Destination: Prague

Bohemian Building !

What time do they close round here ?

Date: Summer 1994

Flew with:

CSA operate B737's from Heathrow to Prague. The Pilots have been on the Boeing course, and it shows - "Have a nice day." Booze is available on the flights, but you may get a dirty look from the Stewardess if you ask for alcohol from the trolley. On that basis you may as well ask for the beer, wine, and a spirit, the shock will also diminsh the scowl for the benefit of your fellow travellers further back in the cabin.


No hassle. Stamp collectors will get another one in their passport.

Stayed at:

Hotel Praha. This is the old communist party hotel, and which sits on the hill overlooking the centre of Prague and its airborne pollution. It's expensive, but is excessively opulent too. Note especially the sweeping marble staircase and chandelier on the way down to the bar - it's straight out of a Bond film (as are the lifts - watch that gap between the floor and the walls "farewell, Meester Bond ...", and perhaps some of the bar staff too.)

Rooms are huge, and feature their own gardens. These are tended and watered by young women who squeal with delight as they catch you walking naked round the room after a shower. Fans of the James Bond films will also enjoy discovering the wiring for the hidden microphones (now removed) in the walls, and when booking, its best to ask for a 'first floor' or 'first secretary's' room, as these seem to be larger.

Where to go:

Restaurance Studenska is in a little side road opposite the Hotel Diplomat, and was charging 8Kcs (20 pence / 33 cents) for a 'pint' of Pivo. Expect to get seriously rat-arsed if you've learned enough czech to order your booze - the staff don't speak english. Try not to run the place out of beer like we did, it makes you very unpopular with the manager and the locals. The food is good and goes well with your 'main course', about 120 Kcs for the pork and dumplings. If staying at the Hotel Praha, it is a ten minute walk down the very steep hill to the bar, but going back make sure you have enough crowns for an expensive ride back in a taxi (the bar does shut at night).

Vegetarians will have a tough time eating in Prague, there is spicy sausage in everything, and a McDonalds opened while we were out there. A little oasis for veggies, is the 'Restaurant of India', Stepanska 61, and the girlies will be relieved to hear that there is toilet paper in the bogs too (the roll is secured with a chain and padlock). N.B. talking of these things, when using a public convenience, you buy your paper on the way in, and you don't get much either. If expecting some serious number twos make sure you've got some roll with you from the hotel. Bog roll is even rarer than in corner shops near to British first division football grounds during the seventies.

Beer prices peak in 'touristy' areas, which should be approached only when 'the management' wants to buy some bohemian crystal. When in the Cathedral / Palace environs, head for "The Ox" up the hill towards where the tourist coaches drop their victims.

Prague has a smashing architectural heritage, and if you go up their version of the Eiffel Tower, you can contrast it with the gloomy grey concrete housing estates just visible on the horizon.

Best tip to find further info is an advanced search of alta-vista. Use: "Prague" AND "pivo".

return to travel index page