Less well known than its neighbors Berlin and Vienna, Prague is yet a very beautiful European capital, ideal for a weekend with girlfriend. With many points of interest, nightlife, restaurants at low prices, is it not rather tempting? I have not announced it yet on my blog or on social networks, but during my trip to Copenhagen my girl proposed me her love. And to celebrate it I took my girlfriend for a long weekend in Prague!
Prague besides being the capital of the Czech Republic is the largest city in the country. The temperatures are between 0 and 20 degrees on average and can drop very low in winter to -27 degrees. The city is well served by tram and metro. I took a pass for the weekend, and it was very good. Regarding the hotel in Prague, I booked an apartment not far from the center and with transport nearby, perfect for a weekend with girlfriend.
As soon as we reach Prague we start with the Old Town Square where we can admire beautiful colored buildings. We see the National Gallery, the Ministry, the church of Our Lady before Tyn, the Jan Hus Memorial and the famous astronomical clock. Here many tourists gather every hour to hear its ringing bells. We climb into the clock tower and it's worth it for the view from the top!
We go up to the north to visit the Jewish quarter. Access to the building and especially the cemetery is not free and has to be with a guide. It's a shame because we did not want to visit everything. I only wanted to visit the cemetery so I was disappointed. In the streets we can see pretty facades of hotels, restaurants and luxury shops.
Then we head to Klementinum to visit the Czech National Library . I was disappointed because to see it we needed to take a guide (even quite expensive) and his information was not very interesting. We had a hard time understanding because his English was not good. The library is very beautiful, and the climb in the tower is quite nice but the rest is rather long and boring.
We go to the Havelske Trziste market. The name is unpronounceable but we were able to buy the strudel (cake with apples and dried fruit). We also have the trdelnik (sweet dough wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal) and small fruit trays.
As we were hungry we visit the restaurant a few steps from here. Here we taste the Czech specialties such as goulash (stew served with knedliky, slices of boiled bread). We also have Svickova na smetane (roast meat with cranberry sauce also served with slices of boiled bread) and bramboraky (potato pancakes). Along side we have a local beer. They are not the best I have tasted.
We continue with a stroll on the quays to reach the Dancing House (Tancici dum) built by the architects Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic. Its architecture is pretty amazing, and it almost looks like it is melting. However it is not a very big building, and there is nothing to visit inside as these are offices.
In the afternoon we walk in the Vinohrady district. Its name comes from the fact that in the 14th century this place was covered with vineyards. This time we cross the river Vltava for a walk in the nice Mala Strana, on the island of Kampa in the vicinity of Prague Castle and in the beautiful Petrinske sady park. We walk to the Petrin hill, at the top of which there is a nice flower garden and also a tower.
Then we go to the Castle. On the way we come across vineyards. We make a small detour to see the Strahov Monastery (Strahovsky klaster). The Hradcany district is also pleasant to walk around. Then we arrive at a large square with Prague Castle (Prazsky hrad) and right next to it is St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrala Sv Vita). We also see the Golden Lane (Zlata Ulicka), a few meters away. The houses are really cute and with pretty colors.
We go down to the John Lennon Wall, an informal memorial. The wall is entirely covered with graffiti paying tribute to him. We taste a huge stuffed crepe, and a trdelnik. Then we head to Kampa Island, from where we have a very nice view of the Charles Bridge and the Old Town of Prague. There is a French market. Many people sit at small tables with their glass of wine and a piece of charcuterie!
The park is very quiet and at the water's edge we can see some ducks, swans and penguins. I stopped for a drink on the terrace of the Kampa-Sovovy Museum. With a view of the water, the view was great, but it was the only positive thing. The drinks were not good, the service very slow and in addition the tips were high and mandatory.
We end the weekend in Prague on the famous Charles Bridge! It was built between 1357 and 1380, and was the only bridge on the Vltava River until 1741. Today the bridge is invaded by tourists, musicians, and painters. We go at the end of the day, when the colors on the water and the buildings are very beautiful.
In the evening we head to Dlouha street where we find many bars. We end the evening in the biggest nightclub in Central Europe, where each floor has its own atmosphere. The prices are however quite high.