As a new standard, you can find a map at the end of this post – I hope it helps you on your travels!
Later this year, one of my childhood friends is partaking in the age-old tradition of marriage and to celebrate, my friends and I planned a trip to Prague.
This is what we saw, ate and found.
Yes, this was a stag/hen do of sorts, and amongst the tides of rowdy, drunken tourists on similar trips, we remained (relatively) sober and saw what the capital of the Czech Republic had to offer in a short time.
After a few drinks at London Stanstead and a short aeroplane ride, we arrived in the city and found ourselves in a slightly damp airport – not what you want when you forgot to bring a coat. But I had checked the forecast and knew that soon it’d be sunny skies.
After finding suitable transportation into the city, we arrived at our AirBnB just as the Sun was coming out. This apartment had been selected by the group as something different and memorable; it was a medium sized apartment, with a large lounge area which also functioned as the bedroom – a common feature in ex-communist countries which I personally admire.
The layout was simple but had a unique mezzanine floor, accessible only via a wooden ladder. The location was perfect too, it was on Dlouhá street, a party street just off the Old Town Square.
Once we had unpacked, we went in search of some food.
The bride-to-be is a big fan of Hard Rock Cafes, so we took a beeline to the burgers and cocktails that they had to offer. These cocktails were to be the first of many over the weekend, and as usual, the Hard Rock Cafe delivered good, filling food at an acceptable price. The environment was equivalent to that which I’ve experienced in the London branch, the food was slightly better.
After a few laughs and jokes, we noticed that it was starting to get late, so we head back into the Old Town Square to take some photos and soak up the feel of the popular tourist area. As we went during April, the annual Easter market was in full swing with street food, souvenirs and – of course – beer. There was even a blacksmith working over an anvil there, he was hammering and moulding some pieces which were immediately put on sale beside him.
Following our first Czech beer and several minutes of watching the metal forger at work, we went in search of a pub. The first one we came across was a great Irish place called Irish Times Bar. This cosy bar had live music and drinks at a good price, so we stayed here for a few hours. (We liked this pub so much we returned every night of the trip).
Several rounds later, we joined the queue for Karlovy Lázně the popular 5 story club with different types of music on each floor. After having partied in several cities across the Europe, this club really takes the biscuit. It had such an infectious atmosphere and such a selection of music on offer, I doubt anyone could have a bad night here.
When day two came around, the five of us were surprised to find that we felt fresh as a daisy. We got up early and pursued our plan for this day of experiencing Prague via organised walking tours.
Whilst planning the trip, I had come across Discover Prague which offered a free walking tour amongst several other paid tours around the city. We left our apartment in the early morning to join the free Old Town and Jewish Quarter tour.
Although, we made a small pit-stop at the Easter market for a hot dog.
Our Canadian-Czech guide was a young lady named Amanda and together we explored the streets of Prague 1 with open ears. She lead us around the Old Town and the Jewish Quarter, which were jam-packed of interesting architecture and history.
Amanda told us about how Prague regularly floods and had once been the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. Prague has also been sieged several times and for Czechs, the Second World War started in 1938 as Germany was allowed to invade north Czechoslovakia in 1938.
This two-hour tour had taught us so much about the country and its capital that we decided to join Amanda later on the Castle District tour. First, though we needed some food.
Upon Amanda’s recommendations, we headed to an amazing little restaurant called Krčma. This traditional Czech restaurant served the best food I tried all weekend. I tried the pork, cabbage and dumplings dish which was flavoursome and comforting. The food was cheap and authentic and interestingly, in this restaurant, cider was cheaper than cola. If you like cider, I’d suggest you try Kingswood – a special apple cider that is light and refreshing.
The castle tour was eye opening and a lovely way to spend the late afternoon of our second day. The tour started at 5pm and as there was only a handful of us – Amanda took us to a small monastic brewery. This late in the day, the district was free of other visitors – the calming atmosphere contrasted well against our first evening. We enjoyed walking amongst the unique architecture of the buildings and the small explanations of each style our tour guide gave to us.
The highlight of this tour St. Vitus Cathedral – a true masterpiece. Similar to the Sagrada Familia, it has taken decades to build and during its construction, different rulers and architects have added to the design. What I found particularly interesting was that on the most recent face, there were carvings of men in modern-day suits – not something you usually see on a stone cathedral.
The tour finished in the early evening, just after the Sun had set so we made our way to Charles Bridge – a tourist hotspot but a historic spectacle in the darkness. Just before walking across this stone bridge, we each bought at trdelník – which you will see everywhere in Prague.
This special pastry is a hollow pastry chimney, about the size of your fist, which vendors fill with ice-cream or chocolate spread or even ham and cheese. It’s similar to Mexican churros but crunchy.
Our third day was more chilled and saw us taking part in an escape room, which was thoroughly enjoyable and gave us an hour to break out of a room by solving puzzles and finding keys to padlocks.
We also visited a few museums.These weren’t your usual history, art or national museums, but the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments and the Prague Sex Museum, both of which had a surprising amount of overlap with their articles!
If these types of museums intrigue you, I’d recommend visiting as they are something different to see. You can find the addresses of those we saw on the map below.
As it was our last full day, we went to watch the Astronomical Clock chime at precisely 2 o’clock – we had been told that the spectacle that tourists come to watch every day was underwhelming. Its performance, although not magnificent, was something different.
For the remaining part of the day, we bought some sweets at a pic’n’mix store called Captain Candy, had a secret cocktail at the Anonymous Bar and had a great meal at a one-of-a-kind bar/restaurant called Steampunk. Although we visited these three locations in sequence, they were each singular in their appearance and appeal.
In summary, Prague offered a great weekend away, with much to offer than great beer or beautiful buildings. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a memorable trip!