next weekend...

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
PRAGUE IS the most romantic city in Eastern Europe, according to the Martini Brut Guide to Romantic Weekends (Good Books, pounds 6.99). That's a good reason to go any time; a good reason to go soon is the series of concerts the city will be hosting as part of the Teacher's International Jazz Festival from the end of this month. Van Morrison, Courtney Pine and Spyro Gyra will all be performing; there will be one major concert every week (usually on a Friday night) through to the beginning of December. The best way to see the ornate baroque architecture of the city is on foot (and maybe hand-in-hand?). Famous must-sees include the ancient pedestrianised Charles Bridge over the River Vltava, the French gothic cathedral of St Vitus, complete with the tomb of good King Wenceslas, and Wenceslas Square. The old town is crammed with medieval sites, old towers, fantastical clocks, tinkling fountains, and ancient churches. In tourist areas, most people speak a little bit of English.

how to get there

Weekend return flights with Czech Airlines (0171-255 1898) or British Airways (0181-897 4000) start at pounds 209.50. The Czech Tourist Centre (0171- 794 3263) flights start at pounds 182.50 (mid-week from pounds 166 return). Regent Holidays (0117 921 1711) weekend returns from around pounds 180 (mid-week, special offer of pounds 159 from 2 September 1995 to 1 March 1996).

where to stay

The Czech Tourist Centre can arrange accommodation from around pounds 20 per double room per night for basic accommodation outside the city centre; a 3-star hotel is pounds 50/60 per night for a double room; a 5-star hotel will cost as much as pounds 200. The Romantic Weekends guide suggests the Interhotel Pariz, U Obecniho domu 1, Prague 1 (00 42 2 2422 2151) as an alternative to the standard Eastern European hotels, which are heavy on marble and lighting, short on comfort. The Hoffmeister Hotel, Pod Bruskou 9, Prague 1 (00 42 2 2451 1015) is also recommended. Regent Holidays (0117 921 1711) can arrange bookings in either of these hotels for around pounds 150 per night for a twin room; other hotels from pounds 36 per twin room per night.

packages

Time Off (0171 235 8070) offer packages of return flight plus two nights in a two-star hotel from pounds 282 per person; their range of hotels spans two-star to luxury grade (two nights in the Pariz pounds 381, two nights in the Hoffmeister pounds 389 including flights).

eating out

Romantic restaurants: U Mecenase (53 38 81); U Modre kachnicky (06 20 38 22) - get your hotel to call and book for you. For late evening drinks and dancing, Lavka (24 21 47 97), a garden bar by the Charles Bridge.

further information

The Czech Centre (0171 794 3263/794 3264). As well as flights and accommodation, they can also arrange concert tickets.

HESTER LACEY

Comments