The beautiful city of Praha is undoubtedly one of my favorite places in the world, and always comes up in conversations when I'm asked about memorable trips and experiences. I came here in October 2015 with new friends I made abroad while studying in Vienna, and I had a magical time. The weather was perfection, the food was out of this world, and I got lost in my own happiness wandering the endless cobblestone streets. To say I was excited to come back again is an understatement. This time around, the weather was not as ideal, with temperatures hovering at around 3 degrees Celsius. I stayed indoors as much as I could, eating everything the city had to offer (seriously guys, all I did was eat), and checking out the boutiques. I have done everything before, but every visit to the same place is always different. However, I loved it just the same. Melissa also had a chance to visit back in the summer (check out her Prague Diaries here), and it's awesome to be able to share the knowledge of this beautiful place with her. This by no means is a complete Prague itinerary, but definitely covers the highlights and my food suggestions for a quick weekend trip to the capital of the Czech Republic.
THINGS TO DO
Walk around Old Town
The Old Town Square is definitely a central hub for the city of Prague, and there is always hustle and bustle here. Christmas and New Years markets are still around in January (partially why I came), and I can literally spend hours here browsing for souvenirs and stuffing my face with everything from potato salad and freshly roasted pork, to chocolate trdelniks and warm hot wine. There is nothing quite like visiting a city in Europe during the holidays since Christmas markets add to the festive spirit and give the city a whole other added dimension.
Visit the Famous Prague Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical clock in Old Town is one of the top 5 most visited landmarks in Europe, with flocks of visitors crowding around the clock any time of the year. I went on a tour last year and found the myth of the clock fascinating and extremely intriguing, and gives another dimension to what people may think is a simple timepiece. Give it a read here. It is stunning to say the least, and is actually the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, and oldest still operating,
Walk across the Charles Bridge or take a boat ride on it
Charles Bridge is easily my favorite bridge in the world that I have ever crossed, and its beauty didn't fail to amaze me again on this visit. The historic bridge crosses the Vltava River, and dates back over 650 years. Last October I spent a morning watching the sunrise on the bridge, and I always stop for an extra moment to take in its beauty. Maybe it's the 360 degree stunning views or just the majestic air surrounding the bridge, but my heart skips a beat whenever I cross it.
Hike up Petrin Hill
This mountain peak situated on the opposite side of the Old Town boasts a view of the city of Prague that is hard to forget. I only saw views of Prague from the castle last year, but made the trek up (in the snow!) to see the skyline this time around. It was a bit foggy, and the weather was not the most ideal, but I was still able to see Prague in a different light than I have before given the snow on top of the buildings.
Explore New Town
I mentioned earlier that I love Prague because it has a way of getting me lost just like Venice. I'm usually pretty decent at navigation, but no matter how many times I seem to maneuver through the same streets here, I still get a bit lost here. Everything looks familiar, but I can never make up my mind which direction to go. I don't really mind it, though ;)
Pass by the Lennon Wall
I've had the chance to see the Lennon wall on two occasions now, and it's amazing to see its evolution over time through other people's lens on social media and Instagram. The wall has become symbolic of love and peace, and is a piece of art that is tucked away in an alley after crossing the Charles Bridge from Old Town. In the warmer months, you can often see musicians playing the guitar and singing songs in front of the wall, which adds to the overall experience.
Check out the views and market at Prague Castle
The trek to Prague Castle is probably one of the biggest highlights for me, since the journey takes me through the entire city by foot, from Old Town, across the Charles Bridge, and finally up an inclining pathway/staircase that takes you to the majestic castle. I actually have never made it inside the castle itself or taken a tour of the premises, which is a bit disappointing, but I still took advantage of my time in the area by walking around the squares and admiring the breathtaking panorama of the entire city from a bird's eye view. The best part about being up here is the Christmas market that is still bustling in early January. Last year, my friends and I sat on some stairs with a view of the castle, and literally ate everything from the market, from fresh sausages and sandwiches, to steaming hot potato and cabbage salad. I was soooo happy to take another bite of that potato salad this time around.
St. Martin was a local hot spot I found on TripAdvisor that boasted high ratings, low prices, delicious food, and even better serving presentation. Almost too good to be true, right? It basically checked off every thing on a food lover's list, so I decided to check it out after visiting Prague Castle and the views from above. I ordered the ever-so-popular boar burger (super juicy!) and steak, and I really enjoyed both dishes. They had great flavor accompanied by unique sauces, and I devoured everything pretty quickly.
Shout out to Meghan <3, who has been raving about this vegan, Czech-Asian fusion restaurant right at the outskirts of old town ever since she came last year with her family. I honestly had such a hard time deciding what to order since everything sounded so delicious, but eventually narrowed it down to the Thai eggplant dish and quesadilla. As basic as these may sound, they were bursting with unique flavors that I cannot even explain.. I also loved my barley drink with green apple, which I ordered spontaneously since there were such cool drinks on the extensive menu.
I'm a pretty avid Yelper, so I found this gem at the top of every search. Den (day) Noc (night) serves up stacks of delicious savory and sweet pancakes any time of the day, and transforms into a hip wine bar in the evening.. I thought the same thing, how can pancakes be so special? Maybe it's the extremely fluffy batter and unique combinations of stacks they serve up that make it stand out from the breakfast and brunch crowd.
Arugula, Grand Moravia, creme fraiche, egg
Avocado, bacon, feta, basil, lime
This is dramatic, but I looked forward to Prague for months for this tradition Czech pastry right here, and admit to dreaming about it once or twice. There's nothing like a warm and freshly made pastry smothered in Nutella or filled with yummy, vanilla ice cream in any weather. They're so cheap here and I miss them already
I devoured the delicious burgers from the butcher/meat shop last year, and man does it taste equally as amazing this time around. We sampled the pork knuckles served with bread, mustard, and pickles, which was their special of the day, and also a classic cheeseburger with delicious, high quality beef. It seriously hit the spot.
I spotted Sister's colorful open faced mini sandwiches on Instagram and had it in the back of my mind for my trip. Coincidentally, it was right next to Naše Maso, so we naturally had to pop in to sample a few of their specials for ourselves.
-Classic pork with potato salad and egg (left)
-Traditional roast beef (most popular) (right)
It was a great ending to the first park of my meal over at the restaurant next door, and it kept me full until my next food adventure (aka another trdelnik)
Now that I have finished this post, I am extremely hungry... And that's a wrap for Prague, everyone! It's incredibly exciting for me to recap my few days in this city since Praha is an extremely nostalgic place for me. If you're interested, take a look at my post from October 2015, the O.G. Prague visit post from my travel abroad diaries. Glad to say that the photo quality has luckily improved since then. Thank you so much for visiting and can't wait to share the next adventure with you!