Back in Prague for a bit of an extended period, I decided to stay in an area I started checking out a bit the last time I was in the city; Smíchov, Prague 5. It’s a cool area, I guess you could call, up and coming, and there’s a great quick grab Mexican food spot (Chile y Limón) I found myself constantly walking to last time in the city. Definitely worth a visit if you head this way and like a good burrito, bowl, or tacos.
Smíchov, Prague 5, is very accessible by public transportation. There are a lot of trams, metro stops, a couple of bus depots, a train station, and the airport buses run right through it. On the subject of public transportation; if you’re going to use it while in Prague, I highly recommend downloading the Prague Integrated Transport (PID) app. I have to say it’s one of the best public transportation apps I’ve used. You can search routes and purchase for that specific trip or purchase day passes.
I stayed at one hotel, but it was split up around a quick trip to visit family in the states. Below you’ll see the difference in costs moving from February to March when the prices start to go up. It should be noted that things have still been a little off due to the pandemic and world events, but I think it still gives a little idea of what to expect and could help in making a decision on timing your trip.
This was a 37-night stay…
- Accommodation – $1,720.39* (additional information below)
- Getting around locally – $39.38 (This was a mix of public transportation tickets which included short and long duration ranging from 30 CZK to 200 CZK, or about $1.30 to $9 during this time)
- Living expenses – $710.98 (groceries and eating out)
- Activities – $0
- Mobile phone/data – $92.02 (I use Google Fi, which provides service in most countries. If you’re interested and based in the U.S., you can use this paid link to sign up, which will give me a referral fee at no extra cost to you.)
- Medical insurance – $85.24 (I’m using SafetyWing; rates are determined by age, and mine is slightly above the base. If you’re interested, there is a paid link/banner on the right side of the page)
Total $2,648.01 / 37-nights = $71.57 per
There are a good amount of places to choose from in the Smíchov area; I decided on the Aparthotel Austria Suites because it looked spacious, and I knew I’d be staying a little while, so the extra space would be nice. The people were great, and all options on Booking.com came with an included breakfast. It wasn’t anything too special (a pastry, some deli meats, and a mix of bread), but a good amount, more than enough for me. I didn’t plan on staying again after my trip to see family in the U.S., but the first stay was good, and I wanted to simplify things, not go through the search again. I will warn, however, that the internet can be a bit spotty. After the first night of the first stay, they moved me to get a better signal. The new room was better but still wasn’t great. I was able to search the web and stream fine most of the time, but there were times it just dropped out completely, for 30mins to an hour or so at a time.
- The first 14 nights were right after leaving Poland in early February, and I booked through Booking.com for $570.38.
- After a quick visit to the U.S. to see family, I booked directly with the hotel for 16 nights without breakfast for $814.20. This included just a couple of days in February and shows the jump in price due to their typical increase moving into March/Spring. I honestly don’t think I saved much of anything booking directly, or without breakfast, due to the discounts I get from Booking.com and using Ratuken or Capital One Shopping. But I knew it was better for the hotel and just went with it this time. I mix it up at times because I do want to help out hotels, but the service provided by the booking sites is also worth supporting, in my opinion.
- The last 7 nights were just me kicking the can, not quite ready to move on. I just extended directly with the hotel again for $335.81, which was a slight decrease in price for reasons I’m really not sure of.
Transportation to and from varies a lot, so I left it out of the above breakdown along with most incidental/one-time personal costs. But for those interested, in this particular case, I took a PKP train from Zakopane to Krakow and then a České dráhy train to Prague Main Station. Both seats were in 2nd class, with the PKP train costing 28,70 PLN ($7.14) and the České dráhy train was 725 CZK ($33.45). All other standard day to day expenses are included to give an idea of how much basic living costs in the area are. Groceries will sometimes include personal care items (i.e., toothpaste, deodorant, etc.).
** I try to use Rakuten whenever it’s an option; why not take the money. It works with a browser add-on, and there is also a mobile app. Note from the Ratuken site, “Stores pay us a commission for sending our members to their websites, and we share it with you. It’s that simple!” If you haven’t signed up yet, and are interested, please consider using this referral link to help support me, and get a signup bonus. I use it regularly and recommend it, but take a look for yourself to decide if it’s right for you. When you sign up using the link, use it spending $, we each get $! The $ varies, I’ve recently seen at $40 and $30. They state “Offer may be modified or canceled anytime.” Payments are made by PayPal, or you can have a check sent to you.
*** Of course, the currency exchange varied during the stay, so for simplicity, I used a rate of 21.25czk = 1 USD for cash transactions. The accommodations and some daily purchases made on cards were entered at the converted cost charged.
**** Since this is my living situation, I don’t go to top-rated restaurants or paid entry tourist attractions too much. I do eat out a lot, but nothing too special; to some extent, it’s actually more cost-effective this way. I try to be cost-conscious, eating as a local would… maybe you could say like a broke college guy that is LOL! I try to note any differences to this above.
I’m striving to provide useful information for people planning trips or a nomadic lifestyle, so if you have any ideas to make these posts more helpful, please let me know. You can comment/DM on social media, in the comments below, or by email at (MeanderingMax@gmail.com). I appreciate your support!