when in doubt there's always MacDonald's
Yes, there are options just off the old town. Some of the bars stay open until 5 am. If they are all closed, they have a MacDonald's that is 24hrs just off of Old town near the muzeum metro station. Getting around town is a little tricky after 12 midnight because the metro shuts down. If you have to take a taxi,haggle with them!!You will be almost shocked how much money you will save. Unless money is no object.
Try to either stay up very...
Try to either stay up very late or get up at the crack of dawn and see the Karlsbrücke without so many people on it. I don't know if I've just read too much Kafka or what, but somehow I have a slightly eerie or excitable feeling the entire time I'm there.
Do not worry of frowning faces
In generall czech people are very weak in foreign languages. So if you ask someone for help you may see frowning face. This does not mean any signs of hostility but simply a person does not understand and does not want to communicate. Due to communist era a lot of especially older people do speak only a little bit of russian. It is much more better with young generation who can speak at least basic of english or german. In Prague it should not be problem to order in english or german in restaurants especially in the centre. In the countryside it might be more problem to speak with a stuff but menus are usually in two languages. The more west the more german language, of course, due to boarders with Germany. I would reccommend to learn few word which warm up the people faces, they will be happy to hear you trying to pronounce czech words. There is an english - czech dictionary web site.
I took 1 large softsided suitcase and a backpack on wheels. This was fine, altho I learned that one can 'do' with a lot less! Our checked luggage was lost for 5 days. Fortunately I had a change of underwear and toiletries in my backpack. Always a good idea! December/January in Prague is cold! I wore a top coat, gloves, scarf and was very comfortable. I always pack silk long underwear so I can layer if need be. Comfortable walking shoes are the primary need. It snowed one night, so the walks were slippery next day. The city was so beautiful with the blanket of new snow and sunshine and blue skies. We were very fortunate in the weather while we were there. The usual. Just be sure you put your essentials in your carry-on. I took my 35mm automatic and used 400 speed film. It did just fine. An even higher speed would not be bad, as some of the days were overcast.
Outside the City of Prague
The following is taken from some TIPS I gave someone who asked me about activities outside of Prague. I thought I would share them with you, too.
thanks for reading my pages. I guess April might be a little early, if it is a late Spring, and the weather is still a little cold or gray. I would shoot for May/June, which is still ahead of the crowds in July/August. May would be fine if that suits your schedule.
The Czech Republic has so many castles, forests, mountains, etc. It is a small country and easy to get from one side to the other. I would definately rent a car and see the cities outside of Prague. Pilzen and the Pilzner brewery. Bruno, which has a nice city center, but is much less spoilt than Prague. Lieberetz (sp?) which is on the way to Dresden, Germany (also worth a one day visit), which is in the mountains for hiking. Melnick, which looks over the confluence of the Elbe and Vlatava rivers. There is a great church there and restaurant with a patio overlooking the river where you can enjoy a nice bottle of Bohemian wine. I have spent many enjoyable Sundays there, on the way back to Prague, after a weekend of hiking in the mountains and surrounding hills.
There are some interesting sandstone cliffs and caves outside Prague to the northwest. I cannot remember their name at the moment, but I suppose you might locate them on a topographical map? Also nice for hiking. You will find prices outside Prague quite a bit cheaper. Try every beer you can. They are not all good, but so much fun to find the ones you like. And, they taste so good after a long hike.
I dunno. If I think of anything else, I will let you know. That is it for the moment. But, a nice trip down memory lane for me. Take care and enjoy your trip to Prague. All the best.