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Moving to Prague

As the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, Prague offers a historically-rich setting against an incredible background, making it a popular destination for expats. The City of a Hundred Spires is known for its mesmerising beauty and cultural offerings.

Prague is home to approximately 1.3 million inhabitants, of whom a significant proportion are foreigners – the majority being Ukrainian, Slovakian and Russian. The city is a blend of old and modern, reflected in the architecture, culture and the city's distinctive Bohemian flair.

Living in Prague as an expat

The city serves as the headquarters for many international companies, and Prague's service industry plays a vital role in the economy. The most common sectors for expats to work in include financial services, education, information technology, trade and hospitality. The job market is competitive, and Prague boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.

Accommodation is varied in Prague, and expats will have sundry options to suit their needs, lifestyle and budget. The transport system is also well developed, and expats will have no problem getting around the city. What's more, should expats want to explore more of Europe, it's easy to hop over to neighbouring countries like Germany and Austria.

Often referred to as the 'cultural centre of Europe', Prague boasts a lifestyle like no other, with many famous attractions that expats can visit and events and festivals they can attend. Beer-lovers will be spoilt for choice in Prague, as beer-drinking is taken very seriously, and the social scene is lively.

Cost of living in Prague

Although Prague can be considered to have a relatively low cost of living, prices are on the rise and are catching up to other European countries. Accommodation, in particular, is becoming as expensive as the rest of Europe, which is largely driven by an influx of foreigners looking to call Prague home. That said, expats will find groceries and transport far cheaper in the Czech capital than elsewhere in Europe. 

Expat families and children 

Prague offers a high standard of education in public, private and international schools in the city. Just as state healthcare is free in Prague, so is public schooling. That said, the language of instruction at these schools is Czech and many expats therefore opt to send their children to international or bilingual private schools. There is a wide range of these schools in Prague, but they are hugely expensive and expats therefore need to consider the costs involved when choosing a school for their children. 

Climate in Prague 

Prague has a moderately continental climate, with cold winters and relatively warm summers. Expats will discover the colder months to be harsh at times, with temperatures often below freezing. As the city warms up, however, expats will be able to spend plenty of time outdoors at one of the city's many parks. 

Expats who make an effort to learn the language will find the locals to be welcoming and helpful. It will also come in handy in most areas of life in the city. With so much on offer, those looking to move to Prague are sure to enjoy their stay in this unique and historical city.

Working in Prague

With its central position in Europe and relatively stable economy, the Czech Republic is increasingly attracting both expats and foreign companies to its shores. The high standard of living for a relatively low cost doesn’t hurt either.

EU citizens are able to work and live in Prague easily as they don’t require a work permit, whereas non-EU citizens do need a work permit to gain employment in the city.

Job market in Prague

Some of the main industries in Prague are manufacturing, specifically that of automobiles and aircraft and diesel engines, IT, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, tourism and food. Although Prague’s industrial sector is thriving, new arrivals will have to compete with the highly educated local labour force for jobs. 

Expats often find jobs in the financial services, education, information technology, trade and hospitality sectors. If lacking skills in these areas, it may be worth looking into one of the foreign companies that have set up shop in Prague. Czech Republic is becoming more popular for foreign business investment and expats therefore may be able to find a job in one of these companies.

Finding a job in Prague

With a highly educated and skilled workforce, competition for top jobs in Prague may be fierce. Nevertheless, expats with the right credentials and experience will find opportunities in the country. We recommend that expats secure employment before moving to Prague.

Job opportunities can be found through online job portals or by directly contacting a local recruitment agency. Otherwise, employment opportunities may be found by looking for postings on the websites of specific multinational companies.  

Czech is the main language of business and potential employers might expect resumes and applications to be in Czech. 

Work culture in Prague

How individuals conduct themselves during business in Prague can have a great impact on how fellow business associates perceive them. Expats should take some time to understand common business practices and etiquette in Prague to become familiar with their corporate culture.

Expats may initially perceive the reserved Czech manner to be cold and impersonal, but Czechs are actually warm and hospitable people. They are generally private people until one gets to know them on a more personal level, although it could take many meetings to reach this stage.

Business structures in Prague are hierarchical and decisions are made from the top down, although the group’s opinion may be considered in some cases.

Networking is highly important in Prague and it is vital to build and maintain relationships. Business may be conducted slowly with initial meetings scheduled to get to know each other and ascertain the trustworthiness of associates before a deal can be made. Expats must therefore exercise patience.

Family is valued highly in Czech culture. Family ties are deeply rooted and family time is important. As such, it is unlikely that work commitments will extend over weekends or public holidays.

Cost of living in Prague

Prague is relatively cheap when compared to other major European capitals; coming in 97th in the 2020 Mercer Cost of Living Survey. That said, it is a lot more expensive than other Czech cities, as it caters for the massive influx of tourists that walk its streets each year.

Although currently it can be considered relatively affordable, prices are on the rise and are catching up to other European countries in some areas.

Cost of accommodation in Prague

Accommodation is one such area where the costs are similar to the rest of Europe and are continuing to rise. Prague is becoming quite an attractive city for business and as foreign companies relocate to the city and demand for accommodation increases, so do the costs.

Expats can decrease these costs by living in one of the city’s outlying districts, as well as by choosing to live in an apartment or shared apartment as opposed to a house or villa.

Cost of food and eating out in Prague

While eating out can cost just as much in Prague as in the rest of Europe, expats can save money by going to the cheaper local restaurants, as opposed to those with an English menu that cater to tourists. There are also food carts and fast-food restaurants that serve good food at a fraction of the price.

Groceries are extremely affordable in Prague and the majority of expats will save money by shopping for local produce and cooking at home. Expats will also be able to find delicious local Czech beer at reasonable prices all over the city.

Cost of transport in Prague

The public transport networks in Prague are efficient and inexpensive. While taxis can be rather costly, the metro, tram and bus services are cheap to use. Even Uber is more affordable than the local taxi companies.

The city centre is extremely walkable, and most expats will only need to resort to public transport when travelling outside of Prague 1. Cycling is also an option, as bike-lanes have been incorporated into many of the sidewalks.

Cost of education and schools in Portland

Although public schools are free to all residents, including expats, Czech is the language of instruction at the  majority of these schools and, unless expats are planning on staying for the long term, this may not be a viable option. That said, there are a few schools in Prague that have programmes for bilingual or foreign language students.

Alternatively, there are a number of private bilingual schools that, although still costing a pretty penny, are much cheaper than the international schools in the city. The fees for international schools are exorbitant, but expats who do not plan on staying in Prague for an extended period may find these schools to be their best option. Expats should speak to their employer about a school allowance to assist with the costs if choosing to send their child to either a private or international school in Prague.

Cost of living in Prague chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Prague in May 2021.

Accommodation (monthly rent)


One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

CZK 15,000 - 25,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

CZK 11,000 - 19,000

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

CZK 25,000 - 45,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

CZK 18,800 - 30,000

Food and drink


Milk (1 litre)

CZK 20.24

Dozen eggs

CZK 44.60

Chicken breasts (1kg)

CZK 146.14

Rice (1kg)

CZK 37.15

White bread (loaf)

CZK 25.20

Pack of cigarettes

CZK 110



Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

CZK 3.25

Internet per month (ADSL)

CZK 508.80

Utilities (average per month for a standard household)

CZK 4,958

Eating out


Three-course dinner for two in mid-range restaurant

CZK 800

Big Mac Meal

CZK 150

Local beer (500ml)

CZK 40


CZK 56.70

Coca-Cola (330ml)

CZK 34.56



Taxi (1km)

CZK 29

City-centre bus fare

CZK 24

Petrol (per litre)

CZK 29.50

Accommodation in Prague

New expats in Prague will be able to find accommodation in the city to suit their budget, needs and lifestyle. Although Prague is rather affordable, due to a recent increase in demand, expats should expect accommodation costs to be similar to the rest of Europe. There are a couple of things expats can do to decrease the costs involved, though, such as choosing to live outside of the city centre and in an apartment or shared apartment as opposed to a house or villa. Regardless, expats will most likely find that accommodation will be their biggest cost.

Types of property in Prague

Depending on how much they’re willing to spend, expats will be able to find apartments with one to three bedrooms that range in style from modern luxury buildings to soviet-era blocks. The latter, which are situated in the districts outside of the gorgeous city centre, are often in various states of disrepair and, unless expats are able to view them before signing the lease, are best avoided.

It is also rather popular among young expats in Prague to rent a room in a shared apartment in order to save some money. Those wanting a larger home for their family will be able to find houses and villas in Prague.

Accommodation can come furnished, semi-furnished and unfurnished. Those who do not plan on staying in Prague long term may want to find a home that is already furnished to save them the costs of either having to ship in furniture or buy it once in the city.

Finding property in Prague

Accommodation can be found in newspapers, online, or through a local real-estate agent, and should ideally be secured in person and in advance. If it is not possible to travel to the country before moving there to secure accommodation, the next best option is to initially stay in short-term accommodation while looking for something suitable for the long term.

Websites aimed at the expat market will generally have listings posted at an extreme mark-up compared to what a local would pay. Those with a good grasp of Czech who are able to understand and navigate local websites will be able to find accommodation at cheaper prices. 

Renting accommodation in Prague


When renting accommodation, a deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent is usually required. By law, this deposit should be returned to the tenant in full within one month of vacating the property. This is provided that it is left in a good condition; if anything is damaged or broken, costs for repair or replacement may be deducted. To avoid being accused of causing damage that was already there when moving in, expats should take date-stamped pictures of any areas of concern before the start of the lease.

Lessees who find an apartment through an agent will also have to pay a commission fee, which is usually one month's rent, once they have found an apartment.


Leases can be for either an indefinite term or a fixed term, such as six months or one year.

There are usually two versions of the lease: one in Czech with the other being an English translation, but in any legal matter the lease in Czech will be prioritised. Expats should have a Czech-speaking friend or preferably a professional translator look over the two contracts to ensure that the terms in both are the same.


Utilities are usually not included in the rental price and are to be paid by the tenant, but expats may be able to find accommodation for which the utilities are included. If not, expats should keep this extra expense in mind when drawing up their budget. The lease should specify the various utilities to be paid to the landlord in addition to the cost of rent.

Healthcare in Prague

The standard of healthcare in Prague is high – in fact, the country's healthcare scheme has been praised as one of the best in the EU. The affordability and standard of medical treatment has even seen the Czech Republic emerge as a popular destination for medical tourism in Europe.

It’s compulsory to have health insurance in the Czech Republic, whether through a public or private health insurance provider. Czech citizens, residents and anyone working for a Czech employer are automatically insured under the country's public healthcare system and pay monthly contributions. Other long-term visitors will have to use a private insurance company and short-term travellers are expected to have appropriate travel insurance.

EU citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access state healthcare during a short-term visit to Prague. UK citizens can make use of their Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaced the EHIC for UK citizens post-Brexit.

Although public healthcare in Prague is excellent and heavily subsidised, patients might experience long waiting periods before receiving treatment. Private facilities, on the other hand, may be more suited to treating expats as they have a higher proportion of English-speaking staff and because they have a more service-oriented approach to providing medical care.

Pharmacies, some of which can be found attached to hospitals, are widely available in the Prague with some open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Hospitals in Prague

Hospital Na Františku

Address: Na Frantisku 847/8, 110 00 Praha 1

Thomayer Hospital

Address: Videnska 800, 140 59 Praha 4

Motol University Hospital

Address: V Úvalu 84, 150 06 Praha 5

Hospital Na Homolce

Address: Roentgenova 37, 150 00 Praha 5

Education and schools in Prague

There is a high standard of education in Czech Republic and this is reflected by the schools in Prague. Even better news for expat parents is that their children can attend public school at no cost, provided they are EU nationals or legal residents. This is the case from pre-primary school up to and including university. But, seeing as the language of instruction in public schools is Czech, most expat parents choose to enrol their children in private or international schools instead.

Schooling is compulsory from the age of six to 15. The school year runs from early September to late June.

Public schools in Prague

Classes in public schools are taught entirely in Czech, with either English or German taught as a second language. Some expat parents are discouraged by this but there are advantages to expat children being taught in Czech, the biggest of which is that it's a good way for them to learn the language and subsequently assimilate into the culture and make local friends.

Some schools take difficulties with the language into account when assessing students in subjects such as Czech language and literature. There are also a few public schools in Prague that have programmes for bilingual or foreign language students, which assist them when first starting out in the school.

It is always a good idea for parents to visit schools of interest before enrolling their children. This can be done at official open days or may be arranged by request. Conditions in public schools may vary widely, and some are more amenable to and equipped for having foreign students than others.

Private schools in Prague

Private schools in Prague are partly funded by the state and partly by tuition, and teach the Czech Republic national curriculum. Some of these schools are bilingual, teaching in both Czech and English, or sometimes Czech and German. Expat parents who can't quite fit international school fees into their budget but are still concerned about their children having difficulties with the Czech language may find these schools to be an ideal solution.

International schools in Prague

Most international schools teach in English and are perhaps most useful for expats planning to reside in the country for a relatively short period of time, as the continuity in curriculum minimises disruption in the child's education. Common curricula offered by international schools include the International Baccalaureate (IB), the American Curriculum, or the British National Curriculum. Prague in particular has a high concentration of international schools.

International schools can be expensive, so if moving to Prague as part of an international relocation package, it is worth negotiating for school fees as part of the relocation contract.

International schools can vary widely in ethos, curriculum, quality and size. Although there are a number of schools to choose from, space may be limited and parents are advised to start the application process as soon as possible.

Special-needs education in Prague

The Czech government implemented a system of inclusion for children with special needs. This means that all children can be educated in mainstream schools, no matter their level of difficulties, unless a parent specifically wants their child to be educated at a special-needs school. In some mainstream schools there are also classes for special needs children if they would like to be taught separately.

All schools have the necessary facilities, staff and support provisions available to assist children with disabilities, and a counselling system has been developed to help the integration process into mainstream schools. The different needs of all children have also been regarded and individualised forms of education have been developed to meet these needs.

Tutors in Prague

Tutors are extremely helpful in assisting expat children to adjust to their new school and curriculum, as well as language of instruction, if different from home. Both Czech and English tutors are widely available, as well as those for other subjects, such as maths, and can provide school support where needed.

There are websites and tutor companies that advertise at home, or online private tutoring services, which include companies such as Apprentus and Tutoroo. There are also many language schools in Prague that assist expats and expat children to learn Czech.

See and do in Prague

Expats will find that the City of a Hundred Spires is packed full of things to do on their days off. Whether it’s exploring the Old Town, getting a taste of true Prague tradition or spending a sunny afternoon surrounded by nature, new arrivals to the city will not struggle to find an attraction that suits their taste and budget.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular things to see and do in Prague.

Attractions in Prague

Vltava River boat cruises

Taking advantage of Prague’s gorgeous waterway, tour companies offer boat cruises for people to enjoy a couple of hours taking in the city sights from the Vltava River. There is a range of options available, from family-friendly day-time rides along the river, to romantic dinner cruises.

Prague Castle

Prague castle, built in the 9th century, is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, spanning 70,000 square metres. Since it was first constructed, it has been the seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Roman emperors and Czech presidents. Visitors can explore the Old Royal Palace, St Georges Basilica, Golden Lane, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Great South Tower of the Cathedral, as well as the palace gardens and moat on guided tours.

Charles Bridge

Charles bridge is a medieval stone arch bridge that crosses the Vltava River and connects the Old Town and Lesser Town, also known as Malá Strana. Construction of the bridge started in 1357 and finished in the early 15th century. As one of Prague’s most popular attractions, and arguably one of the most picturesque gothic bridges in the world, walking the Charles Bridge will give expats a true sense of the beauty of this ancient landmark.

Ghosts, legends and dungeons tour

A number of tourist companies in Prague offer ghosts, legends and dungeons tours that illuminates the supernatural side of the city. These guided walking tours include stopping at a number of landmarks, such as the Astronomical Clock and Burgrave House, to hear spooky tales of medieval Prague. A visit to the Ghost Museum generally ends off these tours, where expats will learn more mysterious legends about their new home.

The Lennon Wall

The Lennon Wall, or John Lennon Wall, is a symbolic burial site for the artist that was crafted by the youth of Prague in 1980, after Lennon was murdered. Covered in Lennon-inspired graffiti, lyrics from Beatles songs and designs relating to local and global causes, the wall symbolises freedom of speech and non-violent resistance of the Czech youth. Whether a Lennon fan or not, this giant artwork is a must see.

Naplavka Farmers market

With Naplavka meaning ‘on the embankment’, this farmers market is situated just there, on the bank of the Vltava River. Running every Saturday throughout the year, this market is popular with locals and visitors alike. Expats can get a true taste of Prague at this market, as food stores sell local delicacies, baked goods and fresh produce, as well as homemade pottery and crafts. Stopping by this market is a great way to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere while getting a sense of the local culture in Prague.

Prague Puppet Shows

Puppet theatre has a long history in the Czech Republic and is a great way for expats to experience some Czech culture and tradition. They can watch a puppet show in either the National Marionette Theatre or the Theatre Spejbla & Hurvinek in Prague. With puppet shows happening throughout the year, this is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy.

Petrin Park

Expats wanting to spend a peaceful afternoon in nature need look no further than Petrin park. Secluded gardens and winding pathways lead up to the summit of Petrin hill, where expats can enjoy panoramic views of the city from Petrin Tower, built as a lookout tower in 1891, which resembles France’s Eiffel Tower. Those not wanting to walk up the steep slopes of the hill can take the funicular to the foot of the tower. The park also boasts the Štefánik Observatory with its astronomy exhibition, as well as the Strahov Monastery which houses an ornate library and a centuries-old brewery.

What's on in Prague

Prague is a city with a broad history and a love of tradition. Many of the city’s biggest and brightest events combine the two in great celebrations that attract big numbers. Although there is variety in the types of events held in Prague, music features prominently in Czech culture, which can be seen in the sheer number of large music festivals that take place each year.

With so much happening throughout the year, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular music festivals and events in Prague to give expats an idea of what to attend in the city.

Annual events in Prague

Days of European Film (January–February)

This festival showcases 30 to 40 different films from countries all over the continent in celebration of European film making. Most films have both English and Czech subtitles and are shown in cinemas all over city. Many of the stars, directors and producers of the films can be seen in Prague each year enjoying the festival.

Masopust (February)

Masopust, Czech for 'meat-fast', takes place the week before Ash Wednesday each year, and is the Czech version of Mardi Gras. The locals come out onto the streets of Prague for a colourful celebration, featuring parades with elaborate homemade costumes, pig-roasts, theatre performances and family activities.

Matějská pouť (Late February–April)

Running for over 410 years, Matějská pouť, or St. Matthew's Fair, is a family-friendly Czech tradition that is truly entertaining. The exhibition grounds boast around 130 attractions, from rollercoasters, houses of horror and a Ferris wheel, to virtual reality machines and a water world.

Prague Marathon (May)

The Prague marathon, sponsored by Volkswagen, is a full 42km international marathon that attracts some 20,000 runners from all over the world. There is also a 21km half marathon, for those wanting to run a shorter race, as well as 10km and 4km family fun runs.

Prague Spring International Music Festival (May–June)

Spanning three weeks, this international music festival showcases a series of classical music and dance performances in churches, palaces and concert halls throughout the city. Drawing thousands of visitors each year, Prague comes alive each spring with first-class music concerts from talented artists.

Summer Festivities of Early Music (July–August)

This music festival celebrates music throughout Czech history. The festival takes place in historic venues in which music of a corresponding style is performed. This celebration of Czech history, through pairing architecture and music, creates an atmosphere and an acoustic experience like no other.

Prague International Jazz Festival (October)

Expats can expect to see performances from both jazz legends and big bands during this festival. Mostly taking place Lucerna Music Bar, as well as a number of other venues in Prague, this festival combines local talent with great international artists in a fun celebration of jazz.

Christmas Markets (December)

Christmas markets throughout Prague open their stalls on the last weekend of November, and continue until Christmas day, with the main market venues being Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. These markets sell gifts, decorations, baked goods, mulled wine and barbequed sausages. December 1st sees a giant tree light up Old Town Square in a beautiful Christmas celebration, accompanied by music and street performers.

Getting around in Prague

With many different options for getting around in Prague, expats can rest assured that they will be able to get wherever they need to go in the city with relative ease. While expats will easily be able to navigate the city centre on foot, those wanting to venture further than Prague 1 can make use of the city’s world class public transport system.

Public Transport in Prague

When travelling around Prague, expats will have the metro, tram and buses at their disposal. All of these networks are affordable and efficient and will get expats where they need to go in no time.

The metro, tram and bus systems are integrated, and expats will therefore be able to use the same ticket for any of these networks, as well as for transfers between them. The tickets can also be used on boats and the funicular up to Petrin Hill. Tickets are extremely affordable and can be purchased from vending machines at metro, bus and tram stops, as well as in some shops and information centres. They will need to be validated in a machine at the stop or station before boarding. While some buses and trams do sell tickets on board, not all of them do, and choosing not to pre-purchase and validate a ticket is therefore a risk. There is also a top-up card, called Litacka, which is a good option for those who plan on staying in the city for a while.


The metro is the fastest way to get around the city and will have expats where they need to go in a matter of minutes. It operates every day between midnight and 5am and runs every two to 10 minutes, depending on the time of day. The metro has three lines, A (green), B (yellow) and C (red), and travels around the city centre as well as to the suburbs in the outlying districts.


The Prague tram network has 24 lines that run throughout the entire city. While the trams are a great way to get around Prague, expats will also have the added benefit of being able to see the beautiful city sights while on their journey. The regular tram schedule begins at 4:30am and runs until midnight, when the night schedule takes over. Night trams run infrequently, usually only once per hour, and only on select lines.


Buses service the outlying districts and the neighbourhoods in between the centre and these districts. Although the bus network is generally reliable, it is slower than the tram and metro and whether the bus arrives on time is dependent on the traffic. That said, they are a useful means of transport for those living further afield as they connect to nearby metro stations, from where people can transfer to the metro network, provided their ticket is still valid. The bus service also runs regularly between 4:30am and midnight, after which the night service takes over. Night buses only take particular routes and come around once an hour. 

Taxis in Prague

Taxis are the most expensive mode of transport in the city but can be a quick way to get around outside of rush hour or at night when the tram and bus schedules decrease to particular routes. Although this has improved in recent years, expats should be wary of taxi drivers trying to rip them off. One way to avoid this is by calling a taxi company to order a taxi, as opposed to hailing one off the street. Expats should always make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter at the start of the ride and that they receive a receipt once they’ve reached their destination. A few reputable companies are AAA Radiotaxi, ProfiTaxi and SEDOP.

Uber is also available in Prague and is often cheaper than the local taxi companies. Uber is also helpful to avoid translation problems.

Driving in Prague

With many different transport options available, and at a good price, owning a car in Prague is more hassle than it’s worth. While it may be useful to have a car for day and weekend trips out of the city, it's quite unnecessary in Prague itself. Nightmarish traffic during rush hours, an extreme parking shortage and a city centre populated with one-way streets are just three of the reasons to ditch the car and use public transport to get around Prague.

Those who do wish to drive in Prague, however, should keep in mind that their foreign licence may not be valid in Prague for longer than two months, after which they’ll need an International Driving Permit or a Czech licence. Expats should watch out for pedestrians on the streets as they always have the right of way, no matter if the traffic light is green. All car lights must be on while driving and expats must keep an officially recognised first aid kit in their car at all times.

Cycling in Prague

Although cycling is not a popular mode of transport among the locals, expats will find that there are cycling lanes incorporated into many of the sidewalks in the city and they are also able to cycle in most of the pedestrian zones in the centre. A deterrent for the locals is the hilly nature of the city, as well as the affordability of Prague public transport. That said, the number of cyclists is rising. Expats are able to take their bikes on a few of the transport networks, such as the metros and buses, but there are strict rules about where on the vehicle the bikes are allowed, as well as when.   

Walking in Prague

Walking is one of the preferred ways to get around the city centre, for locals and expats alike. Weather and time permitting, expats should invest in a pair of sturdy shoes, as the cobbles can cause feet to ache after a while. There is no better way to see the sights and take in some fresh air than on foot.