So obviously you've seen what the internet and the guidebooks have to say about where to go and what to do and what to see while you're in in Prague. Or maybe you've been before and you want to discover more local and lesser known attractions and places to go. Either way, I've compiled a list of my favourite places to go - all of which are in the centre of Prague. And very well hidden ;). This is Prague: Off the beaten path.
This pains me to share this with you. I am so reluctant. I have had the best hot chocolate I have ever had in my whole entire life in this cafe. And that's a lot coming from me - I'm a self-confessed chocoholic! You walk in and there's a delicious aroma of chocolate that just wraps you up in its chocolate-y goodness. You're given a menu and theres about 15 gazillion different types of chocolate to choose from. I personally am partial to the 39% Papuasie (a hint of vanillia within the chocolate) but to be honest, you need to go many many times (as I have...) to actually decide which is your favourite. I would recommend making a reservation, this place is very popular with the locals (i.e. me)!!
Any book lover visiting Prague has to take 10 minutes out of their day to gaze into the never-ending book pit found in the Municipal Library. As soon as I found out that this place existed, I dragged my friend around practically every single library in the city until I found it. There's no mention of its whereabouts online so searching was the only option. However, if you (like me) suffer from vertigo or have a fear of heights, maybe take a pal with you to hold on to. My poor, poor chum had me clinging onto her while I peered over the edge into the book-void.
At the end of trams no. 20 and 26, a magical land of myth and legend awaits. It is believed that the female warrior Šárka threw herself off of the cliffs after losing her one true love in the Maiden's War. Very tragic. On the other hand, it is a beautiful part of the city and an excellent day out for a little stroll or a serious hike along the rocks and cliffs. In the summer, you can swim in the reservoir or in the swimming bath which is stream fed. It's a huge valley and perfect for making return trips, or if you're more adventurous - camp!
Translated directly Nový Svět means New World. I'm not really sure how it got to have this name, but this charming teeny tiny little street is the cutest street I've ever had the pleasure to walk down. It's small and windy and cobbley and it's only a horse and carriage away from 1800s. There's a cute little coffee shop and it's full of twee little cottages. And you would never guess that it's 5 minutes away from the tourist-centre of Prague Castle. I mean, I love a good castle and cathedral, but for some reason an adorable twisty ancient street makes me feel so warm and glow-y inside. Ya get me?
I thought it was fitting to mention this adorable little park which is basically next door to Nový Svět. You can take a charming walk along a little river all the way to the Palace Gardens. Jelení Příkop translates to Deer Moat, and it's got it's name from when Rudolph II used to hunt deer in this area back in the day. It's only opened in the summer, and the opening times usually coincide with sunrise and sunset, so I would suggest that you check online to see if it's open before you get disappointed.
If you're a tea lover then you will definitely love love LOVE this place. Imagine a hippy kinda vibe with a massive menu of tea. Back in the communist era, the importation of tea was illegal. Did this stop them? No. A group of tea-lovers managed to get their hands of some imported tea, and after the Velvet Revolution they opened a tea shop. It's now an international chain. Sure, it's a little more expensive than most tea shops, but you can sit on pillows on the floor and curl up with a book or gossip with your pals over a giant teapot of the kind of tea you selected. They have such a wide range, but they also give an explanation on what each tea is made from and you can even match your tea to your mood. Yuh-huh, you read correctly.
Friends Coffee House
I am currently sat in this very coffee house writing this very article. This is my fave place to come post-gym/need a cheering up/need to get some work done/I feel like having an indulgent coffee. Outside of Starbucks, this is the only coffee place I've found with a humongous choice of coffee options. For instance, I'm munching on a chocolate chip cookie and sipping a caramel-vanilla latte. This place is popular with both Czechs and Expats alike. What struck me the most about this place though, is that it looks absolutely miniature from the outside, but you walk in and it goes on and on and on for about 4 different rooms. Before you know it, you will have spent all afternoon here (like me, right now)!!!
By avid-explorer and tourist-avoider, Angharad Owen