I’m a couple of days late on blogging about my Europe trip, but I’ve been fighting a cold and getting settled in at my new job. Excuses aside, here is the first installment of my Euro2016 blog series! In these blog posts, my goal is to highlight my favorite aspects of each city in terms of the scenery, culture, people, food, and things to do. Hope you enjoy!
Prague is a city that hardly requires an agenda. If you are staying in Old Town (which is where most choose to stay), a nice little stroll around the city will introduce you to the beautiful architecture colored in various pastels. A trip to Prague is not complete without a walk across the Vltava River on one of the pedestrian bridges, a pub-hopping excursion (beers are cheaper than water!), and a stop for soft-serve ice cream in a donut cone. Below, you’ll find some of my favorite spots in the city.
Prague Castle (more specifically, the view from the top):
The Prague Castle is located on the west side of Old Town and can be reached by foot, tram, or subway. Our group decided to walk the 25 minutes to Prague – on the way we made multiple pit stops for ice cream, donut cones, and beer, because why wouldn’t you? Once you get to the general area of the Prague Castle, you’ll notice that the a steady uphill climb awaits you. The hike up is just amazing. You’ll slowly start to fawn over the skyline of Prague (though lower than most big cities, it’s still beautiful in a rural, bucolic way). If you get tired, there are small cafes, beer gardens, and winery to entertain you as you take breaks. As you approach the top, viewing platforms are sprinkled throughout for the perfect photo-op of the cityscape. Once you reach the castle (and you won’t be able to miss it), you can choose to enter the actual castle and all of its exhibits or climb to the top of the tower. Technically, you could do both, but you have to pay similar amounts for each so I would choose one. Our group chose the extra hike up the tower; however, if you have the time to roam around the castle, I’d recommend getting a ticket to stroll around. On top of the castle is where you can see all of Prague and its hidden treasures.
Donut Ice Cream Cones or the Trdelník:
To indulge your appetite after the hike to Prague castle, I’d definitely recommend taking a trip to an ice cream shop. If it’s on the way, visit Good Food Coffee and Bakery. If you cross the Charles pedestrian bridge after the Prague Castle, you’ll eventually run into it on the right side. Traditionally in Prague you’ll find these donut treats called the trdelník, which is a donut cup made by spiraling dough, sugar, cinnamon, and butter around a metal apparatus. The dough is then grilled evenly to crispy perfect. At Good Food, they’ve made these donut cups into an ice cream cone, which is then served with soft-serve vanilla ice cream and your choice of Nutella, strawberries, and/or whipped cream. Literally, one of the best things I consumed in Europe. You just have to do it when you’re in Prague. If you’re not close to Good Food, there are a lot of stands in Prague that offer the traditional donut cup and ice cream combo (featured in the photo above) – so fear not! This is going to be my only food related recommendation, because frankly, we didn’t have a particular predilection for any of the restaurants there. Be prepared to be on a liquid carb diet in Prague. 😉
Prague Beer Museum (PBM):
Photo from Prague Beer Museum Facebook
To quench your thirst after a trip to the ice cream stand, I’d recommend Prague Beer Museum if you want to sample an array of beers. You’ll notice in many European countries that pubs and restaurants will only serve a small selection of beers – this has to do with some regulation I never bothered looking into. Anyways, there are 2 PBM locations that you can choose from – one of which serves a full menu (Prague 2) and the other serving a smaller bar menu (Prague 1). Here you’ll find upwards of 30 local beers you can try, anything from blondes, lagers, IPAs, you name it. Our group brought in a board game to play and the staff was perfectly fine and accommodating. Definitely a good pre-game destination.
Photo from Prague.eu
After everyone has gotten in their fair share of brews at PBM, you cannot pass up the nightlife. Now, I’ve never thought Prague would be a city for bars and clubs, but I was most definitely wrong. Once 12am hits, the night crawlers come out and the city lights up with the drunken masses. There was one club in particular that our group really enjoyed, called Roxy. I don’t remember the DJ, but on a Saturday night, they were throwin’ down mad beats in this huge two-story nightclub. We didn’t have any trouble getting in, but there was cover – I believe it was about 10 Euro each person. Drinks, as always, were overpriced, but the vibes were good and the company even better. I would definitely revisit.
The only thing I’m missing is a highlight on the bridges, which there are multiple you can walk across. The main attraction of walking across a bridge is one, for photo-ops, and two to see how the Vltava river separates the two sides of Prague. It’s gorgeous because it looks like a cascading valley of buildings.
Prague is truly a hidden gem because not many people think of it as a huge travel destination; the serenity of the city allows to better soak in its beauty. You could do Prague in 2 days if you’re fast, but the city has so much culture and landscape to explore that it most certainly merits more time. If I stayed longer, I would have liked to visit more towns (outside of Old Town), try out a couple more breweries, and get a better feel of what Czech food is. But until then, I’ll have this picture to remember Prague by: