If you think that the Czech Republic and its capital city Prague have nothing more to offer than cheap beers and British stag parties, then you clearly haven’t been to this wonderful part of Eastern Europe. We have now been to Prague twice and have been bowled over by the Czech culture and hospitality in the ‘City of a Thousand Spires’. In fact we would go as far to as to say that Prague is one of the best destinations for a long weekend from the UK and here’s why.
Firstly, it is only a short two and a half hour flight from the UK. The city centre is easily accesible from the airport too which means that very little of your precious annual leave is wasted travelling. Secondly, there is just so much to see and do. From the wonderful cobbled streets of the old town to the beautifully quiet lessen town via the iconic Charles Bridge, you will quickly fall in love with this beautiful city. Finally, it really is incredibly cheap. A weekend break here will be a fraction of the cost of a weekend in Paris or London.
St Nicholas Church, Prague
Grand Cafe Orient, Prague
Currency – Czech Koruna.
Best time to visit – Like most of Eastern Europe, Prague has cold winters but the weather picks up through the spring and summer. If you visit over the weekend during the Spring, Prague can be very busy (and a little rowdy) with a large number of stag and hen parties. However, these tend to drop off as the year goes on so we think that autumn is the best time to visit.
Accommodation – Prague has a wide variety of accommodation options from no-frills hostels to serious high-end luxury. One thing that we love about Prague is that it is still very affordable – although it has of course become a little more expensive since our first visit in 2015. On our latest visit we stayed at the fantastic ICON Hotel & Lounge and we would highly recommend it for anyone planning a trip to Prague in the future.
Food – as with most cities the food can be a bit of a mixed bag and there are some dreadful tourist traps on the Old Town Square which should be avoided. But there are some fantastic restaurants in Prague offering some great meat heavy local cuisine. For some traditional Czech food in a traditional beer hall setting try U Parlumentu in the heart of the Old Town. Vegetarian options in mainstream options range from pretty average to non-existent so if you are veggie or vegan we would recommend checking out Prague’s up and coming veggie scene. There are some great options like Maitrea and it’s sister restaurant Lehka Hlava offering 100% vegetarian fare. Of course while you are here you have to try the local delicacy – beer! Our favourite bar – the Prague Beer Museum offers over 40 local beers on tap and is a must visit on your long weekend in Prague. My personal favourite is the Merlin.
Transport – public transport in Prague is cheap and easy to use although Prague is so walkable that we have never really needed to use it. In fact, we would actively encourage you to get out and see the city by foot as it is the best way to explore and find the beautiful narrow streets that Prague is famous for. If you’re not the fittest and the walk up to the castle is daunting, take the number 22 tram through the city centre past many of the tourist hotspots and all the way up to the top of the hill. The views from the top, especially at the viewpoint by the Strahov Monastery do not disappoint. Taxis are widely available and also tend to be cheap in the city centre although you should book ahead for your transfer from the airport.
How much will it cost me – Prague is cheap particularly if you go in the off-season. You can get a three night stay at the start of November at the 4* ICON Hotel & Lounge for as little as €300 including an all-day breakfast. A pint of local beer costs around 40Kč or €1.50 and dinner for two roughly 800Kč or €30.
If European cities were a necklace, Prague would be a diamond among the pearls.
Prague is a wonderful destination for a long weekend away and perfect for people who are not used to city breaks. If our destination guide has inspired you to travel to the Czech Republic then check out the rest of our posts about the wonderful city of Prague and let us help you make the most of your next trip away.