When you think of city trips away, Prague is not a place that immediately springs to mind. It’s just another random, sort-of boring destination, right?
Or that’s what I thought anyway, when I booked for myself and Brad to stay over in the city center for two nights. I was more excited that our hotel not only had a spa, but was also the first five star hotel I had ever stayed in, than our actual destination.
I’d actually planned for the two of us to go to Iceland this winter, but was put off by a combination of what I felt to be expensive travel and hotel fees, and going through a particularly penniless time (as I always am in the run up to Christmas, when this trip was booked). Whilst scrolling through Wowcher when I was bored one day, I just happened to come across the particular Prague deal, and was drawn into finding out more, largely just because it was cheap.
Here were the things I knew about Prague before I booked it:
- It’s near to Budapest, and looks sort-of similar, too.
- It’s in The Czech Republic, and is ex Communist (thanks, mum).
- It’s really cheap.
- Quite a lot of people go there for hen dos and stag dos.
And that was about it. I’m not going to lie, I don’t usually book things on such a whim, but I was feeling pretty adventurous, and thought that even if it turned out to be a worse version of the UK, at least it was a chance to escape from the harsh reality of my third year of uni for a long weekend.
Obviously, in the run-up to leaving, I did my research, and found out about the places worth visiting. I will add that pictures just do not give Prague justice- although I certainly tried my best! The images I was seeing on Google of all the touristy spots for us to check out were nothing compared to the real thing. It was soon very easy for me to say that Prague well and truly surpassed the image I had of the city in my mind beforehand- and I want to share with you the things we did on the few days we were in the city, to hopefully inspire you to take the trip out there yourself one day. So without further or do, here are the most Instagramable spots we visited:
1. Old Town
To be more specific, the little cobbled roads and alleyways that led from Charles Bridge to Old Town, and all around and underneath it. There was actually an area we found on our walk from the bridge through the outskirts of Old Town that was so beautiful, I felt like I had to keep my camera in my hands at all times, so as to not miss a single photo opportunity. A combination of the higgledy-piggledy cobbled roads and the colourful houses that looked something out of a fairytale was what did it for me. I hadn’t found any pictures of these roads in my pre-visit Google and Instagram searching, but there are actually plenty of cobbled roads- and pretty buildings at every turn, no matter where in the city you are.
In Old Town, we also enjoyed the traditional Chezh Trdelník, which is basically a grilled, sugary donut cone that can be filled with anything you like (I highly recommend white chocolate or vanilla custard if you have a sweet tooth like me!). These were so good; we ate them outside in the snow, and for those few minutes of heaven we completely forgot how cold we were and spontaneously agreed that we would set up our own Trdelník business in the UK.
2. Lennon Wall
Lennon Wall, in case you hadn’t guessed, is a wall that has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles’ songs. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be a reason why Lennon Wall exists where it does, and there’s no evidence that John Lennon even visited Prague, but the wall, and the Lennon Pub next door, are must-sees for tourists to Prague and Beatles fans (and make a pretty Insta snap, too!) When we visited the wall, a busker was playing Beatles songs in front of it, with a note in his guitar case which read: “I need to save up to fix my time machine to take me back to the 60’s”, which I loved. Although the original image of John Lennon has long since been covered by other graffiti, there was still a strong message of love and peace in all of the writings, which, with my limited Beatles knowledge, I know was something the band would try to portray in their songs.
3. Prague Castle
Be prepared that if you visit Prague Castle in the winter, you will freeze, mainly due to the fact that it’s situated on top of a huge hill, with wind coming at you from all angles. That said, it’s worth the potential pneumonia and your fingers almost falling off for the spectacular views of the city below. Although Prague is generally quite cheap, it was pretty pricey to pay to go inside the castle’s grounds in my opinion, so we chose not to. I don’t think it was necessary, anyway; we still got great views from outside of the castle, and the buildings in the square were so pretty (and completely Insta-worthy). Brad was very obliging and took some shots of me standing in front of the prettiest but strangest building (see below), which probably won’t make it to Instagram- but look how cool! There are also plenty of little shops on the hill leading to the castle that sell all sorts of cute touristy things, and the most divine chocolate shop at the very top that offered us free samples- although the chocolate was incredibly pricey.
4. Terasa U Prince rooftop bar
I wanted to share this place with you because in my Google search for things to do in Prague, this never came up once. I thought it was a huge shame, because it offers without a doubt the best city-center view of Prague you could ask for, and has even, according to its website, been named one of the top 15 hotel rooftop views in the world. It was actually only through Instagram that I found out about Terasa U Prince, from someone we follow who is local to the city. She advised to arrive before 11am to get the seats with the best view, which we followed- strawberry Daquari at 11am, anyone? Part of the bar is sheltered and heated, so even with our amazing view, we felt almost as warm and comfortable as if we were inside. Of course, we got the standard Instagram shot with Tyn Church in the background, after managing to communicate with a lovely old foreign couple and ask them if they minded us squeezing behind their table to get into the corner.
5. Museums, museums, museums
Okay, so we all know that museums are definitely not Instagram goals, and it’s safe to say Brad and I didn’t even bother pulling out the camera during our, ahem, cultural tour of the city. But the museums in Prague are really worth a visit. I’m sure it’s not on the top of your bucket list to visit a sex machines museum or a museum of torture, but trust me when I say that they are genuinely captivating. There was also a beer museum, a chocolate museum, and a Jewish museum, amongst others, and we visited a Lego museum to keep Brad happy. Honestly, when you’ve had enough of the cold, the museums are the place to be at- and they’re reasonably cheap admission, too.
Hope you enjoyed our travel guide to Prague! We’re off to Scotland and Barcelona soon- so look out for our next guides later next month!