Meet Lukas, our local guide in Prague, who has plenty of tips for where to go, what to eat and drink, and how to make the most of your time in the city. Read on for his top tips plus a bit of history about who he is and how he became an Urban Adventures local expert.
Where are you from and what led you to Prague?
I come from a small town called Česká Třebová (160 kilometres east of Prague) with 15,000 inhabitants and mostly known for being the most important railway junction in central Europe. My life has been influenced by the railways in a similar way — after graduating high school in 2010 I hopped on a train and moved to the capital to study civil engineering (specialisation in railway structures) at the Czech Technical University in Prague.
How did you end up becoming a tour guide?
Life in Prague has rapidly expanded my horizons (as a guy from a small town). After my classes I was often discovering different areas of our beautiful capital and, in 2012, I joined an international student organisation, the Board of European Students of Technology, and that changed my life forever. I started travelling around Europe, meeting and working with people from different countries, and made lots of friends abroad. During that time I also started to organise various activities for international students and friends visiting me in Prague. My desire to provide better services during those activities made me sign up for a guiding course in 2014. I also started to study more about our history and about one of my greatest passions, which is beer. Finally, in 2016, I started to work for Urban Adventures, firstly on our Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Tour and later also on other tours. In addition to guiding, I’m getting my masters in innovation project management and also partially work for my university’s international office.
What about Prague makes you proud?
The real uniqueness of Prague that I am very proud of is its diversity. Thanks to the well-preserved city centre, Prague is like a living museum of architecture. Just walking through the cobblestone streets that have witnessed several historical events and the filming of so many Hollywood movies is a special feeling. If you add the cultural diversity that allows us to have breakfast at the farmers’ market, lunch on a boat, watch opera in the afternoon, visit a concert of a local band in the evening, and finish the night at a salsa party — this is the city to live in!
Do you have any favourite local traditions?
One of the greatest things about Prague is the cultural opportunities that the city offers. My personal favourites are local music festivals. Žižkovská noc takes place every year in March and the whole neighbourhood of Žižkov lives for it. More than 50 venues are open for public during this three-night-long festival full of local bands of various styles, plus theatrical performances, exhibitions, and workshops all in the district of just five square kilometres.
My other favourite music festival is United Islands and it takes place yearly in late June in both indoor clubs and on open-air stages. Some of the stages are actually built on islands on the Vltava river so you can enjoy the concerts with a very special atmosphere.
What’s one thing people need to know about Prague before they visit?
Money, money, money. Even though we are part of the European Union, we still have our own currency: the Czech koruna. Make sure you change your money before going out and always ask about the exchange rate if you visit an exchange office (there are lots of bad ones). An ATM is usually the safest option.
What’s your favorite neighbourhood in Prague?
I have two favourite neighbourhoods. Žižkov, the area where I live at the moment, is full of hidden pubs and bars, cultural events, and places to just chill out. My second favourite neighbourhood is Malá Strana (Lesser Town), with its beautiful architecture, famous red roof tops, cosy cafés, and traditional Czech pubs. There are no clubs, so after sunset when all the visitors move either to their hotels or to the Old Town, you can enjoy an undisturbed romantic walk and feel like you’re in a fairy tale.
What’s your favorite spot in Prague?
My favourite natural spot in the city is definitely Riegrovy Sady park with an unbeatable view of Prague Castle, especially at night. You will meet many people there in the summer just chilling on blankets with a bottle of wine or beer.
Another place that I love to go is Vzorkovna. Very special underground bar/pub/club with live music every night, a hipster interior, an international vibe, and student prices. Plus it’s right in the city centre. There is probably the biggest dog I have ever seen inside every day, so most of the foreign students call this place “the Dog Bar.”
What’s your favourite thing to eat and drink in Prague?
Even though I love traditional Czech cuisine, the best svíčková comes from my grandmother, so you won’t find it in Prague! I really like Vietnamese cuisine as well and nowadays you can find several great Vietnamese restaurants in Prague. My favourite is Pho Vietnam on Anglická street. Their rich Vietnamese beef soup (pho bo), is the cure for Saturday’s hangover. And my favourite drink? That’s easy: beer.
Are you up for the best beer and culinary tour in Prague? Then let’s go! Let us lead you on this tour of the most reputable (though not always the most beautiful) beer sanctuaries in the city.