Prague was the first city we have explored in Eastern Europe — and it absolutely did not disappoint! Although it was pretty chilly in November, we were still able to pack in a lot during our 2.5 day stay.
We stayed in an AirBnb east of the city center, but quickly regretted not staying close enough to walk to the main sights right from our door. Luckily, Prague is Uber friendly!
Our very first stop was at Café Savoy — a beautiful setting for a lovely brunch. (You will definitely need a reservation). We oohed and aahed over everything that was brought to our table and knew this was just the beginning of a special weekend.
After brunch, we strolled along the Vltava River — admiring the colors of the leaves (and the buildings)! Cobblestone streets, pastel colored storefronts, boats, swans … Prague is far more romantic than I had expected.
We eventually made our way to THE Charles Bridge — but by late morning it was, as expected, fairly busy. The bridge is crowded most hours of the day due to many vendors and tourists, but you cannot visit Prague without at least walking over this 600+ year old beauty!
On the west side of Charles Bridge, we window shopped and admired the many foods we knew we wanted to try before departing. The best shop we came across was Manufaktura – they only carry items homemade in the Czech Republic and we couldn’t help but leave with a few!
To escape the cold, we hopped into Original Coffee for a coffee and a ginger tea.
The ginger tea in Prague is some of the best I’ve ever had. Every time I ordered it, a beautiful tea pot with steaming water and huge chunks of fresh ginger (+ lemon slices and local honey on the side) would magically appear. This. was. my. jam.
And William also LOVED their coffee! Coffee… beer… chocolate… Prague does it all. And our tastebuds didn’t miss a beat.
For lunch we ate at Maitrea – (a vegan/vegetarian restaurant). They had so many unique dishes and the restaurant itself felt like a spa! The food was SO good that we would even feel confident dragging our meat loving friends here 🙂
William highly recommends the “Tex-Mex Quesadilla”.
After lunch — we decided to check out the Museum of Communism. Prague is stocked full of Museums (some fun, some history heavy, some very, very strange).
As you can guess, the Museum of Communism was packed with history. For 290 czk (or 12€) we spent at least an hour reading, watching, and visualizing about life under the Communist regime. We learned a lot from this stop and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about an important piece of Czech history. (Must be willing/able to stand and read!)
After museum #1, we made our way to the Astronomical Clock — located on the Old Town Hall Tower — off of the Old Town Square . Did you catch that? Good.
This medieval tower clock dates back to 1410 and to this day many people gather around it every hour to watch it in motion! The clock strikes on the hour, every hour from 9 AM to 11 PM — and the “procession of the Twelve Apostles” begins! (You can watch a snippet in our video.)
Spending time at the Old Town Square, sipping gluhwein, people watching and clock admiring, as the sun the setting was so wonderful! This simple part of the trip was easily one of my favorites.
After the sun had fully set, we snuck into the Municipal Library to check out the “book vortex”. This is only a 5 minute stop tops — but still fun to see!
Before dinner, we decided to squeeze in one more museum — the “Beer Museum“. Although the actual museum wasn’t that great (we ended up skipping over half of it) — for 480 czk you will finish the tour sitting comfy with 4 large Czech beers — which makes it all worth it!
We ended our first day in Prague with a casual yet de-lic-ious dinner! After not being able to get a table at TWO places we originally had in mind — we decided to default to a local place our AirBnb host had recommended — U Kozla. At first sight, it was a crowded pub full of strictly beer drinkers — so I didn’t have a good feeling about their food. But at this point we were so hungry and exhausted we decided to stay put.
To our surprise, the food was SO good. It was non-touristy and super inexpensive. We shared a table with some locals, drank (more) delicious beer, and found out the local pub has been around for almost 100 years! As we made our way home, I was so glad the first two restaurants hadn’t worked out after all 🙂
On Day 2 we got up bright and early to catch the sunrise at Charles Bridge. (And let’s be honest — also to take photos without swarms of people).
Although it was early (and freezing) — this is a must! Getting to experience the bridge without the loud hustle and bustle of hundreds of tourists was so lovely. And getting to watch the sun rise and light up Prague was something I will not soon forget.
Once the sun was up and the people were out we went to breakfast at Cafe Letka (reservation also needed). This place was so. dang. cute. And SO YUMMY! Only a few bites in and William says, “This might be the best breakfast I’ve ever had!”
(Once again, Prague killing the Ginger Tea game — please note the HUGE jar of raw, local honey.)
And if you can’t swing breakfast –by evening this quiet cafe turns into a popular local bar!
With full bellies, we grabbed an Uber to get to the Prague Castle. We spent an hour or two walking around the castle grounds and admiring the view!
The Prague Castle is different than most ‘castles’ we have visited in Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered the largest coherent castle complex in the world! This explains why were so confused as to why it wasn’t just one building! Instead, it is a collection of buildings, palaces, gardens, and churches — some of the earliest dating back to the 10th century.
You must first go through security to actually get onto the castle grounds — but once in, you are free to explore many different areas (paying for some of them).
Tip: The best view can be captured from the Starbucks just outside the castle entrance.
After touring the castle, we walked back down the hill (it doesn’t take long to understand why we took an Uber up 🙂 ) towards the famous Prague swans!
There is almost always a large gathering of swans off the western side of the Vltava River — with a wonderful view of the Charles Bridge. This “beach” area isn’t exactly glamorous but it is pretty neat to be so close to so many swans at once. The easiest way to find this spot is to go towards to the Containall Art Museum off Cihelná Street — it is right next to it.
For lunch — we ate the best Mexican food we have had IN EUROPE thus far. Alebrijes was recommended to us by a friend (along with some of the other restaurants in this post) — and she was not exaggerating when she said we COULD NOT miss this place!
In Europe, good Mexican food is hardddd to come by. But of course, Prague did it!
After lunch we finally treated ourselves to a Tredlnik aka “Chimney Cakes”— a very popular street dessert! It’s essentially a rolled pastry with the filling of your choice. Delicious! We grabbed 2 of them at GOOD FOOD near Charles Bridge.
We ended the day with dinner at Eska (reservation required). This trendy, Michelin rated restaurant was fabulous! Their menu changes daily depending on what the farmers bring and they have an option of a “Chef’s Selection” menu.
Although I’m normally not crazy about the idea of being surprised with what I am going to be eat — Eska quickly gained my trust!
From their speciality G+T’s to every other course we devoured — we left singing their praises! And the best part — it’s super inexpensive compared to others like it!
On our last day, we went straight to breakfast at Marthy’s Kitchen. This restaurant is VERY small (and VERY quaint!) — only seating around 15 people at a time. We did not have a reservation — but it probably wouldn’t hurt to make one.
Everything is made fresh to order — no preservatives or artificial flavors. AND they are open on Sunday! So much to love!
After checking out the Church of Our Lady, the Jewish Quarter, and one last visit to Charles Bridge, we sadly had to make our journey home (with an even more sad ending –> read about it here).
If you couldn’t tell by this post — we loved Prague — especially THE FOOD! As people that do not eat very much meat, we had low expectations for finding food that we would love in the Czech Republic. But we were absolutely proven wrong. I want to go back to Prague — simply to eat! 🙂
Outside of the amazing food and drinks — it’s an inexpensive city to explore, there are plenty of museums for those bad weather days, Uber is available, and there is one beautiful (free) sight after the other! All I have to say is…
Make Prague a Priority!
You can “watch our weekend” here: