Prague in May
February 23, 2018 12:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to Prague for work for a week in May. I have never been. I'll be by myself socially and presenting at a conference for two or three days during the week. What tourist things can't be missed? What are the best restaurants? Any general recommendations for traveling in Prague? I will not have car.
posted by Suffocating Kitty to Travel & Transportation around Prague, Czechia (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Sedlec Ossuary. It's about an hour away from Prague by train.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:21 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yes on the Ossuary. So amazing. Cesky Krumlov too if you have additional time out of the city.
I love people watching on the Charles Bridge. Lots of artists working and general social interactions.
I loved the old Jewish Quarter, the Lennon Wall is a fascinating social experiment.
posted by TravellingCari at 2:30 PM on February 23, 2018

Head to the other side of the river to visit Prague Castle, stroll past the Kafka house on Golden Lane, take the Funicular up Petrin Hill and enjoy looking out over the city. The view is gorgeous.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:52 PM on February 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

I am going to an academic conference in Prague in May too. Happy to meet up if it is the same one. Memail me.
posted by k8t at 3:22 PM on February 23, 2018

Prague Castle does not disappoint. I also loved meandering around the Charles Bridge and strolling along both sides of the riverfront to admire jaw-droppingly gorgeous art nouveau architecture. There's also a very good Mucha museum in the city, and if you're into that kind of thing, going to the opera was super cheap (compared to where I live) and fun.
posted by missmobtown at 3:32 PM on February 23, 2018

The highlight of our visit was the Alternative Tour. It definitely gave us a local point of view, a look at the parts of the city that foreigners don't see, and insights into history we never would have gotten otherwise. We would absolutely do it again..
posted by rednikki at 12:32 AM on February 24, 2018

U Sadlu is quite an experience. Medieval-themed basement restaurant; not great for vegetarians.
posted by parm at 3:55 AM on February 24, 2018

The Mucha Museum is gorgeous and worth a visit. Also the National Art Museum. It holds Mucha’s masterwork Slav Epic (imagine trying to make paintings that give the experience of an IMAX movie, in a time before electricity) in its own, separate exhibit. The main Museum has really interesting works by Eastern European artists I had never heard of, who were clearly involved or influenced by major movements in the art world for the past few hundred years—definitely was a fascinating trip for me.

When I visited it seemed like there were lots of concerts (classical and otherwise) in the central city. Might be worth doing a bit of research beforehand to see if there are any events that grab your attention and interest.
posted by Sublimity at 6:48 AM on February 24, 2018

Best answer: Prague is beautiful in May (although packed with tourists). You might want to check some of the gardens in the centre - the Franciscan Garden is a must-see (it's right next to the Wenceslas Square so you'll most likely be close to it anyway - I recommend walking in from the Vodickova street if you want to see a cool Tesla glass mosaic in the passage), also Wallenstein Palace Gardens or Vrtba Garden (this one has an entrance fee but it is worth it - the garden is amazing and you also get a really nice view of the city, especially the Prague Castle).

Of course you can't miss the Old Town Square with the famous Astronomical Clock. Apart from that you can check the Zizkov Televison Tower or the National Monument at Vitkov for a nice view of the city. Letna Park with the Metronome where Stalin's statue used to stand is also a cool place to see.

There are also some interesting statutes around the town that you might want to see (e.g. the Upside-Down Statue of King Wenceslas Riding a Dead Horse or the moving Statue of Franz Kafka).

Also if you like old castles and have time, go see the Karlstejn Castle

That's all I can think of at the moment. Others already gave good advice so go see those places as well.

Oh and for eating out, I recommend breakfast or brunch at the Cafe Savoy.

Enjoy your trip!
posted by U.N.Owen at 4:06 PM on February 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I go to Prague fairly frequently because we have family there, and I'll second pretty much every suggestion so far. Adding on a few places I've been to on recent trips:

- Strahov Monastery, if you're into books and curiosity cabinets. You may get a sense of deja vu, because the two book galleries are often used in TV and film for period dramas -- a few months after I visited I was watching Outlander and realized I recognized the room they used as a Versailles palace library.

- Havelská Market is very touristy but entertaining, and it's worth a brief wander if you're already in the old town (which you will be, because it's a few minutes walk from the astronomical clock and not much farther from a bunch of other places already suggested). If you need gifts for small children, MeMail me and I'll try and direct you to the best of the wooden toy shops.

- The Czech Cubist Museum/House at the Black Madonna. It's a Cubist building full of cubist art, sculpture and furniture, with a cubism-themed gift shop on the first floor. Well put together and small, so you can fit it in between other things. Also a great place for gift shopping!

- On the flip side, you'll want a bit of time in the Czech Museum of Music so you can listen to the recordings of historical instruments. The nearby Cafe Alba is a good place for a light lunch.

- Czech restaurant dishes I miss when I'm not there (if you're gluten/lactose-intolerant or vegan/vegetarian, I apologize in advance): roast duck with red cabbage and dumplings, schnitzel with potato salad. Svíčková na smetaně (marinated sirloin) is my brother's favorite and Prague-style goulash is worth trying once.

On the sweet side, fruit dumplings (if they're in season, I'm not sure) and palačinky! Poppyseed kolach are nice, but trdelnik, in my opinion, are way more satisfying to watch being made than to eat.

V Zátiší or La Rotonde are on the pricier end of things by Prague standards, but if you can and wish to splurge, they're worth it. La Rotonde has a cheaper lunch menu.
posted by bettafish at 7:45 AM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I will not have car.

Absolutely not a problem in Prague, public transport is excellent. The Metro and trams can take you pretty much anywhere you want, cheaply.

A day spent wandering around Staré Město and Malá Strana is a day well spent in my book.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 8:05 PM on February 26, 2018

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