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So first up, there’s a reason Prague is so popular. It’s beautiful. Utterly stunning. However, being so popular means it’s busy and touristy and a bit of a pain in the backside at times. We spent the beginning of our trip treading the tourist trail and it was gorgeous but it was kind of nice to get it over and done with so we could skirt around the edges a little more. You definitely get way more value for money the further from the tourist hub your go.
David Cerny is really the sculpture about town. From the upside down horse in a shopping centre, off of Wenceslas Square, to the babies climbing up the telecom tower, his work is seen throughout the city and I, for one love it.
Food & Drink
In the heart of the tourist area, we ventured into an ‘authentic’ (read touristy) looking restaurant and proceeded to order a sausage sandwich. This is what we got.
As horrifying and phallic as it looked, it was actually incredibly tasty.
The icing on the cake, and partly why I wanted to come to Prague in the first place is Vietnamese food. Due to an exchange program during the communist era, Prague has the most Vietnamese restaurants outside of Vietnam. And Vietnamese is my favourite. We never made it to the area that had the most places, but it was cool that it was so easy to find. They even had a place which was like fast food Vietnamese and it was pretty good too. We were rather gutted to find that once our little neighbourhood re-opened after the public holiday weekend, just as we were leaving, there was a funky little cafe round the corner which did coffee, cake and Vietnamese food.
All in all, I think alongside it being a stunning city, the best thing about it was the food. I think unless you’re in tourist central, the food is generally high quality and there’s a good variety. We had a decent Ramen (the holy grail in any city) at Kitchen Ramen bar and an Asian fusion meal (I usually hate fusion) at Asian Temple that was amazing – soft shell crab bao divinity. We also went to Restaurant Ungelt, that had a 7-course Asparagus based tasting menu. I love asparagus. I love tasting menus. This was a happy day for me.
I am drawn to communism imagery and I also realise my confusion about the when and where as it kind of gets brushed under the carpet in the western world. There’s a communism museum which is tricky to find as it’s upstairs over a MacDonalds and while it isn’t massive, is well worth the visit. Lots of info and so many ‘treasures’. I think every Lenin statue or bust they had that they didn’t know what to do with, ended up here.
John Lennon wall
It’s a bit weird and touristy and even a bit pointless, but there’s no getting away that it makes a great photo backdrop.
The Sedlec Ossuary chapel requires getting a train out to its little town and then walking for a while, passing a strong smelling tobacco factory. It was worth the hassle for me as I’d always wanted to see a bone chapel. It was done respectfully and the whole grounds are undergoing an archaeological dig, funded by the cost of entry to the chapel.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love a retro metro and this is probably the best. The super high, slightly wonky escalators were an interesting take though. I’d heard the ticket inspectors are harsh here so we were very careful to always have a ticket.
We also got a train out of the city to see the bone chapel (see above) and it was an old train and quite a basic system, but it all ran well (better than most trains in and out of London that’s for sure).
I wasn’t sure at first but by the time we left I fell we got the measure of Prague and I’d happily return for an extended trip, ideally staying out in one of the neighbourhoods. We actually made a rookie mistake and had gone over a bank holiday weekend, which is great for getting that extra day off work but in much of Europe that means that lots of things are shut down. When lots of things started to re-open the day we left, we realised we had great places on our doorstep that had been locked up for the duration.