With a stunning geographical position in the northeast center of the European continent, Prague is located alongside the margins of the Vltava River, due not only to its ancient tactical benefices, but also to the serene and peaceful environment that characterizes this particular area of the Czech Republic. When I visited this city two months ago, the passionate and picturesque environment of one of the best preserved and biggest medieval-like cities on Earth really captivated me and created a new desire to explore the best that Czechia (yeah, that’s how the government is trying to “recall” their country for tourism purposes) has to offer.
According to my experience in other European capitals, Prague’s historical city center is also quite compact, which makes this city one of the best in Europe to be entirely explored by foot, with multiple charming narrow streets and a large variety of tremendously romantic courtyards. Cafes, restaurants, and traditional Czech breweries are also typical must-do experiences in the previous capital of Czechoslovakia (which comprised the Czech Republic and Slovakia until 1992), so be sure to taste some of the best dishes and drinks (Czech beer is amazing) while visiting this marvelous city and its astonishing attractions.
In my opinion, one of the most remarkable and outstanding landmarks in the city (and definitely the most stunning of all Prague bridges crossing the Vltava River), is the historical and majestic Charles Bridge. Utterly crowded with tourists and inhabitants since 9am every single day, this place is a never ending desire for photographers and painters, seeing also various honors from famous writers and poets on their novels due to its extreme romantic atmosphere, especially when the sunlight reflects over the imposing gothic towers found nearby. The view is absolutely unforgettable, with the historical Prague Castle in the background! Just have your camera ready like I did for a stunning pic!
Nearby you’ll find ancient Prague’s Town Hall, the city’s heart and soul, filled with people 24/7 from Monday until Sunday. A cosmopolitan and traditional place even for Prague residents, here is where the biggest and oldest traditional Czech markets take place (which are even beautiful and magical during Christmas season, so it kind of makes me want to return once again during Winter). The well-known baroque structure of St. Nicholas Church, the famous Jan Hus Memorial monument and the Church of Our Lady before Týn are some of the legendary buildings that you’ll be able to find in this key area of Prague. If you’re not aware of it, this is also where the gorgeous Astronomical Clock stands (don’t worry, you’ll find it!).
A bit outside the city center, but easily reachable either by tram, bus or, for those who just like me don’t mind climbing through some of the most prettier and picturesque streets in Eastern Europe, you’ll find the Castle of Prague. Alongside with its inner St. Vitus Cathedral, this is the largest castle complex in the whole World according to the Guinness Book of Records, comprising an impressive area of 70000 m2, so it obviously dominates the history of Czech Republic’s capital city, especially because Bohemian rulers have always lived here. Dating back from 870, its original structure has suffered many modifications throughout the years, but the present structure has seen its last rebuilding adjustments in 1934, after the foundation of the republic of Czechoslovakia.
Also, don’t forget to pass by the historical Jewish Quarter, as well as by the cosmopolitan Wenceslas Square. In the last one, here’s a place that everybody loves near the National Museum and the St. Wenceslas Monument: Vytopna! Just go there for lunch or dinner and be amazed as your ice cold Czech beer is delivered by train. Yes, you heard that right! This railway-type of a restaurant have approximately 400 meters of tiny railways spread all over the place, stopping at your table to deliver your drinks. Simply incredible!
Simply forget the traditional taxi companies in Prague, such as AAA Taxi or City taxi, especially if you don’t want to get scammed. Be sure to always use Uber or Tick Tack Taxi (the last ones are a new taxi company provided by RegioJet). I used Tick Tack and their service was absolutely top-notch. New cars, English speaking drivers, free water bottles, no need to tip and a tablet informing you about your route with the price that you accorded on Tick Tack Taxi Official Website or Tick Tack Taxi App.
Beware that metro is only operating until 00:00h or earlier. Past midnight, if you don’t mind to get on the night bus service, you’ll be fine. Although it could get a bit complicated trying to find the right bus line and your stop, especially if the bus driver doesn’t speak English at all.
Besides Vytopna, you should also try U Vejvodu (one of the most traditional Czech pubs in Prague) for an ice-cold Pilsner Urquell, as well as the medieval brewery from Strahov Monastery (called Klásterní Pivovar), located about 1km away from Prague’s Castle. Almost everyone that visits the castle opt to climb just a little further to enjoy one of the three beers which are always on tap here. This place dates back from 1142 (!) and started producing beer in the 13th century, so it’s a great way to relax a bit after an exhaustive visit to the castle complex. The food here is also pretty tasty. I tried a traditional Czech dish called goulash and I actually enjoyed it! It doesn’t get any better than eating delicious food while having a craft beer in a monastery’s courtyard. It just doesn’t.
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