Picturesque Prague

A fascinating baroque style city with beautiful ancient landscapes, and Art Deco style architecture, Prague is rich in history, and bursting with culture. It is home to hundreds of art galleries, concert halls, museums and relaxing cafes. The city is situated on the River Vltava so there are bridges galore. One of the most famous bridges, the Charles Bridge is a walking bridge that offers spectacular views of Prague’s most famous castle, the Karlstejn Castle.

Prague is a very picturesque destination; an ideal vacation for the photographer enthusiast. However, if you are not a fan of the museums and galleries, you will not be impressed with Prague as there is little to do outside of visiting museums, and going to concert halls.

In my opinion, a long weekend is more than enough to see all that Prague has to offer. If you arrive in Prague during the daytime, I would recommend taking public transportation to your hotel to get yourself acquainted with the area, and the transportation system. When arriving at the airport, purchase an all day pass (approximately $5 USD) that allows 24-hour access to all forms of public transportation in Prague, which includes the metro, buses, and trams. Beyond the first day, unless you want to venture out to the outer parts of Prague, you can pretty much travel on foot.

We stayed at the K+K Hotel Central. It’s a fairly inexpensive (approximately $150 USD per night), but very nice hotel. The rooms are fairly small, but the location is central; a 5 minute walk to the Wenceslas Square. Make sure to book the K+K Hotel in Central, the other one in Fenix is near the equivalent of the red light district.

A perfect day on foot would entail starting from the Old Town center and walking to the Wenceslas Square. By the way, remember to stop by one of the stands near the square for a potato pancake, and hot wine if it’s the wintertime (it’s a bit of a hit or miss with the different vendors, but we scored a delicious treat). Along the way, you will come across the infamous Prague Astronomical Clock. The significance of this clock lies in the artistic beauty, and the magnitude of respect that people had for heavenly order. Ironically enough, legend has it that the inventor’s eyes were gouged out in order to prevent him from making another one for another country. However, to truly appreciate this intricate masterpiece to its fullest, watch a show of the procession of the Twelve Apostles every hour, on the hour in front of the tower. For a nominal fee, you can climb up the tower to take striking pictures of the square.

After you enjoy the show, you should proceed to the Charles Bridge where you will be dazzled by the view. This is the place to capture the amazing scenery that is the bridge, the river, the amazing landscape and the view of the Karlstejn Castle. Unfortunately, they have been doing repair work on the bridge, obstructing the magnificent views. I am not certain as to when the construction work on the bridge will be completed, but it might be a good idea to check in advance before booking your trip. Also, for a nominal fee, you can climb to the top of the bridge tower, and take more scenic pictures from above.

After you make your way across the bridge, travel uphill to the Karlstejn Castle. Inside this huge magnificent castle, you can visit various courts, room, and the big beautiful church inside the castle. After the castle, tour the base of the castle. Cafes, restaurants, and shops featuring some of the finest Bohemia crystal at affordable prices surround the base of the castle.

After a day of sightseeing, enjoy a very romantic meal at a Zvonice, a restaurant atop the historic Jindrisska tower. This is an absolute jewel. Situated on the top 3 floors of the tower, you will be blown away by the panoramic view, and more so by the food. For me personally, this restaurant was the highlight of the romantic weekend getaway.

Those are probably the highlights of Prague. For the remaining part of the weekend, take leisurely strolls, enjoy the cafes, and just relax. One complaint I do have is that unlike the States, smoking is not banned in bars and restaurants. The culture in Europe actually embraces smoking so the smoking area is the dominant area in the restaurant, and the non-smoking area usually gets the small alcove in the back.

Nonetheless, Prague is definitely the place to visit. The only backdraw is that it is not as cheap as it used to be with the advent of the Bourne series and Mission Impossible in the 90s. However, it is definitely still worth the trip and experience


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