The New Town, and our homespun Pub Crawl.

Prague Travel Blog

 › entry 211 of 251 › view all entries
View of old fortifications and the river Vltava, from Vysehrad.
Our first mission for the day: explore Prague’s New Town.
Our second mission for the day: drink Czech beer.  
(Guess which was more fun!?)

In the morning we took the subway to Vysehrad, just south of New Town. This area used to be site to a palace, churches, and other medieval structures, but today it’s just a grassy knoll with a park, a large Gothic church, and some fortifications. There was not much to see here so after wandering around a bit, we moved right along.

Next on our walking tour were two Cubist Buildings, built between 1914 and 1916. Cubism in architecture was short-lived, and that’s probably a good thing. With all of Prague’s fantastic architecture, these dingy concrete buildings seemed plain and out of place.
The New Town Hall is not so new.


Continuing north, we passed by Emmaus Monastery (1347) on our way to Charles Square (established as a cattle market in 1348), which is now a long green park with a walking path, and is in need of a little maintenance. At the end of the park was New Town Hall (not very new at all!), massive and it appeared to be in use, so maybe it’s still the town hall…? We then walked by the river to see the National Theater.  It was kind of too hard to see this huge structure close up, standing right next to it. This one’s better from afar. And this concluded our tour of New Town.

On the walk back to our apartment, we ran across an International Folklore Festival.
Waiting for the performance that never came, at the International Folklore Festival.
There were booths selling crafts and food, and a stage was set up. It reminded me of Milwaukee, which has street festivals like this on every other block during the summer. Anticipating live entertainment, we grabbed seats in front of the stage, and I also bought a small beer from a nearby vendor. We waited and sweated in the sunshine, but no music appeared to be forthcoming, so we left. So much for the festival. I still had the beer and drank it while walking, which reminded me even more of Milwaukee.

In the evening, we planned to sample some Czech beers… they do a pretty good job with the beer here, and we really wouldn’t be very good travelers if we didn’t try am extensive sampling :^). We had a brochure from Red Umbrella Tours describing a Pub Tour of Old Town, and although I don’t usually like tour groups, this sounded more like a party than a tour.
Steve at U Medvidku. The bar is made of copper pipes and things from the brewery.
We decided to join up. At 6:15pm we stood at the base of the Astronomical Clock, looking for a red umbrella, which was how we were supposed to find the tour guide. But he was a no-show! Damn. But our hopes for a pub tour were not dashed yet. We consulted our guidebook and the internet and made up a DIY Pub Tour. Who needs a tour guide!?

First on our pub list was U Medvidku, a brewery dating back to the 15th century. We had some Budvar (the original Budweiser), which tasted nothing like the Budweiser at home… it was good! They had a very cool bar there constructed of copper brewery pieces, but the atmosphere was nothing special, so after our beers we moved on to U Zlateho Tygra. We had delicious beers at this place a couple days ago, but found it to be very unwelcoming upon entry.
Adding more water to my absinthe, hoping to dilute it. It only got worse.
It hadn’t improved, and this time it was full. There was no room for us, so we quickly left and went to U Fleku instead. U Fleku is a pub and beer garden in the German style, totally done up for the tourists. We sat outside at a long picnic table and they brought us a tasty dark beer, which is made on the premises. As touristy as this place was, it was a lot of fun, with Bavarian music and a lively atmosphere. We even had shots of an apple-cinnamon liquor…the waiter was pretty insistent so we caved in. Killer! It had a nice aftertaste though.

When leaving U Fleku, we diverted from plan to visit a place called Absinthe Time on the same street. Here’s a tip for you: absinthe SUCKS. Do not waste your money! Although… the process of preparing the drink is pretty interesting.
The pretzels were free at U Vejvodu.
A spoon with a sugar cube is positioned on top of the glass with absinthe in it (there were many to choose from…we just pointed to one that sounded good). Water is dripped onto the sugar from a tall jar with spigots on a silver stand. When the sugar is dissolved…well, that is where the fun stops, because then it is time to drink the absinthe. The best I could do was wet my lips with the lethal stuff. Terrible! At least there was good live music to listen to while Steve finished his (and part of mine).  Then we were off to our final stop.

We lucked out and got seats at busy U Vejvodu, a huge pub serving Pilsner Urquell and local food specialties. The Pilsner Urquell is my favorite …so tasty. Steve ordered goulash and I put in a bizarre order of cheese and sauerkraut, choosing from the limited vegetarian options that were available.

After eating, we were too full for more beer, which was fine because we had had plenty already. Mission accomplished and Czech beers thoroughly sampled, we went back to our apartment for sleep.  A job well done.

 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
View of old fortifications and the…
View of old fortifications and th…
The New Town Hall is not so new.
The New Town Hall is not so new.
Waiting for the performance that n…
Waiting for the performance that …
Steve at U Medvidku. The bar is ma…
Steve at U Medvidku. The bar is m…
Adding more water to my absinthe, …
Adding more water to my absinthe,…
The pretzels were free at U Vejvod…
The pretzels were free at U Vejvo…
Ouch.
Ouch.
Basilica Minor at Vysehrad.
Basilica Minor at Vysehrad.
Basilica Minor entrance.
Basilica Minor entrance.
Big meets little.
Big meets little.
View of the Vlatava river from Vys…
View of the Vlatava river from Vy…
Me at Vysehrad.
Me at Vysehrad.
Cubist architecture at 30 Neklanov…
Cubist architecture at 30 Neklano…
Cubist detail.
Cubist detail.
Grimy cubist architecture at Nekla…
Grimy cubist architecture at Nekl…
Cubist detail.
Cubist detail.
Prague isnt all pretty.
Prague isn't all pretty.
Charles Square.
Charles Square.
Steves happy with his sausage for…
Steve's happy with his sausage fo…
Steves new favorite place. Not mu…
Steve's new favorite place. Not m…
Hard drinks for sale at the Folklo…
Hard drinks for sale at the Folkl…
Starting with a small beer.
Starting with a small beer.
Vendors at the Folklore Festival.
Vendors at the Folklore Festival.
Pub Tour Stop #1: U Medvidku.
Pub Tour Stop #1: U Medvidku.
Budvar on tap at U Medvidku..
Budvar on tap at U Medvidku..
Its not what you think it is. THI…
It's not what you think it is. TH…
At U Medvidku.
At U Medvidku.
Pub Tour Stop #2: U Fleku.
Pub Tour Stop #2: U Fleku.
Steve lets the waiter know what he…
Steve lets the waiter know what h…
The waiter foists shots on our nei…
The waiter foists shots on our ne…
Dark and tasty beer U Fleku.
Dark and tasty beer U Fleku.
Entertainment at U Fleku.
Entertainment at U Fleku.
Coming through!
Coming through!
Entertainment at U Fleku.
Entertainment at U Fleku.
Entertainment at U Fleku.
Entertainment at U Fleku.
Pub Tour Stop #3 (not actually a p…
Pub Tour Stop #3 (not actually a …
Entertainment at Absinthe Time.
Entertainment at Absinthe Time.
How do you know what to order? The…
How do you know what to order? Th…
UGH!
UGH!
Consternation.
Consternation.
Pub Tour Stop #4: U Vejvodu.
Pub Tour Stop #4: U Vejvodu.
Steves goulash at U Vejvodu.
Steve's goulash at U Vejvodu.
Pilsner Urquelle on tap at U Vejvo…
Pilsner Urquelle on tap at U Vejv…
Headed home. Old Town Square at ni…
Headed home. Old Town Square at n…
Prague
photo by: vulindlela