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In the last year and a half, we’ve made three trips to Prague, which is actually a little crazy.  We’ve been at three different times of the year, and each trip was magical in its own right.  As such, I’ve put together a short Prague travel guide on the things that we enjoyed from each trip, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.  I’ll be honest – I’ve only found one great restaurant so far.  I’m still on the hunt for more great meals in Prague… which only means one thing – we have to go back!

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Disclosure:  This Prague Travel Guide may contain affiliate links.  

Prague Travel Guide – Arrival

By Train:

Depending on where you are staying (and how much luggage you have), you can easily walk from the train station to the Old Town Square or Wencelas Square.  Getting to the Mala Strana or the Castle district may be more difficult, so I would grab an uber or arrange car service in advance.  (We’ve had a lot of adventures with cabs, none of which have been good.)  You will want to get some CZ korunas from an ATM as soon as you can.  Though they accept euros, meters run in CZK.

The subway is also clean, easy to use, and there’s a station very near the train station.  You can buy 24-hour tourist passes for 110 cz (approximately $5.00 in 2017).  It’s a great way to save your feet and cover a lot of ground, but I love walking through Prague.

By Plane:

The Prague airport is very modern and easy to get around.  There’s also a Billa (grocery store) in it!  (Don’t judge – we love grocery stores when we travel.)  Once you grab your bags and clear customs, you can grab an uber (they have their own waiting area) and be in central Prague in 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.  We arrived on a Friday night, and it took a little longer than expected, but it was easy.  There was no issue with haggling over the fare either.

We’ve had challenges with airport cab drivers not having change and charging higher fares, so uber works well for us.  One thing to note, if you have an early morning flight, you may want to get your hotel to arrange a car for you in advance.  We did not find an abundance of transportation at 4:30am and it took awhile for one to arrive.  We were very worried about missing our flight.  Better safe than sorry.

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Prague Travel Guide – Where to Stay

Mandarin Oriental Prague

For me, this was a no brainer.  I LOVE the Mandarin Oriental.  We stayed there on the Christmas Market adventure with my mom, and she loved it, too.  (She basically refused to leave the spa and got daily treatments.)  I might have been swayed by the Christmas cookies that were in our room.  (No judgement.)

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Unfortunately, my pictures of our room were lost in the great external hard drive debacle of 2017.  You’ll have to go off their website, but here’s a summary of what I loved about the Mandarin:

  • The location.  Mala Strana is gorgeous.  It’s magical.  It’s like something out of a fairytale.  I love the cobblestone streets, the small passageways, and the parks.
  • The bathroom was huge.  And, the bathtub was glorious, and the heated towel racks were so nice in December.
  • The room itself.  I wanted to redecorate our master bedroom with the muted navy tones, the elegant furniture, and the textured materials.  It felt so luxurious and relaxing every time we walked in the door.
  • It was quiet.  Location is quiet.  Courtyard is quiet.  The bar is quiet.  Everything about this hotel is understated luxury and relaxation.  It is absolutely a reprieve and a sanctuary from bustling Prague.

Boscolo Prague

For my husband, this was a no-brainer.  He likes the Boscolo.  We’ve stayed there twice, and it’s a perfectly good hotel, particularly if you can get a good rate.  It’s also a Marriott property (you’ll have to remind them of your status though), so you can earn (or use) points, but I don’t know that I would tell you to use points for it.  It’s a luxury hotel as well, but it’s definitely not in the same class as the Mandarin.  Here’s what you can expect to love about the Boscolo:

  • Free breakfast with Marriott status (you will have to remind them) or with certain room rates.  I think it’s worth it to book with breakfast if you’re a breakfast person.  The Inn Ox Lounge has an extensive buffet with options for everyone.
  • Convenience.  It’s a block away from train station, a subway station, and about a 10 minute walk to Old Town Square.  It’s also close to a Billa, which makes my husband happy.
  • The historic details in the rooms are gorgeous.  No two rooms feel the same.
  • There’s an indoor pool, which we welcomed on the first trip after long days of walking.  (It was closed for cleaning on the second trip, so watch the property warnings carefully if that’s why you are booking this hotel.)

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Prague Travel Guide – Favorite Tours

Evening Walking Tour

This was our first introduction to Prague.  We booked it the first night of our first trip.  We met our guide at the Charles Bridge and wandered through the Old Town to the Jewish Quarter, and finished in the Old Town Square.  This is a great introduction to Prague.

Night Walking Tour (Extended)

My husband and my mom were both sick for this tour, so I might be the only one who truly appreciated it for what it was – amazing!  We also went in the winter, so that might have swayed their judgement.  To be sure, it was cold.  We met our guide at the Opera House, walked across the river, wandered through Mala Strana, and made the trek up to the castle.  (That trek might be what killed everyone’s joy.)    This tour is part of what convinced me that Prague is as magical as everyone says it is.  The trek up to the castle and winding through the streets of Mala Strana is absolutely from a fairy tale.

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Prague Travel Guide – What to See

St. Vitus Cathedral (and Castle District Tour)

There aren’t actually enough words to give St. Vitus justice.  As a result, it’s going to get its own postcard photos post.  The glass is awe-inspiring.  The entrance options are for the entire complex, so make sure that you give yourself enough time to see it all.  If you are pressed for time, make St. Vitus your priority.

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Jewish Synagogues of Prague

This is one place I want to book a guide.  We have visited the Pinkas Synagogue (haunting), the New-Old Synagogue (incredible), and the Spanish Synagogue (breathtaking), but I don’t know much of the area’s history.  I would suggest booking a guide to learn more, but if you don’t have time for that, make sure to visit all three.  They are all vastly different experiences.

Christmas Markets

The Prague markets had some of the most beautiful Christmas ornaments of all the markets we visited.  The tree in Old Town Square is incredible to see, but the view from the Old Town Tower at night shouldn’t be missed either.  I really feel like we’re missing out by not doing these kinds of things in the US.  Nothing says Christmas like the best Christmas markets in Europe.  Ahhh, I want to go back and celebrate Christmas in Prague again!

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Prague Travel Guide – What to Do

Experience Culture

Go to a classical concert, hear an opera, experience a ballet, but whatever you do, experience the arts in some way.  We saw excerpts from Swan Lake at the Hybernia Theater, which was its own experience, but the dancing was incredible.  It was absolutely fun to try it.  All of the performance venues are gorgeous so go see something!

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Watch the Sunrise – at least once

There are a lot of places to do this.  The Mala Strana riverbank isn’t as crowded as the Charles Bridge.  Old Town Square is NEVER empty except for in the early morning.  The castle district will have amazing views that you can’t see from the river.  Sunset is far too crowded.  The silence and beauty of the sunrise in Prague is something everyone should experience.

Experience the Astronomical Clock on the Hour – Once

If you go before 11:00am, you’ll miss the throngs of tourists with their iPhones.  You’ll be able to see everything up close and check out the details on the clock.  I don’t think there’s more that needs to be said.  I’ve posted more clock pictures and Prague postcard photos previously.

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

Walk Up Castle Hill – and see it at night

You can take a cab or an uber to the top, but what’s the fun in that?  Seriously.  The walk is part of the adventure.  Prague at night from any angle shouldn’t be missed, but I think the walk up to the castle is the most romantic.  The castle grounds are open late, too, so it won’t be as crowded.

Eat a Tredlnik (Chimney Cake) – at least once

Bonus points if it’s cold outside.  There’s a great debate raging about whether or not tredlnik is a culturally appropriate food.  I don’t have an answer on that, but I’ve never met a Tredlnik I didn’t like. It’s cheap and absolutely delicious.  I really love the one that has toasted almonds on it, but I’m also a purist.  I’ll eat one with just cinnamon and sugar.

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T  Prague Travel Guide – Favorite Meal

Meat and Greet

Is this my favorite part of staying at the Boscolo?  Maybe so.  It’s a block away from the hotel, has outdoor seating, the beer is cheap and the burgers are amazing.  The waitstaff ranges from amazing to public shaming, but I love the food.  I enjoy the Crispy and my husband enjoys the Urquel.  All the fries are good.

journey of doing - Prague Travel Guide - Tips on the things that we enjoyed from three trips to Prague, including where to stay, how to get around, and what to do and see.P I N I T

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  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - Oh Prague, I don’t think that I’ll ever get enough of that beautiful city! I swear we could have spent all day at St. Vitus and would still be in awe of how beautiful it is! I’d love to go back to Europe during Christmas and see some of those beautiful Christmas markets! And you’re totally right you have to see the Astronomical Clock at least once!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Three times in 1.5 years?? All the way from the USA? That means you must rreeeeeallllly love Prague, haha. It’s a great city – we loved our time there this past winter. I actually loved the food in Prague though, I probably have different standards being gluten free, but I would go back just for the food!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Your photography is simply stunning! And can we talk about how insanely jealous I am that you’ve been to Prague 3 times in the past year and a half <3
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • Kasie - I’ve been dying to make another trip to Prague during a less frigid time of year (I went in the dead of winter), so this guide is absolutely perfect for me. I love your suggestion of watching the sunrise. That would be truly spectacular!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Brune - I really need to revisit Prague one day! I’ve been there on a school trip and it was nothing as magical as it could have been I reckon 😉 Bookmarking your guide right now!ReplyCancel

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid - We went to Prague to celebrate our engagement (11 years ago now!) and we both fell in love with the city hard. Reading through your guide reminds me how much I want to go back and how many things we still have to see and do! Take me back!ReplyCancel

I’ve been a long time loyalist to my La Mer skin care routine.  I love the refining facial, but it’s not exactly an energizing facial.  It’s pretty low key and it’s one of the few products that doesn’t burn or irritate my skin.  As a result, I’m hesitant to try new products because of the cost associated with finding out that they don’t work.  I spend such little time shopping that I rarely find myself in a position to test products at the store.  So, when Influenster sent me these products to try, I was excited but a definitely little dubious.  (For reference, my skin type is normal.)

Disclaimer:  I was sent complimentary products in partnership with Influenster in exchange for an honest review.  This post may contain affiliate links.

journey of doing - energizing facial with OriginsP I N I T

Origins Pink Water Cream – Energizing Facial

Step One – Origins Retexturizing Mask

The first time I tried the mask, I had just settled into the bathtub after a long day.  I lathered the Origins mask on my face and neck and set a timer for 10 minutes.  I expected to hate it because of the strong citrusy scent, but I got used to it.  The mask stayed fairly soft, but I could feel it drying and tightening my skin.  When it was completely dry, there was a light pink tint to it.

After 10 minutes, I splashed my face and neck clean.  I was not expecting my skin to be so soft!  The other thing that I noticed was that my energy level had picked up considerably.  An energizing facial?  What is this?!

Step Two – Origins Renewal Serum

After I finished feeling my face (keeping it real), I put a thin layer of the serum on my face.  I was worried that the combination of the mask and the serum would cause my skin to react, but it didn’t!  YAY!  The serum had the same citrusy scent and created an even more smooth texture.

What I really liked about the serum was that it went on smooth and didn’t feel sticky.  I’ve used serums in the past that left me feeling like I had just clogged my pores with glue.  I didn’t feel that with this one.  It felt like I had just covered my skin with silk.

Step Three – Origins Matte Moisturizer

If I’m being totally honest, the moisturizer looked so unappealing when I opened it.  It looked like it might feel gritty or feel heavy.  Again, it had the strong smell of citrus, so I thought it might burn.  I went for it anyway, dabbing a little bit on at a time.  No skin reaction.  It went on smoother than I expected (I was wrong) and my skin absorbed it quickly.

When I was done with the entire treatment, I felt ready to conquer the world.  Seriously.  My second wind kicked in, and I felt awake, alive, and ready to get things done!  (This, of course, was slightly problematic as I had an early morning the following day.)

Energizing Facial – Final Thoughts

Not to be swayed by a single use (and inspired by the second wind of energy), I started using this energizing routine on a more (read: very regular) basis.  I threw caution to the wind and refused to be bound by their 1-2 times a week directive.

I dried my skin out and burned my eyelids.  (Those directions are there for a reason.)  But, I really do love the energy that I get from these products.  There’s something about the scent and the feel that gets me up and going!  I’ve cut back to using it once a week (or less), and I absolutely love it.  If you’re looking for an energizing facial routine or some new products to try, I highly recommend this combination for an at home spa experience!

journey of doing - energizing facial with originsP I N I T

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  • pinky - The mask sounds amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - I’ve always loved trying out new skin routines because I feel like it’s good to change things up. So far I haven’t been disappointed by Origins, and I definitely want to check this one out!ReplyCancel

  • SMD - I like Origins products.ReplyCancel

  • Kasie - An energizing skincare routine?! I definitely need this in my life! I can relate to your problem with products getting too close to your eyes and them burning…guilty as charged!ReplyCancel

  • Betsy - I got some Origins products from Influenster as well and I love the smell too! There is just something about citrus that is so energizing.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Yay influenster! I love getting sent products to try from them! Even better when it works! Sorry you dried your skin out, but at least now you know they are very serious with their directions?

    (If it had been me, I probably would have thrown the product out after drying my skin out from misusing the product, so kudos to you for continuing to work with the product and your skin!)ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Origins can do no wrong! I definitely need this in my life <3ReplyCancel

As I mentioned a few months ago, one of my goals was to start updating and repurposing blog content (or pictures that have lived alone on my hard drive for far too long.)  This week’s mini apple pie recipe is brought to us via Little Bit of Funky.  When I saw these on pinterest, I knew they would be THE perfect fall treat or addition to my Thanksgiving menu.  When we were dating, my husband shared that he only ate pumpkin pie, so making an entire apple pie seemed silly, especially once we started our getaways to New Orleans.  Since my family is small, it was very easy to half this recipe.  Is it just me or is anything mini WAY cuter?  I mean, my regular pies aren’t this cute.  My mini blueberry pies though?  Definitely cute!

This post may contain affiliate links.  

journey of doing - mini apple pie recipeP I N I T

I had big plans for this mini apple pie recipe. Those plans included acorn and leaf cookie cutters.  Fall, however, managed to thwart me at every turn. (Read: I refused to go to 16 stores in search of cookie cutters a la the great candy corn hunt for Thanksgiving cookies), so I had to settle for an apple cookie cutter.  Bah humbug.

A 2.5 inch round cookie cutter was slightly small for the cups, but the 3.5 inch was WAY too big.  (I bought this set to be prepared for everything!)  You may need to play around with it depending on how deep your muffin tins are.  Don’t be afraid to go for it!

journey of doing - mini apple pie recipeP I N I T

journey of doing - mini apple pie recipeP I N I T

 Mini Apple Pie Recipe (halved)

Mini Apple Pie Recipe...
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 4 large apples (Note: I used Honeycrisp, because that's ALL Kroger had two days before Thanksgiving?!. I also used five and I had plenty of leftover apples. You could probably use 3, but I don't want you to have too few and then yell at me.)
  • 6 tablespoons of flour
  • ¾ cups of sugar
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 boxes of Pillsbury roll out pie crusts (4 total)
  • 2 tablespoons of cold butter (plus a little extra to melt)
Instructions
  1. Peel, core, and cut apples into ½ inch bits. You should have four cups or so of apples. (I did this the day before and stored in an airtight container to save myself time on baking day.)
  2. Mix apples with dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, making sure to fully coat all apples.
  3. Unroll your pie crusts and cut 12 rounds. Press into muffin tins. Also, cut 12 or so tops... in my case, I cut 12 apple shaped tops.
  4. Fill muffin cups with heaping tablespoons of apples.
  5. Cut butter into 12 equally divided pieces and place a piece on each top.
  6. Cover as desired with left over dough (or in my case, apple cutouts... that started to look like pumpkins just to irritate me...) and brush tops with melted butter.
  7. Bake at 400F for 18-22 minutes. I baked mine for 10 minutes and then checked on them every 2 minutes, and ended up taking them out after 20 minutes. After they cooled, I used the tip of a knife to gently pry them out of the muffin tins.

Serving Suggestion:  Enjoy with vanilla ice cream.

journey of doing - mini apple pie recipeP I N I T

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  • erin vancura - i love love love the apple! these are SO CUTE and look SOOO GOOD!!!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - They are just adorable!ReplyCancel

  • cara - This look so cute and yummy! Love the little apple shape!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - These seriously look so delicious! Apple pie is my husband’s favorite dessert, so I know that he’d be all over these mini ones!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - So cute and they look delicious! Perfect for this time of year! Did you pick up your apples from an orchard or just the grocery store?ReplyCancel

  • Kasie Chelanne - Sara, these are absolutely adorable and they look absolutely mouthwatering! What a fabulous spin on an autumn and winter classic. I would FOR SURE end up eating a full batch in one sitting.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Do you deliver to MI? These look SO GOOD!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - How cute are these?! LOVE the cookie cutter shapes <3ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - These look amazing! I’ve never tried anything like it but perfect treat for Fall.ReplyCancel

Happy Friday from the most northern-western part of MA before you get to New York and Vermont.  I’m in Williamstown, visiting the aptly named Williams College for another day before I drive down to Cambridge and hunker down at the Charles for application fun for the rest of the weekend!

P I N I T

Linking up with Christina and Amanda to share a few fall things for this beautiful Friday…

[One]  If we’re not friends on Facebook, you didn’t see this article about my organization that made its way into the Chronicle of Higher Education this week.  It’s long and so very necessary to read if you want to understand what I do and why I’m a little bit crazy.  This is the second story Eric has written about us this year, and this one makes me cry more than the first, but they both make me cry for different reasons.

[Two]  After I interrupted my regularly scheduled programming to rant about the lack of debate around gun control, my post on DIY photo coasters didn’t republish.  One more thing to blame on guns… I kid.  I kid.  Kind of.

[Three]  Max and Russ – I ordered end tables for the living room last week (as part of my “transition to fall” plan and I haven’t received any kind of status update on them from .  It would be nice to know they were coming.  Or when.

[Four]  I’m going to NYC at the end of the month to present at College Board Forum.  I finally realized that I can’t extend the trip and take the weekend to hang out in New York.  I have to get back for apps.  Adulting kind of sucks in that respect.  (Also – the hotels are ridiculously expensive.)  The latter part of the year has been REALLY expensive conference locations.  It’s clear the economy has recovered in some ways.

[Five]  I’m completely fascinated by fall so I’m just going to leave you with some pretty pictures from last night.  Perhaps that also makes me lazy, but I’m not going to lie – I’m exhausted this morning but this is going to be what motivates me to get out of bed.  (That and that fact that I’m on a business trip?)

Friday 5 - All Things FallP I N I T

Friday 5 - All Things FallP I N I T

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  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - I so wish that we had fall in Texas! All of the fall colors are seriously so incredibly beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - Happy Friday! Those fall photos are BEAUTIFUL!! Even though you can’t extend your trip in New York, I hope you enjoy your time there! We’re hoping to finally make our first trip there next year.ReplyCancel

  • sarita @ it's my girls' world - Adulting does suck sometimes lol. Happy Friday! And beautiful picturesReplyCancel

  • Bri @ My Life As - I miss northern fall so much!! I’m seriously considering driving to Arkansas one of the first weekends in November just to see the leaves! I suppose I could also go to East Texas…ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I like the idea of gauging the economy by expense of conference location! Congrats on your article. And those fall photos are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Lovely fall leaves!

    I’m so glad an article about your organization has been published. I don’t really have time to read it right now, but I’ll make sure to come back and take a look later.

    Also, I feel you on not being able to extend your New York trip. Sucks. 🙁 There is always so much to do in NYC. I can never get enough of it! I guess you’ll just have to plan another trip there in the future. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - All the Fall foliage is so gorgeous! Wish we had a real Fall in Florida.ReplyCancel

For More Dove Mountain Postcard Photos

(and tips & tricks):

Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain

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  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - So pretty! I think that the mountains and the cacti all around are so stunning!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Where is Dove Mountain?

    That sunset is so beautiful, so colorful! Did you plan to shoot sunset there or did you just pull off the side of the road when you saw how gorgeous it was going to be?ReplyCancel