Prague, a not-so-hidden gem that is still worth the visit
First of all let me tell you that Prague is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Europe. The Czech Republic year after year keeps attracting more visitors, receiving a total of 21 million people in 2018. I travelled in 2019 and can predict that the number will only keep increasing. Out of all these visitors, around 7 million visited Prague, destination I decided to go to this summer.
A brief pause is necessary to explain that I am not a person who is fond of large numbers of tourists or of high temperatures. I try to steer clear of both of these, but when August is around the corner in Madrid, it becomes time to run away because almost anything can be better than enduring the Spanish summer. If you are thinking of visiting Madrid however, at any point of the year you might want to read on Madrid's Spots to Visit, or a useful list of Where to Eat in Madrid.
Having decided on Prague, and chosen two great travel companions, our three days in Prague began and here are my recommendations on tourism, as well as food&beverage:
What to see:
Charles Bridge: First of all... it's haunted, and it is kinda creepy at night with all the statues. But don't let it stop you from crossing it or enjoying it. The bridge was built on the 14th century, and is everyday full of artists, musicians and tourists all the time (except around 2-5am).
Astronomical Clock: If you are wondering what this clock does, well, so was I when I visited. It basically gives information regarding the relative position of the sun, moon, certain constellations and planets. This specific one dates back to 1410 CE, and is so famous that it has a replica in Korea. You can read more about it on Atlas Obscura.
Tancici Dum (Dancing House): A weird looking house. In its defense, it was built by Vlado Milunic (a Czech architect) in cooperation with Frank Gehry. The house is also known as Fred and Ginger, given it reminds of a couple dancing (aka Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers).
Petrin Tower: Made out to be a small version of the Eiffel tower, this structure sits at the top of Petrin Hill, therefore its view is incredible! Truly recommend a visit. Just make sure you don't walk up this 'hill', it's a hike.
Museum Kampa: Prague's modern art gallery, which has a decent collection of art pieces, and an unbelievable view across the river!
Prague Castle: Yet another UNESCO monument, surprise! It's the largest castle in the world. Make sure you have comfortable shoes and water for this... because going up the stairs will take forever. Once you're up the hill, the sights are great, and strolling around is wonderful. You can also climb the Cathedral's tower to get a good view and some photos of the city, but make sure you don't get dizzy going up and down the tower's stairs which go round, and round, and round, aaaand round.
Old Town Neighborhood: You can visit the Old Town Square, the Powder Tower which was the entrance to the neighborhood, the Astronomical Clock, and have a beer at one of the restaurants there. It has a great vibe and is always very lively.
Jewish Quarter: Very close to Old Town, you can find the Jewish Quarters, where you can see a great number of beautiful Synagogues, as well as Franz Kafka's birthplace (if that's your thing). This neighborhood has a large amount of history, which you can read here.
Food & Drinks:
Lokál U Bílé Kuzekly: For us, this was the best place to try some Czech food. We had many different plates of Goulash, but here you can find the best! Also had a gew good Pilsner beers, and the restaurant is located in an underground cellar, which is characteristical of some places in Prague.
Black Angel's Bar: You will not be allowed to take photos, you will not be allowed to make phone calls, and believe me, it will be an incredible experience. The cocktails are just out of this world, and the live music is spectacular.
St. Martin: This was a small casual restaurant that offered a good variety of dishes and some good wine. Tried it out on a relaxed night and I have only good things to say.
Trdlo: The Trdelnik is the traditional cake from this area of the world. It is sold everywhere around town, but the ones at Trdlo are just unbelievable. You will be surrounded by bees, and you will not care even one bit that they snag a bite from your Trdelnik.
Café Savoy: A classic breakfast place in Prague, definitely recommend it especially if you feel like getting a little bit far away from the crowded bridge. Make sure you make a reservation for this one.