I was so pleasantly surprised with Prague! Citywise (i.e. excluding the beauty of Lauterbrunnen), of our travels so far, Prague & Florence are sitting neck and neck for first place! Call me ignorant but I had to this notion in my head that by entering Eastern Europe that things would be getting a little shabbier. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Prague is gorgeous, pristine, filled with culture, fun and it’s cheap!
Most of central Prague is walk able with many of the key attractions in reasonably close proximity (compared to Paris or Rome). They also only have 3 lines in their metro system so that’s pretty easy to work out.
We did a lot in our day, including: The main square, the astrological clock, the Jewish quarter, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, a couple of cafes, a couple of restaurants, 2 dance clubs (including the largest in Europe),
1 cocktail bar & a bunch of shopping sites (but again, shopping is limited when you only have 1 hiking pack).
For the sake of time and attention spans I’ll only expand on a few of our favourite things but feel free to comment with anything else you’d like me to expand upon J
The more I travel the more I become convinced that exploring a city should comprise of a healthy balance of tourist attractions (because some of them are actually amazing) & getting lost (+ a healthy dose of local cuisine).
Prague is a great place to get lost; there are so many hidden gems (stalls, cafes, architecture & art). Overall Prague is also a fairly safe city, so getting lost is fine – just watch out for pickpockets. Many of our Prague highlights were found on backstreets; Including this hilarious water feature (which kept us laughing for a good while):
Hemingway’s Cocktail Bar:
Another of our highlights: Hemmingway’s cocktail bar was also found on a backstreet. We’d heard that Prague is in many ways the spiritual home of Absinthe. We’re not big drinkers but within reason we’re usually up for trying anything once; after all, ‘When in [Prague]…” I definitely think it’s a ‘sometimes drink’, with 70% alcohol content drinking too much can as the saying goes have you seeing Green fairies. Apparently Van Gogh had been drinking it when he decided to chop his own ear off! With all this in mind, I was a little nervous…
We decided that if we were going to try it, we were going to have to do it right.
Hemmingway’s as we discovered was all class, quality set-up, quality service, quality drinks & reasonable prices. I highly recommend making a visit if you’re ever in Prague. Our Absinthe was served in the traditional way with a cube of sugar dissolved over it by an iced drip tap. It had a reasonably strong aniseed taste (this was after watering it down with the sugar cube), similar to Jagermeister but a little smoother. Being a licorice fan I enjoyed it.
This is one of those classic Prague sites, lined with statues, buskers and stalls. Visually this place is beautiful and it’s a great place to pick up some handcraft jewelry. Jenny managed to pick up a couple of copper earrings that she adores & hadn’t seen anywhere else. While we were there we saw a number of buskers creating giant bubbles and puppetiers whose puppets were playing the guitar. Legend also has it that there are 12 coins on the bridge the move regularly, if you rub your foot onto each of the 12 then you get a wish…you may wish you hadn’t bothered though, we had a reasonable look and couldn’t even find one!
St. Vitus Cathedral (Prague Castle)
This cathedral located within the Prague Castle (more of a palace really) grounds features some impressive gothic architecture & even better stain-glass windows (more mosaic & filled with life than your usual run of the mill stain glassed window). You can visit the rear half of the church for free but costs money to visit the front half. Half the church was satisfactory for us so after we’d finished being dazzled by the church we headed off in search of coffee.
Now its worth taking note of this special spot because it’s a bit of an insider’s tip (you can’t find it anywhere else on the internet). Walking up the Stare Zamecke Schody path to the castle on the left near to the top there’s a small café on the way up called the ‘Garden café’. We came back to it at Jenny’s insistence since we passed it going up to see the castle/church and I have to admit it was well worth coming back to check out. After the hot hill climb and the crowds at the church and castle it was just perfect to slip away to enjoy a cold cider and the awesome view.
Cool, these were a few of our favourite things about Prague, please comment if you want us to expand on anything! We’ll be back in a couple of days with our next post on Berlin!