Perfect Weekend: 48-Hours in Prague, Czech RepublicBy Francesca Brooking
Dubbed ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’, the Czech Republic’s capital is a real jewel in the heart of Europe. Bisected by the Vltava River, the city is best known for its beautiful architecture that showcases a rich tapestry of history as far back as a millennium. Rivalling the likes of Paris and Rome in beauty, Prague is a paradise for the casual wanderer. Let it pique your curiosity as you follow its many winding cobblestone streets that open out into hidden gardens, quiet courtyards and cheerful cafés tucked away from the steady bustle of the crowds. A timeless city, Prague is like a film set and it comes as no surprise that many a Hollywood film crew have been spotted on its streets. Prague is relatively affordable and a European cultural hub which makes for an ideal year-round city break. It doesn’t hurt that it’s home to some of the world’s best beer too. Here’s everything you need to know:
Prague Travel Guide: Where to Stay
The lowdown: Emanating classic Art Nouveau sophistication and chic modernity, Radisson Blu’s new Prague hotel is a hotspot for leisure and business travellers alike. Newly opened in June 2019 after a 6-month renovation, Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague is a historical complex with three out of its four buildings containing elements of Baroque and classical ancient architecture. The slightly more modern parts were designed and built by the well-known architect and civil engineer, Jaroslav Polívka. Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague is a celebration of historic glamour with all the comfort of modern convenience to help you experience absolute luxury during your stay.
What to expect: Step inside the Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague and be greeted by a wide, spacious lobby designed with soft neutral tones of grey, cream and brown. Located to the right, the large open-plan restaurant has a simple yet classy elegance to it complete with white-topped tables and squashy grey chairs that guaranteed a dining experience in comfort. For those keen to keep fit abroad, a dedicated fitness room can be found in the basement while on the top floor guests will soon be able to enjoy a rooftop terrace with unparalleled views of Prague Castle. Five meeting rooms that can be split into eight make this Radisson Blu hotel a prime destination for business meetings and conferences.
The rooms: Each one of the hotel’s 160 rooms feels like a home away from home. Kitted out with soft, comfortable furnishings including a huge white bed, armchairs, sofas and a state-of-the-art 49-inch TV with Chromecast (some rooms even have two!), you won’t ever want to leave.
Radisson Blu’s 10 different room types leave you spoilt for choice. Rooms range from standard twin and doubles to Presidential Suites and family rooms. Whichever you end up choosing, all accommodation is clean, roomy and elegantly modern. Expect the highest quality cotton white bedsheets to snuggle into, enormous ensuite bathrooms and a fully-stocked bar with snacks and tea and coffee facilities in every room.
Food and drink: Mornings are an absolute treat at Radisson Blu Prague. Indulge a little and take breakfast in your room. Or, wander down to the restaurant for a breakfast buffet of dreams where there will be hot plates filled to the brim with scrambled eggs, baked beans, bacon and sausages. Help yourself to a selection of croissants, toast, cheese and cold meats or grab a healthy bowl of yoghurt and fruit compote. If that doesn’t take your fancy then you can always order breakfast off the menu.
Lunch and dinner is a more sit down affair with the menu offering a traditional three-course meal, light snacks and club sandwiches. Enjoy a selection of Italian favourites including Caprese and tagliatelle or dig into a pulled salmon sandwich served with chunks of Atlantic salmon, greens, red onions and a dollop of chive mayonnaise presented in a homemade brioche bun. For dessert, indulge in a Crème Brûlée complete with Tahiti vanilla and sumptuous strawberries.
Head to Radisson Blu Prague’s tastefully styled bar for an after-dinner nightcap. Its classic retro-style decor complete with coffee-coloured furnishings and marbled-patterned tables creates a mellow vibe in which to enjoy a selection of decadent signature cocktails. Sit by the window and watch the city go by or stroll into an adjacent room designed with peaceful reflection and relaxation in mind.
Prague Travel Guide: What to Do and See
Prague is a city designed for strolling. Put on a pair of sturdy shoes and hit the city’s famous cobblestone streets. Spend your days meandering through Old Town and New Town, taking in the many sights, sounds and smells. Cast your eyes up at the city’s proud patchwork of glorious architecture. Each building is a visual reflection of Prague’s history, restored and meticulously preserved to ensure the legacy lives on for awestruck visitors for centuries to come. Every street and every piece of architecture is unique with its own colours, patterns and illustrations. Here’s a brief guide on what to see:
Charles Bridge: This iconic bridge dates back to the 14th Century. A must-see on every visitor’s to-do list, Charles Bridge has stunning views of the river and city on either side. Czech musicians, artists and souvenir vendors line the bridge all year round. A busy tourist attraction, the best times to visit are at night or early in the morning if you want it to yourself or head over there at sunset and watch the city skyline light up.
Prague Castle: Built in the 9th Century, this castle complex is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic and it’s open to the public with an admission fee. Holding a Guinness World Record for the largest coherent castle complex in the world, Prague Castle is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard that takes place in the castle’s first courtyard at 12:00 daily.
Wenceslas Square: Located in New Town, Wenceslas Square is one of the two main squares in Prague. The other is Old Town Square just a five-minute walk away. Here you’ll find a vibrant community of shops, restaurants and the entertainment and nightlife centre of Prague. Stroll up to the National Museum or turn the corner and find the Prague State Opera.
Prague Astronomical Clock: Arguably one of Prague’s best-known tourist attractions, the 600-year-old Astronomical Clock, located on the side of the Old Town Tower, is rich in history, symbolism and beautifully photogenic too. It holds the title for the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest clock still operating. Every hour on the hour, crowds gather in the square to watch the clock in action.
Prague Travel Guide: Where to Eat
Since opening in 2018, Kuchyň has become a destination dining spot for traditional Czech home-style cooking. Located in Salmovsky Palace in the National Gallery at Prague Castle, the kitchen-style restaurant has a large terrace with sweeping views of the city below. Its homey fuss-free interior keeps the focus on its display of huge, bubbling saucepans on the stove.
Kuchyň has an unusual style of service – guests are invited to come up and choose their meal from a selection of dishes kept heated on the stove before sitting back down again. The restaurant prides itself on using only locally sourced ingredients in its cooking. Dishes are inspired by traditional recipes from aristocratic kitchens dating back to the 16th century. Expect a hearty selection of baked poultry, game, sauces and potatoes prepared in just about every way imaginable. It’s a real Czech feast and it doesn’t get much better than that.
Prague Travel Guide: How to Get There
One night in a double room with breakfast included at Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague is EUR 130 during low season and EUR 200 during high season. To book or find out more about the hotel, visit the website here or call +420 225 999 999.
Both Ryanair and easyJet fly from London to Prague from about £30 return excluding taxes/fees/luggage charges. Price is subject to availability at the time of booking and may change.
For more information on Prague, visit the official tourism board website here.