Parles-vous Français? C’est d’accord if the answer is no because all you really need to know is that Pâques is French for Easter! 🙂 (shoutout to my Franglais skills slowly seeping through my travel posts lolol)
Also what a weird intro. Any who, ONWARD.
About a month ago, I bought a plane ticket to Prague with my friends and about a week ago Elle says, “The whole point of going to Prague is to go skydiving.”
Excuse me, what?
I know I said I can feel Europe changing me…but uh…skydiving? No thanks. That’s a little much. I’d rather try weird foods, ride a donkey (see “Spring Break in Greece” post), and get fish pedicures– ALL ON THE GROUND MIND YOU –rather than propel myself out of a plan and risk certain death. SPOILER: skydiving ended up not happening. For anyone.
Since it was a long weekend because of Pâques (Easter), I went to Prague with my friends from Friday April 14 to Monday April 17. I feel like all I ate were potatoes, roasted veggies, and rye bread. ALSO I walked about a million miles. But it was an absolute BLAST! Prague was the perfect place to go for Easter weekend because Eastern Europe celebrates the holiday hardcore. It’s almost the equivalent of Christmas.
Below, I’ve done the usual thing and bolded the days, restaurants, things we did and saw, etc. If you’re a loyal reader, you know the dealio 😉 Skim, search, or read it all! Your choice and here we go!
Friday April 14: Late night flight into Prague. We landed around 9:40 p.m. and got to our Air bnb around 10:30 pm. I highly recommend the place we stayed at! It’s called “Beautiful Apartment in the Center of Prague” on the Air bnb website and was perfectly cozy for four people to have their own space whilst sharing certain amenities. Might I mention, the decor was also très chic, and our host, Valery, was very nice. BONUS: It’s only a 20 minute walk from the old town square which is VERY convenient…and if you don’t know: it’s the centre of tourism, y’all. AKA our second home.
Saturday April 15: We slept in a bit then started the day by walking in the general direction of the square. Since Pâques is such a big holiday for Eastern Europeans, a total of about 5 or so Easter Markets were strewn about the city and we stopped immediately at the first one we saw! Being a pescatarian/veg, its important to note that your options get quickly stunted because the Czech diet is very high in sausages, ham, and goulash. So casting aside literally all the meat, I was immediately drawn into the giant pans of potatoes and roasted veggies.
WHICH WERE ACTUALLY OUT OF THIS WORLD. Tbh, more so the potatoes than the veggies b/c anyone can do roasted veggies and I feel like they always come out the same.
But these potatoes. They were something special. It was def a seasoning thing, something I hope to recreate when I go back to the states in less than two months! Wow how time flies. Je suis un peu triste 😦
BACK TO PRAGUE.
After the Easter Market, we galavanted through some tourist shops (where I learned the Czech Republic is very well known for their crystal production and chandeliers) then headed into Old Town Square where the biggest Easter Market of Prague was being held. There, I purchased a cup of hot apple cider whilst Elle and Collette opted for beer. We took tons of pics then decided to explore some more by heading into the old Jewish district for lunch.
Okay, so real quick. We ate at a restaurant called Caspian by Mangial and it was HORRIBLE. We got there and there were no tables available on the main floor so we were seated in the VIP room downstairs where we waited for 20 minutes with menus. The waitress came and took us back up to the main floor then proceeded to NOT take our order for another 20 minutes! Our food took for freaking ever to come out and when it did, it lacked a lot of flavor (I got a salad, salmon and *surprise* potatoes which were BLAND AF). Only two waitresses and two chefs worked there. And they moved like TURTLES. The interior was gorgeous, but it was most certainly not worth the wait. 0/10 would not recommend.
After two hours of waiting for dissapointment, we walked to the Gallery of Art where we got awesome student discounts (b/c of those international student ID’s #holla) and saw the Andy Warhol, Alfons Mucha, and Salvador Dali Museums. (Andy Warhol’s was my fave. His work got me low-key inspired).
Dinner was had at the restaurant just outside the Gallery called Stonbrow where I got a decent plate of vegetarian pasta and discovered how fluffy and delicious Czech rye bread is. AKA the carb binge starts…
That night, (shoutout to Colette for making a reservation in advance <3) we headed to the Ice Pub Prague which was AH-MAZING. They give you a token for a drink which is included in the reservation fee (important to note, u must make one in advance), gloves and a fleece poncho.
Shortly after, you get corralled into the Ice Pub with the rest of your group for a 30-minute time slot where you end up spending most of your stay snapping pics and accidentally knocking over Elle’s drink onto the floor HAHA SORRY!
Ngl, at first 30 minutes seemed short, but by the end my fingers felt like they were gonna freeze and fall off because even though we wore gloves, the glasses were made out of ice and practically seeped right through! Sooo yea. 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time.
The Ice Pub is a great way to start the night because once you’re in, you also have access to Karlovy Lazne which is this awesome 5 story club. Each floor is dedicated to a different genre of music and at the bottom there is an Oxygen Bar you can pay 80 kronas to sit at and literally inhale scented or non scented oxygen. It totally relaxes you and bubbles in cute round-bottom flasks in different colors. The rest of the night we danced legit non stop, making the amount of carbs I consumed that day okay.
SUNDAY APRIL 16: Woke up bright and early for a 6 hour walking tour of Prague! Shoutout to Bailey for this one because she made the reservations in advance. And I know. 6 hours seems like a hell of a long time to walk, but we took the tram part of the way and had a boat portion of the tour so it was okay. Also, lunch was included! The company, if you’re interested is called Urban Adventures and they do walking tours similar to this one in cities and countries all over the world :).
Some interesting things I learned:
- All throughout Prague, there used to be a massive ditch and modern plumbing was non-existent. Obvs. The people built their homes high up because they shat in buckets, chucked the contents into the ditch beneath and wanted to be as far away as possible from the smell.
- Sometimes there are random animals painted onto sides of buildings such as a rabbit or a fox. This is how the medieval people of Prague identified streets and addresses since not all of them could read.
- In the Jewish district there are gold plates on the floors in front of some of the houses. Carved into them are the names of the people who lived there during World War 2 and were forced out by the Gestapo. 😦
The tour took us through the Old Town Square, Jewish District, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and finished with a boat tour along the Vltava river. For lunch, we stopped at Malostranská Beseda which TOTALLY MADE UP FOR THE HORRIBLE LUNCH WE HAD THE DAY BEFORE and had a surprisingly great choice of vegetarian options! 🙂 I ended up getting a giant bowl of lentils served with a delicious basil sauce, egg whites (vs. the full eggs on my request), and tomatoes. I sopped up the remains, literally wiping my plate clean, with their deliciously fluffy and highly addictive rye bread. *I may have lost track of how many pieces I ate hehehe*
When the tour was finished, we hit up an Easter Market for some souvenirs, chilled back at our Air bnb, then had a yummalicious/cheap dinner at U Provaznice. Located along a side street about ten minutes (walking distance) from the Old Town Square, it’s a Czech pub-style place with a good selection of vegetarian options. 🙂 Did I mention its super cheap? 😉 I got the roasted veggies (hold the parmesan cheese), a side of rice, and a side of boiled potatoes ❤ And the whole thing, converted, cost me about 6 U.S. dollars. #steal
That night, Bailey, Elle, and Colette got ice cream or whipped cream stuffed Trdlos (which are like giant churro barrels…look them up, they’re pretty cool) and did some more souvenir shopping. We also got to see the hour change on the astronomical clock in the Old Town Square which was awesome and checked out a cool bar nearby called Fancy.
Monday April 17: Slept in. And made the remainder of our stay a giant food day. As if our whole weekend, other than the tour, wasn’t entirely dedicated to food. 😉 We were initially going to check out Den Noc for brunch b/c they are very well known for their unique selection of sweet and savory pancakes, but got there and found out they were booked with reservations all day. #damnit
I ended up having a smidgen of egg whites and some yogurt and granola at a little James Bond French Café nearby then we headed YET AGAIN into Old Town Square where I bought a ton of souvenirs and tried boiled corn on the cob, whilst my friends indulged in roasted ham, hot wine, and legit grilled cheese (I tried this and it was actually quite good. I preferred he jam spread over the garlic one btw. Oh, and it was served atop rye bread ;)).
It was cold and rainy that day so as we began our trek back to the Air bnb to set off to the airport, we stopped at the first Easter Market we’d gone to two days prior (on Saturday) where I loaded up on a hardy batch of their bomb ass roasted potatoes (the last ones of the trip, tear) and veggies.
Easter in Prague was an awesome experience and if it weren’t for my friends planning to go, I honestly probably wouldn’t have ever thought of going myself. I literally knew nothing about the Czech Republic prior to this trip and now I appreciate it so much more! 🙂
I also have found that I appreciate my father’s heritage more because I saw a lot of similarities in the features of the people/the foods they like/their culture/etc. No one in our family is from Prague (at least I think…dad if ur reading this, do a spit test with ancestry.com STAT) but Ukraine instead. Which is close!
Prior to going to Prague, the only taste of the Eastern European culture I got was from Epcot and low key Magic Kingdom in Disney World Orlando (hint: little Ponnochio puppets were being sold at all the Easter Markets). Having seen Prague, I rly rly rly want to see more of this region of the world like Germany, Romania, Finland, Sweden, and Ukraine (duh). But alas, I can only go so many places in this MONTH AND A HALF I have left in Europe.
…my time abroad is literally FLYING.
Thanks for reading and if you ever go to Prague I HIGHLY recommend checking all the above places out 🙂 Besides that Caspian restaurant, bleh.
Now time for a little R&R before I travel for a third weekend in a row. 🙂 Can you guess where I’ll be going next? 😉 Find out in my next post.
P.S. sry if the organization of the writing came out a little sloppy. ya gurl needs some sleep. still love you all ❤ 🙂