The roaring winter breeze was bustling with colourful Christmas vibes. The European streets and shops were adorned with vibrant fairy lights, stars and Christmas trees. Elegant people were at their best to flaunt winter fashion statement while going to work, roaming around the market or sipping coffee at roadside cafeteria. I was in a great dilemma. Whether to tick off Paris or Prague. A glass of wine on Christmas night at Paris with that giant Eiffel Tower dazzling in the backdrop is something like 'The best of Europe'. But the naive, mysterious charm of Prague is also too alluring to ignore. Finally the Paris Yellow Vest Protest in 2018 winter made my choice easy. So the Christmas Cake would be baked in Prague.
Before starting with my 3 days itinerary let me summarise the preliminary tips.
How to reach Prague: Prague is internationally well connected to all over world. There are number of flights available that fly to Vaclav Havel Airport. Prague is also connected to all major cities in European countries through bus route.
Mark Your Calendar: If you are planning to visit Prague in Summer, don't be afraid of heavy touristy footfalls. Also make sure you have booked your flight ticket in advance or you can be ripped off buying over pricey tickets. But it's undeniable that Europe feels just love in Summer.
Fall is another season when you can plan your trip. The city and park are all covered with trees and the leaves and flowers are in their richest shade. The tourist crowd is significantly lighter at late October. The streets, markets and sightseeing spots would be relatively peaceful and would make your trip a lot more enjoyable.
On Christmas season Prague receives fair amount of tourism, I admit. But you absolutely need not to give it a second thought if you are planning to spend your Christmas vacation in Prague. On this time Praha turns into doe eyed princess to absorb you into her fairytale charm. Praha has life. She breaths. She smiles. She dances. She twirls her silk gown on the narrow cobblestone streets. It can hypnotise us so strongly with her magical spirit that for a moment we forget our dull, realistic entity. We end up merging our very real existence into its wits and wilderness.
Transport: Getting to the city centre from Europe needs taking both a bus and metro. So it's recommended to take the Airport express bus unless you are on budget constraint. The ticket costs 60 CZK and can be bought directly from bus driver. The bus leaves at every thirty minutes. Cab service is also available on a little costlier end and generally ranges from 15 Euro to 20 Euro. But I personally would suggest to avoid cab service in Prague as there are number of drivers who cheat tourists by charging exceptionally high tariff. Uber is another cheap, hassle free transport mode in Prague.
The old town of Prague can be best explored on foot. Prague is a compact city and you can explore every nook and corner by walking without getting too tired. Walking is the best way to breath the charming air of Prague. But if you are not that into walking then you can easily opt for public transport. A single ticket covers all types of public transport (tram, bus and metro).
Money Exchange: Money exchange in Prague is the biggest, dirtiest tourist trap that you can fall into. Do not exchange your money at airport. They will give you extremely bad rate with so many hidden fees. In fact such scams have mushroomed all over the city and for foreign tourists it's extremely difficult to identify an honest exchange centre. So I would strongly recommend to use your multi currency credit card in Prague. Cards are accepted in most of the restaurants, shops, ticket counters/machines and is the safest option. But still there would be some local shops that don't accept either card or Euro/Dollar and you need to pay in Czech Crowns (CZK). One of the best tricks to get good exchange is to buy something from big outlets like Starbucks coffee, Costa Coffee, KFC, Burger King or some big family super market. They generally refund you the balance with CZK at transparent rate without any hidden fees or scam. If still you are very much desperate to exchange money, be very careful. Always ask before changing and try to keep in mind 1 Euro ~ 27-30 CZK. Don't accept any exchange policy that pays you less than 20 CZK for 1 Euro.
Satiate Your Taste Buds: When it comes to Czech Food, I must say, the soul of Czech cuisine lies in the street food. Prague serves its tourists heart melting, delicious food on the cobblestone streets. The street food may not raise the bar of your idea of perfectly healthy food but they are extremely delicious yet cheap. You can have all your three meals in a day from the colourful street food carts in old town. Some must try items are Tredelnik Pastries, boiled vegetables and mushrooms served with spicy mustard sauce, chicken/pork/beef sausage, fried cheese sandwiches, sauerkrauts.
Your Prague trip is literally incomplete if you haven't sipped the local beer for as low as 1 Euro. I know it sounds too unrealistic to believe but you truly can buy beer at such low price. If this 1 Euro Beer doesn't match your standard, you can also visit some posh breweries, bars and pubs that can serve you some of the finest beers in world.