Backpacking In The Czech Republic

in Czech Republic,Europe

If you were hoping to make it to the Czech Republic to enjoy the low prices, you should try to plan your backpacking trip before 2013. That’s the expected date of Euro adoption and consequently when prices should see a dramatic increase. The Czech Republic, more expensive than many other eastern European countries it borders, is a very popular backpacking destination. Tourism is approximately 6% of the Czech economy and the capital Prague especially is well suited and accommodating for tourists and backpackers alike.

Visa Requirements

Europeans and American citizens do not require any special visas to entire the Czech Republic, which follows the EU visa policies and regulations. That means its borders are open to EU citizens and Americans can enter on a tourist visa for up to a 3 month stay. You should of course always check the visa requirements of any nation you are traveling to beforehand as policies and requirements can change quickly due to changing or special circumstances.

Hostels and Places To Stay

Praque is a backpackers dream when it comes to hostel variety and selection. There are a number of clean, active (and quiet) hostels in prime spots all across town. Some of the most popular hostels include Prague’s Heaven, Hostel DownTown, and Prague Centre Hostel. These hostels are a good spectrum of cost and accommodation. If you’re willing to hop the metro system everyday to get into town you can easily find hostels that cost 50% or less than the prices you see on these hostels. Hostels in Prague also run a lot of special deals and offers that you might be able to take advantage of by calling ahead.

prague prague at night charles bridge czech republic

Getting Around Town

Prague, like more European cities has an extensive subway system that connects most points in town. The metro system uses an honor-based open ticket system so you purchase tickets and hop the train. Nobody will check your tickets but if you’re caught riding for free face a hefty fine. It’s not worth it and you’re better off paying the small price for a ticket each time you ride. Consider that it’s much cheaper than taking a cab anywhere, especially considering the rush hour traffic. You can also purchase tickets at bulk rates for 24 hours, 3, or 5 days. These options are almost always cheaper than getting an individual ticket even if you only use the metro once a day (which you won’t).

Outside of Prague you can get in between the major cities and 4 national parks (Krkonoše National Park, Šumava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), National Park Podyjí, České Švýcarsko National Park) easily by the superb bus or rail systems.

Climate and Weather

The Czech Republic enjoys all 4 seasons but the winter is very especially cold. There is plenty of rain and snow across the nation during the winter months and that keeps many tourists away. If you can schedule your trip outside of the typical college winter breaks (mid-December to mid-January) then you can avoid many crowds and save quite a bit of money on hostels, tours, and food.

The summer months are warm but not unbearable and Prague really comes to life. The nightlife is great and the backpacking community is active. It’s a great time to move around Europe too if you’re looking to expand your backpacking adventure. If you’re going to just fly to one other city your best bet is to book a cheap flight with RyanAir. Snce RyanAir charges around 30 Euros to check any carry on luggage you’ll most likely be leaving your backpack behind locked in the hostel. In that case consider bringing along a separate daypack. A well-built and reliable daypack is the Kelty Redwing 3100.

  • One of the more fun traveling options is to backpack around Europe by rail. It’s a bit more money upfront but you’ll save a lot of money, time, and hassle by purchasing a Eurorail pass. There are local, regional, and global (within Europe) options that run up to approximately $550. Considering the weak dollar if possible try to book from the US or a US based website.

panorama czech republic

Things To Do

Try the wonderful beer that the Czechs have to offer by hitting up some of their famous breweries. Prague is well known for their excellent home brews but you can find many individual breweries around the entire country. Don’t be scared to call or email one that’s a bit outside of town. Most give free samples and are small businesses or family owned. You’ll meet plenty of friendly people and backpackers by hopping around Český Krumlov and Telč.

There are also many famous castles and chateaus like the 700 year old Karlštejn Castle or the Český Krumlov built around 1300 B.C. Generally these sites also showcase and feature many popular aspects of Czech culture such as puppet shows, live plays and performances, and instrumental concerts.

Recommended Gear

The Czech Republic is often a jumping off point to more travels within Europe. Buy your gear based on how you’ll be traveling. If you’re going to be flying, consider the Osprey Talon 33 or a larger pack with an Osprey Solo Daypack. Both of these packs are small enough where you won’t need to check them in and you can save the high fees RyanAir will charge you for baggage. If you’re going by rail then we’d recommend going with a good 65L pack to carry all of your things along with a few souvenirs like the Osprey Atmos 65L.

Backpacking The Region

If you’re considering a regional backpacking trip try combing the Czech Republic with:

| Ireland | Czech Republic | Germany |

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