We were a little worried about heading over to Prague as neither Robert nor I have any proficiency in Czech… we ended up spending some time looking up useful phrases and even watching videos to learn pronounciation! (Which we promptly forgot.) One of the best moments of the trip was when I greeted someone with dobrý den (hello or good day) and they proceeded to speak to me in Czech! Score.
The first thing we did in Prague was eat. Robert was so excited for the delicious food – especially street food – and we started our food adventure at Bredovský Dvůr. We tried koleno, a roast pork knuckle (which seemed similar to Schweinshaxe but even bigger) and guláš (goulash). The goulash was a little too salty for my taste but Robert was in love with the huge chunk of meat.
We took the afternoon off and then headed out again in the evening. After all, Prague is beautiful and energizing at night. We saw the astronomical clock which was made over 600 years ago by Master Hanuš. The city councillors who hired him loved the clock so much that they began to worry he would make a similar clock for another city. Out of fear, they blinded him and even cut out his tongue to prevent him from explaining how to make one to someone else. He had the last laugh though – one night he secretely broke the clock, rendering it nonfunctional for 100 years until someone finally figured out how to fix it.
We hit up the Christmas markets and were greeted by cute animals. We weren’t sure why all the markets had a mini petting zoo, but they were so cute! At first they didn’t like me but I won them over.
Roast ham is a popular Christmas market food, which is sold by weight. It seems like a bargain until you realize how heavy ham is! Still, it was tasty and the skin was crispy and delicious.
There was live music and other entertainment like watching blacksmiths make horseshoes. The market at Old Town Square was definitely the most fun out of all the other markets we’ve been to!
I was really excited to try Trdelník, a chimney cake. It’s a classic sweet pastry which is wrapped around a cylinder, covered in cinnamon, and then baked over fire. You can get them plain, with nutella, or with ice cream inside. It’s never too cold for ice cream! One street near Old Town Hall was overrun with Trdelník shops so we picked the best (read: cheapest) one and devoured the delicious cake. We also tried fried cheese which was surprisingly yummy!
The next day, we grabbed lunch at a different Christmas market, this time trying halušky (potatoes with ham and cheese). Again, too salty for me but it was filling. We also tried a klobása (sausage) which was juicy and warm.
We toured the city on a free walking tour, seeing the first building built in Cubist architecture, churches, and the Estates Theatre where Mozart conducted the world premiere of Don Giovanni.
We also visited the Jewish Quarter which has an incredibly rich history that requires more depth than a simple blog post. Our tour guide suggested allocating an entire half-day to explore the area. One of the museum houses drawings by Jewish children who were sent to ghettos and concentration camps.
After the tour, we walked across the Charles bridge which is famous for having multiple statues of religious figures. It was pretty at sunset.
For dinner, we had a Langoš (fried dough, which we also tried in Vienna) this time with cheese and ketchup. To warm up, we had a cup of honey mead (Medovina) that was much stronger than we expected. Another variation of cooked cheese: grilled! The Grilovaný oštiepok was super good, especially with jam.
We ended the night hanging out in a toy shop and snacking on another Trdelník.
Prague is a very vibrant city and fun to visit, especially at night. There was so much more to explore!
- Some of the street food is charged by weight – if you’re nice, you can ask for a smaller serving so that you can save money to try other things.
- The buses to visit the Prague Castle are notorious for pickpocketers.