Falling in love with Prague at the famous John Lennon wall
Prague is one of my favourite cities to visit in Europe. I love it not for all of the awesome history, the castle, the architecture and other attractions but because it feels so welcoming. The city has some amazing food and drinks and it really feels like a place where anyone can visit and learn how to enjoy Prague like a local.
Other bonuses are the transportation systems are easy to navigate, the Ubers are cheap and the city is quite walkable. I have also felt very safe walking around in the city no matter the time of day.
The best steak tartar in the world!
When visiting for the first time I took a food tour with Eating Europe. On the tour they took us to a butcher shop called Naše Maso and we had some of the tastiest and freshest meats ever. I later learned from a friend that Naše Maso is family owned and they provide their meats to other local restaurants including the small chain of restaurants called Lokal that they also own. That friend took me back to Naše Maso again but this time to have steak tartare. Never in my life would I have guessed that I would eat steak tartare. Never in my life would I think that I would LOVE steak tartar, and it was one of the best things I have ever eaten.
Head of Franz Kafka sculpture by local artist David Cerny
That food tour also introduced me to other tasty local dishes and great restaurants in the city that I might not have found myself. It also had me walking around the city on foot which helped me get to know it better. Our guide was a local as well, and was also full of lots of information about the city and other suggestions of great places to see and things to eat. To enjoy a place like a local my big tip is to definitely talk to a local at every chance you get.
Old school street cars in Prague
Another tip that I would suggest, to really enjoy a city like Prague like a local is to stay for longer than just a few days. Perhaps stay for a week or more and that way you can see all of the things the city has to offer. It also gets you into somewhat of a routine of taking the public transportation to get places. You also get into the habit of going to the mall or grocery store to shop and even cook for yourself if you have a rental apartment. There is something about being able to cook with local ingredients, holding an actual key to your own place and having proper neighbours to me that really make me feel like I fit into a place.
The rooftop view from the Aria Hotel in Prague
There are tons of great rental apartments available in Prague but they aren’t the only way to feel like a local in a city, so if that isn’t your style there are still of course a lot of great hotels in Prague as well. Some of my top recommendations are the Aria (it has some funky rooms and an awesome rooftop view from their restaurant). I also suggest The Emblem Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental. They are quite centrally located which of course is ideal.
A tasty pesto spread on bread at the Farmers Market at Naplavka along the river
Lastly a great way to feel like a local in Prague is to frequent the various markets that happen in the city throughout the week or during the holidays. While there I have been to markets along the Vltava River on either side, I went to a fall/Halloween pumpkin festival event and even enjoyed the Christmas markets. Definitely google and search what community events might be happening in your area when you visit.
However you decide to spend your time in Prague you are guaranteed to love it whether you go full on tourist, try to blend in like a local or do a nice mix of both. Have you ever been? Let me know your tips and suggestions in the comments below!