Prague is among Europe's most beautiful cities. Its buildings, cathedrals, palaces, and gardens are probably an architects' dream. Better yet, its sights are as stunning from the inside as they are from afar. I loved wandering on its cobblestone streets and enjoying its unforgettable views. Here are my tips on how to czech out Prague!
HOW TO GET AROUND
Prague Airport Transfers: If you prefer the convenience of a guaranteed driver and fare, I'd recommend booking a private car with Private Airport Transfers via their website here. Upon entering my details and flight information, I received an immediate confirmation email and fixed rate for the selected car size. The friendly driver was waiting at the arrival hall with our names on a signboard, and whisked us away to our hotel comfortably in a Mercedes. They also provided us with a surprise complimentary tour of Prague city.
UBER: I’d highly recommend using an UBER to get around Prague. Regular taxis are plenty but from my experience, tend to double, triple or even quadruple their rates for tourists particularly when it's late in the evening. Using UBER will guarantee an estimated bill amount before getting into the car, which will only change if there's traffic.
Walking: Many of Prague's sights, both historic and contemporary, are within pedestrian only zones. So put on comfortable shoes that were made for walking and wander its cobblestone streets.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Prague is divided into numbered districts: Prague 1,2,3...to 10. Prague 1 is the heart of the tourist district and is within walking distance to many of the sightseeing stops. Although probably pricier than other districts, I'd recommend staying here for sheer convenience.
The Grand Bohemia Hotel is a fantastic 5 star pick for guests who wish to stay in the prime touristic area called Prague 1. The hotel exudes an air of classic chic, and offers comfortable, air-conditioned, and clean rooms. The staff are very friendly and welcoming. Breakfast includes a nice selection of bites, and better yet, eggs can be made to order.
The Barcelo Old Praha offers an unbeatable location in the city center, and is a great 4 star hotel pick for travelers. It has a contemporary look and feel to it, and its rooms offer both a view and A/C, the latter being compulsory during summer. While the hotel doesn't offer the typical concierge service, staff are happy to help accommodate any requests.
The Grandior Hotel is a great hotel providing exceptional value for money. The rooms are incredibly spacious and very clean. The breakfast selection was vast and compelling. Staff were also very happy and eager to lend a helping hand when needed.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
The Charles Bridge is a gorgeous stone bridge built in the 14th century, to replace its predecessor which had collapsed due to fierce flooding. The bridge is lined with statues most notably that of John of Nepomunk, a priest who was thrown into the Vlatva River in 1393 for allegedly refusing to divulge the queen of Bohemia’s secrets to the suspicious king. Legend has it that his body miraculously stayed afloat with 5 stars shining above it. Walk over the bridge to admire the 30 saints' statues and sit along the river banks to enjoy the serene calm of the Vlatva River.
Climb the narrow staircase up the Old Town Bridge Tower at the foot of Charles Bridge for breathtaking panoramic views of the city. At 100 Kc a head, you’ll be dumbfounded by the beauty from the top, and can capture epic photos of the Vlatva River from one side, and the turquoise church domes amid the orange rooftops from the other.
Head over to the Lennon Wall, a beautiful display of wall art contributed to by many, to honor the message of love and peace shared by John Lennon in his music. In the 1980s, the wall was used by young Czechs to voice their grievances about the Communist regime using images or Western lyrics which were banned by the communists. Despite repeated bleach attempts by the secret police to prevent the youth from using it, the wall would be painted over again, and so was later surrendered over to the public to use freely.
Rent a Pedal Boat along the Vlatva River and glide through its waters. The boats are an alternative way to see the city's breathtaking beauty along the surface of the Vlatva. They're also an excellent workout to burn some of the calories from the trdelnik pastries you're likely to be having. There are several boat rental companies along the river, so shop around before hopping on. Also, make sure to pack along a few bites and drinks for the ride.
Spend an afternoon at the awesome Letna Beer Garden. The park has one of the best views of the Old Town and is nice to walk in as you take in the incredible panorama. There’s a small and busy kiosk to grab drinks from before finding a seat at one of the many picnic benches. If getting here by cab, make sure to get dropped off at the eastern part of the park.
WHERE TO EAT
Head over to Coffee Room, or better yet, what is should be called - Avocado Heaven. This cute little place offers spectacular coffee and epic avocado spreads on sourdough bread. If you have a sweet tooth, definitely opt for the toasted banana bread that’s topped with peanut butter.
Have some high eggspectations when you wander into Café Savoy which will not disappoint. Popular with both locals and tourists alike, Café Savoy offers a fantastic menu and an omelette savoy with gruyère cheese which is to die for. If there’s any room left, complete the experience with none other than their french toast.
The spinach tagliatelle pasta at Pasta Fresca had to be one of my favorite meals in Prague. The combination of the pasta and mushrooms with the cream and walnuts was phenomenal. While the place looks deceivingly small upon entry, venture downstairs for a larger and somewhat warmer dining area where you can also get to see the pasta freshly made.
Book a table at Las Adelitas on Male Namesti for good Mexican food, epic margaritas, and entertaining staff. The guacamole with chips were a great start, followed by a combination of tacos and burritos to share. The wraps are served lukewarm, so don’t be shy to ask for them to heat well.
If you’re surprised that I haven’t mentioned any Czech restaurants yet, that’s because the city has plenty of superb food and I've saved the best for last. Head over to Cafe Mistral and order the beef tenderloin with traditional Svickova sauce (slow cooked cream & vegetable sauce) served with homemade herbal bread dumplings. SO GOOD.