Not so long ago ended our stay in the Czech Republic! During his stay, we visited two Czech cities - Prague and the famous health resort Karlovy vary. In this article I want to share my experience of traveling in the Czech Republic, and also to tell about some of the features of this wonderful country, about the prices, food and drink, what to see in Prague and Karlovy vary, getting there, hotels, apartments, and more.
Any trip to the Czech Republic starts with its capital city of Prague. So we changed route and arrived in the heart of this mysterious and legendary city. Legendary in the truest sense of the word, in the heart of Prague, its historic center, every house, every bridge, so that there is a house or a bridge, perhaps, every stone Olivet Ordinance and any legend, and places where you can make your work in the city so as not to count. Something scratch, here, touch, spit, spin around and you will have happiness, all your wishes will come true. Like it or not, we don't know, don't know, make a wish, and then we'll see, it will come true if))
The most fascinating in Prague, is the energy of the city, clean, friendly and so relaxing, it hovers in the air enveloping the city and you.
The main time we spent in Prague, then at some time stopped in Karlovy vary. These two cities on the one hand so different, and on the other so similar to each other.
Similar cobbled streets, well-kept centre, beautiful historic buildings and plenty of street food and restaurants for any taste and budget.
Different the fact that in Prague all day and night full of life, in the center of the city streets are always crowded square Packed with tourists and street performers and pavement in the daytime to even see does not work, because the influx of tourists. In Karlovy vary, on the contrary, tourists are not many, and a General atmosphere of peace and relaxation consumes you, you relax, breathing in the nice fresh air in lush town.
In short, the Czech Republic, we liked, she charmed us with something! To visit the country suggest every tourist. There is in this country its advantages, but at the same time during your stay we suffered some disappointments, which were few. However, frustrations are more to do with personal attitude to some things than with the country as a whole.
We arrived in the Czech Republic and traveled around the country by land transport, therefore, from the bus window I saw a part of the country, its small towns and villages. After Germany, with its clean streets and gingerbread houses, contrasting the Czech Republic meets impressive buildings, not so clean, there are places and devastation, but mostly all clean and well maintained.
The pride of the Czech Republic - beer, we were disappointed, though many varieties are numerous, but they are tasteless to us. Dominated by lager. About beer in Prague/Czech Republic we were told in a separate article, read here.
National Czech cuisine is mostly meat, fat and heavy. But the Czechs cooked meat is amazing, tender, juicy, melt in your mouth. In that they are special. After a few days of eating local meat dishes stomach felt discomfort and heaviness. Of course you can not have a local butcher catering in cafes and restaurants there is always a choice, but so want to try all)).
Because of heavy food, after a few days we fell into the night to go to the supermarket and buy myself a Breakfast of yogurt and fruit.
Prices are pleasantly surprised. For a hearty dinner with beer and drinks for two, we gave from 700 to 1 300 CZK. A glass of beer costs an average of 40 crowns. Knuckle from 300 CZK, 50 CZK soups from the plate and from the 80's bread, salads from 40, all the second courses from 120, - CZK. The portions are large.
Naturally prices vary depending on the restaurant. We all know that in the heart of the city prices are always higher, and the quality and quantity of the portions below, rather than to step a few blocks off the tourist track and eat in the so called restaurant for the locals. The benefit of such restaurants in the Czech Republic a lot.
To choose the restaurant is very simple, every restaurant on the street you can see the menu with prices, come, see, choose, if suitable, feel free to come and eat.
The most famous Czech dish is pork to sell on the streets and in restaurants. Street and restaurant briskets are different. Which is better? Even hard to say! Both delicious, but different. I advise you to try on the street and in the restaurant.
Actually street food in the Czech Republic, especially its capital Prague is very common and is sold by almost every step is and the already mentioned knuckle, and potatoes with bacon, vegetables, sweets, pancakes, famous sausages, grilled cheese and of course beer. About the street food in Prague, too, we have already described in detail in a separate article, read and see pictures here.
In the center of the city to accept local currency, the Czech crown and the Euro. To pay in CZK economically advantageous, in euros it's more expensive. You can exchange money in exchange offices on the streets. About currency exchange in the Czech Republic , see here.
The Czech crown large size. Even coins pretty volume, our wallet would not fit. On the streets of Prague, we found the cents, the Polish zloty, but no crown. Of course, to drop that much coin without noticing, is quite difficult.
Surprised us in the Czech Republic that most of the local eat very few vegetables and fruits. We had dinner as the local school and even on the buffet, only a few local residents take fresh salads, but the bread and sandwiches are gaining 5-6 pieces to store. In stores fresh fruit and vegetables the choice is not great, mostly bananas, apples and pears. For this reason, and, of course, nutritious local food, a fairly large percentage of overweight people, even among students.
Before traveling to the Czech Republic we read such statements that the Czechs like to dress up and always dress according to the latest fashion trends. We did not notice. Dress up pretty normally, as in most of our cities. Of course, when compared with the majority of poles, the Czechs, Yes, dress is excellent.
Smoke almost 80% of the population. But it's probably not the Czechs, and tourists in General, just when you're in a small area with a large crowd of people, it is very conspicuous. In General, Europeans of all countries smoke a lot. Although only in the Czech Republic we noticed a trend, is quite a grown man next to him a young man seen that the son, and both smoke one after the other or mother with a young daughter sit and smoke.
In Central cities, while in the streets crowds of tourists, very clean.
The grammar of the Czech language is quite complex and some words can not even be pronounced without hesitation from the first time, or even after the tenth. For example, a well-known name as trdlo and trdelnik, we for the first time even pronounce correctly are unable. But necessary! Because trdlo is one of the most delicious Czech treats. We ate every day. Sell directly on the streets with piping hot, fried on coals. Because of this, in the centre of Prague is just blissfully insane smell, and forcing you to go and buy more trdelnik.
Other pastries on the streets of the Czech Republic
Relax in Czech Republic cheap will not work. There will have to fork out. For everything, everything, tear up the money. In Czech Republic we first met snuggles obdiralovo. The entrance to any place paid, in cathedrals, churches, even small rooms where I put a couple of exhibits any garbage everywhere pay for entrance. Resent all the tourists, of course! When you're in the Cathedral of St. Peter in the Vatican come for free, and here to go to a little Church need to fork out money.
Entrance tickets are not symbolically, an adult ticket is about 200-250 CZK. This is especially felt in Prague. Children and students discounts, sometimes up to 50% of the full cost of the ticket. I like the sights in a couple of days we also began to talk to the cashier that we are two student, somewhere rolled, somewhere in there, but basically was not asked to show a student, and were given tickets. So, going on vacation to Czech Republic, don't forget your pension, student and school tickets. They will be very useful.
All toilets are paid, even in such fast-food outlets like McDonalds, toilet fee, costs 10 kroner or 1 Euro. "Gorgeous" of course the difference.
Intercity buses are very convenient and comfortable. Go gently. Large leather seats, sockets, screens with music, games and movies is built into the rear seatbacks, free Wi-Fi, catches well and everywhere. Even on small buses provide free tea, coffee, Newspapers, headphones and so on. Tickets are not expensive. For example, from Prague to Karlovy vary ticket for this bus costs 160 CZK. So we been in the country only on these buses.
A little bit about Prague
Below about Karlovy vary.
Prague, as befits any capital city is a great city, with its own atmosphere and architecture.
Prague is a city of tired legs! Walking around the city in order to see everything, have very, very much. The old town is almost all paved. If you are going to Prague, it is better to take the most comfortable shoes. If you get tired of Prague, in the evening we just flaked out. Scored a lot of shoes, but is useful to us mostly just shoes.
For the first time, walking along the streets of Prague, its cumbersome architecture among the narrow streets we were overwhelmed with all its overwhelming merits. But we quickly got used to it and on the second day, the streets didn't seem to be so aggravating.
What to see in Prague
The entire historical center of Prague is beautiful and the streets of the city you can walk endlessly, always finding something new and interesting. Prague's old town consists of two historic districts, Malá Strana and Stare mesto, divided by the river Vltava and connected by multi-shift Prague bridges, the most beautiful and grandiose of which is the Charles bridge.
- Letna Park or Park flying. The Park annually hosts the may beer festival. This festival became a critical issue in our choice when to visit Prague. That's why we went to the Czech Republic in late may. Details about the beer festival in Prague we spoke in the previous article, read here.
In Prague there is a wonderful zoo, considered one of the best in Europe. Prague zoo is quite large, so visiting it is better to allocate a separate day.
Best thing to do in Prague for us was just wandering through the narrow crowded streets of the old town, admiring the architecture and plazas, promenade and colourful boats slowly plying the waters of the Vltava river.
Looking into the small shops, souvenir shops and restaurants. Each time finding something completely new and unforgettable.
Cafes, restaurants and shopping in Prague. Where to eat in Prague?
On the streets in the centre of Prague restaurants and cafes sea, they encountered at every step. The closer to the main attractions and tourist routes, the more expensive prices.
A little away from the tourist routes you can find wonderful restaurants with decent prices and large portions, as well as more attentive service.
We are in the centre of Prague enjoyed the three places we visited for dinner quite often. Two of which, the restaurants, and the third is a coffee shop.
1. Restaurant Husinec is located within walking distance from the monument of St. Wenceslas on Wenceslas square, at the address: Mezibranska 1450/13, 110 00 Praha 1-Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
By this restaurant is definitely not pass. The restaurant has a fairly noticeable sign with the restaurant name and a picture of her goose.
In the restaurant is nice and quiet atmosphere and an outdoor terrace
The portions are large, prices reasonable: boar knee (knuckle) 275 crowns, a quarter of a roast duck with sauerkraut and dumplings 199 CZK 800 grams baked meaty pork ribs 269 CZK grilled pork ribs 179 kč fried chicken schnitzel with boiled potatoes 119 CZK, 50 CZK soups, a glass of beer volume 0,5 l 40 CZK.
2. The second restaurant is called Pivovarsky Dum. Located near the waterfront and the Dancing house at the address: Jecna 15, 120 44 Praha 2, Czech Republic. This brewery and restaurant.
Soups cost from 38 CZK, we tried the old Bohemian garlic soup, quite tasty. You can also order the popular Czech meals are such dishes from 255 CZK, game 325 CZK 225 CZK fish, schnitzels from 225 kronor. Boar knee with mustard and horseradish 215 CZK for 1 kg, payment on the fact of weight.
The restaurant Pivovarsky Dum, we ordered the beer tasting. Tasting of beer is 150 CZK. The tasting consisted of 8 different Beers with a volume of 0.1 liter each. The beer was both classic and various famous varieties: nettle, cherry, banana, coffee, special dark, etc.
Also tasted the famous fried Czech Camembert cheese deep fried, nothing special, tastes pretty good, good beer.
An inexpensive coffee shop, with delicious coffee and pastries, we found close to the historical centre of the city, from old town square. Called café Milani, is located at the address: 16/ Czech Republic Kaprova 9, Stare Mesto,110 00 Praha, Czech Republic.
In many local coffee shops for Breakfast come the Europeans.
Cappuccino in the coffee shop costs 45 kroons, whereas in the city centre is 65 CZK. Also sell a variety of pastries, sandwiches, cakes and scones. Piece of cake is an average of 49, - CZK, pizza is about the same, rolls of 25 crowns. Cakes are delicious, not cloyingly sweet or heavy.
In restaurants and cafes in the center of Prague need to be careful! In some cafes canteens partings for a fee. Also on the tables you can see the exposed soft pretzels and other snacks, they are also paid. After the meal the waiter will count how much is eaten and what it will charge a fee, sometimes very cheap. About all the ways, like trying to cash in Prague for tourists, can be found here.
Supermarkets in the centre of Prague
Small grocery shops in the centre of Prague a lot. However, the choice in these stores is scarce and prices are higher than in supermarkets.
Near the historic centre has two large supermarkets:
First, Albert is located on Wenceslas square address: Vaclavske nam. 831/21, 110 00 Praha 1,Czech Republic. To get to the supermarket you need to descend down into the earth.
Second, TESCOis not far from the promenade and the Dancing house, at the metro station Narodni trida, at the Mall, at MY Narodni 63/26, 113 89 Praha 1,Czech Republic.
How to go to Prague
It is difficult to say. But to see the sights and try the local cuisine, 4 - 5 days will be enough given the fact that from morning to evening will have to walk, the day, avoiding no historical place. In General Prague is a beautiful city with many fascinating places in this city you can easily spend a week or two.
Who have little time to quickly explore the whole of Prague, you can rent a Segway
Where to stay in Prague
Like everything else, in Prague, many hotels, apartments and more budget - hostels. Here everyone will find something affordable. Any one or two hotels to recommend does not make sense, most of the hotels are quite good and consistent with the stated categories, even the hostels are neat and decent.
What can you advise, is to stay in the center of the old town or in the district Prague 1. All major attractions are in the area. But if trying to save money on hotel and stay far from the historic center, this daily will have a round-trip ride on public transport or a taxi that in the end the money will be much more expensive, and the most unpleasant in such traveling costs unnecessary time and effort.
We stayed in Prague 1 and did not regret it. Never used public transports and everything we needed was in walking distance.
It is possible to advise, to book hotels in advance because in Prague all year round high season with a large influx of tourists. Upon arrival to run around town and look for a hotel with free rooms not a pleasant occupation. We booked here
How to get to Prague
Prague can be reached in several ways. Of course, your own transport or rented car. As well as by train, bus or airplane.
The fastest and easiest way to get to Prague is by airplane. There are direct flights from many cities of different countries. Plane tickets better to start to search and buy in advance, if you find the action, you can take advantage of great deals and airline buy cheap ticket.
You can also consider, as an option, first to get to Dresden (Germany), and from there to Prague. The price in this case may be cheaper, but would require additional expenditures of time and money to get to Prague. But you can visit two countries.
From the airport to the centre of Prague can be reached by public transport, tour bus or taxi. Place in a tourist bus or a taxi/Shuttle service can be booked in advance, even from home, on the website. At any time of the day, at the airport, you will meet your driver with a sign, which will be written your name and surname. For taxi is enough to tell us your flight details.
Where to go from Prague
Basically, all the tourists go first to Prague, and already resting in the capital, leaving other small but not less beautiful towns of the country. The most common areas are Karlovy vary and Cesky Krumlov. So did we, from Prague went to Karlovy vary to Cesky Krumlov but this time did not get. Drive to Cesky Krumlov and Karlovy vary from Prague, you can either independently by bus, train, taxi, or rent a caror take day trips.
We Stool vary drove themselves for a few days on the bus. The road to a comfortable bus takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, a single ticket in one direction is 160 CZK, you can buy a ticket at the box office the bus station and in advance on the website, prices are the same. About all the ways to get from Prague to Karlovy vary and back, read the article "How to get from Prague to Karlovy vary and back".
Karlovy vary is a beautiful little town, surrounded by greenery, well maintained, quiet and clean, with fresh air, his entire atmosphere adjusts to you for quiet rest and relaxation.
Arriving from Prague to Karlovy vary and get out of the bus at the station, we honestly was a little disappointed at first, the usual five-story building, a supermarket and the road, that's all that was brought to our attention. But, after passing the 300 meters in the direction of the hotel, the hotel was in the center of the city, we realized that this amazingly beautiful city, with its unique atmosphere. The closer we came to the center, the more beautiful and bright we opened the city. By the end of the first day of the grandeur of even the head is a bit dizzy, we did not regret that I came to this wonderful health resort Karlovy vary.
Things to do in Karlovy vary
Attractions in the city are not many, they are all located in the centre.
Karlovy vary is famous for its thermal springs with mineral water. Therefore, the main attractions of the city, it is the occupation and recuperation is to walk around the city, sipping mineral water and enjoy nature. So we did, drank water from springs and walked through the streets of the city.
Only 4 of Karlovy vary colonnade and two gazebos, which are 12-th mineral water springs. Access to all the sources is free, water is free. In addition to drink mineral water in Karlovy vary can be treated, but it is on prescription, and indulge in Wellness and relaxing treatments. We went to some protsedurki, I liked it. Read more about mineral springs, colonnades and procedures can be found here.
Watch in the city is nothing special, a few small parks and squares, the main street with all major attractions and the hill of Friendship, in which is located the cable car and the Diana observation tower.
Walk around the hill and climbing the tower we liked, and the views from the lookout tower Diana the town and surrounding countryside are stunning. If you do not use the funicular, and walk to the tower, on forest trails, all these charms will be absolutely free. And most importantly, fresh air, cheerfulness, and cardio training you provided. We slow rise took 30 minutes.
Food, cafes and restaurants in Karlovy vary. Where to eat in Karlovy vary?
As in Prague in the centre of Karlovy vary there are many cafes and restaurants. The closer to the center, the more expensive prices.
Street food in Karlovy vary in comparison with Prague less, but on the streets you can buy all the same trdlo, beer and other snacks, as well as the famous Karlovy vary wafers/oplatki, with a variety of fillings made on the basis of thermal water. Waffles are not very tasty, they sell both hot and cold, hot and delicious. Is Packed, you can take home as Souvenirs for relatives and friends.
Although they say that these waffles and made useful thermal water. On the water they made of course, but other chemicals and preservatives in the composition of the waffles so much, that all the benefits of mineral water compared to dyes and preservatives is reduced to zero.
Beyond the centre, we liked one restaurant - Smichovsky. The restaurant is located at: Lidicka 274/2, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Has two Lounges, an indoor and outdoor terrace
The prices are reasonable, the food is delicious, everything is the same as in the restaurants of Prague.
The most unusual dish we tried in this restaurant was marinating sausages. Have you ever tried pickled sausages? We are not! Up to this point. Pickled sausage in vinegar, also ka and cucumbers. Quite unusual and a good beer snack.
Where to stay in Karlovy vary
Karlovy vary is a small town, everything in walking distance, so you can stay in expensive hotels in the city centre and cheaper outside the center. Search for and book hotels, apartments and hostels suggest here
How to get to Karlovy vary
The easiest way to get to Karlovy Vary is to fly by plane to Prague, and from there either by train, bus or taxi to Karlovy Vary. Cheap flights to Prague...
From Prague to Karlovy vary tour operators offer day trips. The cost of such trips 25-40 Euros per person. To go to Karlovy vary will be cheaper and more interesting.
In the city it is best to spend not one, but a few days. To see the city and enjoy all its charms the three days will be enough. If the purpose of travel is medical treatment (to improve health), the duration of stay depends on the duration of treatment.
Trips from Prague and Karlovy vary
Prague and Karlovy vary offers plenty of excursions to neighbouring cities and countries. The duration of the tour depends on the place you travel. There are one-day and multi-day excursions.
Such excursions can be purchased in travel agencies. On the streets you can find touts who will tell you in detail about these or other tours.
- Amsterdam - Brussels - Luxembourg 9 000 CZK.
That we, if you go on a trip to nearby cities and nearby countries such as Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Munich, etc. is still possible. But to go away, for example, in Paris, Italy or Amsterdam, you don't see the point, the cities is better to visit separately and independently, rather than arriving on holiday to the Czech Republic to shake on buses.