3 Days in Prague
Last month I had a few days between work trips, and already being in Europe decided to stop for 3 days in Prague for a solo trip. I spent some time researching and put together an itinerary that would hopefully allow me to see and do as much as possible. So lets see how that worked out! Hint: It worked out really well, until my unplanned encounter with the police.
Because I had left Barcelona at 8:30 on Day 1 and didn’t land in Prague until close to 1pm, this is more like 2.5 days in Prague, or even 2.33 days in Prague. But that sounds kind of weird for a title, so lets stick with 3.
I mentioned in the previous post on how I planned the trip that I had a few goals for this trip:
- Experience the food and drinks of Prague
- Get outside of the city into the countryside “real world”
- See any awesome tourist attractions and important historical locations
- Interact with locals
I not only accomplished all of my goals, but had a great (albeit tiring) time in the process. This is how it went.
Day 1: Beer & Swedes
I had planned on landing at 12:30, quickly grabbing a cab, checking into the hotel, and then meeting up for a walking tour at 2pm followed by a breweries tour.
None of these things turned out to be possible because of things that were not my fault (delays and traffic) and things that were totally my fault (not attempting to book the beer tour until the day before). Which I have advised against doing in previous posts. Do as I say, not as I do.
My schedule was shot, but after doing some shuffling around, I managed to still fit everything in AND take a nap. #winning.
I checked into the Sheraton Prague Charles Square Hotel and was lucky enough to get upgraded to a suite. I really enjoyed the hotel itself and thought it was much better than most Sheratons in the US. The location was not the most central, but certainly walkable to the main areas and very close to public transit.
The bed was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept it. I should call and ask where they get their mattresses from and if they ship to the US. I would definitely recommend staying here just for the bed.
After my afternoon nap, I called an Uber and headed over to the Beer Master’s bar for a Czech beer tasting. When I showed up, there were 15 guys and 1 girl at the table, all from Sweden. Two other Americans showed up a bit later as well. This was good for the Swedes because they seemed fascinated by Americans and now there were more of us to go around.
We tasted 7 different Czech beers (by tasted I mean we had 7 glasses of beer), learned a lot about beer culture (they drink a lot, they’re proud of it), and overall it was a lot fun. And no one hesitated to blame the Americans for ruining Budweiser, which I am still feeling shame over.
I hit it off with the Americans and one of the groups of Swedes, and we headed out to eat and continue drinking. This turned into a hilarious game of Kings Cup, which the other Americans wanted to propagate to Europe, and a memorable night. Well, somewhat memorable. There was a lot of beer.
Amanda and I talk about the benefits of traveling alone, and this one was one of those great times. I had no plans at all for the evening and just let the night unfold, which it did, spectacularly.
On the way home, I wandered by the Old Town Square and saw a light show that was being projected onto one of the buildings, which was really cool.
Day 2: Sightseeing and Food Tour
Since I had not accomplished anything on day 1 other than napping, drinking beer, and playing American drinking games with Europeans, there was a lot to pack in on day 2.
I started out by taking the tram up to Prague Castle. You have to buy tram tickets at… I don’t know, cigar shops or metro stations or something, and I didn’t know where any of those were, so I illegally rode the tram for free. I’m so sorry Prague, but you made me do it.
The Prague Castle is not really a castle but a complex of buildings. There are some interesting places to visit, and some beautiful architecture. On the down side, it was very crowded which surprised given that it was mid-October.
After the Prague Castle, I made my way over to the Charles Bridge, which is the other big tourist attraction. This one was hard to enjoy once again because of the crowds, but you can tell it’s pretty cool. I was told by multiple locals to go very early in the morning or late at night to enjoy it. Next time!
I grabbed a hot dog on the street for lunch and walked over to Old Town square to meet up with the Prague Free Walking Tour. Old town square was also crowded, but once the tour got a little ways out of the main drag, it was a lot more enjoyable.
Prague has a lot of interesting history, architecture, and culture, and had a lot of crazy medieval stuff going on.
The tour was about 2.5 hours and covered a decent amount of ground. We learned a lot about the Czech role in European history.
Right after the tour I walked over to the meeting point for the Taste of Prague tour. This wound up being my favorite part of the trip. We walked and tram’d all over the city eating, drinking, and learning about the food history and modern food culture of the Czech Republic. The group was small, 5 Americans, so we had plenty of interaction time with our host. And of course, the food, beer, and wine was outstanding. Stay tuned for a separate post on this adventure.
The tour ended with desserts and wine, and by that time it was 10pm and I was insanely full, so I walked back to the hotel.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend packing this much into a day, (it was exhausting) but it’s certainly doable if you’re short on time.
Day 3: Cesky Kromlov Day Tour
On the third day, I booked a day trip to Ceszy Krumlov through Viator.
Cesky Krumlov (Pronounced Chesky Krumlov) is a small preserved Medieval city with a giant castle. It’s about 2 hours outside of Prague and quite picturesque.
One of the reasons I wanted to get outside of Prague was to see what the countryside looked like. It actually doesn’t look much different than the midwestern US, so that was kind of disappointing.
The trip was nice, aside from an incident with the Czech Police where I was stopped and forced to pay a (bullshit) fine! I had been warned before I arrived that the Czech police were corrupt but figured there was no reason I would have any interaction with them. Not so! As it turns out, they target tourists.
Stay tuned for a separate post on this whole experience as well.
Even though this was a short trip, I really got a feel for Prague and had a great time drinking, eating, and learning about horrifying medieval torture. It was also a great place for a solo trip, with as much social interaction as you could want.