Notes from my recent trip to Prague, Czech Republic


  • Barock – Food was good, but the whole thing was overpriced, and that was me eating the less expensive vegetarian dishes. No drinks (except sparkling water), a tomata caprese salad and a risotto chantrelles was $50 USD.
  • Bohemia Bagels – low rating on this place. The bagel was stale, the cream cheese was dry and crumbly. And the capuccino was really terrible (they were trying to re-use the ground??). They have Internet, but it’s costs 1 CZK per minute. So that’s $4 / hour. Which is fine I guess, but plenty of places offer faster Internet connections at a better price… ie FREE.
  • Starbucks – Almost all of them have fast and free Internet connections. I had pristine Skype phone calls from two of them and even FaceTime’ed with my daughters from one of them (the staff and others at Starbucks got a real kick out of seeing that). One of these Starbucks is right off the old town square, in front of the astronomical clock. The other was right over the Charles Bridge, on the castle side of the river.
  • Bake shop – Great cappucino and fresh baked goods. Everything tasted fresh, yummy. Nice staff. I paid about $15 for a cappucino, a croissant and two small chocolate cookies (I know, not a very healthy breakfast).
  • Al Dente – Nice Italian place. Also somewhat pricey ($40 / head) but we had a lot to eat. No selection of salads, though they did bring us mixed green salads when we asked for them (which were exactly that — a bunch of mixed greens and nothing else). The entrees were great, fresh. I had one of their pizzas (gorgonzola + pear) and it was really tasty. For some reason, the pizza took longer to bring out. My dinner companions were halfway through their pasta dishes before my pizza got to the table (and that was after they waited for a few minutes, after I told them to go ahead). The staff were apologetic for this.

Other stuff

  • The lookout from the top of the astronomical clock tower was worth it (100 CZH = $6 USD), it afforded a nice 360 degree view of Prague.

  • From the lookout

  • The astronomical clock was… meh. Maybe it’s more exciting if you’re into medivial astronomy?

  • Evidently, I’m not a clock geek

  • One of the more interesting things to see at the astronomical clock were the weddings. They must have weddings scheduled there back to back to back. Some in parallel I think (they must have more than one chapel?). On the Saturday that I was near the astronomical clock, I saw at least 3 couples come out married. One of the grooms came out and had a yoke put around his neck to mark the occasion. 🙂
  • The castle itself (on the other side of the river) is a huge complex and a nice place to roam around. It was a good walk to get there from the old town. Depending on how you go, it can be very steep or a more reasonable grade. I made my way up there from the Charles Bridge and I thought the grade was pretty reasonable. The highlight for me was the Vitus Cathedral there. There are lots of other attractions on the premises including convents, castles, palaces, art, and gardens.

  • St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague at Sunset

  • Cannabis: it would seem that cannabis (aka marijuana) is legal here? I saw places that advertised the sale of cannabis and one place that was even selling cannabis flavored ice cream!
  • Cannabis, cannabis, everywhere!

  • I had been warned about pick-pockets and accordingly was more aware of my wallet than I would normally have been. I kept it in my front pocket on the day that I spent criss-crossing Prague on foot. In the end, I never felt at risk on this — even in busy crowds I found myself in (and there were several such occasions because I was here on the weekend and by all accounts, I was here when the weather was perfect.)

  • A sign on the subway in Prague. I had been warned about pickpockets, but never had any problems and never felt at risk.

  • The Old Town: This is one of the popular places to walk around… it’s where the astronomical clock is located and it’s always full of people and surrounded my shops. Here’s a panoromic photo of the place at night, taken on my iPhone and stitched together with AutoStitch.
  • Palladium: local mall, 200 shops. Nice place, but do you really need to shop at another Sephora? But I enjoy visiting places like this that are more of local venues vs. another tourist destination. A cone of ice cream was 25 CZH ($1.5) while throughout most of the old city, the same cone was more like 80 CZH ($5). The mall had a few grocery stores and drug stores. I picked up a nail cutter I needed to buy and a large bottle of water to carry around with me.
  • Narodni: seemed like a better street for shopping and experiencing more of the local life than the old town square and the streets that emanate out of there. It’s a block or two over from the old town square and I saw some really good coffee and chocolate shops while walking down this street. There are also a few squares off of this street that looked fun.
  • Running: I went running twice while I was in Prague, both times in a park over the river and up the hill from my hotel. So I ran from Parizka, over the Cechuv bridge and then there was a steep uphill (either a ramp or stairs — I took the ramp). Once at the top, there was a park whose exterior made a roughly 5 km (3 mile) loop. The park itself is really nice. It was a playground for children, lots of paths leading in different directions. A lot of locals out rollerblading, cycling. One side of the park leads into the castle complex (so there are some slight upward grades within the park itself). Off of one of the park paths, I found a stadium and an outdoor game field where a bunch of school girls were playing after school lacross or at least something that resembled lacrosse.

  • My running trail in Prague.

  • Walking: I did a lot of walking while I was in Prague. The cobblestone will tire your feet about, but I love walking so I just walked and walked while I was there. Houston’s not much of a walking city between the lack of walking paths in most parts of town, drivers that don’t understand pedestrians and weather that’s not so walker friendly.
  • Shopping: I’m a terrible shopper. I did get some recommendations on places to buy good quality crystal/porcelain (which is something Prague is evidently famous for) but never made it out to these places.
  • Getting to the town center from the airport: I ended up getting a cab. It cost about 500CZH or $30. I got some cash from a Unicard ATM (known as a “Bankomat” in Czech) at the airport so paying the driver once I got to the hotel was easy.

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