If you’re looking for a city break in a beautiful destination, that’s also home to plenty of places to explore, eat and drink, look no further than Prague. The city is a must visit for all travellers, whether you’re staying for the weekend or a full week.
These are the reasons we believe Prague should be the next city you tick off your travel bucket list.
ARCHITECTURE AND HISTORY
While many major European capitals were left damaged after WWII, Prague’s buildings were pretty much left untouched – meaning many of its impressive historical buildings remain intact today.
Dating back to the ninth century, the incredible Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, while Church of Our Lady before Týn, in Old Town Square, is a stunning example of the city’s gothic architecture. Also in Old Town Square is the Prague astronomical clock. Installed in 1410, it is the oldest operating clock of its kind on the planet.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city is Charles Bridge. Built between 1357 and 1402, it is one the oldest bridges in Europe and is still in use today.
Sculptures and street art are a frequent see when walking around the streets of Prague. The country’s most famous sculptor, David Cerny, has many controversial sculptures on display throughout the city, including Babies (10 huge, and kind of creepy babies that you’ll find crawling up the Zizkov Television Tower), Brownnosers (climb the ladder and peer into the backsides of two oversized statues to see two Czech politicians feeding each other slop) and Piss (two male figures peeing into a puddle).
The John Lennon wall is another popular site in Prague. After the musician’s death, the wall became a political focus for the youth in the city – who weren’t allowed to listen to western pop music. In the 80s, they would use the wall to write down resentment during the communist regime, however after the fall of the Berlin wall, the political messages started to disappear behind graffiti. The wall is property of the Knights of Malta, who have repainted the wall white several times, but young people and tourists continue to paint images of John Lennon and write positive messages on it to this day.
It wasn’t until the country had rid itself of communist rule – less than 30 years ago – that restaurants, cafes and other eateries were able to serve something other than the government approved recipes that were given to them. Because of this, it is difficult to say exactly what traditional Czech cuisine is.
The cuisine has however taken on aspects of Viennese, Bavarian and Hungarian cooking, such as a liking for game meat, dumplings, thick sauces, and wonderful pastries. If you’re only going to try one dish, make sure its Prague-style beef goulash, with its famous yeast bread dumplings. The dish is hearty and the perfect fuel for exploring travellers.
When you come to Prague you also have to order Trdelnik. Often called chimney cakes due to their shape, are made on hot spinning cylinders, then coated in sugar, and filled – often with plenty of chocolate, cream or ice cream! You’ll find a stall selling these sweet pastries on pretty much every street corner.
Whatever food you tuck into, it’s likely to taste even better with a beer – which will more often than not be Krusovice, Kozel or Pilsner. The Czechs drink more beer than any other nationality, and often, beer is cheaper to buy than water!
Play a visit to Prague Beer Museum to taste some of the best less known beers, all sourced from microbreweries from around the country, or for a more interesting beer experience, book yourself into a beer spa!
As well the traditional, such as the National Museum and Museum Kampa, there are many more weird and wonderful museums in Prague. See the biggest private exhibition of Apple products in the world at he Apple museum, feed yourself silly on unlimited sample in the Chocolate Museum, discover a painful past at the Torture Museum, or cringe/creep yourself out looking at the plethora of mechanical erotic appliances in the world’s one and only Sex Machines Museum.
The theory that something expensive must be better than something cheap (and cheerful) is far from the truth with Prague. The city is the one of the cheapest capital in Europe. A main course at a good restaurant will cost you no more than 200CZK (£7), while at a pub, a beer (or even glass of wine) will set you back about 40CZK (£1.50).
Getting to, getting around and staying in the city isn’t expensive either. Flights (Ffrom London) are often dirt cheap (£30 – £60), and when compared to many other capitals, accommodation and public transport only cost a few pennies too.