In January we celebrated our 21st dativersary. Yes, I know that’s a made up word. No, I don’t care.
To mark the occasion, we decided to take a quick trip to Prague. We have several friends who have been and loved it, and it’s a city I’ve read about in several books over the years. Knowing that we’d likely encounter frigid temps, we booked the trip nonetheless.
The first thing people will tell you about Prague is how insanely inexpensive it is. It’s certainly cheaper than other European cities with a similar feel, but we didn’t find it quite as cheap as we’d been led to believe. That said, we did stay in a Four Seasons for under €250/night, so there is that. Picking a hotel was one of the harder parts of the trip – I’d had a hotel in mind going into the planning phase, but when I mapped it and everything else we wanted to do while we were there, it looked like we would have a long walk back across the bridge at the end of the night. In the end, I’m glad we stayed at the Four Seasons, but while it was nice, it wasn’t quite *as* nice as I’d always been led to believe. (And yes, I know that makes me sound like an asshole – saying the FS isn’t as nice as I wanted it to be – but this is (nominally) a travel blog so that’s what you’re going to get.)
One of the things we enjoy doing on these weekend getaways is food & drink tours, and in that regard, Prague did not disappoint. We booked an evening tour with Taste of Prague, which I can’t recommend highly enough. Seriously. If you even remotely like food, wine, or beer and you’re going to visit, definitely make a point of booking a tour with these guys. We also booked a beer tour and while it was fun, I’m not sure it wasn’t something we couldn’t have figured out on our own. I guess having someone guide you to all the different locations was worthwhile, but it turned out we’d already visited one of the destinations on our own the night before.
Touring the castle is a fine way to spend a morning, but be warned: it’s not what you think of in terms of a CASTLE. This isn’t Scotland – or even Ireland. It’s basically a mini-town, anchored by a cathedral and other official buildings, at the top of the hill. Beautiful architecture and stunning views, yes … but not a castle. If you need free wifi for whatever reason, there’s a Starbucks right outside the entrance. (Of course there is.)
While we loved almost EVERYTHING about our weekend in Prague, there was one thing I had a hard time with: smoking is still allowed indoors. This meant I had a serious allergic reaction at dinner our first night that had me sneezing 47 TIMES in a row, and eventually chased us out of the restaurant. From that point on, we were more careful about where we dined, foregoing some of the local beer halls where traditional food and cheap beer would be served in favor of proper restaurants that were a bit more refined. This included the Michelin-starred LA DEGUSTATION, which we absolutely loved. The food was a bit on the adventurous side, but that’s what we love about haute cuisine … getting to try foods we wouldn’t otherwise ever be exposed to. And given that the focus here is on Czech cuisine, it was a delight. We were lucky enough to get a very late reservation the night before we flew home, so we stumbled back to our hotel just after midnight, our bellies full and our tastebuds dancing.