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Offbeat Prague: Top 10 Things To Do In Prague

Offbeat Prague: Top 10 Things To Do In Prague
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You’re in Prague- you’ve seen the Astronomical Clock, the Castle, one cathedral too many, and everything else listed on your guidebook’s ‘Must Do’ list. You’ve even bought a fridge magnet with the Astronomical Clock on it. Surely that can’t be all, you wonder? There’s got to be more to the European capital of quirk- of course there is! That’s where we come in. We got our mitts on, did all the grubby work for you, and narrowed our Top 10 experiences in Prague:

 

#1 Nuclear Bunker Tour

If there is one thing you must do in Prague, it is this. We’ve spoken of our distaste for organised tours before, but it is impossible to visit a nuclear bunker in Prague independently. That was why we opted for this tour, and boy are we glad we did! Visiting a nuclear bunker in a decrepit part of Prague was definitely the highlight of our entire trip to Eastern Europe.

This ex-Soviet bunker, made during the Cold War, is located 5 stories under the ground. It is crammed with paraphernalia including gas masks, medical kits, and uniforms. The ambience is evocative of the paranoia and violence of the Cold War years and it is bound to send a chill down your spine.

Nuclear BunkerThe entrance to the Nuclear Bunker

Nuclear Bunker TourGas masks at the Nuclear Bunker

Once you’ve digested all the information, it’s time for that old Bruised Passports staple – some tomfoolery. We played around with gas masks and guns- as you can see, Savi got a bit too carried away

Savi at the Nuclear BunkerSavi at the Nuclear Bunker

If you haven’t had your fill of the nuclear bunker (we hadn’t), you can even go back at night for a drink or two. The bunker transforms into a club at night, and it’s definitely a fun place to be. You can book your tour of the Nuclear Bunker here.

 

#2 Hot Chocolate at Café Kafíčko

Imagine a melted bar of smooth, velvety dark chocolate- now multiply what you feel by 100. That might begin to give you an idea of what the hot chocolate at Café Kafíčko tastes like. It’s so thick, it needs to be eaten with a spoon. In a quiet street close to the Kafka Museum, Café Kafíčko serves the best mug of hot chocolate you will ever have. Our tummies rumble just thinking about this cup of scrumminess. More information here.

Hot Chocolate Prague

 

#3 Letná Park

Much has been made of the panoramic views of Paris from the Eiffel Tower or Dubai from the Burj Khalifa. Given an average tourist’s obsession with panoramas, we’re surprised Letna Park isn’t mentioned more frequently on itineraries of Prague.

Letna Park is built on a plateau and it takes quite a climb to get there. The park itself is gorgeous in every season- you can visit its beer garden in summer, crunch on autumn leaves during fall, and demolish the rest of your party with snowballs during winter. However what makes it truly special is the arresting view it offers over the Vtlava river and the bridges of Prague. If you’re a photography enthusiast, this should top your list of things to do in Prague. Go before sunset and walk around till you find the perfect spot (from where you can see all of Prague of course!). Now wait for the sun to set and the magic to begin…

Letna Park Prague PanoramaPrague panorama from Letna Park

 

 #4 Shoe Monument

Yes, you read that right- a SHOE monument. What’s better, it replaces the world’s largest statue of Joseph Stalin. Stalin’s huge statue was unveiled in 1955, and destroyed shortly after in 1962. In an interesting representation of counter-culture, skate-boarders who use the area to practice, have strung together hundreds of (unwanted?) shoes to construct a ‘monument’. Fun activity or counter-hegemonic expression? You decide! Fascinating if you’re struck by the unusual.

Letna Park houses this gem- it is at the top of the stairs that lead to the park.

Off Beat Prague

 

#5 Lennon Wall

If you’re a Beatles fan, it is well worth negotiating your way through a maze of cobbled alleys to arrive at this graffiti-laden wall dedicated to John Lennon. However, the wall is not all about music. In the past, it has been a symbol of the Czech youth’s resistance against Gustáv Husák’s communist regime which banned pop music (amongst other things). It might be difficult to find political slogans amongst the hodge-podge of graffiti that graces the wall but it is definitely worth a dekko if you’re in the area. More information here.

Lennon Wall

Lennon Wall

 

#6 Pork in the Old Town Square

It wouldn’t be a Bruised Passports list without a dash of street food would it? We recommend trying roast pork from one of the vendors lining the Old Town Square. Czech cuisine is traditionally based around pork and beef, and they sure know how to do it well. This one is cheap and cheerful – you will definitely go back for more

Pork Old Town Square

 

#7 Trdelník

The party doesn’t stop there. You need to follow that pork with dessert- of course you do! We suggest skipping the waffles and picking a barely-pronounceable Trdelník from the vendors in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. The Trdelník is a traditional pastry made from freshly-grilled dough covered with sugar and ground walnuts – what’s not to like?

TrdelnikTrdelník Stall at the Old Town Square

Offbeat Prague EatTrdelník Stall at the Old Town Square

If you’re not too hungry, or have the attention span of a 5-year old, you can even play with the Trdelník:

Prague What to Eat

 

#8 David Černý’s Sculptures

David Černý is notorious for his provocative sculptures in Prague. His subversive sculptures might not be subtle but they are definitely compelling.The three that top our list include:

  • The 2 male figures urinating in a puddle shaped like the Czech Republic at the Franz Kafka Museum. More information here
  • The 3 giant babies guarding the entrance to Museum Kampa. More information here
  • The 10 enormous and creepy infants crawling up the Zizkov Television Tower. More information here

Offbeat Prague 4David Černý’s ‘Piss’ at the Franz Kafka Museum

DSC_0255David Černý’s babies at Kampa Museum

Offbeat PragueVid’s ‘critical appreciation’ of David Černý’s babies at Kampa Museum

Off Beathen Track PragueDavid Černý’s babies at the Zizkov Television Tower

 

#9 The Dancing House

The Fred and Ginger Building, or the Dancing House, as it is known, is a perfect example of Noveau- Baroque architecture. It is historically significant because it is built at the location of a house destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945. The fluid curves of the Dancing House reminded us of some of Gaudi’s buildings in Barcelona. We would suggest visiting The Dancing House at night – get off at the Karlovo Namesti (line B) metro station and walk along the river to the Dancing House. The lights make it special.

Dancing House Review Prague

 

#10 A Meal at Ferdinand

If you’re stuck on where to eat in Prague, head to Ferdinand in the New Town. Try their beer and Czech goulash- essentially a beef-stew, cooked with paprika and served with bread dumplings called Knedliky. Their goulash is smooth and flavoursome and their dumplings are as fluffy as can be- the ultimate comfort food. You can find the address here.

What to Eat Prague

 

Leave a comment below if you enjoyed ‘Offbeat Prague: Top 10 Experiences’. It makes us happy :-) :-)

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31 Comments

  1. Ooh la la! Such an informative post on interesting and off beat stuff to do in Prague. Thank you guys! Its a little treasure trove of info. :) I love the view from Letna park :)

    • The view from Letna Park was trippy Shilpi :-)

  2. #3 One can spend a good chunk of the day at Letenské sady; even better to have a beer in the gardens. I definitely agree : Letna park is great in any season.

    #8 There are additional sculptures by Cerny in Prague: “walking Trabant” sculpture behind the German embassy in Malá Strana, man on a dead horse in Palác Lucerna in Nové Město (which spoofs the Wenceslas statue in nearby Wenceslas Square), and “Hanging Out”, a statue of Sigmund Freud suspended in the air and hanging over the street in Staré Město.

    An usual looking lamp post is another possibility – this may be the one (and only?) existing example of a Cubist lamp-post at Jungmannova náměstí. Additional examples of Cubist architecture are present in a number of places throughout Praha.
    fotoeins | Henry recently posted…70000th photo, at the MCA in SydneyMy Profile

    • Henry we hope you enjoyed the post- We went hunting for Cerny’s sculptures in Prague and it was tough picking our top 3. We loved ‘Hanging Out’ too, will definitely check out “walking Trabant” the next time we are there :-)

  3. Wow, it looks like you discovered alot of the quirky and fun things to do in the city, I’ll make sure to check out some of these when I visit hopefully this fall. Thanks for sharing.
    noel recently posted…Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona – Photo FridayMy Profile

    • Thanks Noel- Don’t miss the nuclear bunker if you enjoy that kind of thing :-)

  4. Absolutely loved this post. Will be in Prague in a few days and now the nuclear bunker is the top of my list of things to do there. Great concept btw, And oh so pretty!

    • Saumya- We’re so glad you found this post helpful. Try the hot chocolate too- it is decadent :-)

  5. Hi. Saw your article in Mumbai Mirror on 9/6/12 and was encouraged. I can kind of relate to you both b’coz me & my wife Heba are also travelers (not tourist) however not as extensive as yours. To join you in your initiative I would like to share our experience. We both went to Prague end of last year and this was our first trip to EU while I was living in the UK. Loved every bit of it but was limited to mainstream places. The highlight was saw Preity Zinta shooting the song for her new movie.
    I wish we had seen your post earlier.
    P.S. We have been to Prague, Venice, Rome, Scotland & England, Istanbul, Bangkok & Pattaya, Kaula Lampur and (wife only-Dubai, Switzerland, USA also).

    • Saurabh thank you for writing in :-) Prague is indeed an amazing city. Do subscribe to our newsletter and facebook page for the launch of a whole photo-gallery dedicated to our readers at http://www.bruisedpassports.com – you could send in your photos from Prague to us for the same :-)

  6. Wow, there are a bunch of these that I haven’t been to before. I keep kicking myself for always missing out on the Lennon wall. I love Trdelník – except I had them in Hungary and they call it Kürtőskalács.

    The David Černý statues crack me up!
    Adelina recently posted…A Visit to the Richmond Night MarketMy Profile

    • Adelina the Lennon wall is quite something- this way you have a reason to go back to Prague :-) Kürtőskalács- nommmm!

  7. Glad you included the peeing statues. That was one of my favorite little finds wandering Prague years ago. They apparently pee names of Czech Authors. I have only been to Prague during festival times (Easter and Christmas) and saw the Trdlo places in the squares as well, but I was under the impression that they are not always there. Nice to know that may not be true. I did see a few places in the old town in actual buildings and not stalls, so they much be available year round in some form.
    Andrew recently posted…Nice Castle Hill : Looking Down on the Riviera From AboveMy Profile

    • Andrew we were also there around Easter, so it is possible that those stalls aren’t there all year round. We’ve heard one can pay a nominal fee to have the peeing statues spell whatever one wants- really need to get back to Prague to test that out ;-)

  8. I have only been to Praque once and only for 2 days, I definitely need to return to Prague cause I seem to have missed so many things. Great post.
    Freya recently posted…Inca Trail Day 4 – Arrival at Machu PicchuMy Profile

    • Thanks Freya- so glad you enjoyed it :-) It’s easy to spend a week in Prague and not get bored- there’s so much to do.

  9. Wish I’d have read more into Prague when we went 5 years ago, didn’t have a clue really what to see…I do remember those vendor stall though and had a couple of those pastries!

    One thing we did do was go up the mini eiffel tower which was good…although our views were masked by blizzards at the time, i’m sure the views would have been great!

    • Carly you must visit the Nuclear bunker if you make it to Prague again – it’s amazing :-)

  10. Love it. I am from Slovakia and I visit Prague quite ofter. Have you also checked “bridge of love”, which is just a few metres from Lennon wall? Bridge is built over a small canal and it is full of locks locked thorough all fence. Married couples use to bring a lock with a key, lock it on the fence and throw the key to the water. The meaning is demonstration of everlasting love and good luck, which last until the lock is stuck on the fence. So, forever :) I love Prague and I hope you enjoyed it so much. It is nice you had a look also on some “eastern european” country. Have a nice day :)

    • Slavka we absolutely LOVE Eastern Europe. We visited the Bridge of love too, it was such fun :-)

  11. You both really know how to have fun! Quirky adventures excite me too and am gonna bookmark this post for my future visit to Prague!

    • Haha thanks Shireen – we’re kids trapped in adult bodies ;-) Good to hear you’re bookmarking this post

  12. I like to visit Prague. It’s been part of my bucket list for years. And eating pastries would be an added bonus. You made me hungry with your Trdelník pics.

  13. headed to prague in two weeks and so glad that i found your blog, i had no clue where to even begin. appreciate all the advice, thanks!

    • Hope you had fun in Prague :-)

  14. Love your selection of things to do….specially since we are planning a visit there in August and looking for such info which is not available in usual tourist literature. Anything special you know about Prague in August other than hordes of tourists….tips on how to avoid the crowds?

    • It’ll be tough to avoid crowds in August Arun, Prague is crazy crowded during summer months. But you should be ok if you avoid the city centre :-)

  15. An excellent write-up. The bunker tour brought back memories of my road trip across Prague last year. Another thing that i enjoyed thoroughly was the Segaway ride in the town-square where the 14th century Astrological clock is located.

    • Ooh Segway tours are always such fun, what was your favourite bit about your road trip?

  16. Nice list and great suggestions. I’ll be sure to save this to my Evernote :)
    Chanel @La Viajera Morena recently posted…Comment on My 11 Favorite Travel Apps of 2014 by rebeccaMy Profile

    • Thanks :-) You’ll enjoy Prague so much

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