Prague – Czech it out!
Cobbled streets lined with picturesque pastel-coloured buildings, gourmet standard goulash washed down with lashings of local lager and a rich history waiting to be explored – there’s little not to love about the Czech Republic’s capital city, Prague.
Not my traditional go-to holiday: as I normally go for sun, sea, sand… But I decided that Prague would the perfect city-break celebration for my 32nd birthday following a work trip back in January.
Although I dreamed of a jet setting day job, travel and destination PR turned out to be more desk based than I expected. But when given the opportunity to attend a client sales meeting in the city, it offered such a great chance to spread my wings – even if just for an overnight adventure.
Arriving, back then, to a waiting car was certainly more luxury than I’m accustomed to, but one I certainly welcomed. Then on to a meal with the client and a drink of the local tipple… or two, three, four perhaps?
The following day, with meetings over, allowed for a short time to explore the city. The January evening was cool but clear and wandering the city streets I fell in love with its quaint café culture. Plus, the smatterings of art, antiques and fancy boutiques, left this Oldham lad in awe.
Returning this June was a welcome respite from the busy day-to-day. We stayed in a small, modern boutique hotel that was described as ‘suitable mainly for young adventurers’ – I assumed at the ripe old age of 31 (at least on arrival) I could still count myself as one.
The weather hovered in the high 20s, which left shorts the only suitable daytime attire – and who doesn’t love themselves some short-shorts?
Sun creamed up, Lonely Planet guide to hand and backpack at the ready we made the most of the few days we had with visits to many, if not all, of the must-sees, including:
- The Old Town offers a more traditional side of town with shops, souvenirs and a mix of eateries to suit most budgets
- Strolls along the Vltava River are great at any time of day or night. Locals, of an evening, sit on the water’s edge with drinks and snacks, making the most of the warm summer nights
- Charles Bridge is a historic and particularly decadent bridge that crosses the river. Here you’ll find artist and caricaturists at the ready to capture your likeness, or you can pick up paintings of Prague’s local landmarks alongside hand-crafted jewellery and knick-knacks
- A venture up to Prague Castle is well worth it, despite the endless stairs/steps you have to climb. Especially for the views over the city
But lastly, a word of warning. You may be accosted at some point during your visit, as we unfortunately were, by locals trying to lure you in to a Thai massage parlour…
Despite the promises of one particularly portly man, who guaranteed a “happy ending”, I’d recommend caution and a sudden case of hearing loss to avoid them – unless you’re that way inclined?
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