Prague (day 1 and 2)
Back in February, after our Rome trip and in the midst of planning our Paris trip, we saw a great Groupon deal for Prague. I haven’t bought anything from Groupon and so I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to give it a try. Below are the details of the Groupon deal and our trip:
- Destination: Prague, the capital of Czech Republic
- Duration: 4 days 3 nights (6th July to 9th July 2012)
- Accommodation: Hoffmeister Hotel
- Flight: Easyjet from Bristol (included in deal)
- Groupon cost: GBP 254 per person
- Season/Temperature: Mid summer, average 20 to 25 degrees Celsius
It was an excellent deal. Costing merely GBP 254 per person for a 3 night stay in Prague, inclusive of flight, is an absolute bargain!
Day 1 (6th July 2012)
We arrived in Prague around 9:30PM. I had arranged for an airport pickup from Prague Airport Transfer (website here). For 550 CZK, we were greeted with the driver with our names on a sign at the airport. The transfer was on a sedan. Definitely value for money.
We checked in and went out for dinner. Initially I was a bit concerned about going out as it was quite late (it was around 10:30PM) and we were not familiar with the area. The hotel receptionist looked surprised (or perhaps offended?) when I asked if it was safe for us to go out. He said there’s nothing to worry about as we’re in a major tourist area and it is definitely safe. So we went out and explored the area near Mostecká street, the street that leads to the famous Charles Bridge.
Despite it being near 11PM, the area was still busy with tourists. Given the hour, the only eating outlets available were food stalls and McDonald’s. We decided to give McDonald’s a go as it’s always interesting to try common fast-food chains across the world. There’s always something different. For example, we found out the McDonald’s in Prague uses the word “menu” to describe a “set”, and a “menu” comes with a free mineral water!
Day 2 (7 July 2012)
We started the morning by exploring Malá Strana (Lesser Town). Turns out everything was walking distance. From our hotel (map above: look for the white box labelled “Hoffmeister Hotel“), we walked to St Nicholas Church.
St Nicholas Church was completed in 1735. The church replaced an old parish on the same site dating back as early as 1273AD.
From there, we walked to Prague Castle. Prague Castle was founded in 870AD and over the centuries have been the official residences of the Bohemian Kings, Holy Roman Emperors and more recently the office of the presidents of Czech Republic.
From Prague Castle, we were able to get a fantastic view of the city. We explored the inner compounds of the castle, and after seeing everything, we headed back down to Malá Strana.
Along the way down, we saw a small bakery selling the Trdelník, a traditional sweet pastry. We decided to give it a try.
After that, we walked down the same street, and we headed for Charles Bridge. Just like the guide book said, Charles Bridge is packed with tourist during the day in summer. I plan to explore Charles Bridge the next day, so we quickly made our way through. From Charles Bridge, we roamed the streets and ended at Old Town Square. We explored the square and admired the Astronomical Clock (photo above: left) and the Church of Mother of God before Týn (photo above: right).
The video above shows a 360 view of Old Town Square.
We walked towards Powder Gate. The name may have given you some hints on its purpose. It was built in 1475, and by the 17th century it was primarily used to store gun powder. Traditionally, the Powder Gate, along with 12 other towers built in the area, was used to demarcate the areas between Old Tow and New Town.
From Powder Gate, we continued to explore New Town. In New Town, we visited Wenceslas Square. The square is the centre of business and cultural activities. It is one of Prague’s main shopping district. We walked towards the end of Wenceslas Square to have a good look at the The National Museum.
From Wenceslas Square, we walked back to Old Town Square and decided to explore Pařížská street (Paris street). It’s one of the major streets from Old Town Square. There were a number of designer and branded goods on this street, such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier etc. At the end of Pařížská street, we visited the Jewish quarter.