Welcome to my place ... Prague

‘You don’t have to worry about what beer to go for as every Czech beer is great’

Scenic summer aerial view of the Old Town pier architecture and Charles Bridge over Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic

Scenic summer aerial view of the Old Town pier architecture and Charles Bridge over Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic

 

Sarah Pokorná was born in Bournemouth, but lived in Dublin before moving to the Czech Republic in 2011. It was meant to be a short visit to see her family there, but eight years later “we’re still here and loving it!”

Pokorná lives with her husband Alan Presch, who’s from Rathfarnham, Co Dublin and their two children Sofie and Filip, who are five and seven. She is the managing director of digital marketing agency Retro Digital.

Where is the first place you always bring people to when they visit Prague?

Well, apart from Alan making everybody visit the “beer train pub” - Výtopna - and Aquapalace Praha - Prague’s own waterworld, I actually try and encourage people to travel out of Prague to see the real Czech Republic. For less than €10, you can buy a train ticket and get far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in everything Czech culture has to offer. Take the towns of Uherské Hradište or Mikulov, for example. Every year they hold wine festivals attended by people from all over the world. You’ll not only get to try far too many local Czech wines for around €5, you’ll get to listen to traditional Moravian music and see everyone in their national dress. The way of life is so different in the Czech Republic, it’s slow, family-orientated, and traditional, which visitors from Ireland keep telling us is a really nice change.

The top three things to do there, that don’t cost money, are ...

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I think the best way to see Prague for free is by taking a walk. Everything is close by, so you can easily spend a day going from the Jewish quarter to Charles Bridge to Prague Castle and then to Kampa Island.

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Prague?

That’s a tough one. There are so many great restaurants, depending what you fancy. My personal favourite is Husinec. You don’t have to worry about what beer to go for as every single Czech beer is great, but food-wise you can’t visit without trying Svícková.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Prague’s place in history?

There’s the City of Prague museum, Museum of Communism, the National Museum, Jewish Museum, plus many more. Everywhere in Prague is pretty much full of history, so whatever you decide on, you can’t go wrong.

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Prague?

Whatever you do, don’t buy anything in the tourist shops as they can be such a rip off. I spend a fortune sending Jojo (Czech jelly sweets) back to Ireland. Lázenské oplatky (spa wafers) are pretty popular and if you’re looking for alcohol go for Borovicka, Slivovice, Bozkov Rum (which is made out of potatoes) or Czech wine. Cosmetics-wise there’s a Czech brand called Manufaktura that is sells all natural products and for kids you can buy loads of toys featuring Krtecek, the mole who is probably the most Czech kids character kids you could ever get.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live overseas, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We would love to hear from you.

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