Recently, my friend from college came to Berlin to visit me. He was only here a week, and he wanted to do a bit of traveling while he was here, so I suggested we go to Prague. It’s a short bus ride from Berlin (about 4.5 hours each way), cheap, and picturesque, (especially for Americans who come to Europe expecting to see something out of a Disney movie.) I had been to Prague once before with my mom a few years prior, but I was excited to see it again through the eyes of my friend. Below are a few tips to help you make the most of your trip.
I definitely recommend using FlixBus. I booked the tickets about a month in advance and paid about 20 euro each way. They have many busses coming and going so you can pick the times that are most convenient for you. I must admit, as an American you grow up having a stigma against “bus travel". It probably doesn't help that Greyhound, the major bus service, doesn't exactly have the best reputation. Stigma aside, you’d be insane not to take advantage of FlixBus’ great prices, convenient cancellation policy, and clean facilities. The WIFI can be spotty at times, but the fact that they offer it for free is pretty damn nice.
Where to Stay
I am 30 years old, aka too damn old to stay in a hostel. Luckily in Prague, you can find plenty of high-quality Airbnb's for affordable prices. I paid 80 euro per night for a 2 bed/ 2 bath flat right in the heart of old town that also had a beautiful view of the astronomical clock.
What to See (and What to Skip)
1. Astronomical clock- SKIP
Unless you like being in super crowded places and having trouble breathing, I would just admire this site from below like the responsible tourist you are. Prior to being packed in like sardines, we were waiting in line to pay and the clerk changed the sign with the price on it. He had raised the price by a few euro. One girl even had to leave the line because she no longer had enough money to enter. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
TIP: If you want to see it for yourself, use a student ID (or someone else's) to get a discount.
2. Prague Castle - GO
This is a must see, although be forewarned -- the hike up there is fucking awful. It’s a vertical climb all the way up. Only after the fact, did I find out that there is actually a tram that takes you directly there. The views are pretty damn nice though, so it made the climb worth it.
TIP: Wander around a tour group and try to soak up some knowledge while pretending to take a selfie.
3. Kozel Brewery - GO (If your last name is Kozel), otherwise SKIP
My friend's last name is Kozel so he was super excited to visit the Kozel Brewery. Well, I think he was actually more excited to go to the "goat" giftshop than anything else. Don't be like us and use the route that Google Maps suggests. There is actually a bus that takes you directly there from Prague. Take bus No. 363 from the Underground station Opatov (“C”/red line).
TIP: Eat at the restaurant on site. It's delicious! And they take Visa. Also, all the brewery tours are given in Czech (though they give out pamphlets in English). Besides the goat petting zoo, there wasn't much else to see. Not sure it's worth the journey unless your last name happens to be Kozel.
Where to Eat
- Breakfast: I like to eat breakfast before I do just about anything else in the morning. That’s why I prefer to stay at an Airbnb because then I can prepare a small breakfast and coffee in the morning and not have to worry about infecting anyone else with my early morning grumpiness. So that's exactly what I did.
- Lunch- Every day we were there, we ate a late lunch. It filled us up throughout the rest of the day so we didn’t have to worry about dinner. No matter where we went, I always ordered the same thing; duck leg, sauerkraut, potato dumplings, (and a big ass beer.) Every day for 3 days straight, I had the same thing, and I don’t regret it one bit. Here are the three resteraunts we ate at:
- Dessert- You have got to go to Angelato. We waited in line for about 20 minutes but it was totally worth it. And they have plenty of vegan options. Try the coconut ash and chocolate combo. Bring cash! They don’t take card.
- Drink - Letna Beer Garden has beautiful views of the city. It's actually in a park so there are lots of trees and grass to give you the true garden experience. Bring cash because they don’t accept any cards. They have an ATM onsite but it's one of those sketchy Eurostar ones that ask for your first born to withdrawal money. Order the Kozel beer—I definitely recommend it (and so does my friend, haha.)
Have fun! Let me know if any of these tips were useful :)