Prague remains a favourite city for short weekend breaks for many Europeans. Those travelling from further afield love to add the Czech capital to multi-destination itineraries as an unmissable classic that has kept centuries-old charm amidst rapid modernisation. Combining old and new, Almanac X Prague has a fresh ambience, vintage aura and incredible heritage in one convenient package. Here’s how a trip to Prague can be a great way to spend any type of getaway this year.
Where to stay in Prague
There aren’t many cities in the world that can match Prague for retro-appeal. The cobblestone streets, ornate bridges and boulevards illuminated by gas lamps haven’t changed much in the last century, but that’s not to suggest that this is a place stuck in the past. Embracing new technology and fashion, Prague has cool vibe too and that’s one you can find in many of its recent hotel openings. One of the latest is Almanac X Prague, the first in the Almanac X collection.
Situated a short distance from Wenceslas Square, the hotel was once the iconic Alcron property, one of the oldest in the city. Popular with celebrities and other exclusive clientele, the hotel had lost some of its lustre until the re-launch and refurbishment. Now you’ll spot great nods to the past as well as innovative touches that reflect the location.
The hotel’s restaurant, The Alcron offers a modern take on local Czech cuisine showcasing alternative and traditional Czech cooking, with a plant-forward, head to tail approach. This is Bohemian culinary tradition in a new 21st-century setting. There will soon be a new rooftop bar as well as a coffee shop that serves exciting cuisine from the kitchen. A surprisingly extensive selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes are available and the ingredients are predominantly sourced locally so expect a nice array of seasonal variation.
The Almanac X Prague opened on 1st March 2023 and has 178 rooms and 26 suites, starting from €250/night.
Things to do in Prague
Prague is a great walking city. There are trams, buses and a metro system too if you’re in a rush or want to get from one point to the next without any fuss, but our advice is pack some comfortable footwear and head out early.
The crowds are slowly coming back to Prague following the impact of the global pandemic. Prior to 2020, the city was popular with students, backpackers and those on wider European tours. Nearly everyone will flock to the old town and Charles Bridge. Most people will recognise this as the setting for a series of memorable scenes from the original Mission: Impossible film in 1997. More recently you will have seen Prague in Netflix spectacular The Grey Man, which starred Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling.
You can reach these popular parts of Prague within 15 minutes on foot from the Almanac X Prague, but even closer is Wenceslas Square itself. Known as Václavské náměstí, the central part of New Town is dominated by a statue of St. Wenceslas as well as the Prague Museum. There are a number of shops here, from high-end luxury outlets to fast food restaurants, but the size and scale of the area is still impressive.
Wandering the quieter side streets, on one of which the hotel is situated, reveals some incredible architectural treasures that are often overlooked. As someone who has has been here several times before, I too was surprised to find neo-gothic promenades, gothic cinemas and indoor arcades with statues. At night the area turns into a more lively area with some underground clubs and events spaces. Take a short walk a little further and you’ll find Hemmingway, one of the best bars in the city. It’s popular, so worth booking in advance, but you can easily spend a the entire night here and not spend a fortune.
One other surprise on my most recent visit was the discovery of a number of vineyards on the hills that surround central Prague. Zilvar Winery is viewable from the city and only a short drive away. You can take a tour of the area and then try the goods yourself. Local wines might not be served in large quantities, and by local we mean wines produced in Prague not the neighbouring regions, but you can get them at the hotel. This ties back to the farm-to-table concept I sampled at the Alcron, and it fits in perfectly with the sustainable ethos rapidly gaining popularity in all travel circles.
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