As night comes calling on the “City of a Hundred Spires,” my mates and I — 25 travel writers and photographers invited by Insight Vacations to sample a portion of its Bohemian Rhapsody journey through the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary — climb aboard the luxury motor coach for a quick ride through Prague’s Old Town district (c. 10th century) to the New Town district (c. 14th century).

Bohemian Rhapsody: Prague's Iconic Watering Hole | ©Tom Palladio ImagesDestination? U Fleků, one of central Europe’s oldest continuously brewing breweries at 500+ years and counting, and the Czech Republic’s largest restaurant.

Dinner and suds are on our host’s euro — one of many Insight “signature” moments — ensuring this intrepid “band of merry media” gets merrier and merrier as the night rolls on.

Blending water, hops, yeast and four kinds of barley malt, U Fleků has been brewing its distinctive dark lager beers since 1499. It also serves up mouth-watering, traditional Bohemian dishes from it’s busy kitchen that can handle a capacity crowd of 1,200 foodies seated at long wooden tables spread around eight different, thematic halls — we laid claim to the Kaberet room — and an outside garden.

In between mugs of lager, hearty plates of goulash, speck dumplings and potato pancakes, apple strudel, and shots of Becherovka and Medovina, we lock arms and rock to and fro as brightly colored accordion and tuba players pop in and out all night long to serenade us with traditional beer hall tunes.

With the Czech Republic boasting the highest per capita consumption of beer annually — around 40 gallons or 160 liters per citizen — it’s no wonder that U Fleků is this nation’s iconic watering hole, for locals and tourists alike, and a fitting place to close out our two-night stay in Prague.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Prague's Iconic Watering Hole | ©Tom Palladio Images

Insight Vacations Bohemian Rhapsody Journey | ©Tom Palladio ImagesFor complete information on Insights’ premium and luxury-escorted itineraries, including the Bohemian Rhapsody and 100 other journeys throughout Europe, just click HERE, or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.

See you bright and early tomorrow morning when we place Prague in the rearview mirror and set the GPS for a fairytale town-slash-UNESCO World Heritage site: Cesky Krumlov.


©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

Borsalino w/ props SMALL | ©Tom Palladio Images


Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him in and out of 49 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway somewhere in the Veneto. You can also follow his dispatches from the cobblestone at and


  1. It’s not just anywhere you can experience Lady Gaga songs
    accordion-style as you imbibe crazy-good dark beer! Cheers!!

  2. You might want to check your dates as what is the oldest brewery in Europe as I was under the impression that Weihenstephan in Freising, Germany was the oldest continuously working brewery in the world beginning in 1040. I am certain the U Fleku was greath tho and lots of fun!

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