When I booked flights to go to Prague, the person who was most excited was my Grandmother.
She told me to look out for bullet-holes in buildings and to make sure I had my fill of goulash [sadly I had none]. I distinctly remember my Mum cracking up when I told her Nan had said this, and making a remark along the lines of “oh, how morbid!”.
It was my first trip abroad for over a year, due to the sudden and unprecedented fear of flying which I had developed during my final year of university… Bougie 1st world problems, I know.
But me and my friend weren’t going to look at bullet holes – we were going for a neatly packaged, air-bnb-budget-escape from the day-to-day drag. God, what a mouthful.
The highlight of the trip was (and my boyfriend will laugh at me for saying this) the vibe.
Think: Amsterdam meets Budapest… and has a baby.
As I have tried to highlight, in that crap metaphor, Prague is a really small City. But its smallness only adds to the charm – you feel like a local within hours (if, like me, you spend the first hours of a holiday trying to cover as much ground as possible before collapsing into a bar).
The bridge is great, as is the castle, and all of the churches and pastel-coloured buildings on nearly every main road, but the real reason to go here is the side-streets and the side-bars. My friend is far better at navigating than I am, and she came up with a variety of names for the roads that we happened upon more than once; snake street, the big hill, that place at the top of Petrin Park, river road, the cobbled lane with the waitress who ‘let us take our time’ because we were smilier than the other customers.
So, places to go include:
Black Angels – A downstairs bar, situated on the square, dedicated to crafting unique cocktails and [no paps though -sorry instagrammers]
Chateau Rouge – A Jazz club and a Club-Club, insisting on live music and late night debauchery
Petrin Park – A hillside park. There’s a restaurant at the top of the hill – it’s worth the steep, steep climb. A good place for dog lovers and carb-burning.
Ungelt Blues and Jazz Club – An underground, table-service Jazz bar – be prepared to meet the musicians after the music ends, and be transported to a different era.
Visual Pleasure: 8/10 (It’s the lazy-man’s delight really. You can see it all in a few hours and then crash out in a bar and watch the world go by with a beer in hand.)
Street Food: 7/10 (I’m sure it’s better than that, we just didn’t get a chance to eat much)
Daytime Vibe: 7/10 (The bridge was just a little too busy, and it was April. Also the wall art / graffiti was good, but no match for Hackney Wick if I’m 100% honest)
Night Time Vibe: 9/10 (friendly locals, bars with ‘no cameras allowed’, men in waistcoats etc.)