Prague

STAG-gering Weekends

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Stag parties. The last hurrah before the big commitment of saying “I do.” It’s meant to be a party of a lifetime with a night full of pints of Czech beer, dancing, gentlemen clubs and camaraderie. However, stag parties come with a lot of planning, and the details can get a little hectic. Along with the pubs and night clubs, you are also going to want a place to relax after your night out. Luckily, Prague checks all of those stag party necessities off the list.

Photo Credit: theogeo @ Flickr.
Photo Credit: theogeo @ Flickr.

Loving Apartments offers accommodation in the heart of Prague, allowing its guests to be in the middle of the nightlife hub. Many of the apartments are within a short walking distance of some of the top rated night clubs, pubs and breweries throughout the city, including but not limited to popular venues such as Kulovy Bresk, Roxy Club and Lucerna Music Bar. Prague’s pub and club scene is never ending and caters to young men in their 20’s to older gentlemen, satisfying a wide variety of tastes in alcohol, music and dancing. Loving Apartment’s close proximity to such locations makes it convenient to get home safely at the end of the night. The last thing you want to worry about at your stag party is finding your way back to bed.

However, if you are looking to escape your mischief at the end of the night and leave behind the bustle of night life for a short while, Loving Apartments can also offer apartments outside this flurry of activity. The accommodation will lend more relaxation to guests who would prefer peace after an exciting night out.

Don’t fret over finding lodging to fit all of your friends, we provide apartments in Prague that can comfortably hold up to eight guests. Just in case that head count still doesn’t cut it, Loving Apartments has many apartments in the same building. This allows more space for each of your guests while still having the luxury of being right next door in case you need to top off your party with some nightcaps. Loving Apartments makes pricing and reserving for large groups easy with the Big Group Booking Tool. This tool allows you to specify how many guests you have, how many nights you need and what you would like for sleeping arrangements. The Big Group Booking Tool will then show you what apartments are available, how many there are in each building and the price of reservations with just one click of the mouse.

Photo Credit: christopher.woo@Flickr.
Photo Credit: christopher.woo@Flickr.

A monumental occasion of a marriage deserves a monumental celebration, surely one that spans the weekend! Consider spreading the fun out over a couple of days because the stag party is most certainly going to heat up once it gets started. Staying the weekend will allow you and your guests to recover during the day and gear up for round two the next evening.

So before the single life is behind you, raise your glasses and enjoy a weekend in Prague with Loving Apartments and the guys. Cheers.

 

Click here for the Big Group Book Tool: http://lovingapartments.com/Czech-Republic/Prague/Groups

10 Free Things To Do In Prague

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It’s all subjective but to many people Prague ranks as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we at Loving Apartments think we have some of the most beautiful holiday apartments in Prague. Being purely objective, however, Prague is full of things to do and many of the attractions are free. Here are just a few:

  1. Feast your eyes on an inspired collection of decorative and applied art at Prague’s Museum of Decorative Arts. The collection spans from ancient times to the modern day and is housed in a building that is itself a work of art. You can see the collection for free if you go on a Tuesday between 17:00 and 19:00.
  2. A walk around the Church of Our Lady before Týn is a trip back in time through this Gothic masterpiece. Hemmed-in by houses, look up before you enter at the church towers each topped with four small spires. Inside, notable features include the baroque altarpiece and the oldest pipe organ in the city.
  3. Pick your way through the 12,000 tombstones in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague. These ancient memorials form a higgledy-piggledy piece of art across the landscape. The author Franz Kafka spent many hours here in quiet contemplation but his final resting place is in the New Jewish Cemetery across town.
  4. Take a look at the John Lennon Wall and you are witnessing the enduring power of music to inspire resistance to suppression in Cold War Europe. Despite the communist regime of the day banning Western pop music, Czech youth was inspired by the lyrics of Lennon and McCartney. After Lennon’s death in 1980 political graffiti, Beatles lyrics and likenesses of Lennon repeatedly appeared on the wall – despite past attempts by the authorities to cover them with whitewash.
  5.  If you weave your way through the myriad of narrow Prague streets towards the Old Town Square, you suddenly burst into a vast open space with architectural beauty and historical significance a-plenty. A memorial to the religious martyr Jan Hus is here, as is the world’s oldest working astronomical clock.
  6. A stroll in the gardens of the Franciscan Monastery near Wenceslas Square will help you to recharge your batteries away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The monastery itself was used as a police station during the dark Cold War years but is now again a place of quiet religious contemplation for Franciscan monks.
  7. Enjoy entertaining show on the famous Charles Bridge. All sorts of performances take place here as afternoon moves into evening, some of it good, some not so good but all of it lively and fun.
  8.  Stroll around the elegant formality of Wallenstein garden and feel like Lord or Lady of the manor. Impressive topiary, bronze statues and geometric perfection make this a stately retreat when you want to break away from your fellow tourists but please ‘keep of the grass’.
  9. Why not burn off some calories with a walking tour of the city? As long as you have the stamina, free daily tours start from the Old Town Square at 10:45 and 14:00. Your guide will pretty much know all there is to know about the sights you’ll see and the three hours tour will just fly by.
  10.  You will feel on top of the world as you absorb the breathtaking views of Prague from Vyšehrad. The grounds of this castle are full of historic buildings, set within a well managed parkland. The grounds and the views can be enjoyed for free, although some of the attractions charge entrance fees.

You will find all of this close to your rental apartment; so why not book now and start planning your stay in Prague?

Shop ‘til You Drop at Na Prikope, Prague

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The shopaholic is well catered for in Prague. There are many well stocked shopping malls and streets and the Old Town area of Prague brings them altogether within walking distance of many Loving Apartments holiday apartments. Whilst the beautiful Charles Bridge and Old Town Square are predominantly lined with souvenir shops and stalls, serious shoppers make their way towards Na Prikope street.

Pretty brightly painted shops line this pedestrian only shopping area. Na Prikope Street is lined with trees surrounded with benches for when you need to take a break. There is an eclectic mix of local names and major traders like Next, H&M and Benneton.  Restaurants and fast food outlets from McDonalds and Subway to steakhouses and hotel restaurants are also right here, for when you need to top-up your calories.

 Close to McDonalds is the Black Rose Arcade (Cerna Ruze). The arcade runs between and incorporates two historic buildings, the one facing onto Na Prikope street dating back over 170 years. The small and relatively inconspicuous entrance belies the ultra-modern bright arcade with three floors of retail outlets. Everything from glass, furniture and soft furnishings to health and beauty, to toys and gifts and some high-end fashion from Cardin, Laroche, Valentino and Jean Paul. You can eat here too, away from the hustle and bustle at street level, from standard cafe food to good quality Sushi or Chinese.

Remember when you leave the pedestrianised area heading back to your rental apartment that jay walking is illegal in the Czech Republic; it’s easy to forget after you have been free to wander back and forth across the streets from one shop to the next.  Saying that you couldn’t see the red man at the crossing point because of all your shopping won’t hold any sway with the police if they catch you and we wouldn’t want the hefty fine to spoil your perfect day.

Quirky and Distinctive Buildings around Europe

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Some may describe them as eyesores, whereas others may hold them in high esteem for their architectural creativity. Whatever your opinion may be, here are some fascinating structures that can be found across Europe – sure to catch the eye of any passer-by.
The Dancing Building - Prague
Edificio Mirador - Madrid
Container City - London
ING Headquarters - Amsterdam
Zeiss Planetarium - Berlin
La Pedrera (Casa Mila) - Barcelona

Excuse me, do you Speak English?

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When visiting a city that speaks an alternative language to your own, do you make the effort to interact in their language? It’s so useful, and respectful, to learn a few common phrases to help you get by on your travels, without the embarrassing common scene of saying something in your language that little bit louder, and getting frustrating when they still don’t understand! I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at some point, or have at least resorted to a spot of charades to get by.

I always try to make the effort to at least be able to order something in my destination’s native language as I feel a sense of accomplishment, and most of the time the locals truly appreciate my endeavours. There has been the odd occasion when I’ve been skiing in France, when I have ordered food in French, and the waiter has responded back to me in English. Not put off by his blatant lack of patience, I continued to speak French to him, much to his frustration.

No one expects you to spend weeks brushing up on your Spanish skills, or to sign up for French classes before you travel – even just spending a few minutes on your flight over, or making sure you have a handy phrase book in your pocket is sufficient. To help you along your way, here is a handy list of common words and phrases when visiting some of our most popular destinations.

Dutch  (Amsterdam)

Catalan (Barcelona)

Hello Hallo Hello Hola
Good   morning Goedemorgen Good   morning Bon dia
Good   evening Goedenavond Good   evening Bona nit
Bye Dag Bye Fins ara!
Thank   you Dank u Thank   you Gràcies
Please Alstublieft Please Si us plau
Excuse   me Pardon Excuse   me Dispensi!
Sorry Sorry Sorry Perdó!
I don’t understand Ik begrijp het niet I   don’t understand No ho entenc
Yes Ja Yes
No Nee No No
My   name is… Min name is My   name is… Em dic …
Where is…? Waar is? Where is…? On és…?
How much does it cost? Hoeveel kost het? How much does it cost? Quant costa això?

 

French (Paris)

Czech (Prague)

Hello Salut Hello Dobrý den!
Good   morning Bon jour Good   morning Dobré ráno
Good   evening Bon soir Good   evening Dobrý večer!
Bye Au revoir Bye Na shledanou!
Thank   you Merci Thank   you Děkuji
Please S’il vous plaît Please Prosím
Excuse   me Excusez-moi Excuse   me Promiňte
Sorry Pardon Sorry Je mi líto
I   don’t understand Je ne comprends pas I   don’t understand Nerozumím
Yes Oui Yes Ano
No Non No Ne
My   name is… Je m’appelle My   name is… Jmenuji se…
Where is…? Où est…? Where is…? Kde je…?
How much does it cost? Combien? How much does it cost? Kolik to stojí?

The Most Extreme Activities for your European Break

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They say that you should do 1 thing a day that scares you. Not only does it build confidence in your abilities, and open your horizons to new experiences, but it will also fill your memories with exciting events to relay to others for years to come. Travelling and new experiences, come hand-in-hand, however many activities that travellers dabble in are often of a more extreme nature…

Nowadays, it’s almost normal practice to venture to new destinations and throw yourself out of a plane, or to entrap yourself in a cage while being circled by the ocean’s most feared creature. There is something incredible, and addictive about the adrenaline rush you get by doing something that is completely alien to your mind, body and soul. Crazy, but true.

Some of the most popular European destinations offer activities that some may consider wild and reckless, while others perceive as daring and adventurous. Often involving tremendous heights and lightening speeds – extreme activities often provide some of the best views of your destination, if your concentration allows it!

If you’re looking for some action for your city break or European tour, then check out our favourite most exhilarating extreme activities around Europe – sure to get your pulse racing.

Base Flying in Berlin
Forget visiting Berlin’s TV Tower for spectacular views of the city. Base flying off the Park Inn Hotel offers a great vantage point to observe this amazing city, and also provides a quick descent back to down to Earth again. Standing tall at 125m, the Park Inn Hotel is the initial launch pad that you propel yourself off, almost reaching free fall speeds, before your safety rope halts your descent. A serious adrenaline rush, and a must for bungee and skydiving fanatics, base flying is available from April through to November and costs €79.

Paragliding in Zermatt
There is no better way to appreciate the sheer beauty of a mountain range than with a bird’s eye view, and paragliding in Zermatt offers just that. Soaring over the spectacular alpine scenery, without the obstruction of windows, or the interference of engine noise, means you can appreciate the peace and tranquility, while your tandem partner guides you gentle back to land. Prices vary depending on the operator, but are around €150 for a 20-30 minute flight.

Bungee Jumping in London
Relish the spectacular sight of London’s iconic cityscape, moments before plummeting 160ft. London’s O2 Arena gives thrill seekers the opportunity to reach new heights, without even having to step foot on the London Eye, or Tower 42. The bungee launch pad is located in the venue’s car park; with the River Thames and Canary Wharf just a stone’s throw away. Make your trip to London a truly memorable and exhilarating experience. Prices are around €94 for a single jump.

Skydiving in Prague
Prague is a popular destination for group travellers, visiting on stag and hen weekends, birthday and family gatherings. An extreme activity, such as skydiving, can spice up even the most already extravagant of trips, and will make your group holiday one to remember. Skydiving is an invigorating activity, providing breath-taking views, and a feeling of absolute accomplishment – once you’ve landed safely on land. Skydiving within a group is the best scenario, as not only do you get to share this incredible experience with your loved ones, but it’s also harder to chicken out when all of your friends have already hurled themselves out of the plane! The ridicule would be never-ending… Prices vary depending on the operator, but are around €146 per jump, with reductions for group bookings.

Whether you’re looking to view Berlin from a completely different view point, or get the most amazing views of Zermatt’s spectacular Matterhorn, book your holiday apartments well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Calling All Bloggers

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Are you as passionate about travelling and exploring new adventures as we are? Do you want to write about places that excite and interest you whilst getting paid for doing as such? If so, we’re calling on you to share your experiences and love of travelling and to write articles for the blogs section of our website. It doesn’t matter if it’s your favourite landmark, the best restaurants to dine at or an undiscovered gem; if it interests us we’ll post your article and give you money for doing so.

However you approach the blog is completely up to you; it can be in the form of a countdown list on your favourite shopping destinations or simply a tale from your experiences of travelling. However, the subject must be focused on one of our destinations.

These are:
Amsterdam
Barcelona
Berlin
Budapest
London
Madrid
Paris
Prague
Rome
Sitges
Verbier
Zermatt

How much we pay you for your article depends on the length. For 300 word articles we pay £10, and for 500 word articles we pay £15. If you’re a keen writer and want to share your experiences with a larger audience, e-mail us at info@lovingapartments.com and if we like what we read, we’ll post your article in our blogs section in due course.

For Terms and Conditions, please click here.

Good luck and get writing!

The Spookiest City Break Activities for Halloween

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If you’re looking to combine art and culture with ghosts and ghouls, then check out our top destinations to take a chilling trip to over the Halloween weekend. We’ve got some great activities sure to frighten even the most fearless traveller…


London

With London’s gruesome history of crime and punishment, it’s not surprising that it is home to one of the most chilling historic attractions – The London Bridge Experience and London Tombs. From 27th- 31st October, the show increases the fright factor, with a Halloween special, that plays on the heightened senses of every visitor.  ‘Phobophobia’ will attack its visitor’s deepest phobias with snakes and spiders, confined spaces and dripping blood. Visitors should also be on the watch for ghoulish figures lurking in the shadows lying in wait for the most unsuspecting of victims. Visit the official website for more information and ticketing.

Prague
Explore the dark and sinister side of Prague with a walking ghost tour through the historic Old Town. Your guide will lead you by lantern into the back streets and gloomy alleyways, while relaying frightening stories and ghostly legends.  Many visitors have claimed ghostly sightings in historic Prague, and it is said that if you take your camera along, you may capture faint outlines of ghostly figures, visible only by photograph. Arrange your walking ghost tour for a creepy city break to Prague.

Amsterdam – During the Spanish inquisition in the 16th century, The Netherlands experienced horrific torture and death in the forms of hanging and beheadings. Witchcraft was strictly forbidden, and during this time, many witch hunts took place, with thousands of people being burned at the stake. Visitors can discover Amsterdam’s frightening and eye-opening experience – the Amsterdam Dungeon, to relive some of the terrifying occurrences during this period, as well as discovering Rembrandt’s evil secret. Find out more information on The Amsterdam Dungeon.

Paris – The Catacombs of Paris is a labyrinth burial ground that was created in the 18th century. For almost 30 years, the Parisian people buried the bones of their deceased within this underground maze of caverns and tombs. This was due to a lack of overcrowding in city cemeteries and the use of inadequate burial methods, which led to disease and infection contaminating the surrounding local areas. Almost 6 million individual remains were buried within the Catacombs, and visitors can explore the crypts below the streets of Paris, for a shocking but fascinating exploration into Parisian history.

Berlin – Berlin’s Nocti Vagus, or ‘Dark Restaurant’ as it is known, takes its everyday theme of dining on the dark, and throws in some special ghoulish features in celebration of Halloween. Dining in pitch black in Nocti Vagus, it is considered that guests will experience heightened senses in taste and smell, at the absence of their sight. Food is served by blind waiters, and on the 30th-31st October a chilling evening can be enjoyed, by those who dare.  Advanced reservations are recommended.

To book accommodation for your Halloween getaway, visit LovingApartments.com and view our range of budget to luxury apartment rentals in London, Prague, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin.

 

Prague Ticks all the Boxes for a Fantastic City Break

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Visiting Prague is like stepping into a fairy-tale, filled with magical colours, enchanting architecture and legendary entertainment. Whether visiting for a romantic trip to appreciate Prague’s striking cityscape and charming culture, or to celebrate a friend’s last outing as an unmarried individual in Prague’s renowned clubs and pubs, Prague certainly caters for all.

Prague is a concoction of old and new, with the cobbled streets and narrowed lanes lined with modern-day shops and ancient buildings. You do need at least 3 days to explore Prague’s main landmarks, including the magnificent Charles Bridge. Connecting the Old Town and Mala Strana district, the Gothic-style Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s most admired landmarks, and is best appreciated first thing in the morning or in the evening when the looming crowds have died down.

The best way to capture the full glory of Prague’s impressive architecture and gothic spires, is from the summit of Petrin Hill. For even greater height and spectacular panoramic views, you can take a trip up 299 stairs to reach the viewing platform of Prague’s miniature version of the Eiffel Tower – Petrin Observation Tower. Petrin Hill is covered in forestry and idyllic landscaped gardens, and is a great relaxing trip for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Taking a relaxing trip on a Vltava River Cruise, will give you a great snapshot of Prague’s historic landmarks, that line both sides of the river bank. Perfect for an all-year-round excursion, you can appreciate the mesmerising sights of the cityscape while basking in the sunshine, on the outdoor sun deck, while a cosy cruise can still be enjoyed through the winter months, from within the on-board heated areas.

Prague has an array of bars, pubs and restaurants to enjoy local Czech cuisine, and of course, no trip to Prague would be complete without sampling some famous Czech beers. A fantastic event for the diary is the Czech Beer Festival, held in Prague each year, giving visitors the opportunity to sample (or guzzle) over 70 varieties of Czech Beer. Many Prague apartment rentals can be found in the centre of the city, providing guests with fantastic access to all of Prague’s landmarks and entertainment. Visit lovingapartments.com/Prague-apartments-home.html for more information.
For alternative city break destinations and hot deals, visit LovingApartments.com.