Prague: Travel Debrief
Usually, on the last day in a particular location, we sit down and ask a few questions to help ourselves to process our experience. We use the same 12 questions for every country so we know what to expect and can be thinking about it.
Where did you stay? Did you like it?
We stayed in a lovely home in Prague 7 that we found on Airbnb. It was actually the entire second level of a house that had a beautiful yard full of flowers (it was just about perfect). The woman who lived downstairs brought us this tasty treat that is a traditional gift in Czech to welcome us and was very kind for our entire stay. It was located in a quiet neighborhood near a very cool nature park and only took a quick bus ride plus one or two stops on the metro to get to the city center. If given the opportunity I'd just move right in.
What do you admire about the people of Prague?
I like that there seemed to be a lot of people that were still doing things in a more traditional way. One morning I just sat on a bench and watched the neighborhood wake up and go about their day. I saw old ladies with their baskets getting their food for the day and kids skipping rope. It was a little bit like going back in time and I loved that.
Should I know anything before I visit?
Even though Prague might not be as popular as some of the bigger cities in Europe it is certainly becoming more of a destination. With that in mind, if you can schedule your trip sometime other than the middle of the summer you'll find that the crowds are much more manageable. The difference between visiting in late May and Mid August was seriously notable.
What was your favorite thing about Prague?
The architecture is amazing! Sometimes it reminds me of a more colorful Paris. There is all of the renaissance architecture, the more modern dancing house, the incredible sgraffito on the Schwarzenberg palace and I didn't know was that the Art Nouveau movement was started in Prague so there are a fair amount of buildings with that influence as well. A lot of the buildings survived the war so they are originals instead of reproduction so that makes it even more interesting. Seriously, if you like cool buildings Prague is the place to be.
What is something you didn't expect in Prague?
The farmers market in our neighborhood has probably one of the best we've been to in the world. It had all sorts of fruits, vegetables and berries like you might expect but it also had basket makers, cheese stands, fresh meats and a plethora of hot food stands. There was live music and a place for the kids to play. Seriously, I would move to Prague just for that farmer's market.
What were the top three things you saw in Prague?
The palace up on the hill and the cathedral inside it (I particularly like coming into the palace from the side away from the river), the town square with the old astronomical clock tower, and the view walking along the river between the Dancing House and the St Charles Bridge.
Was there anything that you didn't get to do but wish you had?
There are two things actually. First, Prague is the home to one of the largest flea markets in Europe and we intended to go one weekend but by the time we got there almost all of the vendors were already gone (so go early in the morning, not in the afternoon). Second, there is one area of the river where you can go paddle boating, I think it'd be awesome to go one evening just before sunset, I'm sure the view from the water is amazing.
Did you have any experiences that shouldn't be missed?
There is a tasty little restaurant on the way from the St Charles Bridge up to the castle that has a beautiful view up towards the castle. It was my favorite thing to go sit on the patio, enjoy the traditional food (the pork knuckle and beef shin were both excellent) and enjoy the scenery. It's called Restaurace U Mecenáše (Malostranské nám. 261/10, 118 00 Malá Strana, Czechia)
If you could bring home some cultural idea, custom or food from Prague what would it be?
When we were in Morocco we met a Polish family at out riad and they shared a drink with us called Becherovka. It is a spicy aperitif that comes from Czech, Johnny loved it and literally looked for it everywhere we visited. Obviously, he was thrilled that they drink it like water in Czech. So I would have to say that's the biggest Czech thing we have taken from this trip.
Did you have a favorite food in Prague?
We had so much good food in Prague but since we were there in the summer I will forego all of the warmer, heartier foods in favor of the Czech favorite Trdelník (filled with ice cream of course). It's basically dough wrapped around a wooden cylinder and cooked over coals, it is then removed, sprinkled with sugar and filled with your choice of many tasty things.
What is something that you disliked in Prague?
Our stroller got absolutely destroyed on the flight to Prague and one of our bags was lost so dealing with that was probably the worst thing about our visit. If I had to choose something that actually has to do with the city itself I would say that because we were there the middle of the summer it was absolutely packed with people in the more touristy areas. Luckily for us, we spent a lot of time in other areas so it wasn't too big of a deal.
Do you think you'll visit again?
Yes, I could see Prague becoming my go-to European getaway spot. It is such a lovely city with great food and I always come away feeling inspired.