Among the free and cheap things to do in Prague, Prague is also full of impactful do-good projects. In small but meaningful ways, you can explore the city as a traveller while giving back to the local community. Here are some alternative things to do in Prague and which help you leave a positive footprint at the same time.
The Cross Club
The Cross Club is Prague’s alternative music and art scene located in Praha 7 and nothing like I’ve ever seen – the entire structure is built from up-cycled and industrial raw material. By day, people come here for freshly roasted coffee in the kavárna; by night it becomes a space to support indie artists and upcoming performers.
There is a unique project going on in Prague right now where old retro bicycles are collected and re-painted in pink for others to use. Rekolo is an alternative to other bike-sharing programs founded on “simple lending”. There is no time limit or designated bike stations. You just download the app and pay an initial fee. When you’re done riding you can lock up the bike for someone else to pick up and go. The idea is to make community bike-sharing simpler and sustainable.
This is where locals come to water their tomatoes! Prazelenina is an urban garden in the Holešovice community. For 1,000 CZK (about €40) locals rent an “earth-in-a-bag”, where they can plant and grow their own vegetables and herbs without harmful pesticides, herbicides or GMOs. If they don’t have time to water their earth bag every day, other green thumb helpers will take care of it for each other. I love how this reinvigorates communal living, encourages city dwellers to get back to the basics of our eco-system, organic living, and eating more sustainability. If you’re not in Prague long enough, you can visit the community garden and you’ll feel inspired to live better even at home.
Or you can check out their Garden Café which is open to the public, serves up Czech beer and sometimes local food. It’s run by volunteers and there is a play area for kids, perfect for families. What a cool way to introduce kids to more conscious living even when you travel.
Můj šálek kávy
Můj šálek kávy is a hyperlocal café in the quiet Karlin neighbourhood serving Doubleshot coffee (Prague’s most prominent coffee roaster). It has some of the best coffee in Prague from their flat white to their affogato, but what is really unique about this café is that, while most places refuse to serve tap water in favour of charging for the bottled stuff, Můj šálek kávy offers it for a few cents extra and all proceeds from their tap water goes to Red Noses Clowndoctors International.
Experience Prague through the eyes of a homeless person.
There are about 8,500 homeless people living in Prague and many of them are trying to make ends meet by turning to the underground sex industry, not because they want to but they feel they have no other choice. Café Louvre was once a brothel before it became a trendy café. In the wintertime they get themselves into trouble in hopes of finding shelter in a warm jail cell. Sex workers make 3000 CZK a night (a little under $200). The worst thing about living on the street is not shelter, hunger, or winter but loneliness.
These are just some of the things I learned from taking a Pragulic tour. It’s not your typical tourist tour. The purpose behind Pragulic is to enable others to experience the world from the perspective of a homeless person, dispel myths and prejudices, break down barriers, and shed light on this strongly misunderstood community. It’s a darker perspective about a city than you might get from the guidebooks. Proceeds help tour guides like Karim, reintegrate back into society again, find new purpose, and earn a living.