Easy city guide to Prague

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Easy City Guide to Prague

I'm not proud that it's taken me 3 months to write about my city break to Prague. I've really needed to get my shit together on writing up in-depth posts so here's me breaking with my summer faffing and bringing you the goods.

I was really surprised by how beautiful and cultural Prague is. In the UK, it's best known as a popular stag and hen-do location for plenty of Brits who are after a cheap drink. Don't get me wrong, I was very pleased with the drink prices myself, particularly of the beer. However, I wasn't prepared how much there was to see and do as well!

Me and my friend went for just over 3 days, so we had slightly longer than a weekend to explore, and it was lovely to use the final day to re-visit areas that we liked and not rush as much. If you do only have a weekend stop-over, here is an easy city guide to help you soak up as much of this fascinating city as possible.


Easy City Guide to Prague
First day

Like with many of my travel posts, I would always recommend a free walking tour on the first day of your trip. It's so helpful for finding your bearings in a city that seems quite confusing, and you'll often pick up lots of useful tips from a true local such as great restaurants, things to do, and how to make sure you're not being tourist trapped! Again, we chose Sandemans for a free tour as I've done countless tours with them and they've always been a fabulous and interesting introduction to the city, with plenty of history and cultural information to learn.

We spent our first day mainly wandering and seeing what we found, and it wasn't until we went on the tour that we realised how much we'd not seen yet! Prague is divided into the historic old town and the beautiful new town, separated by the famous Charles Bridge over the Danube.

I would thoroughly recommend sticking to one part of the city and giving it your full attention. We gave ourselves a bit of a painful walk on the first day, and decided to head towards the Petrin Tower, which looks a lot like the Eiffel Tower. I got a little nerve-wracked at how high-up and unstable it felt, but you can see views across the whole city and it's really spectacular. We then wandered back over the bridge into the Old Town after a mighty walk through the New Town, so we were exhausted.

Another fantastic viewpoint is the Prague Castle complex. It was one of the most bizarre castles I've ever seen and it's completely worth the visit. Firstly, the grounds are HUGE, mainly because there have been four reconstructions, lending to a fascinating mix of architectural styles in one place. I thought it was crazy that the cathedral, St. Vitus, was within the palace grounds, a beautiful, gothic structure amongst canary-yellow palace walls. 


Easy City Guide to Prague
Once you've done a little sightseeing and a lot of walking, you'll certainly be thinking about where to stop off and eat. The food in Prague is a mix of mainly traditional, eastern-European dishes. Think beef goulash everywhere, a lot of dumplings, potato and meat! However, I was delighted to find that in plenty of places they served duck, chicken and there was plenty of other cuisines on offer, such as Italian, French and American. The dishes are good value and big portions.

It was interesting to learn where the more tourist-trap restaurants weren't as much in the famous Old Town Square, which is usually the case in France, Spain and Italy, but in fact those closest to Charles Bridge. Although everywhere is good value for money, we found that the restuarants below or next to the bridge were the priciest, so do keep this in mind.

Don't forget to grab yourself a cheap beer or gin and tonic while you're there. I couldn't believe how good value it was! 

Easy City Guide to Prague
After dinner, we often headed towards the Old Town Square for a spot of watching the world go by, with an ice cream or even a chimney cake, a Prague speciality! You'll see them advertised everywhere as you walk through the city - these are deep fried vertical donuts, covered in sugar and filled with a variety of toppings, the most popular being nutella and ice cream. My personal favourite was salted caramel slathered inside, as I found ice cream and chocolate too much!

Second day

As you can see, it was almost overwhelming deciding what to do as there was simply so much. By the second day, you'll hopefully have covered a hefty portion of the city! If history is something that interests you, I thoroughly recommend heading to the Jewish Museum. Within the old town, there is a former Jewish district which was a thriving hub for centuries for Czechia's Jewish population. The streets are incredibly smart and chic, and now have the likes of Chanel and Dior on their pavements. If you head further into the Jewish district, you'll come across a stark cemetry and collection of syngagogues, churches. You can buy tickets to get in, and I would recommend buying for everything.

The cemetery became incredibly important after the Final Solution in 1943, where all of Czechia's Jewish population was systematically eradicated. We were told during our walking tour that the cemetry looks incredibly high-up on the ground because of the sheer number of bodies that have been buried on top of each other in layers. Walking around the cemetry itself is unlike anything else I've experienced, with so many headstones crammed in together that they stuck out like daggers.

The truly haunting and emotional part of the cemetry, however, is within the memorial building as you enter the cemetry. If you walk up the stairs, there is an exhibition with around 100 pictures drawn by Czech children during their time in concentration camps. We took our time, really looking at the pictures and thinking about the turmoil these children would have gone through at the time. I left on the verge on the tears and it really moved me. 

In hindsight, I wish I'd had a bigger breakfast beforehand as the experience left me feeling a little nauseous, so I would strongly recommend to do so in preparation. Regardless, it's a beautiful collection and necessary insight into a truly terrible part of Jewish history.


Easy City Guide to Prague
If you're a coffee fan like myself, I'll admit, it was hard to find any truly amazing coffee shops. There was however a lovely place just off the Old Town Square, opposite the famous Astronomical Clock, Espresso Bar and Bistro, which we went to for coffee in the morning. The women in there are very kind and the coffee was pretty strong.

There is a certainly a outside drinking culture, but I didn't pick up on much of a coffee culture which is common in most European cities. One of the nicest thing is sitting in the square with a drink and watching the world go by in the square, especially on a balmy evening. 

After your coffee stop, another must-see is the John Lennon wall. I was a bit overwhelmed by how many people there were, jostling for photos by a graffiti portrait of him but it's worth stopping by. There is no historical reason why this wall has appeared, but round the corner, there is a John Lennon-themed pub too for proper Beatles fans. We returned two days later and we were astonished to see that new graffiti had already appeared over the top!
 
On a particular gorgeous afternoon, we also made sure to see as much of Prague along the river with a 2 hour boat ride. There are plenty of different companies and tours available, and you'll see them advertised particularly aggressively near Charles Bridge. After a lot of deliberation, we chose 2 hours as we didn't feel an hour would be long enough.

Easy City Guide to Prague

If you're interested, we chose Prague Boats, as it was one of the few that offered anything longer than an hour that didn't include restaurant meals and other activities. It was such a perfect chilled afternoon activity, taking in the sights as we drifted along the Danube. It was a gloriously sunny day and it was worth every penny. 

This post might appear whistle-stop, given that most people are more likely to spend a weekend here, whereas we had a bit longer to explore. I was blown away by how impressive and unique Prague is as a city. Granted, you will see a lot of stag and hen-dos whilst ou're here, especially in the evening, but it did not ruin our trip for a second. There is so much to see and do here and we miss out on bits ourselves but I would 100% recommend for a cheap but amazing city break!

Have you been to Prague before? What are your favourite things about the city? Tell me in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

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