Prague had been on my to-visit list for a long time so this year, having booked the babysitters months in advance, myself and my husband decided to celebrate our joint October birthdays in the Czech capital. We arrived Friday mid-afternoon to a warm, clear-blue skied sunny Prague. I was expecting cooler temperatures so it was a pleasant surprise when temperatures reached 23 degrees over the weekend.
We stayed at the Grandior Hotel Prague which is a little way out of the main centre but only an eight-minute walk to the Old Town square, with a tram stop right outside the door. The hotel was big, modern and the staff were very helpful and friendly. We were given a complimentary upgrade to a suite on arrival and the room was plenty big for the two of us with a large bathroom, spacious bedroom and separate living area.
Dinner on Friday night was at Georges Prime Steak, located in the Old Town. I would highly recommend it. From the warm welcome from the hostess on arrival through demonstrating the cuts of beef, the service was excellent and the food was delicious. It is pricey but definitely worth it if you are splurging. The sommelier is worth a mention too, having worked in Ireland for a few years he was so friendly and spent quite some time chatting to us. He recommended most beautiful red wine I have ever tasted. In case you’re wondering, it was the Mettler 2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon.
After dinner, we took a stroll through the Old Town square where the Signal Light festival was taking place. The international festival of light takes places in the historic areas of Prague over four nights every October. There were outdoor lighting installations and video-mapping exhibits where artists showcased their work. Then it was back to the hotel for strawberry mojitos before bed.
On Saturday we had breakfast at the hotel, an impressive buffet with a selection of hot and cold foods including meats, cheeses, pastries, omelettes as well as the usual fry foods. You could even grab a glass of prosecco if you fancied it. There was a pianist entertaining the breakfast crowd which was a nice touch. After breakfast, with nothing in particular planned, we headed out for a stroll to explore the city.
Prague is a walking city, boasting breath-taking views, interesting architecture and amazing art. It is the perfect escape for couples, where simply walking hand-in-hand around the cobblestoned streets is romantic. The simple pleasures of time alone sans kids. We wandered around taking in the sights in the balmy sun and enjoying the friendly atmosphere of the busy colourful streets.
We arrived in the crowded Old Town square before midday, just in time to see the famous Astronomical clock ring. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world.
After that, we made our way to the Charles Bridge, a historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river. We took our time crossing the bridge to marvel at the beautiful views from every angle and continued on to Prague Castle.
There is a bit of a climb to the castle grounds but it is definitely worth it as the view of the city from above is spectacular. We had lunch overlooking the city at the Cafe Salmovsky Palac and enjoyed the sunshine and views. After a tour around the castle, we took a stroll through the rose gardens, immaculately maintained bursting with autumnal colours.
Then it was time to make our way back to the hotel via the Old Town square and the little market stalls selling honey and hot wine and buchty.
We had a short rest at the hotel before making our way to meet our group for the Bohemian Alternative Bar Tour of Prague. This was an experience I’ll never forget. If you like craft beers, organic ciders and enjoy being away from the busy crowded overpriced bars in Prague then this is the tour for you. Our highly entertaining tour guide, Darragh, took us to see the real Prague on a six-hour experience across town.
On our first stop, we drank beers in true bohemian spirit alongside artists, poets and musicians in a very laid back cosy bar. There was a secret bookcase door leading to a room at the back of the bar which led to another secret room you accessed through a wardrobe into a room called Narnia.
Our group was a mix from Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands and over the course of the night, we got to know each other whilst drinking in four bars with interesting quirks and very friendly staff and locals. We finished the night at a Steam Punk nightclub with a shot of absinthe. Everything is included in the price of the tour including tram tickets, all drinks, food and taxi home. Which is very reasonably priced at €55 per person.
If you’re looking for something different to do in Prague I would highly recommend the tour.
I absolutely loved Prague and really want to visit again someday. It is the perfect city if you are looking for a short couples break or a fun weekend with friends.