Monday, October 7, 2013

Prague - My former Bohemia

A city built as you would imagine it from a fairy tale picture book. 
A city so rich with history, 
making it an absolute pleasure to walk its streets, 
learning about the layers upon layers of historical figures and stories. 

Beautifully maintained and restored...this city is a treat for the eyes...
and what an oh-so-playful sight it is for your inner Knight or inner 'Dame' (princess)!

I was only able to spend a few days in Prague but managed to see a few different things and taste lots of goodies, 
which I’d love to pass on to you.

Happy traveling through my eyes...

TO DO (or rather...what we did):
Try a free tour of Prague with 'New Prague Tours':
Prague is a city so full of history and the abundance of gorgeous buildings have so much more to offer than just their pretty sight. Therefore, Prague deserves for every visitor to embark on a properly guided tour. I came across this 3.5 hour tour of Prague old town. Not only is this tour fantastic (quality guides, fun and information-rich), it is also FREE! Make sure you book in your name ahead of time on their website. Click here to access the website.

A favourite new learnt fact I’d like to leave you with:
Walking around Prague, you will see the word ‘Bohemia’ or ‘Bohemian’ used a lot. I wasn’t sure exactly why but our tour guide soon explained the following…

Bohemian refers to a resident or native of the former Kingdom of Bohemia, either in a narrow sense as the region of Bohemia proper or in a wider meaning as the whole country, now known as the Czech Republic. In English, the word "Bohemian" was used to denote the Czech people as well as the Czech language before the word "Czech" became prevalent.
As we know, "Bohemian" may also denote "a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts." This forms a separate meaning derived from the French word “Bohemian” referring to "gypsies," or Romani people, because Romani people were thought to come from Bohemia (now the Czech Rep), or because they perhaps entered the West through Bohemia".
Source: Wikipedia

The Prague Castle:
The Prague Castle is a stunning sight, which dominates the city’s skyline. It is a jumble of styles and influences, which perfectly illustrated the shifting demands of its occupants and conquerors over the last millennium. The imposing St Vitus’s Cathedral is visible from everywhere in town – so dominant and impactful when standing at its base - it humbles all its visitors. Other highlights within the castle complex include the Old Royal Palace, which has excellent historic and architectural displays; Basiica of St George; the Lobkowicz Palace, which now has a fully fledged museum.

Antique Shop(ping!!):
If you like antique shopping and can allow yourself to bring home something small, this place is a must. I could have spent hours in here, rummaging through piles of old books, cupboards of vintage teacups and glasses, and endless vintage homeware goods. Very affordable! We definitely didn’t leave empty handed.
Located on Vitečná street in Prague 5

Tricafe – Craving a good coffee or even finding it hard to locate a coffee shop where they put ‘soy milk’ on the menu!? This is your place. The guy who runs this place is extremely nice and spent a lot of time in New Zealand. He has brought back some individual coffee-culture touches to Prague, making this place a gem.
Located close to Charles Bridge at Anenska 3, Prague 1.

The Bakeshop – Oh my goodness! This place is a dream. Every type of baked good you would wish for (Cupcakes, muffins, cookies, cakes, macaroons, etc.), as well as gorgeous salads, soups, quiches and other savoury treats. This place is popular for a reason. Click here for the website.

The Bakeshop
The Bakeshop

Strudel from Šusta Štrúdl – (This tip comes from another source. Click here to access) “Prague's food nerds relish the chance to inform you that the great place you've just discovered has been around forever. To those of you who already knew about Šusta Štrúdl, 1) Well done and 2) Why didn't you tell me? This one's kind of a cheat since strudel is as Czech as it gets. But we think Šusta Štrúdl qualifies for its departure from the traditional Czech variety and the fact that it's an international sensation having been deemed the best in Prague by the Travel Channel.”
Jeseniova 29, Praha 3
(Open Monday–Friday 9:00–12:00 and 13:00–17:00)

Šusta Štrúdl

Café Louvre – Feel like an aristocrat and grab a coffee and cake in this Viennese-style café house. Click here for the website.

Café Savoy – Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try their goods, but I hear that their cakes are delicious. 
Vítězná 5, Mala Strana Monday to Friday 8am-10:30pm Saturday and Sunday 9am-10:30pm. Click here for the website. 

Lokal – We all know that one of the popular prides of the Czech culture is beer! I’m not a beer connoisseur but when in Prague, you’ll have to try their local favourite Pilsner Urquell, as well as some local Czech food to complement the experience. This place seems to be popular and offers beer on tap. Click here for reviews and address.

Lehka Hlava Restaurant (translates to ‘Clear Head’) – As my time was limited in Prague, I wasn’t able to review many restaurants but am happy to share this one. A vegetarian restaurant with funky interior design. The food won’t blow your socks off but the menu is fun, flavoursome and varied. To drink I had coconut water, a warm goats cheese salad to start and an Asian rice noodle veggie stir fry as my main (a range as you can tell J). Definitely worth a visit but you can skip dessert at this place and grab something sweet elsewhere. Make sure you book ahead as it’s a popular place. Click here for the website

For more ideas on Prague:
 Click here to access a very cool city guide from Design Sponge.
A fun source, which I use a lot when traveling.

Until we meet next, beautiful Prague.


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