Q – We are people travelers – we could care less about sterile historical buildings and silly church buildings with their excessive costs. For us, we like to be around locals where they gather – seeing neighborhoods that are developing but are off the beaten tourist track. It seems that we invariably stumble into some fine local dining by experiencing places this way. This fall, we’ll be heading to Prague for the first time and we are wondering if you can identify a few neighborhoods worthy of our time. They don’t need to be deluxe – just authentic and where the locals really tend to hang out because they can’t afford the rents in the city center. Realize you are into high-end vacation planning so hope this question is appropriate.
A – Candidly, we are in complete agreement with your approach, or we would be if you included some of the major sites of interest. Many years ago we designed an approach to touring we call “Contemporary Lifestyle Touring” (CLT) which involves tour planning that utilizes a “where do the locals gather” approach along with guides who are trained to offer a sense of modern life in the city. So your question is entirely appropriate and we think your approach ought to be incorporated by the major tour operators, many of whom are offering essentially the same “Main Sites” itineraries they have been selling for two decades.
The wilder part of Prague is Vrsovice which has an incredible main street called Krymska that features some great local food, thousands of football fans, and a pub or beer garden every twenty feet or so. You have not really seen Prague unless you have walked the Krymska.
The floods of 2012 left the old town neighborhood of Karlin in ruins. This is now the hippest part of Prague and a great place to go during the lunch hour. Try Eska for really excellent classic Czech cuisine. One of the current dining stars is “Avocado Gang” which features shared tables. Carnivores swear by the Presto Meat Market, essentially a butcher shop with a few tables. If the tables are full – no worries. There is a dining tent out in the back.