Get the facts:

  • Prague has inspired many nicknames: The City of a Hundred Spires, The Golden City, The Paris of the Twenties in the Nineties, the Mother of all Cities, and the Heart of Europe to name a few. Prague's native son Franz Kafka said it best: "Prague doesn't let go. This little mother has claws." 
  • The locals, ahem, drink more beer per capita than any other country in the world. 
  • Prague boasts so many types of architecture, from art nouveau to baroque, cubist, Gothic, neo-classical and ultra-modern, giving he city its dreamlike feel.

A city steeped in history

For those of you interested in Military History (I'm generally not, but this book enthralled me), the story of Operation Anthropoid is one dear to Czech hears, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better telling of it than in Laurent Binet's HHhH. This is the true story of the Czechoslovak plot to assassinate Heydrich, the Nazi "Butcher of Prague" and Hitler's 3rd in command. Movie buffs are in luck; there's a 2016 rendition of the historical events, replete with awe inspiring footage of modern-day Prague. 

 
 

Traditionally speaking

One of Jen's favorite Czech shows is Herbář, which translates to herbal or herbalist. Yes, it’s a show about herbs. No seriously, it’s magic. The two hosts and chefs (also acclaimed actresses and one's even the lead singer in a rock band) cook traditional Czech recipes, concoct herbal face masks and frolic from the fields to the kitchen in the most amazing outfits. Even if you don't understand a word of Czech, this show will delight and surprise you. Particularly when their country-bumpkin assistant in the USC hat wanders in the kitchen with a basket of mushrooms to steal a plate of whatever Czech goodness is cooking. Growing up in Los Angeles, I've brushed up against my fair share of high-wattage stars, but when I saw these two ladies walking down my cobbled street one morning, I almost followed them up into their flats and asked them to whip me up some dumplings.

Pork, pork, and so much more

Anthony Bourdain has a No Reservations Prague episode worth checking out, with plates overflowing with vepřo, knedlo, zelo (that's pork, dumplings and sauerkraut—the most authentic Czech meal). But vegetarians, fear not. A lot has changed since he shot this episode a few years ago. The center has become dotted with health food bio-markets and raw food restaurants and I've survived as a happy pescatarian here for many years. Lehka Hlava is a vegetarian paradise in the city center that satiates even my most carnivorous comrades. 

Any beer geek worth her hops knows that the Czech Republic is the birthplace of the original Pilsner. When we first arrived years ago, it seemed that there were only 2-3 (albeit phenomenal) choices of beer. Now you can hardly swing a pork knee without hitting a pub carrying some of the finest microbrews in the world. We'd attempt to list them all there, but then we'd rob you of the experience of locating and securing your own personal fave. (We pride ourselves on being uber-helpful, but the beer must be earned.)

Never to neglect wine lovers, Moravian wine (from the southern region of the Czech Republic) can hold its own and there are plenty of vinárny (wine bars) in town. Vinograf is a personal favorite.

It's like one giant movie set

If Patrice had to describe herself in three words, they would be "Pop-Culture Nerd". While she might have already forgotten what she had for breakfast this morning, she could easily tell you who is starring in the newest film, who directed it (and the last five films they have directed), and where it was filmed. So it is a great joy for any pop-culture loving expat that only about A MILLION movies have been filmed in Prague and the Czech Republic. While you get ready for your big move, envision yourself in Prague by checking out some of the great movies filmed here. Once you arrive, take a self-guided location tour and reenact your favorites! Seriously, do it, you won't be alone. You would be hard-pressed to find an expat who hasn't recreated Tom Cruise's run up the Charles Bridge Steps from Mission Impossible.