As many can attest, traveling through Europe can be a costly endeavor—however Prague might just be one of those rare, off-the-grid and cost-effective exemptions you absolutely need to put on your travel bucket-list now.
Alongside momentous tradition, celebrated Gothic and Renaissance era architecture, great food and an old castle on the hill—Prague’s fairytale setting is the perfect recipe for an extraordinary and unforgettable adventure.
Looking for your next cultural and educational expedition? Check. Or maybe you are a pub-hopping, nightlife-loving travel extraordinaire? Czech. No matter the occasion, the land of the Pilsner and its immaculate 12th century engineering will have you swooning over this cobblestone-edged capital in seconds.
While the sites around will unequivocally overwhelm those (in the most whimsical and unimaginable way possible), one could easily explore this historic wonderland and all that it has to offer in a quick 2-3 day weekend trip.
With that in mind, here is an all-inclusive Czech list (ha) for your next weekender in PRAGUE.
Where to stay:
During our most recent Euro expedition, we stayed in an Airbnb central to Prague’s Old Town neighborhood. Though very large, this area was centrally located and a close walk to Prague’s historic Old Town Square. Both the Old Town and Lesser Town neighborhoods are great for first time visitors with only a few days to explore. You’ll be walking distance to most of the must-see city landmarks and next to an array of different pubs and restaurants.
Those looking to be close to some upscale shopping and fine-dining, try finding an Airbnb near Prague’s New Town. The street ambiance is energetic and posh with plenty of art galleries, shops and dining options to keep occupied.
Where to begin:
1. Old Town Square:
First start your trip toward the Old Town Square. While definitely a tourist ruse, this area is bordered by stone boulevards, colorful restaurants and inhabited by a sea of lively pedestrians and local shops. Here you will find a culture for outdoor terrace-life situated on city streets that date back before 1091. This encompassed area is enclosed by remarkable medieval architecture and historic churches. Some of the most prominent buildings around the square are the Old Town Hall (famous for its astronomical clock), the Týn Church, the Kinský Palace and the St. Nicholas Church.
2. Cross the river on the Charles Bridge
Being the oldest and grandest bridge on the river, take some time to admire the immaculate views along the very bond that connects the west and east sides of the city. From here you will enjoy views of the famous Prague Castle, St Vitus, and the Old Town Tower.
3. Café Savoy
Before heading to the illustrious Castle atop the hill, make a stop at this stunning cafe located on the western riverbank just across the street from Lesser Town, not far from Kampa Island. As a monument to Prague`s rich history, this airy and open cafe is a great place to relax and breathe in the aroma of the past. The presentation alone is a reason to go, so at the very least go for that necessary IG photo opp and make all your family and friends just a little more jelly!
4. Prague Castle
Known to be one of the most significant and proclaimed Czech monuments, this gothic palace is one of the largest castle complexes in the world! For more on tour tickets, season hours or an interactive virtual tour of the palace grounds go to https://www.hrad.cz/en/prague-castle-for-visitors/virtual-tour for more information!
5. Walking Beer Tour through Old Town
(@sammysnider // @kendallregan)
I almost saved this for last because it was one of my absolute favorite memories from this trip (the next morning not so much), but let's face it it's probably a miracle if you've made it this far so... here we go.
I would first like to address that I have never been an avid beer drinker, nor have I ever been the one picked first for any beer game teams throughout my lifetime. Call me a beer bystander, because that’s exactly what I am, BUT when in Prague it is absolutely #VITAL that you try their Pilsner Ale. Not only is it just a good beer, Pilsner was invented in the Czech Republic and have been brewing it here for more than a thousand years! There are more than 20 working breweries in Prague alone, and good quality beer here doesn't come with a premium price.
On our last night in Prague, we decided to take a beer tour throughout the city. This tour included multiple stops throughout local establishments, full-sized samples of Czech beers, a traditional pub dinner all guided by a native beer expert. Not only was this a fun and cultural way to experience the city, we met so many people along the way and learned how to cheers the proper Czech way. Na zdraví!
6. Try Traditional Czech food:
I find it absolutely fundamental and customary to always try, at least once, a country’s traditional dishes. While I was pleasantly surprised, I think it is important to note that the Czech cuisine is not known to be exactly light or healthy. Let’s just say, bring the stretch pants and oversized T’s because you’ll be getting your fair share of meats, carbs and hearty sauces. Both the Vepřo-knedlo-zelo and žený Sýr are traditional customs and are SO tasty.
(The quality of these photos absolutely kill me, but just know the food tastes much better than my photography skills :-)
Smažený sýr: Yes, yes and yes. While it may not be for the lactose free peeps, a dish of deep-fried cheese served with fries, salad or a bread roll, will always be a yes in my book (and for sure send you straight into a cheesey-goodness wonderland... or coma idk ).
Vepřo-knedlo-zelo: Roast pork, bread dumplings, and stewed cabbage are ingredients that make up this hearty dish. Most Czech dishes tend to be heavy on meat and dumplings, but the vepřo-knedlo-zelo is a nutrient-balanced option offering a healthy amount of fiber.
Now if you are a foodie like me, take a second to look at the Hungry Traveler’s more detailed post on the best food halts throughout Prague. It's a goody.
7. Jewish Quarter
Take a self-guided walking tour through the old Jewish Ghetto in Prague's Old Town area. Rich in history and rightfully preserved, it most certianly is a historic sight to see.
8. John Lennon Wall
An image of John Lennon was first painted on the wall after his murder in December 1980. Soon, it became a prime site for political and Beatles-inspired graffiti and a sounding board for disgruntled youth. While several attempts were made by local officials to repaint the wall, unrelenting artists continued to express their art-- refusing to be silenced.
Now it has turned into a tourist allurement and photo attraction. The environment surrounding is fun, and there are neighboring pubs and restaurants with Beatles themed mementos.
As if you needed another nudge to pack up and go, I hope these few recommendations help making that PTO proposal that much easier! If you've been to Prague and have other suggestions not mentioned above, I would love to hear your suggestions too!
And with that I leave you with a true, Czech Republic cheers.... Na zdraví, my friends!