Prague is probably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This is largely due to the Vltava River that runs through it and over which the famous Charles Bridge stands. A boat trip along the river and canals is one of the delights this city has in store.
You can take a boat ride in Prague by day or by night, choose a tour that is more focused on the sightseeing experience or the gastronomic experience. Here's my favourite:
Enjoy a delicious buffet on board
The most complete experience for a gastronomic evening in Prague can be found on this cruise: cruise around the city on a boat while you dine and enjoy live music.
This gourmet buffet dinner cruise focuses more on the gastronomic aspect of taking a cruise on the Vltava, with views of Prague's main buildings lit up at night. The boat is fully glazed, allowing you to enjoy spectacular panoramic views as you dine, no matter where your table is located.
You can also enjoy a live band during dinner and at the buffet you can enjoy a choice of appetizers as well as local and international dishes.
Why I like this option: This is undoubtedly the most complete experience, as the cruise lasts longer and allows you to enjoy the best views of the illuminated city to the rhythm of live music.
Recommended if... you're looking to take your experience to a more premium and complete level. Get your best clothes on for a night on board a luxury boat in Prague!
Interesting facts about boat trips in Prague
Cruises are a different way to enjoy the city and see it from a different point of view, so it's the best way to complete your visit to Prague and relax after touring the streets. I would say that the great advantage of taking a Prague tour by boat is that you are spared the huge crowds of traditional tours meeting other groups of visitors. It's a more relaxed experience that's perfect for rounding off your trip.
Most sightseeing cruises include some kind of commentary in English about the sights of Prague along the way, but you should bear in mind that these experiences are always complementary to a walking tour of the city where you'll get to see the buildings and areas of the city first hand.
Many of the operators of these tours do not clarify whether or not you need to print out the confirmation email that you will receive after booking your boat tour. My recommendation is to print it out, as sometimes there is no way of knowing whether it is necessary or not, and you will save yourself a lot of hassle.
Prague Boat Tours Prague Tour
Most boat tours follow a similar route, departing from the Old Town piers and taking you to points on the Vltava River where you will have panoramic views of the Charles Bridge or Prague Castle.
Organise your boat trip in Prague
To make your experience as comfortable as possible, here are the answers to some of the questions you might have before taking a boat trip in Prague.
How to get to the pier
First of all, you should check the exact address of the meeting point of your boat trip. Most depart from the Old Town jetties, which you can easily reach on foot from the Old Town Square. Some tours set the meeting point directly under the Astronomical Clock or in one of its adjacent squares, and will guide you to the pier so you won't get lost.
Departure days and times
Almost all Prague boat tours are available every day of the week, with departure times mainly in the evening (around 18:00) for sightseeing cruises and in the evening (around 20:00) for gastronomic cruises.
Where to dine after the Prague boat tour
If you opt for a sightseeing boat tour that does not include lunch, you will most likely finish the experience around 21:00, just in time for dinner. Here are some recommendations for dining in the Old Town's jetty area:
- Kmotra: the oldest pizza restaurant in the city is very close to the river, where pizza is made in the traditional way, in a stone oven, with homemade tomato and mozzarella. Pizza is always a good idea, especially at the end of a long day of sightseeing.
- Krčma: one of Prague's gems, just a five-minute walk from the Old Town Square. Here you will find traditional Czech food at a reasonable price, far from the tourist restaurants with exorbitant prices. The atmosphere is a bit gloomy as it is located in a basement, but after the first impression it turns out to be quite a cosy tavern.
- Café Savoy: With a menu of traditional Czech dishes and French cuisine and an elegant wooden interior, this is your choice if you're looking for a classy restaurant. The stars of the menu are the veal tartare and roast duck, as well as chef Michal Mlejnek's five-course menu. The desserts are out of this world and all the pastries are made in-house, which is why you can also come to Café Savoy for breakfast. As it is located on the other side of the bridge, you can take a stroll from the pier and work up an appetite.
How to dress
Despite what it may seem, taking a boat trip in Prague is just another tourist experience and therefore you don't need to dress too smartly. That said, try to avoid wearing sportswear and especially not flip-flops, as the boat deck can be a bit slippery and it can get a bit chilly at night.
Seeing Prague at night is well worth the effort and from the boat you'll have a beautiful view of the illuminated Charles Bridge and Castle, so remember to take some photos so you don't forget the magic of the city after sunset. You'll have the opportunity to do this from the boat, so get your phone ready or set your camera to night mode to enjoy every shot.
Other interesting activities in Prague
Guided tours of the city
As you already know, taking a boat tour is a complement to a city tour, where you will see Prague's sights up close and in detail. To help you choose the best tour of Prague for you, I've written a guide to Best Tours and Day Trips from Prague and all the options you have to choose from.
Visit Prague Castle
You'll probably be left wanting to explore Prague Castle at the end of the boat ride, and taking a tour of the area is the one experience I highly recommend on your trip to Prague. If you want to know the best way to visit it, you can read my article about Prague Castle: Prague Castle Tickets and Tours: how to buy and prices.
Frequently asked questions
Is it worth taking a boat trip in Prague?
Absolutely yes, especially if you go as a couple. The views of the city from the boat are spectacular and the ride itself is very romantic, so it's highly recommended.
How long does a boat trip on the Vltava River take?
There are several options, but the standard duration is about two and a half hours.
Is it possible to eat on board?
Yes, there are options that offer buffet meals or you can even bring your own snacks to enjoy along the way.