Travel, Motherhood, and City Life with a Baby

The Wishful Nals Guide to Prague

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I originally compiled this post while I was still in Prague, but of course it sat in my drafts for a few weeks. Weeks turn into months, you know how it goes…

Now that I’ve had time to let this adventure sink in, I still can’t believe that we traveled across the Atlantic with Weber! It was kind of crazy of us. But it worked, and I am so thankful for such an incredible adventure. Prague holds such a special place in my heart, and as I’ve seen photos or heard of friends visiting since we left, I feel nostalgic. For the place, but even more so, for this period in our lives.

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It is hard to believe that our time in Prague (three months for Matt and eight weeks for myself) has come and gone. After eight weeks in Prague, it’s a bit difficult to capture all of the places I saw, restaurants and cafes I visited, and interesting tidbits. However, I’ll do my best to highlight the places that really resonated with me.

If you’ve been before, feel free to add any favorites in the comments below!

I was sitting next to a group of friends at a restaurant the other night and one girl said it best… this place just gets better and better. I couldn’t agree more. The more days that pass, the more I fall in love with this city. There is something so hauntingly beautiful about Prague.

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Most evenings, I take myself to dinner around 8pm (often accompanied by Weber, my trusty companion) and wander the cobblestone streets home. Above all, Prague is a walking city. I’ve noticed that the best way to take in your surroundings is to look every which way, but especially up. Each building is unique in color, structure, and shape. These oddities and enchanting old traits are the thing I love most about this city. Even the smells linger long after you’ve exhaled.

We are staying in Old Town (this is where we lived for one month – it was awesome!), which is packed during the day with tourist groups and river cruise tours. I weave in and out of the crowds, this city taking my breath away as I realize how lucky I am to be here for so much longer than I would have ever anticipated (but still somehow not long enough). The more I get to know this city, the more I love it. I’ll admit, I was apprehensive, not sure that this city would ever reel me in. After all, I’m a Paris girl. It was like a slow fall, and then all of a sudden, I was enamored. Perhaps it comes from a sense of finding comfort in the unknown?

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As I stroll home after dark, Old Town is bustling with couples, and I find myself loving the wide open square and narrow streets so much more in these hours. It feels like I am alone even though I am far from it, and in a place that has seen so much over the centuries.

I have grown to love our daily routine. Each morning I enjoy breakfast with Matt followed by a two hour stroll with Weber through the city streets and into one of our favorite parks, Letna Park. We hike the many steps to the top and while Weber fetches his ball, I look around, taking in our incredible surroundings. Prague is so dog-friendly, and I find myself mesmerized by how easy life feels here. Throughout our visit, I see Letna Park on many occasions – in the June gloom and rain, in the July heat, with friends at the beer garden, and as a way to get from one place to the next. After arriving back at our hotel, I would shower and then head out for the afternoon. Since I was working from Prague, I’d often visit one of my favorite coffee shops or find a new one.

And now on to some of my favorites…

Eat and drink.

I ate most meals alone (Matt and I have a weekly date night, which I so look forward to!), so finding familiar, friendly restaurants was important. After awhile, I craved this time alone and it made dining out easy. A seat at the bar, table for one (plus a dog)…

I loved perusing the blog, Taste of Prague. So many great recommendations and good tips! They also have an awesome Instagram account. The food scene in Prague actually surprised me. I was expecting to find a lot of bland, meat-focused and heavy foods, but there was quite a lot of innovation and incorporation of fresh (and local) foods. There’s a big Vietnamese influence, which was interesting, too. The coffee shops were my favorite. I made a commitment to try out a new one every few days!

Home kitchen – delicious fresh food. Menu changes daily and they always have three soups. Nice staff and well-priced. Plus, homemade drinks like cucumber lemonade. I could eat here everyday. True to its name, everything feels (and is!) homemade. There are definitely items on the lighter-side, which became important to me when you eat out every meal. I literally went 3x a week! The eggplant dish was my favorite, and they’re also well-known for brunch. I would always visit the location downtown, since I was staying close by.

Muj Salek Kavy – one of my favorite spots for a coffee and lunch! They have seating on the street, which is a great place to sit and people watch. Really yummy lunch options like salads and different kinds of toasts.

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Bottega di finestra – yummy, flavorful salads priced by weight. Homemade bread. A little market of fresh fruit and veggies and prepared foods. The best hummus!

Coffee Source – the best coffee and beautiful back garden.

La Boheme – a design-friendly coffee shop. Delicious lattes, beautiful surroundings!

Bistro 8 – coffee, of course! Homemade lemonades, cakes and some healthy lunch options. Stop by at page five after and stroll through Letna Park!

Cukrárna Alchymista – enjoy a latte, cake or bowl of daily soup at this cafe. They have quirky indoor seating and a gorgeous back garden where you’ll hear birds chirping, smell dozens of roses and you can see the bunny and birds that the cafe has – pure bliss!

Pasta Frescathe Ambiente Group has fantastic restaurants (especially Cestr… mmmm!). Yummy, fresh, and well-priced pasta in the old town. A diamond among the tourist haunts. Great lunch menu, too.

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Cestr – one of the best meals! Cuts of steak, fish – cooked any way you like. Delicious and fresh sides (love the carrots & asparagus). Don’t forget to look up – the ceiling is covered in pretty blue and white tile. Cestr is expensive for Czech standards ($30 for a steak, beer, and side dish), but the food is always so good.

Tricafe – I love this little cafe on a quiet side street right next to the Charles Bridge. There are plenty of seats and you could stay for hours to work, read, or just take it all in.

Lokal – if you’re looking for traditional Czech food (that’s good) and the freshest pint of beer, Lokal is your place. There are a few locations throughout the city, and true to the name, even locals love this place.

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Las Adelitas – It’s really hard to find good Mexican food in Europe, in my opinion, but if you need to satisfy the craving, Las Adelitas is pretty good and they have a few locations in Prague. Plus, great lunch deals!

The Tavern Bar – Matt and I were on a search for the best burger. It wasn’t easy! We tried many places including the famed Dish burger and Cafe Palanda, but nothing came close to the juicy burger (and delicious fries) at The Tavern Bar.

Lehka Hlava – this is the restaurant that I miss the most. Prague has such an interesting vegetarian food culture. My favorites were the beet burger, the Thai curry dish and any type of noodle dish, but really, hard to go wrong. It can be tricky to get a table, so reservations are recommended. The space is really unique, too – mushroom lamps and stars on the ceiling. If you’re craving a healthy, yet satisfying meal, this is your place. Even meat eaters love it. Matt was not convinced that the beet burger was meat-free! They also have a sister restaurant, Maitrea, which is good (and in a very central location) but Lehka Hlava is definitely my favorite.

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EMA espresso bar – best latte I found. Nicest staff (can be a rarity in Prague)! Great quick lunches! Love EMA. (FYI – most coffee shops have free wifi, but EMA does not have wifi.) In addition to coffee, they serve refreshing lemonade (a big thing in Prague), mint tea, and ginger tea. They also own Cafe Lounge, which is a great little spot for brunch and dinner on the other side of the river. Plus, Cafe Lounge has a beautiful back garden!

Sansho – Paul day is a hero in Prague. Sansho is Asian inspired. Go at lunch to order a la carte or for dinner for a set menu. The pre-set dinner menu is on the pricier side for Prague, but I’m still dreaming about Sansho’s soft shell crab slider.

Styl&Interier – a peaceful garden coffee shop oasis in the middle of the bustling Wenceslas Square. The coffee and treats are a little pricier, but the beautiful setting is a true refuge.

Get outside and explore.

Prague is a great walking city. On a sunny day, I love strolling along the Vltava River, crossing bridges, or staying close to Old Town. There are also so many great (and huge) parks sprinkled throughout the city. 

view from prague castle

Letna Park – I have so much love for Letna Park. I don’t even know where to start. Just go visit! Some of the best city views from the top. And if the weather is nice, stop by for a beer at the beer garden high above Prague overlooking the river.

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Kampa Park & Island – this is such a fun place to grab a weekend beer. They often have outdoor concerts, or you could enjoy a picnic on the banks of the river. If you continue crossing the bridge, you’ll find yourself at Kampa Park, a beautifully manicured small park, which is also home to the Kampa Museum.

Prague Castle – no trip to Prague is complete without a visit to the castle. The castle itself (and surrounding buildings) are beautiful, but the grounds are really what wowed me. The beautiful gardens and vistas are really worth seeing, despite the crowds.

Old Jewish Cemetery – it’s the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe and one of the most important sites in Prague.

Petrin Tower – for great city views!

Around Prague.

There are so many awesome day trips to take from Prague, like Kutna Hora, which is home to the Sedlec Ossuary, a church adorned with human skeletons. The train rides to these destinations outside of the city are supposed to be like going backwards in time. Unfortunately, my work schedule didn’t allow much time for day trip excursions. It’s funny how you can live in a place for 8 weeks and only scratch the surface! However, we did go on short little getaways each weekend, and here are some close by places that I’d recommend visiting for a day or two. 

Cesky Krumlov – this medieval town and UNESCO world heritage site is really worth visiting, even for a day alone. It is beautiful and the castle (and gardens) are incredible. For more on Cesky Krumlov, including places to eat, check out my blog post here.

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Burg Wernberg – one weekend, we ventured back to Germany for a stay at this old castle (part of the Relais & Chateaux group, which I love). Weber loved the countryside and visited the Flossenburg concentration camp which was an experience I’ll never forget. The castle ruins in Flossenburg are well worth the walk through.

Plzen – we stopped in Plzen on our drive back from Wernberg and loved exploring this city. The town square is so pretty, and the town is home to the famous Pilsner Urquell Brewery. The brewery tours are supposed to be awesome, but we had Weber so unfortunately didn’t visit the inside of the brewery.

You can check out all my travel posts here, and travel tips here!


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