Prague is one of the captivating cities in Europe. It feels like walking through a baroque dream. While you can spend an entire weekend here just wandering the streets, there are a few things to avoid to ensure your trip is as stress and chaos free as possible.
St. Vitus Cathedral is one of the most astonishing churches in the world, and as such is filled with some of the most incredible pieces of art from across Europe. The best piece of art can be seen all over the walls. The stained glass windows of St. Vitus Cathedral are some of the most transcendent works of art which blend religious history and powerful human emotion.
One our first day in Prague we set out with our fantastic tour guide Barbora, from Prague Guides, who met us at our hotel and took us on a comprehensive tour of Prague from local's perspective. Prague Guides were so affordable and gave you an intimate and personalised experience that is unmatchable.
When we arrived in Prague, after dropping off our bag at the hotel, we set out to explore a little and make our way over to the Clementinum Library. The Clementinum is located right outside the entrance to the Charles Bridge on Křižovnická Street. I always knew Prague was a very busy city with loads of tourists coming to visit no matter the season. Knowing this I tried to prepare myself, but I was never prepared for this.
Prague has some of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and although most of them are off-limits to the public, there are tours during certain times of the day which allow bibliophiles to soak up all the history and literary treasures that lie inside these old buildings.
The State Opera in Prague opened in 1888 was the New German Theatre. Although the outside of the building is rather drab, it is nothing compared to the incredible neo-renaissance decoration in the interior. The exterior of the building does feature decorations of busts of famous musicians such as Goethe, Mozart, Schiller as well as characters from mythology, always significant in Operas, such as Pegasus, Icarus, Cupid, Athena, Leda and others.
This beautiful, art nouveau building is one of Prague’s most beloved buildings. It was once the seat of the old Royal Court Palace but has since been transformed into what is known today as the Municipal House or Obecní dům. In 1485, the old Royal Court was abandoned with the dissolution of Bohemia, and it wasn't until 1920 when the now Municipal House was built.
Malá Strana, or "Little Quarter" in Czech, is the large area of town situated on the hills below Prague Castle. In the middle ages, the city was divided into two halves, separated by the river and the Charles Bridge. King Ottokar II of Bohemia founded Malá Strana in 1257. The right side of town was the centre of the bourgeois, native Czech population.
U Fleku, located in the bustling and tourist-heavy city of Prague, is one of those places that can be a real hit or miss experience. But it’s all about knowing what to expect and what to avoid.
The bridge was constructed in 1357 under the watchful eye of King Charles IV. The old bridge which connected the two parts of the city, built in 1158, was more than due for some repairs. It was severely damaged in a flood in 1342 which lead to its demolition and the construction of the new Charles Bridge, named after the King. The reason this bridge was always so important was that it connected the castle past of town to the city’s old town.
Something not many people think about when they're on vacation is going to the movies. It might seem like a waste of time, doing something you can do anywhere in the world, during your vacation when time is precious. But it is the very fact that it can be done anywhere in the world that makes it so fascinating to experience. Every movie theatre is different, especially when you move outside North America, where the giant movie-plexes monopolise everything. In Europe, you can find true gems, old-fashioned theatres that feel more like going to the Opera than to see the next James Bond.
The walk takes about 30 minutes; it's a bit steep but walking through the woods and trees as you climb is a pleasantly quiet experience. We chose to walk down the hill and very much could see the appeal of wanting to take the stroll up and avoid the lines for the funicular. But it was rather rainy, and we figured it would be best to go with the funicular option.
The Strahov Monastery and the library stand as a jewel of the Baroque era. Even from afar their bright red-tiled roofs and copper spires, aged to a brilliant teal colour, contrast the grey skies. As you ascend the hill towards the main building, you first pass another piece of the Monastery's history; its brewery.
You can't visit Prague without sampling their beer. It's honestly such a HUGE part of their culture and cuisine. Every bar has their unique home brew as well as hundreds of other local varieties.
The 'Slav Epic' is one of the greatest works by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. Over the course of 20 years, he painted 20 enormous canvases, some measuring over eight meters tall. If you're visiting Prague, there is no doubt you will come across Mucha's more commercial work. His style of art is quintessential "art nouveau" and features beautiful young women in flowing dresses surrounded by lush flowers.
Prague Castle is in fact, more like a walled, medieval village, rather than one singular castle. Inside these walls are some of Prague's most famous architectural masterpieces. Combined into compound, this mini-city was named, "Prague Castle".
In 1784, four independent boroughs in Bohemia, came together to form the city of Prague. Today, each of these districts feels like their own unique area of the city, whose architecture, atmosphere and layout change as you move throughout them. The four neighbourhoods are Hradčany (the Castle District), Malá Strana (the Lesser Quarter below the Castle District), Staré Město (Old Town) and Nové Město (New Town).
Inside Prague Castle, you’ll find one of the oldest buildings in Prague: St. George's Basilica. The 17th-century red baroque facade hides behind it, some of the best examples of Romanesque architecture still standing in Prague.
Golden Lane is one of Prague's most picturesque streets. Located inside Prague Castle, this fairytale like laneway of pastel coloured homes was built in the castle's fortifications at the end of the 16th century. To access the Golden Lane, you need to purchase a ticket for Prague Castle. Almost every different circuit ticket includes the Golden Lane and for a good reason, since no visit to Prague castle is complete without visiting Golden Lane.
The crowning jewel of Prague Castle is without a doubt, St. Vitus Cathedral. You might expect the royal residences would be most distinguished buildings in the compound, but here, the church reigns supreme. Upon entering Prague Castle, you can see the awe inspiring Gothic towers of St. Vitus poking their heads out above all the other red roof buildings surrounding it.