If you have been to Europe you will probably know Prague is a top contender on most peoples holiday lists. I don’t know if it’s because 10 years ago it felt somehow undiscovered, it’s cheap as chips, or that beer and water are interchangeable items. Either way – it’s a holiday spot and it’s full of fucking people.
In an effort to keep you a relaxed and almost joyful adventurer I’ve put together my top 10 (+1) travel tips on for Prague.
There are like 1000 hotels in Prague, 500 airbnb’s and tons of hostels – choice can be too much, and really your time is precious. When we hit Prague we did the spontaneous booking thing with Hotel Tonight, and it worked out a treat. Our hotel was 5 star, it cost 80€ a night and it was in the center of town. BOOM. Yes – I’m sure you could get some good deals planning months in advance, but sometimes it’s nice to just be thrown into life.
TIPS: Go for a classic feel. When you head to places like Prague or really anywhere in the Eastern Block, the old regal looking places are going to be the most breathtaking. Yeah design hotels are somehow cool, but they loose the charm of the city and if it’s one thing that Prague has, it’s charm.
TAKE THE TRAIN.. OR BUS !
The train from Berlin to Prague takes around 4 hours. Think about that for a minute. That’s like: 1 sandwich and a quick gossip, 1 movie, some time admiring the scenery and the organization of your bag to get off the train. Really – this is nuts. The one really nice thing about coming from Australia is that travel isn’t so complicated. From Melbourne – your closest major city is Sydney, and that’s within Australia. Sydney is a 9-11 hour drive – so the fact that you can catch a train, have pretty scenery and manage a new COUNTRY (fuck) in 4’ish hours, is mind blowing.
TIPS: The hot tip is the bus. Yeah, ok – the bus is probably the least glamorous thing you can do in land travel – however, it’s fucking cheap. Berlin > Prague is around 8€ if you book earlier enough.
HAVLÍČKOVY SADY – GRÉBOVKA VINEYARD
Well this is a magical place. Really. In a public park, among the trees you will find Grébovka’s Vineyard. Possibly it’s because I have a very strict view on where vineyards should in relation to a cities Central Business District, but this was a thrill. Wine, cheese, a meat platter and a view of Prague’s sprawling suburbs on a 27’C day – it was sort of shit dreams are made of.
A general tip for Prague is to count your change – you are working in large denominations which can get super confusing when it’s not actually worth so much > this tip is particularly true for here. Whether old mate meant to short change us by ~250 czech koruna or not is debatable – but it happened and had we not noticed it would have soured the entire experience of magical winery vibes.
TIPS: It’s up on a hill, in a wood type house. When you are at the bottom of the vineyard you look up the hill to the left – it was somehow complicated to locate. Just follow your nose, up hills to little wooden huts.
LETNÁ BEER GARDEN
I might be a bit effected as we ventured to this spot on a 30’C day – but there actually may be nothing better than a beer in the Letná Beer Garden. Perched high on a hill (was a lonely goat, yoddel !..Sound of Music, anyone?) you will find an almost paradise of Czech beer, sausage and rye bread and a view that rivals most of the fair city that is Prague.
The really cool thing about this spot is that we found it to be less tourist and more of a locals vibe, which if you have ever ventured to Prague can be a bit of a rarity.
TIPS: Get a sausage. Really. But be careful – but they do spit fat at you, it is red coloured – it will stain your favourite blue shirt…
I’m of the feeling that Prague is full of Irish pubs and ugly drunk tourists – but it’s not, if you head to Tretter’s. Yes it’s nice to have a pint with the English and get rowdy, but actually (no offense people from the UK) I’d rather not. Tretter’s is an oasis in the center of town where you more of less step into old world cocktails and wooden details. You name it – they can probably make it. And if you can’t name it? They have a cocktail list that’s about 25 pages long to sort through. Cheers to drinking your value !
TIPS: Don’t be intimidated by the menu, or the staff.
Lokál is great for a few reasons; to start you off it’s in town, so not complicated to get to…Not that Prague in itself is particularly complicated – but I find dealing with street names in a language I am absolutely not familiar with a bit of a struggle – however this could just be me and my island time Australian vibes here. Secondly, it offers all your staple Czech food allowing you to really get a handle on the classic culinary experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for nouveau-gastronomy but in places rich in history/ culture/ identity – this is the perfect way to get a 360′ visual. Thirdly? It is situated inside an old horse stable/ barn. Which I think adds to the entire feeling of the experience – it’s not just a big hall built in the 90’s with a bunch of drunk idiots (there are some drunk idiots, it’s Prague – you will not avoid them) – but it’s an old barn, converted to a restaurant – serving classic Czech fair. Rad.
TIPS: Listen to your waitress/ waiter and ask their advice. When they tell which typical Czech side will suit your meal better – just go with it. They actually know better than you.
More Czech EATING ! Thank-you. Personally I don’t think you should be heading to Prague unless you are permanently hungry because really – all you do there is eat drink and sleep. U Medvídku has your classic Czech food in the center of town; the beers are cold the food hearty and their courtyard is literally the only place you should sit – don’t fuck about.
TIPS: Eat duck. Because really – everyone should eat duck.
MŮJ ŠÁLEK KÁVY
Out of the city in an area that we would describe as being similar to Kreuzberg’ish you will find Muj Šálek Kávy. At this local establishment you’re getting really delicious coffee, leafy outside seating and eggs Benedict to boot. And sometimes – you need a little bit of eggs Benedict to even out all that duck and dumplings you’ve been consuming.
TIPS: Start a day trip here which involves walking to the National Monument in Vitkov, then onto Grébovka’s Vineyard. It’s the perfect variety of food and exercise.
NATIONAL MONUMENT IN VITKOV
Seriously – you want to see Prague from a great height? Hit this. There is virtually no one here so you aren’t overwhelmed by all the tourist/ tour guides and you really are seeing the whole of Prague, from behind the largest horse statue in the Eastern parts of Europe (95% sure of that fact) – I mean if this isn’t ticking a large variety of tourist boxes, I’m not entirely sure what will.
TIPS: Walk here from Můj šálek kávy to the monument through a underground tunnel. I think you find the tunnel at the end of Thámova. Once through the tunnel you turn back on yourself, up the hill into the park, and follow your nose (or the GPS on Google Maps) to the monument.
CHARLES BRIDGE/ PRAGUE CASTLE
Ok – so to be honest, we tried to manage this bridge at around 9P to find it too overwhelming with the tourists and the general vibe of idiot people. So.. yes, I’m recommending you go over the bridge and up to the castle, but I would be really wise on the time – because any hour that people are awake and functioning is a terrible idea.
TIPS: Hit the Brige in the early hours of the morning, maybe after the disco’s, maybe just really early. But this is when there will be NO PEOPLE, and just your regular Prague types, joggin’ about – being local. The castle is open until midnight’ish. And this is really the perfect time. Take a walk (well) after dinner, bring a Czech beer and take in the view by nightfall.
TASTE OF PRAGUE TOUR
Can’t be bothered touring yourself? That’s fine, I can’t on the best of days either. But regular tours are so boring, and people are so annoying – in general. The insider tip here? Prague has you sorted with Taste of Prague (tours). These guys host a range of tours from beer, to food, to sites, to WHATEVER and they come in nice bite sized groups (of no more than 6’ish people) with the most delightful guides.
TIPS: If you are also stuck for accommodation – you can rent the teams digs in Prague. Insider info, and local accommodation = perfection.
**Special thanks to Hotel Tonight for hooking us up with accommodation and making the weekend a very real thing. XX <3