Destination of the Week: Prague
Get ready to be utterly captivated by ‘The City of a Hundred Spires’. Prague, or Praha, as it’s locally known, is the capital of the Czech Republic and a destination that oozes romance from every narrow alley, gothic church and cosy café. Known globally for its beer and loved for its quirky culture, the enchanting city inspires artists, writers and lovers to return, again and again.
What to do
The historical centre of medieval Prague, Staré Město, features the Old Town Square, a magnificent display of iconic sites including the Astronomical Clock, the Prague Jewish Museum, the Old Town Hall Tower, the Municipal House and a warren of cobbled streets to get happily lost among.
Stroll across Prague’s architectural masterpiece, Charles Bridge, to admire local artists and trinket sellers, before heading into Malá Strana to explore the baroque Church of St Nicholas, museums, the Wallenstein Garden and restaurants, bars and pubs galore.
Visit Prague Castle, spectacularly perched above the Vltava River and wander around the winding lanes of residential Hradčany to see charming shops and cafes. For shopping fanatics, Wenceslas Square, in the New Town, is the place to go with international brands and quirky stores. When the sun sets in Prague, no matter where you are, there’ll be a fantastic pub, restaurant or bar to sample beer, beef, dumplings, goulash and music.
Where to stay
Prague is a walker’s paradise, so whether you choose to stay in the Old Town or the New Town, you’ll find all the sights within easy reach. Accommodation options range from 5-star hotels to self-contained apartments and hostels, so there’s something to suit every budget.
Alchymist Prague Castle Suites (£££)
A luxurious boutique hotel, the Alchymist Prague Castle Suites sits at the foot of Prague Castle; the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. The rooms have marble bathrooms and all the mod cons, while guests can also indulge in the onsite sauna, hot tub and library.
Fusion Hotel (££)
Art lovers and trendsetters will adore the Fusion Hotel, located in a superb spot just metres from Wenceslas Square. There’s a playroom with an Xbox console, contemporary artworks throughout, a lounge bar, a restaurant and rooms with fabulous themes, such as, ‘Vintage’, ‘Love’ and ‘Rock’.
Mosaic House Design and Eco Hostel (£)
Smack bang in the centre of Prague, this hotel / hostel offers private and shared rooms, a music bar and lounge, a fully equipped kitchen for guests to cook their own food and an atmosphere made for socialising.
Where to eat
Prague is much more famous for beer than it is for food, still, you can find international restaurants such as Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and Indian among the local offerings. The best prices can be found in restaurants on the outskirts of the Old Town and if you want to eat in the Old Town Square, do so for the views, rather than the food or the (very high) prices aimed at tourists.
CottoCrudo, situated in the Four Seasons Hotel with views of the Vltava River, offers Italian cuisine with a modern twist in a restaurant, bar or lounge area. Choose from exquisite dishes like Salmon with miso vinaigrette, frisee salad and sesame seeds or Chicken in porchetta, fennel confit, leeks and parmesan cream with orange.
Hergetova Cihelna (££)
A brilliant place to visit in summer; Hergetova Cihelna has a terrace overlooking Charles Bridge that’s absolutely gorgeous. The menu has a wide variety of Czech and international cuisine, including burgers, pizzas, seafood and vegetarian options.
For a taste of goulash, beef and beer at great prices, Lokal, in the heart of the Old Town, is the place to go. There’s a good mix of tourists and locals, plus, the food is traditionally homemade and the atmosphere is upbeat and friendly.
Featured image source: (c) istock/thinkstock