At the end of December, Jordan and I took a trip to Prague for a little festive getaway post-Christmas. It was a really lovely time to take a trip as the Christmas markets were still in full swing in Prague, and it felt as though we were extending the festivities.
Prague has been on my list for a few years; the medieval architecture, the quaint cobbled streets, and compared to other European capitals, it’s also pretty cheap for food and drink too. When I spoke to people who had been there, they said that it is all completely walkable, and not a huge city and a couple of days was enough to see everything… so off we went.
Today I have rounded up what we did on our two-day trip to beautiful Prague, and hopefully, it will give you some inspiration to visit yourself.
Prague is a big city, but it isn’t huge and everything is very walkable. It is split by the River Vltava and the districts are numbered between 1 – 10. There is so much to see it the Old Town from the beautiful buildings (Tyn Church and St. Nicholas Church being my favourite) to the little side streets with quirky bars and restaurants. Take time to get lost around this area and you’re bound to find a gem off the beaten track.
If Prague is famous for one export, it’s beer, with the Czechs apparently drinking more beer than any other country in the world and 35 local breweries in Prague alone. We found loads of bars selling pints for around £1-2 and there were organised tours you could go on too that took you to the best breweries in the city. They also have two beer spas in the centre where you can soak in a tub full of beer whilst drinking a pint, and the beer museum, so you’re bound to get your fill of the stuff!
The food in Prague was a mixture of modern restaurants and cosy authentic hideaways, but both were equally as tasty. We tried Goulash on our first night there, but also went to a delicious Italian for fresh pasta on the second, and picked up crepes and the local delicacy, Chimney cake – a spiral of sweet bread, covered in sugar with melted chocolate in the middle – you can’t go to Prague and not get one of these!
The castle in Prague is the largest ancient castle complex in the world, spanning almost 70,000m. It is situated across the river from the Old Town in the Hrad district in Prague 1. You can get a tram to the summit or one that takes you a bit higher, or walk from the city centre which will take around 15-20 minutes.
It consists of palaces and other ecclesiastical buildings outside of the main castle which adds the grandness of the whole experience. You are checked by security before even entering the vicinity, and there are no cars allowed. It costs to go into the castle, but the outside grounds are free to roam around and give some great views across the city.
If you’re visiting Prague in December or January, then the Old Town Square will be full of Christmas markets; this is one of the main reasons that Jordan and I decided to go as we wanted to stay in the festive spirit as long as possible. The markets are bigger than other European ones I have been to and have loads to choose from including traditional stalls and more modern ones. You will find more outside the Castle, outside the shopping centre, Palladium and also in Wenceslas square.
If you’re in Prague over a Saturday morning be sure to head to Naplavka market too which runs from early morning until about 1pm. It’s a farmer’s market which is brilliant for food and drink but also for souvenirs and clothing.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the John Lennon Wall, but it is definitely worth a visit. It’s a little smaller than I imagined, but I was thinking of the East Side Gallery in Berlin (it’s about the same length as 2/3 of the ‘sections’ of the Berlin wall). It’s located in a small square across from the French Embassy on the same side of the river as Prague Castle.
It received it’s first decoration after the assassination of John Lennon in 1980, where an unknown artist painted a single image of the singer and some song lyrics and has been added to ever since. It’s really colourful and unique, but you have to be patient if you want a picture by it as I guarantee you won’t be the only ones there.
Hands up if you’re obsessed with cats and seem to ‘stumble’ upon cat cafes when you’re abroad? No one? Just me then… but by chance (honestly…) we did fall into this place on our last day and spent a lovely hour there playing with kitties, but making us miss ours back at home.
If you’re a fan of cats, then it is a lovely place to pass an hour or two, and the food and drink is included in the price – about £3.50 for the hour.
When we first decided to head to Prague, one of the initial things I did was check out the public transport system to see how easy it would be to get around. I read a lot that it was quite basic and hard to navigate, but we didn’t find that at all.
They have the underground (called the metro) which has three lines taking you north to south, east to west and through the centre and a tram system which takes you along the roads to different points in the city. Both were really cheap and you could get day passes, 3-day passes and a week-long one depending on how long you were there.
The one thing there wasn’t much information on was getting from the airport. Although they have taxis for around £25, I would definitely suggest getting the AE bus which takes you to the main station and costs about 50p. It takes around 25-35 minutes depending on the traffic and runs every half an hour.
We were very lucky to be offered a hotel by B&B Hotels as they had just opened their one in Prague. It had everything we needed and was just outside of the centre. We walked into the city a couple of times, but there was the Florenc tube and metro stop less than 5 minutes walk which took us everywhere we needed to go. They also had a great continental breakfast there which ran until 11am too and had everything from breads and cheese to cereals and yoghurts – the perfect way to start your day.
When I was researching where to stay, the most popular areas are The Old Town & Wenceslas Square, but with that comes a higher price tag. Because the public transport system is pretty easy to navigate in the city though, I would suggest trying to find somewhere a little bit further out that is still walkable and near a station.
I hope this guide has given you some information about visiting Prague, where to go and where to stay: I’ll be doing a separate post about the food and drink we had too so keep an eye out for that one.
Our stay at Hotel B&B was complimentary in exchange for a mention in this blog. All views are my own.