Why you should stop by Prague if you're traveling in Europe
Dernière mise à jour : 9 janv. 2020
It's no secret that Prague has become a must-see for anyone venturing into the Old Continent. The city has everything: a fairy-tale square, a huge castle, great beers, and SO MUCH FOOD! After spending a few days in Czech Republic's capital during an epic Euro Trip (which you will read about from time to time), I have rounded up a few things you should see and do upon your visit to The City of a Hundred Spires.
Before we dive in, make sure to exchange your Euros for Czech korunas (good news: you will feel like royalty as it is so cheap over there but finding a currency exchange office last minute was a small challenge).
Where to stay?
Although Prague is relatively small and many of the sites are walkable, if you stay anywhere close or even in the historic town, you should be fine. For travelers on a budget, I strongly recommend checking out Mosaic Hostel. Of all the hostels I've ever stayed at, this is by far one of my favorites. The location itself is a huge selling point. They have a great bar section with tons of activities you can attend (the iconic pub crawl and morning walking tour just to name a few) and the hostel's standards are far more superior than some I've been to.
Now, if you'd rather stay in a boutique hotel my choice would go to BoHo Hotel. The latter is a former art deco post office given a makeover and is located only a mere 5 minutes away from Prague's Old Town.
What to see?
Of course, the top attractions that will figure on your list will be Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and the castle. As a history buff, I wanted to the scars of WWII since I knew many European capitals were heavily bombarded and yet Prague relatively came out untouched. Sure you will see a few physical shreds of evidence as the city was occupied by Nazi-Germany and the Old Town was partially destroyed in the bombings. What struck me the most was my visit to the Jewish Quarter. The latter was immaculate; untouched! As if the war never happened. To learn that Hitler wanted to preserve the Jewish Quarter as a “Museum of an Extinct Race” is not only a monstrosity but a reminder of the evil that plagued the 20th century which we shall never forget.
Now onto the carbs and booze bit...
I hope you brought stretchy pants and have liver insurance because the Czech are not here to play! From being the biggest beer drinkers in the world to offering some of the most delicious, comforting, filling and addictive food, I hope you will bring a good pair of walking shoes in order to walk off those calories.
I remember the first time I tasted death
I know this is not per say Czech alcohol, but the first time ever I was introduced to the Green Fairy was in Prague during the bar hopping extravaganza through the hostel. Yeah, I am talking about absinthe here. The latter is an anise-flavoured spirit but the Czech have created they own by replacing anise with wormwood which goes by the name of Bohemian-style (or also called Czech-style) absinth. My liver still remembers.
If you wish to visit the absinthe mecca of Prague, head over to Absintherie.
Jilská 235/7, 110 00 Staré Město
Drink like a local
Alright maybe not, but since the Czech Republic is crown has the country that consumes the most beers per capita, that says a lot. This means the Czech Republic easily beats out Germany, Ireland, and Belgium. In numbers, the country drinks on average about 161 liters of beer per person each year! So why not pay our respect and head to Strahov Monastery Brewery and let us cheer to good health!
Photo by Strahov Monastery Brewery
Strahovské Nádvoří, Prague 1
Another place you should visit in order to pair good beers with typical Czech dishes would be at Lokál. From roast pork with cabbage and dumplings to kulajda (the Czechs are crazy with their soups and sauces), you will be well taken care of.
Dlouhá 33 110 00 Prague 1
Party at one of Europe's biggest nightclubs
Karlovy Lazne is huuuuuge. Basically an old 15th-century building that was repurposed as a 5 frigging' stories nightclub since 1999. And yes, every floor has its' own kind of music as well. Instead of paying the entrance fee, I went to the club through the hostel's pub crawl as the last stop. But if you do visit the city, I strongly recommend you to stop at this institution.
Novotného lávka 198/13, 110 00 Staré Město
Soak in the scenery from a rooftop bar
Of course, when one asks the question of why you should visit Prague, it could be because it is so cheap (many thanks to the Czech Koruna) but in truth, the beauty of Prague is mesmerizing and scenic from every angle. So why not take full advantage of this gift and admire the panoramic view of the capital by having dinner at Terasa U Zlaté studně. The latter is located atop the hotel Golden Well, right by the famous Prague Castle.
Photo from Terasa U Zlaté studně
U Zlaté studně 166/4 118 00 Prague 1
Chill at the same Café where Frank Kafka and Albert Einstein have set foot in
Speaking here of Café Louvre which opened in 1902 and has been frequented by prominent figures since its opening. The good news is that the Café also serves dishes worthy of the Czechian grandmas' standards. The type that is so comforting that you'd ask for a second serving. Yes, Café Louvre makes a good Svickova amongst many other things. But the former is kind of a veggie sauce with cream that contains carrots, celery, and parsley roots and involves a piece of beef pierce with speck and is served with bread dumpling. Think of a dish usually served on Thanksgiving. Yummy, comforting and blessed by the gods.
Národní 22, 110 00 Nové Město
Have you ever been to Prague? If so what are your must-sees?
All photos were taken by me unless stated otherwise