Prague is a reasonably safe city, and I’ve encountered very few problems travelling around Prague and the Czech Republic. You shouldn’t have any problems exploring the city as tourist, solo traveller or a single woman.
Prague tops the list of safest cities in Europe (and the whole world) where travellers feel safe, which makes me feel re-assured every time a new survey is published.
Saying that, I always take a few precautions, which is why I thought I’d put together this practical guide on how to travel safely in Prague if you are on your own or even if you are in a group, but want to make sure that your stay in Prague is as safe as it can be.
Is Prague safe?
Overall, Prague is a very safe city with low crime figures. The number of serious crimes involving deaths is very low.
Most of the time, you are only at risk of some petty crime, like mild harassment from a drunken person, persistent begging from various people on the street, being charged too much for your taxi ride or pickpocketing in crowded central areas.
Is Prague safe for women travelling alone?
I would say that, yes, Prague is overall a very safe place for solo women travellers, but as I mentioned before, it’s worth being cautious and taking basic precautions.
Apart from the points I’ve mentioned below, I’d also say that it’s good to:
- Keep your belongings with you at all times
- Don’t share private information or tell anyone you don’t know where you are going or where you are staying
- The less you stand out, the better – nobody will pay any attention to you if you wear basic clothes or sport/hiking style clothes (nothing too revealing); don’t wear lots of make-up, wear modest jewellery etc. I know that it’s sad, that I even have to mention this and I know that we, as women should dress in whatever we want and look how we want, but I’ve definitely noticed a lot less unwanted looks and staring when I’m dressed like I’m heading out for a hike, then when I’m dressed up to go to the opera.
- Stay aware of your surroundings at all times – for example, take off your headphones when you are walking back to your hotel at night
- Wear a cross-body bag rather than a handbag or a backpack and hold on to your bag when you are walking through crowded places
- Keep money, cards and important documents close to you – you can use a money belt to wear under your clothes or check out if your hotel offers a secure safe where you can lock your documents, home keys and spare cards
- Don’t talk to people who try to bother you, as this just encourages them to carry on – simply walk away or pretend you don’t understand
- Don’t overindulge in alcohol and make sure that you stop before you get drunk and you are still aware of your actions and can get back to your accommodation safely
Is Prague safe at night?
Prague is also considered fairly safe to walk alone at night (I often do), but you are wise to walk in well-lit areas, use public transport or licenced taxis to get back to your hotel.
I would also avoid any confrontations with drunken people and avoid large loud groups that you can often find in the centre of Prague. Once you acknowledge them, they are more likely to follow you or carry on talking to you or cause a scene.
If you feel unsafe for any reason, go to the nearest shop, restaurant, hop on a tram or walk anywhere where you see a lot of people.
If needed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s probably better to address an employee of any shop, restaurant or cafe place, rather than to ask random people on the street, as they might be a little hesitant to help you.
If you are on your own, it’s probably best to avoid (or at least be more aware of your surroundings when you are walking through) the following areas of Prague.
Invalidovna underground station (the area around), Wenceslas Square, park access to the Main Train Station, or Andel underground station (the area around).
Saying this, I often pass through these areas at night and you just need to be more cautious with your belongings and not get involved in any altercation.
Because police are well aware of most of the individual people hovering around these places, they do patrol the areas in the evening and at night.
How to stay safe when travelling in Prague
If you are using public transport to travel around Prague at night, use the underground, which is the fastest way to get across the city and there are cameras (and staff) at each station and on the platforms.
If you are travelling by tram, I’d suggest you stay in the front carriage. Most of the time, if there are any unsavoury characters on the journey, they usually choose the end of the last carriage, probably because if they cause any problems, it’s further away from the tram driver.
If you are using taxis, make sure that they are licenced or use Bolt, Liftago or Uber app to make your journey.
Known public transport scams
The Prague public transport is very hot for on-the-spot checking that commuters have a valid ticket. These inspections are carried out by plain clothes inspectors which can randomly stop you in the underground, tram or bus.
The inspector will identify himself (herself) with a metal badge with a personal number. If you don’t have a valid ticket you might face a fine of 1500 Kcz. If you pay on the spot or within 15 days from when the fine was issued, the fine amount goes down to 1000 Kcz.
Recently I have heard that unfortunately, fake inspectors are again on the increase in Prague public transport and mainly in the tourist areas in the trams.
The way you will know that you have met a fake inspector is that they might show you a paper badge or a made up badge (the real badge is metal with the logo of Prague transport department and their identification number), they speak perfect English (the real inspectors might speak English, but it’s not a requirement of their employment) and most importantly they will insist that you pay your fine in cash and instantly. They will not give you the option to pay later at the Prague Public Transport office.
The fake inspectors are also very unlikely to be in the underground, because there are cameras everywhere and they could get easily caught by the public transport employees.
All you have to remember here, is that if you happen to make a mistake (even a genuine one) with your ticket, simply let the inspector write you the fine and then take it to the public transport office to pay within the next 2 weeks (it will be the same amount as if paying on the spot in cash).
Book accommodation in a safe area
There are not that many unsafe areas in Prague, but it’s worth looking into the location of your chosen hotel or accommodation before you book it.
Make sure that your chosen hotel is within a short walking distance of an underground station or a tram.
I would avoid booking hotels at Wenceslas Square as there are many casinos and night clubs and the square can be very busy and noisy at night. The last thing you want is to be bothered by some drunken person as you are trying to get to your hotel.
A good idea is to stay slightly off the tourist centre – close enough but without the noisy nightlife. This includes areas such as Vinohrady, New Town (around Charles Square), Lesser Town or even further afield such as Karlin, Zizkov (around Jiriho from Podebrad Square or the Zizkov Tower).
Stay in a hotel or reputable accommodation
I don’t think you really need to be overly concerned here, but if you are travelling on your own and want to feel extra safe, book your accommodation in a hotel or somewhere where there is an open 24 hrs front desk.
This way, if anything happens, at least you know that you can ask at the hotel and the front desk staff will be able to help you. You might also feel safer knowing that the hotel or accommodation is attended to all the time by the staff.
Be aware of pickpockets
Whilst more serious crimes are very rare in Prague, pickpocketing (and organised pickpocketing) is still a big problem.
Pickpockets, unfortunately, target tourists because they are seen to be richer than local people, but also because they are not as aware of their surroundings and get easily distracted by the new city they are visiting.
Because of that, make sure that you are super vigilant in and around main tourist attractions, trams in the centre of Prague (such as the tram 22 route) or main train stations.
Let friends or your family know where you are
If you travel alone or go to explore the city on your own away from your group, always let somebody know where you are or where you are planning to go.
Let them also know that you will get in touch when you come back and tell them roughly what time they can expect you.
Even if your family or friends are not with you in Prague, they can still arrange help for you if you needed remotely or at least check it with you for moral support if anything happens.
Try not to look like a tourist and Blend in
What I think, works really well is to blend in and try to look like you are not a tourist (at least not obviously so…).
If you talk loudly in a foreign language in your group, don’t pay attention to your bags, wear expensive clothes and are perhaps slightly drunk, you are immediately more vulnerable than others.
Wear suitable shoes
Prague’s cobbled streets, uneven pavements and constant road works are not great for strappy high heels at the best of times and certainly not great when you are trying to run or walk away fast from a situation you are trying to avoid.
Pack an attention whistle
Rather than packing other protective items, which might be more dangerous or even illegal, it’s best to pack an attention whistle (or just a regular type of whistle that makes a lot of noise).
This is not just great for attracting attention if something happens, but it’s also good for scarring people away to leave you alone.
You are very unlikely to have it to use, but if you are safety conscious, you might want to add an attention whistle to your list when you are packing for your trip to Prague.
Make sure you have a mobile phone + fully charged at all times
Nowadays, a fully charged mobile phone is the most basic thing you should always have with you for any type of emergency situation or even to stay in touch with your friends and family whilst travelling.
I always make sure that my phone is fully charged and I switch the battery setting to ‘saver mode’. This is just in case I’m back late or something happens and I can’t charge my phone later that day.
When I go on a longer day trip, I always bring with me the phone charger and also a battery bank and sometimes even the Czech plug converter if I’m planning to work on my laptop. I use my phone for maps, looking up train or bus timetable and letting people know where I am, just in case.
My other tip is to make sure that you are observant when you are taking photos with your phone. Especially if you have a more modern and expensive phone.
I take photos with my phone all the time, but it’s really just a dummy phone without a sim card (I just use it instead of a camera). I have my real mobile phone safely tucked away in my bag, so in case anyone takes a shine to my ‘camera phone’ I can actually still call for help.
Look after your money
These days I’d recommend not to have too much Czech currency or other cash on you, just in case you lose it or somebody steals your purse. I keep a few notes and coins in my purse, but for everything else I pay with my card.
What to do in a case of emergency + emergency contact details
In a case of any emergency, call the following numbers depending on what you need or if you are not sure call the European Emergency Number 112.
The 112 emergency number operators do speak English (or other European language based on what you need).
112 – European Emergency Number
(Police, Fire Service, Emergency Medical Service)
158 – Police
156 – Municipal Police
150 – Fire and Rescue Service
155 – Emergency Medical Service
Lost and found belongings
If you’ve lost something in Prague or on public transport, you can go to the central Lost & Found office to check if somebody has found it and handed it in.
Address: Karoliny Světlé 5, 110 00 Prague 1 – Old Town, Phone +420 224 235 085
If you know what you’ve lost something at the Prague Vaclav Havel Airport, they have a lost & found office there too (just ask at any information point).