Several years ago I fell in love with Prague and ever since then it’s been one of favourite cities – so I can’t believe I haven’t written anything about it. Prague is a city with an incredible history, amazing culture and filled to the brim with cute restaurants/cafes. There is much to do for any type of traveller and you definitely won’t find yourself anywhere in the vicinity of boredom.
If it’s your first time, here’s a little something to help you on your way.
Newcomers should wander around the Old Town and Mala Strana to really get a grip on the history. Very photogenic place. Wandering around is a keyword for Prague and that’s how I usually spend my time there. It might be a rather crowded bridge, but don’t miss the charming Charles Bridge. The story goes that you’re destined to return to the city if touch the golden plate at one of the bridge’s statues.
The Pinkas Synagogue has a permanent exhibition about something that everyone should see: the Children’s Drawings display from the Theresienstadt concentration camp. So moving and surreal in many ways. I also recommend the audio tour.
Though it’s a bit out of town (get there via the Metro), Vysehrad is a great alternative and well worth the climb, it’s a bit more deserted and feels more like an exploration then a tourist trap, with its sprawling hillside chapels and beautiful views.
Prague can be really cheap to eat and drink but don’t try the food around the famous squares, always walk a bit away from the touristy areas for a meal a bit more friendly to your bank balance.
Prague Castle is too overcrowded and not worth the entrance fee (for an alternative try Vysehrad, as mentioned above).
Don’t waste your time and wait outside the astronomical clock tower on Old Town Square for the puppets show, it’s a bit of a disappointment (I think with Pixar and everything, reality finds it hard to compare!). Unless you want to look at people’s faces when they realise – it’s like ‘anti-climax watching’. But do go inside, especially when the sun has set.
Please, don’t drink absinthe, chances are it’s not even real and no one there really does it.
If you want to read something on the history I recommend The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, it’s a love triangle (but not like the Vampire Diaries, it goes a bit deeper) that’s set from 1960-1980. The book explores the life of Czech society from the Prague Spring of 1968 to the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union and its aftermath. And there is a dog. (There’s the marketing for the book done).
While we’re talking about literature – though it’s a bit depressing, the Kafka Museum is worth a visit for every literature lover.
Those graceful Gothic spires you see from every corner of the city (or at least in the publicity campaigns)? That’s St Vitus’ Cathedral located within the Prague Castle area. If you are into the gothic scene (architecture that is) then make sure you go inside and enjoy some pretty stunning stain glass and impressive ceiling that seems to go on forever.
For a similar spooky atmosphere, try a ghoulish bite to eat at the Peklo Restaurant – its name means ‘Inferno’ and it’s set in a cavernous grotto underground – originally the wine seller for the 12th century Monastery above. I’ve heard the food isn’t anything to shout about, but the setting is to die for.
Have you been to Prague? And what are your favourite things to do?