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Local Concierge Tips... Prague

Travel Intelligence

The bohemian city of Prague is consistently voted one of the best cities in the entire world. With its gothic skyline, striking architecture and charming cobbled streets, there is much to see and do.


We spoke with Rasti, The Hideaways Club's Local Concierge in Prague, about his secret - and not so secret - hotspots in the city…

Why is Prague such a magical place to visit in the winter?
I think that winter is much better than high summer to visit the city. Although we haven't experienced any in a few years, Prague is even more beautiful when covered by snow. When visiting in December, you can enjoy the many Christmas markets scattered throughout the city centre.

We know there is much going on at Christmas, such as the Wenceslas Square market for one. What are your must-visits?
The best - and busiest - market is in Old Town Square. I recommend visiting during the week rather than weekends.
Prague Castle is definitely a must-see, especially St. Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane.
Charles Bridge, in the early morning before the tourist rush, is an excellent place to visit too.

What should we be eating and drinking at Christmas time in Prague?
There are a lot of options; I prefer svařák which is a hot wine typical for winter. Medovina is also nice which is a honey wine. Trdelnik, a kind of spit cake, has become really famous and although it's not very traditional, it's worth a try. Other typically Czech sweet treats are gingerbread or apple pie…delicious!
Potato salad is best eaten with wiener schnitzel at the Café Savoy. If that's a little fancy for your liking, you can also try it at the local pub.

Where is your favourite spot to watch the world go by?
Wenceslas Square, the centre of the business and cultural communities, or Republic Square. SAPA market is also worth visiting, it is like a small Vietnamese city in Prague and I find it really interesting.

Where is the best restaurant for traditional Czech cuisine?
The slightly cheaper - but very good! - options are Mincovna or Pork's Pub. For more fine dining, Café Savoy or Kalina Kampa are both great places to eat.

Do you have any secret hotspots you wouldn't usually find in a guide book?
The best spots are the hidden narrow canals on the Moldau River, such as Čertovka which is sometimes called 'Little Prague Venice' in English.
The university-based Café Hamu or Café Louvre are good places to get your caffeine fix, and the street Novy Svet is close to Prague Castle but far from the madding crowds!

Are there any places nearby and outside of the city that are worth travelling to?
A beloved trip for me is Dresden, Germany. It is only about 80 minutes away by car and has a wonderful Christmas market with different cuisine and vendors. If this feels a little far, the gothic Karlštejn Castle is a 40 minute-drive away and considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in the country.
Terezín is a former military fortress and has an extremely chilling atmosphere as it was once used as a concentration camp.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the city?
The general rule in Prague is 'the smaller the better', and that applies to cafes, restaurants, boats and guided tours. The most romantic area of the city is Mala Strana and this is the main reason I love Prague. Everything here is nearby and walking is the best way to enjoy and explore the city.

There is no better time than the festive season to visit the vibrant Czech capital. Magical and mysterious - albeit slightly chilly! - and perhaps even more charming than usual.

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