Long weekend in Prague.
We have always wanted to visit Prague. After deciding to travel in Europe during Christmas break (instead of flying back home) we quickly chose to visit Prague at the beginning of the break for a long weekend of Christmas markets, mulled wine and exploration.
I was really questioning our sanity right before we left, since the kids were wiped out from everything going on at school in December, and we were planning a fairly large trip after Christmas.
But- I am so glad we went. SO GLAD.
Prague was everything I dreamed it would be- mysterious, magical and very different from any place we have visited so far.
I rented an apartment in Lesser town through Prague-Stay. Lesser town is across the river from Old Town Prague, and our apartment was just a few blocks past the end of the beautiful Charles Bridge.
It was perfect for us. We loved being on a lively square with restaurants and shops- within walking distance to everything we wanted to see but away from the major crowds.The apartment was cute & cozy with 1 bedroom, a loft and a sofa bed in the living room. We loved the beams that were everywhere, including through the middle of the bed!
Prague-Stay was a dream to work with. They offered several things that made me so happy! For a very reasonable extra fee we booked our transfers to and from the airport as well as had our fridge filled with groceries that we chose from their online menu. How fantastic is that?
One of my favorite things to do when traveling is go into a local grocery store, to get supplies and see what kind of interesting and familiar products they carry. But with only 2.5 days in Prague, I wanted to not HAVE to go grocery shopping for the apartment, so the grocery delivery service was perfect for our quick trip and we were stocked with a few drinks & snacks and breakfast supplies for our stay.
The view from our apartment overlooking Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the square and Prague Castle in the background.
Our driver Thomas recommended we steer clear of the restaurants geared towards tourists, and he highly recommended we go to the local pub at the end of the block. After getting settled in the apartment, we made a beeline for the Pub. (Restaurant U Glaubicu)
It was very full, and we ended up sitting in the smoking hall, because the non-smoking room was full. This place was lively and packed to the gills with mostly men drinking beer, laughing and smoking. Somehow it ended up being charming even though Ben and I were both choking our way through the meal. (note to self, next time wait for a non-smoking table)
We asked the waitress for some recommendations and each of us got different traditional Czech specialties. They were delicious and unlike anything we have ever had. The goulash was not the goulash that I grew up with! Neither were the stuffed peppers- and I was so glad, both were fantastic. It ended up being one of our favorite meals of the entire trip. (Thank you Thomas!)
We had fun wandering through the Christmas market several nights. Stopping at the shops, watching the astronomical clock change at the top of the hour, and of course sampling some of the yummy street food. There was mulled wine, hot cider, sausages grilled over an open fire, and Trdelnic, a traditional slightly sweet pastry from Slovakia that is made by wrapping dough around a pipe and slowly turned while it cooks over the coals. They slide it off the pipe, cut a section off and then it’s sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar or nuts. Yummy.
We had to have a little Starbucks fix. After all, it had been 6 months since we had our favorite Starbucks beverages the day we left Idaho.
My favorite meal was at Baracnicka Rychta, a small little traditional Czech pub tucked away a few blocks from our apartment. We went for lunch and tried many things, just to see what they were. I absolutely loved my grilled camembert cheese with vegetables and the Beer Cheese appetizer.
It was so fun! It came on a wooden board with mustard, a small glass of beer, the cheese and a mixture of spices. I was told to mash the cheese, spices, beer and mustard together to make a paste and then spoon it on bread. It was so fun and unique and tasted amazing!My Grilled Camembert & Veggies. Oh my.
Smoked Sausage with peppers and Onions
Our last day, we walked up to the Prague Castle. We got there just in time to see the changing of the guard (through the masses of people) and then took a walk around the grounds. We were very sad that the Cathedral was closed that day. They were setting up for a Christmas program that was going to be televised.
Prague is definitely special. Magical, even. I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again- and hopefully we can stay longer next time.
Prague-Stay Rental Company : We stayed in the Baroque 2 bedroom apartment, overlooking Lesser Town Square and loved it. Don’t forget to ask about the driver service + grocery delivery if that is important to you.
Restaurant U Glaubicu (Pub): Chris’s favorite, and our first meal in Prague. On the Lesser Town Square. Delicious goulash, dumplings, soup and roasted meat. A lively and local crowd.
Obcanska Plovarna (Thai): Loved that you can make reservations online. Food and atmosphere were great, and well worth the cold walk!
Cantina (Mexican): We were giddy over having our first Mexican food in 6 months. Everything was tasty and the atmosphere fun and festive.
Baracnicka Rychta: Heather’s favorite, a local pub tucked away in lesser town. Everything we had was delicious. Try the fun and tasty Beer Cheese Appetizer. (see pics above)