3 Nights in Prague in November

Planning an 11 day trip to Austria, Czech, & Germany in November with a 3 night stopover in Prague. Aside from the major "touristy" things, what are some other highlights. Have just finished RS Prague book but want to hear from other travelers as well. Also looking for great cafes and restaurants. Will weather be an issue? Don't really mind cool temps that much. Already have a hotel in the Old Town area. Thanks RS travelers!!

Andrew

Posted by Amy
Madison, WI, USA
456 posts

I was in Prague in October and one thing I would struggle to do is find something that is NOT touristy. First of all, I enjoyed Prague. Definitely, it was worth the visit. But my experience was that it was spilling over with tourists. So I guess I would advise you to be prepared for that. I believe I read that since it is one major European city that has only relatively recently been freed from communism - the tourist are flocking in droves.

Everywhere was a shuffle of people with their guidebooks and maps.

Having said that, put your patience hat on and really enjoy the cathedral, old town square, the beer, the food, St. Wenzelas Square, the parks, the Jewish quarter, the castle...all of it.

If you find something that gets you away from the tourists within the city of Prague - let me know! :)

It rained a lot and was cold when I was there, but that is luck of the draw I guess. You might have sun and mild temps.

We ate more times than I care to admit in the Old Town Square. Sausages, potato pancakes (too greasy), baked cinnamon pastries (yum!), mulled wine, beer, roasted pork. It was inexpensive and very good. Plus the ambiance of the square is all around.

But we also ate at a Pils Urquell restaurant. I had a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and it was FABULOUS! I vividly recall how good it was. There are multiple locations for this restaurant around Prague, so you will probably run into it.

And if you go to Restaurant Mediviku you can get the original Budweiser. The Beef Stroganoff was superb and the Pork Knuckle looked delicious.

Posted by Kelly
St Petersburg Florida
948 posts

Watch Samantha Brown's travel show on Prague and try to find the place where she showcases this awesome strudel. It is talked about often on various travel forums. I wanted to look for it but it is way off the tourist circuit in some residential neighborhood but according to many is essential. Watch the episode, for real, and you will be craving it and if you go get some, you will have a real nice Prague experience, I am sure.

Posted by Amy
Madison, WI, USA
456 posts

Kelly, wasn't that Samantha Brown episode with the Strudel in Vienna?

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2391 posts

Amy is right, there is almost nothing in Prague that isn't touristy. But it is a grea city to see nevertheless. There is a reason why it is so touristy.

My favorite restaurant was Mlejnice - it's in the RS guide. Very nice food and great atmosphere and on a quaint narrow street near the square.

The Mucha Museum is not to be missed.

Be sure to just stroll along the river. Great views and once out the Old Town area it can be very quiet and peaceful.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

There are some very "un-touristy" areas of Prague that most travlers never visit... for the same reasons that you probably don't hang out in certain areas of DC (NE, for one). It's a beautiful city, but mobbed with tourist hordes and probably has the highest per capita concentration of souvenir stands in Europe.

I wouldn't say the "Vegas of Europe", rather, the European city that most resembles something Disney would own.

Posted by Deanna
Canton, GA, usa
234 posts

We really liked the first restaurant you come to if you take the stairs down the Charles Bridge to the little island area. The food is good and you can look up at the Bridge. Also, love the restaurant on rooftop of the hotel across from the Astronomical Clock (food is ok, but view is fantastic!!). Sorry I can't remember names...

Posted by Andrew
Washington, DC
35 posts

Thanks everyone. These comments are helpful. I have come to realize that in any major European city there are going to be tour groups and those in purple jump suits. I have seen them in Rome, Venice, Paris, London, etc. Hopefully in mid-November there will be fewer of them in Prague. Having lived in Washington, DC for 5 years now, I'm accustomed to the large groups, and there really is no Washington, DC "Backdoor" to wander down. It's safer to stick to the major tourist sites. Wander too far, and you're in a dangerous situation.

Keep the ideas coming. I am planning on contacting one of Rick's recommended tour guides to do a day of guided touring which might help us get off the beaten path.

Thanks to all!

Posted by Debbie
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
290 posts

Replying to the Amy thread...I'm not a big Samantha Brown fan, but last time I checked, Susta Strudl is at Jeseniova 29, Prague 3. It's a little walk from the Flora "A" station.
In regards to weather, it can be a crap shoot. I've been there at different years in Nov when it was anything from pleasantly cool to very cold with snow. Think Canada in November and that's what you are dealing with.
Non-touristy? How about bobsleding in Prague 9.
http://www.bobovadraha.cz/index1.html

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3509 posts

I just got back from my first visit to Prague (and Vienna and Budapest). There didn't seem to be more tourists in Prague than anywhere else (like Paris!). The only place that was mobbed to the point of unpleasantness was the Jewish quarter and the synagogue tour. I was there from about 10 am to 1 pm on a Sunday, and just after a 2-day holiday closure, which may have added to the crush. The crowds were just awful. It wasn't just long lines, but also way too many people in one place, in most of the synagogues, but even in the streets.

I never went to cafes, but I bought pastries in the supermarket and they were cheap and excellent - especially with a cup of mulled wine from one of the stands in the town square.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

Re-reading this thread, I forgot to mention one semi-non-touristy thing that usually gets overlooked (probably because Mr. Steves doesn't mention it). For some reason, the Czech's have an affinity for rather garishly decorated Turkish-style tea rooms. They don't serve full meals, but maybe cakes and small sandwiches. I remember it being a little over-the-top (the proprietor hit a gong when he brought our tea), but it was an enjoyable experience. They're not that readily noticable, but if you keep your eyes open, you should be able to find one.

Posted by Brian
Modesto, California
43 posts

Prague is home to a number of great museums but let me recommend the Mucha and Kafka museums in the RS book. Informative, imaginative and conveniently located, I figure they may offer a warm shelter from the November wind and cold.