Prague

Overview

From Andrew Harper

Prague is a city of startling grandeur. Exquisite baroque palaces line both banks of the Vltava River, while high above soar the dramatic Gothic spires and towers of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Prague is still distinguished by its music, and an evening at the Estates Theatre, where Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” premiered in 1787, is highly recommended. Candlelit concerts are also regularly held at the magnificently restored St. Nicholas Church. And don’t miss the Museum of Decorative Arts, with its striking displays of Bohemian crystal.

Hotels

All recommended hotels in Prague

Prague, Czech Republic
Aria Hotel
Aria Hotel

Modern 51-room boutique hotel in the heart of Malá Strana, near the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and the Old Town Square.

Four Seasons Prague
Four Seasons Prague

Ideally located hotel in a cluster of historic structures, plus a modern building, in the city’s Old Town (Staré Mesto), overlooking the Vltava River with views to Prague Castle.

Mandarin Oriental Prague
Mandarin Oriental, Prague

Splendidly situated hotel in the Malá Strana district on the site of a 14th-century monastery, five minutes from the Charles Bridge.

The Augustine
The Augustine Hotel

Atmospheric hotel incorporating a 13th-century monastery in the Malá Strana district, near Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge.

Dining

All recommended restaurants in Czech Republic

Bellevue

A perfect riverfront location provides views of Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. The Czech/Continental cuisine is consistently well-prepared, and typical entrées include veal fillet with root vegetable purée, potato “fondant” and wild mushroom sauce; and fennel pollen-dusted monkfish with chorizo couscous and bouillabaisse sauce. A champagne jazz brunch is held on Sundays.

Smetanovo nábrezí 18
Prague 11000
Czech Republic
US$85
Kampa Park

Perennially popular thanks to its riverside terrace beside the Charles Bridge, this gracious restaurant offers a menu that includes roasted quail with truffled potato purée, glazed grapes and vanilla sauce; and venison loin with green lentils, foie gras ravioli, salsify purée and a juniper demi-glace. The wine list includes a selection of notable Czech vintages.

Na Kampĕ 8b
Prague 11800
Czech Republic
US$100
La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise

Working in an open kitchen, talented chef Oldrˇich Sahajdák serves three seven-course tasting menus daily: Continental, market cooking and traditional Czech. Expect dishes such as Prague ham in aspic with pickled cepes and mustard ice cream, poached trout with kohlrabi and wine sauce, and pear strudel with caramel sauce and organic cottage cheese. International wine list, plus bottles from Moravia and Slovakia.

Haštalská 18
Prague 11000
Czech Republic
Menus, US$110 and US$150
La Finestra in Cucina

Exposed brick walls create a warm atmosphere at this Italian-style steakhouse and pasta place in the heart of Prague. The food — an appealing selection of antipasti, pastas and grills — is excellent, including linguine with crabmeat, and steaks or veal chops with creamed spinach and roasted potatoes. In addition to a fine list of Italian wines, there are some interesting Czech bottlings.

Platnéřská 13
Prague 11000
Czech Republic
US$75
Mlýnec

Young chef Marek Šáda produces fine contemporary Czech cuisine at this delightful restaurant next to the Charles Bridge. Šáda cooked in New York, then attended Culinary Institute of America classes in California. This experience explains his worldly style, including dishes such as smoked duck breast with mushrooms and wood sorrel, and seared pike perch with butternut squash and a beurre blanc foam. The wine list offers a superb selection of little-known but excellent Czech wines, which are described by the charming, English-speaking sommelier.

Novotného lávka 9
Prague 11000
Czech Republic
US$60
Nota Bene

Despite being off the beaten track in an outlying part of Prague, this pleasant, easygoing establishment is the city’s destination for great beer and good light meals of well-prepared Czech comfort food. The recycled factory décor of exposed brick walls and framed black-and-white photographs creates a relaxed atmosphere in which to discover beers from the Matuska brewery, served to accompany hearty dishes such as grilled sausages, rabbit terrine, or veal shoulder with homemade noodles.

Mikovcova 4
Prague 120 00
Czech Republic
US$30
V Zátiší
Situated just off Bétlemské Square in the Old Town, this popular spot flaunts an extravagantly floral and feminine décor. Bohemian specialties include roast rabbit stuffed with garlic, onions and Parmesan; and fillet of venison with a cassis/mustard sauce and artichoke purée.
Liliová 1
Prague 11000
Czech Republic
US$65