If I had to describe Prague in one word, I would have to say Beautiful, in every sense of the word. The streets are beautiful, the history is beautiful, and its people are beautiful– Prague is beautiful. Hitler also loved Prague, and therefore the city avoided bombing and destruction during the war.
There is so much recent history, with its separation from Communist regime being only 25 years old. Prague is very, very cheap– your money will go far here! The five days I spent in Prague were just enough to give me a very positive first impression, but leave me with wanting more.
We were lucky to have been able to stroll along and cross the famous Charles Bridge every morning and evening during our stay in Prague. Constructed under the rule of Czech King Charles IV in 1357, the bridge connects the Old Town and Lesser Town (Malá Strana). There is so much going on throughout the stretch of the bridge, from street vendors, to beggars, to tourists snapping photos with their selfie sticks. The views of Prague from the bridge are stunning.
Old Town Square
Prague’s Old Town Square is deemed as one of the most beautiful in Europe. Although I personally was more taken aback with Krakow’s, the one in Prague is breathtaking. There is so much going on in the Old Town Square– all of your free walking tours will start here, and there is some incredible street food! While in the square, be sure to check out the Gothic Tyn Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, and the Astronomical Clock, the most overrated tourist attraction in Prague (while the hourly chime is simply anticlimactic, the clock’s artistic details are exquisite.)
John Lennon Wall
Just hidden on a side street on the Lesser Town side near Charles Bridge is the John Lennon Wall. Towards the end of Communism in the 1980’s, students began quoting John Lennon lyrics on this wall as a way to air their grievances. Today, the wall represents love and peace, and anyone, including tourists, are also allowed to write or paint on it. Street art is something I absolutely love because there is no guarantee it will still be there the next time you return.
Prague was once home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. So, the historic Jewish Quarter is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Again, Hitler loved Prague, and wanted to preserve the Jewish Quarter from Nazi destruction in order to make the area into a museum dedicated to the extinct Jewish race (my mouth, really, almost dropped to the floor when I learned this). Today, there are various museums, synagogues, and a cemetery to visit. The Pinkas Synagogue actually houses a featured exhibition of artwork by Jewish children imprisoned at Terezin, a Jewish work camp near Prague. Most of the children were deported to Auschwitz shortly after arriving. Out of the 8,000 deported children, only approximately 242 survived the war. The photos were stashed in a teacher’s buried suitcase. The cemetery located just outside was originally allocated to the Jewish people living in the ghetto. Each tomb contains approximately 10-12 bodies, as it is against the Jewish religion to cremate your dead.
Prague Castle is actually the largest castle in the world, spanning approximately seven football fields. It consists of many different sections, including the Old Royal Place, St. George’s Basilica, and St. Vitus Cathedral. It is also home to great views of the city.
Located just behind our hostel, Petrin Park is the city’s biggest, and has stunning views of Prague. It is also home to a 1/5 replica of the Eiffel tower. There are zigzagged paths meandering in and out of the trees. It was such a tranquil, peaceful park– quite a change from the crowded, touristy city center.
Eats and Drinks
Prague is a great city to just eat, drink, and soak up the atmosphere (and night life!). Thanks to Jeff’s Czech roommate, as well as other well-traveled friends, we were able to experience a wide range of authentic bars and restaurants. Czech food is similar to Polish– it’ s heavy, but hot. I loved the dumplings the best! Czech people are also the largest consumers of beer in the world (don’t tell the Germans!)
We went to the Vytopna Railway Restaurant, where your drinks are delivered by train.
Have you ever been to Prague? What is your favorite photo?