I went to Prague last week, and was blown away by the city’s architectural beauty, art culture, and complicated history.
Prague is a unique European city because it was never bombed during the World Wars, thus it still has that classic and romantic European charm you’ve daydreamed about. The oldest building in Prague that still stands was built in 920 AD!
With so many activities to choose from, I’ve compiled a “must visit” guide from my experience to make the planning of your next trip to Prague a bit easier.
Put on your walking shoes and get ready to tour! I found that walking the city, map in hand, was the best way to get my bearings quickly. If you are not much of a walker, the tram runs frequently and is reliable. The price is right too at 32 CZK or $1.66 USD per 90 minutes, which is valid on the bus, tram, or metro.
First stop is St. Wenceslas Square for a great view of the National Museum. Sadly, the gallery is closed until 2016 for major renovations, but the collection has been moved to six different locations around the city so the artifacts can still be enjoyed.
If you are interested in theatre, ballet, or opera look into getting tickets for a show at the National Theatre, a centre for Czech cultural life.
Take a wander along the riverbank until you reach Charles Bridge. Continue into Old Town to visit Old Town Square, which is the home to the famous Astronomical clock.
Nearby is Prague’s shopping mecca, Palladium, for instant retail therapy.
Be sure to make some time for a hearty Czech lunch of goulash or sausage and dumplings paired with one of their famous Pilsner beer. For dessert, I highly recommend trying an apple-raisin strudel with a fresh mint tea or coffee.
As for restaurants, it’s important to know that Czech’s allow smoking in restaurants and pubs. If this is bothersome for you, there are some helpful lists and recommendations on Foursquare and Trip Advisor of smoke-free locations compiled by locals and tourists.
The “Trip Advisor Prague” smart phone app is handy because it doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection and is filled with tips of fun activities as well as warnings of the occasional tourist trap.
Day two is the time to venture over the Vltava River to explore the parks, palaces, museums, and galleries of Prague. Of course, it would be impossible to forget the beautiful Prague Castle.
I suggest a start at the base of the Mala Strana Park, which is home to the Hunger Wall, Communism Memorial, and on top is the Petrin Tower. Before you head up to the Petrin Tower, stop in for a coffee at one of the multiple cozy café’s in the Plaská area. Skip the tram that takes you up the hill and do the walk through the park instead. Once you reach the Petrin Tower, pay the small fee to climb up to the top for a great panoramic view of Prague.
Nearby is the fabulous Prague National Gallery, located in the Salm, Schwarzenberg, and Sternberg Palaces, which surround the Palace Square. Then, make your way over to Prague Castle and St. Vitus’ Cathedral for a dose of Czech history and dazzling architecture.
Once you leave the closed walls of the Palace, you’ll find a great scenic view point at the stairs that descend down the hill, Staré zámecké schody.
For your last dinner in Prague, be sure to try Pork Knee or Roast Duck complete with bread and potato dumplings.