Our weekend getaway to Prague was certainly a whirlwind of activity and adventure. If you didn’t read about the sometimes hilarious, sometimes painful trials and tribulations we endured, check out that story here. But now for the good stuff, the highlights, the other bits that helped make this a weekend we’ll not soon forget.
What and where to eat and drink
Prague is full of trendy restaurants, pop-ups, tantalizing bakeries, and endless bars and breweries. We sampled a very small sub-section of its culinary delights, but we enjoyed them all. Much of our inspiration came from Taste of Prague and its fantastic Foodie Map. Here’s where we ate and drank:
- Lemon Leaf: flavorful, comforting Thai food was just the ticket after a long day on the train. The prices were reasonable, and the portions were large. Great wine selection, too.
- Burrito Loco: our savior in a pinch, this Chipotle-style, build-your-own-burrito joint served up some excellent and filling breakfast burritos. The interior was cute and nicely styled, and the staff was friendly.
- Sisters: order one of everything! This modern twist on the traditional Czech open-faced sandwich, chlebíček, is not to be missed. We tried the traditional ham, potato salad, and egg, along with more innovative puréed beets and goat cheese, among others. Cheap, filling, and delicious.
- Beer Geek: wild and sour beer tap takeover? Yes, please! The flights of five beers were reasonably priced, and the food was actually quite tasty – excellent quesadillas, sandwiches, and wings. Great atmosphere along with quite a crowd.
- The military hospital: this is sort of a joke. Thanks to our visit here we discovered a delicious brand of granola bar called Flap Jack by Wholebake. Better than any I’ve ever had, period.
- San Carlo: if you want the best pizza in Prague, you’ll find it at this cozy Italian bistro. The owner, Antonio, is very proud of his Neapolitan heritage, and the pizzas reflect that. Great, cheap house wine, as well. Just be prepared to wait and dine at a leisurely pace.
- Bakeshop: you won’t find a “traditional” kolache here – at least as defined by Texans (or Nebraskans). Kolač means “pie,” and that’s what we found at this bakery. But man, were they delicious.
- Dish Burger Bar: burgers are having a serious moment in Europe, and Prague is no exception. This spot was rumored to be the best, and the extremely juicy and flavorful burgers did not disappoint. Inexpensive, crowded (book ahead), and friendly.
Things to do and sights to see
There’s no way you can see all of Prague’s sites and monuments in a weekend. You can barely scratch the surface, but we made a valiant effort to do so. The majority of our sight-seeing occurred on an epic Saturday, but we squeezed a few other spots in on Sunday and Monday.
- Hiking up Petrin hill: don’t take the tram – the line is long, and you’ll miss most of the beauty. Incredible views of the city, beautiful fall foliage, and a satisfying but relatively easy climb.
- Grabbing a beer at the Strahov Monastic Brewery: beer brewed by monks for hundreds of years? Yes, please. Very crowded around lunchtime, but perching outside in the sun was great.
- Taking in the views at Prague Castle: this extensive palace sits atop a hill overlooking the Old Town. There’s no charge to get in and stroll the grounds – it’s like a whole little city in there!
- Visiting St. Vitus’ Cathedral: go inside if you’re really into Cathedrals – otherwise, just marvel at its imposing, excruciatingly detailed architecture.
- Walking through the royal gardens: enjoy a relaxing and leisurely stroll through the gardens and get great views of the palace and cathedral through the trees and bushes. A good way to get back down into town (although it’s a long road).
- Experiencing Prague’s largest mall: there are actually public WCs throughout the city, but why use those when you could go for free at a five-story, luxury mall?
- Souvenir shopping around Old Town: every shop owner has his or her own story. The souvenirs may all be the same, but the individual quirks will get you. For example, Joe is sitting on the “husband’s chair” while we shop. 🙂
- Walking through Old Town square: it has to be done. You’ll likely be shoulder-to-shoulder with bachelorette parties and massive groups of tourists, but the astronomical clock and general, colorful architecture are worth it.
- Strolling and wandering: you never know what you’ll find! We discovered a café named for Joe’s grandpa Melvin, and a very interesting beer shop…
- Checking out the Dancing House: it’s not the most exciting thing you’ll see, but it’s still pretty cool.
- Crossing the Charles Bridge: go early in the morning, and you’ll have the bridge almost all to yourself – or it’ll mostly feel that way. Marvel at the large statues, darkened with age, that line the bridge, and enjoy the stunning views of the castle and city.
Ideally, you’ll give yourselves more time than we did to explore this enchanting city. Wander, get lost, and enjoy!