Our Prague trip was a load of fun. We picked up a eyewitness travel book and here are some of the highlights/suggestions we recommend (from the book and our opinions) should you decide to take a trip!
- Prague Castle: A must-see! One of the Prague’s Top Ten! The hilltop fortress of the Premyslids is home of the CR. Spend a day exploring the castle’s many impressive palaces, churches, galleries and gardens. Note: there is quite an incline to get to the castle, beware of the many stairs if you dare to bring a stroller!
- St. Vitus’s Cathedral: The glory of the castle complex, St. Vitus’s took more than 500 years to build. Climb its southern tower for wonderful views of Prague, or visit its crypt to see the tombs of Bohemia’s Holy Roman Emperors. This Cathedral has a free entry, but a long line. Take your camera as it is free to take pictures.
- Old Town Square: At the heart of the city, no visitor should or is likely to miss this marketplace. It dates back to the 11th century and houses the astronomical clock. Stop by the clock at the ringing of the hour to catch a fun show. The clock relates the movement of teh planets around the earth and the sun and moon through the signs of the zodiac. It is decorated with paintings by Josef Manes.
- The Loreto: A baroque shrine of the Virgin Mary. Also a hike to get to (unless you take a taxi or bus) so prepare to bring a baby carrier! This was not quite all it is cracked up to be- I would not recommend going unless you are very interested in historical replicas of the Virgin Mary. If you do go- bring you student ID card for a discount on the ticket. There is a $5.00 fee for taking pictures, without this badge, you must place your camera out of eye-sight.
- St. Agne’s Convent: A must-see. It is out of the way to get to (not in the downtown area), but worth the trek! A very quite and beautiful place. Prague’s oldest Gothic building is now home to the National Gallery’s collection of medieval art and remains a monument to its founder- a princess who have up a life at the court to pursue her faith. Bring your student ID for a discuounted ticket, there is also a family pass available for a discounted rate.
- Charles Bridge: Very beautiful- consider taking a boat tour. Some boat tours include the cost of the Charles Bridge Musuem in the cost of the boat ticket as well as a drink and snack ($15.00 is resonable ticket price)! This bridge links the city across the River Vltava. Warning: due to the incessant crowds and trinket stalls- it is better to visit in the early morning. Boat rides start at 10 am.
- Tipping: 15% is expected at most restaurants.
- City Public Transport: Consider using this system!You can buy a 24 hour/3 day/5 day pass valid for unlimited use on the metro, tram, and bus. Validate the ticket once, sign the back, and enjoy the ride (no need for continual re-validation of the ticket). Try to get an english map to better strategize your time.
- Restaurants/Shopping: There are many local stores and chain shops. H&M, tea shops, Starbucks, subway, KFC, McDonalds…you name it! The main local CZ retail store can be discovered in various locations throughout Prague and is worth a visit. A store called Blue is neat to look in as well (though not for purchasing- it houses expensive trinkets). Mango is a fun and affordable fashion shop that is worth a visit. When traveling to the train station, consider stopping by Oxalis on the second floor which houses over 50 different loose leaf teas at affordable prices of approx. $2.00 for small bag (I recommend trying the Irish Cream tea)! Bohemian Bagel is also a great place to stop in for a bagel and cream cheese for $2.00 or try a bagel sandwhich for more delicious meal. One tea shop on the incline to the Loreto was featured in the movie Amadeus- worth a visit to see.
- Dog Mess: Local CZ’s love their dogs and are notoriously careless- so watch your step!
- Weather: very hot in the summer months. Most accomodations will not have air conditioning. Consider traveling at a cooler time or prepare to drink lots of water and dress in light attire!
- Food: Prague has great sausage and pizza stands, be sure to pick one up! Also, try their fried cheese- very good! It can be pricey (depending on which place you order it at) but delicious. Comparable to a large mozzarella stick.
- Train: A train ticket can be purchased for day trips outside of Prague. A ride to Germany is only 5 hours and worth a visit! Ticket costs run at $60.00 for an adult round-trip ticket for the full-ride to Germany. Shorter trips decline in price. The train is not air-conditioned, so consider the time of your travel and plan for an early morning/late evening ride.
Thanks for reading! Check out my facebook page for more pictures!