This blog post has been a long time coming since my trip to Prague took place in February, but it’s still fresh in my memory as one of the most picturesque cities I’ve seen in the world. Prague is a magical place, known globally as a hub of historical and cultural significance and fortunate to be one of the few major European cities that evaded devastation during both World Wars. Since 1992 it’s been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the beauty of the city almost makes you forget about the political turmoil its people witnessed during decades of Soviet rule, the Velvet Revolution (nothing to do with velour) and not-so-recent split from Slovakia in 1993.
My favorite flatmate Josie and I left on a Friday and returned to London on Sunday, so we had just the right amount of time for exploring the highlights. You could easily extend your stay and experience more sights further outside of the capital, but we both felt content with 3 days for the basics.
Sights and Activities:
Old town is the center of tourist activity.
Prague’s medieval astronomical clock is the 3rd oldest in the world and the oldest functioning astronomical clock. You can also climb the clock tower for stunning 360 degree views.
Charles Bridge is a 14th century arched structure that connects the Castle side to the Old Town side of Prague.
Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral are sights you must see. Border control shouldn’t let you out of the country until you show your ticket receipt as proof of viewing them. The Prague Castle is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest ancient castle in the world and now houses the President of the Czech Republic. Rough life.
Lobkowicz Palace is a must-do. It shares the story of Prague from the perspective of the Lobkowicz family who were exiled and stripped of all their possessions and then returned after the Iron Curtain was lifted and have slowly reclaimed most of their property.
The Jewish Quarter is between Old Town and the river. We went on Saturday and most things were closed for Sabbath. Lesson learned.
The Dish on Dining:
Cafe Savoy was the perfect lunch spot on the Castle side of the river. It’s a 15 minute walk from Charles Bridge. We found delicious dinner choices at Nostress and Cafe Imperial. And don’t miss Bakeshop for coffee and pastries.
We booked a flight + hotel weekend package on British Airways. Prague is the most affordable European city I’ve ventured to thus far. The hotel we stayed in was 987 Hotel. Great customer service, wifi and breakfast included, and walking distance to the train station (where airport bus drop off and pickup is) and most importantly, the sights.
After being beaten down by the sky high prices and horrendous USD to GBP conversion rate on the daily in London, Prague was a breath of fresh air. Here’s a few sample costs to give you an idea.
– Coffee with milk = $1.50
– Dinner for two with drinks = $35
– Cocktail = $3
Know Before You Go:
- The Airport Express bus will get you into town in 30 minutes for 6CZK. If you use Google Maps to route your journey it comes up as a public transportation option.
- The Jewish Quarter Museum and Cemetery is closed on Saturday for the Sabbath.
- The Czech Republic’s currency is the Czech Koruna. ($1 = 20CZK at today’s exchange rate). There are ATMs aplenty at the airport.
The moral of this story is that you should really “Czech” it out for yourself sometime. I had to say it!