5 minute guide to Prague: indulgent cakes and Cubist design in the ever-popular Czech capital

5 minute guide to Prague: indulgent cakes and Cubist design in the ever-popular Czech capital

30 May 2019
Top image: Jaromír Kavan

Where to drink with the locals: Prague is not short of places to drink, that’s for sure. There are plenty of cosy cocktail lounges and dive bars — it’s all a matter of how many stag parties you can endure. But the best way get a feel for Prague is to head to a hospůdka (which translates simply as a “pub”). Pick a quieter place to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and try the local beer. If you get hungry, make sure to order a deep-fried cheese to share. The local cheese resembles brie and is deliciously gooey, a great accompaniment to crisp Czech lagers.

The best way to get around the city is: The metro system in Prague is considerably smaller than other European cities, and if you’re staying in the city centre, you might not need to venture underground at all (unless, of course, you have a love for Eastern European metro stations). Instead, hop on a tram, which is the best and most reliable transport in the city. Tickets are available from machines at tram stops, metro stations, and select corner shops (ask for “jizdenky”), and will need to be stamped once you get on. Fares vary according to the length of the journey and can be used on the metro as well.

The must-have Instagram snap is: Trdelniks have long been Prague’s most loved tourist treat. Essentially they are little chimney-shaped pastries smeared with Nutella on the inside. In the last few years they’ve had a millennial makeover and now come with soft ice cream, fruit, and cream. Some places also offer savoury fillings: choose from cheese, vegetables, bacon, fried eggs, or guacamole. The Mecca for these Czech delicacies is right in the Old Town. Good Food Coffee on Karlova Street have adopted an over-the-top approach to their chimneys, filling them with alcoholic ice cream before topping them off with brownies, candy, fruit, and nuts. When Buzzfeed wrote about them, Good Food Coffee had queues snaking down the street for months — with good reason.

Best view over the city: Climb the winding paths up to the top of Petřín hill on the left bank of the Vltava river for an amazing view. There you’ll find the Czech version of the Eiffel Tower — but the views are just as good from the ground, so you can avoid queuing for it with lots of other tourists. While you’re there, chill out in one of the landscaped gardens or check out the Observatory. If you don’t feel like a hike, take the cable car from Ujezd Street at the bottom of the hill.

For design inspiration head to: The Czech Cubism Museum. Located at the House of The Black Madonna in the Old Town, it has a small but fascinating exhibit of the lesser-known local variation on Cubism, which has been making a comeback with a new generation of artists and designers. The museum is also an oasis of peace and quiet away from the bustling Old Town, so it’s a good place to stop and take respite. The exhibition sprawls over several floors. Once you reach the top, take a gander at the staircase, which is a Cubist masterpiece in itself.

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