You will never forget the moment you see Prague for the first time. It is hauntingly beautiful and so unlike anywhere you will have seen before. With it's endless bridges braiding the old and new town together, the colourful rooftops and ornate spires. Prague is so beautiful that Hitler chose to spare it during world war two, now thats got to count for something.
In the past year, I have visited Prague at least half a dozen times, each time exploring a different nook of this charming and charismatic city. There is so much to see in Prague and although you could spend twice as long here, most people tend to visit for a weekend. So here is how to get the best out of Prague on a weekend break.
WHERE TO STAY?
Normally for city breaks I would always recommend a hotel, however not for Prague. Hotels in Prague tend to be overpriced in comparison to everything else in the city so instead I would recommend using AirBNB. I have always used AirBNB in Prague and ended up with the most incredible apartments at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.
Prague is made up of different districts and I think I have stayed in pretty much all of them. But my absolute favourite is district 1, just over Charles Bridge next to the castle. I adore the old world feel it has, with it's cobbled lanes and charming jazz bars which come alive at night. Staying here also means you have no excuse not to visit Charles Bridge in the evening once all the crowds have dispersed. The stone lit up against the moonlight is a beautiful sight.
WHAT TO SEE?
A couple of days in Prague is enough time to see the cities highlights and a great way to start off your trip is by doing the Prague City Walking Tour. This tour is free (you only need to tip your guide at the end if you are happy with the tour you received - which you will be!) The tour takes around 3 hours and you will walk around the city, learn about Prague during the communist era, it's architecture and the city's role during world war two. Our guide was born whilst the country was still Czechoslovakia and she shared fascinating stories of growing up during communism. Learning about this period of history from someone with a personal experience was fascinating. The walking tour will give you a good overview of Prague and it leaves several times a day from the main square.
Stare Mesto or The Old Town Square is a sight within itself, home to the stunning Church of Our Lady Before Tyn with it's iconic twin spires, towering over the square. Here you will also see the exquisite Astronomical Clock, it's golden face and intricate detail make telling the time almost impossible but it's beauty is easily seen. According to local legend, the clock creator, Master Hanus, was blinded after it's creation to ensure he could never make another.
A short walk form the Old Town Square will take you to Klemenitinum Praha, a lesser known attraction of Prague. The Klemenitinum Praha is home to the stunning Baroque Library which has remained untouched since 1722. The library has a hand painted ceiling, gold encrusted pillars and an undeniable air of grandeur, with ornate globes dominating the room itself. From the library you can climb up the Astronomical Tower for panoramic views of Prague.
From here you can make your way to the iconic Charles Bridge. Standing on the river's edge and looking downstream to the never ending bridges connecting the city is a beatuiful sight. The bridge itself is full of artists, buskers and craftsmen looking to make some money from the tourists who wander along the bridge towards the castle district.
The Castle District across Charles Bridge is another must see area of Prague which consists of multiple sections. You can wander the winding streets, passing charming pubs and cafes, visit St Vitus Cathedral, The Old Royal Palace, Basilica of St George and of course, the castle itself.
WHERE TO EAT?
Prague is literally brimming with cafes, bars and restaurants. You will never be more than a few metres from somewhere to rest your feet and sip on a cold pint of Staropramen. I have a few favourites in the city which i would recommend;
For breakfast, head to Cafe Savoy. This cafe not only offers delicious, hearty breakfasts but it is also situated in a listed building with a neo-renaissaunse painted ceiling. To have dinner whilst overlooking a Prague sunset is a must, and what better place to go than Marina Ristorante, literally situated right on the river with stunning views overlooking Prague Castle. For traditional Czech food then Lokal is the perfect place, a daily changing menu of Czech classics and beer to match.
Prague is an alluring city which is constantly in fashion, regardless of the time of year. Whether you're planning on visiting the city so you can sip on arguably the world's best beer whilst basking in the Czech sun, or you want to explore the city whilst it's frosty and it's spires snowcapped. It is reminiscent of a fairytale town, fit for knights and princesses. It is a city which has drawn me back time and time again, each time revealing more of itself. There is so much to see and do here, so many beers to sample and lanes to meander down that a weekend here will not disappoint, and will leave you wanting more.