Everyone loves a winter getaway. Usually somewhere cold – but where should you go?
Try Prague. It’s extremely cheap, extremely picturesque and extremely romantic. And luckily it’s quite small so you can fit a lot in just a few days. Here’s a three day guide…
Arrive and settle into your hotel. Because it’s so cheap you’ll be able to afford to stay somewhere upmarket for relatively little money so it’s a chance to treat yourself. Then you should head out and get a late breakfast. You’re going to want to fuel up before a big day exploring the city.
Instead of booking onto a tour, just take the rest of the morning to wander around yourselves. There’s nothing better than exploring a city’s hidden gems at your own leisure. A good suggestion is to start at the astronomical clock on the edge of Old Town Square, then head on over to Charles Bridge (a very touristy place but a must see). Cross the bridge into New Town which will be less busy. Over this side of Prague you’ll be able to find the world’s smallest passageway and the John Lennon wall which makes for some great photos.
Then head back over the bridge to walk up towards Wenceslas Square to grab a bite to eat. A great spot for lunch is Vytopna Railway Restaurant. The food is quite simple but your drinks will be delivered by a small train. Yes. a train. Definitely a unique experience.
After refuelling, you can browse Wencelas Square to go shopping. And if you’re then too tired to walk you can just jump on the tube back to your hotel.
You should then take some time to relax before heading out for dinner, and more importantly, the Christmas markets. There are markets dotted all around the city but by far the best are in Old Town Square. Seeing them at night will make the experience that little bit more magical.
Fill up with a big breakfast before jumping on the tube to Prague Castle. If you’re feeling energetic than it’s about a 30 minute walk from Old Town Square, but wrap up warm. Once you’ve arrived it’ll probably take a little time to get into the castle as it is extremely popular but it’s well worth the wait.
It’s acknowledged as the largest ancient castle in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, measuring a whopping 570 metres long by 130 metres wide.
The best ticket option to buy is probably the biggest one – unless you have very specific areas in mind to visit. And then it’s up to you where to go. On the back of your ticket a map with corresponding numbers to areas of interest will help to guide you.
By far the most impressive is St Vitus cathedral. Huge stain glass windows create a stunning backdrop to the setting. Not only that but the place is filled with history and culture. The Old Royal Palace is also a must see, along with the Story of Prague Castle so you can learn about it’s creation.
In addition to this head to Golden Lane to take a step back in time. The street is a collection of medieval buildings that date back to the 15th century. If you want someone to provide a little more context then you can opt to join a 3.5 hour walking tour which will take you around the whole castle.
You can either head out to enjoy lunch or if you still have more to explore grab a bite inside one of the castle cafes.
That evening why not head to a casino to test your luck? There are plenty to choose from – Ambassador Casino in Wencelas Square being one of the most famous.
If you’re not staying another night you’ll need to check out after breakfast. However leave your suitcase with the reception and you can head on out to explore the rest of Prague before jetting home.
Another absolute must see is Prague Zoo. So jump on a tram or tube and go on over to the absolutely massive zoo. Unlike a lot of places which keep the animals in small cages and enclosures, Prague Zoo has plenty of space for the animals to roam around in.
From tigers to polar bears, it’s got every animal you could imagine. A good idea is to work anticlockwise around the edge of the zoo and then jump on the chairlift up to the centre. You’ll be able to find numerous spots to eat and get a drink and, of course, gift shops in their abundance.
Once you’ve had your fill of animals head back to Old Town square to get any last minute souvenirs and christmas gifts. Then you can fill any remaining time with one of the several museums nearby…
There’s a waxwork museum, a chocolate museum or even a torture museum. For dinner there’s a rooftop restaurant in Old Town Square that looks over the astronomical clock and all the markets lit up below. Yes, it’s more expensive than what you’ve perhaps had before, but the views are beautiful. And if you’re thinking it’ll be cold, think again. The restaurant provide heaters and blankets to ensure you don’t freeze, making for a very unique experience.
And there you have it – a whistle stop tour of Prague, in just three days.