With love, from Prague
(Reading: 8 minutes) / Photography: Özge Öztürk & Andrea Ochoa
Hello loves! How was your week? Mine was a bit busy: with final exams, many goodbyes and a few places to discover. This week I started the countdown to return to Mexico, so I decided to go back to my favorite places to do this last post. I must say that it was extremely difficult to choose: Prague was not another trip; it was my home for four months. So, with nothing more to say… I hope you like it!
I came to Prague for the first time in 2015. Back then, I never thought I would return for an exchange. But what I thought is that Prague was beautiful: the historic center, its buildings with multiple styles, the medieval towers, Charles Bridge, the Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral.
I think the best way to get around Prague is to start at the Old Town Square. It is surrounded by the Church of Our Lady of Tyn, the Church of San Nicolás and the Town Hall of the Old City. Depending on the season, this square is full of life with festivals, such as the Easter Market, with typical food and Czech products.
There is also one of the most iconic points: the Astronomical Clock. I must say that more than the spectacle of every hour, getting to the top of the tower is a must. It is definitely one of my favorite spots in the city: you can have a 360 ° view of Prague!
Where to eat?
On one side of the Astronomical Clock, you will find the terrace of the Hotel U Prince, with an impressive view, not to mention the food which is great! I recommend you try the specialty of the place: pork knucle with coleslaw and mustard – a classic Czech – and the grilled steak of salmon with olive tapenade, such a delight! TIP: Do not forget to make your reservation before.
Address: Staroměstské nám. 460/29, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město.
Returning to the Old Town tour, it is imperative to visit the Jewish Quarter. Apart from the Museum and the Old Cemetery, there are six synagogues open to the public. Definitely, my favorite is the Spanish Synagogue. In some houses, it is possible to observe small metal plaques on the doors or sidewalks, in memory of those Jews who were stripped of their belongings during World War II. There’s no doubt that it is a very sublime part of the city everybody must see.
Near the Jewish Quarter, there are two of my favorite places. Sisters Bistro has great variety of Chlebicek, a Czech dish, plus different soups every day, coffee and tea, super recommended!
Address: Dlouhá 727/39, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město
And near the Powder Tower, there are two of my favorite cafes: Grand Cafe Orient and Cerna Madonna. Both are part of the Cubist Museum, and besides the great design, the cappuccino and cakes are delicious. I recommend trying Czech desserts: rakvička and věneček, my favorites!
Grand Café Orient: Ovocný trh 569/19, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město.
Cerna Madonna: Celetná 569/34, 110 00 Staré Město.
Continuing along the narrow streets to the Charles Bridge, you can appreciate countless restaurants, breweries, jewelers and souvenir shops. Must visit: Manufaktura, Captain Candy, Las Adelitas, Blue Praha.
But what is most striking are the puppet shops, a tradition in Prague. These are originals from different parts of Czech Republic and are handmade. A must visit one of these!
Undoubtedly, an important part in Prague is the nightlife. Although the Karlovy Lazne club is famous for having five floors, I must say that Nebe, Lucerne, Chapeau Rouge, Roxy, La Bodeguita and Popocafepetl are good. But without a doubt, my favorite is Hemingway Bar, with great drinks and cocktails, super recommended if you want something more classic!
Hemingway Bar: Karoliny Světlé 279/26, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město.
What else to try?
Just before arriving at Charles Bridge, there are two of my favorite places: Karlova I and Good Food. If it’s Czech food, I recommend you try the Goulash in bread or the duck with cabbage, accompanied by Staroprammen beer (my favorite) in Karlova I. And for dessert, a Trdelnik of Good Food never fails. My favorite is the berries, a real treat!
Karlova I: Karlova 190/1, Prague 110 00, Czech Republic.
Good Food: Karlova 160/8, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město.
Finally, at the end of the narrow streets you can see my second favorite spot: Charles Bridge. This is the most famous monument in Prague and connects the Old Town (Staré Město) with the Small Town (Malá Strana). With more than 500 meters long and 10 wide, its name is due to its creator, Carlos IV, who laid the first stone in 1357.
Along the bridge there are 30 statues, the first being the one of San Juan Nepomuceno in 1683. It is said that whoever asks for a wish by placing his left hand at the base of the statue, it will be granted.
Watching the sunset at Charles Bridge is a must!
Once crossing the bridge, you reach my favorite part of the city: Mala Strana. There are several important points to see: the John Lennon Wall, the Prague Infant Jesus Chapel, the St. Nicholas Church and the Franz Kafka Museum.
And on one side of the Kafka Museum is another of my favorite spots: this small lookout on the banks of the Vltava River, from where you get one of the best views of the Charles Bridge and you can feed the ducks.
Coffee or gelato?
On one side of the Church of St. Nicholas are two of my favorite places. Amorino, ideal for tasting gelato. My favorite: raspberry, mango and vanilla, flower shaped, with a macaroon, great!
Address: Malostranské nám. 38/24, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana.
And Café Savoy, also a classic – with Czech and French cuisines – and one of Franza Kakfa’s favorite spots. The coffee and desserts are amazing, but the Schnitzel and the Boeuf Tartare are such a delight.
Address: Vítězná 124/5, 150 00 Praha 5-Malá Strana
Finally, after having toured Mala Strana, you should go up Nerudova Street to get to my favorite spot: Prague Castle.
The history of Prague began with the construction of the Castle in the 9th century: this became the center of the territory and was the residence of the Kings of Bohemia since its foundation by Prince Borivoj. It is currently the largest castle in the world, being composed of a set of palaces and buildings connected by small alleys. From 1918 the Castle houses the residence of the president of the Czech Republic.
Although the Cathedral of San Vito is my favorite with its peculiar Gothic style, you cannot miss the Golden Alley, the Old Royal Palace and St. George’s Basilica. Undoubtedly, the lookout at the end of these enclosures is one of the best views of Prague.
It is difficult to say which the best view of Prague is. On one side of the Castle, both Petrin Hill and Letná Park have one of the best views of the Vltava River and its bridges, but also Vysehrad, on the opposite side of the city, is one of my favorite places to watch the sunset.
However, this past week I discovered the one that became my favorite place to admire the city. Next to the Strahov Monastery – which has one of the most beautiful libraries in the world and a restaurant with craft beer – is the restaurant Bellavista.
This place is famous for Czech cuisine, its craft beer and of course the terrace overlooking the Prague Castle, the river and the houses of Mala Strana. I recommend you try the special beer with blueberry, a starter Chlebicek and Svičková as the main dish, delicious!
With such a view, Bellavista was definitely the best place to finish my tour in this city.
It’s hard to say goodbye to a place with so much beauty and so many memories. However, I hope to return and enjoy again everything that made me fall in love with Prague: its streets, its monuments, its food and its sights.
I hope you enjoyed the post! I have a surprise for you next week, don’t miss it!