A Trip to Bohemian Paradise
Prague, hands down, remains one of my favorite European adventures. Maybe it was the people I travelled with, but there is something unforgettable about this Czech Republic capital. Upon arrival, you’ll immediately be struck by the imposing architecture that dominates the city’s skyline. A stop at the Old Town Square offers a smattering of buildings in the styles of Gothic, Baroque, and Romanesque. One of the most imposing structures is The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. Its Gothic spires can be seen from just about anywhere in Prague- it served as an excellent reference point. Another monument worth incorporating in your visit is the Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall.
A true feat of design, the Clock was designed and built in the 15th century. Every hour, between 9am and 9pm, the twelve apostles rotate around the Clock’s face. It was a huge deal when it was built; rumor has it the Clock’s designer was blinded after completing his masterpiece. Those that commissioned the Clock wanted to make sure he didn’t build one for another city. Perhaps its just an old wife’s tale but part of Prague’s lure is its mysteriousness. Meander across the Charles Bridge, a pedestrian only fairway constructed hundreds of years ago to connect the “Old Town” with Prague Castle. The bridge is filled with hawkers of all kinds and it may feel like tourist overload, but it is worth the stroll. Check out the array of statues of saints that run along the sides of the bridge and admire the views of the Vltava River and surrounding sights.
If you choose to follow the windy and sometimes steep paths that characterize the castle side of the city, visit the Prague Castle complex and go to tiny Golden Lane to see examples of life back in the 15th century. A favorite stop of mine was the Lobkowicz Palace, located within the Castle complex. The Palace is small enough that you get to see everything, or almost everything, without feeling totally overwhelmed. In this private collection you’ll find paintings by Canaletto and Velázquez, original manuscripts by Beethoven, and several other gems that make the Palace worth a visit.
As for food, restaurants in Prague offer up delicious dumplings (knedliky) and goulash (Guláš), I didn’t have a bad meal during the visit. Head off the beaten path to find better prices and fewer tourists. The Czech Republic boasts some of the best beer in the world and takes it seriously. According to a guide from a walking tour, the Czech Republic is the only place where you can drink beer and have it out on your desk at work, take that bit of knowledge as you’d like. However, I will admit, it does pair quite nicely with the local cuisine.
As a major tourist city, accommodation is easy to come by. That includes all shapes and sizes, whether you want a hostel or would prefer a Prague hotel with a bit more frills. Regardless of where you stay, your trip will be amazing; Prague is a Bohemian wonderland with surprises around every corner. Learn more at My Destination Prague.