THE CITY OF A THOUSAND spires stretches vastly from either side of the Vltava River, flanked by castle-topped hills to the west and a charismatic Old Town to the east. Prague experienced a renaissance of sorts in the past decade, attracting not only tourists who come to see its magnificent Old Town Square and centuries-old bridges but also professionals who discover newfound reasons to visit the next up-and-coming European metropolis.
In each of the past two years, Prague made the list of the world’s top 10 cities for expatriates, enticing international businesses and freelance contractors who now call the Czech capital home. According to this annual survey conducted by Internations, Prague ranks highly in terms of job opportunities, job security and work-life balance. But even those who don’t live in Prague still flock to the Eastern European capital for opportunities to grow their networks and connect with like-minded professionals. Prague was named the 20th-most visited city in the world by Euromonitor International. Since the Czech Republic’s entry into the European Union in 2004, the number of foreign employees in Prague tripled to more than 500,000. Another survey by Arcadis lists Prague as the second-best city in which to live and do business in all of Central and Southeast Europe.
Despite a fairly robust public transportation system, Prague’s City Council seeks to invest nearly $92 million into new parking lots and parking garages for commuters, a Council high priority for 2019. Prague’s new mayor, Zdenĕk Hřib, announced upcoming construction of a new metro line (Line D), expected to be completed within the next four years.
Prague also plans to enhance its commuter rail system by adding high-speed daily trains that will connect Prague with surrounding cities such as Benešov and Kutná Hora, while other lines will see an increase in the frequency of train departures during peak hours.
Getting down to business in Prague typically involves a few beers and a hearty meal of dumplings or stew. As home of the world’s first pilsner, Prague has no shortage of enchanting beer halls where groups can reserve tables to sample some of the city’s oldest and highest-rated brews.
Before imbibing in the locally brewed delicacy, settle in for a working lunch at Field, a Michelin-starred restaurant on the north side of Old Town. Try the multicourse lunch tasting menu, available on weekdays for 1,300 Czech koruna (approximately $58), not including wine pairings. Start with an amuse-bouche of lamb, gouda and raisin, or a seasonal taste of pumpkin, spicy butter and black garlic. Main dishes run the gamut from pike perch with curry kale and horseradish to beef, potato, yolk and dill.
Just down the road find Prague’s picture-perfect Café Imperial where high ceilings, intricate wall carvings, gold accents and porcelain dishware round out an interior fit for royalty. Book a private room for meetings or celebratory gatherings and sample Michelin-starred cuisine such as roasted goose with bread dumplings and white cabbage, or grilled pork chops with beer sauce and Lyonnaise potatoes.
More centrally located in Old Town is Restaurace Mincovna, a modern and clean space where sun creeps in to reflect off whitewashed walls and wood adornments. Long tables and comfortable taupe booth seating foster a setting for private conversations accompanied by traditional yet elegant Czech cuisine.
Authenticity appeases the palate at Lokál Dlouhááá in the heart of Old Town, serving carefully curated dishes constructed with only regional ingredients alongside authentic Czech beer poured directly from the vats in which it is made. Specialties include mushroom-braised local rabbit, pork knuckle roasted in dark beer and pork neck steak with fried onions and gravy.
Head toward the Vltava River to Estrella, a fine-dining vegetarian spot that incorporates organic ingredients into 20 percent of its seasonal dishes. A daily lunch menu includes soup, salad and a main course, which can be accompanied by a spot of only-local beer or wine, or a luscious dessert such as lavender panna cotta.
Take clients and colleagues to the water for a less traditional gathering on the eco-friendly vessels of Prague Boats. The plastics-free company hosts day cruises up and down the Vltava River, and boats of varying sizes can even be rented out for private functions such as holiday parties, team-building activities or business lunches or dinners, with capacities ranging from 11 up to 550, complete with catering and entertainment services.
When the workday is done, head to the 27th floor of Prague’s City Tower for sunset and a few pre-dinner cocktails at Aureole. Panoramic views extend over the city and the river from the top of the country’s tallest building, where guests can relax in one of two lounges, at the bar or on the outdoor terrace, and order Asian fusion dishes until 10 p.m.
Whether you’re in Prague for business or pleasure, the medieval city caters to both, often simultaneously.
COMO Hotels and Resorts offers travelers new immersive luxury retreats for 2022. Perfect for couples, small groups or solo travelers, the new COMO Journeys are available to book in Australia, Bhutan, Indonesia and Thailand.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
Anantara Chiang Mai, the deluxe resort on the banks of Thailand’s Mae Ping River, relaunched the city’s most famous high tea experience, served on the terrace of the 100-year-old British Consulate that today houses the resort’s Service 1921 Restaurant & Bar.
The Hotel Bel-Air hosts a new end-of-summer BBQ with Master Chef Wolfgang Puck on the lawn of the hotel. The event is back after a three-year hiatus, set to take place Sept. 6. Guests will be able to enjoy an evening featuring backyard-style barbeque and seasonal summer favorites.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
The Oberoi, Marrakech introduces its new holistic wellness program, SAHA. Meaning health in Arabic, SAHA aims to help guests reach their full wellbeing potential. The program operates on four key cornerstones: soul & spirit, active body, holistic treatments and a better plate.
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
Emerald Cruises christened its newest Star-Ship, Emerald Luna, in a ceremony in Amsterdam as it prepares to sail the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers of Europe. Equipped to host up to 180 guests, Emerald Luna saw many members of Scenic Group, the parent company of Emerald Cruises, attend the ceremony, including U.S. travel industry advocate and educator Vanessa McGovern, who took honors as godmother during the ceremony.