OUTSTANDING PRAGUE: WHERE TO STAY, EAT AND MORE
Did I say before that it was my first visit to Prague? There were lots of questions in my mind going on like “Is Prague a safe city?” “Do people communicate well in English?” “Where should I pick my accomodation?” and many more. Those kind of quiz one has before traveling to a new place where one doesn´t master the language or -perhaps- one is a more thoughtful person and needs more info than others.
First of all, I have to say that the city is very safe. We never felt we were at risk and we went walking to most of the sightseeing spots. Another important issue is the language. I had this bias that only young people would speak English. However, I was surprised to find cab drivers, waiters, tourist guides and hotel staffs speaking good English. People in Prague are catching up fast with English, so language was not the barrier I feared we could find.
QUICK TIPS: ADVANTAGES OF TRAVELING TO PRAGUE
- Excellent and modern public tranportation (in and out the city), which include cabs, trams, trains, and buses.
- Great airport with lots of connections to other European cities. Located very close to the city: around a 30 minute drive to the center.
- Safe and drinkable tap water, meaning you can fill your bottles with water before going out to visit the city.
- 5G mobile connection and public wi-fi in many public points along the city (check the bus stations!)
- English spoken widely at restaurants, hotels, stores and city attractions.
- Tax refund at the airport (don´t forget to ask your receipt at the store when your purchase excedes 100 euros. This is key to deal with it at the airport).
- Although the oficial currency is the “Crown”, Euros are accepted almost everywhere.
- There is a 24 hour valid ticket that allows people to take any public transportation throughout the city (it costs about 5 bucks) and you can use it combining trams, teleferic, bus and subway.
WHERE TO STAY
For accomodation we decided to stay in the old town, so most of the things we wanted to visit were walking distance. We picked the Grand Praha Hotel, which is located in front of the Astronomical Clock and in the heart of the old town area. The room was very spacious and comfy, with nice decoration, plenty of space to keep our clothes and luggage and a minibar. It was also very silent so we slept amazingly. There are also rooms with a view to the Astronomical Clock, very romantic and glamorous. Something very important to us was the AC. It can get very warm in summer, with temperaturas rounding 90 degrees or more. With this in mind (as well as the location) we decided which would be our hotel. Grand Hotel Praha has excellent AC. And we were right: the weather in August turned to be hot and humid, so arriving to a fresh room after a long journey was perfect!
The staff is super friendly and always ready to help. Martin at the concierge gave us the best tips not only about “where to go” but also how to get there fast and safe. He made it easier for us to maximize our stay. The breakfast at Cafe Mozart was delicious with an interesting variety of pastries, yogurts and breads and with an incredible sight of the old town Square. At night concerts with classic music are a must at the Cafe.
I think the best tip we got from the hotel was the “online booking offer” which includes a 23% discount in the tariff price and the airport transfer, when making the reservation directly with them (keep in mind that cars are not allowed at the old town square, so one must carry the luggage to the accomodation. We were able to sort this with the transfer advantage). Of course, once you book this way you have to pay in advance. We believe it was totally worth it and we definitely would go back to Grand Praha Hotel. https://www.grandhotelpraha.cz/en/special-offers/
WHERE TO EAT
We had lunch and dinner at many restaurants. But our top pick was Kampa Park Restaurant. The place is located on the Malá Strana neighborhood (on the other side of the river) and reservations are needed. If not, forget about getting a table there.
Kampa Park Restaurant has tables outside on a quiet terrace overlooking the river and the Charles Bridge. Gorgeous sights! The ambiance is calm, not to mention the food which was delicious. We had a tasty chicken with vegetables and an amazing dessert. It was the perfect setting for celebrating our Silver Wedding anniversary!
It was bizarre because we used Google Maps to get there and it turned to be so tricky! The app showed us a way (which we took and we walked for 10 minutes after crossing the Charles Bridge). The funny thing is that after we left the restaurant, on our way back, we discovered it was so easy to get there! Instead of taking the right hand of the Charles Bridge stairs (assuming you are going from old town to Malá Strana) one must instead take the left stair down and it will lead you almost directly to the place!
“TRDELNIK”: WHAT ABOUT IT?
I must save some space apart for the “trdelník”. It is a rolled dough with a sweet crust outside and one can ask it empty or with a filling inside. I fell in love with them. I felt pretty curious about them and had seen so many posts on Instagram…so we decided to try one at a place that had a long line on the street. Kind of gave us some confidence that so many customers there couldn´t be wrong (don´t you run away from empty restaurants and bars?). Our trdelník was filled with strawberries, chocolate and whipped cream. Such a perfect combination….Yes! I needed those calories! I think I could only go back to Prague just to have one trdelník again.