365Bristol City Guides: PraguePosted on: 28 May 2018
As one of our editorial team makes his way around Europe this summer, it’s only right that we document the travels and give you some hints and tips on what to do and where to go in some of the top cities on the continent. In this one we bring you some details of a short but sweet stay in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
I only had a quick stop over in Prague, two nights and just one full day, but the city made a lasting impression on me and I fully enjoyed everything I did while I was there.
My hostel was located pretty much right in the middle of the city centre, around the corner from the busy Wenceslas Square. It’s a good starting point if you’ve never been to the city before – the square has pretty much everything you need in terms of cafés, bars, restaurants, shops and museums.
Straight away I was struck by the architecture in Prague – lots of the buildings are really grand in an old-fashioned kind of way, as you’d expect from somewhere in this region.
Tip – Watch out for the conversion rate and prices in the city centre area. I arrived in the evening after a full day of travelling and wasn’t paying attention to the prices in the central off licence shop I stopped at. Somehow managed to spend six quid on a bottle of water, packet of rizlas and a bag of crisps - not what you want when travelling on a budget.
My first stop in the day time was the National Museum, only a short walk from my hostel at the top of Wenceslas Square. I had a look at the Light and Life Exhibition – a display of the evolution of wildlife and plantlife over time. It was quite short and not massively interesting, nothing to shout about, but it only cost £2 so I couldn’t complain. Maybe skip the National Museum if you’re not in the city long – Light and Life seemed to be the best of a bad bunch and it wasn’t really very good.
From there I made my way across town, via the Old Town Square (very pretty but rammed full of people), to the Museum of Decorative Arts. I had heard that the museum was free on a Tuesday afternoon from 5pm, so was keen to check it out.
Tip – There’s not really any need to use public transport in central Prague. Everything’s pretty accessible on foot and it’s generally quite flat. May as well save that few Crowns you would’ve spent on the tram and buy a couple cheap beers instead.
As it turned out, the museum wasn’t actually free, and the girl at the desk told me that they had had quite a few people coming in and asking the same thing over the last few months. Happily, though, the admission price for a student was only £4, so I went ahead anyway.
There were three exhibitions on offer, and I chose the Koudelka Exhibition – a detailed look at the work of internationally-renowned Czech photographer Josef Koudelka. It’s made up of four of his own photo series’, including the well-known Invasion 68 which documented the Russian Invasion of Prague and includes the famous image of a watch pointing to 4pm in front of an empty Prague high street (below, far left).
£4 entry for an exclusive look at the work of one of the world’s most respected photographers was fine by me. I’d fully recommend you get down to the exhibition while it’s there, open at the Museum of Decorative Arts from now until 23rd September.
I had a look online for cheap places to eat and came across Sad Man’s Tongue Bistro & Bar at Konviktská 7/7, 110 00 Staré Mesto. Again, it was only a short walk from where I was, maybe five minutes or so, and I was able to get a table straight away.
I went for their chicken parmesan sandwich – a huge burger filled with chicken, homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella and fresh vegetables, served with homemade chips and chilli mayo. I managed to get that and two pints for less than a tenner, making it a pretty good option in terms of value for money. Definitely give Sad Man’s Tongue a go if you’re looking for a tasty, filling meal without breaking the bank.
No doubt there’s heaps of stuff I missed out on during my short time in Prague. I would fully recommend the aforementioned Koudelka Exhibition but would also love to go for a ride on a pedalo on the Vltava river and check out Prague Castle if and when I go back. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the city, it was just a shame I was so tight for time.
Accomodation – Hostel Ananas, Václavské nám. 846/1, 110 00 Mustek. The hostel itself was nice, in a good location near Wenceslas Square and the staff were real friendly and helpful. The rooms were pretty poor though – it got really hot at night and they’re cramped. You can barely make your way to the end of the room between the bunkbeds that are packed into small rooms about a foot apart, and you can’t access the locker under your bed if someone else is sat on the bed opposite packing/unpacking etc. 7/10.
Flights to Prague leave Bristol Airport around 5 or 6 times a week. To check out flight times and dates and to book yours, visit their website.
Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt recently completed a degree in Journalism at UWE. He is keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends live music and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.