Just Jemini

A UK Beauty, Style, Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Travel | Prague, Czech Republic

After spending our past anniversaries in London and Paris, me and Sat decided to spend our 3rd anniversary in Prague! ... I'm really starting to like this tradition ;)

We were really excited to go to Prague because it was going to be our first time travelling on a plane together and we didn't know what to expect of the city as no one we really knew had ever been. As our anniversary falls in Winter, we chose Prague because we knew we wanted to do a Christmas market getaway and Prague was one of the top destinations in Europe for it.

So... as I had used up practically all my work holidays apart from one to spare, it was very lucky that our anniversary (12th December) landed on a Saturday because that meant that we could fly out on Friday and make a weekend out of it.

Where we stayed...

Hotel Maximilian was where we stayed for our 2 nights and 3 days trip. I would 100% recommend this 4* hotel and would definitely stay here again if I ever went back to visit Prague. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Situated in Old Town within the Praha 1 district, the location of this hotel made it very easy to walk to popular tourist sites. The Old Town Square where the famous Astronomical Clock was only a 5 minute walk away, which was great during the Christmas period as the Christmas markets are held there.
  2. Customer service was honestly 5 out of 5 there. From breakfast to housekeeping, I've never visited a hotel that has had this level of customer service before. When we had booked the hotel, we got in contact with the hotel and told them that it was going to be our anniversary when we visit and cheekily asked if they'd be able to give us a nice room with a nice view if it were to be available. We got there and they surprised us with a free room upgrade and a bottle of Champagne! (I do recommend contacting them directly after booking for any requirements or any cheeky requests like us... they would go out of their way if they can.)
  3. Their buffet breakfast was simply A-MAZING. Alongside the standard sausage, bacon and scrambled egg choices, there were veg, cakes, pastries, bread, salad and fruit. That wasn't what stood out to us though, the a la carte menu was what wowed us because you could request dishes like Eggs Benedict or get the chefs to make your eggs any way you want with whatever ingredients you want. Oh did I also mention that breakfast in the weekends are open up to 12:30pm? Hello..Lie in!
  4. Hotel Maximilian also had something I've never seen or experienced before at an hotel. The hotel offers you a free pet goldfish to look after just in case you were missing your pet. The maid cleans and feeds it everyday during housekeeping so you don't have to worry about doing it yourself throughout your stay.
  5. Free cookies at the reception and free cake at their honesty bar!

What we did...

Before going to Prague, I had researched the main tourist attractions and wanted to make sure we had enough to do to keep us occupied everyday. The hotel kindly gave us a map of the city and kindly helped and directed us to the popular sites to visit.

Day 1

  • COA (Cuisine of Asia) - Whilst wandering around in the city in the evening, we saw a restaurant called COA and decided to dine there after seeing that their menu was filled with reasonably priced delicious-ness. We left the restaurant very happy as the food tasted as good as it looked.

  • Palladium Mall - The Palladium is the largest shopping mall in central Prague which boasts around 200 shops. We actually didn't know this mall existed until we got lost and ended up around the area by following the festive wooden huts that was put on for Christmas outside of COA. The mall was huge and yes.. we also managed to get ourselves lost in there because we couldn't remember which floor/exit we came in from. When we managed to find our way out, I had to spend time with the little donkeys outside.. so cute!

Day 2

  • Old Town Exploring - Day two was our official anniversary date (12/12/15), so we decided to start the day off by exploring the Old Town where we saw many weird (i.e. Sex Museum) and wonderful (i.e Captain Candy shop) things.

Bed Lounge - After a day of exploring the Old Town, we wanted to go somewhere to relax and have a drink. We saw the Bed Lounge which was a Shisha & Cocktail place whilst we were walking back to the hotel and decided to go in. The drinks were really good and the shisha flavours were nice too. Prices were cheap compared to the UK! Around 110czk (£3) for a glass of Pina Colada and 250czk (£7) for shisha.

Evening Dinner River Cruise - We saw this tour advertised on our map guide when we czech-ed in at the hotel... see what I did there haha! But yeah, we saw it and we immediately knew that we had to do this particular river cruise tour on our anniversary date.

Firstly, we were picked up at our hotel at 6pm by the driver and were driven around the whole city in a comfortable minivan for a good 40 minutes with the tour guide talking about the facts and history of Prague. When we got to the pier, we were very lucky to be one of the first few there because we were able to get window seats. To entertain the guests, there was a live jazz band. Food was ready shortly after, which was a self-serve buffet. The food served was nice because they had traditional Czech dishes and desserts rather than the standard universal chicken nuggets & chips. After eating, me and Sat decided to brave the cold by going to the top of the boat to see the city at night whilst enjoying the ride through the Vltava River.

For the both of us, we paid 1500czk (£80) for the whole tour. This included transportation, city tour, boat ride down the Vltava River and the buffet dinner. In my opinion, the tour was great and we were really glad that we did it on our anniversary date because it made the day extra romantic! The only thing I would say negative about it is that it is a bit pricey for what it is and on top of that, drinks were not included. Having said that, the experience we had on our anniversary was well worth it. I really would recommend this evening river cruise to couples visiting Prague because it really was romantic.

Day 3

Charles Bridge - Knowing that Charles Bridge is one of the most visited sites in Prague, I was really adamant about visiting it. We actually saw the bridge and went under it during our boat ride the day before but being there on the bridge is a total different experience. It was only there when I had fully experienced the 'Gothic' vibe that people normally associate Prague with.

Prague Castle & St. Vitus Cathedral - The castle was another site that I was adamant about visiting despite the other half moaning about how far the walk was! It was worth the walk though, the walk was a nice way to see the other side of the city, the castle and the cathedral itself was spectacular and the view from there was really beautiful because you overlook the whole city.

Astronomical Clock - We'd walked past the Astronomical Clock quite a few times throughout our stay but it was undoubtedly busy every single time because everybody was waiting for the clock to ring at the turn of every hour. Being our last day, we wanted to see the clock in action. The clock rings every hour and when it rings, the statues above the dial move. If I'm honest, this whole clock action was a bit overhyped especially considering that there were people waiting for nearly an hour to see the 10 second action. Thankfully we were there 10 minutes before the next hour.

Old Town Square Christmas Market - Our flight wasn't taking off until 10pm at night, so we chose to explore the Christmas market at Old Town Square. We had walked through the Christmas market throughout our time in Prague to get to other tourist sites but we hadn't fully basked in the festive experience. So we spent our remaining hours eating chicken kebab skewers, Klobasa (smoked sausage), spiral potato chips and drowning ourselves with their hot chocolate. The food and even the hot chocolate tasted so so good! Actually experiencing Christmas markets in other European countries makes you realise how much the UK needs to up their game and stop replicating stalls every 5 stalls you pass (yes Birmingham, I'm talking to you).

So overall, we had an amazing time in Prague. We enjoyed it more than we'd thought because there was enough to do throughout our 3 day trip and we didn't leave feeling like we needed more time. I do feel that going to Prague during the Christmas period made the experience a much livelier and romantic one.

If you have any questions about my time in Prague, just let me know and I'll reply to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading! x

P.s. Czech Republic has the cleanest tap water in the continent so don't be afraid of drinking tap water there because it literally tastes like bottled water. There's literally no chemical after taste that you would normally get in the UK.

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