FREE THINGS TO DO IN PRAGUE

Some people travel on a budget. Some people live on a budget. I’m an actor and a freelance writer, so invariably I do both. But no worries, there’s always free or nearly free stuff to do if you know where to look. So for the sake of your wallet, we’ve put together this list of a few of things to help you have a good time while you’re here without going broke. Obviously, one of the first thing of the free things to do in Prague is to go on a Prague Extravaganza Free Tour, happening seven days a week twice daily. After that, try out some of the following suggestions…

Take a walk with good view. You couldn't find a better city for it, and it doesn't cost anything. Climb to the of Vitkov hill and admire the scenery with Jan Žižka.

Take a walk with a good view. You couldn’t find a better city for it, and it doesn’t cost anything. Climb to the top of Vitkov hill and admire the scenery with Jan Žižka.

1. Live Music with free entry

The Swan Divadelní Klub in the Old Town has a concert every Saturday night at 7:30 with a varied line-up of artists playing blues, balkan, rock, jazz, country and folk. There’s no cover charge, but they’ll pass a hat to collect money for the musicians. The drinks and limited food offerings are neighborhood-pub priced which means that a beer costs around 30 kc, not easy to find that cheap in the center. The atmosphere is laid back, and it’s a hangout for students, actors and technical staff from the two adjoining theaters. The bar is a little hard to find as there’s no outdoor signage. It’s located in the cellar of Kolowrat Theater on Ovocný Trh right nextdoor to the Estates Theater (you know, the Mozart place with the creepy statue). Just go into the lobby of Kolowrat and look for the big Swan sign that points you to the stairs.

Also in the center, the Roxy on Dlouha has Free Mondays where they present a weekly line-up of great local and international touring bands starting at 8:00, followed by DJs playing from 11:00 until the wee hours of the morning. The place is a bit more trendy and the drinks are more expensive but not too bad.

2. Karaoke with free entry

The Globe Cafe and English-language bookstore hosts karaoke every Saturday night. They have inexpensive drinks and great food, and they’re conveniently located near most of Prague’s most popular hostels.

Žižkov Karaoke runs every Sunday night at 7:30 at Bar Saturnin in Prague 3 not too far from the center.

Many of the outdoor markets you stumble across can provide hours of entertain - free, as long as you don't buy anything...

Many of the outdoor markets you stumble across can provide hours of entertainment – free, as long as you don’t buy anything…

3. National Gallery free days

The six venues of the National Gallery in Prague have several days a year where they waive their admission fee and you can visit the exhibitions for free. Still in 2016 you can take advantage of this on 17 and 28 September, and again on 28 October. Additionally, the galleries are normally free to all students up to age 26 with a valid student ID card, and free to children and youth up to age 18. One of the amazing exhibitions that I would recommend is the Slav Epic by Alfons Mucha, the godfather of art nouveau, on display at the Trade Fair Palace in Holešovice. The enormous, highly detailed canvasses are mind-blowing, to say the least.

An enormous panel from the Slav Epic by Alfons Mucha.

An enormous panel from the Slav Epic by Alfons Mucha.

4. City Parks with phenomenal views of Prague

Vitkov is the name of the huge hill with the marble monument and giant statue of warrior Jan Žižka on horseback that you can see from anywhere in Prague. The view from the top is breathtaking, overlooking the entire city. If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb the stairs that begin next to the Czech Army Museum near bus station Florenc. Or if you don’t feel up to the cardio workout, you can take bus 207 from Náměstí Republiky to stop Ohrada in Žižkov and find the backside of Vitkov with no hill to climb. At the bus stop, look across the street for beer garden Zahradky Žižkov, and behind the beer garden you’ll find the access road that leads to the horse statue and overlook, a 15-minute walk.

Vyšehrad is an ancient fortress with modern cathedral towering above the east bank of the river a little ways south of the city center. You can walk around the entire perimeter on the top of the fortress walls and get great views both up and down the river. If you get thirsty from the walk, there’s a freaky beer garden called Na Hradbach there with really inexpensive drinks and grill food. To get there take the red metro line C to stop Vyšehrad, walk up the short flight of stairs into the wide open stone-paved area, and then follow the signs for 10-15 minutes by foot to enter the fortress through the Leopold Gate.

One of the many panoramic views of Prague to be seen from the walls of Vyšehrad.

One of the many panoramic views of Prague to be seen from the walls of Vyšehrad.

5. Funky local hangouts with lots of cultural stuff happening

Visit A Maze In Tchaiovna, a tea house and hand-crafted beer bar at tram and metro stop Hradčanska. They have live theatre and storytelling events, improv comedy nights, book swaps, clothes swaps, a chess club, a knitting club, free language lessons, and tea talks and workshops on a variety of diverse alternative subjects. Everything they do is free entry. At performance and workshop-type events, they pass a hat to collect donations for the performers or organizers.

Go to Kyklop bar at Letenský Náměstí where there are rotating art exhibits, sporadic live music, cheap drinks, and really cool people who run the place.

Go to Cross Club in Holešovice and hang around outside in front on the multi-leveled steam punk apocalypse terrace and… just stare at stuff. It’s like no other terrace in this world or the others. It’s a twisted light and metal sculpture welded together with alien blood and the hair of gorgons. It’s like being inside an H.R. Geiger painting with moving parts and a beer bar.

Photos by Mélanie Rada
The entrance to Cross Club with the steam punk apocalypse terrace in the background.

The entrance to Cross Club with the steam punk apocalypse terrace in the background, photo from their website.

Now you are equipped with many useful tips what do in Prague for free. For some more insider tips look at our Facebook page, Twitter (@freetourprague) or Instagram.

Are you travelling to Spain? Here is useful list of Things To Do In Barcelona for free from our friends Runner Bean Tours and if you are visiting Madrid, check Free Things To Do In Madrid from our friends Ogo Tours.

Jeff Fritz

I first came to the Czech Republic in 2004, and came to Prague to live in 2005. Since then, I've traveled all over the country and have spent almost as much time in the city as out of it, hiking the woods and mountains and attending open-air festivals. I spent 4.5 years working as a tour guide doing historical walks, brewery tours, ghost tours after dark, and acting as the beer master for a Czech beer tasting. Following that, I worked for 3 years as general manager of a large live-music venue in the Old Town, and 1.5 years as manager for a tea house and specialty beer bar in Letná. I have also worked as an actor, designer, and technical director for most of the English-language theatre companies in Prague. And my wife and I have been operating an independent theatre company here called Akanda since 2008. History, especially of Central and Eastern Europe, has been a passion of mine since university.

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