Prague is an one of a kind kind of city. You can find this mesmerizing capital in the heart of Czech Republic. It’s not a too crowded travel destination, often easily overlooked while booking. I’d never been before, but I wished I’d discover it sooner! Prague is definetaly one of Europe’s hidden gems – a must visit for fellow travelers!
This post will focus on the things to see, what to do & where to go for a bite or two.
What to see
Prague (or “Praha” as the locals call it) is filled with breathtaking architecture. Especially when walking downtown Praha you can just stroll around and be amazed by your suroundings.
Get off the beaten track and on the cobblestone streets. For whoever has a soft spot for co-excisting architectural styles: Prague is the place to go. A personal re-occuring favorite of mine is the Rococo (late Baroque with french elements). It goes so well with the Renaisance & Gothic styles that this city has to offer as well. For those of you who like Moorish Revival, Romanesque or an Emperial style, Prague has that covered too.
Old Town Square – Clock Tower
The Old Town Square is not only resident for the local food market, but also attracts a lot of travellers to see the Astronomical Clock Tower. Legend has it that the people thought the tower was so beautiful, they blinded the clockmaster who constructed it in order to disable him to ever make something that beautiful again. Talk about a juicy folklore story!
Old Town Square
Astronomical Clock Tower
St. Vitus Cathedral
A trip to Prague isn’t complete without taking a look up close towards the oldest burcht of Europe.
Karlov Most (Charles Bridge)
Prague is probably know most for it’s famous bridge. Fun fact, did you know that the name of the Bridge changes due to what langues pronounces it? For example, the locals call it Karlov Most, in English it’s know as Charles Bridge and in Dutch we call it Karels Brug. What’s it called in your language? Let me know in the comments!
What to Do
Museum of Senses
While in Prague you should definitely hit up the Museum of Senses! It’s fun, colourful & full of mindbending tricks. Had a lot of fun there!
Museum of Senses
Museum of Senses
The DOX Museum is a place you should go to if you’re into modern architecture. It wasn’t my favourite part of this trip, but if it’s your cup of tea you could definitely visit.
When planning your trip to Prague, you can’t miss the mention of their Trdelni’k! It’s a typical Czech treat straight from the chimney, filled with chocolate! Wish I had one right now..
Getting around this city is easy. They have an amazing metro & tram network throughout the whole city. Even tho we stayed at the Plus Hostel (which was at the outer corner of the city) we managed to get easily & pretty fast in the city centre where all the buzz & the fuzz was happening. The tickets are pretty cheap and the easiest thing to do is to get a combination ticket for a couple of days, so you can just hop on and off the metro / tram system day & night.
Cheers to the weekend!
In our neigbourhood there was a fun Poolcafe with games, drinks & lots of pooltables. Our group had quite the fun there!
This place was pretty… epic! This place really ticks off all the boxes for a propper club night.
The Czech are known for their beer consumption. A pubcrawl & beertour is the best way to get to know fellow travelers & to try the local drafts, such as GREEN BEER. So as the locals say, Na Zdravi! (Cheers!)
Where to eat / Drink
I’ll not bore you guys with a list of ALL the places I’ve eaten this week. But I coudn’t resist recommending the highlights of the Praha cuisine!
My absolute favourite restaurant throughout this trip has to be the Mistral Cafe. We shared 3 vegetarian dishes here and they are definitely the best I’ve eaten on this trip. Furthermore, this place looks amazing! Your surrounded by plants – what else do you need?
The name alone makes you stop your stroll & take a look inside. This burger bar serves quality burgers for the verrrrrry hungry traveler (the burgers are HUGE). Bon Apetit!
This cute little bar has a daily changing menu. I was fortunate enough to try their fresh Gnocci! The ambiance here is great and perfect for an afternoon filled with coffee and more.
Another cute bistro is Phill’s Corner. It has a fresh interior & food to die for. If you’re up for it, take a look at their daily pies. They are irresistible!
Haru Sushi & Asian Restaurant
Coconut Shrimp Curry. Do I need to say more?
Prague has a special place in my heart (& as you could see, in my tummy as well). A week well spent! What are your takeaways from your (upcoming) trip to Praha? Let me know!
One of Curaçao’s most unique experiences I’ve had so far is at the Curaçao Ostrich Farm. Every Friday they host their Great African Night Special – and oh my, Fridays are indeed for the adventurous! Two out of the ordinary tours, a selection of the cutest & most peculiar animals (crocodiles, monkeys and of course the ostriches) & in the end an African inspired 3 course menu at their restaurant Zambezi. See & read the full experience right here on Niekartistiek!
The Curaçao Ostrich Farm is located at the North Eastern part of the island – a bit off road & therefore totally different than what you’ll see while beach hoping or on a cruise through the city center. I got picked up between 3 – 3.30 PM and couldn’t be more excited for this adventurous afternoon!
The Aloe Vera Plantation
First stop: The Aloe Vera Plantation. This farm stretches for miles with aloe vera plants as far as the eye can see. An amazing fact about this company is that all the products they produce, are 100% home made. The farm is therefore very biological and makes a lot of super healthy products for skincare, bathing & even healthy juices to help with different types of ailments. We got to try & taste a freshly cut leaf of Aloe. Fun fact: the aloe is not green but see through & it’s more of a gel than a juice. Tastes a bit bitter, but it is super healthy & good for you!
One of their most used products on Curaçao has to be their after sun screen. It works wonders! I can speak of my own experiences here – living in a Caribbean paradise occasionally comes with some fire red tan lines.. Curaloe is my absolute favorite in those times of need!
The Curaçao Ostrich Farm Safari Tour
Next up is the famous Safari Tour at the Curaçao Ostrich Farm. Hop on their Safari Jeep and be driven around by amazing tour guide Alex! This drive takes about 40 minutes and every second is more than worth it. You’ll learn to distinguish facts from fables & get to know how this farm keeps their interns busy 😉
My favorite part of this tour would be the feeding of the ostriches. Hungry big fella’s who are eager to take a bite out of the food you’re holding up.
Note for the daredevils here: you can also book an ostrich ride!
No worries, this tour is way too much fun to spoil further around. Just make sure to book their Safari Tour, highly recommended, either with this Friday African Night Special or during any other day.
Back to this amazing African Night experience – since you’re on this farm anyway it’s time for some extra exploring!
As mentioned before, the farm has a lot of animals. When I say a lot, I truly mean a lot! I believe there are more extraordinary animals here than in Curaçao’s own zoo – just that fact alone makes it worth a visit!
They have the cute regular farm animals like goats, a cow, lots of ugly duckling (kidding, their adorable too), cats, and lots and lots of birds. Think of parrots in all colors imaginable, peacocking peacocks and so on. Oh, and don’t forget the emu’s & of course the famous African ostriches! At the moment of our visit they even had an Ostrich Baby named Thabisha, which means ‘She will bring joy’ in South African. How cute is that?!
As for the more extraordinary animals.. they have two Nile crocodiles! These giant predators come straight, same as the ostriches, out of Africa. There also is a boa snake, and they’ve got my personal favorite: squirrel monkeys! I am in love with these adorable creatures. Can I take one home?
Pro tip: put your finger within reach but not within the cage: they will grab for it to hold your hand! *Shrieks in excitement* Might bite tho but if you play it safe the experience is merely a cute one 😉
After such an adventurous day we were welcomed at their restaurant Zambezi with one of their signature cocktails. While we sipped our drinks and loved the Moroccan Flatbread with a bell pepper dip you could walk around further, enjoy the wild raging campfire & a breathtaking view of the st. Joris baai while the sun sets.
Our night continued with delicious bites of more African inspired dishes. We picked the pumpkin soup (so yummy) and the ostrich carpaccio. For our mains we tried the ostrich steak (not only super healthy but also super tasty) and one of their signature tortilla’s. For dessert we indulged in a piece of their cheesecake & chocolate mouse. Um to the yum!
This restaurant is all about the details. Not only their dishes, but also their wine menu has a signature touch. All wines on it are exclusively from South Africa. I say cheers to that!
Arabella – South African Wine
St. Joris Baai
The great thing about this tour package is that pick up & drop off is included. When on a holiday or even while your here for a while it’s perfect that you don’t need to bother about transportation. So after the event you don’t need to worry about getting home. Around 8 PM the driver was ready to drop us off.
Long story short, I think you now might get why I am super excited about this event. The Great African Night special is an extraordinary experience which I can highly recommend to anyone who finds them selfs on Curaçao.
You can book this tour through here or give them a call via +5999 747 2777.
Some places have historical low temperatures as we speak. That means the world can use an update on summer vibes! Here is a list of my favorite Curaçao beaches, for whoever is in need of that extra bit of Vitamin Sea. Are you traveling through the Caribbean? Awesome! This guide will tell you all about the best beaches to go to while visiting Curaçao.
There are two types of beaches – the ones that have an entrance fee & the once that are free of admission. Let’s start with the later ones. To be honest, these beaches are the most beautiful in my opinion anyway!
A keyword for the most gorgeous beaches on the island? WESTPUNT. The beaches located on the west side of the island are the most pure – it even looks like the water has more shades of blue & the sand seems whiter..
This small, cozy beach is a must visit. As you can read in my previous Sea Turtle Hotspots post, Playa Lagun is an underwater treasure. With some cute fisherman’s boat’s on the side it really hints the island vibes. A snorkel valhalla & personal favorite. Climb the stairs to the restaurant above – not only do you have a great view from here overlooking the bay & the ocean, but you’ll be surrounded by Curaçao’s not so little dragons: Iguana’s!
This beach gives you the Caribbean vibes right upon arrival. Never have I ever seen an ocean with so many shades of blue. A tropical bounty beach with an endless view of the Caribbean sea. This location you visit for the view – not so much it’s underwater world. For snorkeling I’d recommend to go to a different spot. Go to Grote Knip to catch your tan lines & to soak up the sun!
The beach has a small building which provides food & some drinks. In the weekends locals come here and bring their cool box & BBQ’s.
You can reach Playa Lagun & Grote Knip within 40 minutes per car if you’re driving from Willemstad. Or take the bus (3C to Lagun/Knip) which takes an hour to get here. This bus leaves from the Otrobanda bus station every 2 hours.
This beach is for the daredevils. It provides as a hotspot for the adrenaline seekers – you can go cliff jumping from 12 meters height! From above it seems very high, but once you make the leap you’re in for a rush – I jumped several times.
There’s restaurant on top as well which gives a marvelous ocean view.
All the way up at the point of Westpunt there is another hidden gem. Playa Kalki is a small quiet bounty beach. It is never too crowded which gives it its charm. For facilities it does provide a restaurant, tho it’s quite pricey. My advise: bring your own food & drinks and enjoy the afternoon on this quiet off road beach.
Playa Piskado / Playa Grandi
SEA TURTLES SEA TURTLES SEA TURTLES – I can not emphasize enough how great this beach is for snorkeling with these lovely animals. Want to know more about it? Check out my Sea Turtle article right here!
Playa Santu Pretu
Also known as the Black Beach. This one is another snorkel paradise – it’s off the beaten track & therefore a hidden gem. It doesn’t have Curaçao’s typical white sand – it’s full of black/red mini stones – hence the name. Not so much a beach to lay on but rather to enjoy the afternoon in the water or to hang around if you want some peace & quiet. Great spot to bring a BBQ!
The awesome part about this beach is that it’s coral is still so colorful! If seeing a lot of different kind of fish is your goal, you should definitely pay this beach a visit.
What’s also perfect about this beach is that’s just a 10 minute hike away from the famous ‘Blauwe Kamer’ – Curaçao’s Blue Room. The Blue Room also got it’s name due the colors it provides. It’s a cave you can snorkel into – the water inside this cave lits naturally blue!
It’s easier to get into this cave when the water is a bit lower. Go later in the day, after 1PM when the lights will color the room this amazing spectrum of blue. You can either take a hike from Santa Cruz (20 min.), Playa Santu Pretu (10 min.) or you take a boat trip there.
This Beach is one of Westpunt’s more close by beaches. You can easily get here by car in 25 minutes. It has a cute bar where you can order some basic beverages & snacks. If you’re into typical Dutch treats, they serve Frikandelen & Bitterballen! Trust me, you’d like to try these.
You can rent a beach bed – you get half of the amount returned if you carry your beach bed back yourself! Fair enough deal. This beach is great for snorkeling along it’s sides. Go here for a laid back afternoon & to forget time itself.
Some people might be surprised, but this is indeed a commission free beach. Although a restaurant is located here, you can still enjoy the beach facility without paying a dime. However, they do provide lovely service on the beach – it wouldn’t harm to order a nice drink or two. Don’t bring your own beverages, it is kind of rude. You can also rent a beach chair if you’d like.
What makes this beach special are it’s floating raft rot & ocean swing. Or if you’re in for something special try to spot the pelican. Bonus points if you’re able to capture it on camera, those birds fly rather fast!
Technically Karakter is a restaurant. They’ll not charge you for the use of their beach or beds – so if you order something you’re good to use the beach facilities! It’s a lovely beach were you can easily spend all afternoon – the service is very good & there food is a delight as well. Spending a day at Karakter really gives you the vacay vibes.
Insider’s tip: rent a car! With a car you’d be able to hit multiple beaches in a day. Westpunt beaches are off the grid, and although you can go by bus, it’s rather inconvenient. By bus it will still take you at least an hour to get to the drop off point from where you’ll have to walk quite a long part in the sun to get to the actual beach. And let’s not start about finding your way back – it can take up for 2 hours in between buses – with not a stated timetable. Taking the bus is for the adventurous travels only.
This part will feature beaches that are located all across the island – including some Westpunt beaches that were not stated above. Most of these beaches include an admission fee. These beaches are wonderful as well!
Mambo Beach is probably on of Curaçao’s most popular beaches. It’s close to Willemstad and therefore easy to get there. Mambo beach offers a boulevard which is full of shops and restaurants overseeing the ocean.
Mambo is also known for it’s many beach bars & famous Happy Hours. Especially on Sunday it’s a crazy time to enjoy the sunset while enjoying several (half priced) drinks.. Cheers!
To use the beach and the beds during the day they charge an admission fee.
Insider tip: be adventurous and travel here by bike! You can rent one at Bed & Bike Curacao in Pietermaai – Mambo is only a 15 minute tour away!
Jan Thiel Beach
Jan Thiel Beach has a lot in common with Mambo. Jan Thiel also has several restaurant covering the beach area. Located near the Spanish Water this beach is the place to be on Saturdays. Why? Well Zanzibar Happy Hour & Pizza night of course! Pizza on the beach accompanied with a live music band.. Always good for a great time.
To use the beach and the beds during the day there is an admission fee.
If you don’t have a car to get here, best thing you could do is take bus 6A with destination Caracasbaai. Just get out at the last stop and you’re good to go.
Zanzibar Happy hour
Jan Thiel Beach
One of the more close by Westpunt beaches: Playa Porto Marie. If you are into wildlife this is your beach! There are two adorable pigs wandering around the playa, curious enough to let you get really close by. This beach also got a lot of Iguana’s roaming around, or if you like to snorkel / dive this is a great spot to do so too! The underwater surface host so many moray eels.. and so many fish!
Next to the entrance there is a restaurant located. They serve bites, lunch, drinks.. a little bit of everything. It’s a beach you pay admission for to use & for the beds.
Playa Porto Marie
Cas Abou Beach
This is one of Curaçao most beautiful beaches. Cas Abou is even in the top 10 of most beautiful Caribbean beaches! It’s quite a drive to get there, but when you’re through the gate it is more than worth it.
Turquoise water and extremely white sand. Just like in the movies, a gorgeous place in paradise.
There is a daiquiri bar that serves drinks, lunch & bites.
You pay 10 guilders per vehicle as admission fee. Beds are for rent too.
I love that I can let my pups roam free at Playa Canoa – they always get so excited when we get there! Running around like crazy & having so much fun. Playa Canoa is the only beach on Curaçao at the Northern coast – waves roll high & wild so this is a perfect spot for surfers & adventurers!
Tug Boat Beach
A sunken tug boat with lots of sea creatures around. See more about this location (and awesome activities!) in my previous Ready for the Seabob adventure? post.
There are more!
Believe it or not, the list goes on. There are so many more beaches. Other beaches I’ve been are for example Director’s bay (great for snorkeling!) Caracasbaai (free, not really sandy, lot’s of people for get together & BBQ), Marie Pampoen (free, newly constructed right before mambo beach) Santa Maria (also know as the deserted resort – perfect to bring your dogs along) , Blue Bay (great for events) and so, so many more!
Even after 2 years of living in this Caribbean paradise, there are still beaches I have not visited yet. Curaçao has just so many to choose from!
I hope this post gives you the summer vibes & adds that bit of Vitamin Sea. I sommanly swear I’ll discover more Curaçao beaches to complete this guide. So in the meantime, you can find me under the palm tree! And tell me, which of these beaches would be your favorite?