Three days in Prague – the Jewish Quarter and beyond – day 2
09:00 – coffee, cubist-style
Start off your day with a strong coffee at the Grand Café Orient, a remarkable Cubist construction housed in the House of the Black Madonna (itself a unique example of the Czech Cubist architectural style). Eye up the Powder Tower on your way over.
10:00 – the Jewish Quarter
Make your way over to the Jewish Quarter, and have a good few hours at the ready to explore all that this historical district has to offer. Since most of the former ghetto was razed by 1913 to make way for a more ‘Parisian’-style neighbourhood, only a few buildings bare testament to its rich past. The glitzy Pariszka Street (Paris Street) that cuts through the centre of the district is now home to designer shops like Gucci, Tiffany’s and Prada.
In the Jewish Quarter, go to the Jewish Museum, which is connected to the Old Jewish Cemetery, a hauntingly beautiful mishmash of crooked gravestones. Check out the Old-New Synagogue, which dates to 1270 and still holds regular services, the Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue and the Pinkas Synagogue, as well as the statue of Franz Kafka.
13:00 – lunch with a view
Either by walking the crooked streets or following the park that runs along the river from the Jewish Quarter, head to Palacky Square, dominated by the magnificent Rudolfinum, an art gallery and concert hall. Go for a relaxing lunch at Grosseto Marina, an Italian restaurant docked on a converted barge just left of the nearby Manes Bridge. Sit above decks for picture-perfect views of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle as you chow down on affordable pizzas and pastas.
14:00 – exploring the castle gardens
Cross Manes Bridge, which offers great views of Charles Bridge, and climb up the arduous (but rewarding) steps that lead to Prague Castle’s Gardens. Duck into hidden porticos and discover old fountains and weeping willows. Once at the top, go across the castle complex to the Prague Castle South Gardens and the Royal Gardens, which house the pretty Ball Game Hall. Follow the marked path through the flowerbeds and across to the recreational Letna Park, full of dog-walkers and roller-bladers. Enjoy the near-constant views from this park over the city, and head to the beer garden at the easterly end for a welcome break and a pint of the good stuff.
16:00 – getting technical
Close to the Letna beer garden is the Czech Technical Museum, a recently reopened museum that’s sure to bring out the inner geek of any traveller. It even has an authentic Spitfire on display. Alternatively, take a tram a few stops to the National Gallery’s Veletrnzi Palace, which houses the gallery’s modern art collections.
18:30 – dinner and dancing
Take a tram back down to Namesti Republiky, on the edge of the Old Town. Refuel on an elegant meal at Chagall’s, where the 10-course continental-inspired tasting menu is of especially good value, or around the corner at Kolkovna, a busy, copper-gleaming Czech restaurant with all the classics.
After dinner, stroll over to the Prague Beer Museum for a taster of one of the 30 different beers from across the country, or head to Roxy for a rock concert or DJ line-up. For something a bit more mellow, head to Ungelt Jazz Bar for an intimate show, or to Hemingway’s for some serious cocktails.