Prague, you’re so pretty and that’s why everyone flocks to you.
Arriving in Prague airport was a breeze. Customs moved people in pretty quickly and there were English, Korean and Russian signs for exits and wherever you needed to go. Once you arrive, change only the Czech Crowns you need at the airport because they charge commission and the exchange rate is not as good as what you get in town. Once you head to town, you will find money changers with 0 commission with rates closer to what’s on XE.com.
Once you get your bag, head to the tourist information counter on the right to get your free map of Prague and also, buy your airport bus ticket for the main railway station in Prague. It is cheaper than buying on the bus by about 2 euros and the railway station connects you to the old town easily. I stayed at Domus apartments which was a short 5 minutes walk from the main train station. It was a clean and comfortable apartment and only 10 minutes walk to the old town of Prague where all the attractions are. Only drawback is there is no air conditioning as it’s an old building so you’ll need to leave the windows open when you sleep at night and it got a bit warm as it was summer, about 24 degrees at night. Thank God for the fan in the room. It was also quiet at night as it wasn’t close to a busy street. This apartment was very close to the beautiful and colorful Jubilee Synagogue.
Walking around our hotel, I found a Michelin rated restaurant called Sansho. This is an Asianized restaurant that has no menu so the degustation menu (S$60) was ordered and it didn’t disappoint. Seasonal items are served and it was mostly seafood but everything served was excellent, except the beef rendang and Asian fried vegetables because it tasted a lot like our Tze Char. The service was friendly and good and the good thing about Prague is, almost everyone I spoke to speaks perfect English so you will have no problem getting around.
Had dinner the next day at the sister Bistro next door called Maso Kobliha and the items were more tapas style, less Asian, less expensive but taste wise, Sansho was better.
My final night in Prague, I had dinner at Next Door by Imperial, Michelin recommended the big sister Cafe Imperial but I didn’t have a reservation so I was turned away (perhaps also it was raining and I had my yellow poncho and slippers on). But I had no problems at Next Door. The service was friendly and the place beautiful, the food was the highlight – it had the best pork cheeks on a bed of cabbage ever. Cabbage is one of the most produced vegetables out of Czech Republic and it’s super delicious with the melt in your mouth succulent pork. The house wine matched it really well.
For Prague snacks, try the Trdelnik with chocolate or ice cream. It’s impossible to pronounce I know, but so delicious it’s like a bigger pain chocolate from Paul’s and it’s found everywhere, but you would want to try the one that is heated by charcoal. Always follow your nose. If it smells good, it will taste good. I got mine at the old quarter on the way to Charles Bridge!
I recommend doing the free walking tour of the old town and Jewish quarter and also the free Castle walking tour to the Prague castle. They are both a 2.5 hours walking tour so wear good shoes or slippers and if it’s summer, wear sunblock as it is very very hot and sunny! I got sunburnt coz I forgot mine! There are many companies doing the free tour and I booked the one by NEXT. http://www.nextpraguetours.com/
Most tours start at the Cartier shop near the Astronomical clock. Just remember which tour you booked, which is indicted by the colours of umbrellas they hold. The tours are really free and the guides are passionate, chatty and funny. You can tip as you like as they depend on your tips for a living.
Everyone who goes to Prague seems to be at the Charles Bridge. It is after all, the largest pedestrian bridge ever built and it is an architectural masterpiece. The free castle tour explains the bridge very well and you walk the bridge on route to Prague castle, the largest castle in the Czech Republic. If you’re doing it on your own, take the tram 22 to Prague castle fromthe end of Charles Bridge and walk into it from there (stop is called Pražský hrad). Walk all around the castle grounds, then leave the Castle through the Old Castle Stairs to metro station Malostranská. Remember to make your stop at the beautiful Gothic cathedral that took 600 years to build.
The second largest castle is in Chesky Krumlov and I really recommend you do a day trip there because it’s really beautiful. It’s also a Unesco site and the entire town can be done in a day. Remember to go to the tower for your panoramic view of the whole town. You can also bring your swimmers and canoe, or just dip in the clear and cool waters in the hotel summer.
I paid for a day trip to Chesky Krumlov which comes with a guided tours and lunch but that will set you back about S$100. Lunch was in the old castle turned hotel but it wasn’t nice. You can do your own and bus it by Leo Express that departs from the main train station’s bus stop. Buy tickets online on goeuro.com and then the bus stop is on the street when you take the elevator from the main station to street level and head to stand number 4 on the side of the car park. It’s a big black bus with the words Leo Express on it and it departs at 730am. Alight at the bus station of Chesky Krumlov and from there, walk with directions. The return should be similar. It’s 2.5 hours ride away.
Prague is a great city that’s full of life and really vibrant and friendly. It has very pretty buildings that look really good in the day and especially romantic at night. I felt very safe here walking back to my apartment at 11pm after dinner. The only thing you have to worry about is pickpockets so please ensure you keep your valuables safely especially at the astronomical clock every hour because everyone will be crowding there. The clock is quite cute to watch and it chimes every hour. Be very careful of beggars on the street as that may spit and grope you if you do not give them some change (I witnessed it happen! 😱) Do not walk near them unless you want to give them money.
So pack your bags, sit back, relax, have a Czech beer or walk a lot like I did coz you really can walk everywhere in Prague and remember to enjoy your meals in Prague because I loved their food! Cheers!