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31st Jan 2020

Three Days In Prague – Here’s Everything You Need For A Magical European Adventure

James Fenton

So you’ve bitten the bullet and booked a trip to one of Europe’s most cultural and beautiful cities.

Prague is a gem at the heart of Europe that appears to be on everyone’s to-do list. But what do you do when you finally get there? Well, luckily for you, yours truly made the exact same trip just before Christmas and I’m willing to part with buckets of information for a minimal fee. Just joking. Or am I? Let’s move on.

Follow my guide on how to spend three days in the stunning Czech capital, including what to do, where to stay and what to eat.


Hotel U Kříže

Reasonably-priced and ideally-located at the foot of Petrin Hill with a tram stop right outside. Although, since the city is so walkable we only used the tram a couple of times. More on that later.

The hotel contains rooms that are relatively small in size but if all you’re looking for is a place to lay your hat then it does the job completely.

The building also contains two restaurants – the main one which provides free breakfast every day and the fancier Czech Slovak restaurant which usually requires booking for an evening meal.

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Day 1

What to do on your first day? Well, considering your accommodation lies at the bottom of Petrin Hill, you might as well run across the road and take the funicular up to see the Eiffel Tower.

No, I haven’t gone mad. Prague’s Petrin Tower bears such a resemblance to France’s most iconic landmark that it’s often referred to as just that.

Once you get to the top of the hill, there are quite a few steps to reach the summit of the tower (about a five minute climb) but the views when you get there are worth it. Be warned, the winding stairs can lead to a touch of dizziness afterwards but there is an option to take an elevator.

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After all that and a well-earned coffee, take the short walk over to the historic Charles Bridge, which stretches over 500 metres across the River Vltava. There will be plenty of photo opportunities as you stroll across with over 30 massive statues lining the bridge as you go.

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At this stage, you’ve only been in Prague a few hours and you’ve already seen two of its most important landmarks. It might be wise to save some stuff for another day. How about dinner and a drink?

The Prague Beer Museum does exactly what it says on the tin except for the fact that it isn’t actually a museum. The Czech capital is of course known for its great beer and the menu at this riverside location has a wide range of options to cater for everyone’s taste – I’d recommend a pint of local favourite Bernard.

There’s also a great food menu full of traditional Czech dishes (such as pork knee) and a visit here is a great way to wind down day one of your trip.

This would also be a good time to mention a common Czech drinking custom, namely that if your beer is nearly empty the server will often bring you another one without you asking for it. All well and good for the first few but if you’re starting to feel like you’ve had enough just stick your palm over the top of the glass and they’ll get the message.

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Day 2

After tucking into your free breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to check out Prague Castle. A short walk uphill along Nerudova Street (which is full of great restaurants for later) will lead you to arguably the city’s main attraction.

Once you arrive, you’ll notice a number of walking tours milling about, most of which operate on a ‘tip only’ basis. Around 150-200 Czech Koruna should be seen as a reasonable amount to pay.

There’s plenty of history to be obtained and the Presidential Residence takes pride of place at the top of the hill too.

After this, it’ll be worth taking a walk around Prague’s famous squares which are home to some of Europe’s most famous Christmas markets throughout the festive season.

Wenceslas Square (not exactly a square) is one of the main thoroughfares in the city and the sheer width of it is reminiscent of Dublin’s own O’Connell Street except without the Supermacs.

There are plenty of lovely coffee shops to be enjoyed along the way before making your way to Old Town Square, arguably the hub of tourist activity in Prague. If you do visit during Christmas, this is the place to be. An enormous tree acts as a centrepiece and looking at it would fill even the biggest Grinch with Christmas spirit. Mulled wine flows from the surrounding stalls and there’s traditional Czech dumplings aplenty.

While there, be sure to get a pic of the astronomical clock on the side of Old Town Hall.

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All that walking will definitely work up your thirst again and if cocktails are your thing there’s only one place to go in the area.

La Bodeguita del Medio is a Cuban-style bar just a few steps from Old Town Square and it serves drinks to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Not traditionally Czech, I know, but the vibe in here is too good not to mention.

Settle in for some live music but don’t drink too much – you’ve still got dinner to come.

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You can’t beat a bit of local knowledge and I’m fortunate enough to have a friend who has lived in Prague for the past seven years. While the tourist areas will have everything you need, my buddy was kind enough to take us a little bit out of the centre and into a traditional Czech restaurant which we would never have known about otherwise.

Entering U Bansethu, you’re landed right into a standard Czech social setting. It’s got a pretty similar vibe to the pubs we’re used to with some people lined up on the barstools while others enjoy dinner with their evening drinks as is the custom.

The place is just a short tram ride from the centre of the city and is well worth visiting for a genuine Prague experience. It’s known for its duck, which I’d personally recommend so be sure to ask the server for details. While we weren’t provided with English menus, that’s not to say there aren’t any. We just had the benefit of being in the company of a relatively fluent Czech speaker which always makes life a bit easier.

Tell ’em I sent ya. Then, when they stare at you blankly, apologise for confusing them.

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Day 3

If visiting Prague Castle gave you a taster of Czech history then the Museum Of Communism should be your next port of call.

Visitors are taken on a journey through the country’s volatile past from post-World War Two to the break-up of Czechoslovakia and into the modern era.

You could easily spend an hour or two walking around and enjoying the interactive and educational amenities. The best part? Upon entry, vouchers are handed out for a free coffee to be enjoyed in the café at the end of your visit. At least they were when we were there so fingers crossed that hasn’t changed.

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The evening of the final night of your stay is the perfect time to Czech out (you didn’t think we’d make it through without a Czech pun, did you?) the pièce de résistance of any stay in Prague.

We came across the Jazzboat Kotva in out guidebook and to say it was the icing on the cake of our trip would be an understatement. Leaving from the banks of the Vltava at 8.30pm daily, its basically a jazz club on the water. When booking, you can choose the option of having your dinner on board or if you’d prefer to eat earlier just sit back and enjoy a couple of drinks.

You’ll be serenaded by a local jazz group as the boat slowly makes its way down the river, out of the city and back again. Taking about two and a half hours in total, its the perfect way to wind down your trip to Prague and if you are there with your other half, it’s the ideal romantic setting to experience some quality time together after a busy few days.

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Prague was a place I always wanted to tick off the list and I have to say it didn’t let me down at all. From beautiful architecture to great beer and everything in between, it has everything you need for memorable long weekend.

It’s a place that will live long in the memory and I’ll be sure to come back again in a few years time. Now, about that small fee… Never mind.

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