Don’t let anyone or anything spoil your joy of travel. Even the seemingly most impossible trips are doable. A year ago I was taking my daughter (5) to Czech Republic to see my family. As every year, I was about to leave her there and join her later, trying to make the most out of her summer break without using up all my precious two weeks of vacation. Last minute, my fiancée decided to join me in this crazy weekend roundtrip to Prague and back.

We left Dallas on one of the newest Boeings 777 with upgraded in-flight entertainment sets and an entire row of seats to ourselves, instantly feeling like celebrities. We arrived to London about 8 hours later, surprised to see sunshine and gorgeous blue skies! With 3 hours layover, we spent majority of the time right outside of Terminal 3, feeding birds with leftover crackers, talking and enjoying the sun. Connecting flight to Prague was short as we were landing in about 1 and ½ hours. If you’re lucky, you will retrieve your luggage fast and be off to the adventures Prague has to offer.

Hus Statue

Hus Statue

After a family chit-chat and dropping off my daughter, my fiancé and I had only about 5 hours left to spare before our departure. We took the nearest cab to downtown Prague. Be aware, the yellow AAA Taxis are available right outside of the arrival hall but they are not the cheapest option. If you are planning your trip in advance, unlike us, do look into contacting a smaller company that will still come to pick you up from the airport, and may provide you with a fixed rate rather than price based on the driver’s judgment of you, being a tourist. To the driver’s surprise, I spoke perfect Czech and negotiated the price. I also requested that he takes us perhaps the long way but the way that we may see at least a glimpse of some of the architecture in the nearby section of Prague and also, so we may take a peek at the Prague’s Castle and Hradcany.

It took about 20-30 minutes to get to Venceslas Square by the statue of the king of Czech lands, St. Venceslas, and the building of the National Museum. We paid 500KC (Czech Korunas), which is approximately $20. This part of Prague used to be the first market in the city. Throughout the history it’s been a place of gatherings, protests and revolutions. Some of the most important speeches were held here. Today, it is busy with constant streams of tourists, plethora of stores offering world brands as well as typical Czech souvenirs. The atmosphere is very similar to the one of Paris’ Champs Elysees. Chain establishments such as McDonald’s, KFC or even Starbucks are present, though mostly visited by tourists rather than locals. Czechs know the hidden and more poetic places to have coffee at and delicate, typically in house made desserts too! Watch for little side streets with small cafés and bistros.

St. Nicholas Church

Going down the square, you can take almost any of the streets which will take you to only more greatness and glorious architecture. Nearby is Havelsky Trh (market) with more souvenirs, vegetables, chocolates and even traditional alcohol such as Becherovka Brandy or Czech Rum Tuzemak. Any of the local pubs will serve traditional Czech food, though there are mostly the not so healthy dishes on their menus:   Sauerbraten, Schnitzels, potato pancakes, and mostly roasted pork with dumplings and sauerkraut. Beer is served in half-liter jugs with rich foam, many times cheaper than bottled water. You can also try grilled sausage, served on almost every corner. Czech hotdogs are not served the same way as in the US. Czechs cut the tip of the oblong roll, making the roll hollow, filling it up with the sausage dipped in either mustard or ketchup. It’s held upright and there is no mess involved eating it.

We took Parizska Street to the Old Town Square. This place is famous for the City Hall with its gorgeous astronomical clock – Orloj.



This clock has been designed by Mikulas of Kadan and Jan Sindel in early 15th century! There are figures of the Apostles that come out of a little window at each full hour. Hundreds of tourists typically gather in front of the tower. There are many historically important marks and buildings around the whole square, including the Church of St. Nicholas or the Statue of Jan Hus, famous Czech priest and reformer. From this old part of Prague we walked through several small streets, admiring the architecture, shops’ windows and the overall atmosphere. All of it takes you back several centuries ago and you can feel the presence of the great artists who all composed and performed here, such as Mozart and his Don Giovanni.

We found a nearest Metro station. The Prague subway is divided by colors into routes, easy to understand. For the equivalent of about a dollar, you can purchase a multi – public transportation ticket, good on subway as well as a tram or a bus. We took the subway to station Dejvicka, which was then the station nearest to the airport and from there we took the tram and a bus all the way to Prague – Ruzyne, Havel’s Airport. We got on our flight back to London, spent the night in a hotel near the airport and came back to Dallas on the first morning flight out. Obviously, this is not an ideal way to travel half way around the world, however, it is possible to go see places and create memories even on a tight schedule!