Prague is one of those places which projects classic European charm, whether in winter or in the peak of summer. From its legendary beers and Christmas Markets to surreal re-enactments of traditional beliefs and a rock legend in concert, there is something for everyone this season.
First, a tasting
Internationally recognised as the epicentre for good beer, Prague has a plethora of bars and pubs with a selection of specially brewed beers — locals recommend a pint of Gambrinus. The centre of the old town may be charming, but it is also more expensive. Wander down the twisting cobbled streets, till you come to U Medviku. This quaint little pub offers not only great beer, but better food than your average pub (`150 upwards for beer, `700 upwards for food). History buffs will enjoy a visit to the world’s first pub, located close to the Prague Castle. The U Prince Bar and Restaurant also offers delicious hot chocolate and the famous Trundl pastry dusted in cinnamon sugar.
For those with a curiosity for the supernatural, the popular ghost walks are well worth a try. Bundle-up and wander the dimly lit alleys as you are regaled with the history of famous saints, creepy marionnette puppets and infamous witches. The tours are free from most hostels and hotels.
There’s plenty of places to stay, depending on whether you want old school luxury or somewhere with a little more character. On the Charles Bridge, there’s an award-winning hostel with mini villas encased within the walls of the bridge itself. The hostel boasts of wifi, friendly staff and very nice rooms, decorated in typical Eastern European fashion (`2,000++ per night for a double ensuite deluxe room). For something a bit more upmarket, rest your head like a royal at the Hotel King’s Court right in Republic Square (`10,000 a night for a deluxe room).
On the cards
Come December, the city bursts into colour and festivity with prominent streets and squares turning into markets dedicated to celebrating all things Christmas. They also have live cooking demonstrations, mini-stables to entertain your tots and a wide sampling of their famous beers. December 5 is a magical day for children at the Square as the town celebrates the festival of Mikulas. The highlight, however, is the Christmas Tree at Old Town Square that is shipped from the Krkonose mountains every year for the occasion.
This year, music legend Elton John is performing at the O2 Arena on December 18. So, if you are a fan, be sure to book your tickets (`4,500 upwards) right away.
Return flights start at `63,000 on makemytrip.com. Details:
—Yasmin Jaunbocus and Susanna Chandy