Prague is BEAUTIFUL – Just the way I imagined it. Walkable weather, classy locals and absolutely picturesque Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches. Some churches and streets don’t even look real – they are THAT good. I felt like I belonged there and my quirky aesthetic needs were graciously met. I wanted to visit Prague for a long time now and I’m so glad that I did.
Our flight from London reached mid night in Prague and the drive to the hotel from the air port was close to 35/40 minutes. Even though the hotel wasn’t that great, but the location was perfect. We woke up late the following day and went down to have breakfast. The sight of coffee and pastries always make me happy. Period. I saw lines of various pastries and a huge espresso machine and I knew that, my day is going to go good. Forget good, it was great.
We sat down to a leisurely breakfast (when you have kids traveling with you, you can’t really rush them). Since I had already planned my days in Prague, I was happily sipping on the rich espresso and admiring the espresso cups.
Day 1 started with visiting Old Town Square. We took the bus to the Old Town Square. The weather was really great – not so warm, not so cold and like I mentioned earlier, just the right kind of weather where you want to get into some comfortable shoes and keep walking aimlessly.
Old Town Square catches your attention right away. Its pristine beauty is impressive. There are three main attractions here – Astronomical Clock, Jan Hus Memorial and Týn Cathedral with its iconic towers.
My kids were instantly fascinated with the clock tower and we decided to go on top. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest and still operating astronomical clock in the world. The clock is flanked by four small statues – Vanity, Miser, Death, a figure representing lust and earthly pleasures. On the hour, the skeleton rings the bell and immediately all other figures shake their heads, side to side, signifying their unreadiness “to go.”
As I read it somewhere, quoting word by word – When the clock strikes the hour, bells ring, the walk of the Apostles begins, the Gothic sculptures move, a cock crows and a trumpeter blast sets off a tourist-pleasing show, a sight everyone should see at least once. For the most fanfare, catch the display at noon or at midnight.
We spent some good time of time in Old Town square sampling this pastry called Trdelník– you gotta love these sweet pastries, watched couples do some impromptu dancing, the carriage rides and generally watching the stream of tourists.
Around late afternoon, we walked down by the river and went for a river cruise. The two-hour drift along the Vltava River was pretty scenic. We got to the upper deck enjoyed the top Prague attractions such as Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge and National Theatre.
Day 2 started with a sugar rich breakfast for me and as always I was caffeine high. We didn’t rush our breakfast and sat down interacting with other tourists and ate in leisure. Back home, we never get to sit down for breakfast and enjoy a meal without rushing, right?
We had decided to devote the whole day to Prague Castle. We spent close to 6 hours inside the castle visiting St. Vitus Cathedral and Romanesque Basilica of St. George, which has stunning stained glass windows. Just walking up towards the castle was a surreal experience. I could totally imagine how people felt 4-5 centuries ago, coming from some distant town or a village and gazing upon Hradčany castle for the first time.
The two pictures below are of St. Vitus Cathedral, which is the biggest and most important church in Czech Republic. It’s located within Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many kings and Roman Emperors.
Inside St. Vitus Cathedral
Our afternoon was spent crossing the Charles Bridge, exploring the Jewish Quarter and Lennon’s wall.
Day 3 was spent on visiting Absinthe bars, Vegan restaurants, Prop hunting and photographing the cobblestone streets and old carved doors. I must admit, I have a thing for Old carved doors and lone park benches. I feel like they have silently witnessed a lot.
We spent our last evening at Wenceslas Square which is actually more of a boulevard than a square. It was within 10 minutes walking distance from our hotel.
The statue below belongs to St. Wenceslas on his horse. He was a good King and murdered a thousand years ago by his brother, and the patron saint of the Czech Republic. This square buzzes with shoppers, daters and tourists.
Fun things about Prague –
Absinthe – I was surprised to see so many Absinthe shops and stores in Prague and as always, I started to read and found out that, centuries ago intellectuals used to gather up in Prague and get high on Absinthe. A genuine bottle of Absinthe can contain a very high level of alcohol. A friend told me recently that, Absinthe was banned in USA for a long time.
Beer – Tried Beer for the first time in my life in Prague. I had to, right? Pilsner Urquell comes from Prague. There are a lot of Breweries I spotted in Prague.
Lennon’s Wall – There is a Graffiti wall dedicated to Lennon on the other side of Charles Bridge and it was on my older son’s list of things to do in Prague but here is the thing – Lennon never visited Prague. 🙂
We chanced upon this restaurant and became an instant fan. This place right next door to our hotel. Vegan restaurant – Etnosvet
Coffee – I had it on my list to try coffee at this place and now it’s checked off. – Můj šálek kávy.
If you missed my post on London, here it is – LONDON – Grey Skies and Red Buses
Coming up – Vienna