The Guide to a Perfect Weekend in Prague
Prague is a world-famous romantic spot, perfect for a weekend getaway, and with good reason. Standing side by side with classic fairy-tale cities like Rome and Paris, it offers the beguiled visitor charm, history and a great deal of adventure. As a European holiday for two, it would be hard to find conditions more perfect.
This article will attempt to provide the bite by bite, step by step guide, to experiencing Prague on an abbreviated trip and ensuring you have the best bits covered.
EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM
Waking up and wrestling some clothes out of the depths of the suitcase, a short walk to town and the hunt for one of the delicious cafes in the proximity of the old square begins. Luckily, with such an array of places to choose from, this is not a difficult feat.
This morning its ginger tea and truffle eggs for me and a stuffed croissant for him at the infamous Café Louvre; an elegant, 100-year old cafe, with large windows and a delectable Czech-speciality menu.
Perfect for the happy wanderer, the rest of the morning is spent ambling Prague’s cobbled streets. Linger for longer than a moment in the Old Town Square; distracted by the imposing astronomical clock, the carved faces of the churches, and the quirky, hidden shops.
Enjoy a coffee (is it too early for a beer?) in one of the numerous bistros dotted around the square and get that map out for some enthusiastic route-planning.
Meandering across one of the charming bridges that span the width of the lazy river, a short walk up the opposing hill leads to the proud walls of Prague Castle. A complex of palaces, churches, towers and extensive gardens offer stunning views of the city. Whether you decide to have a guide take you on a more detailed tour of the grounds, or you choose to simply wander at your own pace, there is much to enjoy here. (And plenty of photo opportunities too.)
Feet a little weary, and mouth a little dry, walk down the river to Letná Park, sitting on Letná hillside opposite the town, its elevation providing commanding views of the surrounding scenery. Here, some pretty epic steps await you. Once over this challenge however, the delights of an ice-cold cup of beer and the sensation of dangling bare feet are yours for the taking. Many join here for a sunset drink as the light slowly drains from the city, leaving its glittering lights and the glittering river the stars of the show.
Re-entering the relaxed flow of life in the town, what more could one want of a first romantic evening in a foreign city than a three-course dinner cruising down river Vltava on a Jazz boat. Enticing, right? Witnessing the twinking glow of the city at night, all turrets and domes, provides a new, magical perspective to the city’s sights.
If still feeling energised and adventurous on this fresh-new night, take yourself to the one and only Cross Club, open til 5am for those who so dare. A notorious spot for those in the know, the music venue holds a great range of musical events and with it draws some great crowds and atmosphere. Snag a mojito from the bar and revel in the clubs unique motion: every corner and crevice boasting some kind of whirring, moving, twisting metal bolt or part.
EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM
Another excellent breakfast begins the day, this time at the Creperie U Kajetána with (you guessed it) a goat cheese and sauteed mushroom crepe for me and a dark chocolate crepe for him.
Next on the itinerary is a gentle stroll down to one of the Sunday markets. Find stalls brimming with quirky objects, vintage items and fresh food. The great prices and funky shaped chocolates will have you perusing for a while.
Belly and shopping bags contentedly full, head to Prague’s National Gallery for a little culture and some truly wonderful exhibitions. Home to the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic, the grand, boundless architecture of the gallery space and its diverse and exquisite artistic inhabitants will leave your eyes as happy as your belly.
Today's late morning activity involves the exploration of the Malostranske Square and surrounding area. Like the rest of the city, the quaint shops, winding cobbled streets and beautiful buildings will transport you to another time. Here you will find a number of delightful cafes selling Czech food and the renowned Czech beer. There are also absinthe bars, equip with flaming shots, for those feeling a little more adventurous.
For some of the best Czech beer and some fresh, homemade Czech food, check out Lokál U Bílé kuželky, near Charles Bridge. Whilst on the topic of Charles Bridge, while iconic for its majestic 14th century stone carvings and the towers marking either end, it is, understandably, one of the most tourist infested parts of Prague. To best avoid this, spend time there early in the morning or at night.
The rest of Sunday can be spent idly at one of Prague’s spas or a rooftop beer garden. The St. Wenclas Vineyard, near to the Castle, offers wonderful views over the city, and, as I’m sure you can guess, a fine selection of wines from the region.
Alternatively, head to Riegory Sady, perched on a hill above the National Museum. Perfect for a scenic beer or romantic picnic.
The best dinner is, as always, stumbled upon in a small street or bend away from the main drag. There are a wide array of dining spots in Prague. Here I will let you have a little exploration for yourself.
For a fine-dining feast overlooking the river, try Bellevue Restaurant, featuring superb cuisine and views of Charles Bridge and the Castle.
If the comfort of your bed is not calling, drag yourself to the National Theatre. A wonder regardless of the performance. It is a proud historical building for the Czech people, and this is symbolised by its glorious architecture and golden domed roof. Budget constricted or not, it is possible to buy reasonably priced front row tickets. End your trip with a show and a dinner, and savour your last moments in the magical Prague.