Prague Citytrip • Part one
I was told Prague was beautiful, but I was not prepared for this level of beauty. 'The city of 100 spires' is one of romance and history. As opposed to many other European cities, it has remained untouched for centuries, making it a breathtaking mix of Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Everywhere you look there are historic buildings from revolved times of opulence and ornamentation. And to all you Art Nouveau and Art Deco lovers, this is your dream come true.
DAY 1 | PRAGUE 7
On the day of your arrival, I suggest exploring the North of the city, also known as Prague 7, an industrial area that's becoming increasingly fashionable.
Lunch at Phill's Twenty 7 | Přístavní 339/27, 170 00 Praha 7
Phill's Twenty 7 is guaranteed to satisfy all hipsters. The minimal interior is on point with tiled floors, beautiful furniture and hip details. The menu changes daily and is very succinct. Luckily 2 out of the 3 options for lunch that day were vegetarian. Their homemade lemonades are fabulous and you should definitely save some room for their desserts. The owner was really the first person we talked to and we were absolutely charmed.
Shopping and more at Vnitroblock | Tusarova 791/31, 170 00 Praha 7
Vnitroblock captures the essence of Prague 7. Located in a former industrial building that has been completed renovated with respect for original elements, this concept store is dedicated to designer clothes, bags, shoes and accessories (within a decent price range). There's also a live DJ set and multiple seats for you to chill out inside this inspirational space with a drink in your hands.
Visit of the Trade Fair Palace | Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Praha 7
The 'Veletržní palác' houses Prague's largest collection of modern and contemporary art. The building on itself is already an incredible testimony of Functionalist architecture. The permanent collection is composed of International and Czech art from the 19th and 20th century, but temporary exhibitions can be seen too across the building's six floors. The café on the left of the entrance is a nice, open space to have drinks after your visit.
Walk in Letná Park
For exceptional views over the city center, you have to be at Letná Park, especially at the Metronome. A stroll in the fading sunlight with panoramic views on your left is not only sensational, it will also make it instantly clear for you why this city is called the one of 100 spires.
Dinner at Zlatá Praha | Pařížská 30, 110 00 Praha 1
For an epic dinner on your first night in Prague, I'd go to the rooftop restaurant of the Intercontinental Hotel. Not only are the views spectacular, the cuisine is really refined and the wine list is impressive. You can go for your usual French or Italian wines, or you can try a local one, like we did (a delicious Riesling from Czech Republic). And don't worry, because of Prague's low cost of living, the check shouldn't exceed €75,00 for two.
DAY 2 | MALÁ STRANA
On your second day in 'Praha', explore the Baroque neighborhood in the West, aka 'Malá Strana', with its small streets and lively squares.
Breakfast at Café Savoy | Vítězná 124/5, 150 00 Malá Strana
Café Savoy brings a little bit of Paris to Prague, with its painted ceilings, bistrot tables and golden details. Their rhubarb pastry is supposed to be amazing, but for now I would like to recommend two of their breakfast options: the 'Healthy Breakfast' (a formula centered around granola) and the French Toast (complete with red fruits). Make sure to savor your breakfast, because you're in for a climb afterwards!
Visit of the Strahov Library | Strahovské nádvoří 1/132, 118 00 Praha 1
Hidden somewhere on top of the Petřín hill stands the Strahov Monastery. There is a church of course, the convent building that has been turned into a Picture Gallery, and most importantly the legendary library. My travel companion for this trip was Stéphanie, a very close friend that happens to be really passionate about literature, so she talked me into visiting this library. And I won't forget it any time soon! The first hall, the Theological one, dates back to the 17th century and houses different editions of the Bible for instance. The second hall, the Philosophical one, is from the 18th and totally channels 'Beauty and the Beast'. Whereas the previous hall is in Baroque style, this one is Early Classicist and the books here are dedicated to sciences, mathematics, history, etc. If you wish to visit the halls, you need to make a reservation in advance (more information can be found here), otherwise you can only see them from behind a rope.
Walk in Petřín
The green lung of Malá Strana is the Petřín hill. Again it makes for a pleasant stroll and it offers sensational panoramic views if you go up the 'Petřínská rozhledna' (or Petřín Tower). To go back down again to the city streets, you can take the funicular railway, but not before you had a walk in the beautiful rose garden (for more 'Beauty and the Beast' vibes).
Lunch at Café Lounge | Plaská 615/8, 150 00 Malá Strana
Café Lounge is supposed to offer the best coffee in town, but since I don't drink coffee, I was more interested in their lunch options. Turns out they have an appealing selection of healthy plates! The interior is cosy and if you feel like having lunch outside you can sit in the quiet terrace garden in the courtyard.
Visit of the Vrtba Garden | Karmelitská 373/25, 118 00 Malá Strana
This peaceful garden has a striking architecture that goes up through the use of balconies of different levels. You will find all the elements of Italian Baroque style here: statues, flowers, ponds, etc. A must-visit for romantics.
Visit of the Prague Castle
By the sight of the number of visitors, I'm guessing the Prague Castle is the city's most visited attraction. It isn't exactly a castle but rather a huge complex home to multiple buildings and streets (according to the Guinness Book of Records it's the biggest in the world). The Prague Card (more about that later) gives you access to the St. Vitus Cathedral (with rich stained glass windows, one of which was designed by Alphonse Mucha), the Old Royal Palace, the Basilica and the Golden Lane.
Visit of the Wallenstein Garden | Letenská, 110 00 Praha 1
Hidden behind the Wallenstein Palace (the current Senat), you can find this Baroque garden that is much more symmetrical than the Vrtba Garden. It is also larger and houses multiple ponds and statues, as well as a few peacocks (regular and white)!
Dinner at Mlýnec | Novotného lávka 9, 110 00 Praha 1
Another dinner spot that offers a memorable experience is Mlýnec, thanks to its location at the foot of the Charles Bridge, Prague's most famous. To fully enjoy it, book a table on their terrace. On the menu you'll find high quality fashion and Czech cuisine. Wines are a little pricey so I suggest you opt for one of their cocktails (which are cheaper surprisingly).
If you're longing for something sweet after dinner, you can have a taste of a traditional Czech pastry at Good Food. They propose a modern take on the 'trdelnik' or chimney cake, which they fill with ice cream. It was an immediate Instagram hit when it appeared in 2016.
Discover Prague's historic center in part two!