guide for my friend who visited, I had a great reason to go see more attractions in Prague, and I saved myself a lot of money and travel stress. If you’re stressed about your spring break plans, I really recommend staying in Prague as a great alternative to touring all over Europe, and I hope the amazing places in this article can convince you to try it out!