Prague Castle, Lennon Wall, and a Railway Restaurant

Prague Castle

This blog post is a continuation of my Prague itinerary from the previous two blog posts.  You should check them out if you haven’t done so already – Days 0 to 2 at Why is Prague the “Taiwan” of Europe, and day 3 at Visiting Powder Tower, Jewish Museum, Eating Chimney Cakes.

 

DAY FOUR

Prague Castle (website)

Prague Castle was situated a little further away than Old Town Square, and so we dedicated one day to visit this Castle.  Supposedly it would take us 5 hours to see the whole thing.

Prague Castle, located in the heart of the Czech capital, is one of the largest and most ancient castles in the world. Dating back to the 9th century, it spans an impressive area of almost 70,000 square meters and presents a blend of various architectural styles, from Gothic to Baroque.

Serving as the official residence of the Czech president, it also houses numerous museums, galleries, and historical landmarks within its complex. The stunning St. Vitus Cathedral, an iconic feature of the castle, showcases remarkable stained glass windows and the tomb of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech Republic. With its breathtaking views of the city and the Vltava River, Prague Castle is a must-visit destination for those seeking an immersive experience in the rich history and cultural heritage of Prague.

PragueOn the way on an Uber

Prague CastlePrague Castle entrance

Prague Castle StarbucksA different Starbucks Coffee venue

Prague CastleAn artist drawing a sketch of overlooking Prague

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague CastleSt. Vitus Cathedral

Prague CastleInside the cathedral.  As you can see, people mountain people sea

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague CastleOK so I seemed to have shown a lot of the cathedral’s photos, cause it’s magnificent!  That being said, it still wasn’t as appealing as some of the other cathedrals in Austria in my opinion, the latter being more grand or more beautiful.  This one felt more historical and if you didn’t go Austria you would still be wowed, which I did as well, but just not as impressed, especially for being in a castle.

Prague Castle

Prague CastleThe South Tower Of St Vitus Cathedral

Prague Castle

Prague CastleIf you dare to climb up all 280 stairs to get up here…

Prague CastleThen you shall see…

Prague CastleThese beautiful views surrounding Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague CastleIt is a very tough climb though, so do not attempt if you’re not active enough!

Prague CastleOld Royal Palace

Prague CastleWe were in a hurry to see Old Royal Palace since we wanted to catch Changing of the Guards at 12pm at the entrance

Prague CastleLuckily there wasn’t that much to look at

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague CastleWe caught the changing of the castle guards!  Only happens once daily at 12pm

Prague CastleBack outside, we were headed to lunch

 

Where to eat lunch: Restaurace Kuchyn (website)

Restaurant Kuchyn is literally right outside Prague Castle’s entrance, but the entrance is sort of not highly visible but you’ll see it eventually.  It’s near where the Starbucks place is.  They have a gorgeous outdoor area for you to dine at, and their food were all actually very delicious.  I highly recommend reserving a table and come dine at this place if you’re visiting Prague Castle.

Restaurace Kuchyn

Restaurace Kuchyn

Restaurace Kuchyn

Restaurace Kuchyn

Restaurace KuchynOutdoor seating area.  There’s an indoor area too, but given how wonderful the weather was that day, obviously we took the outdoor seats.

Restaurace Kuchyn

Restaurace KuchynKitchen

Restaurace KuchynOur view

Restaurace KuchynThings we ordered: Roast beef with pickled red onion and wild garlic mayonnaise, Salad with smoked duck breast from our smokehouse, Beef tartare
with garlic puree, toasted bread and spring onions, Carp from Chabrybárna
marinated in citrus, with shallots, apples and dill, and of course beer again

Restaurace KuchynAnd also a plate of chicken something (I can’t find it on their online menu)

To reemphasize once more, the dishes were incredible and yummy!  The ambience was fantastic too.  Just writing this and looking at the photos is making my stomach growl once again.

Restaurace Kuchyn

 

Back to Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague CastleInside Saint George’s Basilica

Prague Castle

Prague CastleVery pretty, but I found it a bit bare and plain

Golden Lane - Prague CastleGolden Lane, in Prague Castle.  The picturesque Golden Lane – a row of small, colorfully painted historical houses that once housed castle guards and alchemists.

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague CastleLots of different armor designs

Golden Lane - Prague CastleAnd different weapons too

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Prague CastleTorture room

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague CastleThis lovely chess board… but so expensive!

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Golden Lane - Prague CastleHow they used to live

Golden Lane - Prague Castle

Prague CastleAnother torture room

Prague Castle

Prague CastleOne last view before leaving the Prague Castle

 

Shopping at Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square, located in the heart of Prague, is one of the most famous and vibrant squares in the city. Named after the patron saint of Bohemia, Saint Wenceslas, this historic square stretches over 700 meters and is lined with elegant buildings, shops, restaurants, and hotels.  It holds immense historical significance, as it has witnessed several important events throughout Prague’s history, including protests and demonstrations during the Velvet Revolution in 1989 that eventually led to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.

The square is not only a popular tourist destination but also an important cultural hub, hosting numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year. At one end of the square stands the magnificent National Museum, built in neo-Renaissance style, which houses extensive collections of art, historical artifacts, and natural history exhibits.

After going to the Prague Castle, I felt like we haven’t done much shopping in our Europe trip thus far, so we went to Wenceslas Square to seek out different shopping malls and shops to see what we could find.

VAN GRAAF - Wenceslas Square, Prague

VAN GRAAF - Wenceslas Square, PragueVan Graaf – one of the shopping malls at the square

VAN GRAAF - Wenceslas Square, Prague

VAN GRAAF - Wenceslas Square, PraguePrices were pretty pricey, for somewhat high end brands.  No sale here.

NewYorker - Wenceslas Square, PragueNewYorker was a much cheaper store, sort of like Zara, selling t-shirts, pants, hoodies, you name it.

 

e-Scootering around Prague

Since we enjoyed riding our lime e-scooters the night before, we decided to do it again since we couldn’t do this in Hong Kong.  Here are a couple photos I took while we were riding along our Lime e-scooters:

Slovanský důmSlovanský dům

Prague

Prague

Prague

Wenceslas SquareWe actually passed by Wenceslas Square again

PokeHaus MyslikovaNotice the hanging figure with the umbrella?

Park na Karlove namestiWe passed by a park called Park na Karlove namesti and rode around it thrice.  Our Lime e-scooters even knew we were at a park and automatically restricted the max speed that we can ride them

Prague Beautiful SkiesVery beautiful pinkish light blue skies, my favourite

Prague

Prague Beautiful Skies

Black Mamba, PragueRIP Kobe Bryant 🙏🏼

Prague Beautiful SkiesNearby where we stayed

 

Heading to Dinner

Some photos I took while heading to dinner, again at Wenceslas Square

The Room by BasmateeThe Room by Basmatee, streetwear. (website)

The Room by BasmateeStorefront (which I took the day after, but just to let you guys know what it looks like)

The Room by Basmatee

The Room by Basmatee

The Room by Basmatee

Represent s.r.o.Another Czech brand by the name of REPRESENT, a funny men’s boxers and women’s underwear brand (website)

Hotel Meran, Wenceslas SquareHotel Meran

 

Dinner at Výtopna Railway Restaurant (website)

I chose this place thinking that besides the gimmick that food is served on trains that’s operating on railway tracks, that the photos and the reviews suggested that the food here should be decent.  Unfortunately, while the food wasn’t horrendous, I still found the food to be unappetizing.  Yeah, this restaurant was mainly for the gimmick.  Skip this place if you’re going for taste.

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas Square

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas Square

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas Square

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas SquareTrains know when to stop to deliver you food and drinks

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas Squareyes, beer again!

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas Square

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas Square

Výtopna Railway Restaurant - Wenceslas Square

Gimmicky and fun, but not coming back here thanks.

That wraps up day four in our Prague journey!

 

DAY FIVE

Breakfast at Tuscany Taste (website)

First thing’s first.  I woke up early in the morning because I came across this place the night before and it looked interesting, and it was only like 5 minutes away from our airbnb.

Tuscany Taste, ŠtěpánskáI took from the night before

Tuscany Taste, ŠtěpánskáI was the only one in the entire shop.  This was like around 9am or so.

Tuscany Taste, ŠtěpánskáGot the Tuscany breakfast.  Pretty meh.  Even coffee was meh.  No need to come here.

 

Prague Castle, Again, for its Royal Garden

So as you’d probably noticed, a common recurring theme for our trip in Prague was that we kept revisiting to different places.  While we visited within the castle itself, their gardens was also quite popular as well.

The Royal Garden is a tranquil oasis boasting blooming flowers, fountains, and beautiful pavilions. Walking through the castle’s courtyards, you can admire the imposing architecture and visit notable sites like the Old Royal Palace and the Great South Tower, providing a glimpse into the grandeur of the castle’s past (we did not do however).

Prague CastleBack to the entrance

Palace Gardens Below Prague CastleSt. Vitus Cathedral from a different angle

Palace Gardens Below Prague CastleSome art exhibition that was going on.  Our ticket allowed us entry to the most prominent places within the Prague Castle, so we actually didn’t have access to the other exhibitions going on within the gardens.

Palace Gardens Below Prague CastleIncluding this space avant garde temporary exhibition

Palace Gardens Below Prague CastleNor could we enter here as well

Palace Gardens Below Prague Castle

Palace Gardens Below Prague Castle

Palace Gardens Below Prague Castle

Palace Gardens Below Prague CastleLove how the people in the past would be so attentive to details

Palace Gardens Below Prague Castle

We only had a quick walk around the Royal Gardens.  But the gardens here weren’t spectacular and were more unkempt than the ones in Austria.  The gardens in Austria in multiple locations were fantastic.  Here, these “Royal Gardens” were a bit underwhelming and less well maintained and less fascinating.  If you don’t have the time to see the gardens after seeing Prague Castle, don’t feel too bad about missing out.  Prague Castle you should go, royal gardens just go if you have extra time.

 

St. Nicholas Church (website)

St. Nicholas Church in Prague is a true architectural gem that mesmerizes visitors with its majestic presence and intricate Baroque design. Nestled in the heart of the city’s historic Lesser Town, this stunning church boasts a stunning facade adorned with ornate statues, intricate carvings, and gilded details.  As you step inside, prepare to be enchanted by the lavish interior, featuring a magnificent dome ceiling adorned with frescoes, sparkling chandeliers, and exquisite stucco decorations. The church’s acoustics are renowned, making it a popular venue for classical concerts that further highlight the enchanting beauty of this religious masterpiece.

St. Nicholas ChurchOn the way

Holy Trinity Column, Malá Strana PragueHoly Trinity Column, Malá Strana

St. Nicholas ChurchSt. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church, Prague

St. Nicholas Church, PragueThis one took me be surprise.  This church was also grand and magnificent, and is a must visit.  I think one of the more beautiful attractions in Prague.  Comparable to the churches in Austria that we’ve been to.

St. Nicholas Church, Prague

St. Nicholas Church, PragueStunning

St. Nicholas Church, Prague

St. Nicholas Church, Prague

St. Nicholas Church, PragueIn one of the corners, you can also climb the stairs to the second floor

St. Nicholas Church, Prague

St. Nicholas Church, PragueLike I said, this church was gorgeous.  It’s not even popular or anything, it’s just a church near Prague Castle, but this one is a must go when you’re in Prague.  Super underrated.

 

restaurante El Centro (website)

Just a five minute walk away from St. Nicholas Church, we browsed around Google Maps and found something that 1) wasn’t just pork knuckle and 2) wasn’t too Czech cuisine.  We found El Centro, a Spanish place.  We were feeling tapas since it was something we haven’t eaten for quite some time.

Apparently El Centro was established in 1999 and serves both Spanish and Central American cuisine.  Besides tapas, it also serves paella, soups and guatemalan specialities.

restaurante El Centro, Prague

restaurante El Centro, PragueWe were the only ones there

restaurante El Centro, PragueLooks like tomato with cheese or portobello with cheese, can’t remember, can’t find it on their online menu either

restaurante El Centro, PragueOctopus a la Gallega

restaurante El Centro, PraguePaella El Centro – with seafood and safron rice

The taste was decent, not bad actually!  Won’t highly recommend, but you can come.  Wait time was a little long though, especially given how we were the only table there.  We waited for about 20-30 minutes before the food came out.

 

Church of Our Lady Victorious and The Infant Jesus of Prague (Wikipedia)

Church of Our Lady Victorious, located in Prague, Czech Republic, is a Baroque-style church that houses the world-famous statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague.  The history of this church dates back to the 16th century when it was initially established as a Lutheran church. However, in the early 17th century, it was given to the Carmelites who transformed it into a Catholic place of worship. The centerpiece of the church is the revered statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague, a wooden sculpture believed to have miraculous powers and is widely venerated by worshipers from around the world. The statue is adorned with beautiful garments and accessories, with its size altered throughout the liturgical year. The Church of Our Lady Victorious serves as a significant pilgrimage site and a symbol of faith for many.

Church of Our Lady Victorious and The Infant Jesus of Prague

Church of Our Lady Victorious and The Infant Jesus of Prague

Church of Our Lady Victorious and The Infant Jesus of PragueSmaller than the St. Nicholas’ Church, and definitely not as decorated.

 

 

Lennon Wall

The Lennon Wall is a famous graffiti-covered wall located in Prague, Czech Republic. It gained significance during the 1980s as a symbol of peaceful protest against the communist regime.  Inspired by John Lennon and his messages of love and peace, locals began expressing their thoughts, hopes, and frustrations on this wall, creating a vibrant mural of colorful artwork, quotes, and lyrics. Despite repeated attempts by the authorities to whitewash and suppress the messages, the Lennon Wall continued to be a place of expression and freedom throughout the years. Today, it symbolizes the importance of free speech, unity, and the fight for justice, making it a popular attraction for tourists and a source of inspiration for people around the world.

John Lennon WallA river that we passed by

Lennon Wall

Lennon Wall

Lennon Wall

ArtisèmeArtisème (website) a design store nearby Lennon Wall

Artisème

Artisème

Artisème

Artisème

Artisème

Artisème

Artisème

Artisème

Yeah, so looks like I have more photos of the Artiseme store than the actual Lennon wall lol cause the wall just looked the same throughout and we managed to get some photos in but that was it.  We went back home afterwards for a rest before heading out to dinner.

 

Last Dinner at Restaurant Grand Gru (website)

A Michelin guide recommended restaurant, we decided we had to go out to eat even when it was a little later than usual.  Although we had restaurant reservations at 8pm, for some reason, their restaurant’s system did not register our reservation, so actually we were treated as walk in guests.  At first, they seemed to hesitate to let us know, but fortunately, a table of also four was leaving as well, and so they allowed us to wait a little bit before settling us down.  By the time we were sat down it was between 8 to 8:30pm.

Amongst all the restaurants in Czech Republic, I’d probably say this was the best one out of all the dining options we went to, so of course, I’d highly recommend!  It’s a mixture of both Czech and French cuisines cooked in a modern style.  It feels classy, but at the same time also feels homey.  It doesn’t feel snobbish, and it feels comfortable.  Remember to double check your reservation when you’re going!

Restaurant Grand Cru, Prague

Restaurant Grand Cru, Prague

Restaurant Grand Cru, PragueFully packed.  Lots of American expats that night based on the accents.

Restaurant Grand Cru, Prague

Restaurant Grand Cru, Prague

Restaurant Grand Cru, Prague

Restaurant Grand Cru, PragueDrinking again, cause alcohol is so cheap in Prague

Restaurant Grand Cru, Prague

Grand Cru, PragueOn the side where you see the orange and yellow are different pieces of flavored butter.  The middle was our amuse bouche

Grand Cru, Prague

Grand Cru, PragueWatermelon salad, peach, stracciatella cheese.  Mouthgasm.

Grand Cru, PragueBeef carpaccio, piquillo pepper, mushroom, beef consummated jelly

Grand Cru, PragueHomemade tagliolini pasta, truffled egg yolk, black truffle

Grand Cru, PragueSteak with baked vegetable purée, spinach, roasted vegetable, parisian butter, beef jusGrand Cru, Prague

Grand Cru, PragueSago (with mango?)

Grand Cru, PraguePistachio cheesecake, salty caramel

Grand Cru, PragueForgot, probably was a dessert of the day

Every single dish was very tasty and delicious, you must come here!

 

DAY SIX

FINALLY, our last day in Prague.  We didn’t do much that day since we’ve covered pretty much everything we wanted to do, and we had a flight to catch in the evening, so we kind of just paced ourselves and did a couple of relaxing activities.

Cafe 1429 Cable Car in PragueCafe 1429 Cable Car in Wenceslas Square

Post Office in PragueWe had to send out some postcards from Prague.  This was a beautiful post office, probably the most beautiful post office I’ve seen.  Most post offices I know of in America and Hong Kong and elsewhere are just whatevers / rundown.

Monkey Coffee House, PragueWe chilled at this coffee house called Monkey Coffee House (Instagram)

Monkey Coffee House, PragueReviews said this place was good, but I found the coffee to just be meh.

Kantyna, PragueRemember in day 0 when we went to Kantyna?  Well, last time we didn’t try the burger, so we actually went back during lunch to try the burger again and also eat their beef carpaccio one last time.

Kantyna, PragueBurger, yummy!

Powder Tower, PragueWe passed by Powder Tower again

Namesti RepublikyNamesti Republiky

Palladium, PraguePALLADIUM shopping mall (website).  The brands here were kind of on par with like… American Eagle, Zara, Gap, you know what I mean.  So not like luxury brands here.  Lots of fast food restaurants at the top.  There are even massage chairs as well, although I’ve seen homeless people tend to rest on them as well so make sure they are clean first.  As one of the biggest shopping malls in Prague, this was quite disappointing.  It wasn’t that big and the brands weren’t all that impressive.  We were trying to kill time and spent maybe like 2-3 hours here.

Van lounge, PragueVAN lounge – drinks and hookah

Bakeshop, PragueBakeshop (website), the bakery place we passed by once and I saw lots of people there

Bakeshop, PragueWe actually wanted to eat chimney cakes but they didn’t have any.  They only had other pastries, and those pastries were shared with flies as well 😐

Prague Jewish QuarterBack to Jewish Quarter

Náměstí Republiky (Praha)Náměstí Republiky.  At this point we were still on the hunt for chimney cakes

Pařížská Street is Prague's most prestigious boulevardPařížská Street, Prague’s most prestigious boulevard with luxury shops lined up here

Trdelnik & CoffeeFound it!  Trdelnik & Coffee

Trdelnik & CoffeeLast chimney cake before heading back to Hong Kong

Sunset in PragueIt’s time to retrieve our luggages.  We used this service called Radical Storage (https://radicalstorage.com/luggage-storage/prague) to store our luggages for the day.  I tried to find their store in the morning when eating Tuscany Taste and couldn’t find it, because they actually don’t have their own shops!  They actually partner with like convenience stores and the shopkeepers there will store the luggages for you.  For more information, just visit their website, also gives you information about their insurance policy too.

Sunset in PragueVery good time to catch an uber, the sunset was mesmerizing.

State Opera PragueState Opera Prague

National museum - Praha - Národní muzeumAgain, we passed by National Museum.  You can see we were stuck in traffic for a bit since it was during rush hour

Dancing House, PragueDancing House under the gorgeous sunset

Prague AirportCaught another Uber, and we’ve arrived at the Prague Airport!

 

FINALLY, I’m done writing about Prague.  My fingers feel tired, and my concentration to write anymore is just non existent.  But I do want to sum up my thoughts and feelings about Prague.

Before coming here, everyone glorified how beautiful Prague was.  And don’t get me wrong, Prague is beautiful in certain aspects.  But nobody talks about Vienna and the other small towns in Austria, and coming from Austria, like the places in Austria was just a few notches more clean and beautiful than Prague and other small towns in Czech Republic (the exception being Cesky Krumlov which was fabulous).  In fact, the second you cross the border between Austria and Czech Republic, you immediately get the sense that the plants and trees aren’t as well maintained in the latter.

Going back to Prague, so the fact that we kept going to the same areas after the second day meant that as a tourist, there really wasn’t much to do over there.  Pretty much everything was centred around Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.  As a tourist, I think one time is enough in Prague.  BUT I can imagine that staying here for weeks or months would actually be fabulous.  Like I said in a previous post, Prague is really like the “Taiwan” of Europe, the fact that price wise everything is so cheap.  I would just drink everyday if I lived here.  And our driver said that safety in Prague is worse than in Austria, which I sense it, but it wasn’t so bad to the point where it’s like Barcelona where you literally see thieves stealing your shit right in front of your face, it’s much shadier there.

The museums and churches here are beautiful, just not as beautiful as the ones in Austria.  In terms of where I would prefer to stay for a couple months?  I’m leaning towards Prague just because of the diversity of food you can eat here and also the cost of living.  Anyway, I’ll write this much for now, but if I ever have any new thoughts I’ll just come to this blog post and update it.  Hope my blog posts helped your future journey here too!

 

Random Pics from Prague

PragueSome vintage camera shop that we passed by

Prague

Prague

Lekarna, PragueLekarna

Trdlokafe, PragueTrdlokafe. I was dying for some coffee at this point when going to Wenceslas Square

Elias café PragueElias café

QuoteWe are all spiritual beings just in a human body 🙂

Seafood Market and Grill, PragueAnother restaurant I passed by that I was intrigued by – Seafood Market & Grill

Prague Chocolate Factory StoreAfter visiting the Royal Gardens, we found another branch of the Prague Chocolate Factory, so of course we had to go in for another cup of hot chocolate

Prague Chocolate Factory StoreThis time, we also bought some chocolate to bring back to Hong Kong

Prague Chocolate Factory Store

Almo Vintage, PragueAlmo Vintage, a vintage clothing shop we stumbled upon after visiting Church of Our Lady Victorious

Almo Vintage, PragueNothing suited me here, I think the clothes here were a bit too young for me

Maltese Square, PragueMaltese Square

Cafeé Bufee RestaurantAnother restaurant I passed by near Prague Castle, Cafeé Bufee Restaurant

Cafeé Bufee RestaurantInside the Cafeé Bufee Restaurant, looks quite nice!

Prague

Prague

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