What is Prague really like?
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Prague is very well known as a party city, and the Czech capital has absolutely boomed in popularity recently, often from stag and hen do’s heading there for an incredibly cheap night out. But, in our opinion, there is so much more to Prague, and a trip there just for a night out, without exploring some of the amazing attractions and experiencing Czech culture, would be such a waste! Because of the city’s reputation for very cheap drinks, so many people assume that it will be overly crowded, dirty, full of drunken tourists and just generally not well kept. We’ve explored the city and can tell you that absolutely wasn't the case.
The city of a hundred spires - This is genuinely the nickname that Prague has been given, and once you arrive you can completely see why. This city is absolutely full of churches, each one completely unique and just as stunning as the last. Start your exploration of the architecture in Prague by heading to Old Town Square, where you’ll find the Church of Our Lady before Týn and the Old Town Hall.
Attached to the Old Town Hall you’ll find one of Prague’s most famous attractions, the astronomical clock. This was constructed in the year 1410, making it the world’s oldest working astronomical clock. Every hour, on the hour, the sculptures (figures of various Catholic saints) move, and huge crowds gather to see this.
If you find this a little underwhelming, don’t panic, there is so much more to see in Prague. Explore the huge Prague Castle complex, see the stunning Cernin Palace, wander the winding streets of the old town, or head to see the less traditional “Dancing House” - a bizarre piece of modern architecture right by the river. It’s very famous across the city and is actually a hotel, so you can actually stay there!
Prague Castle is a brilliant visit - it’s actually the largest castle complex in the world! Definitely not one to miss. It’s free entry to the complex but you have to pay to enter certain buildings and churches. This changes seasonally so be sure to check their website before your visit to see what the prices will be. The whole complex is breathtaking, absolutely pristine and such an enjoyable walk, even if you don’t go into any of the areas where paid entry is necessary. Plus, on the walk down you can visit the Panorama Express Café for a refreshment and views of the city below.
Beer cheaper than water? - We had several people tell us this fact before we went to Prague and it actually turned out to be true! If you sit in a traditional pub, restaurant or bar and order a beer and a bottle of water, it’s most likely that the bottle of water will cost you a pretty significant amount more. So it’s no wonder that Prague is an incredibly popular place for a city break dedicated to drinking as much of that Czech beer as you possibly can! Some people say if you go into a bar in the evening and order a soft drink, staff will actually laugh and just bring you a beer. We personally didn’t experience this (luckily, as we aren’t huge beer fans).
But beer is a huge part of Prague’s culture, so definitely go and taste some. A lot of bars, especially in the main tourist areas, will offer beer tastings so you can taste a variety of the traditional beers without having to have a pint, or stein, of each. You can even take a beer tour or a guided pub crawl across the city! And if just a few pints isn’t quite enough for you and you want to dance the night away, Prague is home to a famous 5-floor nightclub - the biggest club in central Europe! Definitely not worth missing if that’s your thing.
It's not just beer that's really affordable in Prague, generally accommodation is very reasonably priced, and so is food too! If you're on a budget, this might be the city break for you.
Goulash and more - A trip to Prague isn’t complete without eating plenty of meat alongside your beer. Some more modern restaurants cater very well for vegetarians and vegans, but it’s a well known fact that Czech cuisine is very heavy on meat and bread. Grab yourself a warming bowl of goulash and relax surrounded by amazing architecture, and exceptionally friendly locals. Restaurants in Prague all have brilliant atmospheres, we would definitely recommend eating out as much as you can in this city. The prices are generally low too, so you don’t feel like you’re spending your week’s budget on one meal, as you might in other capital cities!
Czech goulash is normally a beef stew with little to no vegetables. Every one we tried, the beef was cooked to perfection and the gravy was very rich in flavour. It’s quite different to goulash in Hungary or Slovakia, so you may be surprised if you’ve tried this dish in another country before. If this doesn’t sound like your thing, maybe you’d prefer Langos, typically a Hungarian food but found all over Prague too. It’s fried bread topped with sour cream, cheese, and then a variation of toppings, normally served as street food rather than in a restaurant. And if all else fails, fried cheese is a very common, traditional meal across the Czech Republic, and one of the only vegetarian options you might find, so grab a plate of that instead!
We’d highly recommend heading to this brewery for some food and drink in a beautiful setting with live music - Pivovar a Restaurace u Fleků. We had the most amazing evening here sitting in their garden area, but there are some brilliant indoor spaces too. Plus, there was a great band playing traditional music on the accordion, making the atmosphere come alive!
So, have we convinced you to go to Prague? We genuinely do believe this city should be on your bucket list to experience, it has so much to offer. Don’t be put off by the “stag-do” reputation that Prague gets, you can find serenity in the churches, castles and museums that span all across the city. And although capital cities always have the odd tourist trap, we found Prague a great place to start to experience true Czech culture and learn about the history of the area. Great beers, great culture, great prices, what’s not to love?
Getting there: Prague is easily accessible by air, with direct flights from many major cities around the UK. It's also accessible by train or coach from major cities in the Czech Republic and surrounding countries.
Visas: Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit the Czech Republic for a stay of up to 90 days.
Currency: The currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna. Be careful, a lot of places will convert prices to Euros but add on a pretty large conversion fee. It's always so much better to pay in the local currency if you can.
Language: The official language of the Czech Republic is Czech. However, English is widely spoken in Prague.
Time zone: Prague is in the Central European Time Zone, usually an hour ahead of the UK.
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