Plans are afoot to launch a brand new sleeper practice service from Brussels to Prague later this yr, giving an additional possibility for travellers eager to go to the Czech capital however preserve their carbon footprint gentle. However what about while you arrive? Prague’s timeworn streets could also be chock-full of lovely buildings and vistas, however they’ve additionally acquired a repute for throngs of tour teams, stag events and stalls promoting mass-produced tat.
The pandemic inspired a reset, although, with many metropolis residents and politicians now eager for Prague to show away from its previous excesses and go for a brand new sustainable future. And because of extra companies discovering methods to decrease their environmental affect and town’s already glorious public transport system – plus swathes of grassy house – Prague could make for a surprisingly inexperienced minibreak.
In a rustic finest recognized for its hearty meat-based delicacies, visiting vegetarians as soon as needed to rely virtually completely on plates of smažený sýr (fried cheese). Vegans, however, would want to pack a picnic. However instances have modified, and Prague now has a glut of eating places serving up plant-based dishes. Social enterprises Bistro Střecha and Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova make use of homeless employees and have brief day by day menus that concentrate on beneficiant vegan plates. For meat-free burgers and unbeatable fortress views, search out a desk on the terrace of Vegan’s Prague.
Come Saturday morning, the farmer’s market on the Náplavka embankment presents an opportunity to evoke your senses and scale back your meals miles with its considerable native produce and avenue meals. From right here, stroll the 5 minutes to LAbspace, a minimalist café-slash-bar that spills out onto the embankment from a renovated ice vault. It isn’t simply the interiors which are pared again right here; waste and packaging are lowered by composting espresso residue and concocting aromatic delicate drinks utilizing seasonal herbs, fruits and flowers.
On the opposite aspect of the Vltava (and a fast jaunt from Náplavka by way of public ferry) is Manifesto Anděl. Drawing a younger, eco-conscious crowd, this cashless meals market serves up worldwide plates, together with veggie ramen and loaded cactus tacos, all on porcelain dishes and and not using a plastic fork in sight. The kitchens additionally use veg grown onsite, and intelligent number-crunching to foretell footfall retains meals waste down.
Prague has a small however rising variety of inns with eco-credentials. One of many first and finest is Mosaic Home Design Lodge within the New City: an early adopter of integrating greywater and warmth seize methods to provide its personal energy. In truth, repurposing is second nature right here, with leftovers from the high-ceilinged café became compost for the courtyard backyard and dwelling roof. The trendy doubles on the higher flooring additionally include out of doors house, with large-scale mushroom sculptures by Czech artist Michal Trpák sprouting out from the planted terraces and offering a whimsical oasis from which to ogle town’s fairytale spires.
For these searching for a extra secluded sanctuary, Lodge Adalbert sits in a Seventeenth-century convent inside the leafy grounds of the 1,000-year-old Břevnov Monastery. A 15-minute tram trip to the Outdated City, and helpful for the character reserve of Divoká Šárka and the mature parkland of Obora Hvězda, the lodge is dedicated to vitality saving, waste discount and planet-friendly merchandise. Its comfortable onsite tavern restaurant serves up lagers and IPAs crafted on the monastery’s brewery alongside dangerously quaffable Czech wines.
Stroll north of spacious Letná Park to the bohemian district past and discover a raft of unbiased boutiques promoting merchandise by Czech designers and artists. Behind its functionalist façade on Milady Horákové, Nila has created a beautiful retreat stuffed with moral style and homewares. Then throughout the road is Paperlote: a retailer promoting covetable, handcrafted stationery constructed from sustainable supplies.
Classic followers will even get a kick out of stalking via Letná’s second-hand garments retailers, with Aristokrat Classic and Malé černé significantly worthy of a snoop. Afterwards, lunch at plant-based bistro Forky’s, or trip a tram again throughout the river for seasonal Asian dishes utilizing native produce and high-welfare meat at Sansho.
Eco points of interest
With a powerful 56 per cent of Prague lined by timber or grass, it will appear churlish to not spend at the least a while basking in its greenery. Forage for recent fruit, utilizing the map on the Na ovoce web site to level you in the precise course. Alternatively, spend a day wandering the tree-lined paths of Prague’s largest and most good-looking park, Stromovka.
Historic tram line 41 operates from exterior the park’s planetarium throughout weekends and holidays, touring you thru town in retro fashion. Keep on board till the ultimate cease and pay homage to the inexpensive and built-in system on the Museum of Public Transport.
Though the knotted lanes within the centre are enjoyable to discover on foot, Prague additionally has a community of cycle paths and locations providing bike rental and excursions. Amongst them is Praha Bike, whose educated guides will present you the most effective path to Vyšehrad: a Tenth-century fort that’s arguably simply as lovely as Prague’s different extra well-known and visited fortress.
Till the brand new Brussels-Prague sleeper service launches in summer time 2022, essentially the most time-efficient rail route from London by way of Paris and Zurich, transferring onto the Czech Railways sleeper service from there.
Mosaic Home Design Lodge has doubles from £85, B&B; Adalbert Lodge has doubles from £57, B&B, and two-bed residences from £75, B&B.