Prague, Czech Republic
My mama planned us a mother-daughter trip to two particularly cool European cities the week after my sophomore year of college ended. This trip was a Christmas – Birthday combo gift that I will never forget. First stop: Prague, Czech Republic.
We stayed in the Perla Hotel, a contemporary hotel right downtown which includes wi-fi and a free breakfast buffet! The staff was friendly and the rooms were clean and comfortable. The breakfast consists of a true European breakfast buffet, lots of meats, cheeses, and bread allow you to start your morning off with a hearty meal that’ll propel you through the city. The breakfast area turns into a bar/lounge area after hours which certainly came in handy a time or two after a long day of exploring!
There are so many beautiful things to see in Prague. From castles, bridges and churches to parks and gardens there is not a single view that is not breathtaking. To learn as much as possible about the sites of Prague we scheduled a guided tour. Say what you must about guided tours, I can understand why
some most are not the highlight of any trip; however, I do believe that if you pick the right tour for you, it can be one of the greatest memories of your vacation.
We embarked on an ILikeBikes tour which really helped to show us the important landmarks of Prague in a way that we enjoyed. The tour takes place on an electric bike which helps propel your tour without wasting too much energy. Our tour took us up a winding path towards University Apartments and the largest stadium in the world (where the Rolling Stones have performed). The view as you travel up the hillside is breathtaking and learning about the multiple, multi-season uses for the park and the way of life for University students was really interesting.
Our tour continued to the Prague Castle where we witnessed the changing of the guard. From here we traveled to the beer garden where shared a beverage with our tour guide and had great conversation regarding the difference in cultures. There are beverages and food (hot dogs, pretzels, etc.) available at the park and plenty of scenic places to take a seat and enjoy your parties company and the environment!
We made our way to the Church of Our Lady before Týn and Vyšehrad, a historical fort with some serious 10th-century architecture. Last on our stop was the “Lennon Wall” and the Lock bridge, where people physically lock their love to the bridge. Being the lover that I am I absolutely adored both of these sights and took way to many many pictures of them. Anyone looking for a fabulous proposal spot abroad? This is certainly a pretty cool one.
My mom and I REALLY enjoyed this tour. It was incredibly personal and really informative. Unlike a lot of other tours, I’m sure people have experienced in other places, which is why guided tours have such a bad name, it was exciting, upbeat and great ‘bang for our buck’! I highly suggest it if you are visiting this beautiful city. I Like Bike tours are also available in Budapest, Hungary.
There are multiple bridges in Prague, however, one of the most well known is Charles Bridge. Charles Bridge links the old town with the new town and is home to numerous statues and street artists/entertainers. There are two statues in particular that you need to keep in mind when traveling the Charles Bridge: Touching John of Nepomuk (the shiny falling priest on the plaque) ensures your return to Prague and gives you good luck. There is also a cross on the bridge where, as the legend told, the old priest was thrown off; if you touch this cross while making a wish your wish will come true within a year and one day!
Right across the bridge, heading away from Old Town Square and towards Prague Castle, you will find Krusta Artisan Bakery. Although there are many bakeries and cafes throughout the city, you must try the Trdelnik here. Wait for it to be fresh off the press and you will not be disappointed! A delicious stop at any time of day, the smell alone will draw you in; that’s how we ended up inside!
One of my favorite sights to see was the Prague Astronomical Clock. Thankfully it was only a short walk from our hotel because I just had to see this beauty at least once a day, but usually twice. It was installed in 1410 which makes it the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest astronomical clock still operating. Its location in Old Town Hall in Old Town Square makes it very easy to view and easy to view often! There will always be a crowd of people in awe of this work of art, however, at the top of every hour, this crowd grows in size. On the hour the figures mounted around the clock create noise and move their heads while a trumpet plays from the top of the tower.
One of our most memorable meals in Prague was a late lunch at La Scala Pizzeria. Before you get on our backs about choosing Italian while in a different European Country, it just smelled so good we couldn’t resist. We sat outside and had phenomenal service! Our 2-course meal, plus wine for two was not only delicious but wallet friendly. We enjoyed our meal and our service so much that we returned later on that evening for dessert.
Alright, so we really like Italian food. Another great stop was VINOdiVINO! VINOdiVINO is a wallet-friendly establishment with delicious food and great service which takes place in a quaint dining area dressed in red; a good explanation for why they have received 4 and a half stars on TripAdvisor. Please excuse my baby face enjoying my vino in Praha…
Another memorable meal was full of traditional Czech cuisine. My favorite part of the dinner was my sauerkraut soup! If you’re looking for the Czech-iest of meals I suggest ordering a “traditional Bohemian platter” which will consist of roast duck, roast pork, beef sausage, smoked meat, red and white cabbage, bread, bacon and potato dumplings. It’s a very meat-based culture if you couldn’t tell by the description of that last plate; being the carnivore that I am, I fit right in!
Additional Suggestions: Ladies, wear comfortable, flat shoes; the entire city is cobblestones. Eat the traditional food, even if it looks like it’ll put hair on your chest. Everyone we talked to spoke very good English, which we were very thankful for, so don’t stress about the language barrier! Last but not least, beware of random sidewalk elevators (see example photo below). I certainly plan on returning!