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Van Life in Prague

Thanks to Kuba for this photo on Charles Bridge.

So far, our van travels in Czechia have included two nights in Hradec Králové, a week in Olomouc, a week in Brno, and a night in Třebíč.

Now, it’s time for the main event! Czechia’s capital and largest city: Prague!

Walk along the Vltava River as you make your way through Prague for pretty views of the city.

We spent three quick nights in Prague, camping in our van. This was my first time in the city. Kuba visited Prague years ago, when he was much younger, so it’s practically a new city to him too.

Prague is massive. Around 1.3 million people live in the city, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

If you compare the population of Prague to the other cities we’ve visited in Czechia:

  • Brno — 377,973 (2017)
  • Olomouc — 100,378 (2017)
  • Hradec Králové — 92,929 (2017)
  • Třebíč — 36,641 (as of 2016)

…Prague blows them out of the water! Not only is Prague huge, but lots of tourists visit Prague year-round. According to Wikipedia, more than 8.4 million tourists visit Prague annually, as of 2017. Prague is a tourist hotspot because its city centre is well-preserved. Unlike some of the other major cities in Europe, Prague survived World War II with much less damage.

Rudolfinum, the base for the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Galerie Rudolfinum.

Parking

Kuba found a free parking lot next to Vyšehrad fortress thanks to the Park4Night app. We kept our van parked here for the majority of our stay (as did several other camper vans). During the day, the lot was full, so we were pretty lucky to find an open spot right away. This spot was convenient because it only took us 20-30 minutes to reach the city centre. The walk was easy too because we’d just walk along the river. There was also a public toilet (paid) in the fortress area. We used it each morning.

Food Acquisition

We bought most of our food from the Tesco in the OC Quadrio mall in the city centre. This Tesco was always super busy but it was a large one, so it had everything we needed and more. Their bread selection was pretty good, too.

Public Toilets

Most of the public toilets in Prague were paid, so make sure you always have a few coins on hand.

We always made sure to use the toilets in any cafe we visited. If we’re paying for a drink or ice cream, might as well take advantage of their toilets! Some of the toilets in Starbucks were free but some required a code (printed on our receipt) to enter.

The OC Quadrio mall had free toilets but I can’t remember the exact location. I do know that it was in the main department store above the Tesco.

We also found several toilets along the river walk. Some are completely free but others have attendants. I guess you’re supposed to pay whatever you feel like paying because no price was listed. We’d just give a coin or two. Most of them looked like they were open 24/7.

We also used the toilet in the Vyšehrad fortress in the morning (also paid). It wasn’t open too late so we’d try to use toilets along the river walk before retiring to the van at the end of the day.

WI-FI

Czechia is awesome when it comes to free wi-fi in their public libraries. We used the wi-fi at the Municipal library of Prague to upload our videos. It was very fast and we didn’t need a login or password to use it. Even if you don’t need wi-fi during your stay in Prague, swing by the library anyway so you don’t miss their crazy never-ending book tower! I didn’t take any photos of it but you can see it in our vlog. 😉 The library had plenty of space to sit but no air-conditioning. Just keep that in mind if you need to be working on your laptop for a few hours.

Cafes

We visited two (of the many) Starbucks in Prague because of their convenient locations and chilly air-conditioning. The Starbucks near the Národní třída tram stop was small and pretty busy. The toilets required a key code printed on our receipt for access. The second Starbucks we visited (near the Můstek-A subway station) was better. It was two stories tall with plenty of seating and free bathrooms on the 2nd floor. No key code needed.

Besides Starbucks, we tried another cafe because we randomly passed by it one day. I needed to break my cash for change (since most public toilets require it) and wanted to chill for a bit, plus the name Coffee & Waffles drew us in. We looked over their menu outside and were pleased to see soy milk as an option for coffee drinks! The waitstaff at Coffee & Waffles were very friendly, the wi-fi was good, and the toilets were nice and clean. It was also nice and cool inside. A perfect break from the summer heat! Their soy latte was pretty good too. 🙂

Coffee & Waffles offer breakfast all day but I’m not sure about their vegan food options since we didn’t eat there. It’s worth a visit if you want a drink and a brief respite from walking around the city.

And last but not least, we visited Crème de la Crème, a small cafe, gelato shop, and foodie-highlight of our time in Prague.

This cafe isn’t completely vegan but nearly half of their gelato is! They have lots of fruity flavours but also salty peanut, pistachio, and chocolate. Their cones are vegan as well, so we couldn’t resist double scoops. Thanks to our friend Zuz in Brno for recommending this cafe. She said their pistachio ice cream was the best ever. It was pretty damn good!

The cafe itself is pretty small inside so I wouldn’t expect to sit in. They do have free toilets, though.

Pomegranate and pistachio vegan gelato for Kuba. Salted peanut and pistachio for me! All-vegan and delicious!
I get lots of questions about those furry things on my camera. They’re not for decoration; they minimise wind noise! 🙂

Sites Worth Seeing

Initially, we had hoped to see The Golden Lane in the Prague Castle complex. Kuba visited it years ago and he remembered it being cool so we thought it would be perfect for the vlog. Our plans changed when we found out we’d need to pay to enter (and pay to take photographs or film). Boo!

Tickets to the Prague Castle complex were 350CZK each (~$16). These tickets include several sites: Old Royal Palace, St. George‘s Basilica, Golden Lane, St. Vitus Cathedral, The Story of Prague Castle Exhibition, Powder Tower, and Rosenberg Palace.

We ended up not buying tickets because we wanted to be cheap. The tickets are valid for two days, though, so I think it’s worth the price if you have time to visit everything. Apparently, The Golden Lane is free to enter after 17:00 (you just won’t be able to enter the houses) so we’ll definitely check it out next time.

At least the views around the castle complex were free!

As far as other sites, Prague’s iconic Charles Bridge was pretty cool to see but it was slammed with tourists. I’m pretty sure that’s how it is year-round, so you’ll just have to suck it up and check it out. 😉

Prague’s Astronomical Clock was under construction during our visit so it wasn’t too exciting. It sits on the corner of the Old Town Square, the oldest square in Prague, which itself is impressive and worth seeing.

Prague’s Old Town Square
As expected, the Old Town Square was busy with tourists. We didn’t see too many buskers, though, and that surprised me!

The Havelské tržiště Market, less than a 5-minute walk from the Old Town Square, is great for street photography, people watching, and fresh fruit.

The Naplavka River Walk is also good for people watching but even better for swan and duck watching. 🙂 The river is lined with pubs and clubs on boats so it’s worth visiting if you like to drink.


Thanks to Márty for meeting up on our last day and for all of the tips and sites he shared with us. He showed us parts of the city we hadn’t seen before (like the Old Town Square) just because we didn’t have enough time. Those three days went by quickly!

Also, big thanks to all of our viewers on YouTube who gave us recommendations for Prague. We didn’t have time to see everything but we’ll save these tips for our next visit. 🙂

Check out our Prague vlogs here:

By Lisa

In Oct. 2014, I quit my job and started downsizing my life by selling and rehoming all my belongings. Even though I’ve moved around all my life, I officially left the States in Dec. 2015 and have been travelling abroad ever since. I hope to inspire you to simplify your life so you live with intention. I’m an avid writer, videography enthusiast, and a major foodie with a passion for sustainable living.

2 replies on “Van Life in Prague”

Hey, I like your blog. I am happy you were in Prague, hopefully you enjoy it. I am from Prague, just wanted to tell you, that the first picture is not National Theatre, its Rudolfinum, where Czech symphonic orchestra is playing.

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