Freed up a day to take a walk around the city centre, or coming to Prague for a day out from further afield and the forecast says rain? No need to despair. You can get to know (and enjoy) our capital indoors just as well as you would wandering the streets. We’ve put together a few ideas for places in the city centre that will tingle your taste buds with the flavour of “what Prague is all about,” and for museums and exhibitions that combine Prague’s lesser-known sights with an experience that will draw you in so much you’ll forget the rain. Best of all, they all lie close to historic tram lines.
Breakfast: the First Republic at The Savoy
Are you in the mood for scrambled eggs with croissant, omelette, open sandwiches, or a continental or English breakfast? Café Savoy at Legion Bridge (Most Legií) is the place to go to enjoy a stylish first morning stop amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. The café has been here since 1893, when Prague was also known as “Little Paris”, a fact reflected in the cafés of the First Republic, whether in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles (be sure to take a look at the ornate seven-metre-high ceiling at Café Savoy) or the menu. Even today, the café serves dishes inspired by traditional Czech and French cuisine.
Tip: One legendary local dish is the bábovka, moist marble cake with delicious nougat filling. Give it a try!
After breakfast: The Karel Zeman Museum in the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) is a 10-minute walk from the café and is packed with famous film sets and small studios that you can walk through, creating as you go your own videos against the backdrop of Zeman’s films – walk on the moon, take a ride in a flying machine, or take a submarine ride underwater. Experiencing well-known special effects in person is great entertainment for children and adults alike.
Lunch: With the locals at Lokál U Bílé kuželky
Looking forward to some proper Czech cuisine for lunch and a tankard of beer to die for in the company of the locals? Avoid the tourist hotspots and make your way to Lokál U Bílé kuželky on Míšeňská Street in Prague 1, where you can savour the fantastic fried cheese or goulash while listening to the news from the neighbourhood over a dewy glass of Pilsner beer. Many of the locals who live or work in Malá Strana go to “kuželka”, as it is now affectionately known.
Tip: If you’re in the mood for dessert after lunch, try out the great local “věneček” (choux pastry ring with vanilla cream). Or simply wait till you reach your next stop…
After lunch: The New Mill Water Tower might be a little out of the way, but you can get there from Malostranská Street by taking historic tram 42, which is a lot more fun! This 17th-century stone tower is home to an unassuming museum with an interesting interactive exhibition on fires in Prague and the history of firefighters.
Coffee and dessert: “Laskonka” or “špička” at Myšák patisserie
Confectionery visionary František Myšák welcomed his first guests back in 1911, enticing customers with home-made cakes and pastries and an interior designed by Josef Čapek. The communist regime did not look kindly on entrepreneurs and locked Myšák’s son in the mines in Jáchymov. After his return, he worked as an employee in his “own” patisserie, the huge success of his desserts at EXPO ´58 at least providing him with some feeling of satisfaction. Today, the Myšák patisserie is run by the Ambiente chain, which is intent on restoring authenticity to a great many legendary Prague restaurants. The interior, which keeps with the original style, was designed by the Olgoj Chorchoj studio and the menu follows the tradition of confectionery in Prague.
Tip: The dessert menu is different every time, but you’re always sure to find a well-made classic: try the “karamelový větrník” (pate-choux, vanilla cream, caramel whipped cream, salty caramel, caramel glace), the “Laskonka” (coconut meringue, butter cream, and caramelized hazelnuts), or the “špička” (biscuit, Swiss-meringue, and chocolate).
Before dinner: the National Museum is certainly one of the places you should visit when you’re on Wenceslas Square, but if you want to see something a little bit different or have less time, try going to Hotel Jalta, where you will find what was once a nuclear fallout shelter for the prominent people of the time. This has now been turned into the Cold War Museum, full of period memorabilia from those turbulent times.
Dinner: A feast, or just a taster, at Kantýna restaurant
Not far from Jindřišská Street there is a good, honest First-Republic style canteen where you either simply can sample the food or feast to your heart’s content. The latest selection of (mainly meaty) dishes gives you the option of choosing portions of just 100 g, meaning that you and a few friends or family members can taste everything Kantýna currently has on offer in a single evening. From Gothaj salami with onions through steak tartare to meat patties or ribs in wine. This is the ideal place for an evening of gluttony and for those in the mood for Czech cuisine, but who only want something small.
Tip: Try the roasted marrowbone, which you won’t find anywhere else in Prague (or elsewhere, for that matter).
Transport: Try it the historic way
The restaurants mentioned above are also points on the historic number 42 tram line. You can find all the information you need about historic lines and their timetables at the transport company’s website. Please note that from September onwards, historic lines only run on weekends and public holidays. Nostalgic line 23 copies the route from Malostranská Street via Újezd and Národní třída, letting you take a ride on “retro” T3 trams while paying the normal fare (meaning you can also use an SMS ticket bought from the Citymove app).
Did you know that with Citymove you can track the location and direction of all routes? If you need to get from one place to another in the rain, simply open the app and select “Public Transport”. A map will immediately show you the nearest stops and the trams and buses that are currently heading to them. You’ll know right away whether you’re ready to go or whether you’d be better off waiting inside for a little while longer.
So, got an idea of the places you plan to go to on your next visit to the centre of Prague? Whether it’s all of our recommended places or just some of them, be sure to think about getting a day ticket for historic lines at a cost of CZK 250, which you can use on both lines (41 and 42) for 24 hours from the time you stamp them. Move from stop to stop on your trip around Prague in style, stay dry, and enjoy plenty of sightseeing.