Why you should visit Prague as a solo traveller

4d ago

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Prague is my favourite city in the world — and it’s an excellent choice for any solo traveller.

I may be biased as a Czech dual-citizen with Czech heritage, but as a solo traveller with dozens of cities under my belt, I like to think that I know what to look for when searching for a good solo travel destination.

So, to kick off TPG’s Solo Travel Week, I want to introduce you to Prague and why it’s an incredible place to visit — even without travel companions.

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The city is filled with an endless number of cafes, bars and restaurants where you can meet locals and fellow travellers. Plus, it’s remote work-friendly, reasonably priced and easy to navigate as a tourist.

Currently, the Czech Republic is on the amber list, so fully vaccinated travellers who have received both doses of their vaccine in the U.K. will no longer need to quarantine on return to England.

Here, I’ll discuss why you should add Prague to your solo travel bucket list. By the end of the article, I’m confident you’ll be itching to book your first trip to the City of a Hundred Spires.

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Meet new friends at pubs, beer gardens and galleries

Beer in front of Prague's Old Town Square
(Photo by Maria Vonotna/Shutterstock.com)

Despite an unfounded reputation as a “cold” culture, in my experience, Czechs are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people in Europe. Just head to a local pub — or, hospoda in Czech — and chances are someone will strike up a conversation after you order in broken Czech or English (which isn’t usually a problem).

There’s no shortage of great places to socialise in Prague either. The city is full of excellent pubs, beer gardens, cafes and restaurants. The majority of the bars in the city are traditionally Czech and serve delicious beer and traditional Czech bar snacks like Nakládaný Hermelín, a pickled cheese dish served with rye bread.

Some of my favorite Prague pubs include Café Kamzík in Old Town, Zázemí near Můstek, Pivovarský klub in Florenc and Beer Musem in Námesti Míru. All of these places offer traditional Czech beer like Pilsner Urquell and Kozel, which are must-trys on any trip to Prague.

If you visit in the warmer months, you can meet new Czech friends at one of the city’s many beer gardens. My favourite is the beer garden in Letna Park. The garden is packed with locals and ex-pats alike during the summer, and it provides one of the best views of Prague in the city.

Letna Beer Garden
View from the Letna beer garden in Prague. (Photo by escapetheofficejob/Shutterstock.com)

But Prague’s social scene doesn’t solely revolve around alcohol. Try a workshop at Muddum Art Space, a gallery that offers art lessons for both children and adults. You’ll find everything from drawing to pottery group classes, letting you unleash your creative side and make new friends.

Lastly, Prague is home to ex-pats from all over the world, too. In fact, one of my best friends in Prague is originally from Argentina but has lived in Prague for close to 10 years. There’s a good chance you’ll meet someone you weren’t expecting to meet on your trip.

It’s great for remote workers travelling solo

Coffice Prague
(Photo courtesy of Coffice)

Prague is an excellent place to be a remote worker. In fact, the Czech Republic even has a freelancer visa that makes it easy for foreign remote workers to reside in the country.

Better yet, Prague has a booming cafe culture, with everything from quick-service coffee to hipster cafes lining the streets of neighbourhoods like Holešovice, Žižkov and Vinohrady. Two of my favourite cafes to get work done are La Bohème Café and EMA Espressobar — both are comfortable and have excellent coffee and pastries.

My favourite place to work, however, is Coffice near the Námesti Míru metro stop. Coffice is a hybrid between a coffee shop and coworking space, wherein you pay an hourly fee to use the cafe’s desks, power and super-fast Wi-Fi. You get unlimited coffee for the entirety of your stay, too — hard to complain about for just $3 (£2) an hour. Plus, the space often hosts concerts, art galleries and other events at night.

I recently spoke with Coffice founder Martin Miguel — here’s Coffice in his own words:

“Coffice started with the idea of meeting the needs of digital nomads and freelancers. A mix between a coworking space, internet café and event space.

Whoever is looking to work from a place with good internet, meeting room, a quiet environment and unlimited coffee and tea will feel comfortable with us.

In addition, those who travel alone will have a guaranteed social life here — every night, Coffice turns into a bar where many social events take place. An excellent opportunity to meet locals and other travellers.”

There are free Wi-Fi hotspots around the city and you can pick up a local SIM card from providers like Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile without issue.

So if you need to mix your solo travel with work, there’s really no better city than Prague.

Experience the city’s history

Prague Castle and Saint Vitus Cathedral
History buffs will love Prague Castle and other historical sights. (Photo by Travel Faery/Shutterstock.com)

Prague is one of the oldest cities in Europe. This is in large part because the city escaped the worst of the bombing in World War II, meaning that much of the city’s original structures are still standing. This is perfect for history buff solo travellers who are interested in learning a bit about the Old World.

Start with a walk around Prague Castle. Sure, it’s one of Prague’s biggest tourist sights, but it’s well worth the visit. Most of the ninth-century castle is open to the public. Inside, you’ll find many artefacts from the castle’s long history, including a must-see armour collection. 

Other great historical sights include the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Astronomical Clock and the Old-New Synagogue. The Old-New Synagogue is my personal favourite — it’s one of Prague’s first Gothic buildings and an active synagogue since 1270, making it Europe’s oldest active synagogue.

Hoping to meet a fellow history buff on your trip? Consider taking a group tour with Tour 4 Charity Prague. This tour company will take you around all of Prague’s historic sights, and the $25.50 tour fee (£18) is donated to three children’s charities in the Czech Republic. The nonprofit has donated over $30 million (£21.7 million) since it started in 1996.

Quickly visit nearby Czech cities

The Czech Republic is a geographically small country — which is great news for you, the solo traveller.

This means you can take a quick train or bus ride to other Czech cities that have a totally different feel than Prague. One of my favourites is Český Krumlov, which is a fairytale-esque small town that’s filled with great restaurants and museums and is surrounded by hills and forest. It really feels like you’re on a medieval movie set.

 

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Alternatively, you can visit Brno. It’s the Czech Republic’s second-largest city that’s home to a handful of Czech universities. With that in mind, it’s packed with its own bustling food, drink and entertainment scene. This makes the city great for the younger solo traveller looking to make friends (and possibly study abroad).

Old Town Brno
(Photo by kingawo/Shutterstock.com)

If you’re a beer fan, you can’t miss a visit to Pilsen. It’s home to the iconic Czech beer brand Pilsner Urquell and is the birthplace of Pilsner beer. Make sure to take a tour of the Pilsner Urquell brewery, where you can sample unfiltered Pilsner inside a historic beer cellar. Tours are offered in English and cost $11.55 (£8.30) per person at the time of writing this article.

Wooden barrels of beer at the Pilsner Urquell brewery
Old wooden barrels of Pilsner Urquell beer at the brewery in Pilsen. (Photo by Fotokon/Shutterstock.com)

Finally, we have Kolín. This is a seemingly random addition to the list, but I really enjoyed the city when I visited in 2019. It’s located just 34 miles east of Prague and is easily accessible by commuter rail. In the city, you’ll find a small town square and the Church of Saint Bartholomew, a beautiful example of Gothic architecture.

View of street in Kolin, Czech Republic
(Photo by bikemp/Shutterstock.com)

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other excellent Czech cities to add on to your solo trip to Prague — be sure to research Karlovy Vary, Kutná Hora and České Budějovice for more inspiration.

Related: 8 European cities that are best experienced in the fall

It’s an affordable city for extended trips

Another huge upside to visiting Prague is its affordability.

Everything you need as a traveller can be had for a reasonable price in the city. According to Numbeo, the average price of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant is $6.93 (£5), a beer is $1.85 (£1.30) and a one-way public transit ticket is $1.39 (£1). In practice, these can be had for much cheaper depending on where you are in the city.

Likewise, hotels, hostels and Airbnbs are very reasonably priced. I recommend going the Airbnb route if you plan on staying in Prague for an extended period of time. You can often book private rooms in a shared apartment for under $500 (£361) per month, or a whole studio apartment for under $1,000 (£722). Of course, prices vary depending on location.

Monthly Airbnb options in Prague
(Screenshot courtesy of airbnb.com)

Points and miles travellers will be happy to know that there are a handful of points hotel options in the city too. Here are a few good options — just make sure to check cash prices before you book. If the rate’s cheap enough, you may want to save your hotel points for a more expensive stay in the future.

  • Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel: Marriott Category 7, 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Courtyard Prague City: Marriott Category 4, 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Hilton Prague: 33,000 Hilton Honors points this November
  • Hilton Prague Old Town: 35,000 Hilton Honors points this November
  • Holiday Inn Prague: 13,000 IHG Rewards points this November
  • Mr & Mrs Smith BoHo Hotel: 42,500 IHG Rewards points this November
  • Prague Marriott Hotel: Marriott Category 6, 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Of course, you can find many excellent independent hotels around the city too. I often stay at the three-star Hotel Exe City Park located right across from Prague’s main railway station. You can often find room rates for under $60 (£43) per night, which is excellent given the hotel’s central location.

Bottom line

Prague is an incredible city for solo travellers. Its booming bar scene makes it great for social travellers, and remote workers will enjoy the endless numbers of cafes to work from. Better yet, there’s endless history to be seen in the city and tons of nearby cities to explore.

Feature photo by Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com.

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