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Prague Off The Beaten Track - Secrets of Prague Full Guide




Since a year ago I moved to Brno, the second biggest city in the Czech Republic that is about 3 hours drive from Prague. Since Prague was kind of the closest biggest city I have had for a year I did several day trips looking for fun things to do that were not the typical tourist spots!

Hace un año atrás me mudé a Brno que es la segunda ciudad más grande de Rep. Checa y queda a aproximandamente 3 horas de Praga. Así que tuve la suerta de hacer varios viajes por el día a Praga donde no debaja de ser turista pero quería conocer cosas nuevas fuera de las principales atracciones!




Turn out Prague is full of secrets, and is easy not to notice them. In this post, I want to share these amazing places I discovered in Prague that are off the beaten track. So if you already have saw everything in Prague or you happen to live there or maybe want to do some unconventional stuff I hope this post helps you :)

Aunque el centro de Praga es chiquito, la ciudad es gigante, y no es una ciudad fácil de descubrir a simple vista. Tiene sus recovecos, sus pasadizos secretos que se te pueden pasar de alto hasta prestando atención. Yo creo que por eso la primera vez que vi el canal de Honest Guide me quedé tan sorprendida, ¿cómo podía ser que había un palacio al lado de Charles Bridge que no lo ví? ¿o como es que no vi ese techo en la estación de tren? 

En este post les hago un pequeño resumen de los lugares que más me gustaron para que ustedes también lo puedan descubrir :) 

Best Park in Prague and maybe in the world - Havlicek Gardens

I discovered this park through a friend that use to live here and I hardly have heard about it. The best thing about this park is that it has an open vineyard in the middle of the park where you can walk and even taste the grapes. I never have seen anything like this before. 

I went around the 20th of September and there was a huge wine festival. The atmosphere was so relaxed, everyone waking in the park with a glass of white wine and vineyard behind them,  I think this is one of my happiest memories of Prague. So definitely check out for events here! 

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Vineyard park in the middle of the city

Este creo que fue de mis lugares favoritos, también puede ser que haya estado influenciado por que de las 10 veces que estuve en Praga aprox 9 estuvieron lloviendo. Este es un parque que conocí gracias a una amiga, que tiene adentro del parque abierto para todos un viñedo, esto es realmente algo que nunca vi en ningun parque nunca, menos en el medio de la ciudad. Como mencioné en este post Rep Checa es productora de vino blanco! No es el único lugar de Praga que tiene un viñedo abierto así que sigan leyendo :) 

Yo fuí alrededor del 20 de Septiembre y justo había un festival de vino gigante, donde todos los productores del sur de Rep Checa vendían degustaciones de sus vinos. La gente se paseaba por el parque con sus copas de vidrio llenas de vino blanco e iban probaban uvas del viñedo, yo no se como fue la antigua Grecia pero me lo imaginaba algo como esto. 

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Vineyard park in the middle of the city


Good Coffee and Breakfast

📍 EskaThe most amazing public transport + DOX center of contemporary art

Praga es una ciudad muy vieja pero eso no quiere decir que esté llena de lugares ultra modernos:

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Breakfast spots
Prague Off The Beaten Track - Modern Breakfast spots

I discover this ferry because my work was on one side of the river and my housing was just on the other side, I was a bit skeptical with google maps recommending this but it was way faster to walk to the metro. It was THE BEST 5 MINUTES TRIP IN PUBLIC TRANSPORT EVER. The view from the ferry was really nice, the driver even put music and crossing this river you can see another neighborhood of Prague which is more residential but you have some cool since to explore like visiting the DOX Center of Contemporary Art.

Si van a Eska que tiene muy buenas opciones de desayuno y brunch (precios un poco más elevado que la media en Praga), pueden aprovechar para ir a DOX Center of Contemporary Art usando el MEJOR TRANPORTE PÚBLICO DE PRAGA. Yo lo conocí por accidente porque mi trabajo quedaba de un lado del río y mi alojamiento del otro lado, google maps me recomendó que me tome un ferry, y fue lo mejor que me paso. Es un ferry que sale creo que menos 1 EUR y te cruza el río con música y tremendas vistas de Praga desde el agua. Como todo en Praga creo que tarde unos 20minutos en encontrar la parada y 5min del trayecto, pero lo vale!
Prague Off The Beaten Track
Photo by Dox Museum



EMA Espresso Bar had been mentioned and I think it won some awards as the best coffee of Prague, is quite good and if you arrive to Prague in Flixbus / Regiojet Bus, this is coffee is on the way from the Florenc Bus Station to the City Center.

If you arrive to Prague by Train, I recommend going to the upper part of the station (the historical part) is beautiful! and is so easy to not see it and leave straight to the city..

Depende de como lleguen a Praga, en caso que sea en Bus a la estación de buses Florenc, pueden tomarse un cafecito en EMA Espresso Bar, porque queda de camino al centro. Ganó numeros premios y algunos dicen que es el mejor café de Praga. 

Y si llegaron en Praga, tomensé un minuto para ir al piso de arriba que es la estación vieja, el techo es divino! Y es super fácil salir directo a la calle y no pasar por aca!

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Specialty Coffee
Prague Off The Beaten Track - Undiscovered secrets


If you are a super coffee lover this place is definitely worth visiting, I think I had the best latte of my life here, the place it feels almost like a laboratory and the way they prepare everything is millimetric.

Si son fanáticos del café les super recomiendo este café, parece casi un laboratorio y te hacen el cafe de forma milimetricamente. Realmente creo que probé el mejor latte de mi vida acá. Tienen además como opciones de degustaciones de varios blends. 

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Most modern coffee shops
Prague Off The Beaten Track - Most modern coffee shops

☕️🥞La Boheme Coffee

If you decide to go to Havlicek Gardens I mentioned above, consider having breakfast in this coffee. They have an awesome breakfast menu, a lot of sandwiches and sweet stuff. 

Si quieren ir al jardín de Havlicek Gardens (el de los viñedos) pueden desayunar acá, tienen tremendas opciones de desayuno y muy buen café!

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Specialty coffee and secrets of Prague
Prague Off The Beaten Track - Specialty coffee and secrets of Prague

Other cool coffee places are still on my saved list:
Otros lugares que me recomendaron pero me quedaron en la lista para visitar la próxima:
  - Vnitroblock
  - Kavárna co hledá jméno

Good food options


I am not a great fan of Czech Cuisine but a friend was visiting me here in Czech Republic and I want it to take him to try at least some Czech food. We went to U Mateje (by taxi because is a bit far away) and it was amazing, it is like modern Czech Cuisine reinvented, the place is literally a house, so is really cozy.

Yo no soy muy fan de la comida Checa y creo que incluso los checos tampoco lo son... pero un amigo me vino a vistar a Rep Checa y lo quería llevar a que probase al menos los platos típicos. Fuimos a U Mateje (en taxi porque es medio lejos) y fue increíble, es un restaurante de comida checa moderna, es literalmente una casa y super acogedor. 

They speak English. Better make a reservation.  // Hablan inglés, hagan reserva antes!

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Where to eat modern czech cuisine

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Where to eat modern czech cuisine


This is one of the places I haven't had the chance to visit and is still in my saved list. Vietnamise are the third largest minority in Czech Republic and their food is everywhere. I think while leaving in Czech Republic I ate Vietnamese food in 80% of my days.

I had been told that this market is the closest you can get to Vietnam and have probably the best Pho in the country!

Este es uno de los lugares que todavía están en mi lista para ir. Dicen que es un pedacito de Hanoi en Praga y donde también se come lo que es probablemente el mejor Pho del país. Los vietnamitas son la 3ra minoría más grande de Rep Checa y su comida está ganando cada más lugar en los platos diarios de los checos, yo creo que en mi estadía acá comí comida vietnamita el 80% de los días. 

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Hanoi in Prague
Photo by @fulinjakub
Prague Off The Beaten Track - Hanoi in Prague
Photo by @vercule123
Manifesto Market

Manifesto is like an open street market with all different type of cuisines with quite modern design. I think is definitely a good option if you are craving for some international cuisine.

Este es un mercado abierto con un montón de opciones de comida internacional. Super moderno y relajado si no se deciden qué comer o quieren muchas opciones. 

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Secrets of Prague and cool things to try!
Photo by Manifesto Market

Secret of the Castle of Prague


This garden is right under the castle, so you might think is quite easy to see it, well is not. You have to pay attention when you are going up the castle, and there is a small sign to the garden when you see the sign enter the coffee shop. You pay I think 1 EUR to the coffee shop lady and she will open a backdoor that leads to the garden. 

This park has also a vineyard on it! and of course, it is completely empty because few people know about it.

Cuando hablo que Praga es difícil de descubrir se vienen a la mente por ejemplo este parque. Un parque esta directamente abajo del Castillo de Praga pero que tan poca gente conoce. La forma de llegar es algo así: cuando están subiendo al castillo presten muchaaa atención a un cartel que diga "Gardens below the prague castle", cuando lo ven entren, es como un café, a la chica del café le dicen que quieren ir al parque, hay que pagar creo que 1 EUR y ahí ella les abre una puerta trasera donde pueden entrar. 

La mejor parte es que generalmente no hay absolutamente nadie, tiene altas vistas al castillo y otro viñedo!

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Hidden gems on Prague Castle


This restaurant is just in front of the castle, if you go during summer you can sit outside and have amazing views! The Prague Castle is a place where there are so many tourist traps but this restaurant is the exception, is a bit hide to find and it has accurate prices and excelent quality of food. They dont have menu just the open kitchen where you can have a look for yourself!

Be sure to make a reservation!!

El Castillo de Praga se presta para muchas trampas para turistas más que todo cuando se quiere almorzar algo. Kuchyn es un restaurante de cocina checa moderna que no tiene menú, sino que podes entrar a la cocina y ver que tiene cada olla, los chefs te explican y vos te servís. Está exactamente en frente del castillo (ahí abajo indico como entrar) y si van en verano las vistas de afuera son hermosas!

No se puede comer sin reserva!

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Hidden gems on Prague Castle

Prague Off The Beaten Track - Hidden gems on Prague Castle

Not conventional cool things to do in Prague

Use a Paternoster

Doing a cookbook: How I decided to document all my family recipes in a cookbook



Some time ago I decided to start documenting my family's recipes. My mom comes from Perú, my father is Argentinean, my grandparents are Chinese and Spanish, so the food at home was extremely diverse.

Just before deciding to move out from home, I decided all this needed to be documented. This is how a journey of documenting more than 60 recipes began for 8 years. Photography of each dish, copywriting of the recipes and graphic design of the book were done by me.






Here are some details of the book and the process I followed to make plus some tips cause everything doesn't always go as planned 😅



As my two previous photobooks (Erasmus photobook and China trip photobook) I decided to print in Blurb (Even though I wish Blurb have sponsored this post, this is not sponsored just honest review haha)



Biggest Learnings of Food Photography as Amateur 

  - Natural light is everything
  - Learn how to do a balance composition, like adding extra elements to the picture, maybe some ingredients, a spoon, another plate, a glass.
  - Play with color contrast and textures!
  - Take the photos fast! (you can tell when the soup you are doing a photo is cold or the ice cream is melting)

texto






Before making this book I hadn't had any experience in food photography. I started documenting my family recipes just one year before I move away from home, I was 17 years and this was 2011 (left photo). I finally got to finish it in 2019 (right photo). This is the reason that pictures in the book are diverse in quality, they not only reflect my family cuisine but also reflect 8 years of learning and improvement.

 


Handy elements for food photography

Aliexpress Stationery Curated product review and Haul





This is not the average post I do here, but seems I have not been doing many DIY or travelling cause... coronavirus. I decided I will show a small haul of stationery and other tech stuff from Aliexpress. I guess all readers here still like stationery products as much as I do :)

I am HUGE fan of Aliexpress, not only because you can find whatever you want but because you also find things you didn't know you want or even existed 😅that's a bit dangerous to be honest.

Here are some findings of some of the cutest products I have bought and which I enjoyed and been surprised by the quality. I hope you like it :)

Aliexpress stationery products haul review selection


I noticed that there are some products in Aliexpress that are done by particular designers and are not so easy to find. This Oatmeal paper notes is one of them, I loved the vintage and kawaii look of this notes plus the packaging, super adorable!

Aliexpress stationery products haul review selection
Oatmeal Oats vintage notes here for 1usd
Aliexpress stationery products haul review selection

This are just paper notes with a look kind of Windows 93

Aliexpress stationery products haul review selection
Computer Game Memo notepad here for $1.35 USD





Adorable kawaii notes of fluffy animals here:

Aliexpress stationery products haul review selection
Cute Kawaii Rabit Memo Pad here - $0,45usd

7 Cities to visit in Czech Republic apart from Prague




Since May this year I live in Czech Republic! Big big change. I am currently working at Kiwi.com (an online travel agency). While living here I found extremely difficult to find information online about what to visit (a part from Prague and Vienna) so slowly I had gather some information by asking coworkers and doing some fine research. Turn out Czech Republic has so much more than Prague! and a crazy amount of castle all over the country!

This a post to give you an idea of what day-trip you can do from Brno or what cities you can visit in the Czech Republic apart from Prague. I didn't dig deeper into what to do exactly in each city, is just an overview. I hope you like it! and if you happen to be local or Czech reading this post, extra comments/tips of these cities or others are more than welcome, this is just what I figure out with my non-existence Czech.

If you are newbie in Czech Republic (as me) I will tell you a surprising fact (or at least it was surprising for me): Czech Republic is great producer of white wine, their viticulture region is in the south of the country, this region is call Moravian and they produce around 96% of the wine of the country. I marked in yellow on the map along with the cities I will talk about:


day trip cities from Brno - Cities to visit in Czech Republic apart from Prague

Znojmo


Znojmo is a little town in the Moravian region and therefore is full of winery producers. On your way there you will see that is full of vineyards. When I say little, is really small and I recommend to go during summer so you can enjoy the nice views while drinking some local produce white wine. Is perfect for one-day trip and if you get bored you can take the bus back to Brno whenever you want. 

The number one activity here seems to be doing the “wine trail”, basically renting a bike and go around different wineries. I didn't do this since we planned the trip little in advance. However, in the city you could see all around sign indicating the different trails. More info can be found here.


How to get from Brno to Znojmo?

It is really really simple because is a internal bus, so you just pay when you get in the bus like any other city bus. At the time I went it was the bus 108 leaving from Brno Dolní Nádraží, check the schedule because on weekends usually have a frequency of 1 hour.

Lagarde Bodega - 4 días en Mendoza, Argentina - Itinerario completo día por día de que hacer.

Mikulov and Lednice

View of Mikulov city from the hill
View of Mikulov Hill from the Castle

Have you heard of Mikulov before? Me neither… and yet this my FAVORITE towns from this list. I was extremely impressed by the beauty of Mikulov. I believe is even smaller than Znojmo, but OMG, so so beautiful. There is a small hill in the city where you can admire Mikulov from above, but the city itself it feels like a little Italy and is really well take care of. The gardens of the castle were carefully trimmed and immaculate perfect. The city is so small that you can see people going around with their glass of white wine around the castle, the center, is like an open bar.. but is a town.

I would recommend coming here even if you are just visiting the Czech Republic.

Lednice Castle, Czech Republic


Now let’s talk about Lednice. Lednice is 45 minutes away from Mikulov in a bus, so doing both towns in one-day is perfect. The most iconic thing about Lednice, is its amazing castle and its park (that is the biggest one in the country covering 200km2) both being part of UNESCO world heritage. If you take the bus 570 from Mikulov to Lednice, it will literally leave you 50 metres from the castle, which is free to enter.

 My recommendation here, both cities are small but if you want to be chill, organize yourself to be around 10:30 - 11 in Mikulov. You will have lunch there, maybe an ice cream and then around 16-17 you can head to Lednice with a nice wine and wander around so at 20:00 you go back to Brno. (I didn't know this and I arrived to Lednice at 19hs so I was literally 1 hour in the castle and then went back, a reason to go back next summer… )

Here is why you should get back by 20:00:
IMPORTANT! keep in mind that if you want to go back from Lednice to Brno, the last train is around 21:00 and the last bus that gets you to the train station is at 20:00. So at 20:00 you should be heading back!

How to get from Mikulov from Lednice?
Take 570 bus, google maps have the schedule on it, so just follow the map! is only 45 minutes away. 

How to get to Mikulov from Brno?
Same as Znojmo, there are city buses. You can take then 105 from Brno Zvonařka and in 1hr 30min you will be in Mikulov.

Valtice

This town is over the border with Austria and is only 7km from Lednice (actually one of the wine trail you can do is Mikulov - Lednice - Valtice all by bike). Valtice has, of course, another castle, which is really stunning and also part of UNESCO World Heritage. But the unique thing about this castle is that is home for one of the oldest and largest wine cellars in the Czech Republic. Here you can find the best 100 winning wines from Moravia Region.

The entry to the cellar was about 200 czk and you can stay there for 2 hours tasting all the wines you want. You can bring your own cheese and aperitifs to accompany your wine and of course you can buy the bottle of wine you liked the most.

I don't want to be hard on Valtice, but apart from this, there wasn't much to do in the town… In my case I went we a group of Brno Expat Center that organized a tour from Brno with a professional wine taster!

How to get to Valtice from Brno?
You can take a train to Breclav and make a combination there to Valtice. Is about 1 hour 30min (check the Czech train info here)

Valtice, Czech Republic - Go wine tasting more than 100 wines in a castle
Valtice, Czech Republic - Go wine tasting more than 100 wines in a castle

Olomouc


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