If you’re looking for a nice spot to visit this Winter, look no further. I spent six days in the Czech Republic at the beginning of January where I embarked on a new journey and made endless memories. If you’re looking to travel somewhere that displays beautiful outdoor markets, a phenomenal night life and historical sites, you’re on the right track! It also holds a record for having the best Beer in Europe. This statement is accurate. I’ve compiled a list of the most memorable places to visit when travelling to the main Capital, Prague. It’s home to the most exquisite sites which you mustn’t miss out on!
I highly recommend visiting Prague with a relatively large number of people. I was lucky enough to have visited with a group of Art enthusiasts, as Prague is equipped with some of the finest art Museums. As Prague provides some of the best night life in Europe, travelling with a large group made the adventure so much more enticing. Here are the best places that stood out on my travels to the Czech Republic!
Old Town Square
Old Town Square is a historical square situated in the centre of Prague. During our visit, the square was occupied by a Christmas Market which ended on the 6th of January (Little Christmas). I believe that this Market returns every single Christmas, so if you book a holiday here before Christmas officially ends, you may catch a glance at some of the beautiful food stalls. Baked and fried goods were sold amongst these stalls while Buskers and Pianists entertained the tourists surrounding the local area. As it was Christmas time, there were magical vibes set amongst the square. Beautiful fairy lights lit up the square at night time. Disclaimer: The cobble stones were a little rough around the edges, I advise wearing stable boots when trekking this area. I took a stumble or two when parading around in boot heels!
The Astronomical Clock
This clock was actually situated in the Old Town Square. It is mounted on top of the Old Town Hall. You cannot miss it. A unique feature of this clock is that every hour, Apostles and other characters appear mechanically, striking the time. To our dismay, the clock was actually under reconstruction at the time, so it was difficult to get a visual perspective of the importance of the clock and the history behind it. I’d been recommended a visit here though and I’m glad I took the time to watch the clock strike hourly.
Charles Bridge was my favourite site in Prague. The bridge connects both the new and old town, which I was mesmerised by. The Bridge overlooks magnificent Baroque towers. We walked through this site, photographing the meticulous views along the way. This site is in the bang mid centre of everything. Before crossing the bridge, get lost overlooking the river by the gated bridge which is covered with hundreds of locks which read loving anecdotes from lovers world wide.
The Old Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is situated on the western side of Charles Bridge. It overlooks the city of Prague. We chose to visit this location in the evening which gave us the opportunity to see the eccentric beauty of Prague at night time. As we arrived relatively late, we did not get to see the interior of the castle which was a little disappointing, but we were told by friends that it was amazing. We toured the Castle’s exterior which is divided into three sectors; the old Palace, The Saints Church, and The Theresian Wing. Had we arrived earlier, we would have gained access to The Vladislav Hall and The Charles Hall. I truly recommend walking to this site. You’ll pass incredible food stalls and meet unusual sites you didn’t know existed!
The Powder Tower
The Powder Tower was one of the original gates built into the Old Town of Prague. We visited this location without further knowledge of where we were going. Allegedly, the Tower was used for storing gun powder. Whether or not this is true, I do like thinking it is! Inside the tower was a very narrow staircase with nearly 200 steps leading up to the gallery which overlooks the Old Town. This location brought us humor as we tried to steadily carry ourselves up the stairwell holding on to nothing but a very shaky rope! If you have a love for History, this spot is a must see!
The National Art Museum
Art is everywhere in Prague, but it’s not always easy to find. There’s constantly various exhibitions being held in different locations which are easily accessible. When we travelled to Prague, we were very lucky to stumble across an exhibition which held workings of Monet and Picasso. If you’ve ever studied Art, you’ll know exactly who I’m referring to! We were even luckier to see some of the unusual pop art by Andy Warhol. Seeing their Art live was extraordinary. Whether or not you have a love for Art, I recommend taking an hour out of your day to look at some of the most beautiful paintings ever made. You will not regret it.
A Pub Crawl
Something you MUST take part in when visiting Prague is a Pub Crawl. If you book with Prague’s most eligible business, you will be only paying €25 for a night of complimentary drinks in various pubs and clubs. Our evening began at 9, and ended at 5 the morning after. We toured different local pubs, receiving complimentary beer. Our night ended in the most unusual five floored club. I’ve never seen anything like it. It held an Ice Bar, a 90’s hits floor, an R&B floor, you name it. The club was equipped for every kind of person who was looking for a fun night out. It was my favourite evening in Prague! I highly recommend this, especially if you’re with a group of friends. We were lucky enough to have gone with friends and to our surprise, met lots of people from our local area at home! Prague is definitely a resort for young people!
Other things to do:
The Catacombs: Speculum Alchemiae is situated in one of the oldest houses in Prague. The tour guides you through the old alchemical laboratories underground. I thought this spot was relatively good. The guide seemed to rush us though, so be mindful of this when visiting. It was a little off putting but I still enjoyed it.
The Torture Museum: This museum was rather frightening, but displayed the hundreds of ways torture was amplified hundreds of years ago in Prague. It exhibited some of the harsh tools which were used. A must see!
A Walking Tour: While in Prague, we took a full day to explore the city on a complimentary walking tour. Our guide was extremely nice and educated us on plenty of the old ruins and artefacts surrounding Prague. The tour took hours, but was well worth our time.
A few things to remember when visiting Prague:
Trams: If you are visiting Prague and staying for a couple of days, I recommend that you purchase a daily tram ticket. These were roughly €6. Travelling by Tram is the most accessible way of getting around the city. The Trams travel throughout the city for 24 hours, so don’t worry about travelling home.
Czech Crowns/ Korunas: As we are used to relatively accurate currency exchange rates when changing from Euro to Dollars or Sterling to Euros, using the Czech Crowns may come as a shock to you. We found it quite difficult to manage money while visiting, and it will take a while to grasp an understanding of how much you are spending. Always remember that 1 EUR = 25 CZK as a rough guide! At the end of the day, Prague is a relatively cheap city so don’t fret that you are running low on cash!
Restaurants: Something I learned while spending time in Prague is that ‘splitting the bill’ is a major no no. We were faced with some very abrupt characters who dismissed our request on splitting the bill. If you’re travelling with a group, always make sure you have the correct amount of cash ready to go to avoid any problems.
Prague was one of my favourite cities to visit. I spent it with some of the nicest people and got to know new faces. As I travelled with a University group, it differed to your average holiday away with close friends. I think this is what made it so good. If you’re ever afraid of travelling abroad with an unknown crowd, do not hesitate to go. You will have the best time of your life!