Make an affordable hostel home base for exploring everything Prague has to offer. (Courtesy Mosaic House Hostel)
Prague is one of those old-world towns that takes on an almost mythic quality.
In this Eastern European gem, you can still find street fairs, town squares, Baroque architecture and artists set up along the river. The City of a Hundred Spires has a robust religious heritage with numerous churches and cathedrals, Catholic relics, statues and more. It's also the home of Pilsner beer and a thriving arts scene.
Prague is a walkable city, so plan to explore on foot and create your own experience from our list of must-dos for a day in Prague that comes in at $100 or less.
Where to Eat
A great stop to grab a cup of coffee or lunch sandwich, Müj šálek kávy serves direct-trade coffee. Espresso tonic soft, with lemon balm and wild thyme, $3.40; gluten-free goat cheese open sandwich, $6.
Home Kitchen Bistro is exactly what its name implies—a homey restaurant that focuses on filling, traditional Czech cuisine. And, just like home, the nightly dinner is whatever the chef is partial to that evening; a full plate with meat, vegetables and potatoes runs $8-$10.
If the style and personality of Gordon Ramsay is more your speed, Café Imperial is Prague's answer to the "Hell's Kitchen" experience. Czech specialties at the upscale restaurant will run you $12.50-$14.
All About the Beer
Czechs love their beer. There are 30 breweries and brewpubs in Prague, and that's not counting the myriad bars and beer-centric restaurants that line its streets.
Yes, beer is everywhere. And the holy grail is the Pilsner Urquell brewery, Prague's hometown lager. The 45-minute tour, which concludes with a tasting, will cost you approximately $22.
The St. Adalbert Brevnov Monastic Brewery is considered to be Prague's oldest. Among the beers it produces are a dark lager, wheat bock, Imperial stout and Klasterni IPA. The most expensive draft at the monastery's restaurant will run you about $2.50.
Hostinec U Kalicha was immortalized in a book by Czech author Jaroslav Hašek. Selections from the beer menu range from $2-$4.50.
Things to Do in Prague
Prague spares no detail in celebrating its Catholic heritage. At the Prague Castle, you'll find the St. Vitus, Wencelaus and Adalbert cathedrals; it's also home to the tomb of St. Wencelaus, a crypt where Czech kings are buried and the chamber where the Crown Jewels are kept. Multiple tours are available, but the full tour of the grounds is a mere $15.
Considered one of the greatest leaders in European history, Czech king Charles IV is paid much homage in Prague. The bridge that crosses the Vltava River, the city's main tributary, bears his name and was completed in the 15th century. Today, it is home to street vendors, buskers and artists who set up their easels along this heavily trafficked pedestrian thoroughfare (free).
Just beyond the bridge lies the Monument of Charles IV (free), in the Knights of the Cross Square. The neo-Gothic bronze was unveiled in 1848 on the 500th anniversary of Charles University.
The historic Old Town Square is the vibrant heart of Prague. Here, street fairs are a common occurence, and crowds gather to gaze at the Astronomical Clock (free) adorned with figures of Christ's apostles; an "apostle parade" show takes place every hour on the hour from 9 am-11 pm daily. In 1976, the original apostle figures were moved to the Prague City Museum (general admission: $6.50).
Pay deference to Czech legionaries and others who resisted Nazi occupation at the National Memorial ($5); from its location atop Vitkov Hill, you'll discover dramatic views of the city.
More unforgettable sights are found at Petrin Hill. While here, climb into the Observation Tower ($5), a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower created for Prague's Jubilee Exhibition in 1891; it sits atop Petrin's summit more than 1,000 feet high. Ride up on the heritage Funicular Railway, built the same year, for $1.50.
Should you wish to take in some modern architecture mixed among the Baroque, take a walk past Frank Gehry's Dancing House.
Literature lovers can delve into the life and works of Prague's most famous native son at the Franz Kafka Museum. General admission is $8.50, or, splurge on a guided tour for $21.
A leader in luxury crystal glass production, Prague is home to the Moser Crystal Museum and Glassworks. You can tour the museum and glassworks independently—exploring the sales gallery at your leisure—but an all-inclusive tour is $28.
And whether you're into opera, theater, ballet or all three, you can get a ticket for a song at the exquisite National Theatre; tickets start at $8.55.
The Best Budget Hostels Prague
With four dozen options available, Prague is bursting at the seams with hostels. Mosaic House Hostel is a funky urban retreat, with oversized mushrooms that double as street lamps and a common area that's a patchwork of colors and textures. Private rooms can get pricey, but shared rooms start at $35 a night. The best perk: a private bathroom. A ladies-only dorm is also available.
Sir Toby's Hostel gets top marks among hipsters for its hang-worthy pub, all-you-can-eat breakfast and free WiFi. Plus, it's in the artsy Holešovice district, known for its markets, music venues and parks. $8 a night for a shared room; $28 for a private.
Old Prague Hostel is a Michelin Guide favorite and known as one of the best budget hostels in Prague. The colorful property puts you just steps from Old Town Square, and the hostel is the starting point for the Prague Pub Crawl ($23). Prices fluctuate by season, but the average is about $10 for a shared room.