Visiting Prague (2) – where to eat and where to have fun

October 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

Prague is well know for being a foodie city. Each restaurant serves pork-heavy menus – with the aid of the amazing Pilsner Urquell or Staropramen beers you’ll be able to down such dishes and then some more.

However I wanted to eat moderately healthy and I did a lot of research beforehand. Our hotel served a minimalistic breakfast and I wanted to avoid the croissants, so we opted not to eat breakfast there. Luckily there was no need for breakfast since Elvin and I would wake up really late and go to brunch directly. 🙂

Here’s the website where I found very useful intel about the best restaurants, bistros and cafes in Prague. These guys also offer an apartment for rent – worth checking out if you’re ever in Prague as it’s really good value for money.

Here are our top recommendations:

  • Mistral Café – we had brunch here and it was absolutely delightful. The place is bright and has a cool vibe. Although we got there before noon it was already full and a lot of the tables were reserved. I had a lovely salmon with a side of lentils and salad, plus numerous coffees. The deserts looked amazing but it was too much for me. There’s also a cool area for kids to play. This bistro/restaurant is near the Jewish quarter.
  • Proudi proudi 3proudi 2
  • Next was La Bottega Bistroteka – I told you we were into healthy stuff (and Italian cuisine can be healthy!). This place was easy to find as it’s located on the very trendy Dlouha street, just a stone throw away from the city centre. We loved the atmosphere here! We went to this place for coffee on the first evening and I had a chance to capture a bit of the atmosphere. I had an amazing, if a bit bizzare coffee and Elvin had the cappuccino and the house-made tiramisu. There are house-made cakes on display and you can even assemble your own salad from the salad bar. In the morning they even serve chia puddings – very avant-garde! We loved this place so much we decided to go there again on the second evening – this time this was a dinner date with our friends. Cristina and I shared the most amazing beef, it was really incredible, while Elvin and Mitko had fish with potatoes and a lovely mushroom sauce. We loved this place so much!
  • Bistroteka 1 Bistroteka 2 Bistroteka 3
  • Kavarna Novy Svet – we ate here the second day we went to the Castle (yes we visited the Castle on 2 days… but it was all worth it). The Castle area can get incredibly busy which is something I’m not a big fan of. I was looking for a nice, quiet place where we could have a quick and healthy brunch. With its delicious soups, quiches, home-made cakes and exquisite coffee Kavarna Novy Svet does not disappoint. We were greeted with a homey, cozy atmosphere; this place is run by a family and everything here tasted incredibly fresh. It’s nestled on one of the most quiet streets around 10 minutes away from the Castle. Such a gem!
  • Novy svet 2 Novy svet 3 Novy Svet
  • But pork and beer can’t be avoided forever, can they? We went to Lokal and that was that. I think 90% of the dishes here were based on pork. This was a recommendation from my Czech friend and non, je ne regrette rien. 🙂 This is a chain of restaurants, we went to the one on Dlouha 33. No pictures here, we were too busy drinking beer from a hose. 😉

In terms of fun Prague abounds in jazz bars. We were too busy entertaining ourselves that we missed the reservation we had made at Reduta Jazz Club for their 1960s music night.

Here’s a list of all the cool bars and clubs in Prague, hopefully you’ll be able to find something suitable.

The magic of Prague (1)

October 18, 2015 § 2 Comments

Last year for Christmas we decided to offer each other a different type of gift: plane tickets to a secret destination. Elvin embraced this idea immediately as he hates shopping for any occasion. He surprised me with a trip to Portugal in June and I… well, I got us tickets for Prague, in October. An absolute win-win!

It’s easy to understand why I chose Prague: very similar to Vienna (which we both love!), a well preserved historical city and oh, so very romantic, especially in autumn. Also, I would lie if I said the amazing food scene didn’t make a difference in this choice.

Over time, I developed a strategy for fun, intelligent travel: as soon as I stumble on a random recommendation while I’m perusing the internet, I save it in a dedicated folder. For example, I recently came across an article with recommendations about Finland, so now I have a special folder for this which I know will come in handy at some point. I did the same with Prague over the last few months and it saved me a lot of hassle.

Here’s what I used this time around:

  • Accommodation recos – I was so happy that I took the advice of the wonderful couple at Le Blog Piquant. The hotel they recommended was perfect
  • What to visit – it’s easy to want to see and experiment everything when visiting a new place, but I like targeted, customized visits. I love using travel guides, but only for orientation. Andra’s website is the best place for off the beaten track recommendations and I love her style
  • The best of Prague – truly a comprehensive guide about the best places to eat, drink and have fun. This served us so, so well and I’m always grateful to find readily available information on ‘secret’ places
  • Friends – this goes without saying, I guess. Word of mouth recommendations rock. This time around we had a native Czech friend tell us about her favourite music clubs and restaurants – the girl clearly knows her stuff!

We stayed at Dahlia Inn, a lovely boutique hotel (only one floor) very close to the city center. This place is great on so many levels – easily accessible from the airport as it is 5 minutes away from Pavlova metro station and so well connected – tram #22 which is just outside of the building takes you to the city centre in a matter of minutes. The staff were incredibly nice and let us check in at the crazy hour of 10am (we’d had a super early flight in from Geneva). Our room was clean, cozy and warm. And the best part? At 49 EUR per night, this place is incredibly cheap. Definitely recommended and we’d go there again any time!

Prague has a very efficient transportation system – the trams and metro are reliable, fast and… good value for money. We bought a 3-day pass at the airport and it covered all matter of transportation, including to the city and back to the airport. By the way, travelling to and from the airport was so easy and probably one of the quickest trips we experienced when visiting a city. Elvin was such a pro at navigating the different maps and we found our way around very easily.

I’ll be back with a recap of the things we did and places we went to, but for now I leave you with two of my favourite photos from Prague.

ceas strada

 

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