Europe has so many amazing cities to visit and, until recently, I always thought I had to spend a whole weekend or longer in order to get a real feel of each place.
But there are loads of places that are easily accessible (from England) and can be explored pretty well in a short space of time. The first place that I achieved this feat is a lovely city called Prague.
The capital city of the Czech Republic is famous for its gothic architecture, its beer and ease of exploring so here’s how we managed to enjoy a perfect day trip there.
Our day started with an 8.55am Ryanair flight from London’s Stanstead airport – which was delayed. This meant our tight schedule suddenly found itself being altered simply because we lost over an hour through no fault of our own.
We arrived at 12 pm and I quickly changed my spare €68 over into CZECH KORUNA at a pretty good rate at one of the currency exchange points.
Then we easily made our way out of the airport and straight into a taxi to start our adventure near Old Town Square.
Our Saturday in Prague was a slightly foggy one but it was also an unseasonably warm 5 degrees so we were pretty happy with how it all worked out.
We kicked things off by having a quick look at the RUDOLFINUM CONCERT HALL and eavesdropped on a guide who was giving a walking tour just so we could get an idea of what to do.
We would happily have joined one if we had the time but that flight delay had us all spooked. There are so many FREE WALKING TOURS happening throughout the day and the guides really know lots of fab facts about each location they take you to so I suggest you get involved with one if you land early enough in the morning to do so. If not, you can totally do it yourself.
We then took a stroll through the JEWISH QUARTER which is now full of beautiful old building, museums and stunning architecture next to the fanciest couture fashion brands.
As we wormed and weaved our way into OLD TOWN SQUARE, we spotted signs which were warning tourists from getting conned by taxi drives. Turns out it’s a bit of a problem in Prague so you definitely need to be vigilant!
Old Town Square is lovely and the perfect place to get a few solo and group shots to capture the vibe of your trip. The OLD TOWN HALL AND THE ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK wasn’t quite what we were expecting but the JAN HUS MEMORIAL STATUE in the middle of the square was haunting and captivating while the eery gothic CHURCH OF OUR LADY BEFORE TYN in the background was just amazing.
However, by this point, we were pretty damn hungry and didn’t want to spend all our money at the expensive restaurants in the square.
We went exploring on the streets surrounding the square and found a fab pub restaurant called KOLONIAL that was basically created for the ‘gram if you ask me. It was a super relaxed restaurant decorated with vintage bicycles and an easy dark wood look and served a mix of a modern and traditional menu. Oh, and it was WARM.
I ordered Grog because rum, hot water, and sugar was exactly what I needed to fight the cold before I tucked into a beef goulash with dumplings which was so yummy. It was the type of traditional dish I had been hoping to have and it all came up to 280 czk which is the equivalent of £10.
Plus they were playing VH1 classic in the background so our lunch was soundtracked by some of the best tunes from the 00s. YAS!
After our meal, we headed back out and crossed the MANESUV MOST most (bridge) and had a wander around on the other side near the castle.
I would suggest going up to see the castle up close just to get an idea of how big it is, but be sure to have a look at it from the bridge as well. Or you can book to enjoy dinner at the DANCING HOUSE MUSEUM which has a fab view of both!
We found the amazing little store PERNICKUV SEN (which means to A Gingerbread Man’s Dream) and it’s a must visit spot from some amazing ginger tea and lots of fabulous homemade gingerbread treats for yourself or to take back home as gifts.
You could then head over to ST NICHOLAS CHURCH and CHURCH OF OUR LADY VICTORIOUS – INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE for some more amazing church buildings full of history.
As we made our way to the Karluv Bridge, we stopped to buy a ‘traditional’ TRDELNIK. It’s made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with a sugar and walnut mix before being filled up with anything you want – melted chocolate, ice cream, or even savoury options.
We later discovered it literally only appeared in Prague about 5 years ago. You should definitely still buy one because they are yummy AF but just know it’s not a traditional Czech treat.
We started to cross the famous CHARLES BRIDGE as the evening drew in and it was the great time to do so. You might want to get to the bridge around 4 pm for a fun parade that goes across at that time but it does mean it will be quite busy.
It was amazing to look at the different status and we noticed people kept stopping to touch a certain one that had patches which have remained gold. The STATUE OF ST. JOHN OF NEPOMUK was getting a lot of attention so we went closer to find out what was going on. Part of the statue is still a shining gold from where people have touched it over the years.
Legend has it if you touching the falling priest it will bring you good luck and means you’ll return safely to Prague. But, don’t get confused by the shiny dog and woman because that has become shiny by accident due to people not knowing the legend properly.
As we left the bridge, we stopped off to get souvenirs and walk around the cute, cobbled streets.Somehow we wound up back in the Old Town Square which was great because we got to see everything with the night lights on and it was gorgeous.
By this point, we were conscious about our flight so we ordered an uber (thank you European roaming) and seemingly got picked up by Jack Black’s long-lost Czech cousin. Seriously the guy looked, sounded and laughed like the actor – it was amazing.
He was super funny and chatty so we ended up getting a bit of a mini tour on the drive back as he explained little fun tidbits about Prague to us (including the truth about the Trdelnik. For more than half the price of the taxi!
At the airport, we took the chance to enjoy some Starbucks, KFC, and fresh juice in order to use up our remaining money and then it was time to head back home.
Other facts you should know
- Our flights cost just under £75 altogether with Ryanair but if you keep an eye out you could get them for as little at £40.
- Charles Bridge is apparently a prime spot for pickpockets so be super careful with your bags and belongings as you go across.
- While Prague has a relatively small airport and it’s is easy to miss announcements for your flight so pay attention!
- Uber is much cheaper than a cab so just use that instead.
Have you been to Prague before? Know other locations I need to visit? Let me know below or send me a message over on Twitter – @nolamarianna.