A Day At The Botanická Zahrada

By Connor Watson

A day in the sun, surrounded by colour is what awaits anyone going to visit the Prague Botanical Gardens. The open air park stretches on for hours of walking and exploring. The park also includes some amazing attractions from historical Vineyards, Rare Mexican cacti, to forests of North American Trees.

With the closest bus stop the stop for the Prague Zoo it is no wonder that this little gem had more locals than tourists but that shouldn’t dissuade anyone from taking a walk around the gardens. For a quiet afternoon away from the hectic areas like Charles Bridge or Old Town Square this little corner of Prague offers stunning views as well as a bit of history and science with every exhibit.

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For those who are more interested in the Vineyards, wine tasting sessions, a bar and a small café are on offer for you to sample some of what is growing. So as well as being able to sit out on a small terrace and sip away your afternoon with wine the views over Prague from the gardens are some of the best.

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For an additional fee visitor can also visit the Fata Morgana a tropical greenhouse embedded into the rocks of the hill the garden is built on. The greenhouse splits into three temperature controlled sections and allows visitors to sample plants and vegetation from all over the world and every climate.

 

 

Coffee, Work, Treat, Repeat: study cafés in Prague

BY ZOFIA FILIPOWICZ

They say plenty is no plague, but when it comes to trying out cafés, bars or restaurants in a city as diverse as Prague, you’re going to have to find some sort of a niche, otherwise the abundance might simply make you go mad.

With the rest of the group already reviewing veggie places, renowned chimney cake stands and, naturally, brilliant Czech beer, I felt like the natural path to go down was to follow my caffeine addiction and see where it takes me.

And it took me exactly where I needed to be as a laptop – carrying intern, searching for a cosy seat, coffee drip and fast Wi-Fi to complete my work – Prague’s work cafés.

Let me present to you two of the student working spots, where you can enjoy a warm drink and a blissful moment of noise-free concentration within the loud, bustling city.

CAFEDU

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Probably the most accurate definition of a study room/café hybrid, Cafedu is a two floor, non-stop (yes, you heard me right, Kimberlin Library !) creative space, filled with the smell of fresh brew and calming clicking of laptop keyboards. With shelves heavy with new and old books, as well as a vast choice of foods and drinks, it is a dream student location, combining the look of a 21st Century library with high quality catering for starved and weary. Delicious breakfast and lunch offer, including chia puddings, muesli, croissants and paninis, will most likely satisfy anyone who is in desperate need for a quick recharge. If it gets too much – the coffee is always there. Those unwanted, yet necessary vending machine excursions? Never again.

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Located right behind the National Museum, Cafedu is easy to get to and provides that refreshing change of space from you home, halls of residence or a scruffy student hostel. As advertised on their website, Cafedu is ‘a calm harbour where motivation springs up and inspiration is born’, and it is definitely something I felt during the fully focused hour I spend there. Who knows, maybe they have a magic cure for your writers’ block too? Worth checking out!

MŮJ ŠÁLEK KÁVY

A lot smaller and cosier than Cafedu, but because of that also slightly less work-focused, Můj Šálek Kávy is there for the young coffee connoisseurs, who don’t feel like it’s appropriate to drag out your laptop charger in the middle of one of those elegant, ‘top of the TripAdvisor list’ cafés. The interior has a relaxed, ‘chalkboard’ bistro vibe about it and should not scare anyone with too much poshness or that overwhelming Prague grandeur that Slavia and Louvre definitely have. Although it may not be as spacious as a typical library study room, everyone can find their own personal corner and I had absolutely no trouble concentrating on my work, even though there may have been more people around me.

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Amazing quality Costarican and Columbian filtered coffees, served in hipster-worthy chemex coffeemakers, as well as some cakes, pastries or even a full English if you are more than just peckish, all provide a very homely, rustic feel and although it does get busy (I would advise booking if you are planning a study session ahead and need somewhere nice to sit), I did not feel rushed at all.

Located in the Karlín district, a few tram stops away from Náměstí Republiky, Můj Šálek Kávy is far from the overcrowded Starbuckses in Old and New Town – both literally and ideologically. For a sip of coffee that’s way too cheap for how delicious it is and those blessed moments of creative flow, I can’t recommend it enough.

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Overall, there is no denying that Prague caters for its students, providing a niche that many cities lack in. Perhaps it is a fantastic new business idea for Leicester-based managers? After all, talents need to grow on something, and we all know coffee is the best fertiliser.