River Cruise: The Ultimate Shopping Shuttle

We cruised aboard the AMABella

You’ve done Paris, you’ve seen Rome but when’s the last time you’ve dug for vintage treasures in Budapest? Or shopped off-the-runway furs in Vienna? For true shopaholics looking to welcome 2015 with a (fashion) bang there’s no better place than Eastern Europe. With local Christmas markets popping up across the region, from big cities to small hamlets, it really is the most wonderful time of the ... Read Full Article

Memories of Communist-era Prague

These American kids definitely stuck out. Think it was the jeans?

Prague is undeniably a magical city, a beautiful tourist paradise rich in history. But a visitor who was a student there 45 years ago reveals a different city hidden in plain sight, one with a drab, painful, and very recent past. Travelers just need to know where to look.  Prague in 1969 My friend Mike spent five months - from January to May of 1969 - studying in Prague and Brno with Portland’s ... Read Full Article

Five Prague Festivals for Fall

Outdoors at Vinobrani

The fall is arguably the nicest time to visit the Czech capital, as the hordes of tourists have long gone home and the sweltering heat's given way to crisp, sunny days. Culturally speaking, too, there's a flourish of festivals and special events that round out the season, from music to art to fashion and wine, so the Golden City truly has something to offer everyone at this time of year. Here's a ... Read Full Article

A Fashion Road Trip through Eastern Europe

Beautiful fashions at 7tm

Americans love road trips. Americans love shopping. So, it seemed only natural that we fashionistas would combine our two favorite pastimes and plan a mini road trip through Eastern Europe, all in the name of shopping. The plan was to start in Prague, travel through the Czech Republic into Austria, then Slovakia and end up in Budapest. As usual, we wanted first class accommodations ... Read Full Article

Treasure Hunting in Praha

Antique Ashaver

­   Praha (Prague) is arguably the most charming city in Europe. Small, cobblestone streets make way for sprawling renaissance squares and ornately sculpted buildings in creamy hues leading to dramatic bridges that link two sides of the city together. What could make a day strolling on the Charles Bridge followed by a decadent lunch of crispy duck, sweet cabbage and pillowy knedliky ... Read Full Article

Tables With a View in Prague

La Terrassa

One of Prague’s main attractions is the views of the city itself, panoramas of the red roofs, iconic churches, spires, and leafy parks that comprise the Golden City. And the sightseeing doesn’t have to end come dinnertime, as many restaurants and bars across Prague have terraces and gardens with sweeping views of the cityscape. While soaking in the storied surroundings, one can also delve into the ... Read Full Article

Prague’s Carnevale Takes to the Streets

Face painting at the Masopust Zoo by Jiri Trojanek

Celebrated the world over, the tradition of Carnevale gives the pious a break before the start of Lent, when everyone can cut loose and eat, drink and revel in pagan traditions just one last time before giving up fun until after Easter. In the Czech Republic, known as the world’s most atheistic country, there’s little focus on the Catholic aspect and more on Carnevale's tradition that has ... Read Full Article

Café Culture in Prague: Old and New Favorites

Cafe Montmartre, Prague

  Few things are more quintessential of the Prague experience than holing up for an afternoon or evening in a café. The city has a rich tradition of café culture, with its golden era being in the 1920s, when the likes of Egon Kisch and Max Brod would channel Kafka’s spirit at cafes all over town, and through the period of communism, when the likes of a certain playwright (and future ... Read Full Article

Ringing in the New Year, Prague-Style

New Years Eve Fireworks in Prague

  Few cities can boast as beautiful a backdrop to most any celebration as Prague can, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. On New Year's Eve, the capital comes alive with lights, noisemakers and firecrackers, and there is no shortage of options for ringing in the new year in style, be it at a classical concert, a Michelin-starred restaurant or a raucous, Champagne-fueled street party. ... Read Full Article

Karlovy Vary: The Vibrant Culture of West Bohemia’s Spa Capital

Karlovy Vary Park Collonade

  For most of the year, the city of Karlovy Vary (known as Carlsbad in German) is laid-back, with a stream of mostly spa patrons and Russian visitors meandering along the collonaded main drag as peacefully as the Teplá River bubbles through the center. But come the first week in July, the city, nestled into a forest-rimmed valley, is transformed. Everything changes as the annual Karlovy ... Read Full Article