My City: Katie Chlumska tells us about Prague

1. What city are you in right now?- Prague

2. What’s the best kept secret about your city?- As a very historical city, Prague has many beautiful secrets and surprises waiting to be discovered in between visiting to the most popular tourist sight-seeing spots. However, in my opinion, the best kept secrets, the cultural, architectural and gastronomical gems of the heart of Europe, are those looming behind corners of the colourful timeworn houses in the Old town, or down hidden dark alleys that you won’t find in your travel guide. Those are the places where the unique taste of Czech beer and dumplings ripened and where the true culture and spirit of the Czech people lives on.

3. Describe your city in 10 words.– Historical, magical, beautiful, colourful, romantic, enchanting, traditional, modern, merry and a little bit crazy.

4. Favourite place to catch up on some emails?– Top floor of the coffee shops round St. Wenceslas’s square (the main square) – also a good place for people watching when there’s too many emails to catch up with!

5. Best place to relax and enjoy some quiet?– Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city centre into the national parks and beautiful nature – Divoka Sarka, Chuchle, on the peripheries of Prague. Enjoy the fresher air and tranquility… and if you’re up for some exercise, scramble to the top of the hills to get a spectacular view of Prague from further away.

6. Best restaurant that offers atmosphere and good prices?– My inclination to wonder down the side streets of Prague, off the main tourist avenues is relentless; but trust me, that’s where you’ll find the best of Prague culture, food, chatty atmosphere and non-tourist prices. Try hopping on the tram and going across the river to experience Prague out of the city centre, or stroll down along the river popping in for coffee into tiny cosy coffee shops, or for a refreshing ‘jedno velky’ (‘one big beer’, as we say in Czech) into a traditional murky Czech pub.

7. Best shopping neighborhood and favourite store?– Prague isn’t very big on markets; except for the Christmas and Easter period, when tiny wooden booths with mulled wine and yummy food fill every single possible space in town. On a normal day however, go to Namesti Republiky in the city centre, or Angel on the other side of the river, where you’ll find a large shopping centre with a multitude of high street shop to browse through. On the other hand, if you’re in the ‘big spender’ mood, go down the richest street in Prague – Parizska (Paris street), to find a selection of designer shops from A to Z, Prada, Dior, you name it..

8. Tell us about your perfect weekend?- In bed till late, rich coffee and cake for breakfast, walk round town in the afternoon, coffee and cake (round no. 2) at Kampa along the river, window shopping at Andel (‘Angel’) neighborhood, dinner and wine in one of the local bars around the National Theatre part of town with friends. On Sundays in the Czech Republic it is custom that the family gets together/ goes out for a family lunch… this usually entails a huge portion of traditional Czech food, namely meet, dumplings and a wide range of traditional sauces on top, and then usually requires a power nap in the afternoon! 

9. What hotel would you recommend for women business travelers?- Augustine hotel – beautiful and comfortable luxury hotel hidden in the picturesque old streets in heart of Prague, conveniently located to suit the demanding daily itinerary and social life of all women business travelers, and definitely the place to be seen!

10. Where is the best place to meet new people in your city?– Attend events, go to galleries and exhibitions, don’t be scared to visit local bars and make conversation with Czechies… you never know what Prague has in store for you tonight…

11. What are the top places you would take a visitor?- The Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Town Square, Mala Strana, Kampa, St Wenceslav Square and the National Museum overarching the square, Charles Bridge, Vysehrad, the old Jewish Cemetery and of course the Beer Factory.

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