City Spotlight: Prague

18 Sep

I went to Prague about a month ago over the August bank holiday and had a wicked time. Prague is a city that’s escaped me for far too long and from what I’ve heard (usually from couples on romantic breaks or stag dos) it’s a city that has loads to offer. So, off I went to Prague as a single woman, to see if my experience would live up to those of the loved-up couples and the drunk men.

Turns out, it totally did. It helped of course that the weather was stunning the entire weekend (glorious 82 degree sunshine) and a lot of what I did and enjoyed the most were outdoorsy stuff, so perhaps I’d have a different experience if I head back in winter. But I doubt it; Prague is a beautiful city whether day or not and (I imagine) rain or shine.

Some of the highlights are below and information about the best walking routes and the hotel I stayed in are at the bottom of the post.

EAT: Right, so obviously I had a burger in Prague. I only had one, so I can’t say whether it’s the best or in Prague, but it’s a DAMN good burger and well worth a try. You can find the cheese and bacon beauty below at The Tavern; an unassuming pub next to a park.

This is the Classic Bacon Cheddar burger. 100% chuck, two slices of cheddar, crispy American bacon, mayo, ketchup, mustard lettuce and red onion + pickles. I also went for chips on the side and they’re actually a variety of fries, rings and hashes which meant some were really crispy and others were fluffy on the inside regular fries.

I also went for a beer; Pilsner of course. Pilsner is sort of like lager and is brewed in Plzen in the Czech Republic. Pilsner is actually the first light/amber beer (until it was invented all beers were dark, like Guinness) so you have the Czech people in Plzen to thank for your light beer. Anyway – the beer and the burger cost about 300KR (around £9.50) and was well worth the money!

EAT: So whenever I go abroad I always try and eat the country’s traditional dishes. One popular dish is Svíčková and is basically beer goulash with dumplings. Which, I know, sounds horrible. But the dish below, which I had at Pivovovarsky Klub, was one of the tastiest meals I’ve had in a VERY long time. True, the restaurant is a little way out of the center of the city but so, SO worth the walk.


It’s beef in ‘candlesauce’, which is basically a creamy goulash sauce, with cranberries and dumplings. Honestly, please don’t turn your nose up. Not only was the beef perfectly tender, but the combination of the beef, sauce and cranberries was divine. And the dumplings were lovely and fluffy and that great squishy bite dumplings should have. The place is not only a brilliant place to get traditional Czech food, but it’s also a craft beer place and the walls are lined with beers from around the world. I went for the on-tap pilsner and, again, got a GIANT pint for about £1.

EAT: Another traditional Czech restaurant: Lokal was recommended by pretty much every Czech person I spoke to in Prague, from my walking tour guide to the woman who works at the hotel. Lokal is a huge space which sells cheap beer and great, simple food. The photos below don’t look fancy or even remotely Instgrammable, but the quality of the food was amazing.


There’s a smoking and a non-smoking section and when you arrive, you’ll be sat down and given a beer counter (presumeably big groups come here and it’s how the staff can keep track of how much beer they’ve consumed). I had a couple of pints (see the theme with my meals? This is why I put on half a bloody stone on this holiday) and a starter + main.


I started with salami in white wine vinegar with onions. It sounds gross. TASTED SO GOOD. Like… so good. Simple and delicious. The menu changes on a daily basis, but deffo give this a try if it’s available.


For my main meal I went for pork cutlet with buttered potatoes; again, super simple but incredibly tasty. The pork was yummy and the batter wasn’t too dry, and the buttered potatoes were fluffy and didn’t taste too fatty – they went really well with the pork. Massive thumbs up from me; I love the popular Czech food as it’s just so simple, hearty and tasty.

EAT: More unhealthy food, but life is short, etc! I had pancakes for breakfast at Den Noc, a short walk from the Old Town Square, but quiet and not touristy. To justify this: I’d walked 12 miles the day before, so felt I deserved this glorious stack of pancakes.

What you’re looking at are chocolate pancakes with a layer of strawberry and cherry-rum jam between the, topped with more jam, whipped cream and topped with chocolate shavings. The menu also has savory pancakes and loads of other yummy options (the people next to me had peanut butter mousse and orange pancakes. SO STRONG).  Definitely somewhere to visit for a treat, but as a wine bar (which it also is) I imagine it’s not really up to much as it’s a little lacking in atmosphere.


This pretty little acai berry bowl comes with homemade granola and banana and you can get it at all-round healthy eating Cafe Cacao, a place where you can also get loads of healthy eating options and breakfast/desserts for gluten-free and vegan diets. I basically went there because I’d had pancakes the morning before and felt like I should be healthy… but honestly, the energy the acai berry bowl had me totally sorted me for the day.


…and then I had something unhealthy. The glorious treat above is called a Trdelnik and it’s basically a cone of sweet pastry filled, in this case, with apple strudle, whipped cream and there was even secret nutella at the bottom. You can get these literally everywhere in the city, filled with strawberries and nutella, ice cream and all kinds of sweetness. True, you can have savoury ones too, but why the hell you’d do that I have no idea. Also, one of the prettiest food photos ever (being next to these flowers was a happy accident)!.

SEE: So, same as with most big cities, there are plenty of walking tours available in Prague. After chatting to a few locals (and getting some good advice from Twitter), I went for the tour that starts just off the Old Town Square, with the yellow umbrellas.

The tour lasts about 3 hours and I learned SO much. Honestly, it was such a highlight of the trip as I went to the Czech Republic knowing so little about its culture or history and left the tour with some amazing stories and great insights into the Czech Republic. The tour is free and you simply pay what you think it was worth at the end (I gave her 200KR which is standard I think – the guide seemed happy)! Anyway; you start in the Old Town and learn about all of the buildings there, including the wonky church and the famous astronomical clock. I learned about all the different sections of the clock, how to read it and about the story of the man who made it (the King of Prague decided he didn’t want the man to make another for any other country, so they chopped off his hands and blinded him. Nice…)

You also learn about the religious history of the Czech Republic – the fact they were at the forefront of battling Catholicism (which led to the 30 years War), the history of German occupation on the Second World War and then how after Europe screwing them in the war, the country turned to Russia and ended up under Communist rule for the second half of the twentieth century. Trust me – even if you don’t *love* history, this tour is totally worth doing. You also get to head through the Jewish section of the Old Town and you can get some great recommendations from the guide. If you’re interested, it was this free tour that I went on!

SEE: Ok, so you can’t go to Prague without setting up in a beer garden for the afternoon. As I mentioned before, the weather was amazing, so I took my book and scouted out the best beer gardens in Prague.  The best was the Letna Beer Garden (hyperlink to Google maps); it’s huge with beautiful views of the city and it’s located in a gorgeous park just north of the river.

Beer is cheap, loads of space and in the park nearby, you can also find a small hipster food fest, glorious views of the city (if you’re willing to hike up a hill like I did) and the Prague Pendulum, which replaced a huge statue of Stalin when the Communists were overthrown.

I also went to the Riegrovy Sady beer garden which was a little more grungy, more sheltered and has a huge TV screen showing football, so a good place for lads lads lads. There aren’t really any views though as it’s an enclosed area, but worth a shout if you’re in the area.

SEE: I don’t think I need to say a lot about Prague Castle as it’s the most famous landmark in the city and you can’t miss it. However, it’s somewhere you’ve definitely got to visit as the grounds are stunning, and the cathedral up top had SO MANY stained glass windows ❤

I stupidly walked up to the top in 82 degree heat (TAKE WATER, it’s a big climb) and wandered around the castle grounds for a while. I wish I’d done another walking tour as I don’t doubt there’s loads I missed, but I did see some stunning views from the castle grounds (above) and the cathedral is well worth a visit too.


SEE: Ok, so I like weird and wonderful off the beaten track places, and The Magical Cavern in Prague is all of those things and more. It’s basically an artist’s house, hidden at the top of park to the west of the city center and when you arrive and ring a bell, you’re greeted by the slightly crazy (in a nice way) artist who lives there.

He’s turned his entire house into a colourful wonderland, with his mystical paintings and sculptures littered throughout the house, and the house is a work of art in itself. After paying 70KR to get in you’ll be pointed in the direction of the basement where other-worldly music is playing – you can see just how amazing the place is below! The artist also offers free sangria or lemonade (both homemade) to everyone at no extra charge… didn’t risk it, but the sangria gave the basement a nice musty smell.

Every inch of the place is colourful, unique and it’s pretty much like the inside of my head, except this is a place which the artist claims is an ‘imaginary realm called Argondia’… it’s bizarre and well worth a visit.

SEE: I love me some art, so I happened to be walking past the DSC Gallery when their light display caught my eye. I wandered in and happily discovered it’s a free contemporary art gallery which happened to have some really cool pieces of art on display, ranging from graffiti to activist art.

Anyway, it was a nice find and from the looks of the website it usually has pretty cool stuff on. The place is only 5 minutes from the Old Town Square so it’s worth dropping by if you’re in the area.

SEE: Other highlights included the Lennon Wall (a really colourful wall that’s worth having a photo next to if you’re in the area, but it’s really worth specifically visiting), Charles Bridge (the famous bridge with incredible statues that connects central Prague to the west side) and Strelecky Ostrov (a lovely green island under a bridge which has music, outdoor theatre and stunning views of Charles bridge).

LISTEN: I’ve put Hemmingway Bar under ‘Listen’ because it was such an awesome bar I HAD to include it and it didn’t fit into see or eat, but also because (and I’m not just shoehorning this in here) the music they played was AWESOME. Really, really cool jazz and 20s style tunes – it’s pretty much the perfect date venue. Dark, a bit sexy, great music and it’s regularly listed as one of the best bars in the world… for good reason.

It’s a classy place. No, seriously, it is. Once all the seats are taken they won’t allow anyone else in; no standing room. They do this to preserve the atmosphere. They also do not allow you to use a computer in the bar, to use bad language and they it’s table service only. How the hell they allowed me in I’ll never know.

The cocktails were perfect. SO many different options; if you come here, you HAVE to get a cocktail as that’s what the place is famed for, although it does sell beer and spirits from around the world… their spirit list was exhaustive. I went for the Jamaican Punch (served in a mug) which consists of coconut butter infused rum, pineapple puree, fresh lemon juice, syrup, ginger beer, mint and pineapple chips. SO TASTY. The second one I went for is called Mr. Lego: Perrier Jouet champagne, elderflower liquor and a lego man made of sugar. Do NOT go to Prague without visiting this bar!

OTHER: I stayed in a place called Old Prague House and it was great – free breakfast every morning, free wifi, comfy bed, right in the middle of the city centre (10 minute walk from Old Town Square) and really lovely staff. The lady at the desk even offered to get up and make me breakfast at 4am before I went to the airport (I declined, I’m not that cruel). It’s technically a hostel, but you can get single rooms, the showers and bathrooms were clean and I had no issues at all. Cheap too – I recommend!

  • Bear in mind: you don’t really need to use transport in Prague, metro aside. It’s a walkable city with a few hills, but if you really want to make the most of the architecture I’d walk!
  • The Czech Republic do NOT use the same plug sockets as Europe. Make sure you take the right adaptor!
  • It’s considered rude in Prague to leave coins as a tip. It’s a well established custom to simply tell the staff to add 10% on to the bill so you can just round up to the nearest note

All in all, Prague was a brilliant break. I was there for 3 days and I felt that was enough to do all the main sites and also gave me time to do some things off the beaten track. Few extra photos below!


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