A while ago me and my friend Joanne decided we wanted to go on a trip together. We met in Sydney in 2012, where we stayed together for 3 months and travelled some of the East Coast of Australia together. We still see each other often in the Netherlands but travelling is the key to our hearts. Five years later, we decided to book a trip together. Via a surprise ticket organisation we ended up in Prague, Czech Republic.
We spent Friday morning until Sunday evening in this beautiful city and tried our best to hit all the tourist highlights. I have compiled a list of my favourites, grouped by location!
1. Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock
The heart of the old town and home to the famous astronomical clock: Old Town Square. In December, it hosts a large Christmas market, making it a romantic sight. In any other month, it serves as a great background for pictures.
#Explorers tip: Go to the rooftop terrace of Hotel U Prince for a drink and a beautiful view of the old town and the astronomical clock tower.
Address: Staroměstské nám. 460/29
View from Hotel U Prince rooftop
2. Josefov (Jewish quarter)
In the Jewish quarter Josefov, you can find several things. Besides the Old-New Synagogue, Europe’s oldest active synagogue, you can also get trdelník here from a place a little less touristy than the ones at Old Town Square. Trdelník is a Czech treat that apparently is not [https://beyondprague.wordpress.com/czechs-and-czech-culture/food-drink/trdelnik-the-czech-treat-that-isnt/] really Czech, but still provides a good snack.
#Explorers tip: In Josefov you can also find a designer outlet called Luxury Outlet Prague, with brands such as Moschino, Roberto Cavalli, and Dsquared2.
Address: Pařížská 207/25
3. Palladium (mall)
Are you looking for shops such as H&M, Mango, Patrizia Pepe, Marks & Spencer, the North Face or Douglas? Check out Palladium! Palladium is a shopping mall very close to Old Town Square, so a shopping spree can be easily combined with a trip to the Astronomical Clock.
Address: nám. Republiky 1
4. Charles Bridge
Prague is famous for its bridges crossing the Vltava river. However, one of them is even more known that the others: The Charles Bridge. It used to be the most important gateway into the old city from Prague Castle, but nowadays it is simply a tourist trap. Cars are not allowed on the Charles Bridge, thus it is now a place for artists to set up camp and sell their paintings, cartoons, and CDs to the crowd.
5. Dancing House
The Dancing House, also known as Fred and Ginger, stands out from its neighbouring buildings that are all built in baroque, gothic, and art nouveau style. The very non-traditional design resembles a pair of dancers.
#Explorers Tip: Do not wait for the elevator to go up to the roofbar. The queue downstairs might not be too long, but, in our case, the queue to get down again is at least three times as long. If you really do want to go upstairs, be warned that the café is very small and overcrowded with people queuing to go down again. There is a possibility to go outside and take pictures from the roof, but you either have to pay or consume a drink. One story below the café is a restaurant, which looked a lot more appealing (and expensive).
If you do want a nice view of the city and the bridges, keep on reading. We have found a much better place than this one!
6. John Lennon Wall
A John Lennon memorial in Prague, why? This is a question a lot of people have asked themselves. As soon as the news of the death of Lennon reached Prague, people started spray painting the wall.
The wall is under continuous change, which makes it an interesting site to visit, even if you have seen it before. This reminds me of the gum wall in Seattle, which also continuously changes due to all of the tourists sticking their gum on the wall.
7. Kafka Museum (Statue of peeing men)
“When in Prague, visit the Kafka Museum!” is what people told Joanne and me. We weren’t very interested in going inside on a beautiful sunny day, but we did pass by to see the statue of the two peeing men. Wait, what did you just read? All I can say is, take a look at the picture below.
8. Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral & Golden Lane
On Sunday, the weather was so nice that we could walk around without our jackets, and instead wear sunglasses! We got some ice cream and walked to the Prague Castle grounds. It is advised to buy your tickets for the Prague Castle grounds in advance, and I understand why. There was a queue going outside of the ticket office. Luckily, it went pretty fast and we managed to get the “ticket B”, which allowed us to visit the St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica and Golden Lane with Daliborka Tower for 250 CZK. With our student cards, we also got 50% discount.
St. Vitus Cathedral is said to be the largest cathedral and most important temple in Czech Republic, and one of the most richly endowed cathedral in Central Europe. It is highly impressive and I really recommend visiting this beautiful and impressive religious place. When we were there, the sunlight came through the stained-glass windows and painted the insides of the church in the most beautiful colours.
The Old Royal Palace is an old building that is reasonably well maintained. It felt a little bit like walking around in a Game of Thrones episode, but it was by far not as impressive as the other sights on the Castle Grounds.
St. George’s Basilica is another religious location on the Castle Grounds, located next to its (much) bigger brother St. Vitus Cathedral. St. George’s is a very different kind of church. Contrary to the Gothic-style St Vitus, St George’s Basilica is built in Baroque style. I have to say I have never seen a church like this, so it is a pretty cool spot to visit!
Finally, Golden Lane is a cute little street said to, contrary to its nickname Street of Alchemists, have housed goldsmiths back in the 17th century. Golden Lane is basically a small lane with brightly coloured houses. You can go inside most of them and get a feel of what it was like to live there. There is also a dungeon there and a popular viewpoint.
9. Petrin Tower on Petrin hill
The Petrin Tower is the Eiffel tower look-a-like, located on Petrin hill. I have been told you will have an amazing view of the city from here but didn’t have the time to go here. If you do, definitely check it out!
10. Letná Park
Instead of to Petrin hill, me and Joanne walked up to Letná Park. It is a little bit of a climb, but when you get to the top you have a beautiful view of Prague’s river Vltava and the bridges, including the Charles Bridge. So really, if you have 3 days to visit Prague like me, definitely go here! From Letná Park, you can easily walk to the Prague Castle, so it possible to conveniently combine it with other tourist highlights in the area.
These were my tourist tips for when you are city tripping to Prague. Have you visited Prague before? Did I forget any of your favourite spots?
Almost all pictures in this blog are taken by Joanne Blokland.
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