Where to stay
There are no “bad areas” to stay in Prague. Meaning, there aren’t really neighborhoods you should avoid for safety’s sake. Some areas, however, are far from the action, so you won’t find anything open late at night if you suddenly need a snack or want to watch a late movie.
A good option if you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere with a young vibe is Mosaic House, a hotel that also offers shared rooms and a very hip in-house bar. For a well-located hotel close to where the big parties are happening, try Leonardo Hotels and its very cool themed rooms. The staff are very friendly and will be happy to suggest local places to mingle, but the hotel also has its own Shisha lounge, a playroom with interactive games, and live music. If you want a full-on party atmosphere, The MadHouse Prague is the place to be: common lounging rooms, organized tours, and live events almost guarantee that you’ll end up meeting other people.
What to see and do
Prague is always moving, full of events all year long. In summer, the Naplavka area (boardwalk near the river Vltava) becomes alive with festivals, food, and people. Some of the boats anchored here play double duty as impromptu beer gardens from where you can enjoy the view and catch live music. If you have time for a few classic attractions, don’t miss the National Museum and Museum of Communism. For something different, visit the Museum of Sex, the Museum of Historical Chamber Pots and Toilets, or the Karel Zeman Museum, dedicated to the Czech film director who inspired Tim Burton.
At night, Roxy and Lucerna are the place to go for live concerts of small, alternative bands from all over the world. On weekends, Lucerna transforms itself into an ’80s–’90s themed nightclub. Hangar Bar & Club has an aviation theme, and on weekends it doesn’t close until 6 a.m., making it the perfect place to keep partying after you’re done partying somewhere else. For some serious clubbing, stop by Karlovy Lázně Club, the largest nightclub in Europe.
Where to meet people
There’s perhaps no easier way to meet people in Prague than joining a city tour. Walking tours are particularly popular, as the city—full of cobblestone streets and hidden alleyways—begs to be discovered on foot. The company Sandemans offer free walking tours, or you can book paid bus tours with larger companies such as Viator. If you’re exploring on your own, try MeetFactory, a giant warehouse converted into an art center by famous Czech sculptor David Černý. Today, MeetFactory is a café, an exhibit gallery, a theater, a stage and a space for live music, and friendly, artsy crowds you can connect with. Prague is also popular for expat bars like Bar No. 7, where the atmosphere is friendly and people are more open to start a conversation in English with random strangers.
Another very easy, relaxed way to meet people is to head to a beer garden. Beer gardens are an ingrained part of the country’s culture, and usually feature long, communal tables in relaxed outdoor spaces. Starting a conversation with a stranger is not only easy here, but also common. So go ahead, grab a beer (it’s cheaper than water in Prague!) and say “Hi” to the stranger sharing your table.
Prague might just be the perfect destination for a first solo trip to Europe. It’s not only a safe city (women won’t have to worry about being harassed or their general safety when walking around) but also one that’s easy to navigate—meaning you won’t suddenly get lost and end up in the “wrong part of town.”
If you plan on being in Prague for more than a day, buy a transportation pass. They are available for one day, three days or one month, and they allow unlimited riding and switching between all types of public transportation.
Prague has a very lax view regarding drugs, especially cannabis. While marijuana isn’t technically legal, possessing small amounts (up to 15 grams of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish, for example) isn’t a criminal offense, just an infraction, so you won’t be arrested for it. However, there are no official places to buy cannabis legally as you can do in Holland, so be careful and don’t buy anything from random people on the street.