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I think my number one travel aspiration is to be the kind of person who is able to somehow, magically, find all of the quirky and cool things about a new city that I’m visiting. Unfortunately, I am not that person. So when I went to Prague, I decided to find someone to help me with that.
Enter the Naked Tour Guide Prague and their Bright and Early Breakfast Tour.
I have literally never read something that called my name more than the Naked Tour Guide Prague website (although, disclaimer, the tour guide is not actually naked). Originally founded by former study abroad student Marcus Bradshaw, Naked Tour Guide Prague focuses on small, engaging tours of Prague—“the opposite of mass tourism”. Quiet streets, fun history, and young, excited locals who just want to share their city.
On top of how awesome Naked Tour Guide’s tours sounded, they were also safely within my budget-minded price range. And one of them involved breakfast. Yup, this was definitely the tour company for me.
Please Note: We received the Bright and Early Breakfast Tour complimentary from Naked Tour Guide Prague in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
Bright and Early Breakfast Prague Walking Tour
Because we only had a limited amount of time in Prague (about 36 waking hours), I decided to go for one of the shorter tours on offer: the Bright and Early Breakfast Tour. This tour would take us through Old Town Prague before most tourists were even awake and would end with breakfast at the FAB Cafe Louvre near Wenceslas Square.
Out of all the things we had planned for Prague, this was the thing that I was by far the most excited about.
When the morning of our Prague walking tour finally came, it was blisteringly cold, and we had 25 minutes to walk from our hotel to the meeting point by the Charles Bridge. But the cold wasn’t about to get me down. I was taking this tour if it was the last thing I did.
The Charles Bridge… Empty
With the Bright and Early Breakfast tour starting at 8 am in the dead of winter, we had the Charles Bridge—the tour meeting place – almost completely to ourselves (save the hardcore wedding photoshoots). And it was straight. up. beautiful.
We had crossed the Charles Bridge the afternoon before but had had absolutely no chance to admire it. Even in the middle of February, it was full of people, tourists and souvenir sellers alike. We used it as a path between point A and point B and nothing else.
Now, we looked at the Charles Bridge in a completely different light (literally: the light of dawn).
As I stared open-mouthed at how gorgeous this bridge looked it a vague blanket of pink, our guide Imogen walked us along the bridge, stopping every few statues and explaining their significance. I think we spent about half of the tour on the Charles Bridge, and I never once felt bored. Each story that Imogen told painted Prague into a bigger, more comprehensive picture.
If we had never left the Charles Bridge, I would have been happy with our tour. But there was even more to follow.
Prague Jewish Quarter
It’s not a big secret that the Jews didn’t get much love historically. What I oftentimes forget, though, is that the hardship that Jewish people had to endure extends WAY back beyond the Holocaust. The Prague Jewish Quarter was one of those places that reminded me of this.
Imogen took us through the Prague Jewish Quarter while explaining how, in the 13th century, all of Prague’s Jews had been forced to relocate to one area. An 8 PM curfew was imposed “for their safety,” and everyone had to be back inside of the walled quarter before the last bell rung.
She pointed out where bits of old, narrow streets still existed and talked about how, when Prague decided that the Jewish Quarter was actually prime central real estate, they completely demolished and rebuilt the place, with Parisian boulevards as the standard. Gentrification at its finest.
We concluded our tour of the Prague Jewish Quarter with a view of the Jewish Cemetery where, as a result of being the only place Jews were allowed to bury their dead, graves are layered up to 10 deep. It’s said that there are over 100,000 bodies in this tiny, tiny cemetery. I honestly can’t even begin to fathom that.
Old Town Square
Our final big stop of the tour was the Old Town Square, where the other walking tour guides and their slogan-plastered umbrellas were just starting their days. As sleepy tourists rocked up, Imogen talked more about the history of Prague, with a particular focus on the Old Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn.
I loved the story of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn in particular, which detailed the different times the church has changed hands. Although originally a Hussite church, the church was taken over by Catholics in the 1620s. They removed the chalice (a symbol of the Hussites) from the facade of the church, melted it down, and turned it into a statue of the Virgin Mary. Then, just last year, a reproduction of the chalice was placed in its original spot. No one is really sure why.
Breakfast at Cafe Louvre
The final stop of our tour (although it technically finished at Wenceslas Square) was the Cafe Louvre for breakfast with Imogen and the German couple who were also on the tour. Cafe Louvre is perhaps best known for being the place where Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein used to hang out, so it’s pretty popular with tourists but was still a great place to get out of the cold (we basically couldn’t feel our extremities at this point).
This breakfast was definitely the biggest selling point of the tour for me because it meant getting to sit down with a local and just talk about Prague (note: breakfast is not included in the price of the Bright & Early Breakfast Tour). Imogen was so incredibly lovely (she hails from Maryland but has been living in Prague for ages, speaks purposefully bad Czech because she didn’t want to ruin her Russian, and has a degree in Eastern European Studies), and she explained to us the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa on menus in Prague.
Apparently, hot cocoa is just the powder stuff you find in America. But hot chocolate? It’s literally just pure, melted chocolate. Served with whipped cream on the side if you want to water it down a little bit.
We all ordered some and it was the craziest hot chocolate I have ever had. Even crazier than the hot chocolate in Belgium. I’m not joking.
It took a lot of convincing for us to say goodbye to Imogen and leave the comfortable warmth of Cafe Louvre, and I’m honestly kind of upset we ever did. When I’m in Prague again, you can be sure I’ll be on another tour by the Naked Tour Guide.
If You Go
If you’re looking for a quirky and fun Prague walking tour, then booking a tour with Naked Tour Guide Prague is definitely the way to go. I highly suggest their Bright and Early Breakfast Tour because it provides you with an opportunity to see the sights without hordes of people AND to have breakfast with a local.
The Bright and Early Breakfast Tour runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the offseason, and every day during high season. The tour begins at 8 AM, meets by the Charles Bridge (as of February 2017, while the Astronomical Clock is under restoration), and costs 550 CZK ($26) per person.
If you’re not a morning person, not to worry! Naked Tour Guide Prague also runs a Historical Prague Walking Tour starting at 11 AM and a tour of Prague Castle at Night starting at 7 PM.