Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year… especially when there are plenty of festive markets, mulled wine, and twinkling lights to get you in the spirit.
Prague is a magical city I’d longed to visit for so long and particularly during the Christmas period as the pictures I’d seen were simply stunning. I can confirm that Prague is in fact just as amazing in person – if not more.
Flying from Manchester Airport, this month I jetted off to Prague for a three-night stay at the four-star Hotel Angelis situated in the Pivovarská area of the city. After a smooth flight and transfer my boyfriend and I arrived at our hotel around 8pm, dropped off our luggage in the room, and headed out straight away to find some food. The location of the hotel was close to several eateries so we definitely weren’t struggling for options.
Our stay at Hotel Angelis was comfortable and without much fault. The room was spacious with free Wi-Fi, a well-stocked minibar, comfy bed with good pillows, mirrored wardrobes with plenty of storage, and a TV. We also received complimentary toiletries and vegetable crisps which was a kind addition. Each morning the buffet breakfast was adequate, not something I’d give a whole load of credit to, but there was a decent selection of cereal, bread, fruit, sliced meat, cheese, pastries, and yoghurt as well as tea, coffee, and fruit juice.
Despite being around a 30-minute walk from most attractions, I found the location of this hotel really good. If you’d prefer to get around quicker the metro station and tram lines are less than a few minutes’ walk away, however we really enjoyed walking along the river up into the Old Town and the area of Mala Strana. We also got really lucky with the weather too which was a bonus, meaning temperatures didn’t really drop below 3-4°C.
For our first full day in the city we were up bright and early and made our way into the Old Town; probably what Prague is most famous for. Our route took us across the well-known Charles Bridge, where we saw people singing, playing instruments, drawing and painting, and selling handmade goods.
As we approached we could see a giant dazzling Christmas tree which stood as the focal point of the square, positioned in front of Church of Our Lady Before Tyn and close to Jan Hus Memorial. Surrounding it were several market stalls with local merchants selling everything from gingerbread, decorations, and handmade crafts to delicious fried cheese, waffles on a stick, and mini pancakes. For lunch that day we decided to skip a sit-down meal and enjoy some of the market treats instead.
We had plenty of time to wander the stalls, take pictures, and just really experience the festive feel of the square. One of my absolute favourite things about the Old Town was the Astronomical Clock. We paid 250 CZK to head to the very top and experience the ever-so-popular views you hear everybody speak of; they really were spectacular. From here you’re able to see miles and miles across the city, as well as the festive crowd below and the pretty skyline. I’ll say, the hour’s change of the Astronomical Clock wasn’t quite as impressive as I’d thought it’d be, however it was still nice to see what exactly tourists flock to see so regularly.
Once we’d been and done the Astronomical Clock we settled in an undercover heated restaurant to enjoy a drink and when in Prague there’s obviously only one drink… Czech beer!
Next on our itinerary, we wandered to the Jewish Quarter and took a walk across to the area of Mala Strana to try the well-known Czech pastry Trdelnik. Made from rolled dough, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix, it was one of the tastiest desserts I’ve ever had. They were so big that we decided to share one; we got a mix of strawberries, vanilla filling, and whipped cream to top it off. On our passing we also got a look at St. Vitus Cathedral – home of many national treasures.
Not your usual stop-off when in Prague, but we also visited Madame Tussauds as it was something I’d never done before. Since it was pretty inexpensive we thought… why not?
Later in the day we started to feel tired because of all the walking around and decided to settle for some food. Before my visit, I’d had in mind a few different traditional Czech plates I wanted to try and on this night I opted for a farmhouse plate of different pork cuts, red and white cabbage, bread, and a variation of dumplings. It was amazing!
Let’s talk day two… we set off a little later today, around midday, as we had seen most of what was on our list yesterday. Firstly, we made our way to the top of the hill (this walk wasn’t too challenging but I definitely had to catch my breath once I reached the top) to visit the magnificent Prague Castle. This was another great photo opportunity, with views across the city making the perfect backdrop. There were more market stalls here and we even got to see the guards change outside the back of the castle. We had a quick food stop at a lovely little restaurant afterwards in the area of Mala Strana then headed to see the colourful Lennon Wall, which was full of tourists waiting for the perfect Instagram photo.
We took a walk through the area of Kampa before heading to an ice bar we’d seen on the passing over Charles Bridge the day before. Again, this was something I’d always wanted to experience so we took the chance while we could, went in and had a cold pint of Heineken, and posed for photos on the ice throne. On our way out we spotted a robotic bar as well, apparently the very first in the Czech Republic, so we decided to stop by for another drink and see what it was all about. I loved this experience because it was completely different to anything I’d seen before and even better, got a lovely mojito out of it.
After a few days exploring just what makes Prague so wonderful, as we sat in the airport waiting for our return flight, we saw the beginnings of snowfall which made for a nice send-off and an even more Christmassy feel.