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Discover The Secrets That Prague Is Hiding

View of Prague Castle from Petrin Park

Good and evil, love and hate, hope and despair.

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Whenever people hear the word “Prague”, you know that the words to follow will be beautiful; one of my favourite places in Europe; and wish I go back.

Prague is spectacularly beautiful. There is rarely a bad view. While you explore the central tourist areas (Prague’s Old Town, Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle and Little Quarter), you are literally immersed in history in every step you take. Most of the buildings are hundreds of years old and superbly maintained. In many areas, you walk on cobblestones and uneven paths, reminiscent of times gone by.

Prague is also a lot of fun. There are fantastic restaurants everywhere. Even better, you would be hard pressed not to stumble upon an amazing bar or pub almost everywhere you go.  One of my favourite things that we did was a Prague beer spa which was as crazy and decadent as it sounds (more to follow, of course)!

However, there is a dark side to Prague. A short drive away is Terezin, a town that became an enormous concentration camp during World War II. Thousands and thousands of Jewish men, women and children were imprisoned there before they were shipped off to be murdered in gas chambers all over Europe.

We experienced it all – the beauty, the history, the fun and the darkness. Our three day Prague itinerary packed everything in and more.

 

Prague itinerary
A view of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle

 

Prague itinerary
Beautiful and historic buildings in Old Town

 

Prague itinerary

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3 Day Prague Itinerary – Restaurants

While we were in Prague, we visited my daughter who was half way through a 3 month exchange program through her College. That gave us a huge advantage. We ate at some delicious restaurants that tourists do not normally frequent. They ranged from Thai to Mexican to Italian, all of which offered excellent food and yummy cocktails at reasonable prices. In addition, they were all reasonably close to Prague Old Town where we were staying. These restaurant choices are all described in the Prague itinerary below.

 

Day 1 – Prague Itinerary – Walking Tour of Prague

 

Afternoon of Prague itinerary

We arrived early afternoon in Prague and headed to our Airbnb in Old Town. Old Town was a fantastic location within easy walking distance to great restaurants, shopping and the historic sites.

On day one of our Prague itinerary, we went on a private walking tour of Old Town and the Jewish Quarter organized through Private Prague Guide. We loved this tour as it gave us a general overview of how the city is laid out and its history. We booked this tour and our tour to Terezin Concentration Camp (Day 3) through Private Prague Guide. The guides were excellent and I thought that the daily itineraries were well thought out  and comprehensive. In addition, the tours were well priced.

 

Prague itinerary
Walking tour of Prague

 

Prague itinerary
A storefront in Little Quarter in Prague

 

Evening of Prague itinerary

In the evening of day one of our Prague itinerary, we went for cocktails and appetizers at Jewel Cafe Bar in Old Town. The cocktails were delicious. We tried the Grand Cosmopolitan, the Citrus Bay Lemonade and the Blackberry Gin, and would recommend them all! The appetizers had an Asian flair to them and were very tasty. The restaurant changes their food menu weekly so I can not recommend anything specific.

We took an Uber to Noi restaurant for dinner in the Little Quarter  district of Prague. We were warned against taking taxis in Prague. Most taxi drivers refuse to turn on their meter and will overcharge you, so when we weren’t using public transportation, we used Uber. Thankfully, everything went smoothly.

Noi was a Thai restaurant with many other Asian influences. The Czech Republic has a large Vietnamese population as a result of their shared Communist past. Accordingly, Prague has many Asian inspired restaurants. Noi had excellent food, and it was filled with locals. I felt like we were part of a cool neighbourhood bistro versus an overpriced staged tourist attraction.

 

Day 2 of Prague Itinerary – Prague Beer Spa

 

Morning of Prague beer spa

I spent day 2 of our Prague itinerary with my daughter exploring different parts of Prague. First, I took a short ride on the subway to Krizikova train station to visit her apartment in the trendy area called Karlin. This is an up and coming part of town with hip restaurants and an edgy vibe, where you will find lots of young people. The area was severely damaged from flooding in 2002, but many new buildings and restaurants emerged from the damage.  We had an amazing breakfast at Eska restaurant. It was very refreshing to be in an area largely devoid of tourists, enjoying a different side to Prague.

 

Prague beer spa
Eska Restaurant

 

From there, we headed back to Old Town and went shopping at the Palladium shopping mall. Even though this was near the touristy part of town, we only saw locals shopping. There were a few international and well known stores in the mall. However, for the most part, the mall was filled with local retailers highlighting local fashion. We really enjoyed shopping here and were able to find many unique items for good prices.

 

Prague beer spa
A successful shopping day in Prague

 

Afternoon of Prague beer spa

In the afternoon of day 2 of our Prague itinerary, we walked over the Charles Bridge to Little Quarter and had lunch at Kampa Park restaurant. Charles Bridge is a major tourist attraction in Prague. It was literally crawling with tourists, street performers and vendors. However, we found the restaurant nestled below the Charles bridge on the banks of the river. It felt like an oasis of calm and relaxation as we ate on the patio, overlooking the bridge and the river. The food was upscale, delicious and expensive relative to other restaurants in Prague. However, for the view, serenity and the quality of the food, I was happy with our choice.

 

Prague beer spa
Lunch at Kampa Park Restaurant with the Charles Bridge in the background.

 

After lunch, we hopped on the tram and went up the hill to Strahov Monastery to see its exquisite library with its ornate wooden carpentry and painted frescos on the ceiling. Afterwards, within a few feet of the Monastery, we entered and explored Petrin Park. We meandered through the Park and down the hill back towards the Charles Bridge, catching glimpses of breathtaking views of Prague along the way. There was a mixture of locals enjoying the park and tourists exploring the area.

 

Art Installation

At the bottom of Petrin Park is an art installation that I would highly recommend making time to see while in Prague. It is a memorial to the victims of Communism, the dictatorial type of rule that the people of the Czech Republic (and others) suffered under from 1945 – 1989. The first man is whole, but as each new man is added behind him, pieces of him are slowly cut away. I took that to symbolize how Communist rule slowly demoralized and diminished the people, if not in fact imprisoned or killed them. What do you think?

Prague beer spa
View of Prague Castle from Petrin Park

 

Terezin
A memorial to the victims of Communism in Petrin Park

 

Evening of Prague beer spa

In the evening of day 2 of our Prague itinerary, we started our evening at Bernard Beer Spa, a short drive from Old Town. Our Prague beer spa was highly entertaining and worth the cost! The five of us shared two gigantic wooden bathtubs filled to the brim with hot, bubbly water ladened with beer hops, with unlimited, free and easy access to delicious cold beer! After our beer spa, a couple of us had massages, while others sat in massage chairs sampling more beer. Finally, at the end of our Prague beer spa, we were sent on our way with, you guessed it, more beer! All of this was one flat cost, so the more beer you can drink, the better! It was a wonderful way to start our evening.

 

prague beer spa
Beer Spa

 

prague beer spa
Lounging in massage chairs after the beer spa

For dinner, we went to a Mexican restaurant called Cantina. Believe it or not, it was probably the best Mexican food that I have ever eaten. Wow! The servings were enormous and the prices were very reasonable. The frozen margaritas were the drink of choice and came in multiple flavours. Of course, we had to taste all of them. I think we would all agree that mango was the best. The restaurant was found in the Little Quarter district, across from Noi. I would return again without hesitation, especially if we could start our night with another Prague beer spa.

 

Accommodation in Prague

For accommodation in Prague Old Town or other spots in Prague, I would recommend using booking.com and the interactive map below to find the best location at the best prices.

 



Booking.com

 

Day 3 of Prague Itinerary- Day Trip from Prague to Terezin 

 

Terezin Concentration Camp

On day 3 of our Prague itinerary, we took a private tour of Terezin, a town about 45 minutes outside Prague, offered by Private Prague Guide. During World War II, the Nazis expelled all the non-Jewish residents of Terezin and transformed the town and its buildings into a concentration camp. Here, thousands upon thousands of Jews were imprisoned while they waited to be transported to other extermination camps all over Europe.

 

Terezin Prison

Just outside Terezin, the Nazis also converted an existing fortress into a prison. In Terezin prison, socialists, communists, war resistors, and common criminals, to name a few, were housed and brutalized. The conditions in Terezin prison were horrific.

 

Terezin
“Work Sets You free”, a Nazi slogan found in many concentration camps

 

Terezin
Solitary confinement in Terezin Prison

 

Terezin
The Jewish Memorial outside Terezin Prison

 

Terezin

I have been to Dachau and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps on past European trips, and have stood numb and disgusted at what I’ve seen and learned. Within that context, I came to Terezin bracing myself for horror. At Terezin, over 155,000 Jews were housed during the war, and approximately 34,000 died from malnutrition, disease, and abuse before they were even deported to extermination camps in other parts of Europe.

I found it very difficult walking the streets of Terezin knowing all this. Everything seems so normal today. It could be any small town in Europe with lots of old buildings and locals going about their lives. However, I knew that everywhere we walked, people just like me had also walked not too long ago, and they were imprisoned and eventually killed for nothing more than their religion.

 

 

Children at Terezin

A very difficult exhibition at Terezin to see and walk through is the art. Jews of all ages lived in Terezin, sometimes for months at a time. The Jewish children were not allowed to have a traditional education, but were allowed to participate in the arts. The Ghetto Museum at Terezin displays their original drawings and they were absolutely haunting. Some of the children’s art were filled with wistful memories of happier times laughing, playing and eating with their families. While others showed the dark, sombre, and relentless moments of their current life.

The camp also allowed music, band, drama and other forms of art, for all Jews, regardless of age, and many of these works were also presented. It was chilling to see these knowing that most everyone who produced them died soon thereafter.

 

Ghetto Museum at Terezin

I found the Ghetto Museum at Terezin to be extremely unsettling – so much colour and talent from people who, unbeknownst to them, were just waiting for their death.

 

Terezin
A wall of children’s artwork at Terezin’s Ghetto Museum

 

Terezin was an emotional exhausting day, but  I would highly recommend a trip there.

 

Evening

For our last night of our Prague itinerary, we walked to La Bottega Bistroteka in Prague for a fantastic Italian meal. This restaurant was filled with locals enjoying antipasto, pasta, and Italian pastries. The atmosphere was very relaxed and service was excellent. Again, the prices were very reasonable and we loved our meal.

 

Conclusion

Prague is a spectacularly beautiful city where you can easily walk, and enjoy all of its history and culture.  Prague also offers a lot of fun activities, like the Prague beer spa, and excellent restaurants and bars at reasonable prices, if you know where to look (and now you do)!

For an unforgettable experience, take a day trip to Terezin. It’s not an easy day, but there is so much to learn about the past, whether we are comfortable with it or not.

Finally, for a bit of a laugh, start your night soaking with all your friends in a large bubble bath with a cold beer in hand. You won’t solve any of the world’s problems or learn anything about the past, but you will feel like one of the luckiest people alive!

 

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Prague is a beautiful European city that is filled with exquisite history, architecture and food. You can spend your day having fun at a Beer Spa; walking the cobblestone streets shopping; or learning about WWII and communism. Prague has something for everyone. Here are my recommendations. #travel #Europe #Prague | beer spa, Cantina, Czech Republic, Jewish Quarter, Karlin, Little Quarter, Old Town, Petrin park, Prague Castle, Walking tour, Strahov Monastery, concentration camp, Terezin

 

16 Comments

  • Prague ! A splendid place to visit. Just loved witnessing the stunning buildings of the city of Madrid. The architectural beauty of the buildings posted here looks awesome. Thanks for sharing your experience at Prague. The photo of the tourists enjoying their evening at the Beer Spa was a special one.

  • Hi, there!
    Very interesting post) I liked all your recommendations about what to do and what to see in Prague. When I was in Prague, I got a tour at https://www.generationtours.com, but also heard a lot about Sandemans company.
    As for me: What can be better way to start your visit the colourful city than with a free city tour! It is good for travellers who don’t have big budgets for paid tours but need tour guides to properly explore places.

  • We live in Karlin in Prague! That’s so funny your daughter lives in this area, too! We tried a beer spa recently and also went to the concentration camp. You described both incredibly well, especially the Ghetto Museum. I had tears in my eyes, looking at the children’s art. Glad you got to go to all of these places, too!

    • Thanks Marilyn. If I lived in Prague, I would definitely try to find a place in Karlin. It was such a cool neighbourhood and close to everything. I agree – Terezin and the Ghetto Museum were both fascinating. It was amazing to see how well they have been able to preserve everything. It really should be on everyone’s list to see.

  • I loved Prague! I can’t compare it to Madrid because I haven’t been to Madrid (I am going though, in a week!) but I fell in love with Prague when I visited a few years ago, despite it being crowded and full of tourists. I did not, however, do the beer spa experience. It wouldn’t have made sense since I’m not a beer drinker but I can totally imagine that it would be amazing for someone who does. I did not make it to the concentration camp, sounds like that would have been intriguing, though tough, experience.

    • I hope you have an awesome time in Madrid! Lucky you! Yes, my experience in Prague went from a crazy night in a beer spa to a very somber experience at the concentration camp. There is a lot to experience in Prague and the surrounding areas (as you know). The key is figuring out the best use of your time.

  • I still didn’t make it to reach Prague, but I hope it will be very soon. I will definitely try to experience it like a local to have full fun 😀 Glad that you had a great time and hope that you enjoyed a lot! 😀 I love the spa evening and that’s definitely my kind of evening, just to relax and forget about the work and everything.

    • The spa evening is very fun and a different way to spend an evening. You will love it, especially if you love beer!

  • I have been reminiscing about Prague lately and your post really makes me want to go back! We didn’t do the beer spa while we were there so if we returning, it is a must do! It looks so cool!

    • The beer spa was one of those activities that you do on your travels that makes you smile and laugh years later. I loved it and it is fun to share!

  • Wow you weren’t kidding, Prague is beautiful! I’d love to visit one day as my husbands family comes from that area. And this beer spa sounds very intriguing!

    • Lucky you to “have” to go to Prague one day to visit family! My daughter who lived there loved all of the Czech Republic. She travelled constantly. So, have a wonderful time when you go!

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