In the past few years, my summer trips were all about going outside of Europe. Asia, for me, was and still is the place to be.
So many people asked me, why I'm not just going somewhere near my hometown for example Prague... Absolutely everyone I talked to, loved the town at the Vltava river. The city had been on my bucket list for ages and in 2020 I finally made it there. I have to say, all those people where right! This is a wonderful place to spend a few days. Here are some reasons why you should go and see Prague yourself.
arrival and accommodation
Most of the tourists fly into Prague or arrive there by train. I was driving there and found out that there is a pretty cheap Park and Ride spot a little outside of town. The spot is called P+R Zličín 2 and the prices are pretty decent. For 8 nights they charged me about 40 Euro in a guarded parking lot. This gives you a little taster what to expect the upcoming days. Prague is cheap! I did some cities in Europe and beside Bratislava this was by far one of my inexpensive trips so far.
It takes you about 40 minutes to go downtown. The place I booked for my stay was called "Gorgeous Prague Rooms". The cozy little hotel is situated about 1 minute walk from the main square and it was cheap as chips as well. Highly recommend! Nice staff, wonderful new and modern furniture, no breakfast but you have a free Netflix account for rainy days. Perfect I would say.
explore the old town square
The square has remained relatively untouched since the 10th century. On summer days, swarms of tourists crowd around the medieval astronomical clock tower. The mechanical relic put on a small show every hour on the hour. I recommend coming there not at a full hour, so avoid pictures with tons of people on it.
For the perfect view around old town, you might want to walk up Staroměstská radnice. This historic building offers a museum on 3 floors and a wonderful view around town on the top of the 70 meter high tower. It is probably the best spot for a photo of the Teyn-Church, which you can't really capture from the main square at all. The building looks like straight out of a middle age fairy tail and gives you a taster what to expect on your trip.
Next on, I checked out the Sex Machine Museum on Melantrichova Road. I must say, it was definitely one interesting museum. Dive into the history of sex toys and learn more about the time, this topic was kind of disreputable. The entrance fee of 10 Euro was absolutely worth it.
A place you don't want to miss is the jewish quarter! Located between the old town square and the Vltava river. The monuments and the very old houses fortunately survived the Nazi occupation and has become a wonderful spot for anyone who is into photography. You certainly want to spend some time there and maybe learn some more historical facts about the jews of Prague.
charles bridge and prague castle
There's no doubt, that there is one building truly standing out in Prague. The majestic Charles Bridge is a stone gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Lesser Town. Built in the 1357 and decorated with 30 stone sculpture saints, the bridge is the main attraction in Prague. The old bridge tower is an impressive gothic structure guarding one end of the bridge. Tons of tourists gathering around the tower, pretty much all day. On the bridge itself you find tons of street artists and painters, trying to capture the moment of people from all over the world walking across this historic bridge.
To get the perfect pictures of the bridge and the tower without people, you might want to get up at 4 in the morning to see the historic building covered in wonderful fog of the Vltava river. I enjoyed to much beer while in Prague and slept in, all week long so the perfect pictures is now missing in my collection.
Next on the bucket list - Prague Castle. Several ways lead up there, you can either walk over the Manes Bridge which gives you a wonderful view on the Charles Bridge and is probably the shortest way from town. I took the long way over the Cechuv Bridge all the way up the Metronome. The 23 meter tall functioning Metronome in Letná Park, overlooking the Vltava River and the city center of Prague. It was erected in 1991 and replaced the enormous monument of former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Today kids hang around the park, skating, drinking and taking pictures of the city.
Follow the path through the park and find the wonderful Summer palace of Queen Anne. Take some time to linger and again enjoy the view down to the city center.
Another 10 minutes walk later you'll be at the the old massive walls of Prague Castle. If you get lucky you'll get an opportunity to see the changing of the guards, before you walk into the gigantic area of the castle itself. Make sure to be up there early, there is tons of stuff to see.
There are different tickets. Ticket A: this ticket includes the two churches St. Vitus and George Basilica, the Royal Palace, the Golden Lane (were Franz Kafka used to live and work), the Rosenberg Palace, Daliborka Tower and much more. So this is pretty much the basic tour you can book for about 14 Euro. But make sure you spend another 10 Euro on ticket B, which includes the most impressive view on the whole city you can get. The ticket gives you access to the 280 steps up the Great South Tower of the St. Vitus Church. Exhausting, very exhausting and you'll be dizzy after you reached the top of the spiral staircase. But I guarantee you, you'll have a good time up there.
some more stuff you want to see...
What I loved about Prague was, that only by strolling around you find some treasures of this city. Thats how I stumbled over the narrowest street (which even has its own traffic light). Hung out at Pastař Náplavka, a laid back coffee right next to the Vltava river, found the Dancing House and took some crazy good night shots of the powder tower. Another place you don't want to miss is the book tower (the main theme of this blog page) located at the Municipal Library. I'm sure there is plenty of more stuff to see in this crazy town, so I definitely have to come back one day.
beers, coffee, brunch and amazing steaks
First things first, beer is cheap as chips in Prague. The average price for a large beer all around Prague is about 2 Euro. Besides beer there is another beverage the city on the Vltata is infamous for: Absinthe. Unfortunately I didn't make it into an Absinthe Bar, since the time I was in Prague Covid19 hit Europe pretty hard and most of the smaller places had to lock down. Another reason for me to come back one day.
If you are all into brunch I highly recommend "Bistro Monk" in Michalská street 20. Loved the eggs benedict and bowls they are offering and the staff is just amazingly friendly. For all the "American-breakfast-lovers, "James Dean Prague" is the place to be. The food is authentic, the staff a little overwhelmed but the interior is no equal. Good photo spot as well.
After a long day of sightseeing there is nothing better, than a good coffee in a laid back atmosphere. Walk half way over legion bridge and take the elevator down to the island in the Vltava river called, Střelecký ostrov. On this little island you'll find an old little camper surrounded by a chill-out-area called "Coco Van" Man you will love this place. Amazing coffee, cool people and a 260 degrees view over Prague.
Tons of restaurants lure travelers and tourists for dinner in the old town. Czech cuisine is wonderful, lot of soups, goulash with dumplings, steaks and schnitzels. Pretty much always served with beer. Heaven!
There is one place I really would like to recommend to all of you coming to Prague. I had a delicious dinner including perfect red wine, steak and a gorgeous desert for a very fair price. The place is called "Crazy Cow" located in Dlouhá Street. If you get the chance, don't hesitate to have lunch or dinner there!
5 things you don't wanna miss
- Walk over Charles Bridge, no matter if it's night or day
- Enjoy a coffee at Cocovan on the Střelecký ostrov island
- Visit castle Prague and walk up the 280 steps of the great south tower
- Plunge into night life with beers and absinthe
- Stroll around town to find wonderful secret spots no travel guide is writing about