We caught up with our On Location specialist, Jana Frintova, Owner of Patriot Travel in Prague, for tips on arranging travel to beautiful Prague and the Czech Republic.
Q: Tell us about Patriot Travel and the services you offer.
We are a small family run company and we have the very best guides and drivers working for us. We can basically make all travel arrangements for you. All our itineraries are custom made to suit the needs of our clients whoever they may be. We are happy to plan the stay throughout our country and the whole of Central Europe well ahead but we can also handle last minute bookings. The more we know about the clients, the better we can serve them and find the right guide for them. Our guides have a variety of specialities so we always match the right one to the clients.
Some clients are searching their ancestry and this is another service we are happy to assist with.
Q: What is it about Prague that makes it such a popular city?
Prague has not been ruined during the World Wars so its plan and architecture have stayed untouched. It is a UNESCO protected area so no modern architecture can be "planted" among the old treasures. It is rich not only in architecture but also in cultural performances, jazz clubs, discos, restaurants and bars for any budget. It is a safe and vibrant city – people expect Paris to be wonderful but Prague is still a hidden treasure for many travelers. Many people who have seen it have confirmed this statement.
Q: Historical Prague is best seen on foot. Where do you take visitors on the walking tour you offer?
The whole historical center with its five parts – Old Town, New Town dating to the 14th century, Jewish Town, Castle area and Lesser Town – is best seen on foot. It depends on visitors’ interests and the time they can spend with our guides as to how much and how fast/slow we can show them. It is sometimes good to have a car at some point, to get the feel of the city or for a transfer uphill, but generally it’s best to walk the cobbled old streets. Some parts like Charles Bridge and the Old Jewish Cemetery are pedestrian zones only.
Q: What are the things to see and do outside of Prague?
There are numerous half and full day trips out of Prague:
Q: Tell us about the driving services you offer between cities in Central/Eastern Europe.
When visitors drive with guides, they learn much more since there are always places to visit during the ride, see the countryside and it is even quicker and less expensive than flying.
We offer drives between European capitals/towns – Budapest, Vienna, Dresden, Berlin for example – and pre and post tours for cruise lines when we can pick up people at their ports or deliver them there – Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg etc.
Q: What special interest tours are available?
We can arrange quite a few private visits to venues as well as special interest tours; architecture, tours for music lovers, foodie tours, Jewish heritage, tours for kids of any age, adventure sport tours, roots finding / searching, birdwatching, WW II tours and more.
Q: Can you arrange tickets for concerts, opera and ballet?
Yes, we are able to arrange the best available tickets at the time of purchase and we will deliver those to visitors at their hotel.
Q: What are some of the cultural performances planned in Prague this year?
The annual Prague Spring Festival, May 12 – June 6, 2016, offers great concerts. Each year it opens with Czech composer Bedrich Smetana’s MY COUNTRY. The highlights in 2016 are the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Staatskapelle Berlin and the Czech Philharmonic among many others.
The stages of our operas and ballets in our three main theaters are legendary. Swan Lake is an old classic and the Snow Queen has its opening night shortly. The many venues in Prague both for theater performances and concerts are worth seeing even without a performance.
There is also the Prague Fall festival and many others.
The sooner we can book the tickets, the better seats we can get for you.
Q: What are your favorite food and wine experiences that visitors shouldn’t miss?
Czech wine is getting better each year so it is a nice surprise for some visitors (especially the white wines) and of course our beer is legendary. The Pilsner Urquell is one of the gems of Czech nation but lately many microbreweries have opened and their beer is worth tasting. As for the Czech cuisine, it is not for people on diets as it is too yummy and filling. We have great soups of many kinds and meat plays a big role in all the meals. Our sweet dumplings, pancakes or "strudel", a sort of special apple pie, are best to top up the experience after lunch or dinner.
Please send us a message if you have any questions or comments about anything you see in the e-zine. We'd love to hear from you!