Czech Republic was one of the top countries I wanted to tick off my bucket list this year, so naturally Prague felt like a good place to start. It’s quickly become one of my favourite European cities. The neo-Gothic capital city has loads to offer when it comes to things to do, sights to see, foods and drinks - all within a reasonable budget. Although Rickie and I only spent a long-weekend in Prague, we definitely managed to cover some main highlights and a little bit more. Prepare for a full three-day itinerary of our first time in Prague:
Day 1: We arrived on a Friday night from Copenhagen and London to Václav Havel Airport and took an Uber straight to our apartment located in Žižkov district (Prague 3) - definitely one of my favourite stays so far. At midnight we decided to check out a pub called Pivnice U Sadu nearby after receiving a local recommendation, and oh my I’m so glad we did. In contrast to Rickie, I’m not a pub-person at all. I can’t drink beer (which automatically makes me unsuitable for Prague, right?), I can’t stand the smell of cigarettes and I’m like a grandma by nature so I’m not a big fan of rowdy places - but this place… This place had the best fried chicken wings ever. If a pub could offer me this then count me in every time. Apparently you can “see the happiness on my face” when I eat good food. Anyway, that was a fun night we both enjoyed a lot and a place worth checking out if you’re in the area.
The next morning we took the tram into Old Town where we began our full day of sight-seeing. We started in Old Town Square and made our way up to the top of Old Town Hall for an incredible panoramic moment. Stunning stunning stunning! Unfortunately the Astronomical Clock was under construction during our visit, so that is something we are yet to see. But there were plenty of other highlights to explore around the area. The Havelské market for example was worth a visit.
After spending enough time in Old Town we began making our way towards Charles Bridge, which links Old Town to Malá Strana. On our way there we explored some very empty streets until we eventually reached the Vltava river. It always surprises me how in some places you can literally walk 300 m out of the tourist attractions and there will be no crowd.
Before crossing Charles Bridge, we decided to climb the Old Town Bridge Tower for the second panoramic view of the day. I love the medieval vibe of this city, and this view in particular with Prague Castle in the background really captures that. We didn’t end up going there but instead spent the afternoon exploring more of downtown Malá Strana, having a very traditional lunch in Lokál U Bilé, and just discovering new things along the riverside.
We slowly walked towards the direction of Museum Kampa, which hosts a small collection of Czech and central European modern art. Shortly after we stumbled upon a beer fest garden and took the opportunity to stretch our legs, have a drink and soak up some sun. We spent an hour just lying on the grass, watching pedal boats drive by and enjoying each other’s company. A very relaxing evening!
As the sun was setting, we made our way to the famous Dancing House where we had another drink and watched the golden hour from Glass Bar, situated on the top floor of the building. We contemplated whether or not to have dinner at Ginger & Fred on 7th floor as I’d read some good reviews about it, but we decided to go to a restaurant called Lavande across the river instead. It was more casual, less touristy, but the food was excellent - seriously one of the best meals of the trip!
After dinner it was getting quite late so we decided to go home and watch a movie. From experience we’ve learnt not to burn ourselves out from trying to squeeze in all the activities on the first day (although it might seem like we just did), so this was indeed a sensible decision. As midnight struck, it was Rickie’s birthday and the morning after I had a lot of things planned out for him.
Day 2: I made a reservation for the two of us to have breakfast in Oblaca Restaurant, situated on top of the Žižkov TV Tower and five minutes walk from our apartment. I loved everything about this place: the service, the ambience, the authentic food, the fresh OJ, the view… Bliss! And since it was still quite early in the morning, we had the whole place for ourselves.
At midday we went for birthday drinks at Terasa U Prince. We got a cosy seat outside on their rooftop terrace with beautiful views overlooking the Old Town Square. Later we decided that we wanted to get out of Prague 1 where most of the main tourist attractions are, to explore other places. However, Prague is a fairly large city split into many different districts so there was no chance we could see everything at once, but we did go to Holešovice (Prague 7), a district north of Prague - also named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe. A friend recommended us last minute to go to the Street Food Festival that was on the same weekend, which suited perfectly for food lovers like us. We also went to a Vietnamese Food Festival south of the district where there was live Vietnamese entertainment and more Vietnamese food. While in Holešovice we took the opportunity to check out DOX Centre of Contemporary Art.
As sunset lovers, we wanted to catch it somewhere nice on our last evening in Prague. We spontaneously ended up on a romantic one-hour river cruise on the Vltava river where we had a couple of drinks, saw Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and other historical buildings from a new perspective. We were so lucky that timing was on our side and that we managed to book the last tickets for the 7PM-cruise. I had made a reservation at Field Restaurant at 8PM and for our convenience, it was located right by the dock so we made it just in time for dinner.
Field is a Michelin-starred restaurant that I had booked one month in advance for Rickie’s birthday. It was a lovely evening in a really low-key modern restaurant, the food was great (portions were small though, but as you’d expect for fine dining) and the staff did a great job helping me arrange a surprise for him afterwards. In the past five years of celebrating our birthdays together, we’ve rarely given each other materialistic things but rather experiences, whether it be culinary experiences, activities or travels. I love that because whatever the gift, we get to share it. With that being said, we can both look forward to enjoy his birthday present together in Budapest pretty soon.
Day 3: It’s always a bit sad waking up on the last day of an amazing vacation, especially if you’re in a long-distance relationship. But we always try to make the best and the most out of our limited time together. Our flights wasn’t until in the evening so we spent the morning exploring more of the Žižkov district. We visited the National Monument of Vitkov on top of Vitkov hill, built in honour of WW1 and later used to promote the communist regime - a very interesting place. Then we went to Eska for lunch, a must-visit restaurant if you’re in the area. Delicious food and super cool ambience! In the last two hours before we had to rush to the airport, we went back into the city centre because Rickie really wanted to see the Paternoster elevator at Prague City Hall, which was only open during weekdays. So we got to tick that off his bucket list, and I got to see the infinite book tunnel at Prague Library just next door to the Town Hall.
Our long-weekend in Prague was an unforgettable trip. I loved the city, the food, and the people who made our stay so comfortable… I never felt like we were getting ripped off either, which is always a plus, right? With that being said, I’m forever grateful for the chance to travel around in the weekends and then go back to uni in Copenhagen the next moment without compromising my studies (perks of choosing my own courses and only having lectures twice a week). It’s a privilege I’ll never take for granted. For the remaining half year that I am still a student, I hope this will continue to be my lifestyle. I know things will get much busier during Christmas time until summer but I’m ready for the challenge.
Thanks for checking out this long post and for following my journey. Stay tuned for more travel updates… Next stop, Scotland!