Exploring Prague in the Snow

It's day thirteen (for me) in the A-Z blog challenge! This month I'll be sharing all about my Christmas/New Year travels in NYC and Europe – providing insight into the places I went, reviewing the hotels I stayed at, and telling my story. Today's letter is P for Pretty, Peaceful Prague. Feel free to follow along as I make my way through the alphabet this month! :)

 • C • D • E  F  I • J • K • L • M • N • O

We left for Prague the Monday after New Year's. It was long drive, but we made it before the day had ended. Our first order of business was to find something to eat. Our friend had been given a recommendation, so we went looking for it… According to him, you can always tell a place is local when beer prices are low. ;) In my opinion, I think he (and my husband) just wanted an excuse to drink beer.

On our way back to the hotel, we took some time to check out Charles Bridge and do some bar hopping. It was cold out and we were in desperate need of warmth. My husband and friends found their warmth in beer and gluhwein; I just tried all of the hot chocolate. 

The next day we woke up bright and early to buy tickets to see Prague Castle

We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the castle (except for pay), but we were allowed to take some in the church and areas around the castle.

After we explored one of the churches, I took a few pictures of "Golden Lane", a street of tiny colorful houses, some of which were museums and others of which were shops selling souvenirs.

Did you know that one of the houses on Golden Lane (House 22 according to Wikipedia) was the temporary home of Franz Kafka, a famous writer who came there to find peace? He lived there until 1917.

On a pretty day, the view from Prague Castle is probably beautiful. I definitely find the snowscape I encountered appealing for a different reason though. :)

Then, while the group "bathroomed" I ventured into the toy museum… It costs and, on looking back, probably isn't worth the money. It was fun hearing our German friends tell us about the different toys they played with as children in comparison to the ones my husband and I, as Americans, played with. :)

There were two floors featuring toys from many different generations. When we were there, they had a special Barbie exhibit in honor of the 50th anniversary.

After emerging from the toy museum, it was onward and upward! … Back out into the cold.

We explored one particular church that was far more impressive than it looked from the outside…

See how I had to condense it into a collage below?!? There was so much incredible detail in the architecture and artwork inside! I couldn't stop taking pictures! :)

Of course, this church, the Cathedral of St. Vitus, seemed to be particularly crowded when we were there with tourists from all over filling the walkways and making it hard to get around and see things. It took us a good 30 minutes or longer to make our way around the church and feel like we had seen everything to the greatest extent possible. I recommend going during the off-season (and not right after Christmas), or, at the very least, trying to avoid tour groups. Grab a beer or gluhwein while you wait it out!

After leaving the castle, it was time to compare shoes… Mine were the best. ;)

For lunch, we went to Kampa Park, a touristy restaurant on the river where you can watch boats and swans go by. I was mesmerized. ;) Plus, there had been some serious discussion and reservations about whether or not we could or should actually go to this restaurant. I think the general conclusion was that I have expensive taste. :) For just over $100, we had four entrees and a cheese plate appetizer.

The food wasn't my favorite, but no one else in the party seemed to mind; I think I'm just not a big fan of Czech food. :) Plus, I came for the view!

Even though Kampa Park was close to the Kafka Museum, I was grateful that we didn't go. I dislike Kafka's The Metamorphosis; it grossed me out when I had to read it in high school and forever ruined Kafka as a writer for me. (Not that I've ever given any of his other works a chance!)

When asked what I wanted to do next, I said "see the Lennon wall!" Sometimes research pays off! … And sometimes it just so happens that you are right outside of The Yellow Submarine Pub when someone, like me, decides that they want to see the Lennon wall next. Needless to say, it was a fairly easy walk.

So very colorful, with a complicated past, the wall, which originally held an image of John Lennon, has been painted over time and time again. From what I understand, it is a symbol of peace for the people who live there.

We took some time to admire the wall, before going on a search for more gluhwein! I amused myself while my husband and friends waited in line, by taking pictures of the street.

And when the gluhwein wasn't keeping us them sufficiently warm, we opted to check out the local Absinthe bar. Justin had never had absinthe, so he wanted to try it.

Forgetting my DSLR in the Absintherie bar, we started making our way to the Prague Christmas Market.

I wanted to try Trdelník, a "traditional Slovak rolled pastry originating from the Hungarian-speaking region of Transylvania, it is usually served warm, and topped with a dusting of sugar, nuts or cinnamon" …

How did we not get a picture of this?

and Justin wanted to try Langoš, a "Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic (česnek), cheese (sýr) and ketchup" except he didn't eat his with ketchup (source).

Of course while we were in line, I remembered my camera! Justin and I ran back to the Absintherie Bar. Would it still be there?

Luckily, yes! It was! *phew* Nothing like a run for your money expensive camera to sober you up in the cold Czech Republic winter weather!

To get warm again, as the sun had set, we moved on to the Gallery of Art where we saw works by Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, and Alfons Mucha.

Before heading back to our hotel, we took some time to check out the local mall, Nový Smíchov.

It had a grocery store, clothing stores, shoe stores, etc… Minus the grocery store, it was about like what you would find in the states. It was fun to do something more traditionally local and less touristy.

And prior to leaving Prague we had to do a mandatory sour skittles run where our friends spent all the last of their korunas on "medium" sparkling water and … sour skittles, of course. ;)

Overall our time in Prague was quite enjoyable. We explored a few places that had not made it on my must-do list, drank a lot of warm drinks, and, basically, did our best to stay warm despite the cold weather and snow. It felt like we were there only a short period of time before our itinerary called for us to move on to Dresden, Germany.

Have you ever been to Prague? If so, is there anything we missed out on while we were there that maybe we should consider doing if we go again? If you've never been, have my images inspired you to consider a trip there in the future? :)

Linking up with Elizabeth at Wander Mum, Cathy at Mummytravels.com and this week Clare from Suitcases and Sandcastles for #CityTripping


  1. Cathedral of St. Vitus looks spectacular, wow! Love the Lennon wall, too, never heard of it. Never been to Prague.
    Trdelníks sound like something I might like! Not a fan of absinthe, though.
    I wasn't able to watch the video? Tried with Safari and Google Chrome.

    1. I just uploaded the video to the post again, but who knows? You can try this link if it still doesn't work. It's a longer version of the video which is really just a sped up version of the boats and swans we saw go by while we were eating at Kampa Park.

      Prague was beautiful and I highly recommend it! And my husband mentioned having heard something about Trdelníks with ice cream being a thing now? Umm… there may be a blog post in the future where we try to make that! It sounds delicious! :) (But even without ice cream, it's pretty good! lol..)

    2. Thanks for the video. Those swans must be DUI ;-)
      Looking forward to your tutorial on how to make Trdelníks!

  2. I have never been to Prague but would definitely consider it. But I think I would try to go at a warmer time of year than you did. Those pictures made me cold!

    1. Aw! But the snow made it so much fun! ;)

      I think no matter what time of year you go, you are bound to have a lot of fun! There is so much to do and see in Prague! :)

  3. Awww.. the castle and snow combination is so dreamy!! Stuff like that only appear in fairytales where I come from. We have no castles and no snow. It's what makes me want to travel at every opportunity I have!

    1. No snow or castles near me either. It was definitely fun traveling at a different time of year and getting to experience both (and at the same time)!

  4. Prague looks so pretty during winter! Only visited in the summer so far but it seems like I have to head back ;)

  5. Prague looks so beautiful covered in snow! and this post made me even more excited to be going back to Prague in May!

    ABC's of Hamburg

    1. Gotta admit… I'm super jealous! :) Have fun!

  6. That cathedral is stunning! I had no idea about Kafka, that's pretty cool. I haven't been to Prague for at least 10 years, so I'd like to go back one day and see what's changed. Also, visiting local malls is one of my travelling guilty pleasures. That and supermarkets. I just love seeing what it's like for people who live there!

    1. I'm not really in the habit of visiting malls while traveling, but I rarely go out of country, let alone too far from home. That being said, I totally understand what the intrigue would be, especially with supermarkets! It's so much fun seeing what locals enjoy! :)

  7. Oh, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your Prague post with me!!! Perfect timing! :D I've marked several of the spots you mentioned, I'm especially keen to visit Golden Lane and the Lennon Wall! Thanks for linking up with us on Travel Tuesday, Mandy!

  8. I love Prague!! I went for New Years two years ago and it's seriously a winter wonderland! Unfortunately though, we didn't have snow! Looks like you covered just about everything I can think of! :D

  9. I do love Prague - I've been a couple of times, including out of season, but never in the snow. It's always beautiful but looks so fairytale like that. I bet I'd need a few gluhweins or hot chocolates to keep warm as I explored too though! #citytripping

  10. How magical to see Prague in the snow! I wish I'd been to St Vitus' when I visited - it looks amazing. Thanks so much for sharing it on #citytripping.

  11. I've only visited Prague in summer, but I see now that it's just as beautiful in the snow. Can't wait to go back one day! :D

  12. So, today I discovered about 20 comments from the A to Z Challenge 2013 that were in my spam folder in Disqus. Yikes. This prompted me to review all of my comments and see if I had reciprocated the ones from the 3 A-Z Challenges. Oh my. I wonder if you can relate? Anyhow, I did go to Prague once for a very short trip in the winter. It was beautiful. I was depressed to see such a gorgeous city alone. I don't recall the John Lennon wall, and did not see the castle inside. I did see lots of crystal shops and made a wish on the St. Charles statue on the bridge. Do you know the one? It was a very powerful wish and came true years later. I also went to a little village called Cesky Krumlov which was highly recommended and very picturesque. I'd go back to Czech in a heartbeat to visit. Courtney - Maui Jungalow


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