Situated on nine hills along the Vltava River, Fairy tale Prague is one of Europe’s most enchanting, historic cities. Walking across the famous Charles Bridge, which connects the Old Town and the New Town, is a step back in time. Yet, Prague is also modern and bohemian, a city with an active nightlife and countless beer gardens offering dollar brews. It’s a small city meant for wandering, you can cover a lot of ground in just a day or two. Here’s the second dispatch from our friend Brooke, student and journalism major, who just spent a few days touring Prague with a friend.
Stay: We found Old Town Square the nicest part of Prague. The square itself may seem a bit touristy, but is actually packed with history. Hotel Yasmin is perfectly located in the heart of the city center. Alternatively, you can walk across the historic Charles Bridge and book a room at the Hotel Aria located near the Prague Castle.
Coffee: If you have a sweet tooth head to Bakeshop in Old Town Square, it's the perfect place to enjoy coffee and a light bite in the morning. The display of pastries is exceptional ranging from traditional Czech to classic American. There is something here for everyone including eggs dishes and smoothies. For a heartier breakfast served with history, go to Cafe Savoy. The ornate interior dating back from the 19th century offers a quintessential Czech experience. If you're feeling adventurous try a local delicacy: rich plum dumplings coated with butter, powdered sugar and creamy cheese. Cafe Savoy is open for lunch too if you don't make it for breakfast.
Visit: The Jewish Quarter, one of the most popular attractions in Prague, is a moving experience capturing a lost time in history. This area was spared from the destruction of WWII. Visit the Old-New Synagogue, preserved since the 13th century and the Pinkas Synagogue where the stark walls bare the names of Jewish Holocaust victims. If you happen to be in Prague on a Friday, you can attend services, very special. experience. All the museums, synagogues, and historic graveyard in the Quarter pay tribute to what was once one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe.
Activity: Explore Old Town Square. The square is packed at all times with men on Segways offering tours. Take them up on this! It's a fun easy way to see the main sights and the tour brings you back in Old Town Square. Before you leave the area, you should also climb up the Clock Tower. This landmark sheds light on the city's rich history as well as providing ideal views. Then head to the Gallery of Art Prague. Their Dali exhibition (running till the end of January 2016) is inspiring and their Warhol collection is incredible.
Lunch: Aromi serves delicious seasonal Italian cuisine with a focus on seafood. Burger fans cannot miss Dish. We suggest sitting at the bar with a front row seat to the kitchen. The menu boasts over ten styles of burgers including our favorite, a beef burger with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and fig aioli.
Explore: Now it's time to walk off lunch. Head up to the Petrin Tower. The walk is steep and long, but the views of the city are unparalleled. On the way down, stop at the gorgeous Rose Garden. There is also an outdoor Biergarten for some classic Czech brews. No trip to Prague is complete without stopping at the Lennon Wall. Covered with ever changing, peace inspiring graffiti messages with someone constantly strumming Beatles music, this is an easy favorite.
On the Water: Rent a paddle boat and row down the Vltava River. One of the most serene and scenic things we did on our trip, we would highly recommend this to anyone. You must pick up a tredelnick from any of the million stands that line the city's streets. These are classic Czech pastries that we've been dreaming about ever since we left Prague.
Dinner: If you want to try the local Czech food like goulash or roast duck with sauerkraut, head to V. Kolkovne. Right in Old Town, casual Lokal is bustling with locals day and night. For sophisticated, Asian inspired cuisine, head to Pravda. Another Asian restaurant, and one of our favorites, is Sansho, a farm to table restaurant. We recommend Pasta Fresca or La Finestra for Italian fare.
Night: Prague's nightlife is wild, so if you're looking for a party you've come to the right place. There's Karlovy Lazne the city's largest nightclub. It's five stories and each floor is a different world with a basement ice bar. Our favorites include Radost, Retro, Chapeau Rouge and U Sudu. Prague nightlife is relaxed and the dress code is casual; everyone is looking to have a good time. If you're not the dancing type, there are plenty of mellower places. On any corner you'll find bars open till all hours of the night, where you can grab a beer - or two- and hang with some friends.