The first feeling, upon arriving in the centre of Prague, is wonderment.
This just might be the most beautiful city in Europe.
Cinematic charms aside, the second happy feeling soon presents itself; the Czech Republic is not on the euro.
That’s right, your hard-earned Canadian dollar will most definitely go further here than in Paris or London. Which means you can stay longer and delight in the discoveries that exist beyond Old Town.
So, using our insider intel, here’s how we’d suggest you spend three days in Prague…
WHERE YOU’LL STAY
Merchant’s Yard Residence is conveniently located in a cozy 14th-century nook of Old Town. Which is just a skip away from Týn Church as well as many low to lavish shopping and dining options around Palladium and on Pa?ížská Street. Each suite offers ample space to spread out, while bathrooms are kitted out with deep soaker tubs and heated floors (aka: the best thing ever).
WiFi is complimentary, and so is breakfast – served every morning in the cavernous Vabene restaurant.
While the price tag on a stay at MYR is infinitely reasonable, you’ll feel like a wealthy local just popping in and out of your pied-à-terre.
After breakfast, head over to Old Town Square and hear the Astronomical Clock chime eleven to signal the start of your Prague Underground Tour. It turns out 1000 years of history make for a fascinating foray into the city’s medieval past and wartime invasions.
Lunch at Pivovary Staropramen. This pub is part of the Potrefena Husa chain and reliably serves great traditional fare at an even better price.
Stroll along Narodni and over the bridge towards Prague Castle. Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around this area before making your way across the Charles Bridge at sunset.
When it comes to dinner, you might be surprised that Prague offers a global menu and a variety of quality options. Two of our downtown favourites are Made In Japan and Cafe Cafe (Rytirska 10, Prague 1). There are also molti Italiani living in Prague, so there was bound to be a ‘best pizza’ listing…Get true Napoletana style at Pizza Nuova.
Great for breakfast, lunch, as well as afternoon tea and cake (mmm, cake), Bakeshop (Kozi 1, Prague 1) is where you’ll find your morning buzz.
And now that your jetlag has subsided, it’s time to get what you came for: BEER.
The best way is to book a tour with the experts at Beer Masters. They’ll cover 1500 years in three hours at three famed microbreweries, including the most famous (U Fleku) and the oldest (U Medvidku). From light and dark brews, to naturally flavoured sour cherry and nettle, taste an incredible range, as well as traditional food along the way. You’ll walk away with a smile on your face and loads of insight into not only the Czech beer industry, but what’s going on worldwide.
With the rest of the afternoon available you can mosey on through Wenceslas Square and hit the Mucha Museum (Panska 7). This is one of those galleries that you can easily do in an hour. And then see the city from another point of view…grab some snacks and get on the Vltava! Rent one of the pedal boats for a self-guided river cruise in the spring, summer, or early fall. It’s basically the definition of bliss.
Dinner tonight must pair well with a pilsner (that is the theme for the day, after all) so we suggest savoury Thai food at Erawan.
You’ve got your bearings and the city has opened up, so start your final day with a fresh juice at Cake Cafe (Jungmannovo nam. 21, Prague 1). Just a stone’s throw from Wenceslas Square, this spot is a welcome escape from the crowds.
From there you can take the metro to Namesti Miru – site of the neo-Gothic Church of St. Ludmila. If you’re into more modern curiosities, note that the metro station has the EU’s longest escalator. Namesti Miru is also the centre of a lovely neighbourhood with quite a few restaurants and cafes. One of which is Sweet Secret of Raw. If you like a “clean” dessert, then you’ll love this place. Very yummy raw treats served in a quiet and beautiful space.
If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on the no. 10 tram and make your way to Prague’s botanical gardens. A bit of a hike, but the views of the city are definitely worth it. Oh, and wine festivals obviously make it extra fun.
On any one evening, check out Cafe Cafe for drinks. We also loved Jewel (Rytí?ská 529/3, Prague 1) for its non-smoking, chatty vibe. Good wines and a very creative cocktail list make this a gem.
EAT ON THE STREET
Starting late Fall, the street food vendors in Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square serve up hot wine and the traditional fare, so you don’t forget that you are in the land of sausage, potatoes, and goulash. And don’t pass on the trdelnik – this rolled pastry dusted with cinnamon sugar is undoubtedly something you’ll wish the Czechs would start exporting.
#ROADTRIP TRAVEL TIP
Cesky Krumlov is an easy two and a half hour drive from Prague, and it’s Bohemia’s finest fairy tale. Booking one of the romantic little guesthouses well in advance is recommended. As far as food goes, we enjoyed goulash by the open fire at Travellers’ Restaurant. After touring the State Castle and Chateau Museum (a UNESCO World Heritage site), an Irish Coffee and a ginger tea at Kolektiv hit the spot.
Now, anyone up for a long weekend in Prague? We thought so.
As always, you can find more photos on this, and details on many other destinations, at freshpresse.com.
Cover image from: istock.com/QQ7