On Tuesday I got back from a week in the enchanting city of Prague. We stayed in an apartment I found via Airbnb. It was total luxury, with marble bathroom, sauna, designer kitchen and contemporary artworks, take a peek and drool with apartment envy! This kind of accommodation in a hotel would easily cost around 350 euros per night, well outside our budget, but because we are Airbnb hosts we got it for a knockdown price.
I would love to share a few of things we did with you, so here’s my idiosyncratic list of things to see and do in Prague;
- Charles Bridge – go early or at dusk to avoid crowds.
- Prague Castle – Tram 22 takes you up the steep hill to the castle. Have lunch or cakes at Lobkowicz Palace Cafe on your way back down the hill.
- Look out for David Cerny’s eccentric artworks around town. My favourite is the upside-down King Wenceslas’s horse in Lucerna Passage.
- Don’t expect snow and carolling children on Wenceslas Square, you’ll be disappointed. You will see all the ubiquitous global chains however.
- To recover from Wenceslas Square get a spiritual fix and cool down in the church of Our Lady of the Snow, and the tranquil FranciscanGardens next to it.
- Buy a Kafka novel at the Globe Bookstore/café in Nové Město, vibrant meeting place for expats. Afterwards follow the oriental aromas and have a Thai at the Lemon Leaf restaurant just up the road.
- Take tram 14 to National Gallery – Veletržní palace; huge, ocean-liner like museum with paintings by major 20th century artists: Klimt, Picasso, Miro, Lautrec, Degas, Rousseau, Monet, Munch, Matisse, Grosz, Ernst, etc and lesser-known Czech artists. Art of this calibre in Paris or London would mean elbowing your way through hordes of tourists. In Prague we had the museum practically to ourselves. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Slav Epic, Art Noveau founder, Alfons Mucha’s life’s work.
- After National Gallery, go to nearby Stromovka park and enjoy the outdoor pub and view of the lakes.
- Try the black beer that according to other half tastes great and is very cheap! Looks like Guinness but lighter taste.
- Avoid buying anything near Old Town Square. Prices are very inflated and you get better quality items outside this area.
- Wear very comfortable shoes for sightseeing. Cobbled streets can be hard going and it certainly isn’t advisable to break in new shoes or wear heels of any kind.
- Take an evening stroll along River Vltava. There are bars and musicians aplenty and for romantic atmosphere it rivals the River Seine.
- Stumble upon and buy a DVD of ‘Three Gifts for Cinderella.’ Any Brit who grew up in the seventies and watched BBC’s ‘Tales from Europe,’ will remember this magical Czech/East German production. Popelku rides a white horse, hunts and dresses up as a boy and outwits her future husband: Walt Disney’s Cinders she ain’t! The music score alone is enough to make me tear up with nostalgia…