Prague

Prague-Spires-672x372

Last updated: December 27th 2015

Prague is the largest city in Czech Republic and is wonderful to visit any time of the year, every season has so much to offer. The city has been through the most profound periods of change, evidence of this is found in the cities walls. Having being conquered many times the city of a million spires has many different faces as it’s been molded and changed to mirror each new era. Each season gives this historic city new light and with that a different perspective.

Airport -> City Center

Taxi’s – The biggest Taxi companies are  AAA taxi or 1.1.1 Radio cabs. AAA taxi has a booth at the airport terminals, be sure to check the prices. They usually charge a flat rate from the airport from anywhere in the city ranging from 600-700 Czk ($24-$28 USD), if you’re going to the city center (I paid  650 Czk to get to palladium area  by the main mall). The taxis had IPads for the drivers and accepted credit card or Czk.

Public Bus service – The cheapest option by far and if you catch the connections you can be in the city center faster than a taxi. Also note that you should buy your pass for the bus in advance either from the news stand or at the DPP desk at the terminal. If you intend on using the bus for more than 24 hours  you don’t need to by a separate ticket for your luggage as you are allowed one over standard piece of luggage per pass. Warning: Be aware of your surroundings as the bus route does attract pick pocketers, although the No.119 is more affected by this due to it being more busy than the No.100

Bus No.119. Runs approx every 15 minutes from 4:30 am to 11:30 pm between Prague airport and metro station Veleslavin (green line – it takes about 10 minutes) suitable for metro stops in the centre like Mustek (Wenceslas Square), Staromestska (Old Town Square), Namesti Miru (Vinohrady) and Museum (Wenceslas Square).

Bus No.100 runs from the airport to the yellow line station at Zlicin and takes 14 mins. This line is best for stops like Florenc (bus terminal), Andel (bus terminal), Namesti Republiky, Mustek, Narodni and Karlovo Namesti.

Private taxi from Prague airport to main railway station – This option works if you have a larger group of people. Drivers all speak basic english and work at a fixed price for 24 hours non-stop. The price for the transfer is paid in cash to the driver in czk or Euro. you will be met by the driver at the arrival hall.

1-4 people  =23 Euro

4-8 people =32 Euro

Booking can be made here 

The taxi will drop you off at Hlavni nadrazi- The main railway station providing international railway connections. It is the home of Czech speed trains- Pendolinos (to Bratislava). From here you can also travel to Germany (Munich, Nuremberg), Poland (Warsaw, Krakow), Hungary (Budapest) or Austria (Salzburg). The station is located on metro station Hlavni nadrazi (line C, red). It is 3 stations away from Holešovice.

Transportation:

Walking :  Not only is this the best way to see and explore the city but by taking the free walking tour you have the opportunity to see all the transformation the city has gone through, bookings can be made here, I’d highly recommend it! I always try to take the walking tour on the first day i’m in any new city so that I  have a chance to familiarize myself and be more aware of my surroundings, I also find that my appreciation for a city grows exponentially after learning more about the culture and history that has made it what it is today.

Public transport : Prague has one of the best public transport systems in Europe. The metro, trams and buses are used by the majority of the population and covers most of the city and it’s outskirts. Although it’s easy to walk this city, the metro is a great way to cover long distances within just a few minutes. If you can’t reach your final destination by walking there are trams and buses outside each metro stop, making getting around really easy. As i’ve suggested before getting a tourist pass for the duration of your stay would be a great option so you can catch the metro, tram or buss as many times as you’d like for as long as it’s valid. Tickets and passes information can be found here.

Taxi’s and Uber’s : Local taxi rates at maximum (by the law) for a drop charge is 40 CZK plus 28 CZK per kilometer, and 6 CZK per one minute of waiting time. As mentioned above AAA is the most reliable cab company and if you intend on using a taxi do make a booking prior and avoid catching cabs off the street. Not all taxi’s will use a meter and some have a fixed price. There have been a lot of reported issues of taxis inflating prices and i’ve experienced this quite often as well. Be sure to have a ball park what the price should be in advance and also be sure to ask the driver the approximate price before you get in the taxi.

Uber is quite cheap to use here mainly due to the average income in Czech being very low and locals from the suburbs willing to drive in and drive at low rates. I also suspect the taxes charged to Uber are pretty reasonable as well. Other than walking Uber is the go to option for Czech especially since you don’t have to worry about drivers ripping you off with Uber. Some of my 7 minute rides were as cheap as $3.5 USD!

Do keep in mind that when you are in the heart of the city due to the little streets and alleys that are much more pedestrian friendly you might find that walking or taking a car are almost similar times for trips that are about a 10-18 minute walk.

Biking: Bike riding is welcomed as bike paths have been incorporated into the side walks. The hills however might prove to be a bit of a challenge and people driving cars may be a bit aggressive towards cyclists. In the city center you won’t find many people driving bikes due to the efficiency of the public transport.

Accommodation:

prague

Prague is the perfect walking city stretching out about 2.5 miles, pedestrian zones include old town square, Charles bridge and castle Prague. Everything within the city is about a 30 minute walk, This is one of the many perks that come with picking a location to stay not to mention the huge variety of options that are available to you on airbnb along with other hotels and if you find yourself looking for cheaper options fear not. Among the many hostels that are available lies St Christopher’s, which by the way happens to be the best hostel chain in the world!

I would personally recommend staying in old town square but for a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere i’d recommend the lesser square (St Nicolas church is the main landmark) which lies only 8 minutes away from Old town square (walking distance of course), which hosts all of the perks of being centrally located with none of the noise and crazy stag parties.

 

Great Eats

Erwan

Thai prague
Address: Štupartská 598/6, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město
Type of food: Asian/ Thai food
Price: $
Attire: smart casual

This is a really nice place if you’re looking for a little taste of Thailand in the center of Prague. The food is delicious and such great value. We ordered the Duck Penang ,of course you can’t go wrong with the red or green thai curry it never disappoints, lastly the rice noodle soup. 

 

Naše Maso

Address :Dlouha 39, Prague 110 00
Type of food: European, Czech, Barbecue, diner
Price: $
Attire: casual

This cosy little butcher shop that seemed to always have a crowd. The Quality of meat was very high, prices good, people who ran it were very nice. Best option for grabbing a quick bite before heading out for a walking around the city. The Nas Hamburger was our favorite! Also try  porto belly, beef shank and the ribs.

Prague local 2bathroom pragueNase prague

 

Fine Dining:

Na farkane 

traditional czech food

Address: Na Farkane III, 194/32, Prague 15000
Type of food: International, Czech, Euroepean
Price: $
Attire: Casual

This gem is located 12-15 minutes outside of Prague and you will be rewarded greatly by journeying out with a cozy atmosphere that feels like you’re in someone’s formal dining room in their home, not to mention the good service that will be delivering to your plate some of the most delicious Czech food at astonishingly low prices. When you go here you realize that the restaurants in the city which already seem cheap are actually charging tourist prices.

More restaurants:

Zebra Express – thai curries, dim sum and woks (excellent green and massaman curries)

Istanbul kebab – kebabs, Gyros, delicious meats

Bakeshop – Good breakfast, great place for tea and cake

U Parlimentu – Great Traditional Czech food

Choco Cafe– Arguably the best Hot chocolate in Prague

 

Tourism:

As i’ve mentioned before,  this is the perfect city where one can truly capture the feeling of being lost in wander and to then find yourself in the old charm of this city. Not only surrounded by a 1000 years of the most contrasting historical architecture but you are standing in a city that has been relatively untouched by the many wars over centuries. Cobble stone streets pave the way to another place in time and each of Prague’s attractions along with all of their history seem to unfold in the most delightful way right before your eyes.

 

1) Charles bridge

charles-bridge-prague-czech-republic--33678

Charles Bridge is a stone Gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Lesser Town (Malá Strana). It was actually called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) during its first several centuries. King Charles IV commissioned the bridge. The foundation stone was laid in 1357. The initial idea was to build a functional construction for knight tournaments, and for many years the bridge only had a simple crucifix  adorning it. Later, the desire for more ornamentation lead to the addtion of 30 statues to the bridge between 1600-1800. Today the bridge is home to 75 statues where visitors are welcome to visit the fairly tale like views of the city.It is also popular with Czech artists, musicians and souvenir vendors whose stands line both sides of the bridge year-round. A great time of day to come to the bridge is at sunset when one can enjoy a breathtaking view of the fully lit Prague Castle against the evening sky.

 

2) Prague Castle

Prague-Castle

Prague Castle, founded around 880 AD, is the largest medieval castle in Europe and was once the seat of the Kings of Bohemia. Today, the President of the Czech Republic rules from here.Looming above the Vltava’s left bank, its serried ranks of spires, towers and palaces dominate the city centre like a magical fortress. Within its walls lies a varied and fascinating collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries that are home to some of the Czech Republic’s greatest artistic and cultural treasures. Over the centuries the palace has been changed and remolded to suit the ruler of the time, as a result there have been four major reconstructions that have created an eclectic mixture of architectural styles.  There are many options to visit the palace and for more information

 

3) Old Town Square

Old town square, prague

The Old Town Square dates from the 12th century and started life as the central marketplace for Prague. Over the centuries buildings of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles were erected around the market, each bringing with them stories of wealthy merchants and political intrigue. The square’s most prevalent features would be the old town hall and astronomical clock where one can enjoy an hourly dance from the medieval figures that emerge from the clock , Tyn church and St Nicolas church. To really soak up all the beauty that is old town square, kick back and  enjoy a coffee or a cold beer whilst relaxing at one of the many cafe’s that line the outskirts of the square or if that doesn’t quite hit the spot, climb up the old town hall tower for the most spectacular of views.

More Tourism:

* Visit 3 micro breweries in 3 hours

* Visit Trip advisor for more information and ideas 

 

Off the beaten path:

Prague is home to many things and amongst all the beauty and old town charm, lies the pain of a city that was born through a revolution. That revolution has birthed some of the cities most unusual treasures.

 

1) Nuclear bunker tour

bunker prague
This ex-Soviet bunker, made during the Cold War, is located 5 stories underground. It is crammed with all sorts of odds and ends including gas masks, medical kits, and uniforms. The ambience is reminiscent of the paranoia and violence of the Cold War years sending a chills up and down your spine. After getting all the dirty details, you have the perfect opportunity to play around with the gas masks and guns.  If you simply can’t get enough of the nuclear bunker vibe, fear not as the atmosphere completely transcends into a night club. Here is more information on the tour.

 

2) John Lennon wall

john lennon wall
In the heart of the Czech capital in a charming little square opposite the French embassy lies a wall covered with the images and lyrics of Beatles legend John Lennon, who’s murder on the 8th December 1980 shocked and inspired millions. Lennon had become a pasifist hero and the wall dedicated to his memory had become a symbol of freedom and a political focus for Prague’s youth. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that ended communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989, the Lennon wall was painted white, “to provide free space for new messages of the current generation.” The clean white wall had only 3 words written, “Wall is over!”

 

3) Old jewish cemetery 

cemetary prague

Beth Chaim meaning House of life, is home to the second oldest jewish cemetery in Europe. Situated in Josefov among old synagogues and other sights. Founded in the 15th century, the oldest existing grave stone dates back to 23rd April 1439. Grave stones from different periods in time can be seen amongst the 20 000 gravestones that are pressed tightly next to each other, due to the lack of space through the centuries graves were put on one another, some even having as many as twelve layers. In the Jewish faith it is forbidden to picture dead people, as a result various symbols were on the graves to indicate who is buried there. For example, the musicians graves are adorned with a violin, scissors indicate a tailor, a crown belongs to the erudite men and so on. An animal symbol mostly signifies the dead man´s surname (e.g. a lion on the Rabi Loew´s grave).  

 

Night Life:

Anonymous bar

anonymous prague

 

Address: Michalská 432/12, 110 00 Praha

For a few drinks in a relaxed setting or some cocktails, this is the place to be. Drinks were really good ask for secret unlocked cocktails. Great vibe having the occasional fire show presentation if someone orders something special.

 

Club Roxy
roxy prague
Address: dlouhá 33, Praha 1
This night club is host to hundreds of tourists, students and club enthusiasts. located right next to a hostel where travelers from all around the world come to play, Roxy can have over 800 people downstairs! The cool Underground vibe that is laid back ( no dress code necessary) offers lots of space. Though the dance floors may be packed there is loads of spaces where you can chill out and socialize. Drinks are cheap as this club is geared towards travelers and students.

 

Karlovy Lázně

Ice bar prague

disco dance floor prague

 

Address: Smetanovo nábř. 198/1, 110 00 Praha 1

Karlovy lázně is a five story disco club in Prague and the largest club in Central Europe. Standing just 100 meters form the famous Charles Bridge lies this historic building that has been preserved since the turn of the 15th century. Once used as the prototype for the “Crazy Disco” scene of the movie Bronson. Each floor features a different genre of music inviting club goers from all walks to be satisfied by the variety and atmosphere of each floor. Lastly I can’t forget to mention that this club has an ice bar, where drinks are served in carved out ice cubes.

 

Shopping:

 

Palladium mallpalladium mall prague

 

Address: Nám. Republiky 1, 110 00 Praha 1
The biggest mall in central Prague lies just a few minutes from old town square. Within the 200 stores featured in this mall, everything and anything you may possible need during your stay can be found here from dry cleaner to cash points to grocery stores, it’s got it all.

 

Christmas street market 

Prague’s old town square welcomes you to a winter wonderland, where tourists and visitors alike come together to share in the lights and laughter. Explore the avenues of the market whilst allowing your senses to come alive! Delight in the variety of local foods and desserts accompanied by the famous Czech beers, indulging yourself completely in all that the festive season has to offer.

prage chrismas

 

Other tips 

* Sim cards can be purchased at T mobile (palladium mall)

– cost is 200 Czk (8USD) for a sim card

– for 400 mb it’ll cost another 200 Czk  to add calls and texts

 

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