Prague is pretty in any season

Letter 156

A collage of rich terracotta, creamy yellow and vibrant emerald is the stunning view when overlooking Prague, one of the prettiest cities in the world. Wandering around the quaint streets and striking squares, I could so easily see why Prague is a firm favourite among many. You can’t not fall a little bit in love with the magic of this metropolis.

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We visited Prague in the dead of winter, early January, a notoriously bad time to travel to European cities. Actually, I’ve found that I enjoy travelling in winter. You miss the hoards of summer tourists, you have an excuse to bundle up in cosy pubs and cafes and you may event catch a sprinkle of festive joy.

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Thanks to a very delayed plane from Edinburgh and my late bus from Wroclaw (read about my journey and travels in Wroclaw here: My winter wonderland – from Wroclaw to Prague) we didn’t get to sleep until 4am and thus woke at 12pm on our first full day in the city. Whilst in summer this means you still have a full day ahead of you, that is not the case in January. Our Airbnb was amazingly situated at the foot of Vyšehrad Castle, so we went exploring for the afternoon. Prague had seen a dusting of snow during the night, and the result was pretty spectacular. The muted colours and bright snow around the castle made it even more beautiful, and the views over Prague were just wonderful.

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That evening we did a (very cheap) food shop at the local Lidl, picking up breakfast, lunch and dinner supplies for the next few days. Then we headed out on the icy pavements to a local restaurant for some dinner which was lovely. We ended up sitting, chatting and eating for hours and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had the classic meat and veg dishes paired with beer (for him) and wine (for me). I know Czech beer is supposed to be the best in the world, but it’s still not for me.

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The next morning we managed to rise at a suitable time, and headed into the city so see Prague. The snow had all melted unfortunately, and clouds covered the sky, but you still can’t fault the stunning streets and buildings. We did a walking tour to get the lay of the land – always recommend them – and it was great. The guide took us all around the old town and Jewish Quarter, gave us lots of historical information and also great tips. Here are some snippets of our trip:

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We stopped for lunch at a lovely little pub and, again, had meat, veg and dumplings. Not sure this cuisine is one of my favourites. We wondered around the Castle side of the river and I fell in love with the sporadic Christmas markets, bustling streets and occasional erotic sculptures (yes, they do exist). We even saw the sun peep out and the views over to the centre of Prague were second to none. That evening we decided to have a night in and use the beautiful Airbnb kitchen. We relaxed in the apartment, watched TV and ate lots of food.

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The next day we aimed for the Castle. My cold got worse from me ignoring it and facing the freezing temperatures, so I was not on top form. Always the way. Although we didn’t go inside any of the castle buildings, we did enjoy walking around it. Taking respite in a small café, we ate two massive burgers. Although I always opt for traditional food, I needed a burger – and it was a good one.

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Heading back into the centre, we took a trip up the clock tower to take in the views over this gorgeous city. It was truly breath-taking. I always try to get a view over any city I visit, and this one was fantastic. Prague really is a jewel of Europe.

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For our last afternoon we mingled around the remaining Christmas Markets and listened to a Czech choir that were performing. It was lovely to have one last afternoon of Christmas, before heading home to British January. In the evening we went out for dinner near the Jewish Quarter. The food was amazing and the restaurant was very cute. Afterwards we walked along the river and stopped for a cocktail in a little bar before heading back for our last night in the Airbnb.

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We left Prague early in the morning for our 7am flight, and that was the end of my New Year trip. Prague was such a wonderful city to visit and I will definitely be returning in the coming years in spring or summer. I can see why so many people love it.

Poland and the Czech Republic are great countries with very diverse cities. I’ve only scratched the surface but it’s left me with the desire to explore deeper and travel more extensively. It’s all to come!

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed my accounts of Poznan, Wroclaw and Prague. If you didn’t catch the previous posts, here they are:

The best things are the least expected – Poznan  |  8 nationalities, 1 table and lots of beer – Wroclaw  |  My winter wonderland – from Wroclaw to Prague

Stay tuned for quick travel guides, recommendations and budget advice in the coming posts!

Happy travels.

From Lou

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