Czech Republic: Prague

Intro to Prague

Prague was captured early in World War II and thus escaped the bombings that destroyed many European cities.  That combined with a lack of investment during the 40 year Soviet occupation makes Prague one of Europe’s best preserved cities. The gothic old town and main square are as colorful and magical as any you’d find in Europe. In today’s Prague, the majority of people no longer remember communism and what you’ll find is a young vibrant city where English is common and prices are still cheaper than Western Europe.

 

Accessibility

It is possible to find direct flight from some large airports to Prague.  Situated in central Europe, it’s about a 8.5 hour flight from the east coast.  Prague makes for a great 4 day destination (at least 3 nights) or as part of a broader Eastern European trip.

When you’re in the city, most places in the old town are walkable and the city’s metro is easy to navigate.

 

When we went

The Mrs visited in February 2005 and May 2009.  Together we visited in December 2010.

 

What we did

There are three main neighborhoods in Prague — the old town, the castle quarter and the new town.  The old town has the iconic gothic square often used as a symbol of Prague, Charles Bridge and the evocative Jewish quarter. The first place you should go upon arrival is the old town square; grab a drink at one of the covered cafes, then meander through the medieval lanes over to Charles Bridge.

View of the town main square from the old town hall.

On the other side of the Vltava River from the old town is the castle quarter, home to the imposing Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral.  Tram 22 drops you off right in front of the castle complex.

View of Prague Castle on the hill

Just outside the city you can find great bike paths along the river.

The Mrs took an organized bike trip with Praha Bikes out to Karlstein Castle.  Only about 25km from the city it was an easy relatively flat trip out and you’re able to take your bike on the train back into the city.

It was a nice to bike through cute little sleepy towns.

 

 

Accommodations

The Green Garland Pension (U Zeleneho Vence); Prague.  A great little BnB centrally located in the old town with exposed beam ceilings and creaky staircases.

Art nouveau styled buildings

 

Restaurants:

Medvidku. An old beer hall in a medieval cellar.  Pork is popular in Prague and the pig knuckle with sauerkraut is delicious here.  Budvar beer is the drink of choice and you’ll find it at every bar and restaurant.

Franz Kafta Cafe; near the jewish quarter. We had some Budvar and apple struedel at this cute coffeehouse near the jewish quarter.

U Osla v Kolebce Pub; located in the castle district near Neruda St.  This is a little pub with an arched ceiling serving great wiener schnitzel and pork filled potato dumplings.

Restaurace u Provaznice.  Located in the old town and it’s known for its roast pork.

Restaurant u Prince Terrace; located in the old town.  Modern bar serving tapas and cocktails. Rooftop terrace bar has great views of the city.

Roasted pork in the Christmas Market

Prague’s Christmas Market is one of the best in Europe, not just the atmosphere but the food selection too.

Svejk Restaurant. Traditional Czech cuisine.

Hlucna Samota (Loud Solitude); located in the new town. Great place for dinner inside with it’s creaky wooden floors and exposed brick walls or outside in their sidewalk seating area.

Usudu Bar; underground bar in a hidden maze of wine cellar rooms…caters to the younger crowd.

 

Things to do:

Troja Palace

Praha Bikes

Czech Beer Festival; May.

Troja Palace; Prague

Pinkas Synagogue

Museum of Communism 

 

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