I’m sorry for the radio silence. It’s been manic here and I’ve been on holiday. AGAIN. Before you get any fancy ideas about me being a high flier, I’m not. I’ve been away in the static caravan so nothing glamorous but fun none the less.
Anyway, I digress. About three weeks ago I went to Prague for the second time for a short break and ever since I’ve been back I’ve had serious withdrawal pangs. I managed to fall in love with the city all over again and can’t stop talking about the place. If you have any holiday left and £500 as a budget, you’ll be able to stay in pretty decent hotel, book return flights and eat well. Not to mention buy a fair few (by which I mean) a lot of drinks. Prague is not only cheap but it’s also a beautiful city with lots of things to do and explore. Here are ten things I reccommend doing when you visit.
1. Go to a Jazz Bar
On our first night, by pure chance, we walked into the U malého Glena Jazz bar which is highly recommended by The New York Times. There are many jazz bars across this city but apparently this one is quite popular and tipped as a must visit for a musical night cap. Expect improv Jazz in a cosy cellar with reasonabley priced drinks. A round was under a fiver.
2. Visit Prague Castle
Prague Castle sits proudly on top of a hill in the x district with a large-scale composition of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles, from Roman-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications in the 14th century.
An obvious advantage point, the period building can be seen almost anywhere from the city. We walked through the Exhibition of the The Treasure of St. Vitus Cathedral tour which was a mixture of found artifacts, graves and art. There are two different tour tracks, both reasonably priced at around £5.00 but beware of an extra fee if you want to climb the St Vitus Cathedral tower – this was not disclosed when we bought our tour ticket but we were reassured that everything was included!
3. See the Astronomical Clock on the hour
This was at the top of my list of things I wanted to see when I was in Prague. The astronomical clock is world famous and is top tourist hot spot. Dating back to the fifteenth century, the dials display information such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets.
When the clock strikes the hour, Jesus and the twelve apostles appear rhythmically at windows. But ensure you get there a good ten minutes before the hour as the space below fills up very quickly. I recommend getting a good viewing spot at a nearby bar, ordering a Czech lager to pass the time.
4. Visit Old Town Square
The same square where the astronomical clock is. I recommend finding a good spot and taking in the surroundings both the architecture and the many different street performances. I watched one guy dislocate his shoulders and shimmey his entire frame through a small tennis racket hoop. Something I didn’t expect nor go out of my way particularly to see.
5. Go to the Torture Museum
If you’re not squeamish, I recommend dropping by the torture museum just off of Charles Bridge. It’s about £5.00 entry and there’s three floors of implements of torture used by our more sadist predecessors.
6. Take a Boat Ride up the River Vltava
The Vltava river runs through the centre of Prague and you can go on an hour’s trip up the stretch and see the city from a different perspective. The Vltava is a lot cleaner than our rivers and the trip was certainly less expensive than a trip down the Thames.
7. Walk over the Charles Bridge
I walked over the famous bridge a lot in three days and really, if you want to go to any of the major attractions it would be difficult not to go via the bridge. As well as providing fantastic views of the city, there is also an abundance of street sellers, musicians and ornate statues of Saints. Just beware of pick pockets.
8. Go to the Kafka Museum
I also love Prague because it’s the birthplace of one of my favourite twentieth century writers, Kafka. For a small entry fee, you can take a walk through Kafka’s life and find out more about the man behind Metamorphosis and The Judgement.
9. Keep an eye out for graffiti
Like many cities, artists like to use the walls as canvases. But in Prague, I’ve found that a lot of the best graffiti was unexpected and off the beaten track. Districts such as x, x and not to mention the Lenon Wall are all great places to see some street art.
10. Go to the Jewish Quarter (Josev)
There are many parts to the Jewish quarter you can explore but don’t expect this to be an uplifting experience. The history of the quarter dates back to the thirteenth century when Jewish people were ordered to vacate their homes and settle in this one area.
Over the centuries Jewish people were banned from living anywhere else in Prague with exiles from other European countries being packed in. And between 1893-1913, houses were flattened and the layout of many of the streets remodelled. In all, there are six synagogues, including the famous Spanish Synagogue and Old-New Synagogue, plus the Jewish Ceremonial Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery with it’s jagged and stacked headstones. You can access all of the attractions apart from the Old-New Synagogue on one ticket tour.
The best way to see Prague is definitely by foot as almost all of the best sites are almost all within close proximity. And on foot you’re able to take in the architecture, street performances and the best shops.
Here’s some more holiday snaps I wanted to share with you.
Have you ever been to Prague? Did you visit any of these places and which other sites would you recommend (I plan to go again soon).