Our driver, Mr. Lau from goeugo.com, told us that Prague, and the rest of Czech Republic, is pretty much just like Taiwan. Why? That’s cause Prague is super cheap, especially in comparison with other countries like United Kingdom, Italy, and also the country we last visited – Austria. We’re talking like at least half price to 2/3 cheaper. And not only that, the way they maintain their nature is also similar – it just feels more rundown and unkempt than say their neighbor Austria, where their grass and gardens were maintained to perfection.
From a history and cultural standpoint, I think Vienna takes the cake here. That doesn’t mean Prague didn’t offer anything interesting from their museums and castles, they still were impressive, but just not AS impressive as Vienna and Austria. On the plus side, at least the variety of food there was much better than eating schnitzel and beef broth soup everyday in Austria.
Enough of the chitchat, let’s get straight to our itinerary and photos.
The reason why this is Day Zero was because we actually stayed in Prague for one night after visiting Kutna Hora, only to visit another small town west of Prague the next day which was Karlovy Vary, the spa city of Czech Republic, and then finally moving into our airbnb in Prague.
Where we stayed: Exe City Park Hotel (website)
Our decent, pretty average, but clean hotel in the middle of Prague.
Dinner at Kantyna (website)
Kantyna is one of those rowdy and noisy beer halls and meat eating cafeteria. It’s popular with tourists, and they are famous for their burgers and their meats in general. You can only order the burgers at the front of the restaurant by the way. Basically, you grab a ticket, and they stamp on the ticket each time you order something, so when you pay they know what you ordered. I highly recommend coming here, because it is truly a unique experience and some of their meats were very succulent.
Not sure whether I forgot to take photos or what, but our absolute favourite by far was the beef carpaccio. You must get!
Drinks at The Monkey Bar (website)
Located in Falkensteiner Hotel, I came across this bar while we were heading to Kantyna and noticed the neon sign that demonstrated the fun and chill vibes this place seemed to have branded itself. After dinner, we went back to the hotel for a short rest first, and then to get a feel of the nightlife scene (supposingly #1 in the world when it comes to clubbing and stuff, we didn’t go clubbing), we checked out this bar.
The place was actually more like a casual hotel lounge, with an atmosphere lending to itself not a busy crowd, the furnishing was rather simple and colours were neutral, and the space did offer enough quietness for friends to come and have a conversation, something which I noticed.
The drinks on the other hand were quite fun and unique and quite delightful.
Where we stayed (Airbnb room link)
The Airbnb that we booked for five nights was actually quite close to Exe City Park Hotel, well at least few blocks away. While the place itself was quite tiny, the fact that four of us had to share one bathroom was a little inconvenient. Also, the design was a little bit strange because the toilet had its own room, and the sink and the bathroom was another. So every time you washed your hands after using the toilet, you’d have to walk to the bathroom / sink room to do it, and the worst case was when one of us locked the door cause one of us was showering, then you’d have to wait or use the kitchen sink. Another thing we didn’t like was the outside of our airbnb, cause the place was trying to conserve energy and so the lights would be off in about a minute, and you’d have to tap something like a doorbell to get the lights on for a minute before it goes off again, which then the place would be close to pitch black. And the lift stops at every 2 floors, so we have to walk down a flight of stairs to get to our airbnb.
But other than these inconveniences, the rest of the place was pretty good. There were two proper bedrooms that were decently sized, and a sofa bed in the living room which you can close the door to so you won’t be disturbed by others during the middle of the night. They had everything stocked, like kitchen and utensils and stuff, and also had a washer with the laundry materials ready for you to use.
Where we ate – Năm – Viet kitchen (website)
Craving for some Asian food nearby our airbnb, we went to this Nam restaurant which was just right around the corner.
My photos don’t do this place justice. This place was actually awesome and yummy. If you’re craving Asian in Prague, yeah I’d recommend this place. I was even tempted to come here a second time despite my short five days here (I didn’t though).
Where to drink: Craft House Prague (website)
This craft beer bar was literally diagonally located from where we stayed. As long as I was in Prague, I made sure I had to drink more, cause I haven’t seen prices for alcohol this cheaply for some time now, and their beers and wines were all fantastic, all the more reason for me to drink and drink.
Now finally what I would consider our first “official” day in Prague, because the last two days, we were still visiting other towns and attractions outside of Prague.
National Museum, Prague (Národní Muzeum) (website)
The National Museum in Prague is a monumental institution that has a rich history and profound cultural significance. Founded in 1818, it is the oldest and largest museum in the Czech Republic, housing a wide range of collections that showcase the country’s historical, scientific, and artistic heritage.
Located at the top of Wenceslas Square, the museum’s impressive Neo-Renaissance building with its grand dome has become an iconic symbol of Prague.
Inside the National Museum, visitors can explore a diverse array of exhibitions that cover a plethora of topics, from prehistoric artifacts and medieval art to natural history specimens and modern Czech history. The museum’s treasures include the world-famous Venus of Dolní Věstonice, a prehistoric ceramic figurine dating back to 29,000 BC, as well as an extensive collection of antique coins and precious gems. With over 14 million objects in its possession, the National Museum provides a comprehensive insight into the rich cultural heritage of the Czech Republic, attracting locals and tourists alike who seek to deepen their understanding of the nation’s history and artistic achievements.
One of the exhibition halls featured different animals and dinosaurs. I didn’t take many photos in this animal hall, but I did take this photo of a Capybara, one of my favourite animals at the moment since it’s so friendly to everyone and so chill
Where we ate for lunch, Café Louvre (website)
Café Louvre is a historic and iconic café located in the heart of Prague, Czech Republic. Established in 1902, this elegant establishment has become a beloved cultural and culinary landmark. Café Louvre is renowned for its enchanting ambiance, blending a timeless Art Nouveau style with a touch of old-world charm. The café’s rich history encompasses being a hub for intellectuals and artists during the early 20th century, attracting famous figures such as Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein. Today, visitors can indulge in a wide selection of delectable pastries, aromatic coffees, and traditional Czech dishes while basking in the nostalgic atmosphere and soaking in the cultural heritage that Café Louvre proudly preserves.
By the way, Cafe Louvre was yummy. I enjoyed all their dishes and would recommend anyone to go.
Takeout: Knedlín (website)
We came here because we heard that they made great meatballs. Spoiler alert: they do not! You do not have to come here, even though their meatballs looked incredibly colorful.
Walking around Prague
The next few hour or two consisted of walking around Prague and heading towards the Old Town Square.
Old Town Square
Old Town Square, located in the heart of Prague, is a historic and picturesque square known for its stunning architecture and rich history. The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings, including the iconic Old Town Hall with its famous astronomical clock, the Church of Our Lady before Týn, and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church. This bustling hub is always filled with locals and tourists alike, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere.
The Old Town Square also hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Christmas market, where visitors can explore traditional Czech crafts, sample delicious food and drink, and enjoy live music and entertainment. With its magical ambiance, fascinating history, and charming surroundings, Old Town Square is a must-visit destination in Prague that truly captures the essence of this enchanting city.
Prague Astronomical Clock
The Prague Astronomical Clock, also known as the Prague Orloj, is a captivating medieval astronomical clock located in the Old Town Square of Prague. Dating back to the 15th century, it is the oldest functioning astronomical clock in the world. This intricate clock not only shows the time, but also provides fascinating astronomical information, such as the positions of the Sun, Moon, and various astronomical symbols.
What makes the Prague Astronomical Clock truly unique is its animated show. Every hour, onlookers gather to witness the clock’s performance, as the Twelve Apostles appear from its small windows, accompanied by the sound of bells chiming. This mesmerizing spectacle adds to the allure of the clock and attracts visitors from around the globe. A true masterpiece of medieval engineering and artistry, the Prague Astronomical Clock is a must-see attraction that embodies the rich history and cultural heritage of the city.
I’ll be posting the animated show some time in the future on my Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@travelwithabutterfly)
Dinner at Pork’s (website)
We came here because Czech Republic was supposed to be famous for their pork knuckles, and this place was supposed to be famous for its pork and pork knuckles as well. It was clearly on a lot of Asian tourists’ to go place as well, as half the restaurant was filled with Asians.
The STAR of the SHOW, Pork Knuckle! Except… it was very mediocre. You know Zion Williamson from NBA who is playing just okay right now? That’s this pork knuckle right there. Matter fact, the Hong Kong roasted pork knuckles, or even the pork knuckles in German restaurants in Hong Kong, were much better.
So as far as you can tell from my commentary on these few dishes, I thought that their tastes were all quite mediocre. I do NOT recommend going here; save yourself and go to a different place. A bit overhyped.
Charles Bridge, Prague
Charles Bridge, or Karluv Most, is an iconic historical bridge that spans over the Vltava River in Prague. Constructed in the 14th century during the reign of King Charles IV, it served as the main link between the Prague Castle and the Old Town. The bridge’s architecture is a remarkable blend of Gothic and Baroque styles, with 30 statues adorning its sides, depicting various saints and religious figures. The bridge’s length of 516 meters makes it one of the longest and most significant bridges in Europe.
Aside from its architectural grandeur, Charles Bridge is imbued with a rich history and folklore. According to legend, egg yolks were mixed into the mortar to strengthen its construction, and it is believed that the bridge stands so firmly that it will collapse if the mythological egg beneath it is ever found. The bridge also offers breathtaking panoramic views of Prague, creating a picturesque atmosphere for both locals and tourists alike.
Karlovy Lazne. Really curious about this place. Apparently biggest nightclub in central Europe (website)
So this pretty much wraps up the first few days of our trip in Prague. I’ll be continuing on from here on the next blog post.
Random Pics of Prague