Prague on a Wing and a Prayer



Description:

Let’s face it, just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have an unlimited budget. The current prices of intercontinental flights can often mean that getting to your vacation spot has to be your big splurge. Unfortunately, though, most “must-see” European destinations expect every bed, every meal, and every memory to be another “vacation splurge.” Prague, however, is a different sort of city. Possibly related to its communist past is the fact that most Czechs don’t consider that higher prices mean a better time. For them, cheap food and drink (especially beer) is a universal right. In addition, Prague’s most breathtaking sites aren’t massive-yet-stuffy museums with steep ticket prices. The wonder of Prague lies in the city itself. When you wander through its narrow streets lined with stunning buildings you find yourself thinking these must all be exceptional. Visitors often point at a particularly detailed façade and ask, “What’s in there?” Its beauty suggests that it must have some special significance but inside simply live modestly-priced apartments. Additionally, the city’s main tourist sites, like Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and even Prague Castle, are free. Even those that do cost some money, like the Old Jewish Cemetery, utilize a currency worth a fraction of the dollar, making the exchange rate very generous for Americans, especially when compared to the Euro. This guide proves that, when it comes to Prague, you don’t have to miss out to save money.

user rating

Author: whitney78


Day 1 - Prague


Today is dedicated to giving you an introduction to the city’s long and fascinating history. Start by taking either the metro to Starometska metro station and walking through the square to breakfast or taking tram 8, 14, or 26 to Dlouha Trida. Head to Bakeshop Praha for freshly baked bread and croissants and a $2 espresso. This newly-reopened, gorgeously-remodeled bakery is a handsome way to start your day. After some welcoming sustenance, walk to Josefov/The Jewish Quarter for a morning walking tour, which will taking you from one end of the quarter to the other with a few key stops along the way. Stroll through the outdoor market where you can pick up winter hats or wooden toys, among other things, to the Old Jewish Cemetery. In the foggy early morning, this cemetery has a particularly eerie quality. The small 50 CZK entrance fee is nothing when you consider the value of experiencing a bit of Prague’s sad history. Next stop on the tour is the most expensive site of the day: The Old New Synagogue. 200/140 CZK (adult/discounted fee) may seem a bit steep but the oldest active synagogue in Europe, that at which Kafka worshiped when he lived in Prague, definitely deserves a visit. When you’ve finished at the Old New Synagogue, continue to the Robert Guttmann Gallery and Spanish Synagogue, for which you can buy a joint ticket for 70/50 CZK. After a small breakfast, you’re probably ready for a bit of lunch about now. Try Bea’s Vegetarian Dhaba. This exceptionally well-priced restaurant delivers a home-style daily menu based on the cuisine of Northern India but made with local ingredients. The “Velky” (big) meal is likely the best value. A huge serving of all of the daily specials plus rice and dessert on a stainless steel platter comes in at only 89 CZK. Plus, there’s free water. Now, walk the 200 meters or so into Old Town Square. This square began as the central marketplace for Prague in the late 12th century. As time passed, Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic-style buildings appeared around the edges. Some of Prague’s most well-known ghost stories are set in and around the square. The square’s centerpiece (when there’s no seasonal market obscuring it) is dedicated to Jan Hus, a religious thinker, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University. It was erected on the 500th anniversary of the day he was burned at the stake, July 6, 1415. Next, take in the Old Town Hall Tower, built in 1338, and Astronomical Clock, which dates back to the 15th century. The twelve apostles follow Christ out every hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Below the clock are the twelve signs of the zodiac, which were added by Josef Manes in 1865. The crowd of tourists waiting for the clock to strike, cameras poised, imply that at the hour, something miraculous will happen but it isn’t nearly that overwhelming. If you go in with slightly lower expectations and a bit of historical knowledge, though, it’s worth watching. Don’t neglect to notice the externally gothic but internally baroque Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. Waste some time getting lost on the winding streets of Old Town, where you’ll find antique shops and plenty of pubs where you can grab a $1 half-liter of delicious Pilsner or Budvar (tip: if you’re being charged over 45 CZK for a beer, you’re getting seriously ripped off). End up back near the square for a drink at the mellow daytime version of Chapeau Rouge, which becomes a popular club for tourists and study abroad students after dark. Then, have dinner next door at Giallo Rossa, an inexpensive little Italian restaurant where you can enjoy good pizza or pasta and even check your email. After dinner, have a coffee, more beer, or some cocktails at the nearby Hany Bany, a crowded café/bar with a clientele comprised mainly of students keeping their prices low.


1

Bakeshop Praha

Location:

Kozi 1
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 222 316 823
visit website


2

Josefov

user rating

Location:

Next to Old Town Square
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2171 4444
visit website


3

Old Jewish Cemetery

user rating

Location:

Siroka 3
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 221 711 511
fax: 420 221 711 584
visit website


4

Old New Synagogue

user rating

Location:

Cervená 2
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 221 711 511
fax: 420 222 749 300
visit website


5

Robert Guttmann Gallery

Location:

U Staré školy 3
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420221711511
fax: 420222749300
visit website


6

Spanish Synagogue

user rating

Location:

Vezenská 1
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 221 711 511 (Jewish Museum)
fax: 420 221 711 584 (Jewish Museum)
visit website


7

Beas Vegetarian Dhaba

Location:

Tynska 19
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 608 035 727
visit website


8

Old Town Square

user rating

Location:

Staroměstské náměstí
11000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 221 714 444 (Tourist Information Centre)


9

Jan Hus Monument

user rating

Location:

Staroměstské náměstí
11000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2171 4444


10

Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock (The)

user rating

Location:

Staromestské námestí
11000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2448 2751
visit website


11

Church of Our Lady before Tyn

user rating

Location:

Celetna 5
11000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 6 0230 6186
fax: +420 7 3116 7679
visit website


12

Chapeau Le Club Enfer Rouge

Location:

Jakubska 2
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 2 232 6242
visit website


13

Giallo Rossa

user rating

Location:

Jakubska 2
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 604 898 989
visit website


14

Hany Bany

user rating

Location:

Veleslavínova 5
Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420222327602
visit website


Day 2 - Prague, Nelahozeves


Today, begin by enjoying a large, leisurely breakfast at Bohemia Bagel. This spot was begun by an American ex-pat in cooperation with Czech entrepreneurs less than a decade after the Velvet Revolution. In addition to generous portions, Bohemia Bagel offers some of the only free refills in the city. The weekday breakfast special is a great deal: any egg sandwich plus bottomless soft drink, and tea or coffee for 89 CZK before noon. Massive breakfast platters are also pretty good deals, coming in at around 150 CZK. With a full belly, spend your morning visiting a couple of Prague’s small niche museums. The Mucha, Wax, and Kafka museums all cost a fairly steep 120/60 CZK so it might be best to choose the one or two you’re most interested in. The smaller Dvorak Museum, though, will cost only 30/15 CZK so it’s worth a visit considering the composer’s debatable status as “the greatest Czech of all time.” Next, check out the Gothic Powder Tower, which is the gateway to the Royal Route, and stroll across Charles Bridge, which was completed at the beginning of the 15th century. During the day, this historic landmark is bustling with tourists, artists, and traders but don’t get so distracted that you miss the thirty baroque-style statues and statuaries that line the bridge and the gorgeous views available from any vantage point. From here, you can take a lovely 20-minute walk through Mala Strana/Lesser Town to your next destination or you can walk just to Malostranska, a nearby metro/tram stop, and take tram 22 to Pohořelec, where you’ll find Strahov Monastary. Here, there used to stand a Romanesque stone monastery until it burned down in 1258. It was then reconstructed in the Gothic style. Now, it remains an active place to which pilgrimages are taken, a valuable library (80/50 CZK), and a gallery containing Czech and European paintings spanning from Gothicism to Romanticism (60 CZK). Next, have a beer at The Cloister Brewery. Although this place is a bit overpriced, stopping in for one of their amber or dark beers is a worthwhile experience. Finish off your long day with a healthy dinner and relaxing, fragrant cup of tea at Maly Buddha.


1

Bohemia Bagel

user rating

Location:

Ujezd 16
118 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 2 5731 0694
fax: 420 2 5731 0694
visit website


2

Mucha Museum

user rating

Location:

Panská 7
Panska 7
11000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 221 451 333
fax: 420 224 216 415
visit website


3

Franz Kafka Gallery

Location:

Staromestske Namesti 22
11000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2422 7452 (Franz Kafka Society)
fax: +420 2 2421 1850 (Franz Kafka Society)
visit website


4

Ghost Museum - Mostecka

Location:

Mostecka 18
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420604186801
visit website


5

Museum of Antonín Dvorák - Memorial of Antonín Dvorák

user rating

Location:

Nádražní 12
277 51 Nelahozeves, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 (0)2 1578 5099
fax: +420 (0)2 2492 3363
visit website


6

Powder Tower (The) - Prašná brána

user rating

Location:

náměstí Republiky
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2171 4444
visit website


7

Charles Bridge

user rating

Location:

Malá Strana
11000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2171 4444
visit website


8

Strahov Monastery

user rating

Location:

Strahovske nadvori 1/132
118 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 233 107 722
fax: 420 2 3310 7752
visit website


9

Strahov Monastery Picture Gallery

user rating

Location:

Strahovske nadvori 1/132
11800 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 3310 7711
fax: +420 2 3310 7752
visit website


10

Cloister Restaurant and Brewery (Klasterni Pivovar)

Location:

Strahovské Nádvoří 301
118 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420233353155
fax: +420 233 355 690
visit website


11

Maly Buddha

user rating

Location:

Úvoz 46
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 220 513 894
visit website


Day 3 - Prague


Today is about relaxing in an environment populated by Prague residents more so than sightseeing. When you leave the city center, not only do you get a better sense of the local daily culture but you also don’t have to deal with big tourist markups. On your way from Jiriho z Podebrad metro stop to your breakfast destination you’ll run into the unmistakable Zizkov TV Tower. Take advantage of the morning brightness to photograph the babies crawling up the tower, which began as a limited art exhibition but became permanent due to huge popularity, but don’t go to the top just yet. Instead, focus on the base of the tower, where lies the First Israeli Cemetery in Olsany, better known as the Zizkov Jewish Cemetery. It was established in 1680 as a plague burial ground for Prague’s Jewish community. Many prominent rabbis and scholars rest here, the most notable of which is probably that of the Chief Rabbi of Prague, Ezekiel Landau (1713-1793). For 50 CZK, you can get a closer look at the graves of 40,000 plague victims. Pay particular attention to the variety of tombstone styles, including Baroque and Romantic. Now it’s time for a morning meal. Keep heading down the hill towards Café Pavlac. This café is simultaneously modern and slightly offbeat. The eye-catching is clearly custom and adds a certain flair to the place. The breakfast menu is small but contains something for everyone and is always cooked to perfection. You can have scrambled eggs with toast and bacon, Meusli with fresh fruit and yogurt if you’re feeling health-conscious, a croissant, or, a personal recommendation, the ham and eggs, which doesn’t even resemble American ham and eggs but is delicious in its own right. A cup of good coffee and some fresh juice will give perfect balance to your meal. When you’ve finished your meal, don’t linger too long in Café Pavlac—keep in mind that beautiful views await at your next destination: Riegrovy Sady. First and foremost a park, here you can take a walk the winding paths, lined with benches for relaxing, enjoy the wide-open green spaces, and the breathtaking views of Prague Castle. If it’s not too cold, you can enjoy the park for hours. When you’re ready for a beer, head into the beer garden, which is widely considered Prague’s best. A massive outdoor pub, you have to first wait in line at one of the small tent-like bars near the entrance to grab a 25 CZK Gambrinus. If you want a few, the barmen will usually provide you with a tray to help you get to your big wooden table with minimal spillage. A very laid-back social atmosphere in addition to cheap beer, a massive big-screen projector playing any important sporting event, and a few foosball tables make this a great place to enjoy the afternoon. The clientele is hugely diverse, comprised of locals and otherwise, means this is also a good spot for people-watching. If you get hungry while you’re here, there is also a tent grilling up Czech sausages, although the quality of the food here can’t be guaranteed. It’s better to wait for dinner at U Sadu, just next to the one-of-a-kind TV Tower you saw earlier. U Sadu is a classic Czech hospoda (pub) so you can expect traditional dishes like goulash (a sort of meat-stew with various styles of sauce, depending on the type) and svickova (tender beef cooked in a cranberry cream sauce), both served with customary potato or bread dumplings. If you’re a bit tired of heavy Czech fare, though, there’s another highly recommended dinner option nearby called Mozaika. This restaurant is just past the Jiriho z Podebrad metro stop you came from. It is a big fancier with an eclectic but perfectly-executed menu and, while not blatantly cheap, this is one of the best value-for-money establishments in Prague. Mozaika offers a high quality, high-class meal for shockingly fair prices. If you choose Mozaika for dinner, head to U Sadu afterwards for a pub experience and a few after dinner beers. When you do, you’ll see the nighttime version of that one-of-a-kind TV Tower, lit up with the colors of the Czech flag. This is a good time to dish out the 150 CZK it costs for adults to get to the top (there’s also a “family ticket,” for one or two adults traveling with children which comes in at 120 CZK). The glittering nighttime version of Prague is truly stunning from this 93-meter-high vantage point.


1

TV Tower

Location:

Mahlerovy Sady 1
130 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 242 418 778
fax: +420 222 724 014
visit website


2

Jewish Cemetery in Žižkov

Location:

Fibichova Street
130 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420221711511
fax: 420222749300
visit website


3

Café Pavlac

user rating

Location:

Víta Nejedlého 23
130 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 222 721 731
visit website


4

Riegrovy Sady

user rating

Location:

Riegrovy Sady
130 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420222717247


5

U Sadu

Location:

Skroupovo namesti 5
130 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420222727072
visit website


6

Mozaika

user rating

Location:

Nitranská 13
130 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 224 253 011
visit website


Day 4 - Prague


Get ready for a busy last day in Prague. Start by grabbing breakfast from any cukrarna (pastry shop) or pekařství (bakery), which are often found in and around metro stops. Try a jablkový závin (apple strudel), a traditional Czech pastry. Take tram 22 to Prazky Hrad, a few feet from which you can find the entrance to the Prague Castle Complex. Free in itself, you’ll have to pay to enter some of the sites within the complex. Of these, St. Vitus Cathedral is likely your most worthwhile splurge. This Gothic church contains the remains of many Bohemian kings, and is the largest church in the Czech Republic. Once you’ve explored the complex, head towards your afternoon destination: Petrin Hill. On your way, stop at U Zavesenyho Kafe for lunch. If all of this saving is making you feel generous, at this café you can buy a coffee for the next poor guy who can’t afford one. It’s called “Hanging Coffee.” You pay for two cups of coffee, one for you and one to hang. That second cup will hung until someone who can’t afford a cup comes in. That next person will then gratefully enjoy the cup of coffee you bought. Now that your energy is revitalized, you’re ready to visit another of the most striking presences of Prague’s skyline: Petrin Tower. To get there, of course, you have to get up Petrin Hill. Truly a picturesque walk with ever-improving views, this hike is definitely deserving of the physical commitment. If you aren’t up for the walk, though, you can take the Funicular to the top, which costs only as much a regular transport ticket (26 CZK). At the top, don’t miss the chance to see arguably the most stunning views of Prague from the top of the Tower (60 CZK). Stroll through the rose garden and relax on the benches. You can visit the Observatory for 30 CZK or the Mirror Maze for 50 CZK, although the latter may not be worth the fee. The funicular down stops running at about the same time as darkness falls so, after enjoying some relaxation and beauty at the top, head down for dinner at Bar Bar, which is quite close to the funicular’s exit. This quirky bar/restaurant has a bohemian quality, which is probably related to the artistic décor. Enjoy a satisfying dinner that’s easy on your wallet. Stay in Lesser Town for your trip’s finale, a traditional Czech tavern, famed for the extraordinarily low price of a half-liter of Pilsner (27 CZK), called U Glaubicu. This is a truly Czech way to end a satisfying and enchanting visit to Europe’s most beautiful city.


1

Prague Castle

user rating

Location:

Jiřská
119 08 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 224 373 368
fax: + 420 224 37 3238
visit website


2

St. Vitus Cathedral

user rating

Location:

Jiřská
Pražský hrad
11800 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 221 714 444 (Tourist Information Centre)
visit website


3

U Zavesenyho Kafe

Location:

Úvoz 6
118 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420605294595
fax: 420257532868
visit website


4

Petrin Gardens

user rating

Location:

Újezd
15000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2171 4444


5

Petrin Hill Funicular

Location:

Újezd
11800 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 2 2171 4444
visit website


6

Petřín Hill Observation Tower

Location:

Mala Strana
15000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 7 2491 1497
visit website


7

Mirror Maze

user rating

Location:

Petřínské sady
15000 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420 257 315 212
visit website


8

Bar Bar

user rating

Location:

Vsehrdova, 17
Újezd
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: +420 257 312 246
visit website


9

U Glaubiců

Location:

Malostranské Naměsté 5
110 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Contact:

tel: 420257532027
visit website


© 2014 NileGuide.com   ·   Blog   ·   Facebook   ·   Contact Us   ·   About Us   ·   Privacy Policy   ·   Terms & Conditions