those annoying twits who won't stop mentioning they spent a semester abroad in Europe present...

A Guide To Prague, By Exchange Students

After falling in love with one of the most magical, beautiful, exciting, surprising and fairy tale cities in the world, I've recorded some of the best bits and pieces from the perspective of us foreign students who experienced Prague both as locals and tourists. There are a few lists that encapsulate the unique needs of exchange students but mostly I hope this guide can exemplify what Prague has to offer and provide honest recommendations to anyone planning a trip to the city of beer, spires and much more.

There is already an endless amount of Guides to Prague and this one does not purport to be the best but simply acts to memorialise our otherworldly, and often very hungover semester.
Writing and Photos: @cciiaarraaaa on Instagram or
Photos of St. Vitus Cathedral, Castle exhibitions, the view from Bellavista, the Old Town Square with bubbles, the Jerusalem Synagogue and cover photo: @_redstagram._ on Instagram
The National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square. The general consensus is that the building is more impressive than the exhibits it contains.
Art galleries

All National Gallery of Prague sites are free for under 26-year olds. Here are the best: Salm Palace, the exhibitions in the National Library, Kinsky Palace.
The Modern Art Quarter in Žižkov is also all free.
Mucha/Warhol/Dali on Old Town Square (controversial among exchange students – some enjoyed it, others thought it was a rip off due to being copies of the artworks).
New Town Hall A good mix of historical and contemporary exhibitions.
DOX gallery Exciting and often interactive contemporary art.
Gallery Rudolfinum
There are many places with street art (the Artwall along the river being one) and you can also discover the work of David Černý (a famous and controversial Czech artist) around the city (Kafka's Head, Kampa Island babies that you can also see on the TV Tower, Man Hanging Out near Old Town Square, Saint Wenceslas in the Lucerna Atrium and the Pissing Men in the Franz Kafka Museum courtyard).
Leica gallery Photo gallery attached to a café.
NaFILM Museum of movie production and cinematic history.
Salm Palace Art Gallery

MuMo A private, not-for-profit museum so free for all.
Kampa Museum
The Church of the Paratroopers The most emotive history museum in Prague, both a memorial and a museum dedicated to the Paratroopers and the brave citizens who helped them assassinate Nazi General Reinhard Heydrich. This led to the dissolution of the Munich agreement, or the Munich "betrayal" as it is still referred to by some in Czechia.
Museum of Communism A lively and informative guide to Czechia's recent history, if you are spending a while in Prague and have little knowledge of the communist regime – this is an important place to visit.
National Museum in Prague The building is amazing, the exhibitions not so much. A little tip: in winter the building is free of charge 30 mins before the close.
Man Hanging Out:
David Černý's depiction of Sigmund Freud.
Prague's Café Culture is inescapable and ubiquitous. Cafés open early and close late, serving everything from hearty Czech meals to tapas to simple pastries. Patrons can be found reading, socialising, enjoying a morning coffee or an evening drink, drawing or partaking in book groups. Cafés have always been, and still are where the magic (be it political, literary, supernatural or romantic) happens in Prague.
Best places for hungover brunches

Marthy's Kitchen Every brunch/breakfast option you could imagine.
My Coffee Story
Café Záhorský
Always bustling and a variety of options.
Liberica Café A cute café with a great breakfast and iced coffee (essential on a hangover) menu. This is especially good if you are attending class whilst dusty – it's right between the Charles University Law and Arts Facultys.
The Farm (In Bubeneč.)
See also: Best Picnic Sports – a good way to enjoy hungover food by bringing your own and napping in the sun afterwards.
Most instagrammable food

Waf Waf
Chloé Café
(Pink, flowers and glitter)
Grand Café Orient
(See also: Best themed cafes)

Peaceful cafés

Artisan Café and Bistro
Dobrá Trafika
Come read a book during the day, more of a pub at night.
Café Neustadt
Peaceful in the daytime, events often held in the evening.

Garden cafes

Cathedral café
Styl & Interior
Pricey but worth it for the food, coffee and picturesque garden.
Themed/picturesque cafes

Grand Café Orient The world's only cubist café
Barocco Veneziano Café Make sure to explore the café, restaurant and garden for the most ornate interior/exterior decoration I've ever seen.
Literární Kavárna Řetězová Literary Café
Above : Wallenstein Garden, an old palace garden that remains one of the most magical in Prague. It includes a grotto, roaming peacocks, concerts every Thursday during summer and majestic statues.
Old Town Square, with the towers of the Church of Our Lady Before Týn in the background.

Best places to get rich relatives to take you to

Botel Matylda Sexy Italian restaurant on a boat.
Café Savoy Michelin starred, impressive interior - a step into Old Prague.
Styl & Interior See Also: Best Garden Cafes
Café Louvre
Hemingway bar Artisan cocktails that cost more than most meals.
Best FREE tourist activities

Walk through the castle grounds The Cathedral is also free up until the barrier.
Wallenstein Garden
Most of the churches in Prague are free and very beautiful so I'd suggest going into each one you walk by. Favourites: Both the Church of Our Lady Before Týn (the iconic focal point of the Old Town Square) and St Nicholas Church are free to enter, fitting nicely into an exploration of the Old Town Square.
Most picturesque gardens

Havlíčkovy Sady
Rieger Gardens
Vojanovy Sady
Olšany Cemetery
(A picturesque cemetery from the 19th century.)
Despite previous mentions, Wallenstein Garden cannot be left off this list - see above photos.
View from Restaurant Bellavista
Best places for a picnic

One of the River Islands (Střelecký, Kampa, Slovanský)
Petřín Park Just below the entrance from the student accommodation where you can see the view is the best spot, watch out for the frogs after sunset!
Letná Park At the top of the stairs, in between the metronome and beer garden.
Vojan Gardens Where peacocks wander freely.
Get off the metro at Jiřího z Poděbrad, grab some fresh produce from the market and have a picnic in the park in front of the absurd brutalist church in the square.
Best beer gardens

Restaurant Bellavista Expensive - but that's why you just go for a beer and the view.
Letná Beer Garden A.K.A heaven: cheap beer, perched on the edge of a hill overlooking most of Prague and big enough for a group of any size. They also serve fries and mozzarella sticks for when you get peckish.
Pristav 18600 Take the ferry from Holesovice which counts as a public transport trip. It feels like the wilderness has grown over this open-air pub where you're served out of a hut and there are little hippie kids running around.
Prague: The City of Towers and Spires

The variety of belltowers, church spires and shapely rooftops is what makes Prague's view; but many also offer excellent views. Here are a few of the best:

Best views

Terasa U Prince Instead of paying to go up the Old Town Hall, take the Hotel U Prince lift to the top and enjoy a drink sitting atop the rooftops of the Old Town with an incredible view of the Old Town Square.
T-Anker Second best rooftop bar – roomier and bit higher up.
Old Town Bridge Tower If you pick one of the Charles Bridge Towers it should be this one on the Old Town side – stunning views of everyone on the bridge, the river and of Lesser Town and the Castle on the hill behind.
Letná Garden Walk along from the metronome to the Beer Garden for the best view of Prague for free. Truly magical.
Vrtba Garden See also: Worth-The-Hype Tourist Spots
Worth-The-Hype Tourist Spots

Vrtba Garden A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it may seem weird to pay to visit a garden but it's worth it for the insanely manicured greenery and views.
Church of Our Lady Victorious The famous Infant of Prague hype – it's free, has interesting exhibitions as well as being a magnificent church that houses contemporary art installations.
Even though they may seem tacky and ubiquitous, the Concerts in Old Churches that have flyers everywhere are actually well worth it. Hearing classical music live in a church is quite an experience (especially if an organ is involved). It's best to compare prices and concerts at
Old Town Square is as stunning as the crowds suggest and the surrounding free churches (see - Free Tourist Spots) only add to the experience.

Overrated Tourist Spots

The Astronomical Clock is beautiful but the little show it does on the hour, every hour isn't that exciting. It's way more fun to go up the Old Town Hall and watch the anti-climatic reactions of the people watching, you also get an amazing, 360 degree view whilst you're up there.
Petřín Lookout Tower
Charles Bridge
Overrated (the statues are fake!), but still a tourist rite-of-passage.
John Lennon Wall

Best places to study

Friends' Coffee House
SmetanaQ Café & Bistro
Globe Café & Bookstore
Open late, cheap food and a friendly owner. Just make sure there's no quiz night on if you're planning on studying.
Monolok Café
Faculty of Arts Library
Vegan & Vegetarian Bar Self-service, cheap food, Wi-Fi, enough space to avoid noise and stay for ages.
Kofárna Café
Moment Kavarna and Bistro
See also: Best Vegan Food.
Academy of Sciences Library Cheap entrance and stunning interior.
Best places for a quick eat

Burrito Loco Open 24 hrs, multiple locations across the city.
Bistreet The whole of Dlouha Trida is the best place for drunk food – sandwiches, Tex-Mex, kebabs, souvlaki, loaded fries, pizza and more.
Banh Mi Makers
Baguetterie Boulevard
Czech Subway

Places with cheap drinks

Al Capone's Ridiculously cheap cocktails.
U Sadu
Various locations around the city.
Best places for a hearty dinner and drink

Sad Man's Tongue Open til 1am, go for dinner and just don't leave.
Mr Hot Dog You can sit on the sidewalk and people watch in the funky Letná suburb. They have meaty, vegetarian and vegan Hot Dog options as well as loaded fries and beer.

Best local shops

Pragtique Locally-made souvenirs.
Botanicus Natural cosmetics store.
Papelote Handmade stationary.
Manufaktura Locally-made Czech souvenirs.
Prettiest churches

St. Nicholas Church
St. James Basilica
Church of St. Ignatius
400-year-old Catholic Church.

Best bars by the river

Pon Ton Georgian food, live music, drinks.
(A)VOID Floating Gallery
For a drink on the river – you're not technically "allowed" to drink on the peddle boats but sneak some beers and snacks in your bag and crack them open in the middle of the Vltava for your own little bar on the river!
Best places to meet for a drink

The Metronome – Stalin bar runs free outdoor concerts and events there every other night from May (check their website) so you can enjoy a drink, music and the best view in Prague.
Bukowski's Book in advance; great cocktails and atmosphere.
Dog Bar/Vzorkovna The best bar in Prague, despite the occasionally aggressive door staff. It's a underground venue with various different bars – including a tea room, a stage for buskers, a bathtub to sit in, ceiling beams to hang off, the biggest dog you've seen in your life roaming around, fusbal tables and the freedom to smoke whatever you want inside.
Best places to boogie

Harley's Get ready to dance on the tables to Mr Brightside.
Roxy Really good concerts - alternative, electro, rap music. Check the events and get tickets early to discover new music.
Forum Karlin
Lucerna Also has good concerts – more popular musicians. Club Lucerna offers an 80s and 90s video night which plays absolute bangers but the dance floor is often populated with sleazy older tourists.

Other good food

Johnny's Pizza The best pizza in Prague.
Madam Lynn Cheap but delicious Vietnamese.
Paprika Mediterranean, takeaway.
Momoichi One of the most interesting menus I've seen in Prague – hipster brunch/lunch with a Japanese twist.
Important memorials

Jan Palach and Mother Memorial A powerful memorial to the student who immolated himself in opposition to the Soviet Occupation of Czechoslovakia and to his grieving mother.
Communism Victims' Memorial I enjoy this one because it's forthright accompanying plaque refuses to sugarcoat the brutal communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
Main Train Station Memorial Incredibly powerful memorial to the parents who sent off their children to the countryside during WW2.
Pinkas Synagogue Memorial
Václav Havel Memorial in the square that bears his name (behind the New National Theatre). You'll find a similar shrine to Havel in every second bar/café you enter – widely renowned as the face of the dissident movement that liberated Czechoslovakia from the Soviets, he is revered as a symbol for truth, freedom and democracy.
Tourist attractions to visit with a rich family member

Jewish Quarter You can buy a ticket for the whole Jewish Quarter for around 500czk which includes five iconic synagogues outlining the history of Jews in Central Europe, as well as contemporary exhibitions, memorials and religious artefacts. The synagogues cannot be visited individually. It's well worth it for the cultural and historical experience but give yourself the whole day.
Terasa U Prince See also: Best Views
The Castle Complex (Photos below of the St. Vitus Cathedral and Castle exhibitions).

Underrated Tourist Spots

Vyšehrad Castle Just as good as the Prague Castle and in a much more picturesque, peaceful location.
Jerusalem Synagogue One of the most stunning religious buildings I've ever seen, inside and out. Houses interesting historical and cultural exhibitions as well.
Troja Palace
Attend an Ice Hockey Match The season ends after March and the crowds are half of the fun!
Best places to go shopping

Merch or Die
Snow Bitch
Textile House + Fifty Fifty
Cheap secondhand shops.
Explore the thrift stores in Vinohrady - off Náměstí Míru
The Design Market Happens twice a year, look out for the Facebook event.
Kotva Department Store
Best places to party outside of the centre

Cross club
Storm club
Altenburg 1964
36 Underground
A nuclear bunker turned techno club in Žižkov that offers irregular parties – check their Facebook for details.
U Bukanýra Techno boat, perfect for after parties as it's open until 9am. Just 100czk and a great spot to see the sunrise.
Best alternative/hipster hubs

Kasarna Karlin
Cross Club
Food festival every Sunday. See also: Best places to party outside the centre.
Gallery with a flea market twice or more each year.
Best places for a SWIM!

Divoká Šárka
A lake and pool. Our exchange cohort threw a party at the abandoned diving board – the legality of this is still up in the air.
Lake Hostivař Pay to swim in the lake next to the wake boarding park with showers and other facilities, or find somewhere else around the lake for free.
Swimming Stadium Podolí
Best Vegetarian Food

Sister restaurants Maitrea and Clear Head are the best vegetarian restaurants in Prague (The interiors are stunning and the menus very varied - they even have organic wine pairings!)
Pizza Letná
Not all vegetarian but delicious, good value vegetarian and vegan options.
Dhaba Beas Cheap Indian buffet – check their happy hour to get 50% off.

Best Vegan Food

Vegan's Prague Sexy views, lovely staff, Czech and international cuisine - what else could you ask for?
Bezlepub Vegan food is usually served in hipster cafes and clean eateries, so it's nice to find it here, in an underground pub with bar games.
Moment Kavarna & Bistro
Vegan store and café.
Loving Hut Multiple locations around the city, self-service café and you can get take away and make it a picnic!
Lifehouse Health Food Bistro
"Prague never let's you go…this dear little mother has sharp claws."
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