Okay, so in an ideal world we would all visit every place on our travel wish lists, so we actually hope that you make it to both capital cities at some point. But while Paris has a longstanding place at the top of Europe’s must-visit agendas, the Czech Republic can also match a lot of what France has to offer (and in a more affordable currency)! Here is a small sampling of what Francophiles might love about Prague.
1. Prague’s Eiffel Tower
Petřin Tower sits on top of the hill of the same name, beside the Prague Castle and overlooking the river and Old Town below. This mini-monument was completed in 1891 as part of the Jubilee Exhibition. And while it may not be as tall as its Parisian inspiration, locals take pride in the fact that it is about 55 feet (17 meters) “higher” than the Eiffel tower – standing at 1,185 feet (361 meters) above sea level!
2. The Prague Louvre
These elegantly decorated walls hold culinary works of art waiting to indulge the senses of its visitors. Sure, the Paris museum holds masterpieces by artistic masters, but this historic Prague restaurant has seen its fair share of famous names as well. Café Louvre has played host to many artistic, scientific, and political minds including Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein, since opening in 1902. And if you’re still craving an artsy experience after your meal, stop by the Alphonse Mucha Museum for a look at the Czech artist who helped to shape French Art Nouveau style.
3. A Napoleon Pastry Connection
Napoleon is well known for his height, his ambition, and his ultimate defeat, but you may not have heard much about his sweet tooth. Our Prague Food Tour tells the story of how Napoleon’s pastry chef is connected to hořice rolls, a popular dessert at Prague’s Choco Café. These crisp, flaky pastry rolls filled with cream and dipped in warm, melted chocolate are EU trademark-protected, so you won’t find them beyond the Czech borders.
4. Vineyards and Vinotekas
If you ask the locals in the Czech Republic, Moravian white wine rivals the name recognition of a “Burgundy” or “Champagne”. Prague’s wine scene may not be as well-known as its beer culture, but there are plenty of watering holes devoted to vino (wine). The southeastern region of Moravia hosts multiple wine festivals filled with music, dancing, and historical arts and crafts each autumn. Foodies will enjoy a visit in November when, on the 11th at 11 am, the first bottle of young St. Martin’s wine is opened to serve with a traditional meal of goose, dumplings and cabbage. Local tip: stick to the white wines the region is famous for.
5. Cabaret Theaters
Burlesque performances, theme nights and a French owner – Prague’s Royal Theater is one of many alternative art spaces offering a taste of nightlife to rival the Moulin Rouge. Jean-Christophe Garmont fell in love with the antique charm of this 1929 theater and spent months restoring its authentic architecture to reflect the glamorous First Republic era of Czechoslovakia. This multi-purpose space has hosted film premieres, Great Gatsby parties, and French jazz concerts paired with imported cheese and wine, since opening in 2014.