How we spent Three Days in the beautiful city of Prague! Part of my Two Months in Europe series.
We arrived to Prague just around dinner town and after settling in started to plan what we should eat. We weren’t that hungry so getting a traditional Czech dinner was kinda out of the question but we had heard that Pho was a big thing in Prague so we decided to try that instead. We went to the highest rated Pho place we found online, Pho Vietnam Tuan and Lan, and it definitely fit the bill. After so many days of travel all of us were starting to feel sick, so hot, salty, spicy food was exactly what we needed! The pho was pretty good and so cheap, just over 115 CZH, or around 6CAD.
For our first day we wanted to start with walking tour. We booked the Sandeman’s tour of the Old Town, New Town and Jewish area as it had great reviews and seemed to cover a good chunk of the city. The tour was super long ( break was definitely too long) but we had the sweetest tour guide and we learnt a lot! Our tour guide ( Krystyna) was amazing- her whole family is Czech so she was able to tell us about her family’s personal experiences with communism, having their farm seized, the student protests, as well as share a lot of Czech traditions with us ( such as their carp Christmas dinner). It is crazy to think that even though she was only a couple years older than us communism had had such a large and pronounced impact on her life.
After the tour we were starving so on our guide’s recommendation we went to Local to try traditional Czech food for a late lunch. We had heard a lot about this beef dish which was beef in a vegetable cream sauce with bread dumping and cranberry whipped cream(!?!) that we had to try. Everyone said it sounded super weird but tasted super good. It definitely tasted good but it was so so heavy for a summer lunch, the combination of the bread dumping and me usually not eating beef made this probably the heaviest meal I have had all trip. So would recommend trying it but maybe just splitting this with other dishes so you can have a bite.
Despite our very full stomachs and post-lunch sleepiness we pressed on and headed back to the Jewish Quarter. We had heard amazing things about the Jewish museum in Prague so we decided to make that our afternoon activity. Prague has had a large Jewish presence since about the 10th century and during World War II a lot of Jewish artifacts were sent to Prague and Budapest by the Nazis so there is a lot of history here. The museum is not one museum but a collection of synagogues, a Shoah ( Holocaust) memorial, cemetery and exhibits. We started at the Spanish Synagogue which is a beautiful old Synagogue where there was an exhibit on Jewish-Czech culture, specifically around the many authors.
We then headed to the Pinkas Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery. The Pinkas Synagogue holds the Shoah Memorial as well as a special exhibit showcasing children’s art found from one the nearby concentration camps ( Terezin). This camp was used as a propaganda camp during WWII to show the “great” living conditions, it housed mostly children and most of these children ended up at Auschwitz after there stop here. Besides children there was also a women named Friedl who ended up at Terezin who was an artist and smuggled art supplies inside to teach the children art during the day to distract them from their surrounds. When she left the camp she hid the art in the attic of the buildings and it was later found during the liberation. These exhibit and memorial was one of the most powerful Holocaust memorials I have ever seen. All the walls of the rooms inside the building are covered in names and the rooms keep on going, showing the huge amounts of people who were taken and murdered from this area. The art exhibit was especially moving as you could really get a sense at the confusion, sadness and fear this kids had as they were first kicked out of the society, than their homes and were now separated from their families in a very strange place. I don’t cry very often but I was very much crying by the end of the exhibit. If you do anything in Prague at all I would 100% recommend coming to see this.
This exits into the old Jewish Cemetery. Because this area was once a ghetto there was only so much land that was given to bury the dead in. The cemetery is many metres above street level because bodies were stacked 12 deep to fit everyone. The cemetery is beautiful in a very sad and eerie way with overgrown trees and decaying graves stones stacked on top of gravestones.
After this we stopped by one more synagogue but decided between the food and the memorial we were pretty shot and needed to go home and rest. After our naps we decided we were still too full to eat dinner so we headed out to the Prague Beer Museum instead for drinks and light snacks. The beer museum is a super fun beer bar by Charles bridge where you can try an array of Czech beers. Between the three of us we split a couple, really liking the Demon and the Blueberry one. Finally we walked onto the Charles Bridge to see the city at night and then headed home.
Step Count: 19075
For day two we headed to the other side of the river, starting by walking across the Charles Bridge. We sought out the Lennon Wall where we were able to grab some spray paint and add a heart to the wall. We even found a couple Canadian flags as we were taking photos.
After we had our fill of photos we attempted to find the Vrtba gardens, often called the Secret gardens, these gardens remained a secret for us as we could not for the life of us find the entrance. After taking the tram past later and being pretty sure we saw the entrance we now think it was just closed when we were looking. So instead of gardens we just got to wander through the beautiful streets of Prague and past a lot of the many embassies. We then made our way to the castle on top of the hill.
There are so many pretty lookouts all over the hill so we stopped a lot to take in the view.After reaching the top you go through security to get into the castle grounds. We didn’t go inside the castle as we had heard it was pretty underwhelming but we did go into St. Vitus’s Cathedral, which was beautiful. We walked around the castle grounds for a bit before heading out the other side to see the Saint Wenceslas Vineyards which have a beautiful view of Prague. These are some of the oldest vineyards in Prague.
We then went in search of this amazing gingerbread store my friend had told us about. Its right below the vineyards and you can see the woman rolling and baking the gingerbread right in the store. This store smelt SO GOOD. I love the smell of gingerbread so much and omg this one especially smelt amazing. We tried some samples and can confirm it also tasted great. After this we realized we were pretty hungry for lunch so we decided to go back across the bridge for a better chance of finding affordable lunch.
We ended up grabbing Mexican because we needed a switch up and all of us had been craving it for awhile. This place is in Little Square of Old Town so it looks pretty touristy but it was actually really good. I split a salad and chicken tacos with my friend and both were great and still very affordable!
During July 10-11th Prague hosts the Bohemian Jazz Festival so obviously we had to check that out! There were so many other Jazz Fests in other cities we went too that we just missed by a couple days so we stoked one finally aligned. We headed there around dinner and grabbed some street food and found a spot on the fountain to listen to the music. Old Town Square was super busy and it was a beautiful night so it created a really fun atmosphere.
It was raining when we woke up so we took a bit of a slower morning but got going pretty quickly when it started to clear up. Today we were heading all across the city so we stopped by the train station to grab some metro tickets. Our first stop was to Vysehad, or as nicknamed by us “the alternative castle”. Both our Airbnb host and a lot of people had recommended this to us for a great alternative to the touristy and busy Prague Castle. It looks really far away from Old Town but was a super quick metro ride. The castle grounds are beautiful and are flanked on all sides by the old walls which you can walk on and get amazing views over Prague. There is also a big Basilica, a beautiful cemetery filled with famous Czechs and some other old buildings. Because the views were so nice we opted to walk around everything inside of going inside all the buildings.
On our way to the tram stop we stumbled upon the cutest coffee shop ever. This coffee shop ( located right beside the Charles Square Tram stop) was completely empty so we decided to sit down and grab coffees and some snacks in the super comfy armchairs and couches. It was still drizzling outside so this was the perfect cozy morning. Also after Vienna, we were in love with how cheap coffee (but great!!) was in Prague.
After never wanting to leave, we somehow dragged ourselves out of the this store and onto the tram for our next stop across the river. On our tour we had heard about a monastery by Prague castle that made their own beer and my friend really wanted to check it out. The tram ride up to the monastery was so rocky and twisty it made almost all of us feel really sick so would really recommend carrying Gravol if you get motion sick as this was actually such a crazy ride. Once our nausea subsided we made our way up to the monastery. The grounds of the monastery are beautiful! Right below is the Bellevista, supposed one the best restaurants int the city, and below that are some of the best views of Prague we had seen all trip. To be honest the monastery and beer itself was pretty touristy and all the restaurants serving beer were really expensive for Prague so we didn’t end up staying here long. I think it would be worth it to buy some beer to go and drink it later but cause we didn’t walk to carry it around for the rest of the day this didn’t work for us.
After wandering around this area of the hill more we made the (thankfully) much shorter and nicer tram ride down to the bottom to walk across back to Old Town. We went to the Prague Library to see the serial book stack art installation which was really cool. We spent the rest of the afternoon just strolling through the area and taking in all the pretty buildings.
For our last dinner we went to this amazing place near Old Town Square. We were worried it would be super touristy but my friend had been here before and raved about it. This was definitely the best meal of this city. We had tried to make a reservation but it didn’t go through but thankfully we still got a table. Even though this place is huge almost every table has a reserved sign on it, attesting to its popularity. The building used to be a mint so there is a lot of cool motifs on the wall representing this history. The restaurant does Czech food but a little lighter and more accessible. I tried the Prague ham which came with roasted vegetables and potatoes in a horseradish cream sauce which was amazing and my friend grabbed the duck leg with red cabbage. This meal was amazing quality of food and while a splurgy dinner for Prague standards it was still a super cheap in Canadian standards.
The jazz festival was still playing so after dinner we heard more jazz before heading home to pack for the next city.
Views by the Monastery
Jewish Museum- 100% do this.
Restaurant Mint easily, so so good! Wish we went twice.
Prague is super walkable but the transit system is also really good and cheap so for further away attractions its definitely worth it. There is also a three day and one day pass available.
Download Google translate Czech offline so you can translate menus and food in groceries stores! The app works by literally holding your camera over the words and its translates in live time