Why Prague is the Perfect City Break
Since our mid-term break is fast approaching, I thought I’d write a little blog post on Prague for anyone thinking of a last-minute city break. We went last April on our way home to Ireland and completely fell in love with the city.
Three reasons to love Prague:
It’s stunning! – there are hidden treasures around every corner and the architecture is truly incredible. The city is enchanting and has so much to offer in terms of sight-seeing and tours.
The food is incredible! – try everything!!!…especially the Trdelnik, it’s delicious and you’ll find it everywhere throughout the city.
It’s so affordable! – in comparison to other European cities, a few days in Prague definitely won’t break the bank. A one-way ticket from Dubai with SmartWings only cost 600 DHS (around 120 euro), and flights from Ireland or the UK are even cheaper than that when booked in advance.
Where we stayed
We got an amazing deal in a hotel called Occidental Praha Five. The hotel is very modern and comfortable. The rooms are spacious and clean and the breakfast in the morning is delicious. One noteworthy point is that the hotel is about a 15-20 minute walk from some of the most famous sights, but it’s a beautiful walk along the Vltava river, where food and beer festivals are held regularly, so we didn’t mind at all.
What we did
When we travel to a new city we usually have a general idea of things we want to do and see, then buy a tourist map, circle where we want to go and get lost wandering around the streets. We tried to pack as much as we could into our three days in Prague. I’ve listed below everything that we did…
First stop…astronomical clock
This was listed as one of the top sights to see in Prague and we timed it so that we’d be there for when the clock struck the hour. The clock is remarkable since it was built in 1410 and is still working, but I thought, as a top tourist spot, it was a little overrated…and it was really crowded with tourists. The clock is in the Old Town Square, which is definitely worth going to. The buildings are beautiful and you can have your dinner in one of the many restaurants while watching the street artists perform in the square.
Medieval Dinner Experience
When in Prague you’ll find that the city is steeped in Medieval history. There are a number of Medieval style taverns offering traditional Czech food and entertainment. We stumbled across this tavern very near the Old Town and stopped for lunch…the food was incredible but unfortunately their dinner show was fully booked.
A quick Google search showed that there were other Medieval taverns offering similar entertainment nearby so we thought we’d check one out for dinner.
After a few wrong turns and lots of fumbling with our map, we found U Krale Brabantskeho. It looked so nondescript that we could have easily walked straight by it, but as soon as we stepped inside we were blown away! It felt as though were we in an actual tavern from Medieval times. We were taken downstairs through little candlelit passageways and underground chambers. We were offered a menu of Czech food and beer; both delicious.
Throughout the dinner, performers delighted us with fire-dancing and sword-fighting acts. It was a dinner like no other and a definite must do if you’re in Prague. I feel like most of these Medieval style dinner shows offer more or less the same entertainment and food so I’m sure any of them would be great.
St. Vitus Cathedral
This is listed as another top tourist destination. We walked there from the Old Town and the walk was stunning, especially along the river and across Charles Bridge. The bridge is incredible, with three bridge towers and lined with statues the whole way across. It’s a perfect spot for taking photos.
We walked through the streets of the Lesser Quarter to St. Vitus Cathedral. It’s quite a steep walk so remember to wear comfortable shoes. By the time we got there, the sun had just set and the city looked amazing from the high perspective. We walked around the grounds of the cathedral but it was too late to go inside. Walking through the little alleyways feels like being transported to a different time, truly mesmerising.
For stunning panoramic views of the city, walk to the top of Petrin hill, or take the cable-car if you’re feet can’t handle anymore walking. There’s a viewing tower at the summit where you can snap some incredible shots of the city.
If you’re a Beatles fan you’ll want to visit this wall covered in famous Beatles lyrics and John Lennon inspired graffiti. Buskers hang out here playing Beatles music and the atmosphere is very relaxed. I’m not sure whether or not it’s legal but it seems that drinking on the street in Prague is totally acceptable so you can crack open a can of Czech beer and chill out to the music if you’re looking for some down time.
The Child of Prague statue
This famous statue of the child Jesus is located in the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague. There is also a small museum in the church which provides a history of the statue and displays the various ornate robes that the statue has been dressed in! There are lots of cute coffee shops in this area too and plenty of gift shops to purchase your own little Child of Prague statue if you like.
I’d really wanted to see the ballet so I twisted Danny’s arm and booked two seats last minute. Swan Lake was showing so we went for dinner in the city and then made our way to the theatre. The show was very enjoyable but I wouldn’t recommend it as a must-see.
- Book any tours/dinners/shows that you really want to see in advance to avoid disappointment
- Wear comfortable footwear
- Whilst Prague is quite reasonable, we found that taxis there were quite expensive. If you’re not planning of walking too much then maybe book your accommodation nearer the city centre to avoid spending a fortune on taxis.
- Bring a camera…everywhere!
I’d definitely recommend Prague as a city break. Let me know if you’ve been and what you thought of it. 🙂