Prague – the capital city of the Czech Republic, has been on my list of cities to visit. Why? Because many people rave about how pretty it is and how cheap it is to visit. This combined with finding out Czech has some amazing spa towns, I was excited to get my first taste of this country and whether I would also go ga-ga over Prague, especially during the Christmas season. Did the city put a spell on me? Not quite, I did like Prague but I did not fall head over heels in love. Now, there is no doubt, Prague is gorgeous. The country surrendered without much fight in WWII. Thus, it is one city where you can find a myriad of architectural styles intact dating back to the 1700s and earlier because it was not destroyed in the war. When you walk around, you’ll feel like you are walking through a visual history lesson from Medieval times to modern day Prague. And during Christmas time, you’ll find a bustling Christmas market in the old town beautifully lit with delicious Czech treats. The city is also quite affordable to visit when traveling in Europe. It offers a bunch of free walking tours that are tip based you can just show up or sign up for. (Recommended tip – $5 to $10 for your guide). You can get a decent meal for about $10 or less if don’t eat near the touristy area (Old Town and around Charles Bridge area). Beer or what is known as a ‘pivo‘ in Czech Republic is famous for how good it is. And it is sooo cheap. Public transportation is also cheap, reliable and convenient. So there is no doubt why many people love Prague. However, I can’t pinpoint what made me feel ‘meh’ about the city. I think it partly may have been the weather as it was cold when I was there, and the people in Czech tend to be more reserved and expressionless – which can be construed as giving off a cold vibe but the ones I met were kind, quiet and thoughtful. I didn’t run into any problems of feeling like I got scammed or ripped off but I also did my homework before I went. So is it hyped up to be the most beautiful city in Europe. Not in my opinion but each to their own, right? Should you visit Prague? Yes. I believe it is worth a visit.
Got 72 Hours in Prague? Here’s what to czech out!
Old Town Square
Head there and wind through the medieval streets. Lots of café and restaurants, souvenir shops, bars around. This is also where you’ll find the Astronomical clock. It’s a sophisticated clock and worth seeing but what’s not worth your time is watching the clock chime every hour, on the hour. If you are passing by, why not. But there is no need to wait around for it.
It was built in 1357. I remembered this because the guide made it easy to remember. If you look at the year, it’s the first 4 odd numbers in a row. It’s one of the oldest bridges in the world and on the bridge you’ll find statues, street vendors, artist, entertainers. Before you head up the hill to visit Prague Castle, check out…
John Lennon Wall
Originally, John Lennon’s face was painted on the wall, but over time the graffiti wall has been painted over many times, and the original has been painted over. Now, it’s filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti and is a symbol for love and peace. Note: John Lennon was never ever there.
Climb the hill to visit one of the top tourist attractions and provides a great view of the city.
Other Places catch a great view of the City
A huge green area where people come to hang with their friend. This is where you can find Prague’s mini Eiffel Tower. Also, the Church of St. Michael, a 17th-century wooden building (relocated to Prague from a village in Ukraine), is located on this hill.
This medieval tower is one of the original 13 city gates. Back in the 17th century, it was used to store gunpowder. Now you can climb up it to get a view of the Old Town.
Explore Vyšehrad Another castle in Prague where you’ll find less tourists and have a great view of the city. Strahov Monastery Another great place where you will get a great view of the city. The monastery itself brews its own beer and has a specialty blueberry that you can only get there. For the Bibliophile and people who have a thing for bookstores and libraries the Strahov Library is incredibly ornate and impressive. I felt like I was in Beauty and the Beast. Admission 120 CZK for adults + 50 CZK if you want to take photos inside.
See a concert — Prague is a city that appreciates classical music. There are concert halls throughout the city. Mozart loved Prague and debut his Don Giovanni Opera at the Estates Theatre in Prague. I wanted to catch a show there but I wasn’t able to get tickets last minute. You could easily do the above in two days. And then consider a day trip outside of Prague.
Day Trips to Czech out Outside of Prague
This is a relaxing spa town. You can walk along the promenade and drink mineral spring water. In July it gets exceptionally vibrant as they welcome people from all over to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The best way to get to Karlovy Vary is by bus. It’s about a 2-hour bus ride from Prague.
This is a silver mining town and most famous for the St. Barbara Cathedral and the Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel decorated with human bones. For some this may be a bit morbid but it was also oddly fascinating. This is about an hour by train from Prague.
Places I did not get to but would love to check out next time
Yes it’s the birth place of Pilsner and the home of the original Pilsner Urquell Czech beer. Check out the Pilsner factory and have some pilsner. And if you are into spas, check out the beer spa there as the price there seems to be the cheapest in the country. At the beer spa, you soak in a tub of beer and drink beer. The combination of brewer’s yeast and the minerals in the beer can promote skin regeneration, nourishes your skin and hair, cleans pores, ease muscle tension, improve blood circulation.
Speaking of beer, did you know that Czech Republic also produce wine? Now you do, you can take a trip to the Moravian Wine Region to check out the wine region and go wine tasting.
A town many locals recommended as a day trip. It’s a medieval resort town that is very picturesque.
For the outdoor and nature enthusiasts, if want to hike and see some strange and wonderful natural rock formations this is where you go.
Basic Czech Vocab to have Handy
|Thank You||Děkuji [je-koo-yi]|
|Cheers||Na zdrav [na zdra-vee]|
|How much is it?||Kolik to stoji? [Ko-lek to sto-jee]|
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