Europe: Prague

 

Blurb

Next stop, Praha! After blitzing Berlin, we decided to move across the the Czech Republic. It’s actually my second visit here, my first visit was not with my family but with family friends. I can remember some portions of the trip but it is really strange revisiting somewhere and thinking, oh wait I kinda recognise that! Prague is a really beautiful city and I will probably revisit again with Bev, so I would recommend it to couples.

Room

So as I mentioned before we got an AirBnb in all the destinations. It was cheap and cheerful and was pretty closely located to transport links. I remember it being literally 5 minute’s walk from the Prague Opera house. We did go for a cheaper option so I wasn’t expecting much but you could definitely rent an AirBnb in the centre and pay a little extra.

Getting around

  1. Bus
  2. Metro

I actually don’t remember much about the transport, I think we took the metro a few times but if im honest it was very easy to walk to a lot of the sites. However if you plan to go to Petrin Hill or Prague castle then you will need to take transport, I think we did get a Prague card which was very useful as we only stayed for about 3 days and made the most out of the card.

Sites

  1. Charles Bridge
  2. St Vitus Cathedral
  3. Prague Castle
  4. Old Town
  5. Jewish Quarter + Spanish Synagogue
  6. Astronomical clock
  7. Petrin Hill and Tower
  8. Kafka
  9. Powder Tower

Charles Bridge

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Bit of a side shot – Charles Bridge

This is probably one of the most famous sites in Prague, no doubt you walk across the bridge and you will bump into a dozen people. The view is not bad but nicer if you are at one end of the bridge and you can get a side shot. When you are walking down the bridge you will encounter statues and also street stalls, people selling art, small tokens or portraits. I would recommend going at night also and take a night shot but you really do need the right equipment otherwise it’ll just be a dark picture. Both ends of the bridge offer different things, one end has museums and the other side leads to Prague castle. Choose wisely!

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One of the many statues on the bridge

Prague Castle – St Vitus Cathedral

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St Vitus Cathedral – feel like Batman should be drawn at the top here

We reached the castle by bus and then walked up this massive slope. It wasn’t the slope that was so bad but the sheer length of it combined by the sun roasting our faces. However when you get to the top, everything is really level and there’s a lot to see. Unfortunately the queues to each site is pretty long. At the Prague castle premises there is a lot to see; St Vitus Cathedral, Vladislav hall, Old palace, Basilica of St George, Golden Lane.

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The castle grounds is massive and you can spend a whole day at Prague Castle, I remember seeing St Vitus castle and it was really beautiful and gothic! I don’t think we could go into the cathedral but we go a basic ticket to enter the castle grounds, be warned if you want to go into all the sites then you will have to pay a little bit more. The basilica of St George was pretty memorable as well because it is a big pink structure. Overall it was nice to visit Prague castle but I didn’t find it spectacular if I compared it to Buda Castle in Hungary.

Powder Tower – Astronomical Clock – Old Town

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Astro clock in Old town

The powder tower is a historical building and you can go up it, I believe someone told me it was the original entry point into the city of Prague and the reason it was called the powder tower is because it used to store gunpowder, pretty cool! The next site I wanted to touch upon was the astronomical clock, you will always find crowds of people at this site waiting for the chimes to ring. It is special because not only does it tell the time but also gives an indication to zodiac, lunar cycles and all that jazz.

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Moving onto Old town, what type of city would it be without an old town! The most notable part of the old town is the square because it is so vast and I remember coming across a statue in the middle of the square. There was a food festival at one point which me and Dave really enjoyed because there was a lot of Czech food on the go. The other part of Old town which was recommended was the Jewish quarter where you can see the history of Jews in Prague.

Kafka

I thought I might mention Franz Kafka because there is a statue of his head somewhere in Prague, Who was he? He was a famous writer who was born in Prague and wrote alot of fantastical stories, I have heard of Metamorphosis which is one of his most famous stories. Any fans out there can visit the Franz Kafka Museum.

Petrin Hill

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Petrin Tower

We travelled to go to Petrin Hill and go up Petrin tower, I really enjoyed this site because it had a lot of greenery and you could walk through the gardens without bumping into crowds of people. Supposedly Petrin Tower was built to mirror the Eiffel tower. Petrin hill has a lot to offer but I don’t think you could spend a whole day there, you could probably spend half a day there and then leave after lunch to explore another area. The rose garden was very romantic but I wouldn’t wanna hold hands with my cousin and there was also a Mirror maze which was a fun gimmick but didn’t last very long.

Jewish Quarter

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Dave asking for forgiveness in the synagogue

The Jewish quarter was quite interesting and the most memorable part of this was the jewish synagogue which was beautiful but from what I have read, there are plenty of synagogues! There are a lot of museums! Firstly, you can buy a ticket to enter all the sites in the Jewish quarter but it can get quite pricey. The other notable sites were the jewish cemetery and Town hall.

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Inside the synagogue

Eating!

So we did try more foods when we were in Prague, we wised up and ate more heartily. The first thing we tried was this spiral dessert which was called a trudelnik which was dough spiralled round a skewer, baked then coated in sugar and cinnamon and then you could choose to fill it with a sweet filling.

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The next slideshow shows some food we had in a bar/pub kinda restaurant. We shared a stewed sausage which looks kinda weird but man, it was very juicy and the stew it was cooked it was amazing, salty and slightly sweet. I then ordered meat filled dumplings with pickles whereas Dave ordered some ribs. The dumplings were more of a traditional dish and was quite a heavy dish but tasted really good!

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The next photos are when me and Dave had food at this food/ street food festival in the Old Town, I remember we spent quite alot on the food, probably about £30-40 but it was worth it. It was all traditional food and alot of meat was consumed! I remember we tried this smoked pork which was so juicy and amazing. We tried a kobasa sausage which was a slightly spicy but packed a meaty flavour and also tried a pork, potato and sauerkraut bowl which was really stodgy but very flavourful.

Top tips

  1. Spend 4 days in Prague, definitely no longer than a week as there isn’t loads to do there
  2. Consider a Prague card – pretty good value for money but usually to get your most out of it, you have to do 60% or more of the sites, remember some of the sites are free to entry but the card is really convenient because transport is included but it will usually subsidise costs of entry into sites, so maybe 30% off entry into Prague castle etc.
  3. Eat plenty! The food price in Prague is pretty cheap, so I wouldn’t worry so much about a budget, the beer is even cheaper!

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