Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic, and it’s only about three hours away from most of the posts in USAG Bavaria. This weekend, we loaded up the SUV and took a family road trip to Prague.
The city is absolutely beautiful, with curving cobblestone streets and tall, ornate, pre-war buildings. It’s also international: it’s the fourteenth largest city in Europe, and it’s popular among tourists. Most restaurants and businesses had signage in Czech and in English, and we heard many different languages spoken as we walked the city streets.
We stayed in the Praha 1 Old Town at the Betlem Club Hotel (I found an great price on our rooms at hotels.com). The hotel wasn’t fancy, but it was clean, the staff was friendly enough, and the location was perfect. The building had loads of character, too: our room had vaulted ceilings supported by 14th-century wooden crossbeams, and breakfast (which was included in the price of our room) was served in what might honestly have been a dungeon. The room was below ground, and it had arched, stone walls. Swords hung on the hotel’s walls, and an Excalibur-sized sword was enclosed in a glass display case in the center of the breakfast buffet.
The drive into Prague from Bavaria wasn’t bad. It was around three hours each direction from our little town, and you never leave Autobahns or major Czech highways (unless your Garmin likes routing you through small villages, but ours would never do that). Once we arrived in Prague, we parked our vehicle and didn’t use it again until the trip home; the city is large, but all of the places we wanted to visit were within walking distance of our hotel.
We tasted flights of beer at the Prague Beer Museum. We wandered the Old Town Square Christmas Market and the Wencelas Square Christmas Market. We ate soup out of bread bowls, wild game meats, and fried cheese with tartar sauce. We walked over the Charles Bridge toward the enormous Prague Castle at dusk (see photo, above) and marveled at the city’s incredible architecture. We bid our farewells to the city with brunch at Cafe Savoy before hitting the highway home to Germany.
If you live in Bavaria, a road trip to Prague is a must! There’s so much to see and do, regardless of your interests, age, or travel budget. There are high end hotels and affordable hostels; places to party and places to appreciate arts and culture. We know soldiers who drive to Prague for tattoos and beer, and we saw dozens of billboards for orchestral and vocal music performances. Foodies will find restaurants, wine shops, and breweries and history buffs will stay busy, too.
Have you been to Prague, or do you daydream of going? What were your favorite placed in the city? Do you have any insider’s tips you’d share with other Prague travelers? Leave a comment!