Solo Travel in Prague: Moments to Relish on Your Own

This autumn I embarked on my first totally solo trip, taking on the Czech capital of Prague for three nights of intensive sightseeing. These are some of the little moments that proved I was right to go it alone; the times when I knew it was okay not to be part of a group or, as the copywriting cliché goes, ‘with that special someone’ (highly unlikely, as a man has never treated me to a city break, though two have taken me on dates to Burger King… but I digress).

Prague Cathedral and Castle View
St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle and the Vltava River – classic city sights just waiting to be explored.

You know Prague is perfect for solo travellers when you can…

  • Browse the shopping area of the Fashion Museum to your heart’s content, not panicking about keeping anyone waiting as you try on rails of clothing. Then do some hasty mental arithmetic to work out just how many retro purchases you can stretch to
  • Manage to navigate the train network, then walk from Kutna Hora (seemingly the station time forgot) to the Sedlec Ossuary. Once inside, surrounded by an estimated 40,000 bodies arranged into beautiful sculptural forms, you feel liberated
  • Spend ages poring over the menu at one of the city’s famously relaxing tea houses, finally deciding on a blend that sounds infinitely cooler than English Breakfast Tea. Then sit back and absorb the atmosphere
  • Replace going to the Kafka Museum with going to the Kafka Museum shop, because knowing you should visit a place and really yearning to visit are two very different things
  • See a series of emotional exhibits at the Pinkas Synagogue, including wall after wall of Jewish residents’ names painted in tribute, and then walk through the sobering Old Jewish Cemetery, with its unruly lines of gravestones
Prague Old Jewish Cemetery
The tiny but fascinating Old Jewish Cemetery is a must-see.
  • Get lost in the labyrinthine second-hand bookshops piled high with old novels and create a huge list of books to read, even if half of them are in other languages. And nobody tells you to just look up the title on Amazon when you get home
  • Stumble upon a photography exhibition in a 13th century bell tower and drink in the monochrome prints of Czechoslovakia and Canada, walking through the rooms at your own pace and going back to the shots needing that second or third viewing
  • Embrace the joy of the humble hot dog or the local cheap and cheerful self-service Czech restaurant without feeling the need to go gourmet for every meal. Less time eating and waiting to be served = more time exploring
  • Sidestep the endless offers of drinking tours and the dubious honour of joining the Praha Drinking Team, because you’d rather savour the taste of a carefully-crafted pint in a pub called Therapy
  • Take an impromptu tour of an alchemy museum without anyone scoffing at the level of plausibility and the historical accuracy of the exhibits. Though you may secretly scoff a bit yourself when the truth becomes a little too stretched
Prague Speculum Alchemiae Gold
Here’s some gold at the Speculum Alchemiae. I feel like Spandau Ballet should be the soundtrack to this photo.

However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss other people the entire time I was away. There were a few moments that did make me feel sad to be flying solo. You know you’re a social creature after all when you…

  • Turn up for a free walking tour and realise you’re the only person not part of a smug couple. When I say ‘smug’, I mean they introduce themselves as a unit, are seemingly surgically attached and have merged their opinions so as not to have independent thoughts. Ok, I get it, I’m the Bridget Jones of the group
  • Don’t have anyone to hire a rowing boat with, and feeling too inherently clumsy to attempt a solo jaunt on the Vltava, in case you get stranded and end up screaming like a girl (ever the optimist…)
  • Keep seeing things that remind you of your friends and you wish they were with you so you could show them a certain shop or museum. Yes, they can look at your photos, but you know they’d love to see things first-hand
Prague free walking tour
Our walking tour group, a.k.a. me with a load of happy couples. And yes, the guy on the left looks like Harry Potter.

So, is Prague a good destination for solo travellers (even ones who aren’t used to going it alone)? Absolutely. It’s easy to get around the city and, what’s more, it feels safe. Everything, aside from the smaller streets and alleyways in the recesses of the Old Town, is well lit and approachable at night, and it’s unlikely you’d be walking anywhere in complete isolation.

Your solo trip to Prague doesn’t have to be expensive, either, as you don’t need to rely on taxis; in fact, you can skip public transport if you really want, as all of the main sites are accessible on foot. Just make sure you pack sensible shoes and you take it easy on the climb up to Prague Castle, which can be a bit of a killer but is well worth it for the views across to the Zizkov Tower and the rooftops of the Old and New Town.

Prague City View from Castle Steps
A view worth berating your unfit self for. David Cerny’s Zizkov Tower is in the background here.

Food is cheap enough for you to eat out all the time without feeling too indulgent, although some hotel rooms have small kitchenettes, as mine did, so you can prepare meals if you feel the urge to cook (which I never do). Hotels are also fairly quiet, even in those the centre, so you can be right in the heart of the action without having to lose a good night’s sleep for the privilege. What else could you ask for?!

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend solo travel in Prague. If you’ve ever been and you want to share your tips, get in touch.

8 thoughts on “Solo Travel in Prague: Moments to Relish on Your Own”

  1. Hey Polly,

    Just stumbled upon your blog while researching solo female travellers in Prague! Loved the post and the practical info that you posted right at the end of the post. Could you please share the details of the hotel that you stayed in? This will be maiden solo travel experience and I don’t want it to be marred by horrible incidents of getting mugged/molested in a dark alley, on account of staying in a hotel whose entrance is in a dark alley!

    If it’s okay with you, could you share the details of which hotels are safe and relatively spacious (by European standards) to stay at for solo female travellers?

    Thanks in advance,
    Isha.

    1. Hi Isha,
      Glad you found the post useful! I stayed at the Residence Leon D’Oro, which you can find at Havelska 29, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Old Town Square. It was also a stone’s throw from some really nice shops, restaurants and jazz clubs, but there wasn’t much noise at night (I didn’t want to be kept awake by stag parties!). I booked a double room as it was such great value and had loads of space – even a kitchen area. For a three star hotel, it felt more like four star. As for other hotels for single travellers, I can’t give personal reviews, but you could try asking on the Wanderlust forum, as I bet some of the forum users have gone solo in Prague.
      Hope you have a great time, and let me know how you get on!
      Polly

  2. Hi Polly

    This might just be the read I needed to convince myself there is no need to put off a break due to having no one free to come with me. I’m quite new to the travel bug, so I don’t have a list of places to go and see as such just picking them as someone mentions to me. Stumbled across your blog as I searched a weekend away on your own 🙂

    Thanks!
    Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      Definitely try a trip on your own if you can – it’s a liberating thing to do and, as I found, you can do sociable things once you’re there (like a walking tour). If you need any more ideas for Prague then let me know! The beauty of travelling alone is that you don’t have to do any sightseeing or trips that you don’t want to, so you get so much more out of the trip. I think everyone should do it at least once in their lifetime 🙂

  3. Hi. Stumbled upon your blog and thankful I did. I’ll be doing my first ever solo trip to Prague this February and will be doing so for 6 days. You wrote that you weren’t keen on the pub crawl. I am wondering why? I am a very introverted person when it comes to meeting strangers and I’m very comfortable being alone, however, I absolutely hate drinking alone. Was thinking of joining a pub crawl to meet people to drink with as this is probably the only time I’m okay to be sociable. Haha. Any alternatives if you absolutely advice against it?
    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Pam,

      If you’re not keen to drink alone then there’s no harm in trying out the pub crawl – I just find it’s not my thing (I preferred having a couple of beers in a jazz bar, rather than drinking heavily! Plus I was there for work, so I couldn’t afford to skip a day due to a hangover!). It would be a good way to meet people, and I imagine a lot of them would be travelling solo too.

      A good alternative, especially as you have six days to explore, would be a brewery tour – try brewerytours.cz (which should be 690KC, or €25pp), or check out Eating Prague Tours (much pricier at €65pp). Beer Tasting has two more options for you.

      If you fancied wine tasting, there’s a good list of wine bars here. Also head to the Absintherie (branches at Jilská 7 and at U Radnice 14/8, Náměstí Franze Kafky) if that’s more your tipple.

      Hope these tips are useful, and let me know if you need any more suggestions! Have a great time.

      1. Thank you so much for your tips!! I’ve done a couple of brewery and wine tasting tours so I will definitely consider that more than the pub crawl.

        Thank you for answering my inquiries. They are definitely helpful.

        1. Hey Pam,

          Im googling female solo travel to Prague cos I’m thinking about going, and saw this helpful blog (thnx Polly 🙂 ) and your comment of being most comfortable alone but want to/can be sociable having a drink with others! That’s exactly how I feel haha! It made me smile to read it. And i would like to hear how your trip was! 🙂
          -Guanita

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