Prague – Oh Prague!
We were told by so many that we would fall for this city – fall hard! Many have done so before us. And it is true, we were no exception to Prague’s enchanting spell. We discovered in this city all the things that make us go giddy – amazing unique food, it’s fair share of adventure and of course beer! When it comes to Prague, it’s all about the beer.
In fact beer in Prague can be traced back as far as 993 AD, where a bunch of monks at the Břevnov Monastery decided they needed something to help them relax after a long day of script translating…don’t we all?
Today the Czech Republic holds the record for most beer consumed at 148.6 litres per capita. The second country, Austria, is so far behind at 107.8 litres per capita, that it is obviously clear that the Czech’s take their beer very seriously.
But booze aside, it is also a city straight out of a fairytale novel.
Visiting Prague, the cobbled streets and the captivating Baroque architecture all nestled along side the Vltava river (the longest in the Czech Republic), will leave you in a state of awe.
This is certainly a place to get out your selfie stick and go completely nuts! In fact the receptionist at out hostel made sure to point out the best ‘selfie’ points, all over Prague!
But, of course we are here to delve into the things Tommo and I hold dearest to our hearts: Food, Fun & Adventure. So let’s get right into it….
Prague Travel Tips
Food in Prague
We’ve said it once – and we’ll say it again. The BEST way to experience local cuisine, is to make it yourself.
There is just something really rewarding about getting your hands dirty, learning about traditional food and cooking up a dish from another culture. Sure there are plenty of amazing restaurants in Prague to visit (we will mention a few later in the post), but when you have made it yourself, there is just something really special about that expereince.
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook” – Julia Child
This is very true of Czech cuisine – no diet food to be found here. But luckily we were seeking a full flavoured, traditional, hearty meal, so we teamed up with ChefParade CZ for our couples cooking class. One thing we loved was there was a menu that we got to choose from, rather than a “you’ll get what we make every class” kind of deal. I think with this it might be a first to book gets to choose kind of thing….. but either way we decided on:
- Garlic soup with croutons
- Roast pork with cabbage and dumplings
- Apple strudel
The Cooking Class
One of the great things about ChefParade is the location of the kitchen. It’s positioned smack bang in the middle of one of Prague’s biggest local markets. So after we met our Chef for the day, Chef Vladimir Palicka, we were off to the markets to purchase the fresh ingredients for our class. He told us about local produce, interesting facts about Czech cuisine and we even scored some taste tests along the way – always a bonus!
Once we were back in the kitchen it was time to get cooking. We seriously felt like contestants on Master Chef, this kitchen was so fancy. In fact Chef Vladimir told us that just the week before Jamie Oliver had been filming his latest show in that same kitchen!
Another fun fact: when we asked the chef if the classes at ChefParade are usually a couples cooking class, he told us that in fact he usually has local brides as guests. Hopeless at cooking, they need to quickly learn the fundamentals of cooking so they can impress their husbands once they walk down the aisle.
The class in total takes around 4 hours and we had a great time chatting to the Chef and other people who had signed up for the class. But as a warning – do NOT eat anything before you do this class. You are going to eat so much food, you may just explode into tiny chunky pieces. In fact this will probably be the only time you will need to eat for the entire day. Cancel those dinner reservations – you don’t need them!
ChefParade – Prague
Price Cooking Class: 79 € ($89 USD) every person from a group of three and more people. 99 € ($110 USD) one person 169 € ($189 USD) two persons
Prague Market Tour: 15 € ($17 USD) one person 20 € ($23 USD) two persons 29 € ($33 USD) group
Prices include: cooking ingredients, refreshments, recipes, kitchenware and utensils, cleaning, use of Chefparade aprons and of course lunch: 3-course menu prepared by you.
If you are seeking a break from the kitchen while on holiday then these local restaurants serve up some of the best food in Prague.
- Bansethu restaurant and microwbrewery – you must try the Duck stuffed with potato pancake, it’s divine.
- Restaurace U Zlatého slunce Komunardů 1051/9 – This place is a little bit dingy, but if you are looking for a truly ‘local’ meal than this is the place. Try the Pork stuffed with Spinach and cheese.
- UKroka – An actual non-smoking restaurant in Prague (which can be hard to find). Try the Goulash soup and the Pickled camembert with hot peppers and onion salad
Czech Beer Festival (held in May)
If there was one event we were going to make during our Eurail trip across Europe, it was the Czech Beer Festival. The Czech’s don’t mess around when it comes to beer – and we knew that this festival would be tons of fun.
The Czech beer festival is 17 days of the best Czech breweries, chefs, wineries, and bakers all in one place. Over the 2 and a bit weeks you can experience more than 150 top quality Czech draft beers, taste local artisans foods and everyday there is a variety of entertainment including bands/singers, culinary workshops and more.
Things we loved about the Czech Beer festival:
- They had an easy to use refill card system – buy your pass once and you have access to the festival whenever you like. Plus there are places all over the festival where you can easily add money to your card. No soggy drink tokens here!
- They had over 40 Czech beers to try each day. These do rotate during the festival so they can change each day.
- The food vendors on site also rotate throughout the festival, so you can sample local restaurants artisanal foods. You can also head to the traditional food section which is loaded full of sausages, pickled cheese and many more yums. At all of these stalls you can use your festival card to make your foodie purchases.
- There was a variety of live music which often preformed in English, which was nice
- LOTS of toilets available which were all extremely clean and had toilet paper. They even had hand sanitiser units available for people to use. It’s probably the best festival toilet set up I’ve ever seen
- The festival has a family friendly atmosphere. Yes there are stag parties, and people chanting their local footy cries, but there are also families out with their kids. Everyone acted sensibly – seriously we didn’t see even the beginnings of a fight. Everyone was out to have a good time, have a bit of a dance and drink some good beers! (obviously not the kiddies lol)
The Czech beer festival is held annually and if you happen to be in Prague in May see if you can catch a few days of the festival.
Czech Beer Festival
Dates: 17th-23rd May but keep an eye on the website for 2016 dates
Price: 99 CZK ($4 USD) for the refill card and then you add to it however much you want
We will admit – Prague in the Summer is crowded. In 2014 more than 8 million tourists visited the Czech Republic, and you can bet that many of them had Prague on their itinerary. People have realised that this is a gem of a city and it really is a beautiful place to wander around mesmerised by it’s beauty.
But if you are wanting to work off a few of the beers and pastries you may have been indulging in (it’s ok we get it – they are too tasty to resist), then we have discovered a unique way to see Prague – by mountain bike.
This is completely different to your typical inner city bike tours. In fact the owners of Biko Adventures Filippo and his wife Denisa have resisted going down that ‘generic’ biking tour avenue just purely because they want to offer visitors a unique biking experience, and show their guests a different side to Prague.
Mountain biking may seem like an extreme sport to some, but Biko Adventures offers tours for a variety of skill levels. They have 6 different levels of endurance riding, from level 1 for everybody, to level 5+ Enduro rides. They only ask one thing – that you can actually ride a bike. Not joking – it’s happened more than once!
Biko Adventures not only offers mountain bike tours, but you can also get involved in their trail running tours. Or go river surfing – that right River Surfing!
If you are after souvenir after your ride, make sure you check out the Biko store. They have a great variety of ‘biking’ themed t-shirts & tote bags in some really funky designs, to remind you of your time in Prague
Accommodation – Best Hostel in Prague
We are massive fans of flashpacking. For those who haven’t heard the term “FlashPacking” before, essentially it’s people who want to backpack with a sense of independence, no fixed itinerary and relatively long periods of travel to more exotic and far-flung countries – but still have a bit of luxury along the way…
Europe certainly seems to be leading the flash packer revolution, with many hostels opening up that would be described as ‘design hostels’. Modern, funky, often up-cycled spaces, that make your hostel stay the talking point of your trip – not just the attractions you go see.
While in Prague we stayed at Sir Toby’s – and fell in love.
This hostel had a vintage flare, that just sang to my old skool heart. There is nothing in this hostel that hasn’t been completely thought through in a design sense. On top of that, the staff are super friendly and helpful – and not in a ‘it’s my job to be nice to you’ way, we felt that they genuinely were interested in chatting with new people.
The hostel also offer BBQ nights, and other ‘family’ meals – FREE. This is a fantastic way to meet fellow travellers and make new friends. Plus they offer a breakfast buffet where you can make eggs your own way, or even cook up some tasty fresh pancakes yourself. You can also indulge in delicious homemade muesli, fruit, meat and cheese selections etc This is perhaps the BEST hostel breakfast we have come across. (Breakfast is an additional fee, but totally worth it)
Sir Toby’s offers both private rooms and dorms, and every part of it was not only spotlessly clean, but fabulously decorated to fit the vintage theme.
Sir Toby’s Hostel
Address: Delnicka 24 Praha 7
Prices: 180 CZK ( $7.50 USD) for a Dorm Bed / 600 CZK ($25 USD) for a Private room. Prices can vary depending on season
Heading to Prague? Then get 10% off Sir Toby’s or any of the sister hostels in Prague by using the Promo Code TravelFreedom
Looking for more accommodation options? Here’s a few that come highly recommended
Want even more hotel options? Please click here
Transport – Getting in and out of Prague
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Have you visited Prague? What Food Fun and Adventure did you discover? Let us know in the comments
Disclaimer: We did receive the ChefParade class, Czech Beer Festival passes and our stay at Sir Toby’s complimentary. All opinions remain our own. This article contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting our blog by using them.