Travels in Europe {Prague}

Catching up? Check out my previous posts:
Vienna
Salzburg

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Below are some of my suggestions for those visiting Prague. Skip forward to read about our adventures!

Lodging:
We booked a one-bedroom apartment (Eliska Old Town Apartments) in Prague 1 for $112 per night. Three nights total = $112 per person
* I suggest staying in Prague 1, which is in the heart of Prague and includes Old Town Square. Although Prague 1 is considered very touristy, our street was incredibly quiet and we loved our location.

Restaurants:
Terasa u Zlate Studne (incredibly pricey but offers an unforgettable view of Prague)
La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise (Michelin star restaurant for those wanting to be fancy)
Cafe Imperial (beautiful atmosphere)
Etnosvet (vegetarian restaurant)
Restaurant Stoleti (traditional Czech food perfectly prepared)
Terasa U Prince (a tasty restaurant in the heart of Old Town Square)
Strahov Monastic Brewery (fresh beer brewed by monks, oh and hot wine too)
Black Angels Bar (speakeasy vibe in a cave – awesome cocktails)
Hemingway Bar (well-known cocktail bar in Prague with great drinks and lovely people)
Be Bop Lobby Bar (fun bar with good drinks)
L’Fleur Bar (a hidden gem in Old Town)

Nightlife:
– Agharta (jazz club)
– Jazz Republic (jazz club)
Retro Music Hall (good mix of locals and tourists with electro-house music – *the* place to go on Wednesdays)
Karlovy Lazne (the largest music club in Central Europe – we skipped out because it wasn’t our scene)
Duplex (rooftop)
Club Roxy (one of the oldest and most well-known clubs, electro-house-techno music)
U Sudu (hidden and cave-themed…different rooms with different music & a good place to pregame)
Double Trouble (a good place to start the night)
Chapeau Rouge (located in Old Town Square)
Naplavka Riverbank (turns into a Czech version of a beach party at night – apparently awesome in the warm months)
* The Prague nightlife is unbelievable! There are tons of clubs with all varieties of music, so you can pick and choose with ease. Whether you’re interested in a more upscale lounge atmosphere or a grimy dance club with deafening bass to freely dance the night away, Prague will have the perfect spot for you.

Sightseeing:
– Charles Bridge
– Old Town Square
– Wenceslas Square
– Vyshrad Monument
– Petrin Hill (quite a climb but worth it)

– Petrin Tower (at the top of Petrin Hill – offers incredible views of Prague)
– Mala Strana (awesome neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants)
– Astronomical Clock
– Daliborka Tower (famous prison)
– St. George’s Basilica (Prague’s oldest surviving church)
– Prague Castle and 
Old Royal Palace
– John Lennon Wall (the coolest graffiti ever)
– 
Boat ride along the Vltava River
* I suggest taking a free walking tour (not fully free because you tip the tour guide at the end). It runs hourly and lasts about 2.5 hours. A great option if you want to learn more about the history behind the many iconic places in Prague.

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One of the wonderful aspects of Europe is the ease with which you can travel around each country. We took a train from Prague to Vienna. Four hours and $55 later we arrived in what quickly came to be my favorite city. Ever.

Prague

I’ve always heard that Prague is beyond beautiful, but it’s difficult to truly understand the extent of its beauty without visiting and seeing it for yourself. We stayed in Praha 1 (Prague 1), which was smack-dab in the center of everything but still quaint and quiet. Our apartment had a living room, bedroom, and kitchen. Oh and we each had our own bed.

Prague

After unpacking and grabbing a leisurely lunch at a local cafe, we walked over to Old Town Square.

Prague

My oh my, the beauty!

Prague

Prague

Everywhere we looked left us in awe.

Prague

Oh and the bubbles…how I loved the bubbles.

Prague

So magical

Prague

We finally peeled ourselves away from the center and made our way to Charles Bridge…

Prague

…and were in awe once again

Prague

Seriously, Prague was basically sensory overload in the best way possible.

Prague

How can such a tiny little city have so much charm? It’s simply perfect.

We strolled around Mala Strana, a lively area located in Prague 1 but across the river from Old Town.

Prague

Our destination was Petrin Hill, which promised epic views of Prague. So we began our ascent and made it to the top about 30 minutes (and much struggle) later.

Prague

It quickly became apparent that the climb was completely worth it, although we still had to climb Petrin Tower.

Prague

We reached Petrin Tower, paid the admissions fee (about $3), and started a second (shorter) ascent to the top.

Prague

And then, we saw this:

Prague

And the rest is history.

Prague

Prague

I truly fell in love with Prague at that moment.

Prague

I think I’m officially ready to move here. I feel it in my bones, much like the way I felt about NYC when I first visited. Sigh…

Prague

We spent quite a while at the top, and eventually dragged ourselves away to catch the sunset over the Vltava River.

Prague

The Charles Bridge is one of the most romantic places I’ve ever seen. In fact, the entire city of Prague is incredibly romantic and the perfect place to fall in love ( // end of sappy romance).

Prague

We walked back to our apartment and got ready for an evening out on the town. Our first stop was dinner at a phenomenal restaurant, Stoleti, which featured traditional Czech food. I ordered the duck leg with potato dumplings and sauerkraut, and basically inhaled the entire thing.

Prague

Czech food is quite similar to Russian food, which is exactly why I loved it so much. They even had my favorite cake, medovnik, on the menu!

Prague

I must remind you all that I was still quite sick at this time, but I was determined to not allow my dreaded cold to ruin the trip. It wasn’t much of an issue until the evenings, when I would suddenly get an obnoxious cough, likely because of the colder temps and exhaustion from walking around for hours at a time. My sleep deprivation was also quickly catching up to me, and was about to get even worse…we basically didn’t sleep in Prague. Like, at all.

After the restaurant, we walked a few blocks to Hemingway Bar, an incredible cocktail lounge with some of the best drinks I’ve ever tasted. Please, if you’re ever visiting Prague you must go here. It’s a well-known hotspot and definitely lives up to the hype.

Prague

The best part was the price – these upscale “pricey” drinks were the equivalent of about $10, a bargain when considering fancy drinks in NYC and Chicago cost upwards of $15!

Prague

We hung out at Hemingway Bar for a while and sampled their menu before hopping into a cab and making our way to Karlovy Lazne. It was a Tuesday and the club was nearly empty, so we attempted another nightlife hotspot at the Naplavka Riverbank. The area was dark and abandoned and honestly kind of creepy, most likely because it was both a Tuesday and cold outside, but we finally managed to find the club that one of our waitresses recommended: Captain Morgan. It was literally a boat on the river! It was also pretty empty but we ended up staying there and dancing the night away with a new group of friends we randomly met.

The next morning was rough. My sleep deprivation was catching up to me and my throat pain / congestion / sickness was refusing to improve. But alas, life goes on. One of my friends had a last-minute work emergency and she had to spend a few hours working. My other friend and I decided to walk over to Old Town Square for a lazy breakfast.

Prague

Prague

We even picked up a tasty snack:

Prague

Fried potatoes for the win!

A few hours later we regrouped and embarked on a ~3 hour free walking tour of Old Town. I highly recommend this for people interested in learning about the history of the city! I finally got to nerd out with the Astronomical Clock, which is apparently rated as one of the most overrated attractions in all of Europe?

Prague

It was cool regardless.

After the tour we walked over to Wenceslas Square and did some souvenir shopping. A classic dessert was required to keep our energy levels up, obviously.

Prague

Prague

Trdelnik is a traditional dessert in Prague, and one that I absolutely could not wait to try.

Prague

The dough is wrapped around a stick and baked over an open flame until crispy. It is then topped with sugar and filled with ice cream or Nutella.

Prague

In our case, we wanted both! Ice cream + Nutella = heaven

We then made our way across the river once again…

Prague

…towards the Petrin Castle

Prague

And we were once again greeted with breathtaking views of the city and its colorful rooftops.

Prague

Prague

We eventually made it to the Strahov Monastic Brewery, which serves fresh beer brewed by monks! None of us are beer drinkers, so we ordered one mug to sample (because when in Prague!) alongside some hot wine to warm ourselves.

Prague

Fun fact: Prague consumes more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world! I really wish I enjoyed beer because apparently it’s quite delicious in Prague.

Gelato was a necessity on our way back home:

Prague

We opted for dinner at Terasa U Prince (not the terrace but the one at street level), followed by drinks at Black Angels Bar, located in the same hotel. This speakeasy is basically decorated like a cave, filled with tunnels, and boasts some deliciously unique cocktails.

Prague

I was obviously drained at this point, but the city never sleeps for anyone! We had heard that Retro Music Hall was the place to be on Wednesdays, so that’s where we headed late in the night.

Prague

Umm…I don’t think I’ve danced that hard in years! I loved the music, the crowds, the atmosphere. Sometimes a girl just needs to dance dance dance until the wee hours of the morning. Of course we stayed until closing, and we were all dead the next morning. But we had things to do and sights to see, and it was our last day in Prague! So we made our way across the river yet again, but this time by way of a different bridge. We soon found ourselves in a lovely part of the city, where we couldn’t resist grabbing some hot wine while enjoying the sights and sounds.

Prague

I also found the perfect art for my apartment. It’s made from vegetables!

Prague

My mission for the day was the John Lennon wall:

Prague

Prague

It was just as awesome as I expected it to be!

Prague

Prague

Yup, we’re badasses

Later, we each picked up a dinner of our choice, and I decided to get adventurous and try out the ham I kept seeing everyone eating on the streets.

Prague

I’m not sure where the miscommunication happened, but somehow I found myself with enough ham to feed a family of 5. I ate about 1/5 of what I purchased (for $18 booooo) and felt horrible about having to throw the rest away. At least it was delicious?

We were all completely and utterly exhausted come evening, and we had zero plans to go out. But then some new friends invited us out, and of course we couldn’t resist! We stopped by L’Fleur Bar, a true hidden gem lounge that was located right by our apartment.

Prague

One of the best parts of traveling is meeting new people, which is exactly what happened! A few hours later we finally made our way to Chapeau Rouge to meet our other new friends. We stayed there for less than an hour because it was past 2AM…and we had a 7AM flight to Budapest! I know I know, shame on us, but Prague is just way too much fun. This was the night we “slept” for only 45 minutes before having to go to the airport like zombies.

Up next: Budapest! But first, I must profess my love to Prague one last time. I truly fell in love with the city and its people. It’s a well-preserved city filled with charm and oozing with happiness. To me, it’s the perfect balance of Eastern European roots (both the architecture and the Czech language remind me of Russia) and Western European modernism & attitude. I can easily envision myself living in Prague, and my heart aches for the city. Maybe someday…

♥ Irina

4 Comments

  1. October 19, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    Wow, the architecture in Prague looks so lovely! Cities that preserve their history like that make me so happy. I wish we did more of that in the U.S. instead of tearing everything down and building a glossy new structure where the old ones used to be. I’m dying over all of your food, too. I’m totally clueless about Czech food, but that all looks AMAZING.

    • October 20, 2016 / 9:43 am

      Prague (and the Czech Republic in general) was really lucky in that the country essentially lost WWII before the war even began, so it never got bombed! Thus architecture = preserved. Interesting right? I totally agree that it’s such a shame when cities demolish old buildings for newer ones, but it’s even more tragic when politics and war destroy countries with such rich histories 🙁

  2. October 19, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    Prague looks absolutely stunning! I could see why you’d want to live there. The Trdelnik reminds me of those churro ice cream cones that are trending now and I wish I could have one ASAP haha.

    • October 20, 2016 / 9:44 am

      Ahh I recently saw this trend too! Actually I’m wondering if it secretly came from abroad? Time to investigate…