Friday, September 5, 2008

Weekend in Prague

We traveled to Prague in July for a lazy summer weekend. I've been there several times and, while the city is crowded with tourists, it really is beautiful and worth visiting.

We took the train from Vienna to Prague (about 4.5 hours). Most of the Vienna trains do not stop in Prague's main train station but at Nadrazi Holesovice station a bit outside the center. This station is on the Metro line C, three stops from the main train station. We bought metro tickets at the station and the ticket sales person took the relatively high denomination currency we had just taken out of the automatic teller located nearby.

Several travel books said tourists probably don't need to use the excellent local public transport much because most of the sites are within easy walking distance. We found that to be true.

We ate at several good restaurants. We quite enjoyed the Olympia Restaurant located at the west end of the Most Legii Bridge (good views of the castle and Charles Bridge from this bridge - see top photo). The restaurant served excellent traditional Czech food with a bit of contemporary style. Especially good was the draft Pilsner Urquel beer which they told us was of the unpasturized (Tankovia). While I love Pilsner Urquel beer, this was even better. The Kolkovna Group has several other restaurants around the city - we saw one across from the Spanish Synogogue and one near the Municipal House (on the other side of the Metro station. Dinner for two with beer cost about 20-25 Euros.

Another nice place located in the center of Prague was Bredovsky Dvur Restaurant (webpage is in Czech, but has map and photos). We went well past lunchtime, so they were out of many of the daily specials, but we had good salads and a great dish of celery and rice. The restaurant was preparing for dinner and we noticed that just about every table was reserved, so if you want to eat here you probably need to reserve in advance.

We had coffee at the Grand Cafe Orient located in the Museum of Czech Cubism. It's well worth the price of coffee just to see the cafe!

We were too late to eat at Bakeshop, a fantastic bakery located between the main square and the Jewish Quarter.

In between eating, the Prague Museum of Communism, Jewish Quarter, Municipal House and Castle were all well worth visiting. The city is great for walking, lots of interesting sights and architecture. I took an architectural tour of the Municipal House the first time I visited Prague and that is highly recommended.

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