About a month ago our best friends Kev and Bev suggested we all go to Prague to celebrate our wedding anniversaries. We have never been on holiday with friends before and we were a bit apprehensive to be honest. Seeing friends for a few hours is a lot different to seeing them all day for a few days! We decided to go for it anyway as they have been married for 25 years and we have been married for 35 years! After looking for flights and accommodation we booked to go from 29th May to 1st June.
We arrived in Prague at 10pm on Tuesday 29th May. We were dropped off at the hotel, booked in and dropped off our cases. We stayed at the Akcent Hotel. It is in the Smichov area and right beside the subway station of Andel. Even though it was now nearly 11pm we went out to have a look at the local area. We liked what we saw, lots of bars, restaurants and shops. We decided to have a beer and perched ourselves on some seating. A couple of beers later and we decided to get back for some sleep.
From here in this post I’ll tell you what we did and add links at the end if I want to tell you more about it otherwise I’ll add links as I go so you can read more about the sights for your self..(Hope this makes sense!! If it doesn’t please leave me comment!!)
THANK YOU – dear reader 🙂
So here we are at DAY 1.
Over breakfast in the hotel we decided we would go to the old city and Charles Bridge. As the subway was right beside the hotel we decided to go by train. The city was 3 stops away. The transport system in Prague is all integrated and although you can buy single tickets we decided on an ‘All Day’ ticket for 110Kc (about £3.50 each). This gives you access to the subway/trams/buses and they run ALL the time!
We got off at the MUSTEK stop and walked through the city streets. The city has some great architecture, a lot looks Austrian – I suppose it would as Austria is right next door! We carried on walking and tried to get our bearings… oh dear.. where were we? We had a map but couldn’t figure out where we were. The signs and street names bore no resemblance to anywhere on the map! Ah well just keep walking then.. we went through this tower and discovered we were near the Astronomical Clock.
It was nearly 11am so we joined the gathering throng to watch the clock in action. We then went off to the left of the clock and looked in some shops. I asked at one for directions to Charles Bridge and we carried on through the winding streets. Charles Bridge has a tower at both ends and has over 70 statues – some of them you are supposed to rub to ensure you return to the city. There are also street artists and pedlars selling mainly tourist tat.
We made our way across and walked through what is locally called the ‘Lesser Town’. At the top of the main street we stopped for a beer – well we are on holiday! Bev suggested we hop on a tram and see where we ended up, we all agreed and we jumped on the next tram a No14. We had gone a few stops and realised we were opposite the town entrance to Andel station – back to the area where we were staying (Smichov)! Kev was complaining that he was starving – well it was nearly 2pm! We noticed that there was a shopping mall (Novy Smichov) just on the corner so we popped in there and went to the top floor where the food hall was… DEJA VU moment – it looks and feels just like malls back home, familiar names including C&A, H&M, M&S and a 2 floor Tesco!
We found a Czech restaurant and had lunch there. Goulash served with potato dumplings. Filling and hearty!
After another walk around Smichov area we headed back to the hotel for a rest before going out for the evening. We decided to go back to the old town area in the evening. We took the tram back to the Lesser Town side of Charles Bridge and walked back to Old Town. We wanted to have a drink in one of the street cafes. We saw a sign at one for a .5 litre beer for 39Kc but when we sat down and given a drinks menu the price said 80Kc. We asked about the price and told that 80Kc was the outside price.. Now I don’t mind paying a little more but DOUBLE…well that’s just taken the p***! I really do wish this was outlawed, not only do tourists feel ripped off but cafes need to realise that by having people sat outside it makes the place look busy and more appealing – bringing in more custom!! (Ok rant over… back to positive now)…
After seeing the prices we decided we would head back to Smichov as we can sit outside there without paying inflated prices. We decided on the way back to go to a Pizza restaurant called Corleone’s that someone recommended to us. You can get an 18inch Pizza for around £9 and it was delicious. After another couple of beers we headed back to the hotel as we were all tired and had aching feet!!
Prague Airport Shuttle – I found the link to them on Trip Advisor. There are lots of stories about unscrupulous taxi drivers so it was nice to see good reports about the shuttle. I booked online and got an email confirmation which I confirmed. You then get a picture of where the driver will be in the airport. Even though the plane was a little late the driver was there waiting for us.
I didn’t book the return transport before we left home but we decided not to take public transport back to the airport after all. I tried calling them on Thursday but had an answer machine. I sent a text requesting a pick up for Friday and got a text back moments later confirming.
On Friday at the allotted time the driver arrived and took us back. Very good service and you get a discount if you follow them on Facebook!!
Akcent Hotel – Situated beside the Andel subway station and opposite the bus station. The hotel is on the 6th floor of an office building. Reception and the restaurant and bar is on the ground floor. Your room pass-card is used in the lift as an added security feature that gives you access to the hotel. We had rooms at the back of the hotel. The rooms are basic, but clean and a good size. All rooms have a little terrace. There is quite a bit of road noise but if you close the french door and window it shuts out most of it.
Air conditioning, a safe and Wi-Fi is provided free of charge – not something you’d expect for free in a 3* hotel. However, although tea and coffee making facility is provided no tea and coffee is provided! I had already spotted this on Trip Advisor and popped some in my case.
The beds were comfy but the pillows are useless! As soon as your head hits them they go flat.. We requested a couple more which made our second night more comfy. Breakfast is quite basic, ham, cheese, eggs, frankfurters, bread and yogurt. Plenty to get you set up for the day.
Well that’s it for Day 1. I’ll post Day 2 soon – Our visit to Prague Castle. Hope you stick around.. Have you been to Prague? What did you thingk of the city? Where would you recommend to visit next?