Prague: Do It

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Prague has been on the “must see” list for ages.  So many people have told me about it, all of them shocked when I reply I hadn’t been.  I had a few days to spend in Europe after a work trip and decided those few days would be perfect for Prague.  Although it was winter, the weather was going to hold out and be relatively sunny and pleasant.  Prague is a great short attention trip–there’s plenty to see, the city is filled with charming architecture, and it’s a great value.

Prague Astronomical Clock

We spent 3 days/2 nights in Prague and that felt like the perfect amount of time.  Enough to explore the city, hit a few great restaurants, and feel like you’ve seen the sights.  English is widely spoken (in fact, it’s a really popular spot for American expats), everything is really cheap, and people are friendly.

 

 

See it

Old Town Square:  Start here–Old Town is incredibly charming.  There are museums and the highlight–the 600 year old Astronomical clock.  There was always someone blowing huge bubbles in the square as well (which made for cool pictures!).  You can wander the streets around Old Town and discover a bunch of museums, galleries, shops, and coffee houses.

Old Town Square

Prague Castle:  Across the river from Old Town, the castle is spectacular.  Home of the President of the Czech Republic as well as dating back to the 9th century, it’s enormous and beautiful.  A must see.

Prague Castle

Petrin Tower:  For the best views of Prague, head over to the funicular at Ujezd and ride up the hill to the tower.  You can take an elevator or climb the stairs to the top (it’s taller than the Eiffel Tower).  Great views of the city from the top, situated in the middle of Petrin Park on a hill.

Petrin Tower

Charles Bridge: The pedestrian bridge crosses the river and is old–built in the 1300s.  Lots of good views to be had–Prague is a pretty town.

A great view of Prague and river

Franz Kafka Museum:  On the left bank of the river, just north of the Charles Bridge, is the Kafka museum, complete with urinating sculpture that has 2 guys urinating out famous Czech quotes in a pond between them.

The original pissing contest

Torture museum:  Apparently there are a few interesting museums in Prague–this one was no exception.  The Museum of Torture Devices didn’t disappoint with it’s displays, pictures of the devices in use, or detailed descriptions of how the devices were used.

The stocks

Dancing House:  A wonderful example of Frank Gehry architecture on the river.

Gehry Dancing House

John Lennon Wall:  A graffiti wall on the left bank where in the “old days” of the 80s, people would paint lyrics and Beatles-inspired art.

Some good street art

Eat It

Eats in Prague tend to go full meat or full veg.  Definitely opposite ends of the spectrum.  Czech food is typically very heavy on the meat and starch and there’s plenty of it around.  Perhaps as a rebuttal, Prague also has a booming vegetarian/vegan scene.

Lehka hlava:  Or “clear head” in English, it’s a cosy vegetarian spot just south of the Charles Bridge.  Served up a massive variety of veg dishes and drinks on it’s large menu.

Meat & Greet:  A hip burger house in old town serving up delicious burgers (and veggie ones) with tasty fries, sauces, and drinks.

Drinks at Meat & Greet

U supa: The oldest brewery and restaurant in Prague (from the 15th century), this is your spot if you’re looking for beer and large quantities of meat.  Maybe steer away from the fermented vegetables if your server tries to push them on you.

Pasta Fresca:  A fantastic spot for fresh pasta.   You can watch it being made downstairs.  Upstairs is a counter bar.

Trdelnik: These “tunnel” shaped pastries baked over coals and covered in sugar and nuts are tasty.  Get yours from the booth making them fresh and hot in the town square, you won’t be disappointed.  Other outlets serve cold ones, some filled with cream or ice cream.  Skip those.  The fresh one is where it’s at.

 

Sleep it

Cosmopolitan Hotel:  A fantastic 5 star choice at a 2 star price.  Located just on the edge of Old Town, the Cosmopolitan rooms are large and modern and the price can’t be beat.  We had an odd room on the top floor with a skylight window (no “real” windows) which was cool the first night, but started to feel a little closed in after that.  Get a room on a lower floor.  Breakfast in the adjoining restaurant was amazing–the bright market-like restaurant had tons of options.

 

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