8 things to do on your first day in Prague
Pints of beer for under a dollar can still be found in Prague (or Praha, as the locals call it). Sadly, this is not the case in most other European cities. On any day of the week, at anytime of year, you will find this medieval Czech capital full of revellers ready to pull an all-nighter on the cheap! So exchange your Euros for Kroners, switch your vodka and soda for beer, and get ready for a full day of anything-goes fun in this former Communist stronghold. Here are my top tips to make it one to (kinda) remember!
1. See some cool stuff in the morning
Spend your first morning checking out the must-see sights, as you probs won’t be waking up early for that free walking tour the hostel offers at 9am. Get yourself down to the Charles Most (bridge) for a brisk walk past incredible statues and caricature artists towards Praha Castle. Snake your way up the hill where atop waits an incredible castle paired with glorious views of the city and river.
2. Get wasted on ice-cream
On the way back down from Prague Castle, keep your eyes open for a green ice-cream cone sign. Inside you will find a crazy absinthe bar that sells soft-serve ice-cream made from the potent fairy juice, along with heaps of other fun stuff to get your buzz on. Try a strawberry juice chaser after a few shots of flaming absinthe!
3. The astronomical clock
Back across the Charles Bridge we go. Wind your way through cobblestone alleys until you reach Old Town Square - don’t be tempted by the buffalo chicken wings in TGIFs! Keep going until you see a big old cathedral in the middle with a clock on the southern side and try and get there just before the hour changes. You’ll see the hordes of people gathered waiting before you see the actual clock. Now, my tip here is not to look at the famous Prague astronomical clock, but stand beneath the clockface and watch the hundreds of disappointed faces after the show ends.
4. Beer museum
It’s time to get on the ales! Just south from Old Town Square you will find the Prague Beer Museum. After learning about the history of beer in the Czech Republic, you get to head down to the ancient cellar for a taste (six schooners!) of the good stuff. They have Commie propaganda videos playing in the bar for some extra fun as well.
5. Food time
There are three things the Czechs consume daily: beer, pork and cabbage. Complete the trifecta with a pork knuckle that's the size of your head with all the trimmings at any of Prague’s thousands of local restaurants. Make sure you impress the server with your newfound knowledge of Czech beer.
6. Get your drinks delivered by rail
Find Wenceslas Square (more of a rectangle actually!) and locate the KFC. Stay clear of the Colonel and head up the stairs to the right of the dirty bird to find a quirky bar covered in model train tracks. A waiter will seat you, take your order, and then a train carrying your drinks and food will eventually chug its way to your table and stop so you can unload its precious cargo. I choo, choo, choose you!
7. Go on a ghost tour
Praha is old. Like, really old. So there are heaps of myths and legends that you need to hear about. Most hostels run ghost tours at least once a week, if not, just ask where you can find one. One notable visit is the Old Jewish Cemetery - the oldest in the world dating back to the 1400s. The Downtown Hostel has a hilarious guide and a dude that follows you with his guitar cackling the whole time. Random, but worth it for the laughs!
8. James Dean Bar
This is usually the last stop of my night before things get blurry. A smidgen north of Old Town Square is a nice little American diner. You know the type. Polyester booths and chilli dogs? Forget that. At the back of the diner there’s a set of stairs leading down to a nightclub packed with locals and tourists alike getting their groove on. It stays open late so don’t arrive too early!