Saturday, May 11, 2013


Ah, my motherland!
Well, half of my motherland (the other half is Denmark/Germany/Wales/Ireland...but mostly Denmark).
Also, it is the country known for coming in first place for global beer drinking and of course for it's beautiful architecture, red-roof buildings, artsy-fartsy youth, overall freedom, where public drinking is approved and where people are almost always happy!

I have been eagerly waiting to write a Czech Republic post because so many people come to visit this marvelous country but they only go to see Prague! They all are missing the beauty in this country that lies just outside of Prague.
Also, when people come to Prague and I meet them, I ask them:
"Oh, where have you gone? What nightclubs/bars have you been to?"
They always say the usual tourist traps and end up wasting their time and money going to places that are just sub par.

No more, no more of that nonsense! Be sure to read this post if you are coming to the Czech Republic any time soon.

I'll first start with Prague since that is the tourist destination of the Czech Republic (by the way, it is NOT called Czechoslovakia, just Czech Republic- I think that's most important to know before visiting).
There are 3 metro lines: a yellow, green and red line; probably one of the easiest metro systems in all of Europe. The main stops are: Karlovo Namesti,, MustekStaroměstská, Malostranská, Namesti Republiky and Florenc is the bus station. If you are coming from the airport, take bus 100 (that's the one I take) to the Zlicin bus/metro station and you can take the yellow line to any of the above yellow. Prague is also split up into different districts, so to speak, so expect addresses to be located in say Prague 5 or Prague 3 or Prague 7 or Prague 2. The main tourist area is located in Prague 1 and Prague 2; Old Town (Staroměstská) and New Town (Nové Město). The closer you are to the center and main tourist destinations, the more expensive you will pay for accommodation, even though Prague is pretty stinkin' cheap compared to other travel destinations throughout the Europe and well, the world.

Places to eat in Prague: 
1. U Vejvodů (I like to think it's one of Prague's best for authentic Czech food, great pub area and downstairs level with fantastic 20 kc Czech beer or dark brew). 
2. The Globe (mainly English speakers employed and great food + authentic American cuisine).
3. Cafe Louvre (my favorite and one of the best in Prague).
4. Cross Cafe (cheap and good coffee or snacks). 
5. Mama Coffee (a coffee house with an assortment of desserts and natural foods).
6. Loving Hut (vegetarian buffet in Andel Novy Smichov Mall or right by Palladium shopping center).
7. Lehka Hlava (Clear Head in English is a truly hidden gem with amazing dishes, desserts and drinks).
8. Orange Moon or Yam Yam (Thai cuisine- DELICIOUS pad thai, fresh lemonades, tapioca dessert and hot mint teas).
9. Cafe Slavia (one of Prague's most famous restaurants by the river).
10. Triton Restaurant (in Wenceslas Square).
11. Buddha Bar (Asian cuisine).
12. Můj šálek kávy (one of Prague's best coffee houses).

Nightlife in Prague...ladies and gentlemen, please, please don't go to Karlovy Lazne every night. It's okay to go one night or not even at all but broaden your horizons and go elsewhere. Also, the pub-crawls are fun but quite expensive when it comes down to it; you will meet tons more people and even the bar-crawlers if you go to these places, which I highly recommend: Deja Vu (downstairs), Chapeau Rouge (three levels- Dubstep Wednesday is the bottom floor), the Drunken Monkey and Propaganda-Vodka Bar. These are where a majority of tourists go so there is always people there. I also love Harley's, which is a rock n' roll bar and always a good time. If it's your birthday, they handcuff you and "male stripper-like bartenders" pour drinks into your mouth; table-dancing is also common and highly encouraged. James Dean, which is just down the street from Harley's is also another good bar and Zlaty Strom (a club/bar inside a hotel), Lavka (by the river and Charles Bridge) and M1 (there's a Burrito Loco right across the street for those middle-of-the-night drunchies). If money isn't a problem, Duplex is a club/bar/restaurant in Wenceslas Square where you can party on the roof. For the actual club experience, try: SaSaZu, Mecca, Cross ClubRetro Music Hall, Roxy or Radost FX.

Some other things to do/places to see in Prague include: 
1. Of course, walk across the Charles Bridge and take hundreds of pictures.
2. Climb up to the Prague Castle.
3. Go up to Petrin and look out from the Petrin tower for spectacular views of Prague.
4. Spend a day shopping in the 4 story mall, Palladium.
5. Grab a beer and relax at one of the many beer gardens, Letna is one my friends and I go to.
6. Walk through the tourist-filled streets of Old Town until you reach Old Town Square. Make sure to see the astronomical clock and the little puppet show in the tower at the ring of every new hour.
7. Walk on the main street before Charles Bridge at Malostranska Namesti. Walk down and around Charles Bridge as well.
8. Take a paddle boat ride on the river for an hour with a cold beer in hand and happiness in your heart.
9. Have a picnic at Kampa Park and view the various statues/art they have there.
10. Take a thumbs up (or thumbs down) picture with the Kafka Statue.
11. Wander over to the Jewish Quarters.
12. Get holy at the Spanish Synagogue.
13. Sit on the wall of the Vysehrad Castle and hope you don't fall.
14. Aimlessly wander around the beautiful Vinohrady neighborhood.
15. Go vintage, go second-hand at one of Prague's many vintage and thrift stores.
16. Ride on Europe's (well, for the countries in the EU) longest metro escalator at Namesti Miru.
17. Smell the beautiful Czech nature at Stromovka park.
18. Visit a strip club...Prague loves these.
19. Spend a few hours Antonin Dvorak Museum or the National Gallery.
20. Shop a little, grab a coffee, sit in a tram cafe, take some pictures at Wenceslas Square

Now, I BEG you to visit the other parts of the Czech Republic, not just Prague!

Plzen, Cesky Krumlov, Karlovy Vary, Brno, Jihlava

I like to call these places the Czech Republic's hidden gems: 
1. Plzen
(Got beer? Home to one of the world's best beers, Pilsner Urquell; Go to the beer factory, one of the Czech Republic's most famous!)
-Take a 1-1.5 bus ride from Florenc.

2. Cesky Krumlov 
(A town straight out of a fairy tale book, surrounded by a river you can canoe in!)
-Take a bus from Florenc or rent a car and drive to the eastern side of Czech Republic. 

3. Karlovy Vary 
(a quaint spa town that attracts tourists mainly in the summer and winter seasons for a little R&R)

4. Brno 
(CZ's second largest city)
-Take a Student Agency bus from Florenc or a train from Hlavni Nadrazi.
-My family lives here and we have a family flat here...but for some reason, I am not a huge fan of this city. They do have my favorite restaurant in the entire world: Pohadkova Hospudka (Fairytale Pub; I called it the fairytale restaurant place as a kid); if you go you MUST get the fruit dumplings or ovoce knedliky. They are too delicious for words.

5. Ostrava 
(Colors of Ostrava is this summer, anyone going?! Also, the home of Stodolni Street- a popular party street in the Czech Republic)
-Take a bus from Florenc or a train from Hlavni Nadrazi train station.

6. Jihlava
(A cute Moravian town/city)
-Take a Student Agency bus; it will say Brno is the final destination but they stop in Jihlava.

7. Kunta Hora
(A town outside of the capital that was established in the year 1142 when the Cistercian Monastery).

8. Pisek
(The home to: Czech Republic's oldest bridge/Europe's second oldest bridge, several famous figures in the past and the present and home to well-known higher education institutions)

A little comment about Pilsner beer: I HATED beer before trying this beer and now I am a fan of beer,  mostly this brand and dark beer. If you do not like beer or even if you love beer, most definitely try the Czech beer. I would argue and it's actually a known fact that Czech beer is some of the best in the world! 

The next post will be on: Guam!

Travel on wanderlusters!

P.S. I will post a Prague guide for new-comers this week! It will be some of the same stuff as above with a few extra tips/places to go/etc.

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