Situated by the Vltava River is Prague, a city with a storied history that has been a political, cultural, and economic center in central Europe. It perfectly blends well-preserved remnants of a long-ago era with the pulse and energy of a modern-day city. Despite that, the price tag of exploring the city is not as steep as one would think, and this is why a trip to Prague should be on everyone’s travel goals.
What to Do in Prague
Prague boasts several tourist attractions, which means tourists spend most of their time checking out these must-see destinations. I certainly did, and I found out firsthand why so many have fallen in love with this city of charm.
Cross the Charles Bridge
This world-famous bridge spans the Vltava River, connecting Old Prague Center to Malá Strana. Three imposing Gothic towers stand on guard to protect it, along with 30 Baroque-style statues and statuaries. Commissioned by King Charles IV in 1357, Charles Bridge is a favorite among tourists, hordes of whom walk across the stunning structure to get a view of the equally majestic Vltava River. I arrived here at dawn and got to enjoy not only the scenery but also the sunset, which was as glorious as any I have seen before.
Check Out the Prague Castle
No visit to Prague would be complete without a trip to the city’s most famous castle. This spectacular edifice, located in the Castle District above Malá Strana and originally built as a walled fortress, was once the home of Bohemia’s kings but is now the official residence of the Czech Republic’s president.
Prague Castle is the country’s premier tourist destination, and wandering around the massive complex gave me a clear idea as to why: it houses the St. Vitus Cathedral plus an eclectic mix of palaces, great halls, state apartments, viewing towers, museums, art galleries, fortifications, and even a monastery. Then there is the famed Golden Lane, which is lined with 11 historic houses, with each one featuring a period scene to show the life of the artisan who once lived there.
Petřín Lookout Tower
The Petřín Lookout Tower may be a scaled-down version of the more iconic Eiffel Tower, but it doesn’t mean it is any less impressive. I conquered the former’s 299 steps, and while I struggled on my way to the top, the reward was well worth it as I got the chance to have a panoramic view of Prague. I then visited the Petřín observatory, where I was able to view heavenly bodies using of modern telescopes.
Buying Stuff in Prague
Pretty much everything under the sun is in Prague Market. Its colorful stalls offer food, souvenirs, and a whole lot more, including portable electronics. Cloth Hall in Krakow immediately came to mind when I visited Prague Market, where I also got the chance to try out some local delicacies like Kulajda, Svickova, and Gloulash.
This is another great place to score sumptuous souvenirs such as Buchty and Wiener sausages. It’s a little crowded, though, but still worth the detour.
Exploring Other Landmarks
This was just a normal wall decades ago, but beginning in the 80s, people inexplicably began turning it into a sort of shrine for John Lennon, filling in the surface with Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from Beatles songs. Today, it has become one of the many landmarks in Prague.
Prague’s tallest landmark is the TV Tower. At 216 meters high, it also offers a panoramic view of Prague although from a slightly different vantage point. Interestingly, there is series of babies crawling up the tower (installed by the artist David Cerny for reasons only he knows).
Easily one of the most recognizable landmarks of Prague is its Astronomical Clock, which is rather hard to miss for anyone visiting the Old Town Hall. Watching the clock at work is a mesmerizing treat, with a succession of 12 apostles appearing from the side of the clock and the figure of death striking the time.
Now, just a reminder for anyone looking to visit Prague: 24 hours is not enough. It is a charming city, and I had the misfortune of staying for only a day here. Next time, though, I’ll be staying longer in Prague so I can fully explore its storied history, rich culture, and wonderful tourist destinations.
AUTHOR BIO: Wendell Thompson is a travel blogger who has extensively explored European destinations. He is particularly fond of visiting cities in various parts of the world, and he hopes to one day compile his own “World’s Best Cities” list.
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