Everyone knows that Prague is the home of some seriously fantastic baroque architecture, a variety of Pilsner beers and grand cafe houses, but there are some hidden secrets that not all tourists manage to discover.
Not only is Prague cheap to get to , with plenty of flights available daily from most UK airports from the likes of Cheapflights you can explore some of the off-the-beaten-track secrets of this fascinating city to discover another side you didn’t know existed. If you’re thinking of visiting Prague but don’t want to do the usual sight-seeing; check out our guide to the lesser known attractions of this historic city.
The Czech Republic has long been famous for its beer which it has been perfecting since the 12th century. Since the rise of capitalism there has been a corresponding increase in the number of small breweries producing and selling their own unique beers with an on-site pub selling the finished product.
Pavement cafes are famous throughout the city, but many tourists remain unaware of the first-floor cafes where locals choose to take their coffee. Head for the Grand Cafe Orient above the Cubist Museum, or try the Cafe Louvre with its turn of the century splendour and the finest hot chocolate in Prague.
Art deco squares
Prague is well known for its grand cobbled squares but head for some of the newer districts of the city where architecture embraces the art nouveau and art deco styles. Good examples can be found at Lyckovo Square in Karlin district and at Jirího z Podebrad Square close to the Zizkov TV Tower.
The Czech people have been perfecting the art of ceramics for longer than any other nation and artists are currently blending old traditions with new subject matter. Head for Qubus behind the Old Town Square for a quirky blend of old and new. Giant teacups, baroque-style clocks with modern LED displays and ceramic wellingtons with a traditional willow pattern are just some of the objects on sale at this delightful gallery.
Czech tasting menu
For a gourmet food experience make for La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise which has created an imaginative 14-course tasting menu based on traditional Czech food. The menu is based around a book of traditional recipes which the manager discovered in a junk shop and represents a major step forward in Prague cuisine, formerly renowned for its high-carbohydrate dumplings.
Prague has such a classical feel that it comes as a surprise to discover some of the city’s more modern art installations. Look for the huge oversized babies on the Zizkov TV Tower and the surreal image of Sigmund Freud hanging one-handed from a pole in the Old Town. David Cerny is a world-class sculptor and his work can be found on a trail across the city which many visitors miss entirely.
Beer is the drink most famously associated with the city, but Prague actually has a long tradition of wine-making. At Vinicni Altan you can sit and relax on the terrace overlooking the vineyards and sample some of the local wines whilst enjoying spectacular views across the beautiful Nusle valley.
The Divoka Sarka park to the west of the city is Prague’s best kept secret. Locals come here to sunbathe, hike through the beautiful scenery and take a dip in the open-air pool. Icy streams ensure that the water is always bracingly cold and the locals enjoy swimming here throughout the year, although in the winter months they have to break the ice first!