A Three Day Visit To The European City Of Prague
In February we visited the beautiful European city of Prague. We designed our trip to ensure that we had three full days of touring the city and a day either side for travelling. I don’t know what it is about travelling but even short flights seem to take up a day doorstep to doorstep. This way we arrived at our hotel about 10 pm and were able to have a good night’s sleep ready to begin sight seeing.
Our hotel, La Ballerina was quirky and very lovely. It is just a few steps from the famous, Frank Gehry Dancing House and Vltava river. It was literally 10 minutes walk to the centre. Beautiful breakfasts. Spotlessly clean. Very friendly staff.
The other thing I would highly recommend is the transfer service we used to and from the airport, Prague Airport Transfers. Great value for money at £35.00 return and a seamless experience.
Be prepared; this post is photo heavy. I wanted to share as many pictures as I could with you in one post so that you could see all the places we loved and would recommend you see if you visit, too.
I reckon the top spots could be done in two full days so a long weekend would be perfect. We travelled on a Monday and returned on the Friday.
We were very close to the river and walked this way each morning. We came back through the streets of an evening as Mr B is very good at soon finding the quickest routes.
Here’s the famous Dancing House we passed each morning. It’s a hotel.
As I said earlier, it’s right by the river.
Here’s a little video of the river and the famous Charles Bridge which was built in the 14th century. It’s very popular with tourists even in February. You’ll catch a peek of me on this acting the fool as usual.
Statues on Charles Bridge
Prague is famous for its castle and it’s a big ol’ walk up. This is looking back down the steps.
The views once you’re up there.
Prague is famous for it’s squares. This is one of it’s most popular, Old Town Square.
The Prague Orloj or Astronomical Clock is a big draw for the crowds.
It was first installed in 1410 making it the third oldest of it’s kind in the world. There is an hourly clock work show of the figures. You literally cannot move in the square on the hour. We sat and drank hot toddies at one of the many pavement cafes. We were glad of the patio heaters but be warned the prices are eye watering here like many hot spots in most cities. Worth it though.
Everywhere else is so cheap. I have a Halifax credit card and Monzo debit card for travelling. Ever since we had some bad luck in Barcelona I have made sure that we keep cash to an absolute minimum wherever we go. I actually couldn’t believe our Prague bill when it came in. I thought it was wrong. We felt like we’d done and seen so much yet the total was only £350.
Here’s a little video of what happens on the hour every hour at the clock tower.
We found a fabulous Irish bar. It’s like a magnet wherever we go as Mr B is Irish. Well, his parents are but he was born in the UK. I love Guinness but can only drink it on trips. It’s like some bizarre ritual. A good one tho, hey?
We came across these giant, crawling baby sculptures on the other side of the river. Prague is full to the brim of art. Modern and ancient collides but really works.
Always the joker!
No Prague trip is complete without a pose against the colourful John Lennon Wall.
I’m not a Beatles fan but I do love a wall for the gram!
The bonus was that we came across the prettiest little cafe and sat outside in its garden and had a coffee.
It didn’t rain at all while we were in Prague. There wasn’t much sunshine but it wasn’t overly cold either. Perfect for me. I love to sight see in cooler weather. When it’s hot I flop, especially where there’s lots of walking involved. We did hop on a tram for one short journey but only so we could say we’d ticked that off our to do list, too.
Like many Eastern European cities there’s a lot of Jewish history.
I’ve thought I might write a separate post about this as I have a lot of photos as we found it so interesting. This is a very old Jewish cemetery.
This is Wenceslas Square which is the biggest and where all the department stores are. I liked it the least. It felt cold and impersonal. It’s overlooked by the very impressive National Museum. It’s easy to forget that the Czech Republic was once under Communist rule for over 40 years but many of the buildings hint as a reminder. The stark modernity of some of the more modern buildings gives it away.
We had a lot of fun seeking out some of the more wacky things our kids had recommended we do. Finding Anonymous Bar was on their list. It’s so anonymous it’s pretty hard to find. On Google Maps our phones kept saying we had arrived at our destination but it flummoxed us. Finally we realised we had to go through a door that looked like it was part of another building to access the bar’s entrance in a tiny courtyard. It’s very cool. We thought they weren’t going to let us in for being too old. I’d never realised that was a thing. Would that be reverse age-ism? As you get older the problem starts to be looking too old to get in a bar, not too young?!! 😉
The theme is Guy Fawkes. Mr B ordered a Hot Fawkes cocktail. They turn off the lights, don a mask and create the drink at your table and set it on fire, Very theatrical. We sat at the bar and ended up having three drinks. The place had a great atmosphere.
We also decided that when in Prague …. we had to give the green fairy a try. We actually found the Green Devil’s Absinth Bar by chance and wandered in, attracted by all the ghoulish signage. What an eclectic place.
We went down three stories. I felt as if we were being drawn down into Dracula’s lair. I loved it. Right up my street. We settled into our ornate, high backed armchairs to be educated about absinth. Apparently, the bright green version was the commoners’ drink who knew no better about this anise flavoured botanical.
Save to say that now I’ve tried it I won’t ever need to try again. One off the bucket list. It’s definitely an acquired taste.
It would be rude not to have tried the traditional Czech chimney cakes known as Trdelnik. On the internet it’s described as a ‘spit cake’ which doesn’t sound too appetising but this describes the fact that it is rolled rather than anything unpleasant. The ‘spit’ refers to the stick the dough is wrapped around. It’s rolled in sugar and grilled. There seems to be hundreds of toppings. We opted for ice cream. They were lush. There are vendors everywhere around the city making them on the spot.
I had to share this big guy. We just turned a corner and there he was. The sculpture is called King Kong Balls. I thought he seems like he has such the right outlook on life, don’t you?
There was also a fabulous little Italian restaurant attached to our hotel. One of those places where it’s only a small menu but boy do they make what they make well. The pizza was magnificent and the Czech house red wasn’t half bad, too.
A last little look at La Ballerina.
As you can no doubt tell, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Prague.
Until today, I hadn’t written a blog post in almost two months as I’ve been so busy with work life. As I write this though, we are almost two weeks into lockdown in a strange, new world where we are all curfewed in our homes. How surreal is that? A virus not a war plays havoc on the world’s human population. That’s like a line out of the intro to a sci-fi movie. I thought finally completing this post about Prague would be a nice thing to share.
Freedom and travel will be in all of our dreams right now if you’re like me.
I hope you enjoy my little bit of escapism.