While summer is their high season, Prague doesn’t really have a low one. It’s always going to be swarmed with tourists, and you’re constantly going to be dodging selfie sticks and tour group umbrellas. While there definitely are some great local spots to avoid the crowds, quite a few of the tourist activities are still very worth your while.
1 Rent a paddleboat and get out on the river. While Prague is obviously a beautiful city, seeing it from the water is something else entirely. And while most people opt for the ritzy cruises that serve wine and glide down the river at a relaxing pace, I strongly suggest you ditch that in favour of a paddleboat. There are a few outlets on the banks that rent them, on the islands near the Legions Bridge and they’re surprisingly cheap too (300czk an hour). You can get a standard two-seater boat, or go all out and opt for the giant swan which is just waiting to be Instagrammed. There are little bars you can stop in at to get a takeaway beer or snack, but why not just BYO bottle and picnic and float in the middle of the river for a bit.
2 Head to Vyšherad. If you’re visiting Prague, chances are the Prague Castle is high on your list of things to see. And while it’s certainly beautiful, it’s always heaving with tourists no matter the time of year. If you want a nice change of pace, head down the river a bit to Vyšherad, which some call ~the local’s castle~. It’s up on a hill, about a 45-minute walk (or quick tram ride) from the Charles Bridge. It offers sweeping views of the city and river, and endless stretches of parkland. There’s a beer garden up there that’s perfect in summer, and it’s also the ideal spot for a picnic.
3 The food. While you’re in Prague, you truly must indulge in Czech cuisine. Here’s a more in-depth guide to what you should look out for. The classic savoury dishes to try are svïčková and goulash, which you can check out at restaurants like Lokal and Repre. Head into a deli (lahūdky) to get potato pancakes (bramborak) and make sure you try the perfect snack food of chlebíčky: open-faced sandwiches. I’ve heard some of the best are served at Sisters, but you can get them at most delis. And of course, you must try the Insta-famous trdelnik. Warm, sweet pastry, covered in cinnamon and sugar and filled with chocolate, fruit, or ice cream. Sure, it might not be traditional Czech food, but its one of those touristy things you gotta check off the list.
4 Spend a summer afternoon with a drink by the river. I was lucky enough to be in Prague on a sunny public holiday after a long stretch of cold weather and rain. All the locals came out to celebrate the good weather, and the banks of the river were covered with people soaking up the sun. There’s a stretch (linked on the map below) where you can find a number of floating bars that are the perfect location to chill out. While it might feel touristy, the prices are still more than reasonable, and it’s an idea place for people watching.
5 Visit the swans by the river. Wow, a lot of these tips really seem to be focused around the river, huh? Bear with me though, because there’s a little spot on the bank, where for some reason a huge amount of swans hang out. I’ve linked the exact spot on the list below . They’re just there, milling around, waiting for tourists to throw them bread. And while it’s definitely a tourist hotspot, it’s not actually too packed. There’s a little grassy area there, and an ice cream shop just up the road. A perfect afternoon activity. I’ve linked the exact spot on the map below.
6 Wander around Letna park. Just next to Prague Castle, you’ll find a giant park atop the hill with seriously breathtaking views of the city. On weekends it’s filled with locals having picnics, drinking beer, jogging, and just hanging out. Head up there for sunset and pick up a cup of warm cider, or a wine if you’re there in the warmer months. Or wander along the hilltop for a leisurely morning walk, then reward yourself with brunch at the nearby trendy Cafe Letka or The Farm.
And here’s a map with all the locations: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1or9G9WENrgTNuu2Ni0W6VMxjdn-pREzG&usp=sharing