Looking across the Czech capital, you know immediately why Prague is known as the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ with its plethora of church steeples and spires that dot its skyline for miles around. This beautiful city is a true gem of Eastern Europe. Prague’s rich history, spectacular beauty plus bargain prices make it a great destination for the travelust – and also a popular spot for stag weekends! That being said, Prague has a lot more to offer than cheap booze and cliche bar tours (although these should not be discounted), so we’ve thrown together a few recommendations that will ensure you have an authentic experience whilst visiting.
Where to stay
A great way to bunk up in Prague is to stay in an Airbnb. Hotels and hostels are nice, and often easier when it comes to checking in and out, but you’ll feel more at home staying in a traditional Czech house. Since it’s easy to spend days scrolling through Airbnb, we’ve picked out a couple favourites. Check out this beautiful apartment, that’s located a two-minute walk away from the iconic Charles Bridge, or this historical apartment that’s just five minutes from the bridge.
Although we like Airbnb, some people may prefer staying in a hotel for more of an upscale experience. One of our favourites is the Hotel Klárov. Situated in the centre of the city, you would be staying in a beautiful 1890s building with stunning views of the city. The rooms were recently renovated with the addition of motifs paying tribute to famous musicians (e.g. David Bowie, Bob Dylan) who have performed in Prague since the fall of the Soviet Union. The Klárov is just the right mixture for that “special” city stay. There is also a special offer for guests this summer (including a complementary boat trip and a bottle of wine upon arrival). Check out their official website for details.
Where to visit
The center of Prague is relatively small, so it’s perfect for walking around and soaking up the city’s historic architecture. Start your walk in Old Town Square and head along Parizska towards the Pražský metronome. We recommend climbing up all the stairs, so forget about your morning run. The view is worth the hike. Afterwards, you can take a stroll around the lovely Letná Park before wandering over to the famous Prague Castle, located on the same side of the river. Founded around 880 AD, it is the largest castle complex in the world, boasting stunning architectural styles that reflect its thousand-plus year history. Entry tickets and guided tours can be bought on the official website for affordable prices.
From there, you can walk back downtown, crossing the world-famous Charles Bridge (and don’t miss the aspiring performers). If that wasn’t enough walking for you, check out Malá Strana and Palác Žofín for some classic Czech ambiance.
Also, don’t forget to go to the central square and check out the Prague Astronomical Clock, or ‘Prague Orloj.’ The oldest functioning clock in the world, it is a must-see attraction. It was built in 1410 and 75 percent of the clock’s parts date back to the 15th century. Its multiple dials present the date, time and astronomical cycles. Stunning.
For any Beatles fans out there, the John Lennon Wall is also a fun spot to visit, which has famously featured Lennon-inspired graffiti since the 1980s. The wall has an interesting and politically fraught history which is worth reading up on.
The Estates Theater is another one for your bucket list. The awe-inspiring auditorium inside was host to Mozart, who famously performed numerous productions there, including the premiere of his opera Don Giovanni in 1787. You can see opera, ballet and drama performances there today.
Free walking tours (all you need to do is book a time online and show up) are provided regularly in English, covering areas such as Old Town, Prague Castle, New Town and the lesser known areas of Žižikov and Vyšehrad. Private tours can also be booked for a fee through the same organization.
We love the idea of getting off your feet while you explore, so check out Scrooser Tour, which offers a unique touring experience of Prague. Great news is that these specially-designed e-scooters are both suitable for roads and for bike paths, giving visitors a chance to see more of the city. Tour prices range from €39 – €75 depending on the length. Alternatively, if you choose to fair your own way, scooter rentals are dotted around the city – though be aware that motor traffic is limited near the city centre for the sake of pedestrians.
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Where to eat
If you’re looking for a quick bite while you’re touring the city, Bageterie Boulevard is everywhere, offering tasty sandwiches and soups. The evening, however, calls for something the Czech do incredibly well: casual but delicious dining. Treat yourself to a hearty atmosphere and high-quality Czech meat at Kantyna, or book a table at Grils for some of the best chicken and beer you’ll ever have. If traditional food is what you’re after, then you cannot go wrong with V Kolkovně.
For the meat-lovers out there, the Czech-style pork knuckle at Restaurant Mlejnice is wildly popular among locals. Located in a small alley near Old Town, this is not the easiest spot to find, but trust us: it is worth searching for. At the risk of overloading you with recommendations, we feel it is necessary to also mention Nota Bene, which combines great Czech craft beers with fresh, locally sourced food. It is one of the few restaurants that receives all of its food from local producers, rotating its main dishes daily based on seasonal factors and availability.
Where to drink
As the birthplace of the pilsner, the Czech Republic takes serious pride in its beer selection. In many places, a beer costs less than a bottle of water. There are bars all over the city pulling tourists in, and chances are you will eventually end up in an old pub drinking a pint. A hidden gem located to the south of the city centre, Mrtva Ryba serves local craft brews at prices suitable for students. For a more traditional feel, check out Zlateho Tygra, a proper beer hall that serves classic Czech pilsners. When you go to pay and see that a pint costs a third of what it does in London, you’ll realise the entire trip was worth it.
If you are not a beer-lover and prefer something a little more refined, the world-famous cocktails at the 1930s, prohibition-style Black Angel’s Bar will not fail to impress. You can also find live jazz here in the evenings.
Home of the annual International Jazz Festival and an abundance of live music venues, Prague is well-known as a hub for local and foreign jazz acts. While there are many venues that you can check out, there were a few that stood out to us.
U Malého Glena is a small, bustling venue a short walk from the Charles Bridge. The club mostly focuses on local talent, showcasing an excellent selection of local jazz and blues groups. It is hailed by many as the best jazz club in Prague, offering a unique home-grown experience unlike any you might find elsewhere. Another club that is recommended is the AghaRTA Jazz Centrum (located near Old Town Square), which opened in 1922 and hosts the AghaRTA Jazz Festival every October and November. The performances feature prominent jazz musicians from around the world. Finally, if you’d like to visit the jazz club where US President Bill Clinton jammed in 1994, check out Reduta. With seven days a week of live music, this club offers progressive jazz fusion with a modern twist.
Where to play
It’s always fun to get a little fancy, in which case you should check out this underground wine and cognac bar for a tasting and a workshop. U Staré Studny is located in Malá Strana behind a metal gate and while a little hidden away, it’s worth searching for.
Wildt may be advertised as a bar, but they have some seriously fun DJ nights too, and this spot is a true refuge from the overly touristy spots near the town center. The staff are fun, the music is great and the drinks are cheap. On a nice day, the beer garden is a great place to enjoy good food and drink.
“Ahoj” (how you say “later” in Czech) and see you in Prague!