The Europe Mini-Tour: Prague

In the summer of 2017, I planned a Mini-Tour of Europe with my boyfriend at the time. We decided to do 4 European cities over 2 and a half weeks, mainly travelling by bus between these capitals. This mini-series of blog posts focusses on the four cities we visited, and my personal recommendations and highlights! I’ll delve a little bit into travel options along the way too.

Travel to Prague:
As Prague was the first stop on our tour, we opted for a flight from England. We scanned the net for the cheapest option, and took one suitcase between us, meaning we managed to get super cheap flights from Stansted (which my ex-boyfriend lived very close to). The flight was easy, painless and cheap. And of course, flying is the natural choice when getting from the UK to mainland Europe, unless you have a vehicle or fancy a very long bus journey.

Day One –

We got a very late flight that landed in Prague at about 11pm, so after getting an Uber equivalent from the airport to our Airbnb (which we conveniently shared with another couple headed in the same direction) we went straight to bed. The day after being our first proper day meant it was time to explore! We started with breakfast in a nearby patisserie. We chose an Airbnb (a private room rather than a whole apartment) just a few minutes walk from all of Prague’s most popular spots, and ended up not even seeing the other people staying in the flat, so truly it was perfectly convenient.

Our first day was spent discovering the tourist hotspots nearby. First, we walked to the Old Town Square, which I’m sure you’ve seen beautiful photos of all over Instagram. This is the location of the Astronomical Clock, another famous landmark, and is full of beauty. From here, we walked over Charles Bridge, a medieval stone arch bridge that crosses the Vltava river, and provides another great photo spot!

Just across Charles Bridge is the astounding Lennon Wall. I was blown away by this landmark, which is a wall next to the river covered in the most incredible graffiti. I could have spent hours perusing the wall, admiring each individual work of art, but unfortunately, we had plenty more to see too.

Just one tiny section of the ongoing Lennon Wall graffiti!

Our next stop was the Franz Kafka museum. At the time I wasn’t well versed with the work of Kafka (for those who don’t know: he’s one of the major figures in 20th century literature), but my ex-boyfriend was very familiar and insisted we visit. I am very glad I did. I was informed about the life and works of Kafka, and the museum is wonderful, with lots of information and displays. And, it’s only a stone’s throw away from the Lennon Wall and relatively cheap!

From here we more to the castle district, a little further away from the central part of Prague we had been in before. The district itself encompasses a wide range of attractions, but we opted to walk up the hill to view the castle from the outside and walk around the main castle square to view the changing of the guards. Trust me, the steep walk up is worth it for the views across the city! All around the castle district there are also market stalls and street food stalls. We indulged in some beautiful street food roasted potatoes, which I could definitely have eaten three times over.

Next, we headed to the Deer Moat, a natural ravine separating the castle from the north foreground. It is a lovely escape into greenery in the middle of the bustling city of Prague, and the nature is very peaceful.

A shot from our walk through Dear Moat, beautiful green scenes the whole way through, and a great escape from the city!

From here, we carried on with our walking theme, and headed up to Letna Park. That evening we were heading here for Letni Letna, the local arts festival hosted in the park, and thought we could wander around the area and get a feel for it. The park was full of different tents for performances, activities for kids and food and drink stalls. The park itself is built on Letna hill, overlooking the Old Town and the river, creating beautiful panoramas. The park was full of sunlight, and happy voices, and it was truly worth a visit, especially with this arts festival going on.

The incredible view from Letna Park.

That night, we returned to Letna Park to watch ‘Kolaps’, a circus show performed as part of Letni Letna festival. There were plenty of different shows on offer, but not speaking the local language, I opted for something that focussed on the physical side of performance. The performers were incredible talented, and provided a super enjoyable show for our evening entertainment, I only wished we had had more time to enjoy other events that were part of this arts festival.

We had dinner at U Jindrisske Veze, a restaurant I had found on TripAdvisor, which served traditional Czech food for a reasonable price. The food was nothing crazy, but was a good introduction to Czech food (even if I had goulash, which is technically Hungarian…). We headed home to bed exhausted from a busy day, but with full stomachs and thoroughly entertained.

Day Two –

It was a brand new day in Prague, and that meant it was time for some new activities! Today, we decided to head to the New Town of Prague, having spent most of our time in the Old Town the day before.

Our first stop was Wenceslas Square, the centre of business and one of the main cities squares in the New Town, which is part of the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site. Funnily enough, this so called ‘square’ is less of a square and more of a very long rectangle, so we walked around for a while viewing the many statues and the architecture.

After this leisurely stroll we decided it was time for some breakfast, and headed to Cafe Level, a lovely, modern, coffee shop, serving breakfast, conveniently located very close to the Franz Kafka head… our next stop!

The Head of Franz Kafka is an outdoor sculpture depicting Kafka himself. It is made up of rotating panels which rotate individually, creating an absolutely wonderful spectacle. If you are in the New Town of Prague it is definitely worth visiting just to see how intricate the mechanisms are.

Revolving Frank Kafka head statue in the New Town.

We then headed back to the Old Town, and the Old Town Square that we had fallen in love with the day before. Today, we got to see the Astronomical Clock changing. The Astronomical Clock in Prague was installed in 1410, making it the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, and the oldest still in operation! I could watch this rotation over and over, the intricacies of the clock are truly phenomenal, and there is always something more to see. Unfortunately, when we visited, the Astronomical Clock has scaffolding around it, slightly ruining the view, however still an incredible attraction.

The Astronomical Clock, Prague, Old Town Square (unfortunately it was covered in scaffolding so I couldn’t get many good pictures, but it really is spectacular in person)

Directly next to the Astronomical Clock is the house Franz Kafka lived in, which is a beautiful sight, covered in ornamentation on the outside, and a great stop by on your way from the clock.

The house Franz Kafka used to live in, located in the Old Town Square.

Next up was a visit to the Spanish Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague. This is the newest synagogue in the area, and fascinatingly enough was built on the site of the oldest. It is build in the most beautiful style, and the main hall of the synagogue is truly a sight to behold, in a Moorish Revival Style. I was astounded by the delicacy and intricacy of this place of worship, and would recommend a visit to anyone. Plus, right next door is another Franz Kafka statue to visit!

Incredible interior of the Spanish Synagogue.

That was it for day two, and we headed back to our Airbnb for a good night’s sleep after a long day!

Day Three –

Our last day in this wonderful city, and therefore we opted for one of the many free walking tours that are offered online! I spend a long time trailing Tripadvisor before I go away, and the free walking tours were very well recommended. The tours themselves are technically free, however, you are expected to tip the tour guide however much you think the tour was worth. Given the depth and knowledge of the guides, it’s safe to say they earn whatever you pay them, and be generous! Our walking tour covered the New Town and the Jewish Quarter, and we hit loads of spots we hadn’t seen in Prague yet, and I was very impressed with the guides’ depth of knowledge. I won’t give too much away, as I really think the walking tour is worth every penny of what you give them, and you should embark on one if you have the time! They can be quite long, so take a look at the timings before you commit, but they run at several times during the day, and to different places, so you should be able to find one that works!

We indulged in a treat after all that walking in the morning, and opted for churros from a street vender… I’m a sucked for a sweet treat and they are everywhere in Prague, so really take your pick.

That evening we had dinner at Kavarna Obecni Dum, an art deco cafe/restaurant located in Prague’s Municipal Building. This building is home to one of Prague’s best concert venues, and the building itself is an Art Nouveau sight to behold. The restaurant itself is part of a chain, and they did a very good dinner deal for 3 courses at a reasonable price. We had goulash and schnitzel as our mains, and the food was very nice, if not all completely traditional. Kavarna Obecni Dum is also great for an afternoon snack of cake and tea, as we visited another time too!

A view of the crowds from the Old Town Square (writing this made me realise how much I miss crowds!)

After our delicious, and filling meal, we headed to Beer Story. Located in the Old Town, Beer Story is located in the basement underneath Food Story, the corresponding eatery. We tried several of the different craft beers they had on offer, and the prices were relatively cheap, meaning we enjoyed this trip greatly. Definitely a place to visit if you like good beer and want to try a whole range of different ones. A really enjoyable atmosphere too!

Now, I am coming to the end of my Prague blog post, and I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to mention Chimney Cake. Chimney Cake has to be a staple when visiting Prague, and we indulged in far more than I’d like to admit. Although they are traditionally Hungarian, Prague streets are littered with stalls and cafes selling them, and they are definitely a treat worth trying. They are incredible sugar pastries that can be topped or filled with a whole variety of different things, making them adaptable for every mood (or at least that’s what I found… which is probably why I ate them so much!)

This is where my Prague journey ended, as we got a bus to Vienna early the next day. Keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming post as part of this series, which will be all about Vienna!

Prague was a brilliant city, and as this trip was back in 2017, I would love to go back again. There is SO much to see and try in Prague, and I didn’t even do everything I wanted to do within my limited time there. I hope this blog post has given you some ideas of places you want to visit when you get the chance!

Look out for the rest of the series coming soon.

If you have any questions or want more information about my experience of Prague, or anything else, you can always contact me here! Hope you enjoyed reading and look out for new posts coming soon, or head over to my Instagram for more travel related content.

Love, Amy @thisgingertravels x

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