BY TATIANA CIRISANO

Although it’s not a Czech thing, celebrating Valentine’s Day in Prague isn’t hard. The city is a living fairytale, and it only takes a glance at its stunning castles, charming cobbled streets, and baroque gardens to understand why. But if you’re head-over-heels and looking to amp up the romance even further this Valentine’s Day, we’re here to help. Whether your game is fancy wine bars, relaxing spa days or horse-drawn carriage rides, here’s how to kick your romantic side into high gear in Prague.

 

cocktailHave a cocktail

Alright, we’ll be the first to admit it—the best love stories often start with a little alcohol. But we’re not talking drunken hook-ups at the dive bar. Kick off the night with a handcrafted cocktail at Parlour, a classy, hidden, hushed mixology bar just a few steps from Wenceslas Square with a cozy interior, locals-only feel and no menu. There’s a reason these bartenders call themselves “cocktail artists.” Take a seat at one of the comfy armchairs, and you’ll be served a personalized drink based on your mood. Plus, Parlour is one of those rare finds that are quiet enough to chat, but loud enough to still hear the jazz tunes playing on the bar’s antique record player. If you’re feeling more upbeat and daring, hop over to Crazy Daisy for a wonderful night that’s fit to be from a party scene in The Great Gatsby, complete with First Republic decor and state of the art video mapping.

Or have a glass of vino (or two)

While we’re on the subject of drinking, if wine is your thing, you’re in luck. Prague is home to a number of quality wine bars like Vinograf, a tried-and-true venue with three locations and one of the largest selections of Moravian and Bohemian wines in the city (we’re talking up to 350 options). For a more casual setting, head to Na brehu Rhony, a cafe-like spot that focuses on Cotes du Rhone wines and is close to the Vysehrad fortress, another stop on our romance guide. Or, make a night out of your wine tasting with a visit to Bokovka, a hidden gem of a wine bar co-owned by a group of Czech filmmakers, which means it also offers—you guessed it—a private cinema.

horse drawn carriageHorse-drawn carriage ride through Old Town

Romance means there’s no limit on the cheesiness factor. Take advantage of this chance with a horse-drawn carriage ride through Old Town (come on, you know you’ve always wanted to). Just be prepared to pony up the cash, no pun intended. Head to the carriages lined up near St. Nicholas Church for a 20-minute ride that’ll set you back 800 to 1,000 CZK. Thankfully, each carriage seats four—make it a double date to half the cost.

Take a spa day

You deserve it. We recommend the Corinthia Hotel, where the upscale Apollo Day Spa on the top floor offers a panoramic view of Prague from an indoor pool. But there are also a number of salt caves in Prague that both locals and visitors swear by for relaxation. For a traditional experience, you’ll find one of the city’s many mineral salt caves inside a 19th-century former brewery complex in the trendy Holešovice district. If you’re looking for something more…unusual…head to the beer spa located in Vinohradsky Dum. Yes, this actually does exist—here, you’ll bathe in in a special beer rich with microelements and vitamin B in a treatment known as balneotherapy. Finally, Aqua Palace is the spot for a more family-friendly venture. Drop the kids off at the water park and head to the “sauna world” and spa for a couple’s treatment.

Lastly, nothing says Valentine’s Day more than chocolate (don’t worry – your New Year’s resolution is safe). Tawan Massage Centers has three upscale locations in Prague and offers the “Hot Chocolate” massage, a theraputic massage in a hot chocolate wrap.

Go to the opera or symphonynational theater

You can’t go wrong with a night at the National Theatre, one of the most stunning destinations in the city. The more than 130-year-old venue is home to opera, drama, ballet and laterna magika, a multimedia style that combines digital technologies with live performance. Can’t get a ticket to the National Theatre? No worries. The theatre is also connected to the equally-romantic State Opera, Estates Theatre, Karlin Music Theatre, and New Stage, where laterna magika performances are held.

Prague Zoo

Trips to the zoo shouldn’t be reserved for just kids. Especially in Prague, where the city’s zoo has been listed among the best in the world by the likes of Forbes and TripAdvisor. The Prague Zoo hosts nearly 5,000 animals and 650 species, so you won’t run out of things to see. Not only is the zoo a fun destination to marvel at penguins, tigers, giraffes, and other animals, but its location a few kilometers outside the city makes it a charming countryside getaway. Plus, we bet you didn’t know the zoo was originally intended to mark the marriage of the Crown Prince of Austria and the Princess of Belgium back in 1881. How romantic is that?

Get a locally made piece of jewelry

Forget diamonds and go for something even more rare. Czech Garnet can only be found in the Czech Republic and is note by it’s beautiful and clear, fiery red stone with a high refraction of light. Bohemian jewellers place great emphasis on the arrangement of the garnets which dominate metal settings in individual creations –covering the entire jewel. The result is a blaze of fiery red colour, be it in modern pieces or antique-style settings. However someone who is not an expert may easily be duped by imitations. Genuine Czech garnets are hallmarked with the letter G or G1 but unless you are an expert you could get fooled. Our recommendation is to visit Granat Turnov.  You see, Czech Garnet is only mined by a single Czech company – Český Turnov (Granat Turnov’s parent company) which says it sells its products to a restricted number of firms –and never stones in their crude form. Even better, between now and Valentines Day, when you purchase anything over 1500kč or more, you can choose from 10% discount, or special gift if you mention our magazine.

Dine on a night cruise

Upgrade your dinner date with a cruise along the Vltava. With River Boats Prague, guests will enjoy a four-course meal and a free glass of prosecco alongside live music, not to mention breathtaking views of the Charles Bridge, Rudolfinum, National Theatre, Vysehrad, and the Dancing House. The all-inclusive cruise will set groups of two back a few thousand crown for a two-and-a-half hour ride, but let’s be honest—an effortless, pre-planned night like this is worth it.

Valentine ride on “Maria boat”- from 6:30pm – 9pm with buffet and romantic music
Valentine ride on “Czech boat”- from 6:30pm – 9pm with 3 course meal and life music!

Price of the ride is 1149,-. When you mention “Visitor”code you get 20% discount!
Reservation before is necessary – and you can do that by calling +420 734 255 067.

Take Romantic Walk

Bundle up and take to the streets. Vyšehrad is home to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, whose two-towered silhouette is an integral part of the city’s skyline. In the local depository, you’ll find the remains of St. Valentine (his shoulder blade placed in a rare reliquary adorned with gold) that Charles IV himself brought to Prague from Italy. In the period around February 14th, the church becomes the site of a Valentine’s pilgrimage, including the display of the precious reliquary.

Looking for other romantic pilgrimages around Prague? Check out Prague City Tourism’s Prague For Lovers page.

Have dinner with a view

Don’t let Prague’s breathtaking views go to waste. Splurge on one of Prague’s many rooftop dining options, like the Dancing House’s stylish Ginger and Fred, where you can enjoy adventurous dishes on the seventh floor of the building with views of the Prague Castle, Vltava River and Charles Bridge. Though it isn’t technically too far above ground, Manes is another restaurant with gorgeous views of Petrin Hill and Old Town. Or if you’re feeling like something more traditional, Café Slavia has a special Valentines menu. With it’s traditional old world charm complete with a pianist, it’s a safe bet to swoon your date.

Take a walk

Going back to basics doesn’t have to be boring. Going for a walk in Prague is a romantic venture in itself, whether you’re hitting the historic Vysehrad fortress, panoramic Letna park, or the charming Naplavka river bank, where you can marvel at the white swans that dot the Vltava. For an extra dose of romance (or two), take a trip to Petrin Hill, where a miniature Eiffel Tower is surrounded by cherry tree gardens and a statue of romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha. Let’s just say there’s a reason couples line up to kiss in this park on May 1, Prague’s unofficial Love Day.

Get inspired by art

Prague may be home to a wealth of interesting museums and exhibits, but we wouldn’t exactly call the Museum of Communism or the National Museum prime date spots. Instead, our pick is Galerie La Femme, an intimate space on Bilkova street that showcases contemporary Czech art. The gallery recently opened their New Year’s exhibition, which runs through the end of February. For a larger selection in a romantic setting, head to Museum Kampa, a modern gallery on the charming Kampa Island with various hidden nooks, winding staircases, and rooftop terraces.

Send flowers

Don’t let the fact you’re not at home stop you from sending a bouquet of roses (or whatever you desire).  Our favorite florist is a small boutique shop called Lifestyle Boutique & Atelier. Designs are thoughtfully created by their staff and best of all, they speak our language (English, not love).  Call Hany at :+420 607 908 369 for English orders. Tell ’em we sent you.

locksSeal your love with a lock on the Charles Bridge…but not forever

Fastening “love locks” along bridge railings has become a traditional in cities from Rome to Paris, and Prague’s Charles Bridge is no exception. Just be warned—your grand gesture may be a wasted effort, as more than 30 kg of locks are removed every week by a group aiming to protect and restore the bridge. Hey, it’s the thought that counts. But if you are looking to make a more lasting mark, take some paint to the John Lennon Wall, where visitors and citizens alike have been leaving messages since before the Velvet Revolution. While your work will likely be painted over, it’s a less wasteful way to profess your love.

Thrill Seek

For those adrenaline seeking couples, Active Czech has an ice climbing adventure for you. A frozen waterfall outside of Prague in the mountain town of Liberec provides the backdrop for your adventure. A qualified instructor takes you through the process of becoming an ice climber in this three hour climbing course. You can also climb at night – which is a bit colder, but worth the view on a clear night. Equipment is provided. If that doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, you should also check out indoor skydiving. You heard us right. A wind machine keeps you afloat while you and your partner simulate free fall. Check out activeczech.com to sign up.