Prague was the first of the five cities I visited during the post-college graduation Euro-trip I speak so often (and fondly) of. Unlike many European cities where Renaissance Era structures were lost or compromised by the First and Second World Wars, Prague's medieval architecture is prevalent throughout the city and delightfully preserved.
The metropolis's iconic red roofs, narrow cobblestone streets, walking bridges, and wildly expressive bronze sculptures are just some of the reasons why many refer to it as a fairy tale city. These old world details combined with a 20th century Art Nouveau influence make the city oh so freakin' pretty.
And as contemporary art and modern photography scenes flourish in Prague, the city continues to be home to a whimsical contrast of old and new. Affordable and probably more foreign-feeling than any other European city I've visited, Prague is most definitely a must-see for any twenty-something.
There are lots of tourist traps in Prague and pickpocketing is certainly prevalent, so be extra mindful of your security when walking around. The funicular to Petrin Tower and Prague Castle, though highly trafficked areas, are as such for a good reason. Be sure to hit these up early on in your trip then spend some time at these other must-sees:
- Kafka Museum and Mucha Museum: for intimate snapshots of two of the city's important turn-of-the-century contemporaries.
- DOX: Prague's center for modern art.
- Zizkov and Vinohrady: more off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods that showcase Prague's contemporary lifestyle.
- La Gallery Novesta: I'm not a huge proponent of shopping while abroad – I think money is better spent on experience – however the US dollar goes a long way in the Czech Republic, so it's a great place to indulge. La Gallery Novesta spotlights up-and-coming Czech designers providing extra unique duds to bring back.
Czech cuisine is meat-heavy and generous with the fried, pickled, drenched-in-cream-sauce sides. And, we're perfectly OK with this. Some spots to get your grub on:
- Lokal: authentic Czech food in a beautifully airy, modern space.
- Naše Maso: Prague is known for its quality meat and Nase Maso is an exceptional butcher shop that's perfect for an affordable lunch.
- Čestr: for some more speciality meat.
- Bredovsky Dvur: another classic Czech spot with in an underground, vault-style space.
- Sansho: for some really fun, modern interpretations of pan-Asian cuisine.
I will say, that I found that nightlife in Prague wasn't the friendliest towards single women. So my recommendation is to grab a late-evening cocktail at one of these youthful, but less clubby (i.e. less creepy) spots:
With an extensive metro system, I recommend staying in areas a bit removed from city center.
- This Airbnb for $43 in Center City
- This one close to city center for $85/night
- This one for $72/night.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.