After I resigned from my job in financial services and before starting a new marketing role in tourism, I needed a break. It was time to give myself some head space and close one door before opening another. Marketing takes a lot out of you (energy, creativity, planning – always trying to think outside the box) so it is important that you always find a way to put that creativity back in – whether it is going to the theatre, a gallery, a walk, painting – try to do something that inspires, energies and uplifts you. An easy option for this is always travelling. Prague was the perfect place for a reset and recharge. The city is simply exquisite and the architecture rivals Paris. As Prague was not bombed during the wars, the buildings remain intact in all their glory. We stayed at The Mark which was just a short walk into town. Libor from the concierge team really made our stay delightful and many of the cafes below were recommended by him – nothing beats insider knowledge!
Our first stop on the way to Prague Castle. It was past lunch time by the time we got here simply because there were so many things to stop and look at along the way in the Lesser Town. Plus, Matt wanted to take photos of everything which slowed us down even more! The whole area is full of cute little streets and alleys. The higher you go, the better the view of the city. Even the lamp posts look like they are out of a fairy tale. The smell of the trdelnik – traditional Czech pastry drew us in to this delightful little café which had a cute little garden at the back. It was the perfect stop to refuel after 10,000 steps! The coffee was Illy and the cappuccinos thoroughly enjoyable.
Vinohrady is pretty much a residential area and falls under Prague 2. After much research on Pinterest, I imagined it to be full of boutiques and cafes. Unfortunately, everything is quite spread out and if you are on foot there is quite a lot of walking to do. Not quite as pretty as Prague 1, this part of town is more local. Our first stop was IF café which came recommended by Libor. He said that he and his wife go there regularly. The cappuccino was hot and creamy – perfect start to Vinohrady.
I was very excited about the next stop as I had read so much about it. La Boheme is a speciality coffee shop and a very trendy place to be seen. The café is beautiful. There were lots of arty people walking around and working on macs in the corner while drinking espressos. For our second coffee in less than an hour, we ordered cappuccinos again. They arrived in delightful cups but the roast looked very dark – I was worried at this point. It was strong, bitter and not quite to my taste. So I added 2 sugars, downed the coffee and left on a coffee high.
The best find in Vinohrady was these Czech Smarties!
Frank Kafta and Albert Einstein come here for coffee (and cake too, I imagine) so this was enough of a reason for me to include this on my tour. The Parisian style café is beautiful and you have to walk up a flight of stairs to get there. We sat outside in the garden and couldn’t drink anymore coffee. But Café Louvre is famous for their thick French style hot chocolate which comes in small (espresso cup) portions – perfect! It was wolfed down in minutes – we ordered a single because Matt didn’t want one, but I ended up sharing this little cup.
My favourite! We were out the door at 6am so we could get to Charles Bridge when it is empty – the perfect time for photos. The sun was just coming up, it was a little misty and the city looked even more romantic. Before we ran out the door, we asked Libor if anywhere would be open for coffee at that time of the morning. He recommended Bakehouse around the corner from Charles Bridge. Bakehouse smelled like fresh bread and was full of locals starting their day. The cappuccinos were large, creamy and hot. Perfect for a cold morning.
Our last coffee stop in Prague. This was around the corner from the hotel and grand it was. Straight out of the art deco era, it felt like we were stepping back in time. No cake, just 2 cappuccinos, lots of photos and we were out!
Prague is full of incredible little coffee shops – some you read about, some you stumble upon and some the locals tell you about. It is a great coffee break and an amazing city.