prague

Prague has many places for the well-known brands and the retailers that everyone knows – if you want a little taste of home. Myslbek Shopping Gallery, the Palladium Shopping Centre and Wenceslas Square houses the high-street names such as Marks & Spencers, H&M, Next, Body Shop, Debenhams and so on. And some of these malls and larger shopping centres are open as late 10pm.

For the more traditional and quirkier items such as hand painted plates, bespoke wooden puppets and marionettes, Russian dolls, Czech porcelain and glass and other beautiful curios you can find these in the back streets and passages in the Lesser Town and the Old Town and on craft market stalls dotted throughout. Bric a Brac, tucked behind Tyn Church is particularly great for these kind of items.

Eating out

If you’re willing to really delve into your wallet for food in Prague then by all means do, but on the whole there is no need. Food and drink in restaurants and cafes in the city is extremely well priced and if you order a set course menu you can shave off even more money. Don’t be deterred by how cheap meals may be; 99.9 per cent of the time this definitely won’t be a reflection of the quality of the food or the cooking.

Czech cuisine is similar to that of anywhere else in Eastern Europe; a lot of meat, vegetables, potatoes and quite often dumplings. If this is too heavy for a lunch time snack there are plenty of cafes that provide sandwiches and soups. FX cafe and Au Gourmand are ideal for this as they offer a selection of falafels, meat-free meals, salads, pasta dishes and cakes. For wow-factor dining it’s worth checking out U Maliru, Kampa Park and Bellevue – all with menus of exquisite dishes, beautiful interiors and quality wines.

Nightlife

Prague, similarly to places like Krakow and Amsterdam, is infamous for it’s stag-do culture, its adult entertainment and its strip bars and clubs – such as Goldfingers, Captain Nemo and Desire Cabaret. If you’re looking for a lively, party atmosphere with a bit of mischief you’re sure to find it. Although, in terms of choice and variety, Prague may not have reached the calibre of London, Paris or even Krakow it’s certainly nipping at their heels, but it also means there aren’t the huge queues and overpriced drink menus of the more established party cities.

If a titillating weekend isn’t what you want head to the laid back and trendy – yet sophisticated – pubs and cocktail bars; Tretters, Buggsys, Novomestsky Pivovar and Sherlocks Praha, to name but a few, are quirky venues with an impressive selection of drinks and a more bohemian atmosphere.

Things to do

Watch the clock

The Old Town of Prague is the location of the famous Astronomical clock  that’s mounted on the Old Town City Hall. Every hour on the hour, performs it’s quirky ritual in which wooden Apostles pop out through a set of doors and different medieval figures move underneath. This clock has been a part of Prague’s culture since 1410.

Sight-see in the Old Town

The heart of Prague, thrown together across many centuries since the 14th Century, is rich in history, character and beauty with its original and restored architecture, cobbled square. It’s a charming place to wander around, take photos and stop off for a bite to eat. Surrounded by shops, stunning churches and other historical buildings such as the Carolinum, the Estates Theatre, the Municipal House.

Try Czech beer

The Czechs are very proud of their locally produced beers and they’ve been drinking it for  centuries. The farming conditions are ideal in the Czech Republic for growing hops; and these hops became a national treasure.

Prague is home to numerous bars and pubs that pursue the practice of making and supplying a vast choice of lovingly selected array of delicious pint sized beverages.

Visiting Czech Beer Tasting in the Old Town is a perfect opportunity to sample these fine examples of Czech brews. The Beer Master leads the session and explains the process, the ingredients and the history behind the drink as well as obviously allowing you to have a taste of the full range in one stint.

Alternative to the Czech Beer Tasting, similar tours take place at Pilsner Urquell Winter Tour – or their Summer one, and Prague Brewery Tour.