The Daily Decaf

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Tag: Czech Republic

Top 5 Photography Spots in Prague

Sure, Prague is one of the most photogenic cities in the world, but unless you have spent some time there, you might not know exactly where to go to get the best and most beautiful shots of Prague, including unique photographs of the city that no one else will have! Follow our recommendations below for the five best spots for photographing Prague, and be sure to check our Google Maps directions for directions to the exact spot you want to be!

Under the Charles Bridge

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GPS Location: Google Maps

One of the toughest things about photography in Prague is dealing with the hordes of people taking the exact same shot as you. Want a unique picture of Prague that most people won’t get? Get off the beaten path. An oft-missed area is actually right under the tourist attraction of the Charles Bridge. Look for a staircase near the end of the bridge and loop down to beneath the Charles for one of the best views of the city. Bring your tripod and shoot just after dusk when they light the bridge for the best shots.

Atop Charles Bridge Tower

GPS Location: Google Maps

The more-popular Old Town Hall Tower offers similar views, but you’ll be shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists, and if you want to get a tripod positioned, you’ll need patience. Instead, opt for the Charles Bridge Tower, which is less advertised, and given the lack of an elevator, is entirely less busy, despite being in the middle of one of the most popular parts of the city.

Letenský Profil

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GPS Location: Google Maps

You’ve now taken photography in the heart of Prague, so let’s get a little outside the city to get a beautiful view from the hilltop of a local park, including all three major bridges lined-up.  If you walk up Nábřeží Edvarda Beneše to get there, look for a turnoff in the woods labeled as a hiking/biking path. This will take you up a windy, but paved, path to the view point in the park, including many beautiful views of the city along the way.

Smetanovo nábř (Waterfront)

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GPS Location: Google Maps

This spot can be a bit busy given it’s proximity to the city and a main thru-street, but you’ll have plenty of room to set up a shot along the waterfront sidewalk. If shooting at sunset, wait until a little after dusk when they light up the bridges and castles for a beautiful view of the city and Prague Castle.

Střelecký ostrov

GPS Location: Google Maps

Head closer to the South side of the city to a small park on an island in the middle of the river for a beautiful view of both sides of the river. Given the location, this is less popular location and once again will give you a unique picture of Prague that most other tourists will not have.

Czech Republic

Not only is Czech Republic easy to travel to, but while there you can sample world-class beers, delicious food, trek through the lush countryside or shop in the city among beautiful historical architecture. An easy jumping-off point for someone’s first trip to Europe!

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Travel Itineraries

The Basics

Currency: 1 USD = 25 CZK. Credit cards widely accepted in cities, and ATMs are common in the cities. Never exchange money on the street as it is usually a scam, and avoid exchange kiosks in tourist locations as they often bait-and-switch.

Accommodation: $30/person (budget), $80/person (midrange), $175/person (classy)

  • Accommodation (per person/day): $15-20 (budget), $50 (midrange), $100+ (classy)
  • Food (per person/day): $10 (budget), $20 (midrange), $50+ (fine dining)

Transportation: Traveling in Europe by trains or budget airlines (EasyJet, Ryanair, Norwegian) is cheap and efficient, and there are plenty of options for bus as well (Eurolines, RegioJet). Within a city, there are usually easy public transport options, and if looking for a taxi, use Uber if possible (it’s common for taxi companies to up-charge tourists and using Uber takes the guess-work out of proper payment).

What to do: Explore the unique medieval architecture of Czech Republic’s capital city: Prague (Praha), drink local beer, hike through the towering rock formations of Bohemia Paradise or mountains of Bohemian Forest, kick your feet up and relax at the historic spa resort of Karlovy Vary, or see the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Renaissance town of Český Krumlov.

When to visit: April-September.

  • Nov-March: Rainy and cold
  • April: Less crowds but colder weather
  • May-August: Peak season
  • September-October: Less crowds but colder weather

Language: Czech is the main language spoken, but English and German are widely spoken as well. Russian was required under communist rule, so anyone born before 1975 is likely to speak at least some Russian.

  • Hello: Ahoj (uh-hoy)
  • Good day: Dobrý den (DOH-bree dehn)
  • Please: Prosím (Proseem)
  • Thank you: Děkuji (Dyekooyih)
  • Yes: Ano (AH-noh)
  • No: Ne (neh)

Tips

Exchanging Money: Never exchange money on the street as it is usually a scam, leaving with you fake notes or notes of a different (and less valuable) currency. Avoid exchange kiosks in tourist locations, as they often bait-and-switch, listing one rate on their sign but not explaining that is only for a high volume of exchange. Do not hand your money over until you have a printed quote of the exchange rate being offered to you. ATMs may offer the best exchange rates in a given area.

No Bartering: Most places do not barter, but try in the area you are to see if it’s acceptable.

Safety: Follow common sense safety principals and you’ll have no issues. Be careful in crowds, such as at tourist sites or train stations, as pickpocketing is common and often carried out as a team effort.

Etiquette: Tipping is common, but not explicitly asked for. When you get your bill, add 10% for tip and tell the waiter the total amount.

What to eat: Potato soup (bramboračka), goulash soup (gulášovka), roast pork and dumplings (vepřo-knedlo-zelo), fried cheese (smažený sýr), traditional dumplings (knedlíky). Pair with some of the many delicious beers (pivos) Czech Republic is known for (Pilsner Urquell, Kozel, Budějovický Budvar, Staropramen).