As soon as we bought our house, I went a bit mad with booking trips away for the latter half of the year. Most of our annual leave hadn’t been taken due to the unknown of buying a house (so stressful!), so, after the summer holidays had finished, each month a break was booked (September we visited Lille, October was The Black Forest and December was the biggie – New York!).
That left, in my mind, a big hole to be filled for November. Prague was never somewhere I particularly had a vested interest in visiting. My first (very wrong!) impressions were that Prague is a stag do city – cheap and full of lairy brits.
It wasn’t until a couple of people I personally knew had come back to highly recommend Prague, timed with Hand Luggage Only posting some gorgeous photos of Prague on Instagram, I started to become obsessed with visiting. It looked beautiful.
With a couple more days of annual leave to use, I convinced David that Prague was a good way to use them up!
Getting There & Where To Stay
We visited Prague mid-week, in part because I have heard how busy Prague was over the weekend. We flew EasyJet from Bristol on Sunday evening and came home Wednesday afternoon giving us just over two and a half days in the city. The airport itself is very close to the centre, approximately 30-35 minutes by car.
We arranged for our hotel to collect us, costing us 550czk which worked out to be about £20. There may be cheaper ways to reach the city centre, but as we were arriving quite late at night, it was nice to have someone there waiting for us!
We stayed at Old Town Square Apartments, a cheap apartment right in the heart of the old town (we were quite literally 30 seconds away from the old town square). It was spotlessly clean, absolutely humongous and the location was excellent. It did involve walking up a few flights of stairs (there is no lift, so completely unsuitable for those with mobility issues) and the reception is about a 3-minute walk away from the apartments themselves. However, this was all explained prior to arriving and the reception was quick to respond to any questions I had.
At £60 per night, I would highly recommend staying here, just for the location alone!
Being in eastern Europe, Prague is a cheaper destination to visit when compared to places such as Spain or Italy. The currency is known as Czech koruna or Czech crown, but some places also accept euro. For easy conversion £1 is equal to about 30czk (at time of publication).
Flights from the UK take only a couple of hours and it only takes approximately half an hour to reach the city centre by car.
The Czech Republic is one of the safest countries in the world, ranking 7th on the global peace index. Prague is a busy, touristy city but crime rates are relatively low except for the usual pick-pocketing. It is always wise to be safety conscious and alert whenever visiting somewhere new, but Prague did feel very safe to walk around at night compared to other European cities I have visited.
Where to Eat
Being a vegetarian need not be too difficult in a country with a traditionally meat-heavy cuisine. After some research I discovered a couple of vegetarian restaurants including Lehka Hlava and it’s sister restaurant Maitrea (both in the old town). In the new town there is a vegan restaurant aptly called Vegans Prague, serving traditional Czech dishes but made vegan.
Another notable mention is Bakeshop, only a couple of minutes walk away from our apartment (I also spotted one in the new town too). Bakeshop is full with all kinds of sweet treats and healthy lunch options but it is also a great place for breakfast as it serves filled pastries, toasted bagels, yogurts and fruit salads.
Finally, for something a bit special make time to visit Pernicku Sen, a gingerbread shop serving the most spectacularly decorated gingerbread. Treat yourself to some tasty gingerbread and buy some that come wrapped up as they make a lovely souvenir for friends and family!
What To Do
Prague is a beautiful historic city, full to the brim of things to see, do and explore. Prior to visiting I read countless 48-hour guides to Prague, full with detailed itineraries on how to make the most out of the city.
We went in November and it was bloody freezing, so we decided to take Prague at our own pace. We opted for a slowed down city break that suits us much better. We aren’t ones to visit something just because we have to. While we barely scratched the surface, we did manage to tick off some of the iconic must-dos in Prague.
The centre of Prague is split into two; old town and new town (also known as ‘lesser town’ or Mala Strana). In the old town, you have notable landmarks such as the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, Old Town Hall and The Astronomical Clock. There are also plenty of cobbled side streets to get lost in, full of souvenir shops, pubs and restaurants.
Take a free walking tour (there are loads to choose from, all with a meeting point in the old town square outside touristy information) to learn a little bit about the history of Prague and the Czech Republic.
The Valletta river separates the old town and new and you can cross the infamous Charles Bridge, the most photographed in the world, to reach either side. The Charles Bridge is pedestrianised and gets very busy – so getting up early to beat the crowds is a must if you want to get that perfect photo op!
The new town has a lot more going on, with landmarks including St Nicholas Church, St Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle and The Jewish Quater. A Prague Castle tour would be a good place to start, to get your bearings and learn the history of the castle.
There is also The John Lennon Wall, although we didn’t make time to see that.
Views of Prague
Prague skyline is one of the most beautiful in Europe and there are plenty of places that offer quite the view. In the old town, there is The Old Town Hall Tower which gives you a lookout over the old town square (highly recommend this!) and there is also The Old Town Bridge Tower located on the old town side of Charles Bridge. Here, you can get views of the new town, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.
Over in the new town, there are a few good viewing points including Lesser Town Bridge Tower (the other side of Charles Bridge looking out over to old town), St Vitus Cathedral viewing platform (be warned it is a steep climb of nearly 300 steps!), Petrin Hill and also Letna Park.
Prague took my breath away as one of the most beautiful European cities I have ever visited. I would thoroughly recommend visited Prague for a short break – it had an interesting history, friendly people and beautiful architecture. Plus the food and drink were cheap. What more do you need?
Have you ever visited Prague? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
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