We went to Prague because the flights from London were so cheap. We didn’t know what to expect and we certainly didn’t expect to be blown away by the beauty of the city…. but we were.
From the airport, we took the bus to the heart of the old city. We couldn’t quite believe how intricate and extensive the decoration of the city center was. After a week of wandering the decorated streets of Prague, we decided that the best things about Prague are:
- Charles Bridge (Karlov Most)
- Prague Castle (Prazsky hrad)
- Old Town (Stare Mesto)
- Jewish Quarter (Josefov)
- Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti)
- St. Vitus Cathedral (Chram svateho Vita)
- Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske namesti)
We went to Prague in late November and caught the first snow flurries. The Charles Bridge which crosses the mighty Vltava River is a magical place at any time. but when it's foggy and snowing the Charles Bridge and in fact, all of Prague gain an extra ethereal quality. There is a tower on the bridge and for a small fee, you can climb to the top. Definitely recommend doing this, as the views are spectacular.
If you cross over the bridge, away from the city center you will soon be heading uphill toward Prague Castle. We also caught the opening of the famous Christmas Markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. This is another great reason to visit Prague late in the year.
In the evenings we found so many venues where they were playing live music. A lot of the jazz and blues clubs are worth a visit. The single event we were most surprised by was a concert in a church. The musicianship was stunning and the setting was perfect.
We enjoyed visiting Prague Castle (Hrad Vyšehrad) which was founded around the year 880 by Prince Borivoj of the house of Premyslides. The cemetery in the castle is where the bodies of famous Czechs including Karel Capek, Antonín Dvorák, Alfons Mucha, Jan Neruda, and Bedrich Smetana are all interred.
Don't forget to bring a camera. Prague is perfect for black-and-white photography.
The old Jewish Cemetery is an atmospheric place of beauty and sadness combined. I know a cemetery isn’t a prominent place to visit but this one turned out to be a highlight of the trip to Prague. Don’t miss it.
Food and accommodation were of a very high standard, although a health obsessive might find the meat and dumplings staple a little rich. You really have to decide to forget about the diet and dig in. The local beer was the best we had ever tasted. Even in the tourist center that is the old town square, prices were great so we could enjoy sitting and people-watching whilst enjoying excellent local delicacies.
After an afternoon of relaxed indulgence, we felt our souls might be in need of spiritual nourishment, so we popped down the road to St. Vitus Cathedral. A beautiful mix of gothic and baroque, what made it really special was the free classical concert we found to be in full flow when we got there.
Prague really is one of Europe’s finest gems. If you have the opportunity to go there, grasp it in both hands and you will come away with memories to last a lifetime.