I often swoon at the thought of walking along the fairy-tale cobblestone streets of Prague Lesser Town, watching sunset over the Charles Bridge and being swept off my feet by my prince at the ground of Prague Castle. Hey, I’m a romantic Piscean at heart. What do you expect? Yes, Prague offers us ample love and romance. I think it even evokes romance in our still as water hearts. Most importantly, it is one of the cheapest European destinations so while the Mrs. is happy, the Mr. is not complaining.
Here is a list of some of the best experiences and places to spend some one to one time with your loved one. Guess what, Prague is affordable as hell. We spend only RM 1700+ for two pax, excluding flight of course.
We took the Student Agency Bus from Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO heritage listed medieval town in Southern Bohemia that has kept its almost fairy-tale charm until today. After a smooth ride of 3 hours, we arrived to Prague. We got a 3 days (72 hours) transport pass for 310 CZK each. The passes can be used on any type of Prague public transportation for the duration of the period for which the pass is valid. Children under 6 ride free. Otherwise a 30 minutes ticket costs 24 CZK and a 90 minutes ticket costs 32 CZK.
Prague is very well connected by public transport such as metro, tram, bus and train. We took tram most of the time, as it gets us around the city without having to go up or down to the metro stations. For more information, please refer to http://www.dpp.cz/.
We checked into Red & Blue Design Hotel. We paid about RM 350 per night and booked it via www.hotelscombined.com. The hotel was fully reconstructed from a 19th century building and there are only 52 large airconditioned rooms. The room was spacious, clean and modern. It is also the biggest and the most “luxurious” room throughout our 18-days Europe trip. It is located at a quieter side of Prague city, but still within a 15 minute walk to the Charles bridge and old town centre. There are a lot of tram and metro options within 5 minutes walk from the hotel too.
There are many other cheaper hotel options in Prague. Most of the time, we use www.hotelscombined.com to screen and filter through the hotel options available. For budget conscious travelers, there are plenty of decent choices for RM 200 and below per night. If you wish to stay more comfortably, RM 300+ can get you quite a nice and “atas” looking hotel.
Hotel’s breakfast selection was really good too! We enjoyed having the cold cuts and cheese platter so much.
Red And Blue Prague Hotel
Address: Holeckova 13, Prague, Czech Republic
Getting there: Trams 6,9,12 or 20 to the stop ŠVANDOVO DIVADLO
We stopped off at Cafe Lounge on our walk to Petrin Hill. This amazing little café not only boasts absolutely incredible coffee, but their menu is as complex and delicious as Prague’s gourmet restaurants.
We were very happy with our mains of rabbit leg and pork neck. The best part is we paid only 400 CZH (~ RM 67) for a good meal like this – great value for money.
Address: Plaská 615/8, 150 00 Prague 5 (Újezd / Lesser Quarter)
Getting Here: Trams 12, 20, 22 to stop Ujezd.
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Sun 9:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m.
We continued our walk to Petrin Hill, and stumbled upon the famous Angelato (200 m away from Cafe Lounge)! I just had to stop KampungBoy as Angelato is famous for offering the best ice cream in Prague and competes other so called gellateria’s.
I opted for the smooth and rich pistachio flavoured gelato – so delicious! For only 38 CZK (~RM 6.30), it was excellent value for money. A must-visit gelato parlour for every tourist.
Address: Újezd 425/24, 118 00 Praha, Czech Republic.
Getting Here: Trams 12, 20, 22 to stop Ujezd.
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.
To reach the Observation Tower and other attractions at the top of Petrin Hill, take the Funicular Railway. This departs from Ujezd street in the Lesser Town (Malá Strana), near Ujezd tram stop.
Built as a mini version of Paris’s Eiffel Tower, the Petrin Observation Tower was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition.
The view over Prague is magnificent.
Petrin Hill & Observation Tower
Address: Lesser Town, Prague 5, Czech Republic Tel: +420 257 320 112
Getting Here: Travel to tram stop Ujezd (trams 12, 20, 22). Then, take the funicular railway up Petrin Hill. A more indirect route to reach the top of the funicular and Petrin Hill is to travel to metro stop Malostranska (line A). Then by tram to tram stop Pohorelec (tram 22). Then walk 10 minutes along Strahovska street.
Hours: Mar: Daily 10:00-20:00, Apr-Sep: Daily 10:00-22:00, Oct: Daily 10:00-20:00, Nov-Feb: Daily 10:00-18:00
As I was walking through the stony pavements I could feel my heart pounding; we are finally here at Charles Bridge!
The Charles Bridge, linking Old Town to Malá Strana, is a piece of medieval engineering that has stood the test of time. The beautiful Vltava River shines when I look over it from the Charles bridge.
A number of Baroque statues were placed along either side of Charles Bridge in the 17th century. Now many of them are copies and the originals can be seen in the Lapidarium (Prague Museums). The most popular statue is probably the one of St. John of Nepomuk, a Czech martyr saint who was executed during the reign of Wenceslas IV by being thrown into the Vltava from the bridge. The plaque on the statue has been polished to a shine by countless people having touched it over the centuries. Touching the statue is supposed to bring good luck and ensure your return to Prague.
Right before sunset, the best place to enjoy the city is to walk around the St. Charles bridge – it really is magical.
There were plenty of musicians and performers along the bridge, creating some romantic moments for couples like us.
Address: Prague 1, Czech Republic
Getting Here: Metro station: Staromestska (line A), Tram stop: Staromestska (trams 17, 18)
We proceeded to Lokal U Bile Kuzelky, a famous chain pub for dinner. It is located almost at the foot of the Charles Bridge in Mala Strana area. Lokal serves the perfect pint of draft Pilsner Urquell- some says best in Czech Republic.
Lokál is one of the best places in Prague to experience traditional Czech cuisine from starters to top notch fried cheese and other classic Czech staples such as beef tongue and beef tartare. You should DEFINITELY try the steak tartar it’s lovely stuff – sorry France! Reservations for evenings are highly recommended.
Lokál U Bílé kuželky
Address: Míšeňská 12, Prague 1
Getting there: Tram 12, 20, 22 to Malostranské náměstí or metro A or tram 12, 18, 20, 22 to Malostranská
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m. – midnight, Sat 12 noon – midnight, Sun 12 noon – 10 p.m.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
The Lennon Wall was once a normal wall, but since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles’ songs. In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge.
The movement these students followed was described ironically as “Lennonism” and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Western capitalism. The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers.
Today, the wall represents a symbol of global ideals such as love and peace.
The guy holding a guitar sang beautifully, adding some ambiance to the wall.
Adress: Velkopřevorské náměstí
Getting Here: Tram: 12, 20, 22. You can either walk from the Old Town over Charles Bridge and take the stairs down at the end of it or from the Lesser Quarter side.
Like everyone else who goes to Prague, you got to love these sweet pastries. It is called Trdelník, it is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix.
The Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) is one of two main squares in Prague (Wenceslas Square is the other, just 5 minutes walk away). The Old Town Square dates from the 12th century and started life as the central marketplace for Prague. Over the centuries buildings of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles were erected around the market, each bringing with them stories of wealthy merchants and political intrigue.
The most notable sights on the square are the Old Town Hall Tower & Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church and St. Nicholas Church.
The Astronomical Clock dates from the 15th century, making it the third oldest astronomical clock in the world.
15 minutes before the clock strikes a new hour, the crowd would gather in front of the tower to watch the procession of the Twelve Apostles: on the hour, every hour, a small trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a defiant statue of a Turk. Below the Astronomical Clock are 12 medallions with the signs of the zodiac, added by Josef Manes in 1865.
For a fee, visitors can climb or ride to the top to experience terrific views over the Old Town Square and the rest of the Old Town.
Prague is also home to the famous writer Franz Kafka, as he spent most of his life here. It is not difficult to find the places where the author lived and worked, especially in Old Town Square.
For lunch, we were meeting up with our friend, Eunice at Nase Maso. I was really excited to try out Nase Maso, a butcher shop cum (standing) restaurant with Antoš light lager beer on tap.
Naše Maso’s meat comes from two specialized Czech farms and we ordered their famous ekaná (meatloaf) and a homemade style, thick burger. Do expect a huge queue during lunch hours, and with only 2 small tables, it gets pretty packed. It was a truly remarkable Czech meals that does not cost us an arm and a leg – food + beer for only 195 CZK (~ RM 32).
Address: Dlouhá 39, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
Getting Here: Trams 5, 8, 24, 26 and metro lines A (Staroměstská) and B (Náměstí Republiky) are all within walking distance.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, closed on Saturdays
Bistro Sisters is an adorable little cafe next to Nase Maso. The real stars of the show at Sisters Bistro are the chlebíčky: Czech style open sandwiches.
We are happy to report that they tasted as good as they looked. Who knew that these humble chlebíček can be a culinary delight?
Address: Dlouhá 39, Prague 1 Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Website: http://www.chlebicky-praha.cz/
We bid farewell to our friend, and off we went to Letna’s Beer Garden just across the river bank.
With arguably the best view of Prague, Letná Beer Garden is a green, leafy oasis perfect for enjoying a beer in nice weather.
It seemed to be a bit quiet in the month of September, as the most happening time is during summer.
Letna Beer Garden
Address: Letenské sady, 170 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic
Prague Castle is the largest castle area in the world. It consists of three courtyards and a number of magnificent buildings cover over 7 hectares (18 acres), so be prepared to see a lot and do some walking.
It is the most significant Czech monument and one of the most important cultural institutions in the Czech Republic. So it is best to allocate at least half a day here.
We were in awe as we admire the various architectural styles found here, from the remains of Romanesque-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications of the 14th century.
St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and the most important temple in Prague. Apart from religious services, coronations of Czech kings and queens also took place here. The cathedral is a place of burial of several patron saints, sovereigns, noblemen and archbishops.
Visitors enter the Cathedral through the portal in the western facade, opposite the passage-way between the Second and Third Courtyard of Prague Castle.
Other must visit areas are the Golden Lane and Rosenberg Palace. There are a few types of admission ticket, depends on the circuit that you want to complete.
We opted to exit the castle district via the Old Castle Stairs.
While on the way down, remember to look the your right as the view of the Prague city is amazing!
I could stay here all day.
No wonder Prague is known as “The city of a hundred spires”.
Summer Tourist Season (April 1 till October 31) – Prague Castle complex 6.00 – 22.00, Historical buildings 9.00 – 17.00
Winter Tourist Season (November 1 till March 31) – Prague Castle complex 6.00 – 22.00, Historical buildings 9.00 – 16.00
The access to Prague Castle complex is easy. There are several tram stops nearby (Královský letohrádek, Pražský hrad, Pohořelec) and also two metro stations (Malostranská, Hradčanská). The visitors use mostly tram No. 22 (stop called Pražský hrad) – option 1. Then they leave the Castle through the Old Castle Stairs to metro station Malostranská – option 4. More options here.
We were famished after exploring the castle district. Mlejnice is arguably the restaurant with the best pork knees in Prague. They are also famous for the goulash in bread bowl but we could only order one pork knee, the portion was so huge that we could not finish it. Another great meal with very affordable pricing. Total bill with beer was only 480 CZK (~RM 80)!
Address: Žatecká 17, 110 00 Praha, Czech Republic
Hours: Open Daily 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Rise and shine! Today we are going to explore the southern side of Prague city.
The Dancing House is a controversial modern architecture among the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous for. The top floor of Dancing House is the only part of the building open to the public, and is home to one of the city’s leading restaurants: the Ginger & Fred Restaurant.
Address: Jiraskovo namesti, New Town, Prague 2, Czech Republic
Getting Here: Metro station: Karlovo namesti (line B) Tram stop: Jiraskovo namesti (trams 14, 17)
Saturday at Prague has a very slow and relaxing vibe.
Since we were here on a Saturday, we took the opportunity to visit Náplavka Farmers Market. The weather was so nice and the vendors were so friendly, this is the place that make me fall in love with Prague once again.
I had fun browsing through the fresh local produce and binge eating here and there. From the market, we get a view of Prague Castle in the distance. I enjoyed having my food and ciders while listening to the band play some familiar tunes. One word of caution though: ciders in Prague is delicious but very potent *hic*
Náplavka Farmers Market
Address: Náplavka, Praha 2, Czech Republic
Hours: 8 am to 2 pm on Saturday
While walking to our next destination, my eyes were attracted by the gelato display at Pure Gelato. I tried the plum flavoured gelato and it was really good. Only 38 CZK (~RM 6.30) for one!
Address: Na Hrobci 410/1, 128 00 Praha 2 – Výtoň
Hours: Mon to Tours 10 am to 8 pm, Fri 10 am to 10 pm, Sat 9 am to 10 pm, Sun 11 am to 8 pm.
Vysehrad fortress, just a stone’s throw away from the farmer’s market is a spot not to be missed.
The view from the fortress is beautiful.
Vyšehrad has an important place in Czech history, appearing in many national myths and legends. It is a relatively small castle, but it is very pleasant for us to walk around.
Vyšehrad National Cultural Monument
Address: V Pevnosti 159/5b, CZ 128 00 Prague 2, Czech Republic
Getting Here: By Metro: take red line C to stop “Vyšehrad”
By Tram: take No. 7, 8 or 24 to Albertov, or take no. 3,7,17 or 16 – Výton.
We rewarded ourselves with a very good lunch at Maso a Kobliha, known as the best bistro in Prague by some of the local food bloggers.
We really adore the Scotch eggs (cooked to perfection) and pork skin with avocado dip. Finish with the best donut filled with real vanilla cream in town and some Czech craft beers to wash all the food down. Another affordable meal for only 380 CZK/RM 63.
Maso a Kobliha
Address: Petrská 23, Praha 1
Hours: Tuesday: 11:00 – 17:00, Wednesday – Friday: 11:00 – 22:00 (Kitchen and butcher’s close at 21:30), Saturday: 11:00 – 17:00
Getting Here: Florenc metro station and tram stop Bílá Labuť are just around the corner.
We spent our final evening here shopping for souvenirs at the Old Town area.
We can only afford magnets and food stuff when in Europe 😉
I will miss this sight so much ;(
Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) is one of the two main squares in Prague, so is a popular place for visitors to stay (the Old Town Square is the other square, just 5 minutes walk away). At the top of Wenceslas Square is the monumental National Museum, and just off to the left is the Prague State Opera.
Address: New Town, Prague 1, Czech Republic
Getting Here: Metro station: Muzeum (lines A & C), Mustek (lines A & B); Tram stop: Vaclavske namesti (trams 3, 9, 14, 24)
Dinner was a simple affair at Mamas Coffee with good coffee and a vegan menu.
It is a small coffee chain with a few outlets. 2 mains and 2 drinks for about 300 CZK (RM 50), not too shabby.
Address: Vodičkova 674/6, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
Hours: Mon to Fri 8 am to 10 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am to 10 pm
That concludes our slow pace and relaxing Prague tip.