This guide is long overdue! I was going to post it months ago, but I was caught up with work and then Covid-19 happened and I didn’t see much point in posting a travel guide! However, I’m sure a lot of you will be aching to escape the UK as soon as possible, and now is the time to plan your next holiday, so I thought I’d finally share some of the top things to do in Prague today!
After my plans to go to New York last December didn’t work out (it’s a long story!), I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to go to Prague, another city that is high up on my bucket list.
Prague is one of the best cities I’ve ever visited, and I was sad when my trip was over. I visited for 4 nights, but you could defo stay for longer – there is SO much to do and see! The city is seeped in history, so you can expect lots of castles, old-fashioned buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s nicknamed ‘The City of a Hundred Spires’ due to its colourful Baroque buildings and Gothic churches.
Aside from its history, Prague is also the perfect destination for any shopaholic or foodie out there. As you’ll find out later in this post, Prague is a haven for Christmas markets, and it’s famous for Trdelník and goulash. There are also multiple beer tours in Prague, but as my friend and I aren’t that keen on beer, we didn’t go on any.
If you’re eager to get away from the UK as soon as the worst of the pandemic is over, I’d highly recommend Prague. It’s a beautiful city, with stunning architecture, beautiful parks, and a reliable transport service, and it only takes a couple of hours to get there from the UK. Read on to find out some of the things you should do in Prague:
1. Walk across Charles Bridge
If you’re only in Prague for a day or two, one of the first things you must do is walk across Charles Bridge. This bridge is almost 700 years old and connects Old Prague Center to Mala Strana, which is where you can access Petrin Hill and Prague Castle from. The bridge has 30 Baroque-style statues and statuaries, and is full of vendors selling things like paintings and postcards.
Unfortunately, I visited Charles Bridge in the middle of the day, so it was really busy. However, I’ve heard that it’s quieter in the morning, so try to get there first thing if you can to avoid the crowds. Once you’ve walked across Charles Bridge, look out for the ‘swan spot’, which has become famous on Instagram recently and makes a great backdrop for photo shoots.
2. Explore Prague Castle
A visit to Prague isn’t complete without a trip to the iconic Prague Castle. It’s one of the city’s major sights and dates from the 9th century. While you’re at the castle, be sure to take a walk around the stunning gardens and stroll down the quaint Golden Lane, a row of pretty houses that were originally inhabited by servants, workmen and defenders of the castle.
Visitors to Prague Castle in December can check out the market in St George’s Square, where you’ll find plenty of warm drinks, unique gifts and Trdelník pastries.
3. Take a selfie by John Lennon Wall
One of the more unique things to do in Prague is to check out the John Lennon Wall. While this attraction isn’t as well-known as Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, it’s still hugely popular, especially amongst Beatles fans and street art aficionados. The wall has been around for a while, but only started to be used as a canvas for Czechs and tourists to express themselves in the late 1980s. You’ll find lyrics from Beatles’ songs and images of John Lennon on the wall.
4. Relax in Vojanovy sady
After you’ve taken some snaps of the John Lennon Wall, why not take a stroll through Vojanovy sady? This secluded park is considered the oldest partially preserved garden in Prague, dating back 1248, and offers tourists a break from sightseeing. Read a book, have a picnic, admire the nature, or see if you can spot the peacocks. Apparently the park is full of blossom in the spring, so if I ever get the chance to visit Prague again, I’ll make sure it’s then!
5. Try Trdelník
You can’t visit Prague and not try Trdelník! Also known as chimney cake, Trdelnik is a sweet cake that originated in Hungary, but it’s considered one of the foods you must eat in Prague. It’s made from rolled dough that wrapped around a stick and grilled before being topped with sugar and walnut mix. There are multiple cafes and stalls around Prague that sell Trdelník and you can choose from a variety of different toppings, such as whipped creams, chocolate, caramel, Nutella or apple. I personally enjoyed the strawberries and cream Trdelník from Good Food Bakery, which is only a few minutes away from Charles Bridge.
6. Wander around the Christmas markets
Prague certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Christmas festivities. If you’re in the city between November and January, you’ll have plenty of Christmas markets to choose from. The most famous market in Prague is located in Old Town Square. This is super popular with tourists and has a whole range of stalls to peruse.
Wenceslas Square is another Christmas market that attracts hundreds of tourists each year. There is always some form of entertainment going on, and stalls sell interesting gifts such as ornaments and hand-crafted wooden toys. Warm yourself up with mulled wine, taste Trdelnik, or sample traditional Czech sausages.
Náměstí Míru and Tylovo Náměstí Market are two hidden markets my friend and I stumbled upon purely by chance whilst exploring the area around the hotel. These markets are much smaller than the ones in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, but it’s still worth checking them out if you’ve got time to spare or aren’t too keen on large crowds. You’ll find Christmas gifts, jewellery, decorations, sweets, and even more mulled wine and Trdelník.
7. Shop ‘til you drop!
Prague may not be known for shopping, but it does have some cute independent stores, as well as many familiar shops, such as H&M, Marks and Spencer and Flying Tiger. If you’ve got time to spare, or it’s a rainy day, check out A|X Praha Palladium. Located in the centre of the city, this shopping centre has over 150 shops and several restaurants (including a branch of Vapiano). It’s near Prasna brana (or ‘The Powder Tower’) and the Spanish Synagogue (which unfortunately I only found out about when I returned home to England), so you can do a bit of sightseeing in the morning before spending the afternoon shopping.
8. Eat authentic Czech cuisine
Whenever I visit a new city, I have to try the local cuisine. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat as much Czech food as I’d hoped, but I did get to taste goulash. This dish is quite similar to beef stew and consists of beef, paprika, onions and dumplings. It’s very rich and warming – and delicious, of course – perfect for the winter months. Like Trdelník, goulash actually originated in Hungary, but it’s become popular all over Eastern Europe. You should also try palačinky (like French crepes); Obložené chlebíčky (open sandwich with a variety of toppings such as egg, ham and pickles); Smažený sýr (deep-fried cheese); or Grilované klobásky (grilled sausage).
So those are the 8 things I think you should do in Prague! Have you ever been to Prague? Where are you planning to travel to next?