Prague is like no other city. Before I started traveling, the Czech Republic was not even on my list of places to immediately see. I hadn’t heard much about Prague and was hoping to visit more famous cities like Tokyo and Paris. At the time, my boyfriend was writing a novel set in Prague and needed to do some real life research. So we booked the flight that brought us to the type of city that lingers with you long after you’ve returned home.
We stayed in Nové Město, which is Czech for New Town. While it’s the youngest of the towns that make up Prague’s historic center, there’s plenty of history around should you stay there. Check out Wenceslas Square, the National Museum and Theater and definitely U Fleků beer hall.
The Clydesdale horses and Labrador puppy version of Budweiser known to most of the world is not actually the original Budweiser. That title belongs to the beer known, or barely known, as Czechvar in the US and Budvar for most other countries…and it’s leaps and bounds beyond what American Budweiser makes. Though my favorite beer of the trip was Pilsner Urquell; another original, it created the beer style of pilsners. Yeah, I really got into beer during this trip, or at least, I jacuzzi-ed in some of the ingredients that make beer?
Enter Spa Beerland – proving that almost everything already exists in some spa related form. Before you start worrying LunaGemme.com is turning into a beer blog, this was basically a “…is that a beer…spa? I have no idea what that is but I’m doing it” occasion. An hour in a private room with a jacuzzi bubbling with a mixture of malt, hops and brewer’s yeast (supposedly helpful for hair, skin and joints but my insurance doesn’t cover it so moving on) and unlimited beer on tap. Why the hell not? 10/10 recommend.
Discovering the cuisine of a place is just as much a part of travel as visiting the sites. From farmer’s markets with obscure ingredients to the only Afghan restaurant in a city, the food a new place offers is an adventure. Prague is an intersection of so many cultures, which always yields a foodie’s paradise. I can’t praise the restaurants pictured above enough.
Kavárna Slavia was my go to breakfast spot, with it’s wide picture windows letting in the lazy morning light. I tried the Czech version of pancakes there, palačinky, which is pancakes topped with a warm forest berry sauce and powdered sugar – I’ve been craving it ever since. For dinner I became a regular at Kabul Restaurant. It’s decorated so thoughtfully, the atmosphere is warm and comfortable, plus the wait staff is so friendly you’ll want them to join your meal. They serve the type of delicious food that can either begin or end your night perfectly (Find my full review of this foodie Gemme). Looking for a vegan meal will lead you to Gopál – an exclusively vegetarian restaurant. Located in a quiet courtyard with mint and pepper flourishing all around, they serve what is comfort food to me – mountainous portions of Indian food.
One of the cities I genuinely miss, Prague has so much to offer while not overwhelming you by bursting at the seems with hyperstimulation at every corner. Because sometimes you want to spontaneously try out a beer spa and other times you just want to walk off dinner by the quiet, dimly lit Vltava River.
“Prague never lets you go… this dear little mother has sharp claws.” –Franz Kafka