I had quite the adventure taking the train from Loket to Prague. I was supposed to catch the train between Loket & Karlovy Very, then take a bus to Prague for a variety of reasons: 1) it’s cheaper to take the bus 2) it’s faster to take the bus 3) the bus is safer than the train, but apparently that was not in the cards for me that day. The train stopped in a station halfway between Loket and Karlovy Very and didn’t start moving again. Apparently, the conductor was late for work, causing all of us over an hour of delay. I made friends with a friendly woman who spoke some English who told me what was going on. By the time we arrived in Karlovy Very, there was no way that I would make the morning bus, so I decided to stay on the train and ride it all the way into Prague, in the hopes that I would make into the city around the same time as the bus. Luckily, the rest of the train journey was uneventful, I snacked on spa wafers, read, and looked at the windows at the beautiful countryside until the train pulled into a station in Prague with metro access. Then I took the metro to the closest stop to my airbnb.com apartment – an absolutely amazing steal of a place right by the Charles Bridge.
After this whole (approximately 5 hours!) ordeal, I needed a happy hour beverage, so I walked uphill towards the Prague Castle, stopping at the St. Wencesla’s Vineyard for a refreshing white wine with a panoramic view over the city. Several bridal parties were having photo shoots on the long winding pathway between the vineyard and the castle, because the backdrop and scenery is gorgeous. I decided to visit the Salm Palace to see some 19th century Dutch and Belgium paintings they had on display, since I had visited the Prague Castle on a previous visit. Overall, it was a very relaxing afternoon. I got some food at Tkalcovsky Dvur, the restaurant right next to my apartment. I got changed and walked about 25 minutes to the other side of Prague to meet with a friend of mine at the Prague Beer Museum. I ordered a beer tasting flight of local beers. The Czech are very proud of their beer – and rightly so, I’m so happy they came up with pilsner, yum!
After beers, we headed back towards the Old Town Square and went to the Absintherie, a little spot dedicated exclusively to everything absinthe. I remembered from last time that the ice cream there is literally the sweet tooth highlight of a trip to Prague, so I insisted that we get some ice cream in addition to our absinthe cocktails. This place will literally change your mind about drinking absinthe… I had tried absinthe in New Orleans before and disliked it, but the absinthe of the Czech Republic is smooth, and the ice cream is top notch delicious, don’t miss it if you get a chance to visit Prague!
We continued enjoying Prague nightlife by checking out M1, one of the more swankier bars in town. Drinks there were expensive but the people watching was free and well worth the hour or so we spent there. Our last stop of our nightlife adventure required lots more walking. When in Prague, wear comfortable shoes because walking over the cobblestones in Old Town wearing cute shoes is not fun! We waited in line for a while to get into Prague’s most popular nightclub, Karlovy Lazne, located right on the other side of the Charles Bridge from my apartment. Karlovy Lazne is HUGE, literally 5+ stories of different themed bars and dance spaces span a massive building filled with thousands of people in their 20s and 30s. We arrived a little after midnight, which was perfect, because this spot doesn’t start to really get going until 1 or 2am. We went into the Ice Bar first – my first ice bar experience! – and it was so fun. You have to don massive poncho-like jackets to go inside, and the vodka drinks are served in ice glasses! There are chairs and sculptures made of ice all around – so cool and a nice way to cool down on a warm night. Karlovy Lazne is definitely tourist, and there are definitely ERASMUS students everywhere, but it is a cool experience I would most definitely recommend to young tourists wanting a taste of Prague’s nightlife!