To celebrate being midway through our allotted time for our Master thesis, a friend of mine and I decided to take a day off. We further decided to use this three-day weekend to go to Prague and explore the city. Best. Decision. Ever. Prague is such a cute and laid back city and definitely always worth a trip. So let me share a little of my weekend.
On a Thursday evening, we took a bus from Berlin to Prague, which took us about five hours. Upon arrival, we pretty much headed directly the district three to the apartment we had rented via Airbnb and pass out immediately. The next day we considered taking one of the free walking tours offered by Sandeman and other companies because we loved them so much in Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Lisbon. In the end, we decided to explore this city by what we like to call adventure walking and ended up walking pretty much a perfect circle around the city, covering most of the famous sightseeing spots, and discovering some others. Here is our little tour. I am sure you would all enjoy it as well. (I will also post a list of things to do and see in Prague later this month, in case you prefer the list style posts.)
From the Prague III district, we made our way into the center of the city and found a little farmers market in a quiet corner of the Palladium place. What a great start! The Palladium place itself is totally worth seeing as well with all the old and beautiful buildings around. After getting a coffee in a tiny shop of the Palladium place we made our way through small streets and past beautiful shops to the old town square.
There, we obviously had to stop for a while, soak in all the beauty around us and take plenty of photos. Afterward, we continued to walk through random little streets and alleys until we found the rotating statue of Franz Kafka, who was born in Prague. To be honest, I had to walk around the statue twice to find the name, because I sure couldn’t recognize the head. However, I do consider the installation as a cool piece of art.
Next, we directed our adventure walking towards the river and to the dancing house, that I saw on Pinterest. The house itself was not super spectacular to me, especially since the effect of the architecture was kind of tempered by some big ass advertisement in the windows. However, the spot was very beautiful. The area is surrounded by houses with beautiful facades, from the bridge Jiráskův most we had a beautiful view over the castle, and there is a cute restaurant on a boat as well as a coffee shop (where we had to get our second coffee, obviously).
We decided to cross the bridge and explore the part of the city on the other side of the river. After finding some sweet street art, we saw the entrance of a very promising-looking park (I still have no idea what the name is, I will further investigate, but for now, it is one of the biggest parks in the city and right on the west side of the river). So we did go to the park and climbed up a quite steep hill, which turned out to be very rewarding. The cherry trees were in full bloom, the view over the city was amazing, and at a little kiosk, we got very questionable cassis wine and honey met.
We made our way down the hill on the north side where we came by several embassies (including the German one that has so much history to tell) and ended up at the castle. Again, the view was amazing. However, we arrived a little late so we were only able to catch a quick glimpse at the cathedral before everything was closing. So we made our way back into the east side of the city by crossing the famous Karls-Bridge, which was honestly a nightmare for me. I was just overwhelmed by the number of people and street vendors and just constantly afraid of pickpockets. Finally, we ended the day with a delicious dinner at an Irish pub (recommended by the New York Times), drinks with a friend, and a late night photo sesh at the old town square.
The next day we started at a coffee shop recommended by the New York Times and guess what, they even had gluten free cake! I was desperate to see the John Lennon memorial wall, so we headed over to the western part of the city and it actually took us quite a while to find it. To be honest, it was quite the letdown. When I saw photos online I imagined the memorial wall to be a lot longer that it actually was and on top of that, all the artwork was covered in random graffiti. Definitely not worth visiting.
Still, the walk was worth it since we stumbled upon some cute spots and a beautiful renaissance garden (South gardens) right underneath the castle. The admission fee for the garden was super cheap (they had a student discount), was full of pretty flowers and trees, and had an amazing view over the city. We entered the area at the bottom of the hill and made our way up, what led us directly into the castle gardens. They weren’t too special but it was a nice resting spot for us. Afterward, we headed back into the city, did some shopping (the Czech wafers are so popular in my family, so I had to pick some up), and had dinner in an amazing gluten-free Italian restaurant (stay tuned for my blog post about where to eat and drink in Prague).
On the third and last day, we had to catch a bus in the afternoon. So we tried to find a brunch place to celebrate an amazing weekend, but, unfortunately, we failed horribly. So, in the end, we picked up some breakfast to go in a supermarket and made our way to the Jewish quarter. The area was very beautiful and actually reminded me a fair bit of the upper east side in New York City. The houses were beautifully decorated, there was a cute little park and of course all the upscale and super expensive brand shops. Originally we were hoping to stop by the Jewish history museum and have a look at the synagogue and the cemetery, but that day was actually the first day of pass over, so all of the buildings were closed to the public. Therefore, we went to find a little café to spend the rest of the time until we had to catch our bus home. Again, we followed the recommendations of the New York Times 48 series and went to a cute vegan and raw café in some new and upcoming arcades that we definitely worth checking out.
I hope you enjoyed this very detailed story about our weekend of adventure walking in Prague. Again, stay tuned for the other posts about where to eat and drink in Prague and my list of things to do and not to do.
Have you ever been to Prague?
PS: all photos are my own.