They say nothing broadens the mind and helps refresh creativity like diving into a different culture. I recently spent a few days in Prague, and I have to say, it’s done the job. With gorgeous architecture, rich history and some wonderful art, a few days spent in this beautiful city is highly recommended.
Flight of fancy
Ok, not so fancy – Jet2, actually. But with flights to Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport taking a mere 2 hours from Leeds Bradford Airport, and beginning from just £49 one way, I’m totally willing to give First Class a miss.
Sunday evening flights in summer can give you some wonderful views of the sunset.
Where to stay
The metro system in Prague is good, but I always think being able to walk everywhere lets you absorb so much more of a place. I’d recommend staying in the Old Town, not too far from the River.
Glorious sunshine and a clear, crisp river. Heaven.
Air BnB is a standard go-to for a slice of home away from home, but if you’re travelling solo and want to meet some new people, a hostel is always a great call. The Mad House hostel is renowned for its welcoming atmosphere. With a great location and friendly staff, they organise regular hostel outings to help you get your bearings and sample some of the cheap beer Prague is well-known for.
A sense of history
If you only have a few days in Prague and want to fit in all the sights and sounds you can, I’d thoroughly recommend a free walking tour of the city. There’s so much that could be easily missed, and without a sense of history behind what I’m looking at, I can easily be bored. Pick one up from the Old Town Square and you won’t be disappointed – we took in everything from Charles Bridge to the Czech Consulate, and our tour guide even gave us some tips for where to find delicious traditional food.
Just one of the picturesque stops on the walking tour. Straight out of a Wes Anderson set!
A stop I particularly enjoyed was the Prague Metronome and surrounding parks. Symbolising the remembrance of Prague’s troubled past and their vision towards the future, this landmark is visible throughout much of the city. A gentle stroll around the sun-filled grounds is a relaxing way to spend an hour or two, and many locals take picnics to enjoy or congregate at the on-site beer garden.
A symbolic reminder of Prague’s past and future.
Prague is renowned for it’s abundance of affordable yet delicious beer. One of my favourite places to sample such delights was the Strahov Monastery. In lush, calm surroundings and with breathtaking views of the city below, the resident monks here brew five types of beer for you to enjoy. These can’t be found anywhere else in the world so are a real treat.
The Strahov Monastery brewery – how else would monks fill their time?
Whilst you’re at the monastery, be sure to head down the road to Prague Castle where more intricate architecture and history awaits within its grounds. Buildings have stunning detail hand-carved into their plaster, and everything from the manhole covers on the ground to the mosaics adorning the church walls are just beautiful. Even Nasa has had a hand in its preservation, developing and applying a protective sealant to the church’s mosaic!
Beautiful architectural details are everywhere.
If you’re an arty type, you simply can’t visit Prague without heading to see Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic at the National Gallery. Known also for his Absinthe poster artwork, Mucha’s set of twenty large-scale canvases are incredibly intricate, and it took him 20 years to finish the set. You can read more about them here.
Mucha’s Slav Epics are, well… epic!
As well as being home to the Slav Epic, the National Gallery also plays host to world-renowned, modern day artists. I managed to catch Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads during my trip, displayed prominently outside the gallery.
One of Ai WeiWei’s Zodiac Heads
So, despite being most famous for its cheap beer and noisy stag dos, Prague is indeed a wonderful place to spend a few days. It’s particularly purse friendly for those of us on a tight budget, too. If history, architecture and art are your thing, I can’t recommend it highly enough.