I never envisioned myself to be running towards Prague, but after an underwhelming 24 hours in Vienna, I found myself doing just that. . I could not put my finger on the exact reason why, but before I even arrived, I had a disdain towards Prague. Perhaps it is because I have read about various experiences from black travelers about their less than stellar experience. I was even supposed to visit Prague this past summer, but I had too much fun on a pub crawl in Budapest and willingly decided to skip out on that leg of the trip (yay, spontaneous travel). As the months passed and the temperatures fell, I kept hearing about how beautiful Prague was during Christmas and if there was ever a time to visit, it would be then. So, as a part of my #DecemberToRemember, I committed to hanging out in the Czech Republic and seeing what it had to offer.
Related Post: My Underwhelming 24 Hours In Vienna
My First Night in Prague
I took a bus from Vienna to Prague because it was cheap and only 4 hours. There was so much snow in the countryside that clearly bypassed me and I was worried that I was going to have to dig through it upon my arrival. As our bus pulled in, I found that I could breathe. It felt so good to see a city that was alive and buzzing. I know some people thrive in the country but I feel suffocated and uncomfortable. There was so much movement going on and that eased my nerves. This definitely was not Vienna.
Was it cold? Hell yes. I quickly realized why beer seemed to be everyone's best friend. It was cheap and kept you warm (that along with the delicious mulled wine). I checked into my hotel and after resting for about an hour I ventured off to find some grub and to see the Christmas markets. When it was time for me to thaw out, I returned to my room for a bit to get ready for my first night out in Prague. As the story is the same so many times, I ended up meeting the management at a bar and did a few rounds of shots with the staff and enjoyed some damn good beer. I then booked it to Old Town to dance at a club that was known to play hip-hop. I randomly met some black women that would be moving to Dallas and the DJ fancied me so I got to dance like a fool on the stage area and a great time was had! Night number 1 was a success.
I took an official tour!
Because I wanted to see quite a bit in Prague and wanted to get it all in, I decided that it would be wise to book an official tour. I went with Prague All Inclusive tours because they seemed to have the most bang for their buck at 50 euros. Getting picked up from the hotel didn't hurt either. We had a lovely guide by the name of Kat and I appreciated her humor. She also took it upon herself to continuously watch out for me because she knew I was traveling alone. She and a few other families continuously offered to take photos of me when I needed and I had great conversations during our 6 hours together.
It was a lengthy tour with quite a bit of walking but I appreciated it. I learned quite a bit about the Czech Republic and had an appreciation for Kat's knowledge. I also realized how ignorant I had been because I remembered learning about Czechoslovakia while growing up but I never quite knew when the two countries split. The day of the tour had been my coldest day yet in Europe but I did so much and kept the wine train flowing that I was happy I did it. Just because I took an official tour doesn't make me any less of a traveler (which is a sentiment that I sometimes see in these travel groups on Facebook).
Where I Ate
- Golden Tikka: In case you didn't know, I love Asian food. I love Asian food so much I'm currently fasting from it for lent. It's that serious. So, when I found out there was an Indian restaurant 10 minutes walking distance from my hotel, there were no questions. I didn't care that I was in Czech Republic; I wanted what I wanted. Upon my arrival I found the service to be a bit lacking at first (black girl, party of 1), but it seems as though it eventually warmed up and I really enjoyed my lamb and chicken (yes, I got both!).
- U Pavouka: We stopped by this restaurant during lunch on our tour and I laughed because I had walked by it several times! I had heard great things about the pork but I ultimately went with chicken. Depending on what time you arrive, you might even be able to catch a show.
- Christmas Markets: I had zero problem chowing down on sausages, desserts, and other items at the various Christmas markets in the squares. You buy what you want, find some space at a table, and go to work. My wallet was definitely pleased.
Where I Stayed
Thanks to Hotel Tonight, I scored a pretty good deal at Pure White. It was about a 20-30 minute walk to the Old Town Square but it was near plenty of public transportation options and the Uber rides weren’t expensive at all. I loved the lighting as soon as I walked in and it seemed to be slightly more on the modern side, which I can always appreciate.
The room was small but considering I was traveling solo, I didn't mind at all. I was surprised to see some English (read: British) stations on the TV and should I have needed it, the bar was open 24 hours! The staff was friendly and I felt comfortable as a woman alone on their premises.
Where I Played
- Prague Beer Museum: Great bar, dope staff, better beer! I'd encourage you to check out some of the beer flights before making a decision as they have 30 options on tap. I even enjoyed a blueberry option which I would never have considered otherwise.
- Chapeau Rouge: I had so much fun here I went twice! One evening I stayed downstairs dancing in the bar to hip-hop and the other night I stayed and enjoyed the vibe upstairs.
- Christmas markets! You figure out what you enjoy. Some go to markets to shop, but I went to eat and had no problems!
What I Didn’t Get To Do
What I didn't realize is that besides Christmas being popular in Prague, it's also a busy city for New Year's Eve! It would serve you wise to plan out some things in advance.
- I didn't see the Dancing Housse *gasp*. I know. Let it go.
- I desperately wanted to try a beer spa since I learned about them in Budapest but the places I wanted to try were booked weeks in advance.
- Enjoy more traditional meals. I had one great meal during my lunch on my tour but I had so much fun eating Indian food and sausages at the markets, I didn't really dine in-house too much.
My Overall Thoughts On Prague
I’m glad I ultimately saw Prague for myself. It took me a couple of times but I did it! It’s like I wanted to hate it, but I didn’t. As I was told, it was quite beautiful to see the city during Christmas time. The main tree in the Old Town square was enormous and I loved hearing the music with it. I enjoyed the food and drink at the Christmas market and since I don’t mind a good sausage, I didn’t even need the fanciest of dining. With that being said, had I visited during just the winter without the glitz of holiday decor, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much because my goodness it was COLD. You definitely need to bring clothing that will keep you covered if you visit during the winter.
I also think that my maximum time needed in the city would be about 3 days. You see the castles, you party, you push forward. It’s definitely a hot spot for younger travelers that want to party and after seeing a group of drunk Americans chanting “USA! USA!” in a random bar, I appreciated the fact that people thought I was French.
Now, because there are some younger or drunker individuals, I wasn’t able to maneuver around as easily as I would have liked. I did not enjoy the fact that the only time I really saw black men were either at places for security or outside trying to convince people to buy some drugs. I also remember a guy walking by me and saying “nice pussy” and I went off (not proud of that). I definitely noticed a few looks and had to deal with some men that just couldn’t let me leave without knowing I was a black goddess, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as when I was in Italy. Some guys just get butt-hurt when you say "no" but they'll get over it.
I always ask myself if I would return to a place and I think I could return to Prague. I would love to see it during a warmer season. I also appreciated the fact that I could nap, head out at midnight, and still have something to do. I would also want to dine on some more traditional meals that would make my stomach happy. Have you ever been? Has there been a place that you were leery of visiting? Let's chat!