Our second day in Prague began with a sleepy lay-in. We managed to roll out of bed and make it to Náměstí Republiky in time for brunch. A stroll around the market eventually led us to a cafe overlooking the square and a simple sandwich, done the Prague way. Just our third meal in and we’ve noticed that Prague does food very differently to home. Prague presents its food with care and style, a Prague-panache if you will. Even a simple sandwich comes out of the kitchen looking something like a masterpiece; something you should deconstruct rather than digest. I digress… I’m not reviewing a sandwich no matter how pretty it was.
We had been tossing up the idea of a Free Walking Tour vs a Prague Old Car tour. The city IS walkable but the cobbled streets of the old town were already taking their toll on our weary legs. We considered the large crowds following each walking tour and the area that the tour covered. Our walk yesterday had already taken in much of the Golden Mile from the Powder Tower to Charles Bridge as well as many bars in between. Our guidebook explained the important points along the way, so we felt we had this covered. The strain of a long walk would probably ruin our evening and have us knackered for the following day too. We had made our choice/our choice had made itself.
The 90 minute Prague Old Car tour covers a much larger area of the city than a walking tour’s 3 hours ever could. You get to cruise through the new town as well as crossing the river to see Prague Castle and the ‘Lesser Town’ . Our tour guide Andre was fantastic and it was great to have such a knowledgeable tour guide as well as having some solid one-on-one time with a Czech national, answering all our touristy questions (usually with a cheeky smile and a joke or two thrown in!). I can highly recommend catching a Prague Old Car and it was fully worth the 1800kc/£50 price tag. Divide this price 2, 3, 4 ways and you’re absolutely laughing.
Andre, our lacky for the ride, recommended climbing the Old Town Tower for a scenic view of the city below. Now don’t be put off the word ‘climb”. There are two lifts to take you up – one in the town hall and then a second lift in the tower itself- take both lifts and wave at the less well-read tourists who chose to walk the first few flights of stairs in search of the tower’s entrance before going home and blogging about it (I’ll be the one waving back). If, from below, you think that the tower view looks compromised by the tight cluster of streets that surround it you’d be wrong. As the name suggests, you do indeed Tower over the entire old town and the panoramic scenes are unforgettable. Another trip highlight – that makes two for two! Today was a good day.
Pilsner Urquell was again calling and we stopped at a local bar before following our noses to the nearby cone stall. Throughout Prague there are sweet, pretzely smells flowing through the tight medieval street like blood through veins. You’ll see countless waffle cones, ice cream parlours and chocolate stores. Of course we did them all. Hashtag no regrets.
Even with the driving tour it’s been a tiring day, our Motel One bed was calling us home. We ate locally in Al Capone’s Pizzeria on Na Porici. I’m not sure if Al Capone had any links to this part of the world, let alone this basement diner in an off-the-map alleyway of East Prague. What was the link here? We couldn’t quite suss it.
Reminiscing on our time here, over dinner, we agreed that Prague was amazing. Perhaps even our favourite city in Europe thus far. Good food, natural beauty on every corner… and they even had nice buildings (oi oi!). Prague had completely taken us by surprise. A bit like Al Capone took Bugs Moran by surprise in the St Valentines Day massacre in the 1920s. Ahhhh. It all makes sense now. And there it is… there’s the link. Well played Pizzeria, well played.
WITH THANKS TO:
MIGUEL VIRKKUNEN CARVALHO (MAIN IMAGE)
Have you ever taken the more expensive choice, like the Old Car, and enjoyed it with no regrets? Ever got so fatigued from walking you couldn’t enjoy your city? Any other hidden gems in Prague that we missed? Let me know in the comments below!