The beauty of Prague is something out of a fairy tale at times. The capital of the Czech Republic has plenty to do and see throughout the city. Medieval and gothic architecture is around every turn for the history buff. For those that enjoy having a beer or two, Prague does not disappoint. Prague has some of the best clean pilsners in Europe, enjoy them in a glass, or if you want to try something different, enjoy them in a bath! Get whisked away into this Czech fairytale of castles, bridges and brews, you won’t regret it.
Top 5 Things To Do
- Prague Castle – A must see in the city as it’s considered the largest ancient castle in the world. The total castle complex could take you an entire day to tour. Architecture from the 10th century through the 14th century Gothic style. The royal palace, St. Vitus Cathedral and several museums will keep you occupied for a full day experience.
- Charles Bridge – Beginning construction in 1357, this bridge has stood the test of time. Originally used as the only mode of transportation between the castle and old town, it now is only used for pedestrians. Get up early and watch the sun rise from the bridge and take a fantastic view of the city.
- Old town square – People watching at its finest. Where else can you see Mickey Mouse and a polar bear together for pictures in front of a massive astronomical clock? The medieval clock is the oldest clock still in operation. Take half a day to relax and enjoy the people and views in this busy square.
- Take a bike tour – To really experience all this city has to offer, you really have to see it from all views. The bike tours take you up above the city to the monastery and wind you around from the castle to Letna park and back again.
- Beer scene – This is one of the best areas in Europe to experience a true Czech style Pilsner. Take some time and experience this fantastic beer. Whether you take a beer tour or go to a beer spa, get some type of Prague beer experience into your stay. I would recommend the beer spa experience as there are not a lot of places that currently do this and we loved it!
- Train Ride
- Restaurant U Glaubicu
- eBike Tour
- Charles Bridge
- Fresh Pasta! Restaurant
We arrived in Prague on the train from Dresden after a wonderful train trip. The views out your window are fantastic as you travel from Germany into the Czech Republic. Several small cities, river views and rock formations all take you away from the train ride.
As we got off at our stop, we instantly felt like we had came into a foreign land, much different than Germany. Graffiti lined the buildings, a language with characters far different than English and German affixed to signs everywhere and a deep confusion of the streets. After we got somewhat accustomed to our surroundings, we made our way to our Airbnb. Placing our stuff down, we quickly moved on to purchasing train tickets so we could start our day and grab a bite to eat. The train system was a bit confusing and we couldn’t find where to purchase tickets. We finally gave up and got on the train we needed and hoped for the best!
Restaurant U Glaubicu: We walked down the street and found a place that had Pilsner Urquell signs all over it, so we figured it would be a great place to eat and have a beer. We couldn’t have been happier. We had the best waitress that had an infectious smile and both of our selections were delicious. My partner had a bohemian style beef and dumplings and I also had a dumpling dish. Of course we also had a couple pints of Pilsner Urquell, which were also fantastic. You’ll find most Czech beer is some type of Lager, Pilsner. Czech style pilsners are some of the cleanest tasting pilsners around and are often very refreshing to the palate.
eBike tour: We would highly recommend this experience to anyone visiting as you get to see the entire city with a guide who can give you any local tips along the way. This tour also had ebikes which were great to take around Prague as there are some very high hills that would be strenuous otherwise. We started the tour from the bike shop and made our way to the top of the Monastery for our first stop. The view is unbelievable from here and you can see the entire city. As you wind your way up higher and higher up past the monastery, you get to the highest point of the city, Petra tower. The tower was originally modeled after the Eiffel Tower. You can choose to take some time and come back to climb the tower if you choose. We didn’t but I’ve heard the views are fantastic from the top.
Traveling back down to the monastery, you have some time to yourself to either go to the beer garden and get a pint or tour the monastery grounds. We chose to get a pint from the monastery. This monastery actually started way back with monks brewing the beer. Sadly present day (because of mass quantities needed) the monks no longer make the beer you drink here.
Next stop on the tour is Prague castle. Our guide went through the history of the castle and the current president living there. After a brief history of the castle, we made our way up to the opposite side of the city on Petra Hill. Lucky for us, we had the ebikes or we really would have struggled on this trip as the hills can get quite strenuous. Our guide spoke about the Russian influence and the effect of communism on the area. Businesses were taken from people. They weren’t able to celebrate holidays unless the government sponsored them. They would actually measure the amount of smiling, people did on those days too! At the top of the hill, he spoke about one of the largest monuments ever made and one of the most expensive. It overlooked the entire city and shortly after it was completed, it was destroyed in 1989 when they got their country back from Russia. What a waste of money?!
There are a few more viewpoints along the way and also a stop at a beer garden. It was a fantastic start to our first day in Prague and we really left with a stronger sense of what happened within this country and who the people are.
We finished the tour and decided we needed to stop somewhere and grab something to eat. We got lost walking down the streets from the bike shop. We stopped into a local ice creamery and had to try their trdelniks. These desserts are delicious. The best way to explain them would be a doughnut spiral with ice cream filling the inside. The mix of cinnamon donut and ice cream is a true joy.
*Charles Bridge: The Charles Bridge is definitely the place to be in this city. So much life just fills this area as you walk across. Artists, photographers, people watchers, you name it, you’ve got it here! An extremely old bridge that connects Prague castle to old town that was built in the 1300’s. The bridge is a spectacle to see and the people are just as entertaining as the bridge itself! The restaurants and shops around the area were very touristy so we stopped quick for a beer on the side and moved on.
Fresh Pasta!: We finished our night at a restaurant called Fresh Pasta! It was a delicious meal and the wine was great with it. It seemed to be a bit busy of a restaurant and more locals than tourists. It was a nicer place and was a bit more costly than we probably should have done but when in Prague right?
After our meal we made our way past the clocks and the old town square which were very neat to see. Lots of fantastic people watching in the area. We headed back for the evening and got some rest for the next busy day ahead.
- Charles Bridge
- Prague castle
- Wenceslas Square
- Beer Prague Tour
*Charles Bridge: Our next day started with me finding the perfect place to take photos of the Charles bridge at first light. I was not the only one with this thought. It was extremely busy in the morning around 6am. I’m assuming if you want early shots here, you might be looking at 4am. It was very peaceful in the area and I love how different photographers gather together and share ideas on getting the perfect picture. Everyone trying to get the glimpse of the sun coming up over the horizon. I would recommend walking the streets and the bridge at first light. It feels like it’s almost something out of a fairy tale and much less crowded with people.
Prague Castle: We took our public transportation to the castle and we were still somewhat confused on the train system and purchasing tickets. In such a touristy city, you would think it would be easier to purchase tickets for transportation. Yet we saw so many people like us wandering around asking questions on how to obtain tickets.
As we made our way up the steps towards the castle area, it was absolutely marvelous to see the entire area. Beautiful sweeping views of Prague along every step as you come to the security checkpoint. As we walked through the next area, the most stunning cathedral I have ever seen came into view. St. Vitus cathedral looks like it was taken out of a horror movie with its gothic appearance. The architect behind this was brilliant! It’s pretty easy to locate the ticket office and you then have several options on which areas you want to visit. We took an option of a self guided tour through the area. Inside St. Vitus, St. George and also the story behind the castle were all part of this tour. These were all very interesting and we were there for a little over 2 hours. You could easily make this trip a full day if you really wanted to immerse yourself in everything that the castle has to offer.
We made our way out of the castle area and were sad to see that the gardens were closed for all three days that we were there. They look beautiful in pictures and would recommend taking a look at them if it’s an option for you while you’re here.
Strahov Monastery: The monastery was close so we decided to trek over to it and have a snack and some pints. We were sad to hear from our waiter that the process is much different now with the monks not brewing the beer. The cheese board we ordered was also pretty mediocre. I would honestly scratch this off my list if I were to recommend top places to go in the city if you’re pressed for time. There are beautiful views around the area and it’s just below Petra tower. If you’re at Petra tower and need to stop for a quick pint, then by all means, head down the steps to the monastery. If not, there are many more amazing places to go in Prague.
We crossed the river again and had a bite to eat right outside the national museum. We stopped at the only restaurant in the area with large rocking swings as tables. It was surprising that we became a tourist attraction ourselves as we ate ice cream, had a pint and people watched.
As we did some people watching at the restaurant, it brought up a good point for people in any big city. Be careful for scam artists. We watched as a person with a massive boa constrictor would con tourists. He’d place the snake on a tourist for a photo and then charge them money for the photo after it was taken. He wouldn’t charge just the group of people, he charged individually for everyone taking a photo with the snake. Be careful when dealing with street performers as you never know what you’re getting into. One wrong move can mean you’ll lose some hard earned money and a valuable lesson.
Beer Prague Tour: We met up with a tour guide that took us on a beer tour for the evening. He was an extremely nice guy originally from Columbia, moved to Dubai with family and now is studying here in Prague. Surprisingly we were the only two people that booked a tour for the day so we had a very personalized trip. He was very personable and we all had an instant connection. We made our way through three breweries in the city. The first one was a brewery that had been around for centuries. Our guide ordered us some samples of their beer and went through the brewing process as we sampled.
The next stop on the tour was a quaint pub that brewed their own beer. They were a little bit of a walk away from the first so we were ready for our next beer as we sat down. It was a small seating area and you could see that this was a local bar. They had some tasty beers and we loved the overall feel of the pub.
Our final brewery was a surprise and I will say it was one of the most interesting breweries I’ve been to. The brewery is actually on a boat at the riverside. It was very neat to see as we had not seen this in the past. They had around 5-6 types of beer being served. We tried two styles, one being the lager and another as the dark lager. Both were delicious. We also were offered to try a pork knuckle, which we were a bit reserved about trying after a bad experience in Berlin. This time it was far better than the previous one! It was crispy and very tasty which actually made us question if the first one was fully cooked. We had a great conversation with our guide as we drank the night away. We polished off a decent amount of beer as it was all you could drink at the end of the tour. This was such a great experience and it could have even been taken up a notch if there were several people added to the tour.
- Kafka restaurant
- Jewish Quarter
- Original Beer Spa
- Dancing House
- T-Anker Brewery
- Old Town Square
Our last day in Prague was a bit less planned and more of us exploring the city. I feel like you always need at least one day to plan very minimal to do and just go out and experience the day to day life people live in the area.
Kafka restaurant: We started out with a wonderful Mediterranean breakfast at Kafka snob food right outside the Jewish old cemetery. What a fantastic meal to start out the day! A huge amount of hummus, avocado spread, eggs, etc. and it was delivered so eloquently. I would highly recommend if you are in the Jewish quarter for the morning.
Jewish Quarter: We moved on and got our tickets to the Jewish quarter. Reading that the Jewish people were forced to bury all of their dead within this small area is just scary. It was a tiny cemetery and it was basically gravestone on top of gravestone. This to go along with the talks on how Jewish Czech’s were placed into concentration camps, it’s just such a sad but important piece to our world history. We must never forget what hate can do to people.
After walking for several hours through a tribute, synogogues and the cemeteries, we made our way back to the main streets of Prague. We stopped quick to grab something to eat before making our way to our beer spa treatment. A spa that I had been excited for since the start of our vacation.
Original Beer Spa: For anyone visiting or having an opportunity to go to a beer spa, go! It was such a fantastic experience! There were plenty of people saying that it’s just for tourists but it was very relaxing and you might not get the chance again. Along with that thought, book in advance! There were several couples that came in while we were there, and they were fully booked for the day.
Our receptionist greeted us and told us that we had 20 minutes till our appointment. Before we even answered, she was quick to follow up with asking if we wanted a beer while we wait. As delight came across my face, the only way I could answer was, “Of course!”. With this start, I knew it was going to be good! Just think if you got asked this at a waiting room in the US?!
We were taken down to our tubs and she put hops and yeast in to the water. We sat in these for around 25 minutes as we were also able to fill our own mugs with as much beer as we wanted off the draft. As the hot tubs stopped, we moved on and could sit in the sauna or lay and relax in the hay. Both experiences were very neat and we split our time between the two. As we finished, we were able to take showers and go relax in the waiting room. What a fantastic experience!
Dancing house: The dancing house was our next stop. Its two buildings that are almost intertwined with each other. It was interesting to see the beautiful architecture but we moved on from there and headed back the way of the river. As we made our way back, it was interesting to see all of the people out enjoying the day. There were people on paddle boats in the river, fishing and many other ways to spend a beautiful fall day.
T-Anker Brewery: Our reservation for dinner this evening was at T-Anker brewery. It sits on the top of a mall close to the Local opera house. It was a wonderful place to watch the sunset. The beer was ok and the service was a bit rough, but overall we still enjoyed overlooking the city as the sun went down.
*Old Town Square: We finished the night with a stroll again through Old Town square. This was one of our favorite places in Prague because you could spend so much time here just people watching. This evening, the square was lit up everywhere and street performers were all over the square doing their thing. We watched for a while, stopped at another brewery on the way home for some average craft beer, and then we were off to bed. I would definitely recommend, if you’re drinking beer in Czech Republic, don’t try their craft beer and just go straight for their traditional beers. They taste much better than their mediocre craft beers. Being from America, the experience with craft beer is quite different than Europe. Go with what they are known for as they are still very much in their infancy with different versions of craft.
*Top people watching spot