Learn where to exchange money in Prague and where not! If you come to Prague, it is always good to have some cash with you. Not much, Prague is a very card friendly city. However, just for your personal comfort and back up you should exchange at least a small portion of your budget to Czech koruna (CZK). You can either use a bank branded ATM or stop at a money exchange office. Just make sure you pick the right one. It is not always easy here.
And who is writing this blog for you? I am Dana, Prague local, who besides designing and guiding special small-group tours of Prague, also likes writing about Prague. To prevent future visitors from the local tourist traps. Changing money is one of them. Hope you will find this blog post useful! Let me know 🙂
Fast facts: how much for one Euro and USD?
Exchange rate for 1 Euro is currently around 23.30 CZK
For 1 USD you should get ca 21.80 CZK or more
Such an exchange rate we consider to be fairly good (information from February 18, 2023). Of course, in some exchange offices you can find even better exchange rates, however, this might be a trap called “commission”. Charging a commission is a good trick of many exchange offices downtown. They usually offer you a slightly better rate, however they always take high commission. At the end – not a good deal. Always ask ahead if you have some doubts or you are not sure.
Where do locals go to exchange money in Prague?
Many Czechs, including me, go to a place called Exchange.cz as we all know that many exchange offices downtown are notorious for ripping people off. That´s why we basically don´t waste time and go directly to Exchange CZ close to the Old Town Square. You will find it only 3 minutes away from the famous Astronomical Clock.
It´s a corner spot at two streets: Kaprova and Maiselova and one square Nám. Franze Kafky. That´s why you may find this exchange office under different addresses. Don´t get confused, they all will lead you to the same corner 🙂
Sometimes there are line ups in front of the entrance but no worries, it pays back (literally). They provide fair services and have good exchange rates. You don’t have to be afraid of any hidden fees or paying a commission.
How much money should you exchange?
If you prefer cash in Prague and don´t want to pay with a card, one person should have around 2300 CZK / pp / day. To cover all meals, drinks, tickets, basic grocery. This is equal to ca 100 euro. But of course, it also depends on your standards. Below is an example of what you can buy here for 100 euro.
Examples of what you can buy in Prague for 100 euro / 2300 CZK during one day
(Counted for one person / day)
Entrance ticket to Prague Castle interiors (250 CZK),
Lunch + 1 beer (from 300 CZK),
Two public transport tickets (60 CZK),
Good bottle of wine or prosecco from a supermarket (350 CZK),
Two coffees (130 CZK),
Bottle of water from the supermarket (30 CZK – tap water is safe, too).
Nice dinner with a dessert and two glasses of wine (900 CZK)
What if you exchange money in Prague at a bad place and get scammed?
If you get ripped off at some unfair exchange office and you find it out later, according to Czech law, within the timeframe of 3 hours, you can be refunded at the place of transaction. You just need the original receipt. Don´t be afraid and ask for your money back. It’s your right.
Watch out – some bank notes can expire!
Some older versions of Czech bank notes are no longer valid and we are withdrawing them from circulation. The new versions still look the same, just have wider silver security strips. Only 5000 CZK bank notes remain unchanged (with a thin strip). So, what to do if you get the old one? No worries. It actually happened to me as well while paying in a drug store. I was told I had the old one. So I went to the nearest bank office and they gave me a new one. Again – rather pay by card. This could be troublesome on weekends when banks are closed.
Do you prefer ATMs? Make sure you choose the right one!
In case you prefer withdrawing money from an ATM, please avoid Euronet Worldwide machines (of course, they are strategically located everywhere downtown, actually all over Europe). You will recognize them immediately – they have blue-white branding.
Once their ATMs detect a foreign card, they will push you to withdraw a high amount of money – like 10 000 CZK – for this amount you can get 222 large tap beers. And you really don´t need so much cash here. Any other machines are ok (not best, just ok, you will always lose money on transaction fees, withdrawal fees, etc.).
But what is important? Always choose the option “without conversion” when clicking on the screen and trying to get through all the confusing options.
Summary and the best practices
1) Try to pay by card everywhere you can.
2) Want to exchange money? Go to Exchange CZ The office is located just three minutes from Astronomical Clock / Old Town Square. It´s a corner building with blue / white logo. Corner of streets Maiselova, Kaprova and Nám. Franze Kafky.
3) If you plan to pay by card here and just want to exchange some back up money for small purchases, exchange around 50 euro (USD) / pp for the whole stay. The rest pay by a card.
4) Always ask for some smaller bank notes and coins. Coins are very useful when paying for public WC (10 – 30 CZK).
5) If you prefer cash and don´t want to use cards: exchange 100 euro / pp / day.
6) When using an ATM, avoid Euronet machines! Any other machines are ok (not best, just ok, you will always lose money on transaction fees, withdrawal fees, etc.). But what is important? Always choose the option “without conversion” when clicking on the screen and trying to get through all the confusing options.
6) Check your bank notes if they are valid (some older versions are not valid anymore and we are withdrawing them from circulation). The new ones have a wide silver strip. But this situation doesn’t happen often, don´t be afraid!!!
Little reminder from a local: look under your feet
In case you go to exchange your money to the Exchange CZ office as I recommended you earlier, please take a look at these two brass cobble stones. They are placed right in front of the entrance to the exchange place. Thousands of people step on them or pass them every day without knowing that these are memorials to victims of Holocaust. Placed in front of their last homes. We call these memorials “Stolpersteins” and you can find them all over the city. Just carefully look under your feet…
Dana, owner and guide for Prague Behind The Scenes | small-group tours and experiences.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to tour with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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