24 hours in Prague | Travel Diary

After spending some wonderful and relaxing days in Austria’s wine country, we continued our road trip back towards Germany, but not without stopping in another country: The Czech Republic. It was in our favor that the capital Prague is located literally halfway from Lower Austria to Berlin; hence we could not not stop, you know?! Passing the border without any checks or showing any documents and spontaneously staying one night in Prague felt incredible after spending two years in one and the same city-state.

Finally, after just under three hours, we arrived in a surprisingly busy Prague, whose center was so crowded that we had trouble finding a parking spot near the hotel to unload our luggage. A real contrast to the expansive wine country that we were just coming from.

Our accommodation

For one night in Prague, we had chosen the Pytloun Boutique Hotel on Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) is one of the main city squares and the center of the business and cultural communities in the New Town of Prague. When calling in advance to check the availability, the hotel’s communicative and helpful staff had made us remarkably excited about Prague, and the photos on booking websites looked very inviting, too. Overall, we found our room in Pytloun Boutique Hotel a bit small, but it was undoubtedly stylishly furnished and well equipped with everything we needed for one night.

24 hours in Prague

After checking into the hotel, we went for a unique lunch location: The Café Savoy, a refined and popular restaurant. Reminiscent of the First Czechoslovak Republic, the Café Savoy serves classic Czech dishes in an opulent interior. We were specifically on the hunt for the ‘jahodové knedlíky’, some traditional Czech dumplings consisting of a pliable, soft dough wrapped around whole strawberries. Very similar to the ‘Marillenknödel’, that we have in Germany. No wonder, after looking it up, I found out that Knödel (German), or knedlík (Czech) are basically the same and very typical for Central European and East European cuisine. They are often served as a dessert or side dish, but are still very filling and could therefore without a doubt serve as a main dish. We still ordered green asparagus on top of the ‘knedlík’, though. Just because.

Afterward, we went outside as the sun had just come out and the winding side streets of cobblestone around the Café Savoy were inviting us for a stroll through the neighborhood Malá Strana. Located on the Vltava River, the historic district, also known as Lesser Town, offers beautiful views of Prague Castle and the Old Town. Charming pastel buildings, ornate palaces, and gardens showcase the wealthy history of this district. At the same time, the old-world pubs, traditional restaurants, and upscale hotels make it a prime location for tourists. I really appreciated the wander through the almost fairytale-esque neighborhood and the glimpse into cute local grocer shops, pubs, and guesthouses.

Later, we also went back across the Charles Bridge towards the Old Town, where, still buoyed by our latest experience and knowledge from Austria, we were keen to explore more winebars and learn about local wines. We found what we were looking for at AUTHENTISTA, a posh yet charmful wine bar where we tried a delicious Crémant and an excellent charcuterie board containing cheese and sausage from the region. We learned from the server that the venue had just been reopened after a long eight months without a license to operate. Before you wonder, that was because of the pandemic and a very long lockdown in Prague. Once again, we realized that even though we had been locked in the same city for a long while, we were lucky enough to enjoy open bars and restaurants almost the entire time in Singapore, although most of the time in very small groups.

A little tipsy, we explored the old town afterward. It became noticeably colder soon, though, and since we still wore our summer clothes, we had to head back to the hotel early. While we have had experienced temperatures in the hundreds (Fahrenheit) in Lower Austria, the temperature in Prague had dropped to 18 degrees celsius (~65 °F) – a significant difference and utterly unfamiliar to us, coming from hot-all-year-round Singapore.

Later in the evening and with layers of pullovers, we went to the Hemingway Bar. There, we were ordering a bag of popcorn along with delicious cocktails. After all, we hadn’t eaten very much during our stay in Prague. The Hemingway Bar is inspired by Ernest Hemingway, a famous bar owner who made many cocktail recipes famous, such as the Hemingway Daiquiri or the Papa Doble, both popular in this bar. As far as I remember, we did order Whiskey Sours and Old Fashioned, though. Once a favorite…

Hemingway Bar Rule Nummer 6: If you want to buy somebody a drink, please ask the bartender first. he will find out if that person is interested in your offer.

The following day we woke up to pouring rain. That’s why we had no other option than to eat breakfast in our hotel, which was surprisingly good and came with lots of choices. Afterward, equipped with an umbrella from the hotel, we walked to the Old Town to check one last thing from our Prague Bucket List: ‘Trdelník’. Another dish that is also fairly popular in Germany, known as “Braumstrietzel” though we mainly find it on Christmas markets during colder months. It is also well-known in Hungaria (there as ‘kürtőskalács’) and Slovakia. All of the ‘trdelník’ have in common that they are made from rolled dough wrapped around a stick, then grilled and later topped with sugar, cinnamon, chocolate, or nuts.

To enjoy the best ‘trdelník’ in Prague, we went to the sweet little store TRDELNÍK & COFFEE, where the owner kindly provided us with a table and chairs inside so we wouldn’t have to eat in the rain. Apparently, we were not the only people loving her trdelník, as she told us that Eva Mendez had visited just the day before, being currently in Prague with her husband who shot a movie there. So you can imagine that on our way back, we were intensively attentive for our environment and for any passerby; however, we were literally the only people walking through a very wet Prague. Since the rain was not going to stop anytime soon, we decided to check out the hotel and leave Prague.

Hotels in PragUE

  • Pytloun Boutique Hotel – super stylish and valuable hotel right on Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) in close proximity to top sights.

  • Botanique Hotel Prague – Fancy hotel with lots of plants and an overall plush interior concept. The hotel’s own bar is supposed to serve home-style cooking and inspiring cocktails. Similar to the Pythloun Boutique Hotel, the prices here are also extremely fair.

  • BoHo Prague Hotel – A small but fine hotel that belongs to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group and is extremely luxuriously appointed.

Bars & Restaurants in Prague

  • Café Savoy – A lively and always busy Parisian-style café offering authentic and local cuisine since 1893 with attentive staff and an opulent interior (including Neo-Renaissance ceiling decorations!). A must on any visit to Prague!

  • Hemingway Bar – Located in one of Prague’s oldest neighborhoods, Hemingway Bar offers excellent drinks in a subdued atmosphere.

  • AUTHENTISTA – A beautiful wine bar, where you advised warmly and generously. Try to sip local wine and get the charcuterie board with fine cheese and ham.

  • TRDELNÍK & COFFEE – Traditional sweets baked in a cosher bakery with a lovely and chatty baker.

What to see

  • Wenceslas Square /Václavské náměstí – Frankly, Wenceslas Square is more of a boulevard than an actual square. Nevertheless, with its length of 750 meters, Wenceslas Square is considered one of the largest squares in Europe.

  • The bridges – The Charles Bridge over the Vltava River is one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe and is considered the most important landmark of Prague. The bridge was built in the 14th century and connects Prague’s Old Town with the Lesser Town as a Prague district with a unique flair. A walk across the bridge is virtually indispensable when visiting Prague.

  • Prague Castle – Prague Castle is considered the largest enclosed castle complex in the world. It dates back to the 9th century and sits enthroned in the heart of the city on Hradčany Hill.

  • Náplavka Farmers Market – Weekly market stretching along the waterfront from Trojická to Výtoň with live music and outdoor tables among the stalls offering freshly baked bread, organically grown vegetables from the region, homemade cakes and pastries, wild mushrooms (depending on the season), herbs, flowers, wild honey, hot dishes, Czech cider, coffee and a range of handicrafts.

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