Why you should visit Prague as a solo traveler
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Prague is my favorite city in the world — and it’s an excellent choice for any solo traveler.
I may be biased as a Czech dual-citizen with Czech heritage, but as a solo traveler 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.
The city is filled with an endless number of cafes, bars and restaurants where you can meet locals and fellow travelers. Plus, it’s remote work-friendly, reasonably priced and easy to navigate as an American tourist.
Speaking of which, the Czech Republic is again open to American tourists so long as they’re fully vaccinated. This is despite the EU’s recommendation to bar nonessential travel from the U.S. to Europe.
Here, I’ll discuss why you should add Prague to your solo travel bucket list. By the end of the article, I’m confident that 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
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 is no shortage of great places to socialize 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, 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 favorite 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.
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 ten 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 traveling solo
Prague is an excellent city 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 neighborhoods like Holešovice, Žižkov and Vinohrady. Two of my favorite cafes to get work done are La Bohème Café and EMA Espressobar — both are comfortable and have excellent coffee and pastries.
My favorite 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 for just $3 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 travelers.”
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 story’s history
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 travelers 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 artifacts from the castle’s long history, including a must-see armor 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 favorite — 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 is donated to three children’s charities in the Czech Republic. The non-profit has donated over $30 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 traveler.
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 favorites 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 traveler looking to make friends (and possibly study abroad).
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 per person at the time of writing this article.
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.
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.
It’s an affordable city for extended trips
Another huge upside to visiting Prague is its affordability.
Everything you need as a traveler 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, a beer is $1.85 and a one-way public transit ticket is $1.39. 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 per month, or a whole studio apartment for under $1,000. Of course, prices vary depending on location.
Points and miles travelers 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 per night, which is excellent given the hotel’s central location.
Prague is an incredible city for solo travelers. Its booming bar scene makes it great for social travelers, 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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