Is Prague Safe to Visit for Travelers?
Is Prague safe to visit for travelers? No matter if you are traveling independently as a couple, if you are part of a group or prefer exploring the capital of the Czech Republic as a solo (female) traveler. We have tips on how to stay safe in Prague during the day or at night.
Traveling to a new destination is always exciting, but we know that a question about safety will always come up sooner or later.
Nothing can ruin your holiday more than being a victim of a crime, as solving and reporting the problem is annoying and time-consuming, and it is something you for sure don't want to deal with during your precious time off. It is always better to come well prepared than to be sorry.
Prague is one of the most heavily visited cities in Europe for the right reason. Medieval architecture, cobbled stone streets, river sneaking through the city, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle with Saint Vitus Cathedral proudly overlooking the city are one of many attractions why tourists are heading to the city.
But here is the question - is Prague safe to visit for travelers?
And by travelers, we mean all type of visitors such as older couples, young people seeking for best parties, members of the LGBT community, or solo female travelers.
Generally, Prague is a very safe city to visit (for everyone without exception), but as anywhere in the world, you need to exercise caution, especially in places with a higher concentration of people. Violent crime is very rare in Prague (mugging or kidnapping with a weapon is non-existent), and you should rather watch out for your belongings when walking the streets than to be worried about your personal safety.
IS THERE ANY NEIGHBORHOOD TO AVOID IN PRAGUE?
We've been living in Prague for more than a decade, and honestly, we never avoided any neighborhood. Yes, sometimes it can be different when you are a local and know where to go or how to behave, but we think this is not a thing in Prague.
We know from visiting South America how is it to walk on the street and within a second emerge in a dodgy looking place, but Prague is unquestionably not like that. If you don't have a budget to stay right in the city center, you don't need to worry booking your room in other areas such as Zizkov, Nusle, Vrsovice, Vinohrady, Karlin, Dejvice, or other districts. Although some alleyways can look empty, especially after dark, we've never encountered a single problem anywhere in Prague. Additionally, public transport in Prague is safe and efficient, and it is easy to get from one place to another even after dark.
There are probably only two or three places in Prague, where we don't enjoy walking. One of them is the park in front of the Main Train Station (Hlavni Nadrazi), the other one would be Charles Square, and the last is the top part of Wenceslas Square in combination with Narodni Trida tram station. We feel quite safe walking there, but you can meet many drunk homeless people and drug addicts who are usually passive, but you never know what is going on inside their heads, plus it doesn't feel pleasant to walk around.
You don't need to worry to walk around those areas during the day we would be more cautious at night.
At night, you don't need to walk through dimly-lit Charles Square you can stroll on a well-lit pavement lining the park. When arriving by train late at night, you can either take a taxi, but walking is fine as well. Just do not stick around too long, and watch your belongings. Many homeless people sit in front of the shopping mall on Narodni Trida, but they will rarely harass you or beg for money.
If they do, you can give them a small amount of money (coins), or politely refuse (No, thank you - Ne, dekuji).
TIPS ON HOW TO STAY SAFE IN PRAGUE
It is not a surprise that places with many tourists in one area attract wrongdoers, and Prague is not an exception.
The most common crime committed to tourists in Prague is pickpocketing.
Always keep your valuables safe and watch out your electronics or bags all the time. If not necessary, don't carry a large amount of cash (you can pay almost everywhere with a credit card), and leave your passport or other important documents in your hotel room. Pickpockets are the most active in crowded places such as trams (usually trams 9 or 22 passing by the well-known tourist attractions), near or on Charles Bridge (an incredible number of people cross the bridge daily in summer - carry your backpack in front), on the Old Town Square (especially when people flock in front of the Astrological Clock), or near Prague Castle when people wait for the guards to change.
But do not let paranoia ruin your stay. As we said, Prague is safe to visit, and you should act and protect your valuables as you usually do.
You can consider wearing a money belt, we found it useful in more dangerous cities than Prague.
IS PRAGUE SAFE AT NIGHT?
Prague is beautiful at night, and you should not miss walking its streets when all the lights are lit, because the atmosphere is magical, and the city looks different again. Staying outside after dark is normal in Prague, and we never felt unsafe when coming back from the cinema, theatre or a bar late at night.
We know many people arrive in Prague to party because beer and alcohol overall are cheaper than in other countries. If having fun is on the list of things you plan on doing in Prague, drink responsibly, and it is always better to hit a bar with someone who can get you home safely.
Drunk people are more vulnerable anywhere in the world, so take rather a taxi or Uber back to your accommodation.
Avoid park in front of the Main Train Station or Charles Square after dark if you can. Also, Wenceslas Square is after dark a place where you can meet touts working for night clubs (and selling drugs), but no one will harass you when not interested to get in.
It gets dark pretty early during winter (around 5 PM), so plan your itinerary accordingly, in case you don't feel comfortable wandering unknown streets after dark.
IS PRAGUE SAFE FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Prague is a perfect destination for solo female travelers, no matter, if you are an experienced independent tourist or trip to Prague is your first solo adventure.
The Czech Republic is a first world country, and no one will harass you on the streets (except for when you are unlucky and meet a drunk individuum late at night), especially not during the day.
You won't be stared at or approached if you don't want to, being a solo female traveler in Prague is completely fine.
Take a cab when returning from a bar late at night if you don't feel comfortable, and do not invite strangers to your hotel room.
SCAMS IN PRAGUE
For us, knowing the most common scams is part of staying safe in every city.
Even though Prague is not that notoriously known for scams such as capital cities in South America or South East Asia, there are a couple of things you should remember.
First, never exchange money on the street as you can get a very disadvantageous exchange rate or old coins you can never use or get rid off again. Always go to an exchange office (be careful here as well, always check the rate twice as some offices offer ridiculously bad exchange rates), but we advise you to change money in a bank instead. Note, that we have a new law in the Czech Republic, and in case you find out you were cheated, or you discover a better rate elsewhere, you can resign within three hours from the contract ( make sure you keep the receipt).
Another thing you should be careful about is taxi drivers in Prague who have, shamefully, a terrible reputation. It is safe to hail a cab on the street, but always agree on the final price ahead, otherwise, you will be most likely overcharged.
We always prefer traveling with Uber, where we can see the price before we call the driver.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS
If you were a victim of a crime in Prague, you need to contact police.
112 is the emergency number in Czechia (and Europe in general).
Memorize it, this number can save yours, or others life.
By dialing 112 you will reach the emergency services, including the police, emergency medical services, and the fire department.
When you dial 112, stay calm, when the operator answers, state your name, describe what happened, who is involved, and your location.
You can also find tourist police in the lower part of Wenceslas Square or on Old Town Square.
Where you are farr away from above stated places, looking for closest police station might be difficult for you when in the city you don't know, so we think the best thing to do is walk in the nearest hotel and ask a front desk agent to help you out.
WHERE TO STAY IN PRAGUE
Prague has uncountable options on where to stay, and you should book your room way ahead when traveling around summer (from May to September) or during top dates such as weekends in December or on New Year's Eve. However, Prague has many hotels and hostels for every budget, and we've handpicked three best places for every budget.
Budget | Hostel Boudnik - This hostel offers both dormitories and private rooms, and features free wifi- clean common areas and great location close to the city center.
Mid-range | Nyx Hotel Prague - It is quite hard to pick only one hotel in the mid-range category as there is simply too many of them, but this hotel lies in the center and beats the others with the unique design.
Luxury | Augustine Prague - A luxury hotel located close to Prague Castle set in an old monastery offers beautifully appointed rooms and apartments with stunning views over Prague.
5 ESSENTIAL THINGS TO PACK FOR PRAGUE
For a couple of days long city break, pack comfortable clothes for walking, but here are five essentials you should have in your backpack for sure.
Travel Adapter | When traveling from outside Europe, do not forget that we have different sockets here, so bring along travel adapter with multi-plugs to keep your electronics working.
Umbrella | It can rain in Prague any time of the year, having a sturdy windproof umbrella can save your day.
Camera | Prague is one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe, so make sure you have a quality camera ready.
Guidebook | Although we love reading travel blogs and follow the advice of people who had visited the place before us, we also like to walk around the city with the good oldfashioned paperback.
TRAVEL INSURANCE - SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE
We never leave our home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover your trip essentials.
Travel smarter and safer!