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Czech Yourself, Don’t Wreck Yourself!


Historical capital of the Holy Roman Empire and Bohemia, Prague is a cobblestoned library of surrealist beauty and gothic splendour. Wherever you walk, you’ll be spied upon by stone gods and gargoyles, playful puppets and prophets, immortalised authors and angels. Behind the peeling walls of the old Communist facade lies a culture that’s rich in old and new art forms, Moravian music and Bavarian beer, the beautiful and the downright bizarre. This is why we love Prague. Czech it!

Gods and Gargoyles
Whereas in Paris you need to keep a firm eye on the ground in case you step in something, we recommend you look up at the skies in Prague. Medieval warrens and saints, puppets and prophets, Kafka and queens are just some of the statuesque figures you may see looming above. Thirty Baroque sculptures alone line the sides of the iconic Charles Bridge, one of which depicts the testicles of a lusty saint after he’s been castrated by a dog. Sexy stuff. We recommend visiting at dawn to enjoy the glorious sunrise, and maybe even treating yourself to a hot dog for breakfast. Mmm…

clock

When the Prague Astronomical Clock strikes the hour, bells ring, wooden saints pop out from trap doors, cocks crow and trumpeters trump – well worth a visit!

The Prague Astronomical Clock
Ticking since 1490, this is the third oldest clock in the world and almost as impressive as that calculator wristwatch you had at school. It may not be able to give you the square root of 243, but it can give you a masterclass in medieval morality, as well as show you the phases of the moon and Babylonian time (useful stuff). When the clock strikes the hour, bells ring, wooden saints pop out from trap doors, cocks crow and trumpeters trump. It’s the most clock-related fun you’ll have since Hammer Time.

Dead People
One of the most eerie cemeteries you will ever visit, the Old Jewish Cemetery is a tiny patch of tree-shaded ground that contains over 10,000 bodies all stacked on top of one another. The ancient sandstone and marble headstones are crammed in like bodies on a rush-hour tube, and they remain a stark reminder of the lack of space accorded to the ghetto in the 15th century.

Prague is known for it’s nightlife, and we recommend checking out the industrial suburb of Zirkov. With more than 300 bars in 2 square miles, it’s almost certainly the densest concentration of bars in Europe.

Nightlife
There’s nothing more interesting than learning the local dance moves when vising a new city. Housed in a 1950s nuclear bunker, Bunkr Parukářka is an underground club that’s buried deep in a hillside. DJs play avant-garde electro-pop mixed with industrial music, so you’re sure to see some interesting shapes being thrown around – but don’t worry, there are a couple of ventilation towers to avert the risk of meltdown. If you’re more of a bar person, we recommend the industrial suburb of Zirkov. With more than 300 bars in 2 square miles, it’s almost certainly the densest concentration of bars in Europe!

Petřín Hill
Arguably not as funny as Benny Hill but certainly more beautiful and more manageable in large doses, Petřín offers a stunning view of the Czech Republic’s capital. Pretend you’re a giant next to the miniature Eiffel Tower, feed the squirrels in the landscaped gardens or admire your devilish good looks in the mirror maze.

The view from the Petřín observational tower on Petřín hill

The view from the Petřín observational tower on Petřín hill.

Beer and Boar
We may have Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry, but the Czech Republic’s national treasure is its beer. You may be familiar with Kozel and Pilsen, but what you won’t be familiar with is paying less than a pound for a pint of Kozel and Pilsen. Everything tastes a lot better when it’s cheaper! For the strongest brew in the Czech Republic, visit U Medvidku Beer Hall and get yourself a pint of X-Beer 33 – don’t go crazy though, it’s 11.8%!

The pub grub is equally cheap and tasty. Traditional goulash dishes served with wild boar and dumplings are often less than the price of a Snickers Duo, and they’re a lot more palate-pleasing. They are quite heavy though, so we recommend some light exercise post-feast…

There you have it – a short guide to one of the prettiest places on the planet, and we didn’t even mention the tourist hotspots like Wenceslas Square and Prague Castle. There is so much to do in Prague, you’ll almost certainly want more time to see it all, no matter how long you end up staying. It’s a cobblestoned cultural paradise and the perfect destination for a Christmas treat! And with affordable deals like this one, you can rest assured your Czech won’t bounce. ZING!

Please note – deals featured may not be live. 

Wowcher Does Shezan, Knightsbridge


Tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge, Shezan is easy to miss with its unassuming exterior – but miss at your peril. Because inside I discovered a lavishly decorated restaurant where tasty food, friendly service and a warm ambience were all on the menu.

Traditional arches, Mughal artwork and a colour scheme that wouldn’t look out of place in a palace transform this Indian restaurant into something special (whilst making me even more desperate to devour the contents of the menu!) So with a glass of wine in hand and a desire to try something new, I pour over the extensive menu which features traditional Pakistani and Indian dishes with a twist. Read more

Wowcher Does a Vintage Photoshoot @ Belgravia Studios, Victoria

In search of a quirky new look, my friend and I ditched our usual work attire in favour of 1950s glamour and a whole load of scarlet lippie! On arrival at Belgravia Studios in Victoria, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect – would we suit our retro makeover? How would we take to life in front of the camera? Luckily we had no reason to worry, as we were greeted with a glass of bubbly on arrival (the best way to be greeted, in our opinion!) and introduced to our hair and makeup stylist for the day. We were given the opportunity to request a specific look or style, but we decided to let our stylists take creative control – a short while (and lashings of eyeliner) later, we were rocking a look Marilyn Monroe herself would have been proud of! With glossy red lips, smoky black eyes, victory rolls and curly locks, we were feeling fabulous and beginning to wish we’d been born fifty years before our time! Read more

Wowcher Presents…Presents!

It’s true, Christmas is coming, the geese are indeed getting fat and we hope you’ve found the time to put a penny in the old man’s hat. Nursery rhymes aside, it’s time to start thinking about the titanic task of buying all the necessary gifts for your nearest and dearest. Whilst some nice perfume might suffice for mum, a new watch for dad and a large bottle of whisky for your ‘fun’ uncle, it’s the kids who are hard to buy for. Playground trends move too fast that it can be difficult to know what’s good to buy for the little ‘uns without appearing behind the times or out of touch. Never fear mums and dads of the UK, you can put the Tamagotchi, Space Hopper and other out-of-date kids toys down right now, because Wowcher is here to present you with some great Christmas gifts for kids… Read more

Wowcher’s Guide to Picking the Perfect Perfume

We’ve all emerged from the perfume shop smelling like an explosion in, well – a perfume shop. Once you’ve spritzed three or four different types, it’s easy to get lost in a cloud of zest and musk and ultimately lose the ability to differentiate between them. Combined with bamboozling talk of base notes, top notes and eau de toilettes, you’re often left wondering how something as simple as scent can become so complicated. Another issue to consider is your perfume style. Just like taste in clothes or music, you’ll find that many people have a certain type of scent they prefer, be it fresh, floral fragrances or spicy, Oriental ones. So where to begin? Wowcher are here to get to the bottom of the jargon and assist you in your hunt for a signature scent… Read more

Wowcher’s Bite of Tokyo


The most densely populated city in the world, Tokyo is a fascinating mix of modern fads and old-fashioned tradition. The crowded cityscape swarms with both ornate shrines and slick skyscrapers, while entertainment ranges from gentle geishas to kitsch karaoke. Tokyo can be an intimidatingly tricky city to navigate, but a great – and appetising – way to tackle it is to sample its vast dining options. Whether you’re sinking your teeth into sashimi or sipping a steaming bowl of miso soup, you’ll soon see why the metropolis is so unique.

Chopsticks Challenge
Many a gaijin (foreigner) visiting Tokyo may not be accustomed to eating with two sticks of bamboo, which can be a dangerous territory for the slippery fingered. Probably the most famous cuisine to arise from Japan, sushi is traditionally finger food (think of it as a breadless sandwich) but is commonly eaten with chopsticks. Tokyoites can enjoy sushi in a number of settings, from takeaway bento boxes to eat-in kaiten-zushi restaurants, where dishes are whizzed around a conveyer belt for as long as they can be resisted. Those after a more upmarket sushi dining experience can head to Kyubey , where fresh ingredients and impeccable service make the restaurant one of the most popular in the Ginza district. Whether you master chopsticks or not, remember it is regarded as highly impolite to leave a grain of rice on your plate.

Delicious Fish
Not for the squeamish, faint-hearted or vegetarian, the Tsukiji fish market is the world’s largest seafood market. Freshly-caught fish from the tiniest of sardines to the hugest of tunas are meticulously weighed, cut, packed and sold, with live auctions kicking off at 5:30am and lulling by 9am. If you’re an early riser (or find yourself at the market in a confused state of jetlag), head down to catch the spectacle before indulging in a sushi breakfast from the market shops. Fish doesn’t get fresher than this!


Eating Eggs
Legend has it that eating kuro-tamago, a black egg from Owakudani (the Great Boiling Valley, just under an hour from Tokyo) will prolong your life by seven years. The eggs are bubbled in the stifling valley’s hot springs until they reach boiling point and turn black. If you don’t sample this local specialty, you should at least take the aerial gondola up the mountainside to see the volcanic action up close. Sulphur may fill your nostrils and steam might burn your face as it’s breathed upwards from the bubbling pools, but the views across the valley are unforgettable.

tokyoblog4
Tea Ceremonies
If you’ve tried a kuro-tamago in an attempt to delay death and would like to cleanse your palate of any lingering taste, then the best way to do so is to visit a traditional Japanese teahouse. Homely tea shops provide welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, but if you’re after more than just a cuppa, it’s worth taking a day trip to Kyoto on the bullet train. The ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto is a sublime paradise of gardens, secret temples and vivid shrines, where geishas are spotted shuffling under cherry blossom trees. Join a tea ceremony in a townhouse such as Nishijin Tondaya to experience the traditional ritual for yourself. You’ll be left feeling cleansed, revitalised and truly Zen.

To try Tokyo for yourself, check out our seven-night tour on Wow Go!

Please note – deals featured may not be live. 

A Little ‘Me’ Time For You!


Ah yes, the planned romantic gesture from your other half – rose petals, scented candles, some aromatic oils and Barry White lilting gently in the background. Then comes the most ham-fisted, bone-crunching, oafish and downright clumsy excuse for a massage you’ve ever, ever had. But simmer down, because there’s no need to plot your revenge just yet. We’ve devised a handy guide to the best places where you can really indulge in a little me-time and untie a few of those knots along the way. One of them could be the perfect way to make it up to you…  Read more

Wowcher’s Top 5: Christmas Markets in Europe

FRANKFURTXMASOnce your parents have stopped giving you stockings and slipping surprise chocolate coins in your lunchbox, the once blindingly bright lights of Christmas can seem decidedly dim. That’s why this year we’re swapping stale figgy pudding and even staler cracker jokes for a little continental magic, courtesy of Europe’s best Christmas markets.  Read more

Wowcher’s Guide To Dental Treatments


What do all A-listers have in common? Whether they’re heading to a snazzy film premiere or slapping a selfie on Instagram, they each have that deliciously inviting Hollywood smile: two rows of gleaming gnashers, all straight and shiny.

It’s hardly surprising then, that 32% of us mere mortals (that’s a whopping one third of the UK) feel ‘concerned by the look of their teeth’ – and why shouldn’t we?* Cosmetic dentistry has exploded during the last decade, as well as plenty of on-the-shelf teeth whitening kits, making it more affordable than ever to snatch up a pair of glistening pearly whites. So move over celebs, us girls are getting in on the action, and here’s what to pick from if you do:

Laser Teeth Whitening
Often touted as laser teeth whitening, this celeb led procedure doesn’t typically involve lasers, but is actually down to a nifty chemical compound called ‘hydrogen peroxide’. Once activated by strong light, the ingredient is broken down, which releases oxygen into the inner enamel to promote a whiter tooth appearance. Quick, easy and without the fiddly nature of home whitening kits, this ‘miracle treatment’ can have you in and out of the dentist’s chair in as little as 45 minutes! Lunch break treat? Oh, go on then…

‘Six Month Smiles’ Clear Braces
Sporting tooth-coloured wires for discreet wear, the ‘Six Month Smiles’ method uses clear braces to gently straighten and align your pearly whites over a period of six months. These ingenious braces are barely visible, so you won’t need to feel self-conscious when talking, smiling and laughing. A full consultation with your dentist is usually required, as is a scale and polish and dental hygiene appointment once your braces come off. You’ll also need to return every three to four weeks to have the wires tightened, but don’t worry – that sparkly smile will be worth it!

Dental Implant & Ceramic Crown
A vampy makeup look may get you hot to trot, but a fang-heavy incisor is definitely not one to show off. With a dental implant and ceramic crown, you’ll first get a full dental exam with any necessary mouth x-rays included, plus a cosmetic consultation with your experienced dentist. If all goes well, the procedure then takes place over several sessions, involving a small screw being implanted in the jaw, which is then anchored by natural bone growth. The tooth will be topped off with a ceramic crown, made to match the colour and bite of your teeth.

Home Teeth Whitening Kit
Easy-to-use home teeth whitening kits can be found on any supermarket shelf, and while they include everything you need to build up a whiter smile, these magic kits can be expensive. Here at Wowcher, you can save a doddle on popular home teeth whitening treatments that include in-depth instructions and a shade guide so you can track the change in colour of your teeth. Whichever kit you choose, each pack contains a savvy formula designed to bust stains from things like coffee, wine and nicotine – leaving you with a smile to be proud of!

Scale, Polish & X-rays
Sparkly gnashers aside, we all need a good mouth clean every once and a while – and according to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 60% of us organised women get our teeth checked regularly.* But for those who might have missed one or two, a scale, polish and x-ray is definitely worth having. These hygiene check-ups begin with an initial consultation, where you’ll get 3D x-rays of your mouth, designed to identify any hidden problems with your teeth, mouth and jaw that can’t be seen with a visual examination. You’ll then receive a teeth scale and polish lasting up to 30 minutes, leaving you with that lovely clean feeling you can only get from the dentist.

So there you have it, five dental treatments that can lift your dull and dreary teeth to glittering perfection. For your chance to snap up some bargain dental deals, simply stay with Wowcher.co.uk!

*Statistics sourced from http://bacd.com/statistics

Wowcher’s Guide To Reykjavik

Get a raincoat ready and visit Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, where eager hikers can stand behind glacier ice plunging from a whopping 200 feet!

Iceland’s Reykjavík is a city that can bewitch even the most discerning travellers with its awe-inspiring natural wonders, unapologetic nightlife and bite for all things extraordinary. Let it seduce you this winter…

Blue Lagoon
Enveloped by lava fields off the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most revered spots in Iceland. Soak up on silken pools pitted against turquoise terrain, before falling head over heels with a nourishing massage enjoyed on-site. Feeling indulgent? Hire the Exclusive Lounge for full spa access complete with treatment and lunch at Blue Lagoon’s LAVA restaurant: prices from only 117 Euros.

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