Travel

City Break in Prague: Travel Guide

Prague, also knows as the ‘city of a hundred spires’, is a beautiful, compact city which packs a punch. It is perfect for a long weekend break, offering history, art and culture, and is generally just a really picturesque place to explore on foot. The old town is particularly well preserved with its gothic architecture and bohemian vibes. I loved aimlessly wandering through the narrow, cobblestone streets discovering hidden courtyards and beautiful frescoes on the pastel coloured buildings. If you’re thinking of visiting, here are some of my top highlights from the city!

What to see

1) Old town – get acclimatised by spending an afternoon exploring the old town – Start at the old town square where you’ll find the famous Astronomical Clock (currently being renovated). Grab a drink at the rooftop bar, Teresa U Prince, for excellent views of the old town square without the many tourists. Walk down Karlova Street to the Charles Bridge where you’ll see stunning views of Prague Castle and the Vltava River. Charles Bridge is one of the most famous sights in Prague and gets extremely busy so I would highly recommend going early in the day (before 9am)! You can climb the towers at either ends of the bridge for city views.There are also some really interesting modern buildings in Prague, including the Dancing House which you should try to see if you can.2) Prague Castle – Prague Castle is one of the main attractions and dominates the city’s skyline. This isn’t your typical castle and is in fact a cluster of fascinating buildings, including St Vitus Cathedral and Prague Palace. You can buy a combination ticket (250CK/£10) to enter various different buildings however if you’re on a budget, you can walk around the castle for free and see most buildings from the outside (for St Vitus Cathedral, you can actually go in to the entrance of the Church for free so you get to see what it looks like overall). My highlights of Prague Castle were definitely the stained glass windows in St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane, a street full of small, quaint houses.In general, I would recommend exploring the area around Prague Castle. Walk to Malá Strana and to St Nicholas Church. There are lots of beautiful buildings here and cute cafes. The famous John Lennon wall is also nearby, covered with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from Beatles’ songs.3) Prague Parks – Explore Prague’s many parks and gardens. Kampa Park is right by the river and is a nice place to hang out. It has some cool sculptures around and you can also visit Museum Kampa which houses different exhibitions. They currently have Picasso and Cecil Beaton exhibitions on. I went to the latter and would highly recommend it if you’re into photography. I didn’t go to Petrin but that’s another nice park and one to visit for city views if you have time.4) Palace Gardens – For more stylised, baroque gardens, you should definitely visit Vrtba Gardens (70CK/ £2.50). You can get stunning views of the City from here!The Wallenstein Gardens (free entry) are also worth a visit and are very close to Prague Castle.5) Jewish quarter – explore the Jewish quarter of Prague which was historically a Jewish ghetto. You can get a combination ticket which consists of six monuments. Highlights were the Spanish Synagogue where the interiors were really ornate and Pinkas Synagogue which is now a memorial to victims of the Holocaust. If you’re in the area and want a snack, head to Bake Shop. It has a pretty good variety of sweet and savoury options which you could takeaway if you’re on the go.6) Klementinium – this is a large complex of buildings right next to the Charles Bridge. You can take a guided tour (300CK/£11) which includes a visit to a beautiful baroque library and ends at the top of the Astronomical tower where you can get amazing city views.7) Art Nouveau architecture and art – if you’re an art nouveau fan, you should definitely visit the Municipal House. You can take a guided tour (290CK/ £10) to explore the building. Highlights include murals and ceilings designed by the famous art nouveau Czech artist, Alphonse Mucha. The building also houses some of Mucha’s most famous paintings from his Slav Epic series. For a more detailed introduction to Mucha’s life and art, I would recommend visiting the Mucha Museum (240CK/£8.50).8) Franz Kafka – if you’re a Kafka fan, Prague is your city. There is a museum dedicated to the author as well as some really cool statues and art installations (my favourite was Kafka’s revolving head).Where to eat

I would highly recommend Eska (probably my favourite restaurant in Prague!), Cafe Mistral and Cukrkávalimonáda. I also tried Las Adelitas right next to the old town square – it wasn’t the best Mexican I’ve had but was decent enough.

Lokal is a cool place to try Czech cuisine though it’s probably not the best option if you’re vegetarian. Try their famous fried cheese!Other places that I heard great things about include Sansho and Aromi so do check them out but try to make reservations in advance.

For coffee, snacks and brunch, check out Cafe Letka and Bake Shop. I also went to Cafe Chloe which was ok but I wouldn’t say mind-blowing – fine if you are in the area.Other cafes that I heard good things about were Pausteria, Cafe Fin, IF cafe, Soho Prague and La Boheme Cafe. Let me know if you’ve been to any of these!

For gelato, check out Creme de la creme.Where to stay

The Old Town is probably the most popular place to stay as a tourist – this is also reflected in the prices. It is the most convenient place to stay where you can enjoy the city by foot. I would also suggest checking out the Malá Strana area near Prague Castle which was a tiny bit quieter than the Old Town but still had all the history and also slightly cheaper in terms of hotels.

I stayed at Unitas Hotel in the Old Town and would recommend this place. It was a comfortable hotel with spacious rooms, a fantastic breakfast and in an excellent location. It isn’t luxury but quite an interesting hotel as it used to be a convent!

Travel

Prague is pretty easy to navigate on foot. If however you need to go slightly further afield or are staying outside of the old town, they have a good public transport system where you can buy a 30 or 90 min ticket which you need to validate when you board the bus/tram/metro.

It is also pretty easy and cheap to get to the centre of town from the airport via public transport. You can buy a 90 minute ticket (32CK/£1.15) from a machine at the airport (some of them are contactless!). Take the 119 bus from the airport and get off at Nadrazi Veleslavin where you can get the metro (green A line) to the centre of town.

Money exchange

Prague’s currency is the Czech Crown and not the Euro though most places seem to accept Euros.

I’ve noticed that Prague has a number a money exchanges with massively varying rates. Be really careful when you are exchanging money and try to shop around before you decide on a place to exchange. Credit cards are also accepted most places so you shouldn’t really need lots of cash.

That’s all for this post folks! Hope it was helpful. Let me know if you have any other top tips or recommendations from Prague!

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