Explore Prague, Czech Republic, like a local with our insider’s guide from a native travel expert.
First-time visitors, head to Charles Bridge upon arrival to Prague.
“Look around at the hundred-spired city and feel the atmosphere of medieval buildings surrounding you. Enjoy some music of local buscers right on the bridge,” says native travel guide Lucia.
From there, make your way to Old Town square, where you can meander through the historic street mazes of Old Town, and, if you are so inclined, indulge in a beer on the square overlooking Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock. If a creative urge strikes, visit Material and craft – or buy – some glass jewelry.
Prague is a foodie’s delight, with more local Czech cuisines than a visitor could fit into one weekend.
Lucia recommends “a good roast pork or duck with cabbage and some bramborak (a potato pancake); potato dumpling, sausage or venition pate; naturally, well splashed down by beer.”
To enjoy the taste of these and other local delicacies, visit Kolkovna Savarin or Mlsný kocour in the Vinohrady quarter, which features tank Pilsner beer and is more frequented by locals.
After you’ve gotten a taste for local cuisine, step to some fine places like Cafe Imperial or Hergetova Cihelna – still Czech cusine, but not as heavy, according to Lucia.
Restaurant Misnej Kocour
For Italian cusine, try La Finestra, she says, or the less formal Grosseto Marina,where there are amazing views along the the Vlatva river, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.
For excellent homemade strudel, stop by Susta Strudl in the Zizkov quarter.
“If you tell me ‘book your favourite restaurant for a nice dinner‘ I am choosing V Zatisi. With friends, we like to go to Lehka hlava – a hip, vegetarian place. Lately I discovered Oblaka, a newly redesigned restaurant in the Zizkovska telecommunication tower, and Mujsalek kavy – a coffee shop in the sparkling, growing Karlin quarter where I‘ve enjoyed cake bábovka and freshly brewed tea and coffee.“
If Lucia makes one thing is clear, it’s this: “Eat czech!
In the summer, local residents of Prague spend time in nature, visiting castles like Karlstejn, which can be reached by bike for many via “a pretty road along the Berounka river.” They also frequent Ceskýráj, a nature reserve rich with sandstone rocks, castles and ruins, and enjoy canoeing on the first part of Vltava river – a pastime connected with “the guitar playing of old tramping/bluegrass songs, and beer drinking, and camping.”
Other summer destinations include “the southern Bohemian lakes by Trebon town, where there are also great spas, and the southern Moravian region around Mikulov town‘s vine cellars,” Lucia shares.
Visitors who want to branch out on adventurous excursions should consider a trip to Kutna Hora town. Don’t miss Bauer Villa or Chateau Kotera, Lucia‘s favorite.
“We‘ve gone to this medieval city already for many years to admire St. Barbora, Our Lady churches, and the ossuary. But now you can see also unique Bauer Villa, built in the Cubist architecture style – a real jewel for learning about Cubism.”
Chateau Kotera, meanwhile, is a superb building made by the founder of Czech modernistic architecture, Jan Kotera.
What is the number one reason to visit Prague?
“I often hear people say ‘We want to see the history,'” Lucia shares. “But at the end of the trip, the best thing for them is the great feeling of relaxing, leisure time, joy of life, learning about different cultures and tasting local foods.
They bring home from Prague not only pictures, but also unforgettable memories in their hearts.”
Visit the Exeter Travel Journal again next week – Lucia will share more about Prague’s lifestyle, culture, music, and arts.
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