Typically, we aim for our time in European cities to involve a reasonably priced Airbnb or hotel, a few entrance fees to points of interest and perhaps an occasional splurge of an excursion, and a food budget split between groceries or street food and sit-down restaurants.
In Prague, we did well with the first two… and not so well with the last. We spoiled ourselves by eating out twice a day, every day in Prague–and our travel budget for Prague paid for it.
Luckily, this delightful city is still such a bargain for Central Europe that it didn’t dent the budget too badly–here’s how we fared.
Trip Length: 4 Full Days
Total Cost: $565.57, $141.39/day, $70.69/person/day
All prices are in USD.
Lodging: $265.51 for 5 nights, $53.10/night
We loved the location of the Airbnb flat that we rented in Prague–it was in a quiet neighborhood, but close to restaurants and an easy walk to the tram and metro to get downtown.
Where We Stayed in Prague:
Airbnb Flat in Prague 2 — Karel’s flat was in the perfect location for us: a quiet neighborhood with plenty of restaurants nearby, a 10-minute walk to the trams and metro to get into the city center, and available at a reasonable price. The flat was comfortable and the wifi worked well: we wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again!
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Public transportation tickets in Prague are very affordable, and start at a little over $1.00 for a ticket that’s good for 30 minutes.
Uber is also prominent in the city and inexpensive (especially compared to the NYC Uber prices that we experienced just a couple of days before arriving in Prague–yikes), averaging $3.50-$4.50 for a 10-15 minute journey.
… And, this is where our travel budget for Prague went off the rails.
We enjoyed getting back to the eating-outside, soaking-in-the-atmosphere dinner culture of European cities a little too much upon arriving in Prague, and added a few too many desserts and drinks to our bills in the process.
Definitely a reminder that we need to be cooking at home more–but then again, at 8 meals out for two people, our $159.60 cost averages out to less than $10/person/meal. Hardly the end of the world!
… Raspberries. Our grand total of groceries in Prague consisted of a delicious carton of raspberries.
Clearly, checking out the bill from above, we should have bought more groceries and eaten at home more, but alas.
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Tours & Excursions: $72.66
We loved getting out and exploring Prague!
Seeking out the best views of Prague was a generally affordable experience, with tickets to climb most of the towers running under $5.00.
Visiting Prague Castle was a bit more expensive than we anticipated–the “small” tour cost about $11.00/person, plus an extra $7.00/person to climb the Great South Tower at St. Vitus.
Looking back, we would have skipped the self-led castle tour (the grounds are free), which ended up being fairly unmemorable, and just paid to climb the tower of the cathedral. When we arrived, though, we were confused and ended up thinking that we could only climb the tower after already purchasing our tour tickets.
Our travel budget for Prague doesn’t include many museum entrance fees, but we loved our time at the Kafka Museum–they did an amazing job putting you into Kafka’s head while in there, I almost felt like we were stepping foot into The Trial by the end of the tour.
Not an altogether pleasant feeling, true, but it was definitely an interesting museum, and absolutely worth visiting if you’re a Kafka fan. At around $9.00/ticket, the museum was a bit more expensive than we expected, but worth it–they obviously put a lot of effort into putting the experience together.
The only miscellaneous expense we had in Prague was purchasing our SIM cards, which are still serving us well as I write this in Slovakia.
There’s no denying that we spent more than we intended to on our travel budget for Prague–a combination of excitement at being back in Europe and adjusting to planning our days around Jeremy’s work schedule (he works typical US East Coast business hours) caused us to spend more than we would have liked.
We won’t sweat it too much, though–we definitely feel like we are back in our groove in Slovakia now, and expect to see our total costs fall to around $50/person/day in most European destinations–perhaps less in some spots.
There’s no doubt that traveling during Europe’s offseason would have helped these costs, as well–landing in August meant that we were still in the thick of summer travel.
For us, our travel budget for Prague also serves as a great example of the financial benefits of traveling slowly–a combination of it being our first destination back in Europe and only having four days scheduled in the city incentivized us to run from one place the next while in Prague, which we all know is an expensive way to travel.
Had we spent two weeks in Prague, I would expect to see our daily cost drop significantly–a phenomenon I expect we’ll experience very soon in Budapest, where we’ll be spending a longer time.
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