Thursday's Child: Destination Prague

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Recently I’ve had a few people ask me for advice on upcoming trips.  They’ve been looking for more practical information than I usually give – where to stay, where to eat, and some of the highlights of a particular location.  I’ve decided to add an occasional feature to my Thursday posts, where I’ll share some of that information.  Keep in mind that I’m only reporting on what one family has seen, and you’re always best to consult a guide book for a complete list of highlights.  Also, hotels and restaurants may change over time, so a quick visit to tripadvisor.com should tell you if the establishment is still open and still operating at the level we experienced.

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Destination Prague

When we visited: August 2006

Why to go: 

It’s a wonderful, old European city that’s full of charm and romance.  The Charles Bridge is iconic.  This lovely bridge is lined with statues of the saints that are so eloquent, you feel that if they could speak, they would whisper the wisdom of the ages.
On Charles Bridge
What to see:

The focal point of Prague is the Charles Bridge.  It's busy during the day, and fills up in the evening with street performers.  But I loved it early in the morning, when it was still and silent, and we had it almost to ourselves.

Prague Castle is to the west side of the bridge, up a steep hill.  The castle complex is always crowded, but definitely worth seeing.  Golden Lane is a little street of 16th century homes built inside the castle walls, and Franz Kafka lived at one of them.   
Pinkas synagogue, in Josefov
On the east side of the bridge are Wenceslas Square and the Old Town.  We loved visiting the Jewish quarter (Josefov), Pinkas synagogue and the old Jewish cemetery -- very poignant and powerful.  The myth of the Golem originated here, and knowing that story added so much atmosphere to our walk.  

We also spent a lovely afternoon at Petrin Hill.  It was a fun walk there and back for the girls, and provided a beautiful view of the city and river.  
Church of St. Nicholas
Where to stay: 

We stayed at the charming hotel, The Golden Wheel.  Located in the quieter Mala Strana district, we were a short walk from the bridge that connected to the more bustling Old Town.  (However, if you’re not a walker, be aware that it was a steep uphill trek at the end of each day.)  Breakfasts were lovely, and our room had a sweet little loft for the girls to sleep in.

Where to eat:

Having kids, we don't always eat at fine dining establishments!  But we had three great dinners in Prague.  Our first night, we ate at Malteskych Vytiru (I'm missing about five accents, but it translates as "At Knights of Malta").  They serve Czech meals in a brick-lined cellar, and that's where we learned to pronounce our first few Czech words.  The second night we ate at Hergetova Cihelna.  It had a magnificent view of the Charles Bridge, and our hotel helped us make reservations that would coincide with sunset.  And probably the best meal we had was at Square, close to the Church of St. Nicholas.

32 comments:

Jess said...

As usual, your photos and descriptions are giving me travel envy :) This looks just lovely, and to walk on Charles Bridge in the early hours of the morning must feel divine (pun intended due to saint statues--hee, hee).

Joanne said...

The Charles Bridge is just beautiful. I have a feeling that during the early hour when you were there, in a sense, you could just sense those whispers.

MyKidsEatSquid said...

Prague has to be one of my favorite places in the world. I love all the vendors lining the bridge.

Sweet And Crumby said...

Such stunning photos. I want to be in those pictures, take your walks and eat the great sounding food Beth. You awlays make me feel like I am there on the trip with you and since I can't travel there right now, that is a good substitute.

FOODESSA said...

Every time I read one of your travel posts...I get the feeling one day you'll be venturing towards writing some type of travel book or novel maybe?

Prague is certainly one of the many places I'd love to visit. Thanks for sharing Beth.

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, now I want to go there! It looks and sounds wonderful. :-)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I like this part of your blog! travel advice is great! I do love to travel, but I've never been to places that are famous for urban stuff. I tend to go to places like Costa Rica. Australia whale shark diving is HIGH on my list of dreams.

Belinda said...

Oh, one of these places that I need to visit!!

Rita said...

That must have been a wonderful trup; so much history in that corner of the world; great pictures!
Rita

Emma said...

Beautiful city. I love reading about your travels!

Carol said...

Your descriptions and pictures makes me wish I was there. Beautiful!

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

Can I just say that there's nothing more beautiful than a European breakfast eaten outdoors? My heart practically explodes thinking about it.

Jen Chandler said...

Prague has been on my list of places to visit for years! I have this uncommon obsession with Eastern Europe though I have yet to go.

Thanks for this tour! I loved reading about your journey :D

Have a great weekend,
Jen

Claudia said...

Do you set your books in any of these cities? I came so close to going to Prague many years ago and it was nixed at the last minute. I've always wanted to wander that fair city. Now I want to even more.

Katerina said...

Many of my friends have visited Prague and they told me that is a beautiful city. It is on my cities to visit list. Thanks for the tips Beth!

Barbara Kloss said...

Beth! This destination has been at the top of my list for a few years. Thanks for making it more difficult to be patient ;)

Mary said...

Your travel entries just feed my sense of wanderlust :-). Prague is a very beautiful city and I hope to get back there. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Michelle Teacress said...

Hi Beth, there's an award for you on my blog. :)

Carol Riggs said...

I love the church and synagogue photos! What gorgeous buildings. And Czech food sounds really intriguing to try. Yum! I like trying diff ethnic/country's foods. :)

Lydia K said...

I really want to go someday! My parents went and had a wonderful time. The architecture is so lovely.

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

I have always wanted to visit Prague! My brother in law spent three weeks there last summer and I was insanely jealous! Love the pictures! :)

Chow and Chatter said...

on my list of places to see keep the travel posts coming love it

Valerie said...

Stunning photos!
A great post to read during a cold, rainy evening.

Sue said...

I travel vicariously through your blog:)

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, memories! We were there right before Christmas. We ate at the fabulous Christmas market in the square (not sure what type of sausages they were, but nom) and I brought home a cassette of very strange Czech Christmas carols that we still play sometimes.

Joanne said...

Great description of Prague and so much good information here! This is better than any travel guide.

Raina said...

What an amazing place to visit! I love that you are sharing information like this on all of your travels. When my husband I went to Paris years ago, we had no idea where to stay or to eat. So the hotel we ended up in was in a really seedy part of town. And we ate in a few places that were not so great (hard to believe in Paris). We had a great trip, but it would have been really hepful to have info like this:)

Kimberly said...

What beautiful photos, it sounds like a beautiful place to visit.

allieksmith said...

I love your blog! I like this new 'feature' about where to stay and where to eat, etc!! Very awesome!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I always hear about how wonderful the city of Prague is. I'd love to see where Franz Kafka lived just to touch history.

Monet said...

Smile. I'm certainly one of those people who has been blessed by your advice. I loved seeing these photographs...you make me want to visit Prague even more. I don't know if we'll make it this August, but we are planning on making it a trip as soon as we can. Thank you for sharing your memories with me! I hope you have a blessed Sunday

XingyMingy said...

I went to Prague last year, and I loved it too. Charles Bridge is beautiful, they had loads of street vendors there and it was so much fun to see what they were selling :)

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