I started playing in an orchestra when I was ten years old, and ever since then I’ve had a fascination with all things musical. To my surprise, on a recent trip to Prague I discovered the Czech capital has a hotel devoted entirely to music. The aptly-named Aria Hotel is located in the Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter), just steps away from Prague Castle, the Czech Museum of Music, and St. Nicholas Church. The hotel’s atmosphere is serene (views from the rooftop are stunning), and the hotel’s music mantra echos throughout the property. All hotel rooms feature a different musical theme, from Louis Armstrong, to Mozart, to Leonard Bernstein, and come with CD players and iPod docks (complete with pre-loaded iPods) so you can listen to your favorite tunes. The hotel’s amenities are extraordinary, but one of the best things about Aria Hotel is that it comes with its own musicologist, Ivana Stehlikova. Stop by her office to get advice on where to see a local concert (she’ll even book tickets for you).
Spring is a great time to be in Prague, when the capital erupts with Easter Markets. Check out Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square for hand-painted Easter Eggs (kraslice), Czech crystal, and handcrafted puppets and dolls. Restaurants and bars stay open throughout the festivities, too. My pick: U Medvídků, a brewery dating to 1466. The brewery is known for serving the strongest beer in the world (“X Beer 33” has 33% alcohol content), but it also dishes up local fare (cabbage and potato dumplings, anyone?). The main dining room can be crowded (the brewery is also a popular hotel), but sit in the smaller bar area (dubbed the Budvar Bar) and watch as locals cheer on their favorite hockey team.
Click here for a complete list of musical events in Prauge during the Easter celebrations.
118 00, Prague 1
+420 225 334 111
Photo: Aria Hotel
- Nat Geo Expeditions