After about a year of planning this trip we finally departed from New York JFK at 9:30pm and arrived at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague the following day around noon.
The Honest Guide Prague You Tube Channel and Facebook page was a huge help in the planning process. We would highly recommend them.
People ask me this all the time. Well to be honest, my son and husband were instrumental in the decision. The history dating back to the 9th Century at its founding. The Home of Bohemia. Prague Castle in 880 A.D. Nazi Occupation during WWII, and then suffering under their liberators, the USSR and Communist Rule until 1989. In 1993 Czechoslovakia Split and Prague became the new Capital City of Czech Republic. What you see is unadulterated History, the Architecture, the sights and views, the natural beauty of this Proud City.
What more can you say? we had to go and explore.
Mid October is the perfect time to visit, weather was in the high sixties and low seventies, fall foliage was just so beautiful.
We stayed Sunday through Saturday at the Grandior Hotel, a fantastic 4/5 star modern, chic hotel in the bustling city center of Prague and right next to the Florenc metro station, This featured a hotel restaurant that served a full complimentary buffet breakfast and omelet station every morning from 6:30 to 10:30 am. A lobby bar and spa. A Casino access entrance directly out of the 1st lobby door. (The lobby bar quickly became our favorite spot for a night cap. We took a quick liking to the bartender, Vericona, she was always smiling, so helpful, friendly and just so very likeable)
A tram Stop was right outside the lobby entrance, and 2 min walk to the metro (Ultra Fast Subway) and bus stop made getting away very easy. The Concierge Desk can sell you a 24hr pass only, which for $110 Czech ( About $5 USD ) well worth it, and the way to go In my opinion. You can buy 30 min, 90min and 72hr passes as well but you can only buy those at ticket counters around the city and at every Metro station.
Convenience is an understatement. cheap, fast, efficient and at times fun. To access the Metro (Subway system) you will go down a Flight of stairs, then an extremely steep and long escalator to another flight of stairs to the platforms where these really fast trains come by what seems like every 5 mins. These will whisk you away in a very short time to where you generally want to go. For more specific stops and locations without having to walk as far, you can choose the above ground trams and bus network.
Must See Places
Ok, we despise crowds, just something about people bouncing off me, fighting to walk in certain direction and having to force your way through has never been a favorite past time of ours, but in a city of a population of 1.3 Million that gets over 10 Million Tourists a year and you have to go to the "Must See" areas you will encounter...Crowds. The partial List includes, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, Old Town Square and of course the Astronomical Clock which is located in the Old Town Square so you can imagine how crowded it gets. So, yes we suffered the hordes, but made fast work of it, got the pictures we wanted and dodged our exit way via small side streets and found almost empty walks, with shops, and bars and restaurants dotted throughout the area.
We took the hour long train into Pilsen, non crowded and beautiful.
Recommended Places To See
They're lot of things to see that don't require swimming in a sea of people. You will find hidden gems all over, a Statue here, Kampa Island over there, large naked babies with bar code readers over there. I know, crazy right? but it's all here, you just need to get off the beaten path and or take a different bridge.
Our favorite was the Legion Bridge with what we think had better views of the river and Prague Castle (especially at night). Then there's the Dancing House which for $100 Czech ($4.00 usd) you get a soda, Juice or sparkling water and then access the roof top for pictures from above, well worth it if you ask me.
Lucerna Palace, the lobby where you will see a Statue of King Wenceslas riding an upside-down dead horse on the dome ceiling. Then take one of the famous continuously moving elevators ( called Paternoster Lifts) to the RoofTop Bar and watch a sunset high above the city.
The Food and Drink
The food and drinks here are wonderful and very cheap! Beer, like $2.00 usd, we found that lunch and dinner is way too much food and decided that it was best for us to share. An appetizer each and a shared meal with cocktails was still way too filling.
The Gin & Tonic Club, the most amazing gin and tonics we've ever had, I so wish I could find those awesome flavored tonics here in the US. The three bartenders were so much fun to chat with!
Photos of drink menus are not allowed. LOL
Some of the places we dined at and all were wonderful: Next Door By Imperial, Restaurace Sklep, Fantastic Burgers and Pulled Pork fries at Cafe Palanda, one that became a favorite was at U Kroka. One night we did italian at La Corte. As I mentioned, portions at all of the restaurants that we dined at in in Prague are HUGE.
While in Pilsen, we had lunch at Blondies Burgers, they offer 3 sizes of burgers, we opted for the small and I personally could only finish half....cannot imagine the size of a large. There homemade baked potatoes are a must to order
Of course while in Prague, Beer! We spent quite a few nights visiting Gulden Draak Bierhuis, Patrick the server, was fantastic, loved how each beer had a glass and coaster with the name of the brew on it.
We stopped by at a newer brewery, DVA Kohouti, very good craft beer.
While in Pilsen, we enjoyed a few brews at Pivstro Beer Bistro.
Please be sure to get enough czech crowns prior to leaving the states or at the reputable ATM's for tipping.
Tipping in czech crowns is prefered and appreciated.......very important and one of the best tips I can give you.
However, do check your bill as some restaurants will automatically add it.
Six Pages of photos here: Photos