Bohemian streets and delicious treats… The picturesque city of Prague makes the perfect destination for a weekend break in Europe
In 2019, the capital of the Czech Republic celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, which marked the end of communist control of the country. It's definitely time for a visit.
The streets of Prague resonate with history, but its a magical place to visit for other reasons too, winter or summer. Hit the ground running – just don’t wear heels, as the cobblestones are epic.
Day 1: What to do
We recommend you stay in the Malá Strana district but, if you don’t, head for Malostranská station on the efficient metro system. It’s a hop from the vast, elevated Prague Castle complex encompassing the largest medieval castle in Europe, St Vitus Cathedral, museums, art galleries and the 15th-century Golden Lane with its torture chamber, crossbow range – do have a go! – and armoury, all housed in goldsmiths’ tiny dwellings.
You could spend a week here, so pick and choose. Buy a Prague Card (from 1150 CZK) for access to more than 50 attractions citywide and free public transport. Back down the hill is another landmark – the Charles Bridge (Karlův most), lined by over 30 statues and sentried by towering Gothic gates.
Where to eat
For lunch, head to the terrace of Terasa U Zlaté studně below the castle, for delicious European fare and spectacular views. For traditional treats, Lokál U Bílé Kuželky, near Charles Bridge, brews its own beer. Try pickled knackwurst for the perfect accompaniment.
For dinner head across the river and make for the Old Town Square, which dates back to the 12th century, and its astronomical clock. Don’t be distracted by the nearby (and rather incongruous) Sex Machines Museum – it’s eye-popping, but the cafés lining the square are your destination. Try warming dle denní nabídky (goulash soup served in a bread bowl) or vepřové koleno (slow-roasted pork knuckle).
What to do at night
Nestled a stone’s throw from the Charles Bridge is the John Lennon Pub, which offers great beer, music and memorabilia. Afterwards, nip to the nearby Lennon graffiti wall for photo opportunities.
Day 2: What to do
Head east of the Old Town for the Museum of Communism, with exhibits that show the stark realities of the brutal Soviet-backed regime. A short walk south takes you to Prague’s New Town and the city’s second most important square, Wenceslas Square. Despite its name, it’s actually long and thin. It’s home to the National Museum as well as being a major shopping destination.
Another ten-minute jaunt back to the river takes you to the Dancing House, which is made up of curvaceous adjoining towers designed by architect Frank Gehry and houses a museum and a rooftop bar and restaurant. On the way, duck into the nearby Cat Café for coffee, biscuits and soothing feline company. Head back up river and cross the next bridge (Most Legií) to stroll through romantic Kampa Park, with its giant crawling babies sculptures and modern art museum.
Where to eat
For breakfast, grab a trdelník from a kiosk – a pastry topped with sugar, wrapped around a rod and roasted over an open flame, it’s a filling snack on the hoof.
At lunch, enjoy a smažený sýr al fresco, a deep-fried cheese wonder, also sold by street vendors.
Where to drink
Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge is situated on top of the Hilton Prague. The food and cocktails are stylish and delicious and, the later the day gets, the pinker and glitzier the venue becomes – stratospheric fabulousness.
Save 10% when you visit Prague with Barrhead
Enjoy three nights’ bed and breakfast at the Icon Hotel, ideally located in Prague’s historic city centre, plus return flights from only £319pp. Find out more on the Barrhead website.