Befitting of the highly cultured individuals Bianca and I are, while in Prague we dived into a few shots of the local drop, Absinthe. If it is good enough for the likes of Vincent van Gogh, and Oscar Wilde then damn it, it’s good enough for us too. At first all our taste buds screamed “abandon ship”, then the mouth numbs, the gut churns. When the Green Fairy kicks, your knees swash and then buckle. Luckily the house music of Prague clubs modify these jerks into an odd dance and before long, ‘the moves’ flowed free of inhibition. Another shot you say dear? Why that would be lovely sir…
Prague kicked off our week and a half trip which would also cover Vienna and end up in Budapest for New Years. It was the day after Christmas 2014 when we arrived in Prague. The beauty of Prague hit us immediately. Strolled along the Vltava river from the bus to our hostel briefly snatched our minds away from the cold. With all its initial charm we were excited to see what Prague has to offer and the deeper we went into the city the more special it became. We had just over 3 days to explore this beautiful destination making it the perfect location for a long weekend trip from London.
- Mosaic House hostel = £10.44p/n
- Guláš (beef goulash) – Originating from hungry but now is a common dish all over the Czech Republic. The goulash is usually served with dumplings. This is a delicious meal served up in most traditional restaurants, make sure you try it!
- Párek v rohlíku – Czech style hot dog, what more can you ask for. You can find these stalls everywhere and are a great food on the go.
- Pivo (beer) – Czech Republic is known for their good beer, you can go up the hill near the Prague castle to the Strahov monastic brewery to try the best beer in the country. The beer is brewed on the premise and was stated to be a brewery since the 11th century however it was closed 1907-2000 and used as farm houses, in 2000 they restored it to its glorious origins as a brewery. Try the chicken wings and beer they go hand in hand.
Must see and do
- Do a free walking tour.
Prague is superbly exhibited through the walking tour. It was an entertaining tour which we learned lots about the city. So rich is the history that the majority of the buildings came with a special tale. We learned of Hitler’s plans to create the “Museum of an Extinct Race.” We went through the Jewish quarter and saw the cemetery. Our guide shared his local knowledge about beer monasteries, food and cafe’s. Really worthwhile, just wrap up because Prague is cold!
- Wander through the old town
The old town square is bustling with people. Tourists crowd in to witness the oldest astronomical clock in the world and its hourly show of the Apostles.
- Walk Across the Charles Bridge up to the Castle and the Strahov beer monastery
The Prague castle sets off the skyline beautifully when looking from the city up the hill. However from the castle looking out the view over Prague stretches miles. It really is worth the trek up the hill and you will want to cross the Charles Bridge to get there. Charles Bridge is a spectacular bridge covered in statues and tourists. Once up the hill a short stroll behind the castle will take you to the beer monastery mentioned earlier. Take a stein of refreshing beer and relax before heading down the hill back to the city.
- Go on a pub crawl
The party scene is huge in Prague. With and hour of drinking free beer, wine and absinthe shots then further shots at the door of each club along the crawl the Green Fairy was playing games with us. Each club along the tour was exponentially more fun than the last culminating in the notorious 5 story mega club karlovy lazne, where they have an area for each genre from 80s classics with a light up D-floor to hard house and a hip hop pit. Wild night awesome fun!
Prague is also home to a dynamic Jazz scene, with plenty of live Jazz in bars all over the city to enjoy.
Tips and advice
- Be prepared for cold and wear clothing to suit those conditions. What we thought was freezing in the lower areas of Prague’s inner city had nothing when you added the wind chill factor you get up at the castle.
- Comfortable Shoes. Most of the streets are uneven cobbles, your legs and feet will thank you at the end of the day.
- Most Cafe’s/ bars have free WIFI.
- Get out your Czech Koruna money before you arrive. Prague is known as having a high scam rate and dodgy money exchange tellers. Be smart and if you need to withdraw money I would recommend using an ATM before exchange bureaus. Otherwise make sure you set a figure before you hand over your money.