Swirling cobblestones streets, deeply dipped in history and romantic architecture, these are only a handful of reasons of why over 20 million tourists a year come to Prague.
As the summer season comes to a close, it is now when crowds of visitors begin to cease across the city. Some argue that Prague has become such a tourist hotspot, that it has become an artificial city, and I would be lying if that statement wasn’t completely false.
Yes, the streets of centre Prague are lined with tacky souvenir stores and segway tours, but this shouldn’t deter anyone from giving the city a chance as authenticity is alive in Prague. You just have to search a little harder for it.
7. Breakfast in Café Savoy
This elegant spot whips up what could only be the best breakfast in town. On the menu, you’ll find big bites from the traditional continental breakfast for 158cz ($6). If you find your stomach rumbling terribly then the French breakfast is a must.
Containing a freshly-baked croissant, freshly squeezed orange juice and the best cup of coffee you’ll ever have. Not to mention the meal itself – French toast with strawberries drenched in maple syrup with a side of blue cheese, french fries, sausages, Prague ham and a soft-boiled egg. It’s safe to say you’ll be filled for the day!
6. Hike up to Petřínské Sady
The perfect way to escape the crowds: Taking a hike into the rolling hills surrounding Prague is something a visitor should do at least. Find yourself falling in love with the encompassing nature as you weave your way up to the daunting Petrin Tower, Prague’s very own Eifel tower. It costs 50cz ($2) and about an hour to climb up to top. The view however, is worth it!
5. Take a closer look at the buildings
Paying attention to Prague’s diverse architecture is important, between the Communist blocks, Art Nouveau buildings and Gothic architecture will give you a profound idea of the city’s complex history.
I found that looking at each building individually inflicted a deeper appreciation for the beauty of this city. Each era of architecture tells a different story in the development of this ancient place. Which brings me onto my next point.
4. Take the time to dive into Prague’s history
Ok, so this point is a little touristy but for good reason! Architecture is one thing, but Prague’s history provokes endless stories of revolt, dictatorship, kings and protest.
Plenty of visitors come to and from the city without really understanding Prague’s intense history. The best way to do this is by foot. Weaving through the Jewish Quarter, seeing the bullet holes, standing in a place where history has been made has a way bigger effect then zooming by in phony vintage car.
3. Sample Czech wine at Grebovka Vineyard
The thoughts of the Czech Republic producing wine is an odd thought, but you know, when in the Prague? Wine lovers will be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a small vineyard withing the city limits. Standing above you’ll find the ornate cafe, Altan.
Here you can join in on a wine-tasting class, or simply opt to pick at a cheese plate while sipping on a glass of Prague wine. It’s as heavenly as it sounds.
2. Czech out (sorry) Prague’s artistic side
It’s normal to be taken in by the city’s beauty, but take a wander outside the center of town and see another side of Prague. Located north of the city is the up-and-coming neighborhood of Holešovice, easily accessible by tram from the Old Town.
Art galleries, contemporary pieces, and peculiar statues run rampant in this neighborhood. Some must-sees include the often controversial DOX (featured above) exhibition center, seven-story art gallery Veletržní Palác, later in the evening move onto the metal-built bar Cross Club.
1. Strahov Monastery & Library
Behind the Prague’s castle district you’ll stumble across the beautiful Strahov Monastery. Belonging to the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, from it’s origin in 1183 to its survival throughout numerous wars and communist regime, the story of the monastery itself fascinating.
Although I must say the library goes down a treat if you’re a book lover. Roaming from the stucco-decorated Theological Hall (featured above) to the warmth of the Philosophical Hall, with the scent of ancient books wafting throughout the whole building. It’s a book lover’s dream come true.