Author Topic: 4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava  (Read 3252 times)

Offline yitzy93

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4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava
« on: December 27, 2023, 08:09:03 PM »
As usual, I’m too lazy to write trip reports, so all credit to my DW!

Finally got around to writing this up from our trip in November. It was a pretty last minute trip (booked 3 days before) as we had booked (back in May) a trip to UAE & Bahrain for these dates but due to the outbreak of the war, we ended up cancelling the week before…

Getting to Prague
We took a BA flight from LHR-PRG. Most BA flights operate out of T5. The PRG flight is one of the few that don't, and instead operates out of T3, where most other OW airlines operate from, so we took this opportunity to visit the CX F Lounge, which IMHO is the nicest lounge in T3 and possibly all of LHR.
We took a taxi to our hotel. We had ordered an Uber but they didn’t show up so we used Bolt which also worked out slightly cheaper.

Hotel

We stayed at the Lindner hotel, booked with Hyatt points. We arrived at around 11, check in was at 3. They told us to wait 15 mins and they will give us our room. They had upgraded us and gave us a voucher for a pizza and Prosecco. The staff were very friendly. The room was very clean and they had also left us a bowl of fruit and chocolates by turn down service.







We got Lime (owned by Uber, so is linked to your Uber account) e-scooters to get to the centre of the city. It ended up taking quite long and gave us quite the headache and arm-shake(!) as there are a lot of cobble stoned streets (but on the way back we managed to find a different, smooth route!)
We went to the Spanish synagogue and bought the self tour tickets which included entrance into most synagogues in the area and the old cemetery and access to an app that you can use for an audio guide. The ticket was valid to use within a few days, so you don’t have to do it all in one day. (£40)


Synagogue tour ticket, showing where the ticket gives access


We went to U-Milo for an early dinner, we were the only ones there! (Everywhere we ate in Prague was very empty. I assume this was due to the reduced amount of Israeli tourists, considering it was only a month into the war.) Food was good, but nothing to write home about. We got a pizza, a pasta and the fried gouda cheese which is a Czech specialty. (Side note, we found a lot of the food there a bit salty, but with some Googling we found out that this is the norm in Prague! Czech's like their food salty apparently).





We went back to our hotel by Lime Scooter which took around 20 mins.

The next day we took a Lime to the King David hotel for brunch. The hotel looked very nice and is a fully kosher hotel. We met several heimishe people staying there. The food was okay, we got a sabich, which was good and a smoked salmon sandwich, of which the bread was pretty decent but the actual smoked salmon probably came from the freezer as it didn’t taste right! But the fries were great!



We then went on foot to see more of the city, Charles Bridge, Astronomical Clock, Powder Gate etc. We then went to the old cemetery, where the maharal and kli yakar are buried. We also davened by R’ David Oppenheimer who was the chief rabbi in Prague in 1689 (it was in a closed off section but we climbed over the rope and no one seemed too bothered).  Most of the Matzeivas are not readable but we had done our research and knew what to look for. (A great and informative podcast on Jewish history I'd highly recommend listening to before visiting Prague is History for the Curious, by R' Aubrey Hirsch)
We then went to the Havelské tržiště (market) and walked around a bit. And then walked to Václavské nám. Which is a busy place with stores. We then headed to chabad grill for dinner, where once again, we were the only diners. We got hummus with mushrooms, which was really good! And we got a burger and schnitzel sandwich which was good.







We then took another Lime to the “dancing house” (around 20mins). We went to the glass  bar at the top. You can either buy a drink to access the deck or pay an entrance fee - which is roughly the same amount as a drink. We visited after dark and the views of Prague from that rooftop are really stunning! We then scootered back to the hotel. There wasn't a soul in sight in the gym/sauna area of the hotel, so we took advantage of that before crashing for the night.

The next day we walked to the Prague castle and watched the changing of the guards. We then walked down the castle steps and walked to Shelanu restaurant. We got a pizza and spaghetti with garlic and chilli which was really good!



We then got Trdelník, the local delicacy we didn't want to miss out on after seeing people everywhere walking with one in the street. Upon researching the kashrus at this place we were told the hashgacha is reliable but that the establishment is open on shabbos and the ice cream is not cholov yisroel, so we just got plain Trdelnik without ice cream in it. I'd suggest doing your own research and ask your LOR before eating from here.



We then rode to the Jerusalem synagogue which has stunning architecture! Pictures don't really do it justice!



Getting from Prague to Vienna

We then walked to central station where we took a train from Prague to Vienna.
It took around 4 hours and was quite a comfortable and quiet train. Tickets were pretty cheap for a 4 hour train ride and they even handed out free bottles of water on board. All in a welcome improvement to what we're used to in the UK.

Hotel

We arrived in rainy Vienna and took e-scooters to the Park Hyatt hotel where we were stayed, once again, booked with Hyatt points. Using e-scooters was a breeze compared to using them in Prague. They have bike lanes and Google maps works well with the bike navigation.
Our room was stunning, we got an upgrade to the deluxe room which was very nice and quite big! Probably one of the nicest hotels we've stayed at!








Pool/spa/sauna area below




We then used  e-scooters to go to Mea Shearim restaurant. I'll admit I was not expecting to find a decent restaurant, given the name :) At first they wouldn’t let us in as they were closing in 20 mins but we managed to persuade them that we will get something small and be quick. We ordered a few rolls of sushi which were excellent, one of the best sushi’s I’ve had!



The next day we walked to yudeles cafe. After some confusion and hesitation to walk into an establishment that didn't look too Jewish, we walked in there and the guy told us that they have taken over the restaurant and it’s no longer kosher. So we walked to Novollino instead which was very good!



We then walked to the Hofburg Palace and then took e-scooters to Schönbrunn Palace.
We hiked up to the top of the hill and watched the sunset. It was really nice with a stunning view of Vienna but was also quite cold!



We then headed to Bahur Tov for dinner. We sat down and looked through the menu, they didn't actually have any of the decent-looking dishes on their menu, so we left and went back to Mea shearim. A decision we did not regret! The food and presentation really is good there!





The next day we checked out of the hotel and headed to Milano Cafe & Gelato.





 We just had a light breakfast there and then headed to central station by e-scooter to pick up a car rental. We then drove a short 50 mins to Bratislava/Pressburg in Slovakia to visit the kever of my ancestor the Chasam Sofer.
We then drove around the city a bit, stopping by Bratislava Castle for some pictures and then drove back about 40mins to VIE Airport, dropped off the car and headed home!
In the airport we went to the Vienna Lounge, it was definitely one of the nicest independent airport lounges we’ve been to.


Quiet room in the lounge


Kids room above. Family/feeding room below



Delicious Hermolis meal in BA Club Europe/Business Class
« Last Edit: December 27, 2023, 08:48:52 PM by yitzy93 »

Offline Dan

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Re: 4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2023, 08:56:54 PM »
Nice TR!
Did you go into the Hofburg Palace/Schönbrunn Palace?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline ~King Lake~

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Re: 4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2023, 09:14:39 PM »
I was pick-pocketed once while on the train back from the Schönbrunn Palace to vienna, caught her red handed while she was opening the buttons of my jacket!
I’m in shape, round is a shape…

Offline yitzy93

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Re: 4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2023, 06:50:24 AM »
Nice TR!
Did you go into the Hofburg Palace/Schönbrunn Palace?
Thanks. No, we didn't go inside, the outside was grand enough for us. These type of stuff don't really interest me. I'm more the 'been there got the t-shirt (picture)' kinda guy! :)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2023, 07:02:34 AM by yitzy93 »

Offline DancyNeals

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Re: 4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2024, 08:39:25 PM »
Thank you for sharing your travel experience, @yitzy93! Your trip report will be very useful for my upcoming trip planning to the Czech Republic, especially the details about exploring the Old Town on foot. I don’t mind the food salty, I’d rather have it salty than sweet because I have diabetes. I was just wondering, you did not mention trying any of the local beers in your trip report, being in Prague and all. Did you have a chance to sample any Czech brews during your time there?

Another reference that I’m using for my planning is https://gowithguide.com/blog/tourism-in-czech-republic-statistics-2023-the-ultimate-guide-5565
The above article from GoWithGuide briefly mentioned pickpocketing as a potential concern when visiting Prague - do you have any recommendations for how to help avoid this issue, @~King Lake~? Your insight is appreciated as I continue learning more about traveling effectively and safely in the Czech Republic.

Offline lover of truth

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Re: 4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2024, 02:14:36 AM »
Thanks great TR!
my mouth is drooling from hermolis...

Offline Alexsei

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Re: 4 Days in Prague, Vienna & Bratislava
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2024, 09:02:31 PM »
Nice TR!
Did you go into the Hofburg Palace/Schönbrunn Palace?
I did Schönbrunn, enjoyed it but I think it's overpriced
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