Praha, the Czech capital, is known for being an affordable destination for tourists from many countries. Many people visit the city more than once in their lifetime due to its reputation as a city of nightlife and the affordability of alcohol.
Prague’s accessibility, reasonable prices for foreign tourists, and affordable flights contribute to its popularity as a party destination. František Cipro, Chairman of the Board of Prague City Tourism, explained that if a weekend trip to Prague, including accommodation and flights, costs less than a train trip to Brighton for a young person from Manchester, then Prague will continue to be a popular party destination.
The fame of Czech beer also plays a role in Prague’s reputation. During a visit to Vienna, Austria, people were asked what comes to mind when they hear “Prague.” While many mentioned the city’s landmarks, they did not forget about the beer. Unexpectedly, during a visit to Nuremberg, Germany, a conversation with a group of older people turned to Prague.
One man noticed that we were not locals due to our limited German skills and asked where we were from. When we mentioned Prague, his eyes lit up, and he started enthusiastically talking about his love for the city. He praised Prague as the best city in the world, mentioning its jazz music scene and affordable beer and food prices.
The conversation continued with his friends, including a couple from Peru and two Germans from Stuttgart, who had visited Prague multiple times. One of the Germans shared his experience of getting drunk on beer during one of his visits, while others nodded in agreement. They all agreed that they wanted to return to Prague several more times.
It’s worth noting that beer in Prague is approximately half the price compared to Germany. However, the prices in the city center, particularly at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, are significantly higher. In most German cities like Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, or Nuremberg, the average price for a half-liter of beer in a decent restaurant is around five euros, which is about 120 Czech koruna.
On the outskirts of Prague, you can find a half-liter of beer for as low as 48 korun, while in the broader city center, the prices range from 50 to 60 koruna, depending on the brand. The famous U Tygra pub, one of the most renowned pubs in Prague, serves a glass of Pilsner Urquell for 58 korun.
However, it is expected that beer prices will increase in the future. The government recently decided to raise the value-added tax (VAT) on draft beer to 21 percent. The operator of a well-known Prague establishment expressed understanding of the government’s decision, stating that alcohol is a vice and should be taxed accordingly.
The move has shocked breweries, mainly smaller and rural pubs, and restaurants. They heavily rely on beverage sales, particularly draft beer, as they cannot generate as much revenue from food as urban restaurants. This tax increase may lead to the closure of many rural pubs.
Despite the potential price increase, Prague remains a popular destination for its vibrant nightlife, cheap beer, and overall charm that attracts tourists worldwide.