A weekend in Prague

Prague is a beautiful city and packed with things to do. I visited last July and had so much fun exploring (and eating!) my way around the city. Below is my Prague ‘top 5’- must sees and eats for a weekend exploring Prague.

Prague Old Town Square at night

Prague Old Town Square at night

I’ve added my itinerary to my travel itineraries page for more information, where you can download the pdf.

We stayed in the Mandarin Oriental, which is in Malá Strana, and walking distance to just about everything. Such a beautiful hotel (also occupied by Shia Labeouf while we were there!). It’s built on the site of a 14th century monastery- they offer tours of the hotel to show you all the original features, although we unfortunately weren’t able to fit this around our sightseeing schedule.

Prague top 5

1. The views from St. Vitus’ Cathedral

Head to Prague Castle and St. Vitus’ Cathedral on your first morning in Prague and orientate yourself with a look across the city from the top of the cathedral.

Originally founded in 920, the current structure dates from 1344 and features a beautiful mosaic of the same period depicting the Last Judgement on the south portal.

The beautiful 14th century Last Judgement mosaic on the South portal of St. Vitus' Cathedral, Prague

The beautiful 14th century Last Judgement mosaic on the South portal of St. Vitus’ Cathedral, Prague

Inside is a beautifully fine soaring Gothic nave. You can walk the winding steps (Lonely Planet informs me there are 297) to the top of the South tower. It’s well worth the effort, especially on a clear, sunny day.

The Gothic nave of St. Vitus' Cathedral, Prague Castle complex

The Gothic nave of St. Vitus’ Cathedral, Prague Castle complex

When you leave the Cathedral make sure you check out the rest of Prague Castle, which has some real gems, including the Vladislav Hall in the Old Royal Palace, a cavernous vaulted room of epic proportions, as well as…

Vladislav Hall, Old Royal Palace, Prague Castle

Vladislav Hall, Old Royal Palace, Prague Castle

2. A concert in St. George’s Basilica

This was my absolute favourite place in Prague. Ignore the Baroque façade (I’m not a baroque fan…so I guess Prague was a strange destination choice), inside is an exquisite Romanesque church. Beautifully proportioned and elegant in its simplicity, it’s a wonderful place to just sit and look.

The nave of the 12th century Romanesque St. George's Basilica, Prague

The nave of the 12th century Romanesque St. George’s Basilica, Prague

Pay close attention to the remnants of frescoes from various periods of the church’s history.

Frescoes in St. George's Basilica, Prague

Frescoes in St. George’s Basilica, Prague

There are often tickets for sale outside for concerts in the evening, which I fully recommend as an experience. Plus it gives you more time to stare at the beautiful, thousand year old architecture while your loved ones are entertained by some music.

Nave of St. George's Basilica, Prague

Nave of the 12th century St. George’s Basilica, Prague

3. Good honest Czech food

Not the type of food I can eat for many days in a row, so it’s a good job it was only a weekend break, but what better than fully indulging in some rich Czech food? I had some absolutely fantastic meals including delicious and tender duck in the rather dramatically decorated U Modre Kachnicky II.

Malostranska Beseda was also excellent and is probably on your way up and down to the castle complex, so stop for lunch after a long morning of looking around the castle and cathedral. They do a great beef tartare (they bring you toast with garlic bulbs to rub on it…amazing), the goulash and pork knuckle are also winners.

Pork escalope and a lager for lunch at Malostranska Beseda

Pork escalope and a lager for lunch at Malostranska Beseda

4. Not Czech food

I was violently opposed to eating here because my usual travel rule is to only eat the local cuisine. But then I realised it was a ridiculous rule because I was missing out on great restaurants which were very much ‘local’ even if they weren’t ‘authentic’ cuisine.

Softshell crab and beer at Sansho, Prague

Softshell crab and beer at Sansho

Sansho is an Asian restaurant using local meat and produce. The dinner tasting menu is not only great value, but also one of the best meals I’ve had. There’s mountains of food, so bring your appetite.

The pork belly with watermelon (yes, it goes), is out of this world, so is the softshell crab burger. Try to get a table outside if the weather is nice and take your time working through the delicious courses.

Delectable pork belly and watermelon at Sansho, Prague

Delectable pork belly and watermelon at Sansho, Prague

5. Museum Kampa

Change it up after baroque upon baroque sights and visit the City’s modern art gallery. There are some great views out across the river and some fascinating installations.

Prague across the river from the Kampa Museum

Prague across the river from the Kampa Museum

The gallery focuses on Central European and especially Czech art, so you’re likely to see something you haven’t before.

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