Dazzled by the beautiful buildings and living history of the picturesque Czech capital, we found points of interest wherever we turned. We found shops in the Old Town Square that still produce real handmade puppets, made by skilled craftsmen in the country villages.
Towards the end of Charles Bridge lay the Lennon Wall, a symbol of democracy and freedom before the Velvet Revolution in 1989. It is now an art installation perpetually changing and evolving with the graffiti added to it by visitors, and can provide hours of exploration and reading should someone wish to examine it in detail. A personal favourite amongst the renderings was a drawing of a head with a speech bubble bearing the words: “Friends are like potatoes ‐ if you eat them they die.Our walk took us to the Dancing Building located on the riverside a short walk from the Charles Bridge, which was designed by Frank Gehry in 1996.
Prague is best known for its bridge, clock, and fairytale-like town square, but there are also plenty of delicious foods to try. Prior to travelling to Prague, I didn’t know much about Czech cuisine. Before visiting a new city, I like to make a list of specific foods to eat. Usually these foods are unique to the location or have a special quality that I would be unable to find elsewhere. Czech food is a tempting mix of the meaty and the carb-laden, but not very vegetarian friendly!
Out of all the foods to eat in Prague, I was most excited about Trdelník, or chimney cakes. These pastries are Transylvanian and Slovakian in origin but commonly found around Central and Eastern Europe in countries such as Hungary, Austria, Romania, and the Czech Republic. Trdelník are made of rolled yeast dough that is wrapped around a stick and roasted over an open flame until golden brown and crispy on the outside, and tender and gooey in the middle. The hot dough is then brushed with butter and rolled around in a cinnamon-sugar and nut mixture. You can also get different flavours spread inside such as Nutella or melted chocolate. I think they are best plain.
Cafe Louvre has been in business since 1902 and has welcomed famous thinkers such as Albert Einstein and Franz Kafka. The business hit a brief pause during the 1948 communist coup, when all of the interior fixtures were thrown out the window onto the street below. The cafe has long served as an office for local writers, philosophers, and students. The featured dish consists of sirloin beef that has been marinated and braised a day in advance. The meat is then covered in a root vegetable cream sauce and served with bread dumplings, a slice of lemon, cranberry sauce, and a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.
When people think about what to eat in Prague, this is almost always on top of the list. These thin Czech pancakes look similar to French crepes but are prepared with a different cooking method. Typically rolled up and served with fillings such as jam, fruit, cream or nuts, it is an ideal treat for those with a sweet tooth.
This dish may have originated in Hungary, but it has been adapted to become a Czech staple. Unlike the Hungarian goulash, the Czech golush is prepared with fewer vegetables and contains greater portions of meat. Beef is typically used, and chicken or pork is sometimes used as alternative ingredients to prepare the dish. The meat is stewed, topped with a generous portion of gravy and served alongside with bread dumplings – a substantial treat that will satisfy meat lovers!
While in Prague, I loved wandering the old medieval streets, photographing the colourful city at dawn and dusk when the Gothic architecture gave the city strong atmosphere, exploring the massive Prague Castle quarter, and capturing the sunrise on the Vltava River from the impressive Charles Bridge. The Czech food was surprising good and diverse — hearty and yet also very flavourful.