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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.