In August, I visited the beautiful city of Prague for a long weekend with one of my closest university friends. We stayed for 3 nights in a little Air B and B in the centre of the Old Town. It was the perfect space for the two of us and had all the necessary furnishings we needed along with a brilliant price tag.
For a long weekender, I would really recommend using (a reputable) Air B and B- it’s a great opportunity to stay amongst the locals and hear their recommendations about their city/country. Our host was so friendly, and gave us some great recommendations of where to eat, where to visit and told us about the history of this ancient city. Fun fact: Did you know Prague has 5 generations of tram? No? Me neither, but it’s these little snippets that you wouldn’t necessarily learn unless you stayed amidst the locals.
Arrived in Prague bleary eyed after a very early, but smooth, EasyJet flight. Our host arranged for us to be picked up from the airport and drove us to the apartment where we were staying, giving us a running commentary (in almost fluent English) about the city.
After unpacking and making ourselves at home at the apartment we ventured into the centre of the Old City, looking at the old monuments, statues and exploring the quaint side streets. We made our way towards Charles Bridge (big mistake at 2pm) which was possibly the busiest bridge I have ever seen. We quickly did a U-turn and put that down as a place to explore the following day.
We saw the Astronomical Clock, which is such a stunning piece of work, czeched out (pun fully intended) Prague’s numerous touristy shops and saw the Kafka Statue. We also found a local supermarket and stocked up on all the foodie essentials (Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream) along with our evening dinner- trying out some of Prague delicacies.
We retired for the day early, watching Beauty and the Geek with our ice-cream whilst planning out the days ahead.
During our ride to the apartment, our host recommended a local market outside the tourist trap, along by the river that opens early on a Saturday morning. Eager to experience the local scene, we wondered down and enjoyed browsing around the market place- trying out different foods and grabbing some breakfast along side a well-needed coffee. The market had everything from flowers, food and furniture- there definitely seems like there was something for everyone and it was a real treat to see the locals trading together and families enjoying a Saturday morning market expedition.
We then wondered up to Charles Bridge (top tip: go before 10 am it is so much quieter and you can walk across the bridge without bumping into anyone) and admired the numerous street artists work, merchants and statues. Across the bridge is Prague Castle, Vitus Cathedral and a viewpoint that looks across the entire city. Prague Castle itself was actually very underwhelming (!) -in fact we actually walked past it and didn’t even realise it was a castle. The cathedral however, was an absolute must-see, beautiful in a gothic kind of way, both inside and out.
We finished the day with a pint or two of beer (which in some places is actually cheaper than water) outside on the street, watching passersby and numerous stag parties- the creativity in some of the stag’s fancy dress was truly something to behold.
After a lazy start to the day, we ventured to an early brunch at Den Noc (a tiny, non-smoking breakfast place) renown for it’s fabulous pancakes. I had a stack of nutella and whipped cream pancakes, and my friend had hazelnut and maple syrup pancakes- both were delicious along with their daily smoothie!
Determined to walk off our pancakes, we set off across town over a now very busy Charles Bridge to the Lenin Wall. Funnily, this was one of my favourite sites of Prague, I loved reading the different quotes and seeing the different motifs and pictures.
We then headed up to Petrin Hill, catching the funicular. It was a really clean, beautiful park with lots to see and do. Although we didn’t go up the tower, we still enjoyed stunning views over Prague with an ice-cream in hand. After soaking up some sun, exploring the gardens and observatory we ventured back to the Old Town and enjoyed a meal out with another serving of beer.
Our final day in Prague and we made the most of it by getting up early and making multiple coffee shops around the Old Town. We even had a bit of time to venture to another park, Letna park, which would be an ideal spot for a young family with plenty of space for picnics and a brilliant playground for the little ones. We caught a bus from the station to the airport, arriving with plenty of time for our evening flight.
Pro’s and Con’s of Prague
- Beautiful architecture
- Easily walkable but excellent transport links too
- Amazingly cheap food and of course alchol
- Lots to see and a place you can definitely explore in 2-3 days
- The people are very friendly and speak very good English
- It is by no means the cleanest city I’ve ever been too and there was a lot of graffiti throughout Prague (something that you don’t really see in the pictures)
- Smoking- lots of cafes and restaurants permit smoking. As an asthmatic this was a big concern for me, however we largely managed to avoid this by sitting outside and picking non-smoking venues.
I would absolutely recommend Prague as a long weekend break, I’m really glad I visited it and ticked it off the bucket list- it’s a beautiful city with an ancient history and a vibrant culture, full of friendly people and a wealth of places to explore.