We just finished a quick 5 days in Prague over Nick’s birthday and it would be an understatement to say that we really enjoyed ourselves!! Our trip is probably best summed up through the two categories of things we did: 1) explore beautiful, old, historical sites and 2) eat all of the Czech food possible.
We arrived on the plane from Norway in the morning and were very pleased to quickly discover two things:
- We had come from the most expensive location to date to the least expensive location to date.
- The temperature had nearly doubled – 45 degrees in Norway when we left, already over 80 degrees when we landed in Prague at 10:30am (no surprise, this only pleased me, not Nick)
The apartment we rented in Prague ended up being one of the best places we’ve stayed so far – an amazing old building with high ceilings, that old world feel, lots of “creature comforts” and a location that was less than 15 minutes walking to nearly everything we wanted to do. So off we went to explore!
Day 1 we were lucky enough to have VISITORS! Nick met Stef and Joe on his cruise to Antarctica a few years back and they planned a Europe trip with the intention of bumping into us in Prague! We wandered the city together and ate, drank and caught up over probably our *best* meal in Prague. We ate and drank like kings – all 4 of us – for many hours to the tune of only $100. The quality of the food here – Lokal – was also incredible… we ate the Czech take on goulash, unlimited potato dumplings, chicken and pork schnitzel, a whole variety of sausages with fresh grated horseradish and mustard, and pints and pints of Czech beer. We liked this spot enough for the food and drink that we went there a total of 3 times!
Once we said goodbye to Joe and Stef, we explored some of the sites in Prague – the Prague Castle (including St. Vitus Cathedral, below), Charles Bridge, the stunning churches and basilicas and the famous clock tower (with its observation deck). The clock tower in the main square was beautiful inside and out – we bought tickets to walk all the way up to the top of the clock tower where you can pass by some of the inner workings of the clock and ultimately, reach an observation deck with a 360 degree view of Prague and all the beauty that surrounds it. We took a tour of the underground part as well – this included many old homes and spaces that held artisan shops, pubs, etc. They were 7-8 meters lower than the rest of the city…a reminder of how cities had to be literally built up to a higher level due to flooding.
Prague is a wonderfully old world, beautiful city that we had just as much fun wandering around and finding our own spots as we did going to the “typical” tourist spots.
Now more about the food and drink…we really lucked out with GOOD spots on this short trip. At one spot, Nick ate an entire pork knuckle with pickled peppers and pearl onions – it must have been literal pounds of meat – that was to die for. Every single meal we had was washed down with delicious Czech beer – Nick’s favorite being Pilsner Urquell. We learned that the average adult in Prague consumes 200 liters of beer a year…and it was very easy to see why. So tasty, refreshing and…$2 for a pint.
We also stumbled upon a prosecco bar (my heaven) that had all the bottles of prosecco you could imagine *and* 3 versions of a prosecco spritz as a “welcome to summer” (poor Nick). We tried the raspberry but ultimately, both got hooked on the grapefruit ones. A perfectly refreshing balance of tart grapefruit with bubbly prosecco. Yum.
Our last night, we tried exploring some of the lesser populated streets and came upon a cocktail bar that I had read about – the Hemingway Bar. Truly some of the tastiest cocktails we’ve had on this trip – *almost* comparable to the place we loved in Paris (Bisou) that we posted in the Paris in Review post! Really spectacular flavor combinations, original names, all served in different style glasses, and just a fun vibe to the place.
Some random observations about Prague:
-It is a VERY touristy city – whether it was the hordes of people walking up and down the main streets, the crush of people waiting at the base of the clocktower right before every hour struck or the main square where you can barely move, people VISIT. We loved the city so we understand why but it was really hard to get away from the tourist crush!
-It felt really safe! Even at night.
-An incredible public transportation system that mostly involved above-ground, street car trolleys of varying types
-Almost everyone spoke better-than-decent English and the service was on point everywhere we went
Needless to say, we enjoyed our quick stint in Prague and are excited to do our next stop at a slower pace – 10 days in Krakow, Poland!