Hello, my pretty ones!
So, if you’ve been keeping up with me on Insta and Twitter, then you’re well aware that Austin and I spent a little over a week in Europe last month. We visited the beautiful cities of Prague, Czech Republic and London, United Kingdom.
We were so incredibly fortunate to have been able to go on this trip, solely thanks to Austin’s amazing company. *Shoutout to GBR!.* He had to attend a business conference in Prague for a few days, so we decided we would expand our trip and visit London as well afterwards.
Now, if you know me, you know I have a sick obsession with the UK, and have wanted to visit since I was shot out of the womb. Like, I’ve literally been perfecting my British and Scottish accents for decades. Really, I think I was born on the wrong side of The Pond sometimes. *Sorry, Lady Liberty! Love you!* So, naturally, when Austin proposed we go to London post-Prague, I lost my shit and almost cried. *Ok, I did cry.*
I knew I was going to be absolutely obsessed with London, which I was, but what I didn’t realize, was how equally in love I would fall with Prague.
Holy smokes, guys, this city is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I really didn’t know what to expect once we touched down in the Czech Republic, but I was blown away.
I’m sure my history buffs out there already know this, but I didn’t, so I’m sharing. One of the reasons Prague is such a sight to see, and a destination I highly recommend you add to your travel bucket list, is because of it’s timeless architecture. Despite the suffering endured during WWII across what was then known as Bohemia and Moravia, little physical damage occurred. This left Prague relatively untouched in comparison to many other ancient European cities.
Honestly, when we were walking down certain quite streets, it was like traveling back in time. I even found the “Communist” architecture fascinating, although, the locals made it very clear that they despise it, for deeper reasons than just the overall look of it I’m sure.
Anyways, enough rambling about how beautiful Prague is. You’ll see for yourself as you reminisce in our four fabulous days galavanting around the city with me.
DAY 1 – Saturday 8/11/18
We hopped on our first flight around 8:00am on Friday, which took us to our layover in Philadelphia.
Side note: We were so stoked to try a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich in Philly to pass the time, and ended up having the saddest excuse for a cheesesteak known to man in one of the airport restaurants, which shall remain nameless. So, strike one for Philly. I am, however, willing to give you another chance, Philadelphia, because I know you were just messing with us during our plight of sever hunger. Well played.
From Philly, we flew directly to Prague, and landed around noon on Saturday. This was great because we had pretty much the whole day to do whatever the heck we wanted.
We were incredibly blessed to stay at the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel Prague, which was not only situated smack dab in the middle of Old Town, but also along the Vltava River and just a few blocks away from the famous Charles Bridge.
After checking-in, we knew we had to fight the jet lag as best we could, so we decided to freshen up and wander around.
Ok, I won’t lie, I fell victim to jet lag a few times because I absolutely can NOT sleep on airplanes. Do any of you have this problem? If so, you know it sucks, especially when traveling internationally. Oh, and another fun fact, this was my first time in Europe, so I had NO CLUE how bad the jet lag would actually be. FML. Let’s just say the next time I travel across the Atlantic, I’m totally packing some ZzzQuil in my carryon.
We ended up having lunch at a super casual restaurant across the street from our hotel called Kozlovna Apropos. All Austin could talk about the entire time we were on the plane was having Czech beer, so, of course, we had to grab a pint or two. We also had these amazing sausages roasted in dark beer, which may have honestly been the best thing we ate the entire time we were in Prague.
Annnddd then the beer and sausage coma hit HARD.
Yep, we totally passed out for an hour or so, but woke up just in time to enjoy a private boat ride along the Vltava. Austin and I, along with one other guest, were greeted in the lobby by the Four Seasons’ personal boat captain, who, with a basket of Prosecco in hand, guided us down to a charming Italian-style wooden boat. We cruised the sparkling river for an hour or so, enjoying the many historical and fun facts our captain shared with us. Personally, I thought this was the most perfect way to welcome our first sunset in Prague.
The captain docked the boat alongside a large river barge that was converted into a restaurant called Marina Ristorante. Even though we weren’t exactly keen on the idea of having Italian food in the Czech Republic, the view of the river at this place was hard to pass up, so we decided to give it a go. While I’ve admittedly had better Italian food in my lifetime, I’m so glad we chose this restaurant. It was absolutely beautiful watching the sunset on the water.
DAY 2 – Sunday 8/12/18
Waking up the next morning was TOUGH. Honestly, I just couldn’t get enough sleep, and the comfy hotel bed and blackout shades weren’t helping me tear off the sheets.
However, once we finally let the sunlight pour in and caffeinated via the magic of multiple cappuccinos, we hit the streets.
It was around 11:00am when we arrived at the famous restaurant/brewery, U Fleků, which is said to be one of the most frequented attractions in Prague. It’s also the only brewery in Central Europe that has been brewing for over 500 years, so you know it’s legit. *Picture total Oktoberfest vibes.*
Upon entering U Fleků, we were told to make our way out to a center courtyard lined with long, wooden community tables. We were immediately greeted and asked if we wanted pivo, aka beer, of which there is only one option – a dark lager. I am by no means a beer lover, but even I liked this beer. It was super easy to drink. Once you are about 3/4 of the way finished with your beer, the server automatically brings you another…oh, and they won’t stop bringing you beer until you tell them to stop.
We also dabbled in our first Czech cuisine experience. We ordered a few munchies including a beer cheese dip with FRIED bread to dunk and a goulash with speck and bread dumplings. FIRE. Absolute fire. We totally devoured it all. We also downed apéritifs (still not sure if they were supposed to be shooters or sippers, but we shot ’em). These alcoholic beverages are typically served before a meal to stimulate the appetite, and are usually dry rather than sweet.
During our meal, the courtyard awoke and became filled with live polka music, tourists, locals, and bees. Yes, I said bees. I swear these little buggers had it out for me. We were shooing them away throughout the entire meal, so BEE-ware if you visit this joint.
Despite our bumbling friends, the experience was great. 10/10 would recommend.
Later that day we took to the streets again (how cute is the Lovers’ Bridge above?!) and wandered around Old Town until we arrived at what was probably my favorite spot in Prague aesthetically, Absintherie.
**I really hate myself for not getting any pictures of this place. I suppose I was just living in the moment like you’re supposed to on vacay. Right?**
I’m sure by the name of this bar (also a museum) you can easily conclude what their specialty is…
Ok, if you didn’t say “absinthe,” I award you no points.
Anywho, this place was SO COOL.
The bar was tucked along Jilská street, dimly lit with emerald bulbs, and trimmed with various green accents to emphasize the infamous coloring associated with absinthe. Their logo was very American Horror Story-esque font-wise, and the bartenders all had a dark, foreign hipster thing going on. Also, the music. All we heard the entire time was American 60s oldies. Strange, creepy, or awesome? Idk, but I was into it.
I couldn’t help but think of the Eurotrip Bratislava night club/green fairy scene to set the mood. Although, despite popular belief, there were no hallucinogenic side effects of any kind. Just a fun little buzz.
**THIS scene. Duh.**
The bar offered over 60 different types of absinthe, and each bartender was trained to not only introduce you to the taste and quality of the infamously “mysterious” spirit, but also demonstrate the proper way of serving it.
Simply watching the bartenders was entertainment alone. Who knew there were so many ways to enjoy absinthe?
One of my favorite specialty cocktails was their Absinth Gingerbread Mule. They even had absinthe beer, absinthe chocolate, and absinthe ice cream. Like, whaattt?!
After dabbling in the forbidden juice, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. That night we met some of the first-time conference attendees for cocktail hour and dinner at Ginger & Fred restaurant atop the well-known Dancing House in the center of the city (Prague 2).
The Dancing House, a hotel, gained its name thanks to its two peculiarly shaped outer towers. The two towers, one made of glass and the other of stone, are constructed in such a way that they appear bent, almost like that of two people dancing. These “dancers” have, over time, become associated with the dancing sensations, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, hence the name of the restaurant. Definitely an architectural sight worth seeing while you’re in the city.
We ended the night at with a few cocktails at the Cottocrudo bar back at our hotel. **If you visit the Four Seasons Prague in the near future, see if Charlie is working. He was literally one of the best bartenders we’ve ever had.**
DAY 3 – Monday 8/13/18
By the time Monday rolled around, we were ready to explore the city even further, which was convenient seeing as a walking tour was on the conference agenda.
Around 9am we were loaded into tour buses, cappuccinos in hand, and driven uphill to the Strahov Monastery.
The grounds of the monastery are beautiful and boast an absolutely insane view of the city below. However, the view isn’t even the most impressive aspect of the monastery. What really peaks your interest is the fact that it has its own fully functional brewery and restaurant operated by the monks who live there. Yes, I said brewery. As in beer. At a monastery.
While our tour didn’t leave us with enough time to experience the brewery and restaurant, our tour guide highly recommended we come back and taste the famous brews (which we, unfortunately, did not – so do it and tell me all about it!).
From the monastery, we made our way downhill on foot taking in the gorgeous scenery and historic architecture.
This Gothic cathedral is not only the largest, but is also considered the most important temple in Prague, where Czech kings and queens of the past were traditionally coronated. Likewise, this holy landmark is the final resting place of various patron saints, sovereigns, nobles, and archbishops. It is truly a sight to see. I have never seen anything like it.
As we made our way down to the river’s edge for lunch, we passed through the Franz Kafka Museum.
Now, this may have been my favorite part of the tour. Why? Well, because outside the museum, there is a very famous mechanical statue that caught my eye and left me feeling both extremely uncomfortable and undeniably intrigued all at once. This controversial statue created by artist David Cerny, dubbed Proudy, consists of two bronze men who robotically sway their metal junk back and forth to spell out messages with their pee in a basin shaped like the Czech Republic itself.
If that ain’t art, kids, I don’t know what is.
Seriously, guys, the statues spell out Czech literary quotes with their “pee”. And, to make it even more absurd, anyone in the world can interrupt their programmed messages by sending your own text to a phone number found on a plaque near the statue. Genius or completely disturbing?
Anyways, after lunch, we decided to ditch the last half of our walking tour, and jumped in one of the “classic car tours” that are advertised all over the city. This was definitely one of our better moves because it was HOT. Like, I was a sweaty puddle of death by this point in the day, and I was ready to feel the wind in my damp, frizzy hair. The car tour was about an hour, and took us all over the city. One of my favorite stops along the route was the infamous John Lennon Wall.
Post car tour, we headed back to the the hotel and prepared for cocktail hour and dinner at Mlýnec, where we met with the entire conference group.
Fun fact: At this point in our trip, I was genuinely craving American food, and ended up sharing chicken fingers with the four-year-old daughter of another conference attendee for dinner instead of the adult roasted chicken meal I ordered. Desperate times, y’all.
DAY 4: Tuesday 8/14/18
Our last full day in Prague was a tough one for me.
I had planned to go on a chateau tour and then shopping with the girls while Austin spent the day in his conference, but when I woke up I felt SO sick. I have the world’s worst immune system, and had been fighting a cold since we got off the plane. Sadly, it hit my like a hurricane on Tuesday, and I just couldn’t get out of bed. I spent the whole day sleeping off a sore throat and awful cough, hoping I’d be able to function like a normal human being at the awards dinner that night.
Luckily, a little sleep can do a lot of good for the body, and I felt much better by the time dinner rolled around.
Unfortunately, I never learn from my mistakes and always seem to think that because I’m feeling slightly better, I’m invincible.
Long story short, I decided since I missed out on the day’s activities, I needed to go out that night to make up for it. Bad idea.
I definitely partied a little too hardy at AnonymouS Bar and James Dean with Austin and the gang. Yep, and I totally paid for it tenfold the next day (and sadly later while in London). The severity of my colds always get amplified when I drink, so I definitely shouldn’t have. But it was fun, and it was our last night in the Czech Republic, and YOLO.
I would definitely recommend AnonymouS Bar if you’re looking for a unique experience. You’ll appreciate this place a lot more if you’re a V for Vendetta fan. The bar has a hip, eerie vibe to it. It’s tucked away from the main street with decor inspired by V’s hideout in the movie.
Likewise, each specialty cocktail you order (this menu changes yearly) is an experience all of its own. For instance, I ordered “The Message,” a cinnamon-apple-tasting cocktail, which came with an AnonymouS postcard that I had the staff fill out with cryptic messages and sent to my parents. *Sorry, Mom & Dad!* Other cocktails were presented by staff switching off the lights and suddenly emerging into the light with their AnonymouS masks on, while some were set on fire table side. Very cool, very mysterious, very fun. 10/10 would revisit.
This was definitely one way to end our stay in Prague with a bang (and, in my case, a solid hangover).
Our time in Prague was an experience I will never forget. I am so thankful that we were able to visit this lovely city, and would love to return someday.
As I said earlier, if Prague isn’t on your travel bucket list as of yet, ADD IT. You won’t regret it. I promise.
Thank you for following along with my travels in the Czech Republic! If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned because part two of our Eurotrip in London, United Kingdom will be coming soon!
Until then, babes.
Nine-to-fiver by day, blogger by night, and avid tea spiller always. Join me here on LS as I share my tips, tricks, travels, and personal style inspo.