Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

May 2014

Four days away

Me and J

By British Airways

Stayed at Art Deco Imperial Hotel (art deco is an understatement)

What I read:

A Girl is Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (not an easy read, but kind of worth it)

The gist of it:

It’s not all cheap beer and stag parties in Prague. But there is a lot of that too. J and I booked this trip in January, again through the BA sale, for the May bank holiday weekend. Although it rained a little the first two days, the end of the weekend was glorious.

We stayed in the Old Town and spent our first afternoon wondering. Prague is beautiful. The cobblestones streets are lined with buildings that look like candy boxes with everything from designer shops, to gothic monuments, to many, many beer bars.  We had a great time checking out some of Prague’s contemporary art galleries on our first afternoon and I had to restrain myself from buying something I couldn’t afford at praguekabinet. We also stumbled upon an installation of books in a library just off the Old Town Square, which was very cool (pictures below).

On our first  day we had a great Italian lunch at Aldente (highly recommend).  On the whole, we had a lot of great food in Prague, although none of it was traditional Czech fair. The bread dumplings just never did it for me and we tried! We really tried.  J and I also had a good meal at School and I loved Bake Shop. On Saturday night we went big with the six course tasting menu at La Degustation, which was unsurprisingly excellent.

There are many sights to see in Prague. We wondered around the castle, but only made it inside St Vitus Cathedral. The Sternberg palace has a wonderful little collection of old Masters and for some reason it was not nearly as busy as the tourist attractions around it. The Jewish Museum was very busy, but we managed to squeeze in with the crowds.

On Sunday, we went for a long walk up around the castle and past the Petrin Lookout tower than back down to the river and home. This was probably my favorite day. There are two big parks on the Northwest side of the vltava, which are beautiful. It was almost warm enough to just lay in the grass, but not quite. Although a little off the beaten track, Pivovarksy Klub, where we went Sunday evening, has an excellent beer selection. Of the tankovna pubs we went to, my favorite was U Pinkasu, around the corner from Wenceslas square, but if you go, definitely sit in the smoking section. Despite the smell, it has a much better atmosphere.

On our last morning, we wondered over to Zizkov’s Tower to see David Cerny’s space age babies. When it was almost time to go, I of course dragged J back to Hard Decore to buy some earrings.  The store is a mix of jewelry and clothes, all Czech designed and made – definitely worth checking out.

Tourists traps:

After walking by the ham roasting over coals in Old Town Square once, J and I were convinced that this was street food worth savoring. Unfortunately, the food is charged by weight and so the headline prices are completely misleading. We paid more to stand up eating that ham than for any other lunch we ate. The ham ended up just tasting expensive.

Top recommendations:

American Black Ale (ABA) at the Pivovarsky Klub. This is probably one of those really annoying recommendations that is impossible to find. BUT, if you go to the to Pivovarksy Klub and they have ABA on draft, order it!

Next time:

Try to get tickets to the ballet or the opera.

Photos:

Kind of a mix of pictures, but I admit there are a lot from the book installation and Zizkov’s tower. I took all of them except for the picture in Le Degustation and the picture of me below the tower.

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Bubbles in the Old Town Square

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Book tower installations in a library just off the Old Town Square

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The most expensive street food of all time in the Old Town Square

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We never made it to the museum, but I love this poster.

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St Vitus Cathedral

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Me and Hans Holbein’s Hohenburg Altar at the Sternberg Palace

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The Streets of Prague

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The view from J’s seat in La Degustation

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A view of the Vltava and some of Prague’s bridges

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The Zizkov Tower and around

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Prague train station

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That hair.

 

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