Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate and referral links. Should you choose to sign up with these links, I may be compensated. I appreciate any support you choose to give. Late last year, I discussed how I’d snagged some great (and cheap) tickets to Europe for this summer thanks to frequent flyer miles. My main goal was to take my wife to Prague, Czech Republic. I’m now going to discuss how to get to Prague and then give five recommendations for sites to visit once there.
Prague is one of my all-time favorite cities, and there was quite a bit of availability on United Airlines for this summer when I booked the flight in October. The link above gives the general process I used to book the flight (and a trip to Lisbon with lengthy layovers in Munich and Geneva).
How To Get To Prague With Miles
To make a long story short, I used the 100,000 point signup bonus from my wife’s Chase Sapphire Reserve card along with some Ultimate Rewards points that I already had to book two one-way tickets from Cleveland to Prague and then two one-way tickets from Lisbon to Cleveland. I purchased a flight for cash on CSA Czech Airlines to get from Prague to Lisbon.
In addition to the two main cities, we had an 11-hour daytime layover scheduled for Munich, and a 15-hour overnight layover scheduled for Geneva, Switzerland. The layover in Munich actually turned into an overnight stay after Lufthansa canceled our flight.
Credit Card Signup Options
The big 100,000 signup bonus for the Sapphire Reserve is no longer available. You can still get 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points for signing up and meeting the minimum spending requirement. This minimum spend is currently $4,000 over three months, but there’s a hefty $450 annual fee.
If you’re looking for other options, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with less bells and whistles. It does, however, come with the same signup bonus for the same minimum spend. The $95 annual fee is actually waived the first year, so this might be a bit more palatable for those who want to avoid the fee. You can sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred here.
The signup bonus for each of these cards will come close to allowing you to snag a round trip ticket on United. It will totally get a low-level round trip ticket via Flying Blue. This program is a venture of Air France and KLM. Using Flying Blue, you’d only need 50,000 miles. This latter program is a partner of Delta. Both United’s Mileage Plus Program and Air France/KLM Flying Blue are transfer partners for Chase. You’ll get one point per mile that you transfer to these frequent flyer programs.
These are just a couple of the options that are available when thinking about how to get to Prague on miles. You might also look at co-branded cards for the airline you’d like to fly, as well as American Express cards that offer Membership Rewards.
Five Things To Do Once In Prague
Now that you’ve figured out how to get to Prague, you might wonder about the great sites and activities the city has to offer. If you’re into traditional European architecture, you’re in for a treat. If you’re into history, Prague has you covered. I cannot stress that I really enjoy spending time in Prague. Here are five things you might want to check out on a visit.
1. The Astronomical Clock/Old Town Square
Prague has the oldest astronomical clock that’s still in operation. It’s located on the facade of the Old Town Hall building. Unfortunately, on my most recent trip, this was about the only part of the facade that was visible. The city had the rest of it covered up while they performed renovations.
The Astronomical Clock chimes every hour, and there are doors that open while the Twelve Apostles (or at least an artist’s rendition of them) rotate through the open doors for visitors to see. There is also a skeleton, representing Death, who rings a bell while this presentation goes on.
Additionally, there are museums and art galleries to visit in the Old Town Square, as well as a monument to Jan Hus, one of the biggest heroes in the history of the Czech Republic. The Church of Our Lady before Tyn is also a prominent feature of the Old Town Square.
2. Take a Walk Over the Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge is one of the more iconic sites in Prague. There can be hundreds of people walking it at any given time. The Bridge is the site for many street vendors and artists. It provides great views of the Prague Castle, as well as of the Vlatava River.
On the Old Town side of the Bridge, there is a Museum of Medieval Torture that is quite interesting. This museum has lots of instruments of torture, as well as woodcuts that depict exactly how they were used, sometimes in graphic detail. Those bringing kids along should be forewarned.
3. Visit The Prague Castle
A visit to Prague would not be complete without a trip to the castle. There are several sites within the walls of the castle that are worth viewing. The first image in this article at the top of the page depicts the front of St. Vitus Cathedral, which dominates the hill that sits opposite Old Town.
In addition to visiting St. Vitus, there is another church that’s open for viewing. This is the Basilica of St. George. One of the more interesting parts of this church is a reliquary that holds actual bones.
In addition to these churches, one of the more interesting things to visit within the Prague Castle is the Golden Lane. I had not visited this on my previous trip to Prague, but I’m glad I got to this time. There’s a hall with quite a bit of medieval armor and some weaponry. I was even able to try my hand at shooting a medieval crossbow and hit the bullseye on two of three shots. This was a well-spent $2 or so.
If you’ve not already visited the Museum of Medieval Torture at the Charles Bridge, you can check out some instruments of torture on the Golden Lane. There’s a torture chamber set up, as well as a dungeon. One of the more interesting parts of the Golden Lane was the apartments and businesses that are set up for viewing as they were in the nineteenth century. They are really, really small. Some of the rooms on the Golden Lane are pretty hard to access from spiral staircases made of stone. Some of the steps are really narrow.
4. The Jewish Quarter
There was, as there was in many European cities, a Jewish Ghetto in Prague. This is definitely a spot most will want to visit. There are multiple synagogues that are open to the public. One has the name of each of those lost during the Holocaust painted onto the wall. One of the buildings has an interesting display that describes Jewish funeral practices.
These funeral practices would likely end with a burial in the Jewish cemetery. This portion of the ghetto was the only place that Jews could bury their dead for centuries, and the oldest grave goes back to the 15th century. This portion of Prague gives some understanding of how European Jews lived.
5. The Museum Of Communism
This particular attraction was a bit difficult to find. What I’d read before arriving said that this museum was above the McDonald’s just a few meters from the Mustek Metro station off of Wenceslas Square. It turns out that there were two McDonald’s within a few meters of the Mustek station.
We went to the wrong one first.
Then we found the right McDonald’s and promptly learned that the museum had moved that very day. It was a 10-minute walk from the old site to the new address at Republiky Square , but it was worth the trek.
One of the darkest periods in Czech history was the Communist era. The Museum of Communism seeks to commemorate this chapter in the history of the Czech people. There are displays in both Czech and English, as well as subtitled videos of those who went through the Communist period, that describe the horrors that people endured.
Vaclav Havel, the playwright turned dissident turned first democratically elected Czech president is given a prominent place toward the end of this exhibition. For those interested in history, it is definitely well worth the visit.
There you have it: tips on how to get to Prague using frequent flyer miles and some spots that you might want to visit once you’ve arrived. The city is amazing, so much so that this was my second trip. If you have any questions, be sure to let me know in the comments. I’d love to answer any that I can.
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