Prague is an absolute favourite city for me and my boyfriend. For our first anniversary, he whisked me off and we fell in love with the place – beautiful architecture, first class restaurants and scenery to die for. So this year, I did the same for him and now it’s safe to say we know our way around.
Going to Prague, or considering whether it’s for you? Here’s ten things to know before you jet off.
1. There’s room for every kind of trip – Charlie and I have been to Prague twice for 2 romantic getaways, and both times we’ve seen hen and stag parties at one point or another. Prague is so cheap, which makes it a hotspot for younger generations no matter what stage of life you’re at – and if it helps, because everything is so spread out across the city, our romantic trip and the drunken adventures of those parties didn’t overlap too much.
2. Beer, beer beer – be warned, beer is EVERYWHERE. Czech’s make some excellent brews (Charlie really knows a lot more about this than I do, I’ll be honest. I just drink the stuff. Follow him on instagram at @palealedicannio for beer help!) and this is just a warning that it is cheaper than EVERYTHING ELSE. If you’re on the soft drinks, you’ll be paying more than your friends on the Pilsner. Also, a pint can be as little as 50p if you drink in the right places, so maybe make the most of one of the best cities for it and get a little sloshed on the cheap, if that’s your thing. (Please drink responsibly though. Don’t do a Lizzie circa Prague 2017 and have to be dragged back to your hotel by your boyfriend. That’s not cool).
3. Venture beyond the grapevine – Prague 1 is the hotspot of Prague and where you’ll find all the tourism spots, Charles Bridge, and all the designer shops. This is great but if you spend all your time there you’ll be broke in an hour. I had the best experiences in the authentic pubs we found in Prague 2, the hidden restaurants, and the underground tours that weren’t advertised through our hotel. You’ll find people that don’t just want to sell to you and you’ll see a whole lot more of the city, too (and it’s not too far from the centre, either. Spread out, see more, save money.)
4. Dress appropriately – now this is true for every destination of course, but with Prague I really mean it. The first year, we went in March and the whole city was flicking frozen. Well, I was. I was cold basically. So this year, going a few weeks later in April I packed jumpers, jeans and coats feeling all smug and prepared. Naturally it was boiling hot and I sweat for 4 days straight. Plan ahead, people.
5. Take your time – Prague isn’t exactly slow paced, but nowhere is ever as busy as London in my experience and Prague feels a lot more relaxed. Really breathe in the architecture entwined with nature, walk through the alleys that look a bit hidden, and see what you find. Prague is absolutely full of hidden gems and Charlie and I have had some of the best nights out/meals/conversations with people of our lives so far because we dared to explore. Please, please do the same.
6. Music is everywhere – Okay, I’m a tad biased because I’m always looking for music, but there is no reason not to see something live if you’re wanting to when you’re in the city. Whether it’s in the opera house, a cabaret bar, or something less common like the hidden underground jazz club we found ourselves sitting in under Old Town Square (you’re welcome) or the pianist in the same square that plays all night, with his keyboard wrapped in fairy lights. There is no limit to how much vibrancy and music you can find in Prague.
7. Eat traditional – I’ve turned vegetarian since getting back from Prague and I’m not sure how easy that will be to adhere to next time I find myself there. However, if you do eat meat, you’re in for an amazing experience in the food department. Think traditional eastern european and order something recommended by the waiter. Also, check out Portfolio for a fine dining experience so phenomenal we went 2 years on the trot and still reminisce about what we ate there. (What? The food is immense, okay?)
8. Walk far and wide – Even though uber is brilliant out there, you’ll miss out on so much if you don’t at least allocate one day to wander aimlessly and discover things. See point 5.
9. Talk to everyone – learning about a random bartenders way of life educated me a lot more than the tour we went on did. Don’t discount anybody – plus, it’s nice to be nice.
10. You don’t have to spend it up – 50p-£1.50 a pint most of the time, and if you venture out of Prague 1 you’ll find all the bargains.
I hope this helps any of you planning a trip! Prague is the best place for a proper escape, and really does have something for everyone. Get booking if you haven’t already…