Tuesday, 17 October 2017

How To Spend A Weekend In Prague

It's fair to say I've been on my fair share of city breaks and have written blog posts about nearly all of them with my thoughts, advice and of course, a hell of a lot of photos! I've written about Paris at Christmas and the amazing city of Reykjavik, as well as Funchal in Madeira and a girls trip to Amsterdam. This time, it's all about Prague, a city that has always been on my "to travel to" list. Last weekend, I headed over to the Czech Republic with a group of mates to celebrate a few birthdays that were happening in October and if I'm being honest I wasn't sure what to expect from the city but as soon as our taxi pulled into the Old Town I knew it was going to be a place that was right up my street. 

If you've been reading my travel posts for a while, then you'll know I'm someone who gets quite restless and bored on holiday and can only spend so much time chilling out. I like to be out there, exploring and seeing things, probably eating a lot of food and drinking a lot of cocktails. Prague was perfect for that for me. We stayed in Amethyst Hotel that was about a 30 minute walk from the city centre but the walk meant we got to see a lot more of the quieter parts that you wouldn't normally see and the entire place is absolutely beautiful. Imagine cobbled streets and roads throughout, horse and carts and vintage cars showing tourists around, the Vltava River running through the city with boat trips and restaurants on it... it really is beautiful but as the beer capital of Europe, Prague really does have the best of all worlds when it comes to city breaks. 

So one of my favourite parts of Prague was the Old Town and I know I'm definitely not alone in this. The square in the Old Town is home to Prague's famous (and beautiful) Astronomical Clock and it's lined with museums, bars, cafes and restaurants, with of course some great beer. It wasn't warm by any means while we were in the city but it was lovely to sit outside the bars with a pint or a cocktail taking in the details of the intricately designed buildings that are all over the Old Town Square. However I must say that we did pay €6 to go into the worst and creepiest wax museum that I've ever been to but I'll leave that one for you to discover yourself as you wouldn't want to miss out of course....The Old Town Square also has some lovely horse and cart trips around the city and there are crepe stalls with mulled wine and I hate to say the C word this early in the year but it would be an incredible city to visit at Christmas time. 

Wenceslas Square has a more modern feel to it as it's lined with the shops that we all know and love. There's a Sephora (yes, it did take all of the will power in the world for me to go in), Footlocker, M&S...the list goes on as it's quite a big area! There are a lot of bars, clubs and restaurants around this area but it's definitely worth noting that it can get quite pricey on the main street. The Baileys hot chocolate you see in my photo above, as delicious as it was, cost me the equivalent of about £14 and my friend's pina colada set her back over £20 (much to her pleasure when the bill arrived!). However, step just off the main street onto the quieter back streets and into the traditional Czech pubs and you'll find pints for around £1.80 or less and food that is just as nice but so much cheaper. Be sure to try the Czech soup that's served in a bowl of actual bread and the traditional Czech dessert trdelnik or "chimney cake" - you won't be disappointed! 

When you're in Prague, you must walk over the Charles Bridge. Not only is the view of the city incredible but the bridge is home to some beautiful sculptures and there are so many talented street artists that pitch up around here, painting and sketching the views of the Prague skyline. I really wish I went to see it at sunrise though as I've heard the view is absolutely amazing; would it be bad to go back to Prague just for that reason? Just a short walk from Charles Bridge is St Vitus Cathedral. I'm not religious at all but I find cathedrals and religious buildings simply fascinating so they always make it onto my list of places I want to visit. The view of the entire city from the top of the many steps to get to the Cathedral is worth the tiring climb alone and presents some fabulous photo ops for any photographers or Instagrammers out there! 

One of my favourite things we did though was undoubtedly the Bernard Beer Spa which is completely different to anything I've ever done before. We did this as a surprise for some of the girl's birthdays who it was and everyone who was with us absolutely loved it. The spa that we went to is located in Hotel Metamorphosis and you spend a few hours bathing in warm baths of malt, yeast and hops, which is so much better than it sounds and although it does seem a bit strange sitting in huge baths of warm water with greeny bits in it, it's so relaxing and makes your skin feel amazing afterward. The spa also has heated beds, a sauna and a jacuzzi and the best part? Of course, there's unlimited beer for the whole time you are in there. It's definitely something I'd recommend, especially if you're going in the winter or spring when it's a bit chillier - it was incredible! 

The nightlife in Prague is second to none too but there is one thing that I will say - it is absolutely full of men on stag dos and it's for good reason. There are so many choices of places to drink and party, our personal choice being a bar near the Old Town Square called Coyotes. Seen the film Coyote Ugly? Yup, it's exactly that and it was so much fun! The city has definitely got the right balance in my opinion with culture, history and things to see during the day, followed by great food and lively nightlife for later on. Another thing to bare in mind is that although some places in Prague do accept Euros, the currency is actually Czech Koruna. I'd advise taking Koruna as it is accepted every where in the city whereas Euros aren't (they are accepted in most places but in my opinion Koruna is the better option). 

I'd definitely visit Prague again - what do you think of the city?

Amy x
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