September, 05 2017
destination
Prague, Czech Republic

There’s something about the miles of orange rooftops, gothic churches that appear evil, yet beautiful, and astronomical clock that make you feel like you’re in a real life fairytale

Then add kielbasa stands to the medieval splendor and you’re now in my real life fairytale.

Prague is a fairytale and more. Old town is enchanting and magical and you’ll question if you’re living life in the modern world. At the same time, you’ll experience farmers markets, swans by the river, and a graffiti wall that declares love and peace. You may say that I’m dreamer. But I’m not the only one…

Welcome to Prague.

Stay

Four Seasons – Just steps away from the Charles Bridge in the heart of Old Town, you can’t get a better location paired with the impeccable Four Seasons hospitality.

For other high-end options, check out the Mandarin Oriental or Starwood’s Luxury Collection The Augustine.

Eat

Café Savoy – A French-style patisserie, perfect for breakfast or lunch, complete with high ceilings, arched windows, and crystal chandeliers. The savoy breakfast is made up of a spread that encompasses anything you could want for breakfast – boiled egg, open ham sandwich, homemade pastries, farmers’ butter, homemade jam, croissant and hot chocolate. And you can’t go wrong with the baked ham brioche bread with gruyere cheese and a poached egg. No matter what you do, make sure to order a pastry for dessert, or even better, an app.

Kampa Park – While the food here is good, you’re really going for the scenic view. Snag a spot on the (heated) terrace for a front row seat overlooking the gorgeous Charles Bridge at night. A pleasant surprise? How much I loved the local bottle of rosé.

La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise – For a Michelin star that’s well deserved and not solely for the creativity of the food, but for the taste as well. The black and white checkered floor leading to the open kitchen is a cool, yet welcoming vibe.

Sansho – For a set menu of Asian-inspired food that’s filled with locals, it’s a detour from typical Prague cuisine. The food comes straight from Prague’s best Vietnamese markets and they’re known as the first whole animal restaurant in Prague, using everything from the nose to the tail. While the menu changes seasonally, our highlights included the salmon sashimi, mussels, and soft shell crab slider.

U Modre Kachnicky – Quite the opposite, this traditional Czech menu is a step back in time from the décor to the servers to the food. Truly authentic and absolutely delicious, go meat heavy and try the duck and the deer saddle.

Nase Maso – Nase Maso means “our meat” and it’s a way cooler version of your local butcher shop… and all the foodies are doing it. Go for lunch or even a snack. Either way, the meatloaf and the beef tartar are a must. Stick around for the drinks on tap. If you’re staying in an apartment with a kitchen, bring some raw meat home to whip up for dinner.

Kielbasa – The best stands are all throughout Old Town. Take your sausage and beer to eat in the middle of the square.

And for dessert, grab a Trdelnik. With stands next door to the sausages, it’s hard to say no. It’s even harder to say no when you learn it’s a long donut-style treat dipped in nutella. Because donuts and nutella is always a good idea.

Shop

While we didn’t do a ton of shopping in Prague, we did visit one very special boutique, Mucha. The owner and designer, Jarmilla Mucha Plockova is the grand-daughter of a famous Czech painter, sculptor, and poster designer (Alfons Mucha). He gained popularity after designing the first poster for actress Sarah Bernhardt in the play Gismonda. Most of Jarmilla’s designs are inspired by her grandfather’s work. In fact, I took home a beautiful snake cocktail ring inspired by the drawing of the bracelet on the poster for the play Medea. The ring is appropriately named Sarah Bernhardt and I’m constantly getting complements on it. I love having a special story and place to share about the piece.

Sip

Speakeasy-style craft cocktail spots are spread throughout Prague. The mixology is one-upped by the creativity, like drinks at Hemingway Bar where my cocktail arrived in a camera lens. Each spot I visited had a coolness factor that rivaled that of any cosmopolitan city.

Tretters – Red painted walls, a long wooden bar, dimly lit, and bartenders all in white. The vibe screams old New York and the extensive cocktail list does not disappoint.

Black Angels – While the outdoor seating is inviting, head inside to experience the dark, sexy, modern gothic décor. The style plus drinks are award winning and in fact, it’s made the list of World’s Best Bars among other accolades.

Hemingway Bar – Inspired by (you guessed it) Ernest Hemingway, most drinks include his choice of absinthe, rum, and champagne. That combination can pretty much guarantee a good night out. While my drink was served in a camera lens, my husband’s arrived as a martini topped with bacon.

Explore

Charles Bridge – Notably one of the most famous structures in Prague, it’s impossible not to walk across multiple times throughout your trip. At the very least, I recommend going twice – once in the morning and once for a romantic stroll at night. Lined with statues from the early 1700’s, you’ll come across people praying and making wishes as various statues have different meanings. It’s said that touching the statues will bring you luck and guarantee your return to Prague! I wouldn’t say no to that!

Old Town Square – The main square and historic center of Prague where you can marvel at the gothic and baroque churches, the famed astronomical clock, and eat kielbasa while watching street entertainers and musicians.

Lennon Wall – A massive and inspiring wall of graffiti filled with John Lennon photos and lyrics from Beatles’ songs. While it started in the 80’s under the “Lennonism” movement, it’s constantly undergoing changes with new layers of paint and poems and quotes. Today it’s known as a symbol of love and peace.

Paddle boat down the river – Take a leisurely stroll down the river if you luck out with good weather.

Jewish Quarter – Home to the oldest preserved synagogue in all of central Europe among many other historical buildings that were saved from destruction in World War II. Reason being, Hitler wanted to preserve the Jewish Quarter as a “Museum of an Extinct Race.” Crazy, right?? I’m not always a huge fan of guided tours, but if you can set up a group or private tour of this area, I found it incredibly interesting hearing stories versus solely taking in the beauty of the synagogues and museum.

Communism Museum – For another piece of history, check out this museum that’s actually a very quick visit. My favorite part was viewing all the media propaganda.

Prague Castle – We continued on with our Jewish Quarter tour guide on a walk up to the Prague Castle to take in this UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s the largest ancient castle in the world and the structures and span of land is truly impressive.

Farmers Markets – Hang with the locals and taste what’s in season at various farmers markets around the city. I was told that the riverside market below Vysehrad Fortress is the best. Most are open only on Saturdays, but check online for the latest hours.

Wenceslas Square – At the heart of New Town, it’s not a square in the likes of Old Town Square, but more like a boulevard with hotels, shops, entertainment, and more.

David Cerny Sculptures – Found all throughout the city, you can’t miss these large bronze playful sculptures from massive crawling babies to men peeing. If you want to see more, head to the Dox Museum.

Play

La Bodeguita Del Medio – You’ll soon see that many bars in Prague have a chill bar/food vibe upstairs and when you walk in with your party hat on you have to think to yourself, this is it?? When we finally found the stairs, we realized that the real dance party is downstairs.

James Dean – The upstairs has the look of a cheesy play on a 1950’s American diner. But again, head downstairs if you want to get the party started.

Jazz Dock – Live music on the water leads to a fun ambiance, and quite different from the downstairs dance parties. Call prior to see when the live music is on.

“I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind”

-John Lennon

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