Cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, green parks and waterways, Prague is the perfect destination for a short city break.
Known for its beers and bar crawls, it’s ideal if you’re travelling with friends as you can sightsee by day and party by night. It’s a medieval city, with a huge history and looks like something out of a fairytale with Renaissance and Baroque churches, town halls and towers everywhere you look.
It was my first trip to the Czech Republic and I was pleasantly surprised by how picturesque and peaceful it was, the stag vibes didn’t come out until very late at night.
It’s a great place to visit in summer as you can walk around easily and we couldn’t believe how cheap it was – our flights were around £100 return from London, a pint was around £1.20 and meals were generally less than £10 too!
Here’s my guide for a short break in Prague…
WHERE TO STAY
Set in the sleepy Vinohrady, Hotel Ametyst is the perfect stay as it is away from the loud nightlife, but close enough to walk to all of the attractions – just 15 minutes walk to the famous Wenceslas Square, National Museum and State Opera.
We stayed in their Deluxe Rooms which had HUGE king size beds and modern bathrooms. The staff at the 4* boutique hotel were friendly and attentive, gave us tips on where to eat and let us in at all hours with a smile.
Breakfast is included and was delicious. They offered a huge variety of pastries, cereals as well as cooked options – I’d read about how good it was before I visited and it did not disappoint!
A Deluxe Room starts at 79 euro in high season – find out more here
HOW TO GET AROUND
The best way to get to know the city is by foot but Prague also has really good public transport.
Trams, buses and metro services are all part of the same transport network and fares are cheap with single tickets starting at 24czk (80p).
BUT be careful! There are very few ticket machines, you have to go into local shops or tobacconists to buy tickets.
There are no specific ticket takers on public transport but there are uniformed and plain-clothed ticket inspectors that ride around regularly checking tickets. We got fined £30 by a very unsympathetic inspector for riding without tickets!
WHAT TO SEE
Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world.
It’s an impressive place but was very busy when we visited, and drinks and food were more than double in other parts of the city.
It’s worth it for the architecture – St. Vitus Cathedral, the Golden Lane, St Wenceslas Chapel (the patron saint of Prague), and Basilica of St. George are all in the complex. You can walk around for free or buy tickets for each site from the box office.
Old Town Square
Unfortunately, when I visited the Old Town Square as the famous astronomical clock was being restored. Typical!
Built in 1410, legend says the maker Hanuš was blinded by the Prague Councillors so that he could not repeat his design.
You can also visit the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, the City Hall and St. Nicholas Church, as well as sample the Czech delicacy – Trdelnik (a traditional Czech pastry dough, wrapped around a stick). I’d first tried this on my trip to Berlin earlier this year!
The John Lennon Wall
I’m a massive Beatles fan, so I was very excited to see the John Lennon Wall. In the 1980s, the wall was filled with art, graffiti and lyrics during the Czech’s protest against communism. Now, it is a symbol of peace in the region.
From the John Lennon Wall you can walk to Kampa Island, a beautiful park where you can see the Charles Bridge across the river. Museum Kampa is there too, which hosts modern works, celebrating the fall of Communism under which they could not have been shown.
Kampa Island also hosts one of my favourite features of Prague – these creepy babies!
Designed by Czech artist David Cerny, they once lived on the Zizkov TV tower to make the Communist construction more visually appealing.
The Charles Bridge is a medieval bridge in the centre of the city. It’s said that Charles IV laid the first brick of the bridge himself in 1357. Now, it is lined with Baroque statues, as well as musicians, artists and souvenir vendors. It was incredibly busy when we visited, it’s recommended you go at the break of dawn to see the bridge without people.
This huge park has walking trails, bars and great views of the city. It’s a short walk from the Jewish quarter and has huge spaces, as well as quieter paths for a romantic walk. This park is popular with locals and tourists alike.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
On average, Czech citizens drink 142.4 litres per person per year. That’s around 250 pints – or one every 35 hours. Home of the Pilsner, Czechs take their beer and their food very seriously. That’s why we decided to go on a food and drink tour of the Capital.
Eating Europe run food and drink tours in six cities including Rome, Paris, Florence, Amsterdam, London and (of course) Prague. We wanted to mix culture and also sample some of the local beer, so picked the Craft Beer & Food Tasting Tour.
The tour lasted 3.5 hours, taking you through Prague’s winding streets to local pubs, breweries and bars. We tried A LOT of different beers from, lighter pilsners to dark Guinness-type beers. The glasses were only little, so we didn’t get too merry.
Alongside the booze, we tried traditional nibbles in each of the places, from pickled fish (nicer than it sounds) to wonderfully runny scotch eggs.
We were walked and talked through the culture and the history of Prague. Our guide Robert was incredibly knowledgeable, fun and happy to answer all of our questions – even when they weren’t about the tour or Prague!
It was a great way to explore the city and I’ll definitely be checking out their tours in other cities.
The Craft Beer & Food Tasting is 65 euro per person, including drinks and food. You can find out more here
- FEELING FANCY: Terasa U Zlate studne is located just under the Prague Castle and a five-minute walk from the Charles Bridge. Annually voted the best restaurant in the Czech Republic, it serves food on three floors, make sure you book the roof terrace for the best views of the city! Mains start at 750 czk (£25) – book here
- TRADITIONAL DISHES: Lokál is a great and affordable lunch spot to head to for a classic Czech meal. Mains start at 105 czk (£3.60!). Book here
- FOR BRUNCH: Cafe Savoy serves a luxurious breakfast with fresh pastries and cakes, in a historical setting with an a-listed Neo-Renaissance ceiling dating back to 1893. Czech (HA) out the menu here
I hope you enjoyed my guide. Is there somewhere I missed? Let me know so I can visit next time. CC x
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