My second trip to Prague was in August 2018. This started off as a work trip with four other colleagues from UK, followed by my family joining me on the Thursday for an extended weekend. Being our second trip, my colleague and me decided to play tourist guides to the rest and walked them to Charles Bridge to give them a glimpse of the river front and Prague Castle.
By August I had done 3 work trips with the lads and my stomach was more conditioned to accepting a bit more alcohol, in short, I graduated to the large pint. I won’t bore you with every place we had dinner, but it won’t be complete without mentioning U-Fleku. The Brewery and Restaurant U Fleků in Prague is one of the most famous and most visited Czech cultural sites, such as the Prague Castle, Old Town Square, Vyšehrad, the Jewish Town or the National Museum.This place had a number of halls with a large beer garden / courtyard in the middle. The seating was very Oktoberfest’ish with long rows of benches and tables. The place was heaving with tourists and locals with traditional live music running in the background that helped create an atmosphere. Beer was continuously refilled until you ask them to stop, quite dangerous for light weights like me! I ordered the only vegetarian option which felt like a Czech version of a ‘bhajiya‘ platter with salad. The waiter asked us to try ‘medovina’, a classic sweet honey infused alcoholic beverage. A small shot glass was enough to make us appreciate the ambiance. Don’t miss this place if you visit Prague.
Pic courtesy- ufleku website. It looked a lot like this
Let’s get to the family part of the trip. Up until now, I’d only seen the ‘dark’ side of Prague, as we only had time in the evenings and the agenda was heavily inclined to places that served alcohol!
After a bit of research, I found a hotel quite close to Wenceslas square. The family had a bit of airport drama with flight cancellations etc which meant that by the time they arrived Prague it was mid- day and the girls were knackered. After a much-needed nap, we got ready to explore the place on foot. Did I mention that last summer Europe was blessed with some never-ending sunshine and heat wave? It was early thirties and I was determined to try on that pink vest which I wouldn’t dare to wear in England. Besides that, was the only thing that coordinated with the pink themed evening.
We had the most enjoyable walk from new town to old. Prague has managed to maintain its heritage with its multi-colour facades along the street. The cafes along the street are pretty and unpretentious. Food and drink are not expensive in Prague when you compare them to other European cities. After a long walk to the town centre in the heat, we took a pit stop to grab a quick gelato for the little one. It was simply awesome. I wanted to show the family the Old Town square. As you walk along these lovely cobbled streets, you cannot ignore the Baroque architecture. Prague was once the cultural capital of Europe and it truly lives up to that title.
The walk, in day light observing the rich heritage of Prague is simply spectacular. The little one was still sprightly, so we decided to head to the famous Charles bridge. The sun was about to set, and we managed to get clicked along the riverside. The riverfront promenade is bustling with more cafes and restaurants.
The missus was a bit apprehensive to experiment the local cuisine besides her motherly instincts were flowing full throttle, so we had to find a dal-chawal place for the little one. On the way back towards the hotel, we bumped into Bombay Express. This was a life savior. If you are craving for Indian food in Prague, don’t miss Bombay Express (I think it is a chain in Prague as I saw it in more than one place!). We ordered a dal makhni, naan and paneer masala and may I say that it was quite simply delicious. I thanked the wife as by day five of staying away from home-food, I was craving for some desi food. On that tasty note, we called it a day.
The following day we decided to get a tram to Prague Castle. Remember I told you that Uber is good in Prague, trams are also good and cheap! We arrived early and got a day pass to cover a few monuments within the castle. It gave us access to the Rose gardens, Cathedral, Gold lane among a few other historic buildings. The castle is on a hill top offering a breathtaking view of the city.
After getting lots of photos, we entered the St. Vitus Cathedral. The intricate designs on the walls, the rose painted glass, high ceiling walls and the ornate decor was simply mind blowing. This is a must visit place and completely worth it.
The Cathedral was definitely the highlight of the visit. It was a visual treat from inside and outside. There is a lot to cover in the Castle. Our little one cooperated as we walked to tick everything we wanted to see. She was quite excited to see the castle exteriors, the rooms where the soldiers guarded the city and their outfits. The place has managed to preserve its history beautifully and highly recommended if you visit Prague.
Day 3 with the family was meant to be any place of fun for the little one. We were toying with the idea of going to Karlstein which was also a palace type of place but instead chose to go to the zoo. Prague zoo is huge with a lot of area to cover. I would definitely recommend if you are travelling with kids and would probably start early in the day and get a cable car to the top. The zoo expanses on a sloping terrain and they’ve managed to get all the wild animals at the top end. We chose to walk up as the missus was petrified with the incline of the cable car (bad decision). Once up, we hired a mini train to take us around the park and we got to see a lot of the wild animals. Prague zoo is not a Loro Parque or San Diego Zoo in terms of different shows but nonetheless it has all wild animals one would want to see and recognize. If you are travelling with kids and want to do something locally, then it is worth a visit.
I told you 2018 was a year of firsts and seconds. Two trips to Prague with completely different agendas but equally worthwhile and fun! Whether you decide to go solo, with a bunch of friends or with family, Prague has something to offer for one and all. At the end of the trip, the little one said to me “Papa, Prague was the best because it was nice and hot!”. Paisa vasool! *
* Paisa vasool! – got my money’s worth
-Nitin Kumsi – I’m not a born traveller, accountant, dancer, chaat-lover,reader or writer. l’ve just picked some of these habits along the way and stuck with some of them as I seemed to enjoy them more than others.