Hello! Hallo! Dobrý den! Welcome to Prague!
You know how they say New York is the city that never sleeps? Well, New York has a twin: Prague! In our second night in the city, I woke up because there was some really loud shouting and car horns in front of our hotel room window. I looked at my watch – 4 am. My Scotsman was in the bathroom anyways, so I opened the window and saw flocks and flocks of people roaming the streets as if it was only 8 o’ clock at night, and they were just ready to get started. Cars and taxis going round, people walking up and down the curb – it was absolutely fantastic to watch. The asserted sisterhood (yes, Prague is female) with New York has found proof as well – in the famous watering hole called Bar & Books. There are three of them in New York City and two in Prague. If you ever get there, go to the one in Týnská and order a Salty Dog. You won’t regret it. It’s the perfect cocktail to get you tipsy without giving you a hangover, because your Margarita glass gets a salty ring that keeps you going. The hostess of the evening wears a uniform consisting of a red dress, a smile on her face and pearls around her neck, the bartenders wear suit and tie. Very stylish, very Bond-like. Or maybe I’m just thinking that because on the TV in the background James Bond movies are running in a nonstop loop.
When you had your Salty Dog (or two), go down the street until you get to Tyn Church, on the right hand side is a little Italian restaurant that makes a very good garlic bread and has some nice Jazz going. As a plus, you can watch all the tourists go by, making complete arses out of themselves. Sitting outside is mandatory! You get the best view at Tyn Church from this restaurant, including its many tiny little towers that get a creepy look at night, because they are lit up orange.
When you move back to the city centre, towards the astronomic clock (don’t even try to get a glimpse, the view is blocked 24/7 by hundreds of Chinese people taking photographs and making videos of it), let yourself be lured into U Dvou Velbloudú in Kozná Street by one of the students who earn money by standing on the main street, trying to get people into one of the many backstreet restaurants. You’ll get a traditional, handmade Czech meal (starter, main course and drinks) for about 20$ per person. How to spot the right lure? If there are two camels standing back to back printed on the menu she’s showing you, follow her! You will have the finest goulash soup and dumplings of your life.
Enough about food and drinks for now (we’ll come back to that later) – if you want to do some sightseeing, and who am I kidding here, of course you do – Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! – book the HopOn-HopOff tour ticket, and buy the 48 hours for 600 korunas per head. You can then decide and swap and switch between three different tours: red, green and yellow. Each will take you to different famous sights and spots, for example the suicide bridge, Charles Bridge, downtown, the Television Tower aka the second ugliest building in the world, Kafka’s statue, Prague Castle and many many more. On each location you can ‘hop off’ the little orange bus, walk around a bit on your own or take a guided tour, and then ‘hop on’ the next orange bus that comes by – hence the name of the tour. Plus, the ticket includes a one hour boat trip on the Vltava (Moldau) and free entrance to Railroad Kingdom, where you can see the whole of the Czech Republic on a 4:1 scale.
If you’re still interested in Pragues cultural treasures after that (I know we were), visit one of the dozens of museums and galleries. We went to the Gallery of Art because they have three exhibitions on*: Warhol, Dalí and Mucha. You can buy tickets for one, two or all three exhibitions. We skipped the Warhol one because the Scotsman and I are not big fans of his. The Scotsman wanted to see Dalí, I was dying to see Mucha, so we bought the two-in-one for those, and it was absolutely magnificent. I’ve never seen so many paintings, illustrations, sketches and sculptures in so little space! Mucha also has his own museum in Prague (as does Kafka) – I wonder what is in there at the moment, because all his works seem to be at the gallery!
What you definitely HAVE to do in Prague is walk. Exploring the city by foot is a must because it is the only way you can admire all the beautiful architecture and the detail that comes with it. All the figurines, the gargoyles, the arches, the hundreds of windows, the wooden doors with patterns and gold details…it is fantastic. When you’re tired of all the walking you just did, go to the Nostalgie Restaurant in Rybná (I’d rather call it a bistro, but it’s not my decision to make). Inside it is decorated with black and white photographs of female movie and stage stars of the early 20th century and an old film projector. Order the Club Sandwich (best sandwich sauce!) or something from the specials board. And if it is offered, take the cucumber lemonade. It sounds odd but it is very thirst quenching and refreshing on a hot day. Before you go back to your hotel for the night, visit the Como Bar&Restaurant a bit down from Wenceslas Square, next to Hotel Jalta, and get yourself a Pink Lady as a nightcap. Every time you order it, it will look different: Surprise! But here’s the fun part: It will always taste the same. I had about five or six of them (mind you, in four nights). The first two were really pink, I mean, like Flamingo pink. One was naked, so just the drink in a Martini glass. The second one had a slice of lemon stuck to the glass. The next day, it looked like an albino Flamingo – pink bottom, white top, and there was a blackberry in it. The next night, it was bright pink again, with a cocktail cherry at the bottom, and the last one was like the first one again – bright pink and naked.
The Scotsman and I are missing Prague, and we’re planning our next trip to there already, because there’s so much more we want to see of it. We came home yesterday – just saying…
*and because you cannot tell your friends: Oh yeah, the museums of Prague, well we’ve been to the Museum of Sex Machines and the Museum of Torture. I mean, you have to visit at least one ‘proper’ place!