A few weeks ago, we traveled to Prague, Czech Republic.
We were able to spend a full three days there getting to know the city and enjoying the scenery. It was reading week (a one-week fall break, essentially), so we we traveled Monday through Wednesday. We would’ve liked to stay longer but we had to leave some time to actually do some reading before heading back to class! Overall, we really enjoyed Prague and found it incredibly affordable.
Here are my top recommendations:
We stayed at the Eurostars Thalia hotel. Eurostars is a moderately-priced Spanish hotel chain. Our hotel was centrally located - less than 10 minutes walking to the main square - and built in a beautiful historic building. Our room was lovely and had incredibly tall ceilings, which made it feel more luxurious. The breakfast was a little pricey but worth if if you’re really hungry.
Prague’s old town square is famous and a must see. Though we visited too early in the year, we’ve heard it is a sight to behold during the Christmas season. It’s filled with (tourist trap) restaurants with great people watching. I recommend spending time there and enjoying what the old town has to offer.
The astronomical clock is probably one of the most famous landmarks in the city. It’s an old clock in the middle of the square that dates back to the fifteenth century. If you climb the stairs or take the elevator up to the top of the clock, you’ll be greeted with stunning 360° panoramic views of Prague. I highly recommend going up there to see the city from above.
The Charles Bridge goes over the Vltava river, and is another main landmark in Prague. We found it to be quite crowded but still worth seeing as there are statues with religious significance that line the bridge. Also, the view from this bridge (or really any of the bridges nearby) are unbeatable. It is walking distance from old town Prague and we happened to walk across it because that’s how Google wanted us to get back to our hotel.
Prague Castle is another landmark that we visited. It’s nice if you’re into history, and had some of the most beautiful stained glass windows I’ve ever seen. Personally I feel we’ve seen a lot of old churches and structures and am starting to lose interest so I wouldn’t quite say this was a highlight for me. Still interesting though. There is a nice restaurant/vineyard right at the exit of the castle. We didn’t stop to eat as we had other lunch plans, and it’s probably overpriced but the views looked amazing!
Recommended to us by our hotel concierge, I can not strongly enough suggest a visit to Marina Restaurant. Situated on the iconic Vltava river, the menu mainly consists of Italian food. To start, we shared the bruschetta, and for our mains I had the mushroom tagliatelle, which I found to be exquisite, and Marquette had the carbonara, which he thoroughly enjoyed. The service was great, the view was beautiful, and the food was amazing. We didn’t need a reservation but I recommend making one to get the best seats in the house. If it were just a few degrees warmer, we would’ve loved to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor patio.
We also really enjoyed Sia, an Asian fusion restaurant recommended to us by a friend. We had the Peking duck, which was amazing, and the shrimp dumplings, which were also really good. I loved the welcome drinks - always a great way to start a dining experience.
We also ate at a Mexican restaurant called Las Adelitas (random!) which was shockingly good. We didn’t exactly seek it out - we saw a sign that said Mexican food and were intrigued. I had the taquitos - very good! - and Q had cactus tacos (he wasn’t a fan) and tortilla soup, which he enjoyed. It reminded me a lot of the Mexican food you’d get in Southern California or Mexico, which is definitely hard to find in Europe.
On Wednesday morning, we went to a cute little breakfast cafe called Bistro Monk. I had blueberry pancakes and Marquette had the smoked salmon eggs Benedict. Both dishes were delicious and the service was great.
After Prague Castle, we had lunch at Hergetova Cihelna, another riverside restaurant. The terrace had blankets and heat lamps, so we were able to enjoy our meal overlooking the river. We had the seafood risotto and the goat cheese salad - both amazing! We also had Czech sparkling wine, which we thought was delicious. This place was a little pricier than the other restaurants we visited, but the ambiance made it worth every penny.
Field is one of Prague’s Michelin-started restaurants. We had a reservation but canceled it because we weren’t in the mood for that type of food (essentially, we were hungry lol!). Because Prague is cheaper than a lot of other cities, I would say it’s definitely the place to indulge in fine dining if you can!
Also, you must try a chimney cone! It’s a yummy pastry, sweet, but with a texture similar to pretzels, that can be filled with different things - most often ice dream. You’ll see little shops that sell them all over old town and you mustn’t leave without having one! I had one with chocolate hazelnut sauce and vanilla ice cream. So indulgent. So good.
Good to know
They do have a different currency there, the Czech Krona, but Euros are also widely accepted. When we first arrived in London, we opened accounts with this newer bank, called Revolut, which allows you to load your card/account with lots of different currencies. I highly recommend this card as a good starter debit if you’re moving to Europe, or as a cheaper way to convert currency if you have an extended trip planned!
Prague was beautiful and affordable - I can definitely see us visiting again! It was a relaxing trip - I imagine it’s much more hectic in the summer time when there are more visitors. I think the best time to visit is probably late September/early October, when it’s just a tad warmer than it was when we went, but past peak tourist season. Still, I would love to visit in the summer time, when there are paddle boats and wine cruises on the Vltava.
Things have been really busy here in London, but I promise to update again soon!