Christmas tree light up in Prague will be special again!

There is one event, which all citizens of Prague truly love. Not even they get out of their warm and comfortable homes, but they will take their whole families just to see it. I’m talking about a traditional light up of a Christmas tree at Old Town Square in Prague.

The tree is going to be first lit up on 26th November at 17:30 and is going to be 31 meters tall and its age is estimated at around 70 years. If you can’t make it on time, don’t worry, because this is not the only time the Christmas tree is going to be lit up this year.

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In the past few years, the city of Prague, has been concerned about terrorist attracts and it changed its concept about lighting up the tree, which makes it even better for tourist who want to see it. Two years ago, there was one big event when the Christmas tree was lit up at a certain hour on a certain day. In the new concept the tree is going to be lit up every hour between 17:30 and 20:30 until 6th January. As a citizen of Prague, I do not really understand why the authorities are so concerned about terrorist attacks, but new era requires better precautions, so we all are going to be safe and sound.

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As a spectator, you might get cold while watching the Christmas tree being lit up. I’m mentioning this, because the tree is literally surrounded by traditional Czech Christmas market and you could help yourself with some warm mulled wine, tea or punch. My personal favourite is warmed almond mead. But the alcohol is not all what Christmas market offers. You could buy yourself a nicely decorated gingerbread or a handmade Christmas tree decorations and baubles.

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It is important that Christmas market have got something for everybody, including the music fans. Every year, there is a stage by the Christmas tree where children choirs and various musicians perform Czech Christmas carols. You might hear carols like Good King Wenceslas. Even though this is English Christmas carol, the story is linked to Czech saint Wenceslas I. from 9th century.

Vanocni trhy 2006 - If someone read this, write me e-mail

There is another tradition you might love to see as well. Celebration of Saint Nicolaus day. This happens on 5th of December. People will get dressed up as devils, angels and Saint Nicolauses and on the evening they will head into the city centre of Prague as a triplet. The idea behind is to scare little kids. If the kid was not behaving well all year long and it was annoying its parents, then they might pass it to the devil, who puts them into massive sack and take it to the hell with him. There is also possibility that kid was good and in that case, the kid will receive some sweets from angel and Saint Nicolaus. I do remember being so scared as a kid as I never was good all year long.

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I hope you are going to embrace idea of Chrismassy Prague and you’ll add it onto your travel list. In case you would like to learn more about Prague, book a tour with Think Prague and we’ll make sure you have the best possible experience.

5 Home style cooking places in Prague you need to go right now

We all know those expensive restaurants all around the world that offer something “special”. Consider, for instance, molecular cuisine: no one is exactly sure what you are eating and you end up with a slice of bread with a tiny bit of infused butter that will mesmerize your taste buds but you will also have to dig deep into your pocket. So are there places where you can eat well, not spend a fortune and still truly enjoy that little something on your plate? The answer is YES! Fortunately, trends in modern cuisine are changing and places offering “home style cooking” are on the rise.

Let’s start with the basics: soups

With the onset of low temperatures and rainy days, sometimes associated with depression resulting from short days with little sunlight, many of us start craving soups. Well, at least in my case. The soup restaurant Polévkárna paní Mančo is one of the places to visit if you’re a soup lover. Their daily menu includes thick soups as well as broths to warm you up and keep you well hydrated. Each soup is special and cooked with love, which is something I found very refreshing.

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photo: www.polevkarnamanco.cz

Bistros Home Kitchen also offer very good soups. There are four of them in Prague and they change their soup menu every week. You can either order a small soup as a starter before the main course or a big one, which will do as a whole lunch. From time to time, they also offer the typical Czech meal called “Buchtičky se šodó” (small cakes with custard), which I highly recommend.

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photo: www.homekitchen.cz

Moving on to restaurants…

The beautiful restaurant Osteria da Clara, though a bit further from the city centre, is definitely worth the short tram ride. There are very few places that offer authentic Italian cuisine. Don’t get discouraged by their website because none of us is perfect and I value that they know what they’re doing in the kitchen rather than their IT skills. In my experience, they have fresh fish on to menu at least three times a week and you can also treat yourself to great spaghetti, delicious soups or the finest panna cotta. Unsurprisingly, they also serve great wine and coffee.

photo: www.daclara.com
photo: www.daclara.com

…And finishing off by desserts and coffee

My favourite cafe in Prague is the newly opened Kavárna co hledá jméno (“café looking for a name”). Located in a reconstructed factory building, the place has a unique atmosphere. I wouldn’t really recommend going there to work unless you’re a Mac owner as it seems to be some kind of a secret code to fit in. Be that as it may, their coffee is absolutely fantastic and they offer a different kind every week.

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photo: www.nasekavarny.cz

You may also enrich your experience by homemade desserts. I personally recommend trying their carrot cake. It’s pure heaven. And speaking of “pure things”, you might also want to visit Puro Gelato, ice cream parlour specialized in gelato. There are two parlours in Prague: in Výtoň and in Kaprova Street in the very centre of the city. Apart from awesome gelatos, they also offer mind-blowing waffles, genuine Italian espresso and other tasty desserts.

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photo: www.veronikad.com

I hope I have inspired you to try out home style cooking in Prague and I am looking forward to sharing our experience.

Festival of Freedom: an insight into Czech national identity

If you happen to be in the historical centre of the city of Prague on 17 November, you will probably come across all kinds of art performances, crowds of celebrating people, omnipresent street vendors offering refreshments and many different cultural events. And no, this is not one of these festivals you are used to seeing in large European cities. 17 November is an important day for the Czech Republic and this year, it will be commemorated by various celebrations within the Festival of Freedom.

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Before describing the festival itself, let us go back into the complicated past of our country that made this date a national holiday and an inseparable part of Czech national identity. 

First, let us go back to 17 November 1989 in the communist Czechoslovakia.  The fall of the Soviet Union seemed inevitable and from 1988 to 1989, several anti-regime demonstrations, which would have been unthinkable just a few years earlier, took place in Czechoslovakia. The date 17 November had already been an important date in Czech history. It commemorated the tragic events of 1939, when the Nazis executed nine Czech students who took part in anti-Nazi demonstrations. In 1941, the date was designated as the International Students’ Day, becoming the only date of international importance with Czech roots.

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On 17 November 1989, in the tense atmosphere created by the ruling communist regime, the independent student organization STUHA held a commemoration service on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the closing down of Czech universities by the Nazis. However, the more radical students wanted to express their opposition to the communist rule on the occasion. The whole service was supposed to take place in the Prague quarter Albertov and its organizers got official permission only under the condition that the commemoration march would not head into the city centre. From the very beginning, people chanted anti-communist slogans and after the official programme ended, a part of the march decided to continue to the centre of Prague. About 10,000 protesters were surrounded by two police cordons on Národní třída and viciously beaten. The next day, news of the brutal police crackdown quickly spread all over the country.

photo: svobodnymonitor.cz

The events of 17 November were key in terms of mobilising the Czech people and finally resulted in the transition to a democratic political system. In the following days, a general strike was declared and mass demonstrations took place all over the country. Everything climaxed on 29 December 1989, when Václav Havel was elected President of Czechoslovakia at Prague Castle, becoming the first non-communist head of state after 41 years.

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This year, the streets of Prague will host the 2016 Festival of Freedom on this important day. The programme, which includes concerts, discussions, marches and other activities, was put together by several civil society groups. Important Czech personalities will also participate in the festival taking place on sites that witnessed the events of November 1989, such as Národní třída, Albertov, Wenceslas Square or the Charles Bridges. 

www.festivalsvobody.cz
photo: www.festivalsvobody.cz

As the name suggests, the Festival of Freedom is a celebration of freedom as one of the basic values of our national identity. Sadly, we have seen our current president repeatedly trampling on fundamental freedoms in the last couple of days. This is also one of the reasons why I believe it is important to value freedom and celebrate it with dignity. So, if you happen to be walking through Prague on 17 November, do not hesitate to light a candle with us on Národní třída and commemorate our struggle for freedom. It is definitely not a celebration exclusively for Czech nationals but for all people from around the world, who consider freedom to be the cornerstone of civil society.

5 great museums to visit in Prague

Museums in Prague, the Czech capital, typically have the country’s most valuable artefacts in their collections. Once you enjoy the city tour or in case of bad weather, you might want to look for some other attractions that will make your trip to Prague fun. We have chosen 5 museums for you, in which getting bored is not an option!

Public Transport Museum in Střešovice

Once you arrive to Prague, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to get anywhere you want. The city has a great public transport network: 3 metro lines and buses and trams that will take you all around the city. Tram no. 22 will take you to their predecessors, which transported passengers in Prague in the past decades. The permanent exhibition of the Public Transport Museum counts more than 40 unique historical vehicles. History lovers will also enjoy the exhibited historical documents, plans, old tickets and photographs related to transportation in Prague. Definitely a cool experience for everyone who enjoy being on the road!

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LEGO Museum

The most attractive museum in Prague is definitely the National Museum but as it under reconstruction at the moment, we will not send you there. However, what we can do is offer you a great alternative! What about seeing the National Museum in its LEGO version? It was built using 100,000 bricks! Sounds like a childhood dream, doesn’t it? You will also see a model of the Charles Bridge with 1,000 LEGO tourists. Whatever your age, you will surely enjoy the world’s largest LEGO museum displaying breathtaking constructions built from the all-time favorite colorful bricks!

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Museum of Communism

Even though the Czech Republic is geographically a part of Central Europe, many people from all around mistakenly associate it with Eastern Europe. This may have much to do with the fact that our country was under the influence of the communist Soviet Union for much of the 20th century. Politics, art, architecture, sports… everything was governed by the Communist Party. The fascinating Museum of Communism will take you back into the time of secret police hunts, censorship and mass media propaganda and show you what everyday life for the Czechs looked like under the communist rule.

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Jewish Museum

One of the best preserved Jewish Museums in the world consists of five synagogues, the Robert Guttmann Gallery, Ceremonial Hall and the renowned Old Jewish Cemetery. The moving exhibition reminds the visitors of dark times in the history of Prague when the local Jews were aggressively repressed by the Nazis. More than 77,000 holocaust victims are commemorated by inscriptions on the walls of the Pinkas Synagogue. If you are interested in the Second World War and the history of Jewish people living in Prague from the first time they settled here to the present, then this is the right museum for you. Our friendly guides will gladly share their knowledge of this dark part of our history with you.

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Beer Museum

Anyone coming to the Czech Republic will immediately notice that Czech people are true beer lovers. Many foreigners agree on the fact that there is a good reason for that as our beer is simply really tasty☺. We should consider it a significant part of our culture. So why not visit the Prague Beer Museum? You will explore tens of different beers and much more! Don’t expect to just look from one exhibit to another – the museum is also a cosy pub where you can try all the different brands yourself. Don’t forget to say “čau” or “na zdraví“, which means “cheers” in Czech, because beer is mostly about getting together with friends and having a good time!

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5 facts you didn’t know about Charles IV

In 2016, the Czech Republic celebrates the 700th anniversary of the most significant personality of Prague’s history – Charles IV. He was the man who ordered the construction of the bridge over the Vltava River known all over the world and founded the renowned Charles University in 1348, the first university in central Europe. The busy quarter New Town or the magnificent castle called Karlštejn were also founded during his reign. In his era, Prague was as a flourishing city and Charles was commonly known as the father of Prague. You can read about his reign and deeds in practically any Prague guidebook you can get your hands on. But you might not find there that Charles IV…

 

got first married at the age of seven

Charles IV was married four times, which makes him the king with the most wives in the history of Bohemian kings. On the day of his wedding with the first one, Blanca, they were both seven years old. Due to their youth, they continued growing up separately and met again when they were around fifteen. Blanca died young, as well as Charles’s next two wives. The four women in his life gave birth to 12 children. Not bad, uh?

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…beat the most popular hockey player of the Czech Republic Jaromír Jágr

As you’ve probably guessed, not personally, but he did beat him! In 2005, the Czech public television broadcaster carried out a national survey, asking a very simple question: Who is the greatest Czech personality ever? More than 68,000 people voted for Charles IV putting him on the top of the list, closely followed by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia. Apart from historical personalities, the top 100 included such names as inventor of contact lenses Otto Wichterle, director Forman (e.g. Flight vver the Cuckoo’s Nest), hockey player Jaromír Jágr, athlete Emil Zátopek, writer Franz Kafka (e.g. Metamorphosis) and many more personalities who represent the Czech Republic all over the world. Headed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor.

Charles_IV_kneeling_before_Madonna-Votive_picture_of_archbishop_Jan_Ocko…is actually Wenceslas 

The son of Elisabeth Premyslid and John of Luxembourg was baptized as Wenceslas. He got his name Charles after his confirmation when he was seven. In the Czech Republic, everyone knows him as Karel, which is the Czech version of the name.

 

…could speak Czech, German, French, Italian and Latin

In the old times, most people, monarchs included, did not know how to read or write. In addition to these skills, Charles IV was also fluent in five languages. Such polyglots are rare even today, in the age of online language courses and movies with original sound. But Charles acquired these skills in the 14th century! This is one of the reasons why he is considered as one of the smartest and most educated historical personalities.

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…said “in vino veritas”

Have you ever heard the saying that at there is truth in wine? It means that after a couple of glasses of wine, you will say whatever is on your mind. It actually goes back to Charles IV, who was a true wine lover. He promoted wine production and strived to improve its quality and the wine making process. Cheers!

Does he deserve to be the greatest Czech personality ever? We say yes, if only because the other 99 winners would never walk across his beautiful bridge if it wasn’t for him. ☺

Pastrami – the NYC delicacy finally in Prague

The meat product pastrami, which has been popular in snack bars all over the world for years, has finally reached Prague.

History

Pastrami is a meat delicacy that has its origin in Romanian and Turkish cuisines. The word “pastrami” is derived from the Romanian verb “a pǎstra”, which means “preserve”. Carpathian villagers have been preserving meat by smoking since a long time ago. The Turkish meal called “pastirma” might be another predecessor of this dish but in this case the meat was dried, not smoked. However, pastrami is much more often associated with Jewish cuisine as it has become a popular kosher meal. It was introduced to the United States together with the two million Jewish immigrants who came to the country in the 1930s. They opened snack bars and specialised shops called “deli”, where pastrami and other delicacies are still sold today. Such places have always held the community together and reminded the people of their home through traditional cuisine but at the same time, they have always been opened to everyone.  The family businesses are passed from one generation to another. Click on the link to learn more about one such traditional “deli” on Manhattan – Katz’s Delicatessen, http://katzsdelicatessen.com/, VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEHrI0FGOOQ

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Preparation

Pastrami is made from beef brisket or short ribs. Pastrami from lamb, poultry and fish is also popular, while pork is rather rare. Preparing pastrami is quite a time-consuming and demanding process. Well rested meat (if beef is used) must be brined for at least 7 to 10 days, depending on the thickness and weight of the meat. Cooks are very protective of their original brine recipes. The cured meat is cooked at low temperature and then in steam in order to get rid of the unnecessary salt  and finally, the meat is smoked. Pastrami is traditionally served with rye bread, mustard and pickles (cucumbers, sweet pepper, cabbage…). In pastrami delis, sandwiches with a thick layer of meat and vegetables, dressings and other ingredients are extremely popular.

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Where can I get pastrami in Prague?

There are several places in Prague, where pastrami sandwiches are served from time to time, for example at the deli Lahůdkářství Sváček, http://www.lahudkarstvisvacek.cz/ or Naše maso, http://nasemaso.ambi.cz/cz/. The only specialised deli offering a wide range of pastrami sandwiches and other delicacies in Prague is La Bibiche, https://www.facebook.com/labibicheprague. The nice small bistro in the quarter Vinohrady on 21, Francouzská Street has been opened for already two years. They offer the usual pastrami dishes with coriander and ginger mustard, cabbage and cucumbers. Apart from these sandwiches, their daily menu includes warm pastrami meals (with jalapenos, homemade truffle mayonnaise, omelettes and others), seasonal pastrami, pastrami wraps and croissants. La Bibiche is not only about meat, they also have soups, salads, homemade pies and lemonades, beers from small breweries, special wines and choice coffee espressos on their menu.  The bistro also offers various vegetarian meals.

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La Bibiche, 21, Francouzská Street, Prague 2 (TRAM stop Jana Masaryka), MON- FRI 9:30 am – 7:00 pm, tel. 728 796 707, labibicheprague@gmail.com, https://www.facebook.com/labibicheprague

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How to spend a great summer in Prague

Happy July! With the warmer weather, Prague transforms into a lively city with a plethora of outdoor activities and festivities for locals and tourists to enjoy. Summer is the ideal time for a visit as it’s about being outside as much as possible. In other words, Náplavka, farmer’s markets, parks, wine tastings, and beer gardens are all yours.

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Prague Castle.

Without a doubt, Pražské Náplavky are the hottest events of the summer in Prague. Wine and cheese tastings, barbecue evenings, farmer’s markets, live music, and others are in their full swing as long as the weather permits it; every weekend and most weekdays.

July 5 and 7 – On the waves of MLP.

A literary event will take place on both days from 6 pm where poets and writers alike will be presenting their works. The Spanish writer Alejandro Pedregosa will be reading from its debut novel Un Mal Paso. The best part? There’ll be tango later and you need two for that, so bring your favorite person with you.

July 9 and 16 – Farmer’s Markets. Everyone’s favorites are on throughout July and August. Local produce, fresh fruit, and vegetables, handmade soaps, wine, bread are just the beginning of the list of what you’ll find at Náplavka’s farmer’s markets. You can  have your usual morning java and it’ll be freshly brewed by the riverside. Or if you fancy a glass of wine, don’t be shy. Weekend at the markets by the river – it’s the best of the best of what Prague has to offer.

To see what’s on this summer, have a look at Pražské Náplavky.

Riegrovy Sady.
Riegrovy Sady.

Beer Gardens

Czech Republic and beer. Beer and Czech Republic. There is nothing more synonymous than these two things. And for a good reason. It’s well known that the beer is good but it’s also cheap and in the summer little shrines pop up all over the city. Hello, beer gardens! From Letná do Riegrovy Sady to Narodní Pivovar to Pivo a Párek to the Beer Museum you can have the best beer in the world almost on every corner. You’ll never not know where to go for a beer.

Parks in Prague

Spending afternoons off in the city’s countless beer gardens is a national pastime. Parks all over Prague bloom with green trees and flowers; become crowded, and generally the most favorite places to spend free time at. Riegrovy Sady, Letná Park, Kampa Park, Stromovka, and Petřínské Sady are the most popular of parks in Prague. The suntanning spot in Riegrovy Sady with the city’s panoramic view is a definitive favorite.

Kino. Cinema.
Kino. Cinema.

Open Air Cinema

A relatively fresh concept in the capital, outdoor cinemas are gaining popularity with increasing number of locations around Prague. Stalin, Tiskárna ve vzduchu, MeetFactory, Nákladové Nadrazí Žižkov, and Žluté Lázně are just a few on the list that have recently stretched out the screens and started showing a range of beloved classics: Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To check out what’s coming up, visit GoOut.

Photos by Sara Tomovic.

Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents – Last Day in Paradise

Manes Exhibition Hall
Mánes Exhibition Hall is a traditional part of Prague’s cultural life. It’s dramaturgy includes exhibitions of leading figures in both Czech and international art spheres, it gives opportunities to many young artists and also hosts historical and retrospective exhibitions. The building itself was designed in functionalist style by architect Otakar Novotny and completed in 1930, replacing old Štítovské Mlýny that were torn down. It connects Masaryk’s embankment on the right bank of Vltava River, with the famous Slav Island and borders with historical Štíkovská water tower. The first exhibition that took place there was Hundred Years of Czech art 1830 – 1930 fallowed by many events that helped to establish it’s renown of a prestigious exhibition hall. In the period of 2013 – 2014 the hall went through complete reconstruction and today is used for many other cultural activities – lectures, projections, workshops, auctions, thanks to newly installed modern equipment. Last week it hosted an exhibition of Pasta Oner, one of the most striking names in current Czech art scene.
 
Pasta Oner
Pasta oner is a pioneer in graffiti and street art in Czech Republic. His real name is Zdeněk Řanda and he started with graffiti when he was just 13 years old. He used to be know as a leading figure in Prague’s writer scene, but throughout his more than 20 years of working, he began to direct his pieces more and more into galleries and exhibition halls more than on the walls of building and trains. During last years he took part in 30 collective exhibitions and made 3 of his own. He strongly aims towards individualism and being provocative and his personal handwriting is widely recognized as very original and inimitable. Most of his creations are acrylic paintings, hanging paintings and technologically complex spatial objects, plastics and installations, as well as large format paintings in ambitious public spaces.

Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents - Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise puts his traditional topics of reflecting fortune, sex, luxury and other hedonistic pleasures into context of his personal position inside current modern consumer society, growing cybernetism and fast information, which made it even more provocative than usual. He makes fun, but he also acknowledges being part of what he’s mocking. The expositions contained things like giant golden lollypops falling from a tree, Mickey Mouse coming out of an egg or giant cross with flashing neon “Welcome” and “Open”. All the pieces were from this year. The exhibition met large success as Pasta’s name is widely recognized not only among young people today and there will certainly be a new one in not too distant future. We at ThinkPrague will keep you informed, whether it will be one in Manes Exhibition Hall or one by Pasta Oner.

6 great coffee shops in Prague you don’t want to miss

Twenty years ago, it was impossible to find a coffee shop in Prague. Let alone a good coffee shop. Times have changed and specialty coffee shops are experiencing a boom around the world and Europe. Prague is no different. Think Prague gives thumbs up and love to these six coffee shops for you to choose from; both new and established on the Prague coffee scene.

 

Barry Higgel’s coffeehouse | Prague 7

These guys bring their coffee from London’s Workshop Coffee and with the sleek minimalistic design, they are the much-needed addition to Holešovice neighborhood. Barry’s Coffeehouse has an incredible potential to become the neighborhood’s top spot. Excellent coffee with healthy food options. With breakfast granolas, sandwiches, and soups, there is plenty to choose from.

Photo: Barry Higgel’s coffeehouse

 

Twenty7 | Prague 7

A rather serious affair, Twenty7 is an excellent good choice for an afternoon coffee or an early evening glass of wine. Cozy with modern design, rich menu, and coffee the way it’s meant to be. A place like this was needed in Prague a long time ago.

Photo | IG: @tanya_akulova
Photo | IG: @wnb_mischa

 

The Kavárna | Prague 2

They said “don’t open any more coffee shops in Vinohrady”, so the duo behind Coffee Break & Cake went ahead and did just that. Minimalist design, beans from Mamacoffee, and a whole list of drinks and food options; you can’t do wrong with The Kavárna.

Photo | IG: @nasekavarny

 

Ema Espresso Bar | Prague 1

The talk of the town. That’s Ema Espresso Bar. Hardly a new coffee shop in Prague, yet the hype has not worn off. Long queues outside of their doors speak for the coffee and the lack of cakes in the afternoon for their scrumptious sweets. They disappear fast and with a good reason. The only negative? No healthy food options. Go for the coffee and not for the cakes, unless you plan on hitting the gym.

Photo | IG: @pereguinn

 

Kavárna co hledá jméno | Prague 5

These guys definitely stirred up the pot. Newly opened on the left-side of the river, this coffee shop is a little bit of everything: an art gallery, a working space, a garden, and your business meeting point. Rustic details and a spacious main area set this place from the rest. Sweet cherry on top: the coffee is from Nordbeans. Although with its bitterness it might not be for everyone.

Photo | IG: @kavarnacohledajmeno

 

Můj Šálek Kávy | Prague 8

It seems like they do everything right: excellent coffee, food, locale, and they are open on Sundays! Go for the breakfast and cappuccino or a flat white, if you prefer your coffee stronger. Quality beans from Doubleshot do not disappoint. Get ready to wait for a seat or call in for a reservation in advance. You won’t be disappointed, though.

Photo | IG: @janlosert

Perfect filmmaking destination in the Czech Republic? Bohemian Paradise!

In the years of 1990’s, the Czech Republic has been considered as one of the top destinations for filmmakers. Low production costs, professional staff and beautiful scenery, that sounds great even to foreign productions. Recently, there are big competitors in Europe as attractive filming locations. Namely Hungary or Greece provide distinct tax incentives, however, Bohemian Paradise is still a fairytale place, literally. Countless classic movie stories loved by children and adults, too, have been shot right among breathtaking sandstone rocks area, just 50 kilometers far from Prague. As well as numerous US films shot after 2000’s.

Image credits: sometravels.com

The first nature reserve in the Czech Republic magnetizes tourist, climbers, artists and all nature lovers by its splendid rock towns, chateaux and green hills. You could see the paradise in movie scenes of Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman, Hellboy with Selma Blair casting, Brothers Grimm with Matt Damon or Beautician and the Beast with Timothy Dalton starring. The frequently visited gothic Kost castle served as a backdrop while making of Hannibal Rising. Stunning Prachovské rocks can be found in The Last Knights where Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman act.

Image credits: expats.cz

Just a step from the rock town area, you find yourself in the city of Mladá Boleslav, which is home to ŠKODA Auto Company, currently owned by Volkswagen Group. The local former prison gave place to Tom Cruise while shooting some scenes for Mission Impossible 4. What an event in Czechia, some of his die-hard fans were standing in front of a prison for over 11 hours, just to see him getting out of car!

Image credits: prague.eu

Nowadays, the Bohemian Paradise Film Office supports the local tourism by promoting the region via movies. They help to filmmakers in all ways, from searching for attractive exteriors and chateaux interiors, arranging the accommodation or assisting while transporting, to providing services in marketing and public relations.

In additon to Hollywood movies, one of the most popular Czech cartoon characters lives in the Bohemian Paradise, too. It is nothing but a Highwayman Rumcajs and his family, created by significant Czech writer Václav Čtvrtek. The favorite cartoon series takes place in the forest situated in Jičín area – a part of the paradise. That is how this destination has contributed also in the Czech culture.

Image credits: cestovani.idnes.cz

The gorgeousness of this story-book destination could be described also by adrenaline sport fans. High rocks serve as a favorite spot to climbers. These who are not equipped with climbing gear can enjoy adventurous walking tour on staircases built right in the rocks. Last but not least adventure sports buffs come every summer to support Kozakov Challenge longboard riders. The Kozakov hill, placed under the lookout tower is one of the destinations of World Championship in Longboarding. That is truly no chance to get bored in this well-preserved area, surrounded by forests.

Since we have been charmed by a place personally, we had to put together a guided tour around the Bohemian Paradise for foreign friends, who would like to see the pure Czech nature. Easy day trip with nice views to the landscape is a great way to discover the country from different point of view, compared to Capital Prague. With Tom Cruise or not, you will certainly turn your video camera on while seeing that picturesque scenery!