I was sitting at my desk on a Thursday morning, looking at my bank account and crying. My money was well spent in Budapest the week before, but I was left with little to spend for the rest of the month.
“How am I going to do exciting things in Prague?” I asked myself. “How will I SURVIVE without going out to my favorite restaurants for the rest of this month?”
I’m sure many other broke college students can sympathize with me. But being abroad brings a unique fear of missing out because our time here is so limited. There are just so many places I want to go and things I want to see.
And so I began my intensive research about things to do for cheap (by cheap, I mean free) in Prague. Here are some of the hidden gems I found along the way, made all the better by the absence of price tags.
First stop: Prague City Hall.
So you might be wondering why the city hall is so interesting. Inside the city hall is what tourists have named the “elevator of death,” otherwise known as the paternoster. It’s really just an elevator, dating back to the 19th century, that constantly moves. You just step on whenever you’re ready, so you’ll never have to wait for it. Pretty cool and kind of scary when you do the full loop at the bottom!
For my next stop, I headed to the narrowest street in Prague. On the way there, you’ll be able to walk through Old Town Square and also walk across the Charles Bridge. A three-in-one package — what more could you ask for?
When you arrive at the actual street, though, you might be a little underwhelmed: It used to be open to the public to walk through, but it seems they’ve blocked off the entrance now. It’s still a cool spot to see just how narrow a street can get, though.
Next, we head to the Lennon Wall. This famous wall is splattered with graffiti, bright colors and messages left by previous visitors. It makes for a great photo spot and is also one of the only places in the city where graffiti is legal.
And finally, we reach our last destination of the day: Prague Castle. I unfortunately headed to this amazing spot on Valentine’s Day, so we all know how that went. BUT I must say, the view from the top is amazing. (Quite literally breathtaking because it’s an uphill walk.) It’s the best view you can get of the city’s beautiful rooftops and architecture. You can simply enjoy the view of the castle and city, or you can even indulge in a refreshing caramel macchiato from the Starbucks on the castle grounds.
Bonus adventure: the best place to see the sun rise. The following Saturday, I took a friend’s advice to see the sunrise from a particular spot. He didn’t specify as to where this place was and simply sent me the location pin he had saved on his phone. He had named it “super pretty place,” so I took his word for it and went.
I arrived at the spot just as the sun was creeping over the horizon, and I’ve never seen a sunrise quite like this one. The sun’s rays started to shine over the whole city of Prague, and you could slowly see the city waking up. Smoke started coming out of the chimneys one by one as the light sprawled across the city. I later found out that this spot was a path that lead up to the Strahov Monastery. If you plan on going, just follow the map to the monastery, and you should come out to an elevated area that overlooks the city. I’m sure you’ll find, like I did, that it is in fact a “super pretty place.”
I guess that concludes my free-things-to-do tour of some of the most famous spots in Prague. Exploring the city can indeed be done on a budget, and I hope you can all enjoy this wallet-friendly tour as much as I did!