Meet: Nikola, our local expert in Prague

August 01, 2018
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Nikola Moustafa

Learn more about our guides around the globe — everything from what makes the perfect day in their city, to how they landed in tourism, to why they love working with Urban Adventures.

On how she ended up in Prague…

I’m originaly from the Wallachia region, which is to the east, near the Slovak border. Wallachia is known for its charming natural scenery and beautiful, hilly landscapes, where you can still find many examples of wooden, picturesque folk houses. These were actually the reason why I fell in love with hiking. I came to Prague back in 2006 to work and study.

On how she became a tour guide…

I have been working in tourism since 2005. I started as a guide in Egypt and made trips to the pyramids of Cairo and the Valley of the King in Luxor. I came to Prague to work and study. I spent 10 years working in the travel industry in Prague as an incoming specialist, planning stays for both leisure and corporate travellers. I worked with individuals and also big groups touring Central Europe.

When my children were born, I was looking for a more flexible way to work but at the same time I knew I wanted to stay in the tourism industry. I thought it would be best to return to what I was doing in the past: guiding. I started studying the history and topography of Prague, and I really liked the Urban Adventures tour style. Most of all I liked the fact that their tours are always small groups, which provides my audience with a personal approach and greater satisfaction. Also, the fact that Urban Adventures is based on a high quality of service makes visitors happy. And because I like to take pictures and enjoy social media, I have now started to handle all the social channels for Prague Urban Adventures.

bartender pouring beers

Nikola recommends Strahov monastic brewerey for their many craft beers on tap | Photo by Prague Urban Adventures

On what makes her proud of Prague…

Every time I describe Prague, I say it’s a city out of a fairy tale. Castle, river, medieval bridge, hundreds of towers, cobblestone street illuminated by gas lamps. What more can you wish for on your holiday? Over the last five years, the levels of hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars have risen. In addition, here you spend about half the budget that you would pay in other places in Europe. Last but not least, we are in the middle of Europe. You can get to other European capitals quickly and cheaply. What else could you wish for?!

On her favourite local traditions…

Hikes, hikes, hikes. Green lovers and romantic souls come here to hike.

The cool place and venue where locals meet is the farmers’ markets at Náplavka (Saturday: 8:00-14:00) or at the square Jiřího z Poděbrad (Wed-Fri: 8:00-18:00, Sat: 8:00-14:00).

The farmers’ market at Jiřího z Poděbrad Square is a popular spot for locals | Photo by Prague Urban Adventures

On the one thing people should know before they visit…

Bring good shoes, because most streets are for pedestrians and paved with cobblestones.

On her favourite neighbourhood…

If you are going to take your dear half to Prague, Lesser Town is the choice! Near the Charles Bridge you can admire and feed the swans, you can leave your initials on Lennon’s Wall and walk through the narrow, paved streets in one of the charming gardens, such as Vrtba Garden. You will pay a small fee, but it will be a good investment because if you get to the top of the garden, you will see all the towers of Prague.

The restaurants here are created for romantic dinners. In the summer you can sit outdoors in the gardens between lots of flowers and candlelight, or directly from your table you can admire the glittering surface of the Vltava River. I promise you will never want to leave again.

On her favourite spot in Prague and why it’s so special…

Lesser Town is made for romantic strolls and beautiful views are all around. Not only will you find small, magical cafes, galleries and shops with souvenirs that have a story, but also plenty of secret gardens.  The second largest garden in the centre of Prague is the Wallestein Garden, which is the seat of our Senate. You can find rich and varied fauna and flora in its 14,000 square metres. When you are fed up with the hustle and bustle of the city centre, come to Lesser Town. You’ll find a cosy café or a good brewery and you’ll easily forget all of that. And if you need any help, the second or third craft beer from Roesel – Beer and Cake will do the trick.

plates of food

Amazing food can be found at Mincovna, located right in the Old Town Square but without being a tourist trap | Photo by Prague Urban Adventures

On what you must eat and drink in Prague…

I’m a great lover of food. If I had to list all my favourite places, we’d be here until tomorrow. A unique meal that you will not find anywhere else in the world is svíčková — roasted beef with creamy root vegetable sauce that is served with dumplings and hint of cranberry jam. I most enjoyed this dish in Mincovna restaurant at Old Town Square. For a sweet bite, I would go to the newly opened Cukrář Skála (just next to the Marriott Hotel). There you will find desserts with a modern twist. Chocolate lovers will appreciate špička, and if you’re more into caramel, do not miss větrník. And because the Czech Republic is a beer superpower, I also recommend a craft beer place. Beautiful views and fine craft beers are in Klášterní Pivovar at Strahov Monastery.

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