The city of spires and home to some of the most exquisite beers on earth, Prague makes for the perfect quick getaway destination, and with not just one, but two bank holidays this May, there’s never been a better time to take in some culture…and beer.
With it’s breathtaking Gothic architecture, labyrinths of cobbled streets and a smorgasbord of cultural attractions, Prague was made for the urban adventurer. Take a leisurely stroll out from the Town Square, and you’ll discover ancient gothic castles, hidden gardens, cosy cafes and traditional bars. With so much to see and do, there’s something for everyone in this stunning city. So let your imagination wander away, and lose yourself in all that Prague has to offer.
Here are our top picks for things to do:
OLD TOWN SQUARE (STARE MESTO)
Known as the heart of Prague, the Old Town Square offers one of Europe’s largest and most beautiful urban spaces. Lined with multicoloured houses the Square sits in view of the elegant Town Hall with it’s world famous astronomical clock. From quaint labyrinthine streets, you’re led to the stunning expanse of the Square, often inhabited by busking musicians; the strums of guitars are often heard ringing across the Square, creating a charming and unique atmosphere.
Prague’s most popular attraction, Prague Castle, with its soaring spires and towers is an architectural marvel reminiscent of a fairy-tale fortress. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, with its vast expanse of interconnected palaces and religious buildings, you can easily lose yourself in the architectural splendor Prague has to offer.
One of Prague’s most iconic landmarks is the Charles Bridge. This gothic bridge is marked by towers on either end and decorated with Baroque statues. No trip to Prague would be complete without visiting this historic landmark, but be warned, the bridge can be jam-packed on any given warm day. But even with the bustling crowds, nothing can take away from the spectacular views over looking the calm waters of the Vltava river.
ST. VITUS CATHEDRAL
St. Vitus Cathedral is a gothic masterpiece and spiritual symbol of Czech pride. Taking nearly six centuries to complete, you’ll be awe of the dizzying spires. Visitors can climb the Great South Tower, see the bell partway up, and enjoy spectacular views over the city from the top. The tower has 287 narrow, winding steps, and is more than 90 metres high.
PRAGUE CITY MUSEUM
The grand Prague City Museum has a long established presence within the city, having opened in 1898, the Museum specializes in the history of the city, from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Including medieval and renaissance galleries with a wealth of intriguing artifacts, the main draw of the museum is Antonin Langweil’s model of Prague as it look from 1826 to 1834.
One of Europe’s best known tourist attractions and an absolute must for visitors to Prague, is the iconic Astronomical Clock featured in the Old Town Hall Tower. On the hour, every hour crowds are entertained with a spectacular mechanical performance, including the figure of death who rings a bell to announce the start of another hour and turns his hourglasses. Be warned however, this attraction is undergoing maintenance until Summer 2018, so views may be restricted.
CZECH BEER TASTING
Home to some of the best beers in the world, your trip to Prague would not be complete without tasting some of the frothy delights. There’s a wide range of regional Czech beers to sample, and with the recent revival of traditional brewing, there is a wealth of microbreweries crafting exceptional ales to suit every taste bud.
We recommended pairing your taste tests with some traditional “beer snacks”, which can be found on virtually every Czech restaurant menu. Classics include home-grown Prague ham with horseradish cream, pickled sausage (known as “utopence” on the menu) and for vegetarians…pickled cheese. Try Lokal for the some of the best “beer snacks” Prague has to offer.
There’s a wide range of local delicacies to tantalize the taste-buds in Prague, from their traditional pastries to wholesome soups, you’ll be spoiled for choice! What’s more, Czech cuisine is a meat-lovers paradise, with many of their dishes featuring roast duck and pork. Needless to say, vegetarians aren’t particularly catered for in Prague in regards to dinner.
The Traditional Bohemian Platter
For a little taste of everything, we recommend a traditional Bohemian platter, which consists of smoked and roasted meats including duck and pork, beer sausage and bacon, red cabbage, potato dumplings, and bread. This banquet style meal is served in most, if not all, traditional Czech restaurants.
Czech is famed for its soups and sauces, and none more so is their rich and creamy soup Kulajda (pronounced “ku-lay-dah”). This traditional soup is made from potatoes, mushrooms, dill and vinegar, served with a poach egg on top. This soup is a symphony of flavors and is deliciously filling. The best place to try this soup is the Imperial Cafe situated just a short walk from Old Town.
Like so many countries, Czech is home to an array of sweet delights. So what it may lack in vegetarian cuisine, it makes up for in sweet treats. One of the most popular Czech pastries is the Kremrole; simply flaky pastries with a center of soft meringue cream, reminiscent of an Italian cannoli. Available from every reputable Czech bakery, be sure to try out this little taste of heaven.