It’s our last day in town so we plan one last escape room. This time it’s The Alchemist’s Chamber, run by MindMaze. Having played two of their rooms previously, we expect this one to be good. (Prices from 1490 CZK / £51 GBP).
We’re not disappointed either. The puzzles are suitably challenging and inventive, with some nice variations that we’ve not encountered before. After a couple of errors, we do eventually manage to get free – with less than four minutes to spare. We did struggle with one puzzle in particular because we’re both short!
Making our way back to the hotel to collect our suitcases, we stop for lunch at the Hard Rock Café – another of our travelling traditions. The menu has expanded slightly since our last visit, so I select the “local legend” burger which is exactly as expected. Lin tries one of the Kiss-themed cocktails and declares it good – so she has a second.
With food done, it’s time for an epic yomp, first to the hotel, then back to the main railway station to pick up the Airport Express bus. Lin sets a punishing pace, but we make the 6pm bus with time to spare.
Top tip: The Prague Airport Express (AE) leaves every 30 minutes. You can find the correct bus stop by entering the main train station and following the signs that show a bus and an aeroplane. The bus departs from the upper level. A queue of travellers with suitcases will tell you you have arrived at the right stop.
At Prague Airport we clear immigration in a matter of seconds – and again we have arrived too early. Some kind of screw-up at Stansted means that our flight will be about 25 minutes late, so we sit in one of the corridors waiting.
Prague Airport has a slightly unusual set-up where you don’t pass through security until you reach your gate. I actually quite like this, because it means you’re not trying to clear security with the whole airport – just the other people on your plane. This tends to be far quicker and painless than the Stansted approach.
Once at our gate, the “Priority” queue is again longer than the regular one. But as another traveller points out, we have to get on a bus out to the plane, so queueing is pointless anyway. And he’s right.
Our flight departs slightly late (as expected) and is again, uneventful. Back at Stansted passport control is unusually efficient – even the ePassport gates seem to be working – so queues are weirdly fast. Strange things are afoot at what I once called ‘The World’s Worst Airport’.
Thanks to its excellent transport links, Prague is a great choice for attending concerts abroad. Ticket prices are often lower than the same gigs in the UK too, as we discovered when we caught Def Leppard at the O2 Arena back in 2019.
It’s also worth noting that Prague is not as cheap as it once was (no more £0.12 beers). Food, drink and accommodation prices are shooting up. Clearly some of the rises are caused by the global ‘cost of living crisis’ that saw Czech inflation top 11% back in February, but it appears that Prague no longer sees itself as a budget backpacker destination either.
This is also the first time we have not visited The Black Angels Bar while in Prague. As much as we love their cocktails, we were disappointed by our last visit so we gave it a miss this time round. Hopefully, they get back to the standard of service and chat that saw them ranked as one of the top 10 hotel bars in the world soon.
Who is this trip for?
- Americans apparently – they seem to be everywhere.
- Beer lovers.
- Stoners. Prague has sold its soul to hash culture, which is a great shame.
- Medieval sightseers – most of the buildings are older than the USA.
Next stop, Southampton…