June 2, 2008 6

Prague Round Up

By in Travel

Charles Bridge in early morning

We spend 5 days in Prague with a day excursion to Kutna Hora (about 1-1/2 hour drive east of Prague). Prague is a very picturesque town. I am glad to experience the city that cultivated some of my favorite artists like Franz Kafka, Alfons Mucha, Jan Svankmajer, Jan Saudek…etc. Perhaps it’s spring, the colors in Prague appeared more vibrant than anywhere I’ve been. It’s as if someone dial up the saturation button all the way up.

5 days were plenty enough to see all the touristy stuffs plus going off the beaten path. I especially enjoyed the Mala Strana and the Prague Castle area. Old Town was charming too, though I think they cleaned up the Old town Square a bit too much that it kind of felt like a movie set.


I never got tired of seeing this breathtaking iconic view of Prague. I felt like I was in a storybook most of the time. Everything was so quaint and pretty: decorated windowsills, allegorical house signs, whimsical puppets and cute wooden toys. There’re also plenty quirkiness (ex: decor at restaurant, a giant chair, sculpture) and weirdness (ex: crazy Bone Church at Kutna Hora, grotesque wall at Wallenstein Palace, Micro-miniature Museum, Kafka Museum). If I were to describe Prague in 3 words, they would be quaint, quirky and weird.

We went to an old bookstore to look for old Czech children’s books (one of our favorite things). The moment we stepped in, the owner lady pointed to a tiny room “Children’s books are over there.” How did she know? 😉 We also saw a great comprehensive Gregory Crewdson exhibition at the Rudolfinum.

Although not what it once was, Prague is still quite affordable compare to most western European cities. The hotels were expensive though (not much mid-range ones), so I highly recommend staying at a vacation apartment. We stayed at this apartment at Mala Strana and for four people, it was a great deal. The apartment was huge, modern, clean, comfortable and got a pretty good location. It’s close to the Prague Castle and quite close to the Charles Bridge.

We walked everywhere in Prague, it’s such a small easy navigate walkable city that you don’t really need public transportation. We took the subway a few times and it’s very convenient (and it got much better information graphics than Paris’s metro). The subway uses the honor system (well supposedly there’re people who check but we never encountered) so we took advantage of it when we didn’t have loose changes ^^;;

Like we mentioned in the Prague restaurant entries, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of Czech cuisine in Prague given what we heard. My bf Jon who stayed at Prague in 1998 said it was a much different scene back then. I’m glad it’s different now. I would recommend all the restaurants we blogged, especially Klub Architektu, Cukrkavalimonada, and Cerny Kohout. We didn’t get to try but I read about La Degustration on New York times and supposedly their 7 courses dinner is amazing. Hopefully I’ll get to try it someday, before Czech Republic switch to euro.

You can see more pictures of our Prague’s trip on my flickr: Part 1, 2 and 3.

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6 Responses to “Prague Round Up”

  1. seat says:

    Nice trip round-up! The photos really look like postcards. And you organise your photos so neatly~ I’m going to Nagoya tomorrow so let me check them out after I come back.

  2. Joan says:

    Oh have a good trip at Nagoya~ and sure you’ll have lots of good food there 🙂

  3. valentine says:

    are those real flowers for “decorated windowsill”?@o@
    if so, I totally understand your saturation button statement!!

    I agree, I like how all the toys and stuff look weird.
    they’re beautiful, not bein contaminated by conventional commercialism-ish look! what a treat for my jaded eyes~~^_^

  4. Joan says:

    Yes they’re real flowers! The colors are so beautiful and vibrant, they’re obviously duller elsewhere like in Vienna.

    There’re so many these type of cute folksy non-commercialism looking toys in Prague! Too bad we had limited suitcase space so couldn’t buy more! (we bought quite a lot already ^^;;)

  5. candace says:

    Just gorgeous. Prague is one of my favorite places on the planet…
    Tough place to get my food bearings, at first.

  6. paul says:

    glad you had a nice trip! I was in Prague last summer and it was every bit as picturesque and colorful as you describe… just a lovely, lovely city.