Friday, March 17, 2017

The Most Beautiful Parks, Gardens and Nature in Prague



If you are plannig to stay in Prague in spring, you can escape from the crowds and visit one of Prague's beautiful gardens and parks. Whether you choose the ones in the city center or outside Prague, you can be sure that your walk, picnic or morning run will be very relaxing and unforgettable. Let's take a look at Prague's nature!

1. Vrtba Garden


Vrtba Garden is an Italian type Gothic masterpiece situated on a slope of the Petřín Hill. You can enter the garden through the Vrtba Palace in Karmelitská street. The garden is divided vertically into three separate terraces and offers lovely views of Prague Castle. Visitors can admire the statue and sculpture decorations created by famous Matyáš Bernard Braun, born in the 17th century. Treat yourself with a nice stroll and enjoy the beautiful architecture and greenery.

SEE THE MAP

2. Franciscan Garden


This garden is a real paradise in the middle of Prague. Situated just few steps from the Wenceslas Square it is a great spot to drink your coffee or eat a small snack. If you travel with kids you can also use a nice little children's playground. You will have a beautiful views of the gothic Church of Our Lady of the Snows built in the 14th century.

SEE THE MAP

3. Palace Gardens of Prague Castle


It is a complex of several gorgeous gardens located beneath Prague Castle. The gardens are accessible from the Valdštejnská street and from the Na Valech garden. The last reconstruction in 2012 restored their appearance from 1920's when they were renovated by the famous Slovenian architekt Josip Plečnik for the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. You can visit the Paradise Garden, the Garden on the Ramparts or the Hartig Garden - you will love them all!

SEE THE MAP

4. Stromovka Park


Stromovka (formerly known as the Royal Game Reserve)  is not just a Mecca for Prague runners but also a place where you can find your spot and just relax, all day long if you want. It is situated in Bubeneč district and connects Prague's municipal districts 6 and 7. Stromovka is perfect for long walks, picnics or rollerskating and other sports. In spring you can even visit famous St. Matthew's Fair which takes place on the site of the Prague Exhibition Grounds, just next to the Stromovka. We also highly recommend to visit the Prague Planetarium and its attractive shows.

SEE THE MAP

5. Průhonice Park


This impressive park founded in the year 1885 is for its uniqueness a part of UNESCO World Heritage. It is also Czech National Historic Landmark. Průhonice park is located next to Průhonice village, not far from Prague. The park is a combination of ponds, meadows, woody plants, groups of trees and streams. Do not miss the alpine garden, situated close to the castle! We recommend to spend a whole day in a park as it is very large. You can have a meal in a restaurant next to the castle or take a food with you and enjoy your lunch in a peaceful atmosphere.

SEE THE MAP

6. Big America Quarry


If you don't mind to travel a little further from Prague, you shouldn't miss the Big America Quarry, especially if you go to the Karlštejn Castle - you can take a very nice walk from the castle to the quarry which takes about 1 hour. The place is also called the Czech Grand Canyon and although it is not as big as the American Grand Canyon, it is a truly magical place. The quarry is approximately 750 meters long and 70 metres deep.

SEE THE MAP

7. Petřín Park


A place with beautiful views of the Old Town and Lesser Town. And you don't even have to climb the tower! The park is worth a visit in every season, but especially in spring it is one of the most romantic places in Prague. The Petrin Tower, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, was built 1891 and it is 65 metres tall. You can also visit a mirror maze which is located just next to the tower.

SEE THE MAP

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Our Staff Recommends Hidden Pubs and Restaurants in Prague


In every guide you can find pubs and restaurants mostly recommended by other tourists who don't know the city very well. But the ones who were born or live in Prague knows all the great hidden pubs, tearooms, cafes and restaurants you would hardly discover as a tourist. Our staff members reveal their favorite places and invite you to join them!


ZUZANA, Guest Services

"Are you looking for a piece of America in Prague? Fancy for some hot dog or a burger? Than you should definitely try this newly opened bistro at Letna - Mr. Hotdog. Their specialities are hotdog with high quality beef or half beef-half pork sausages from a Czech farmer. You can try as well sliders-small type of burgers, a real gourmand can eat eat even three in a row. They also offer tasty fries even with interesting sauces. All of this in stylish baskets making you feel like you are in an american diner on a roadway, stopping by for a lunch on your roadtrip. But careful, if you try the Frozen Margarita, better go back home on your foot."

Address: Kamenická 24, Prague 7
Website: http://www.mrhotdog.cz/



MARY, Guest Services

"My favourite coffee shop. The name of the coffee shop is Letka. It is at the Letná district. It has a beautiful design and a really tasty coffee. You can sit in the window inside and during the summer spend time behind the table outside in front of Letka."

Address: Letohradská 44, Prague 7
Website: https://www.cafeletka.cz/



KATE, Guest Services

"My favourite coffee place is also in the quarter Holešovice. It is called Vnitroblock. It used to be an old factory, but now it is a place where you can have delicious coffee, homemade lemonades, soup, healthy snacks... There is also a design shop, little cinema and a dancing room. A lot of lectures or charity evenings are held here. It is not recontructed so you can see rough walls or pipes which is unusual and interesting. The atmosphere and people at this place a super nice! It is kind of hipster place."

Address: Tusarova 31, Prague 7
Website: https://www.facebook.com/vnitroblock



LUBOS, Guest Services

"Favorite spot I go to quite often is the Cocktail & Music Bar Nebe at Wenceslas Square where you can get tasty cocktails and drinks for amazing prices during their happy hours between 6 and 9 pm. This place is definitely worth a visit. And for example one of the restaurants I found out about recently (certainly for burger lovers who I am) is Café Palanda with unbelievably tasty burgers and a fine interior."

Address: Václavské nám. 56, Prague 1
Website: http://www.nebepraha.cz/en/vaclavske-namesti



KLARA, Guest Services Manager

"If you love Asian cuisine and sushi as much as I do and you don't want to spend too much money, you should go to Wok & Sushi, just next to the Dancing House, not far from our Residence Karolina. You need to try their Phở bò, one of the best in the city! Also their noodles, roasted duck and sweet and sour chicken are delicous."

Address: Masarykovo nábřeží 2
Websitehttp://wokandsushi.cz/



FILIP, Guest Services

"Since Czech Republic is a beer country I would like to recommend you a place where you can get huge variety of beers. In this pub you can get six different beers on tap (changing every week) and over two hunderds different beers in bottle. There is also very good choice of meals in the menu, which doesnt include only traditional czech cuisine. Pivovarský klub is very popular amongst locals, so its better to make a reservation there, since its crowded even during the week. By the way nextdoor there is also a shop with all the beers you can get in the pub."

Address: Křižíkova 17, Prague 8
Website: http://www.pivovarskyklub.com/index/index/lang/en



ADELA, Guest Services

"The best place where you can get good coffee and some snack or cake is Ema espresso bar which is located in city center near to train station Masarykovo nádraží. The place is not so big but it doesn´t matter, because when you try the coffee, you wouldn ´t like to taste some other. The emplyees are the best and they really undrestand coffee, how to do it and everything around that. In last weeks my top from Ema is typical czech sweet is ´buchta´ with curd cheese or plum jam. I would recommend you to buy a book Taste of Prague ( you can buy it also in Ema) and you will find there the best places where to go for good food, coffee, drinks or bakerys."

Address: Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Websitehttp://www.emaespressobar.cz/



RADIM, Product Manager

"As a beer lover I just must recommend my favorite beer pub - Zlý časy in Nusle disctrict. The beer offer is really unique - there are three bars and every day you can taste one of 48 tap beers from small and microbreweries of the Czech Republic. The name of the pub can be translated as Bad times but I have always had a great time over there. They also have delicious burgers and Czech dishes. If you stay in our Residence Karolina, just get tram no. 18 at the National Theatre and get off at the Náměstí Bratří Synků station."

Address: Čestmírova 390/5, Prague 1
Websitehttp://zlycasy.eu/




WENDY, Guest Services

"We are in the biggest city of Czechia - Prague. People here are beer and food lovers as well. I am talking about speciality coffee lovers here and trust me, we made a great way since lets say 2012 or so. People open new cafes at famous places almost every month and it is alway big! They opened a new cafe in February called Urban Café and to be completely hones with you, this place became my "home" the minute I walked in the very first time. Such an impressive urban interior and very nice people behind the bar. Enjoy your coffee!"

Address: Na Poříčí 37, Prague 1




VERONIKA, Guest Services

"Creperie U Slepé kočičky can be found on M. Horákové 38, Prague 7, just a short tram ride from Hradčanská. Their lovely home made lemonades and crepes are just delicious. I recommend to try the crepe with a plum jam, mascarpone and shredded gingerbread, as it has a bit of a Czech twist. They also offer healthier buckwheat crepes that are very nice too. They have sweet and salty versions in their offer that make a nice lunch even for a vegetarian."

Address: M. Horákové 38, Prague 7
Websitehttp://www.slepakocicka.cz/

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

9 Churches You Should Visit in Prague


There are many churches in Prague - old, new, tall, small, world known or unknown - and it is impossible to see them all during one visit. That's why we prepared list of 9 Prague churches you should visit or (if you don't have much time) at least see their exterior. We promise you will not regret it!

1. The Church of Our Lady beneath the Chain


This church, located in the Lesser Town close to the Charles Bridge, was originally a Romanesque basilica founded in 1169 by the King Vladislaus I.  The specific name of the church "beneath the chain" comes from the medieval custom of locking the streets around the convention with chains. Interior tours are possible only by appointment but you can just peek inside through the bars almost any time during the day. Services are held on Sundays at 10 am and on Wednesdays at 5.30 pm.

2. Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord


You will need to travel to Vinohrady district to see this church but just by the picture it is obvious that this unique piece of architecture is a must see. It is located in the Jiriho z Podebrad square just next to the Jiriho z Podebrad metro station. This modern monumental building was designed by famous Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik, author of many other structures in Prague. Tours are available mostly before and after a mass (Monday - Saturday 8 am and 6 pm, Sunday 9 am, 11 am, 6 pm).

3. Church of Our Lady before Týn


Probably the most iconic church in Prague and a proud dominant of the Old Town Square since the 16th century. If you go to the Old Town Square you can't miss it as the towers with small spires are 80 metres tall. Even the interior of the church is truly impressive - you can see features from Petr Parler, John of Rokycan or Karel Škréta, including the oldest pipe organ in Prague (built in 1673). You can visit this church from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm, it is closed on Mondays and Sundays. You can pay voluntary entrace fee 10 CZK.

4. St. Nicholas Church in the Lesser Town


Church of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Town is one of the most important baroque structures in Europe and it is often regarded as the most beautiful building of Czech baroque. Its huge dome and a narrow tower are a prominent part of the panorama of Prague Castle. The church is 79 metres high and it was completed in 1755. Be sure to climb to the belfry for amazing views. The parish church celebrates a weekly mass every Sunday at 8.30 pm. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm in spring and summer and from 9 am to 4 pm in autumn and winter, entrace fee is 70 CZK for adults.

5. St. Nicholas Church in the Old Town


Don't be mistaken because there are two churches of St. Nicholas in Prague. The second one is located right in the Old Town Square. The construction of this Late-Gothic church was finished in 1737. The beautiful interior is open to the public and classical music concerts take place there. You can visit it from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from noon to 4 pm.

6. Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary


This church recognizable by its unique towers is a part of Emmaus Monastery which became a center of culture and art during the reign of Charles IV. A former church was damaged in 1945 by the US bombing, the new roof and towers were designed by Oldřich Štefan. You can notice that an optical illusion makes the south tower look higher although it is not. You can visit the monastery every weekday from 11 am to 2 pm, entrace fee is 50 CZK for adults.

7. St. George's Basilica


When you go to the Prague Castle, be sure to visit the St. George's Basilica, one of the oldest churches in the Czech Republic. It was founded in 920 and rebuilt in 1142. It is a burial place of Premyslids, a Czech royal dynasty which reigned in Bohemia and Moravia until 1306. The church has retained its Romanesque character from the rebuilt after the fire in 1142. The towers are 41 meters high. The church tour is a part of the Prague Castle tour (250 CZK for adults).

8. Church of Sts. Simon and Jude


This church was founded before 1632 as the part of Brothers Hospitallers's hospital (today Na Františku Hospital). As the only church in Prague it is dedicated to the apostles St. Simon and Jude. It is located in the Old Town, not far from the Jewish Quarter, in U Milosrdnych street. If you stay in our Milosrdnych Apartments you will have amazing views of this church from your living room windows. These days it serves as a concert hall for the Prague Symphony Orchestra. You can find the list of concerts and ticket prices here.

9. Church of St. Ludmila


The Church of St. Ludmila located in Vinohrady district is a famous dominant feature of the Namesti Miru square. The two towers of this neo-Gothic basilica are 60 meters high and the nave is 50 meters long. The interior is decorated with impressive paintings and ornaments, take a closer look at stained glass windows with figures of saints. Services are held every day at 4.30 pm.


Have you visited any other churches in Prague? Would you like to add your favorite Prague church to our list? We would love to hear from you! Please share your recommendations in the comments section.

Monday, January 30, 2017

7 Prague Microbreweries You Must Visit


The Czech Republic is a land of beer, everybody knows that. But the Czech beer is not all about Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser or Staropramen. There is more than 380 breweries in the country and this number increases every year, mostly thanks to microbreweries. These small breweries are very popular lately amongst Czechs, especially those who are tired of drinking same brands over and over and want to try something different. Good news for Prague visitors - you can even find microbreweries with their own restaurants in a center of Prague! Let's take a look at them.

1. Pivovar Národní


Just 2 minutes walk from our Residence Karolina, next to the National Theatre, you will find a new brewery Pivovar Národní opened in 2015. It brews its own beer Czech Lion - you can choose from 3 different beers - 11° pilsner pale lager, 11° unfiltered lager or special 13° semi-dark lager. With the beer you can order Czech specials and grilled meals like duck breast with cherry sauce, grilled pork neck steak marinated in beer or beef flank steak. Even though the interior is spacious and it has two floors it can get quite busy (mostly on Fridays and Saturdays) - table booking is recommended.


2. Pivovar U Medvídků


Famous brewery U Medvídků has been brewing its beer since the 15th century. They say they are the smallest brewery in Prague with the strongest beer in the world. Their beer selection is truly impressive - you can taste unfiltered lagers, 12° wheat beer, special dark beer with extra roast barley, 15° special light beer, 13° semi-dark lager Oldgott or the strongest beer in the world X-BEER 33 fermented in oak barrels for a period of 200 day. You should also try other specials - a beer ice-cream made from their Oldgott lager, a unique beer brandy Pivovice X40 or a beer chocolate. Of course you can also taste traditional Czech dishes or buy a bottled beer as a souvenir. What more, it is also very close to the Residence Karolina, just 4 minutes walk.


3. Pivovar U Fleků


U Fleků is probably the most famous Prague microbrewery and a very popular restaurant. Its history dates back to 1499 and it is the only brewery in central Europe which has been brewing beer for more than 500 years with no break. You can get their typical 13° lager "Flekovský ležák" and choose from a large selection of Czech meals - goulash with dumplings, beef in cream, roast pork with cabbage and many others. Very popular is also their Show U Fleků with old Czech folklore music, humorous skits and even a beer competition. Also not far from the Residence Karolina, only 6 minutes walk.

Website: www.ufleku.cz

4. Pivovar U Dobřenských


The brewery was founded in 2015 but it follows a tradition dating back to the 15th century. They brew their beer in four fermentation tanks on only 150 square feet. You must try a unique 14° ale Tribulus made of a plant tribulus terrestris also know as goat's head or devil's weed. Another special beer is a dark beer Salvia Stout 14° with sage (salvia officinalis). They also brews special beers for every season - in 2015/16 it was Mentha Summer Ale with mint for summer, Melissa Ale with balm for autumn and winter Hippophae Ale. We can recommend also Lemongrass Ale 11°. You will find it half way from the Residence Karolina to the Charles Bridge.


5. Novoměstský pivovar


Another brewery that is worth a visit is Novoměstský pivovar. You can enjoy traditional Czech dishes (garlic soup, goulash, pork knee and others) and of course a great beer - light or dark lager "Novoměstský ležák". Do not hesitate to try "pivní žirafa" (can be translated as "beer giraffe") - you will get a tall tube of beer and you can serve yourself. If you want to try  flavoured beers just order a beer tasting (4 different flavours - banana, ginger, coffee and caramel). They also make a beer spirit and a beer sparkling wine. For beer lovers there are also brewery tours where you will see how the beer is made.

Website: www.npivovar.cz

6. Pivovar U tří růží


This brewery is located in Husova street in a center of Prague, not far from the Charles Bridge or our luxury Krizovnicka Apartments. The beer has been brewing for more than 600 years in this very house. They brew various kinds of beer, both bottom and top-fermented - special dark beer Dark Rose, bavarian type Old Bavarian, special amber beer Smoked Amber, American style Weissbeer and others. Taste also delicious meals - roasted pork knee, spicy beef goulash, confit duck leg or roasted beef with creame sauce.

Website: www.u3r.cz

7. Pivovar Marina Holešovice


Marina Brewery is not located in a very center of Prague but you shouldn't miss it anyway. You'll find it in Holešovice, Prague 7, in a beautiful building just next to the Vltava river. In a stylish interior you can order one of 4 kinds of beer - 10° light lager, 11° wheat lager, 12° lager and a dark lager. Local meals are made in an open kitchen and you can get goulash, roasted duck, grilled pork neck and many others.  To get here just take tram 6 or 14 and get off at Maniny stop. In summer you can even enjoy an outside seating with wooden tables.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Top 10 Things to Do in Prague in Winter


Snow and ice everywhere, temperatures dropping to -15 °C and you don't even want to leave your apartment? Prague City Apartments gathered 10 awesome tips for winter days in Prague you will love. Get your warmest clothing and let's start!

1. GO FOR A MORNING WALK ON THE CHARLES BRIDGE


Every local knows that nothing compares to the morning Charles Bridge. No people, no noise, just you and one of the most beautiful bridges in the world (and maybe a couple of other people who read this article). Believe it or not, in winter it is even more stunning. Everything looks so clean and magical covered by fresh snow. But be careful, in January it can get really cold in the morning so don't forget your scarf, gloves and a hat. We recommend to get up before 6 A.M., it will be definitely worth it. :)


2. WALK ALONG THE FROZEN VLTAVA RIVER TO THE NATIONAL THEATRE


From the Charles Bridge take a walk along the Vltava river. If you're lucky enough, Vltava will be frozen and you'll get an unforgettable view of the Prague Castle and the Lesser Quarter with white roofs (not red this time). You'll pass a number of monuments and famous sights like Kranner's Fountain or Manes Exhibition Hall. You can have a coffee in Café Slavia or continue to the Dancing House.


3. GET A PORK KNEE FOR A LUNCH


In a cold winter there is nothing better than a proper Czech meal for a lunch. It warms you for the rest of the day. Our recommendation? Definitely a pork knee served with dumplings and cabbage or with sauerkraut and potatoes. You can get it in Mlejnice restaurant in the Jewish Quarter (Zatecka 14 street), only 4 minutes walking from the Residence Brehova or just 1 minute from our apartments Maiselova 5 and Maiselova 17!


4. VISIT A BALLET IN THE NATIONAL THEATRE


The National Theatre is one of the most important cultural sights in the Czech Republic. This majestic building overlooks Vltava river since its reopening after a fire in 1883 and Czechs can't be more proud of it. In winter you can see Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and the Cuddly Mouse, La Bayadère or The Little Mermaid. Visit a theatre's website to see a detailed programme. The National Theatre is located just 3 minutes from our Residence Karolina!


5. GO SKIING TO THE CZECH MOUNTAINS


Well this is not exactly a thing to do in Prague but if you love skiing or snowboarding you can't miss this! Especially if you stay in Prague for more than a few days. You've never heard of the Czech mountains? They are not that high as the Alps but they are beutiful! Less than 2 hours drive and you can ski in Spindleruv Mlyn or Harrachov in Krkonose mountains, Klinovec or Bozi Dar in Krusne hory mountains or you can try even Moninec which is just an hour and half from the center of Prague! In every ski resort you can rent a ski set. A great one day trip!


6. GO TO THE KRIVOKLAT CASTLE


Just 40 minutes drive from Prague there is one of the most popular and most important castles in the Czech Republic, Krivoklat castle founded in the 12th century. Even though the castle's interiors are closed in January you should visit the sight because of its impressive exterior and surroundings. Krivoklatsko is an area with lovely nature, rolling hills and deep woods, great for a winter walk and a delicious lunch in one of the local pubs. If you really want to see the castle chambers and the museum, you can come every Saturday in February from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. 


7. WALK THROUGH THE LESSER TOWN AND GO TO THE PETRIN HILL


Lesser Town (Mala Strana in Czech) is a district that lies below the Prague Castle on the left bank of the Vltava River. It is connected to the Old Town by the Charles Bridge. There is a large number of notable buildings and interesting places – such as the baroque Church of St Nicholas. In winter you can just stroll around or go to the Petrin Hill - totally different experience in winter!


8. GO TO THE PRAGUE CASTLE


In the winter evening go to the Prague Castle. A walk from the Petrin Hill can be especially nice as you will see both the Lesser Town and the Old Town covered in snow! The Castle district has a magical atmosphere in the evening and when it's snowing it gets even better. There is not many tourists up there after 6 P.M. in winter which is a great plus!


9. GET A ROAST DUCK WITH CABBAGE AND DUMPLINGS


After a long winter day you will need another delicious Czech meal! It's time for dinner and the best idea is to find a good pub with even better roast duck and the best Czech beer. Not far from the Prague Castle you'll find a medieval-style traditional Czech restaurant "U Modre kachnicky" located in Nebovidska 6 street. They have another restaurant in Michalska 16 street, just 1 minute walk from the Old Town Square and not more than 10 minutes walking from all our apartments!


10. VISIT KAMPA ISLAND AT NIGHT


And finally after a good dinner a night walk comes in useful. You will love a quiet stroll through the romantic corners of the Kampa island. The northern part of the island, the Certovka stream is called the Prague Venice. Definitely visit also the Lennon's Wall or a famous water mill and don't forget to look around at all the beautiful historical buildings.

We hope you liked our 10 tips and don't forget to add some more in comments below! What do you like to do in Prague in winter?