The journey here may have been tough, but the destination was a dog haven. In Czech Republic, there has got to be at least one dog per every other household. Prague is no exception, even with streets flooding with tourists you’ll see an exceptional amount of dogs. That’s probably because they allow dogs pretty much every where.
Something you would never see in the states (where we’re from) is dogs being allowed into restaurants. Not just on outside patios but actually INSIDE the restaurants. They are welcomed with open arms in many restaurants in Prague and even given a water bowl upon arrival.
Trying to keep this experience as much Olive’s as mine, I tried to have her try as many traditional foods as I was. Although I’d imagine she would’ve rather been traveling with someone other than a vegetarian. At least she got to try pickled cheese and a few other bits and bobs.
First thing we did was of course head over to use-it map headquarters in Prague to get some use-it maps and good advice for our next few days in the city. Although everything on the use-it map wasn’t going to be dog friendly (e.g. entering museums, cathedrals, clubs, some shops), for the most part we let this map be our guide. The map not only has great local and touristic tips but also maps out certain walks for you which usually take 1-2 hours and you hit many spots along the way.
Upon leaving the use-it office, we ran into an off-lease dog park with a gorgeous view of the city and headed straight for Prague Castle. Olive was permitted inside the castle walls and restaurants inside, but of course not into the cathedral. We made our peace with that since neither of us are religious.
Throughout the next couple of days, we hit up at least half of the restaurants and cafes on the map, walked a LOT (my step-counter said 20 miles one day) and met up with the brother of a friend we had made in Ghent. The two pet friendly restaurants we visited that day were both traditional Czech and both delicious! The first, where Olive and I enjoyed an ale brewed right in front of you and some yummy soup and salad was my personal favorite U Dvou Kocek. Later, we visited Potrefena Husa with our friend where Olive was once again welcomed inside with open arms and a fresh water bowl.
Prague is a great stop for a barkpacker on a budget because there are so many hostels that allow dogs and it’s in such a cheap country. We stayed at Sklep Accommodation which was a hostel that had only private rooms (which made the cost of a private room much lower than other hostels) and breakfast was included in the price. It was just a 15 minute walk from the train station, a 10 minute walk to a beautiful dog-friendly park with widespread views of the city, and a 20 minute walk to the old town center.
Barkpacker hack: Pocket some meat from the free breakfast buffet for your pup. Feeding them regularly is one of the hardest parts of the whole journey since you don’t want to be carrying a massive bag of dog food with you at all times.
On our last day we took a train out to Karlstein Castle. The trek to get to the castle was tough on such a hot day (there were plenty of tourists scattered around the path stopped to gasp for air and get some water), but it was a beautiful castle and an iconic symbol of the Czech Republic’s golden age.
At the small village below Karlstein Castle we also finally got to try a local typical dish - fruit dumplings. I was able to get through 2 of the 3 dumplings but a large wasp claimed the 3rd and I wasn’t about to argue.
Classically, with time and luck on our side, we get to the returning train just as the train takes off without us. Trains come once an hour and I didn’t think to check the schedule ahead of time. It’s a good thing I’m patient and Olive’s a dog. We got on the next train after a short walk down to the river, where we would head down to the city center of Prague for a bit more exploring and finally a last meal. At our final restaurant, Kolkovna Celnice Olive was given her own chair.
Long story short, if you want your dog treated like royalty AND save a ton of money, visit Czech Republic. If you're visiting Czech Republic, Prague is a fantastic place to start. We had a wonderful time (minus the scorching heat) and now it's off to Cesky Krumlov!