Is Beer Really Cheaper than Water in Prague?

May, 05, 2023

Before traveling to Prague, many people had told us that we were going to have a good time. While there are plenty of ways to have a good time in Prague, many people were referring to the common idea that beer is cheaper than water in Prague.

Naturally, this thought intrigued us. But coming from the United States, where beers at a bar cost upwards of $7-10 and water is free, we were skeptical.

This quick post will put the question to rest, explaining first-hand whether or not beer is cheaper than water in Prague and why.

American model standing in crowd in Old Town Square in Prague

Is Beer Cheaper than Water in Prague?

The people who commonly repeat this idea are actually correct in many cases. Depending on where you go in Prague, as well as what kind of beer you’re drinking, beer actually is cheaper than water. We noticed this the first time we sat down for a meal in Prague, when a bottle of water actually cost a full dollar more than a half liter of beer.

The restaurant we ate at first wasn’t the only place where we experienced this. In fact, the majority of normal, local restaurants we visited offered draft beer for a lower price than bottled water. For beer lovers, visiting a local pub in Prague is both incredibly satisfying and shockingly cheap!

In particularly touristy places, there is a chance that beer prices are higher than water prices. However, in the vast majority of local restaurants throughout the city, beer truly is cheaper than water.

Why Is Beer So Cheap in Prague?

Beer is cheap in Prague because, frankly, most things are cheap in Prague. Compared to Western European, Australian, and North American prices, Prague feels quite cheap as a whole. The city’s lower cost of living is one of the biggest reasons that it has become so popular with tourists, and the price of a beer is a great example of this.

Beer is also brewed in bulk in the Czech Republic. As the original home of the Pilsner, which is one of the two oldest varieties of beer on Earth, the Czech Republic both produces and consumes more beer per capita than most nations in the world. Ranging from different types of dark beer to different types of light beer, the Czech Republic serves up great brews that beer lovers owe it to themselves to try.

The first brewery in Prague opened in the 10th century, and dozens of small breweries have opened up since. While most beer in the Czech Republic tends to be of the 

Close-up of Fresh Draft Pilsner Beer

How Much Does Beer Cost in Prague?

Such a surplus of beer produced in the country makes it incredibly affordable. The cheapest beer can be found in grocery stores, as one might expect, but even bars and restaurants serve beer for much lower prices than you might expect. Czech beer culture is very strong, and on average Czech people have some of the highest beer consumption levels in the world.

In Prague, a mug of beer typically costs around 50 Czech Koruna, which is about $2.50. At an average local Czech Republic pub, a half liter of beer costs as little as $1! In touristy areas within the city of Prague, a pint of pilsner costs closer to $3-4.

Is Water Expensive in Prague?

Water isn’t expensive in Prague. It just isn’t free. While the United States and some European countries serve tap water for free in restaurants, this isn’t the case in the Czech Republic. If you order water in Prague, it’ll likely be bottled, and it’ll probably cost a few dollars.

While a few dollars for water is a pretty normal price around the world, it does tend to be higher than the extremely cheap beer prices in Prague. The combination of low beer prices and generally only serving bottled water is what makes beer truly cheaper in Prague.

Aerial View of Prague's Old Town Square

More Information on Beer in Prague

What Are the Most Famous Beers in Prague?

The two most famous beers in Prague are Budvar and Pilsner Urquell. Both are light, refreshing, and absolutely worth trying. These well-known Czech beer makers brew a great pilsner-style light lager, which tends to be perfect on a hot summer day.

Despite the similarity in name, Budvar is not at all related to America’s Budweiser. It’s also the one I’d recommend trying if you could only pick one beer between Budvar vs. Pilsner Urquell. This is because Budvar can be hard to find outside of the Czech Republic, not because it is the better beer. 

Pilsner Urquell has become available in many US beer stores, while Budvar is incredibly hard to find outside of Central Europe. However, much like Budweiser and Miller in the United States, these two beers can be found almost anywhere in Prague.

Prague also has a bustling craft brewery scene, with dozens of small breweries brewing their own beer. The prices of craft beers in Prague are natural going to be higher than the average Czech beer price, but a full glass of beer still is going to be much less than it would be in the US.

Muled Hot wine and beer sign in Prague

Can You Drink on the Streets in Prague?

While there is no overarching open container law in Prague, drinking in public is restricted in over 800 locations throughout the city. This means that while you can drink in the streets in general, most of the popular tourist areas will not allow it. This includes the Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge, and more places.

While the rules might restrict drinking in public, it still often happens. Tourists especially break the rule while visiting Prague. There are plenty of vendors that sell alcohol in the streets in these restricted areas, and as long as you aren’t intoxicated, you probably won’t get into any trouble.

How to Say Cheers in Prague

Since the Czech Republic’s capital city has some of the best beer in the world, it’s natural to want to try it along with the rest of the city’s local food. If you plan to drink a beer or two while in Prague, it’s fun to learn how to toast! Czech people say Na Zdraví, which means “to your health!”

Man and woman raising champagne glasses on a night river cruise with bridge in background

Does Beer Have More or Less Alcohol in Prague?

If you’re going to be knocking a few liters of beer back while visiting Prague, it’s important to understand exactly how much alcohol you’re consuming. Generally, Czech beers are equal or slightly higher in alcohol content than American beers, but not to a crazy level. You can expect a pint of beer to be about five percent alcohol.

Other Things to Know About Visiting Prague

Prague has become one of the most popular cities to visit in Central Europe, and for good reason. It is one of the best places in Europe for a beer connoisseur, as its combination of younger, smaller breweries and older, 16th century breweries is very satisfying. Hoppy goodness isn’t the only thing to be had in Prague, though, and there is a lot more to figure out before departing on your trip.

We wrote a comprehensive Prague Travel Guide that breaks down everything you need to know before visiting the Czech Republic’s capital. From the best things to do, to how to get around and more, our Prague Travel Guide has you covered. 

Gothic Eastern European cathedral with two pointed towers and orange roofed town buildings below


Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.

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Meet The Author - Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.