Prague. The city of a hundred spires. A place boasting spellbinding architecture with baroque details, gothic castles abound, ornate archways and dramatic ceilings. The Old World European charm of winding cobblestoned roads, street buskers, narrow canals and boat rides, and outdoor food markets serving chimney cakes and pig roasts cooked over hot coals transports lucky visitors to another time.
The crown jewels of Prague’s city sights include the Charles Bridge over the Vltava River, and the Old Town Square, home to the astounding Astronomical Clock Tower.
There’s a highbrow to the culture in Prague; stunning landmark buildings centuries old show some of the best European ballets, symphonies and orchestras. There’s also a hedonistic side to the city, making it popular with stag and hen parties. It’s relatively inexpensive for a European getaway – especially for a place with such history and beauty – attracting a lot of budget travellers. Meaning amongst the Old World, there’s no shortage of kitsch, gambling halls, Thai massages and strip clubs.
Over the centuries, Prague’s culture has been enriched by the many impactful artists and literati that have called it home. The average household plays at least one instrument, and the musical influence is felt everywhere from the jazz cafes in the Jewish Quarter, to the street buskers on Charles Bridge.
The Prague Castle is worth a visit. Guards in fur-lined uniforms allude to the pomp and pageantry of the past, standing on entryway to the public playground of gardens, dungeons, and the Royal Palace.
The Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral is worth the climb up a tight, narrow stairway, rewarding you with breathtaking views of the city.
For those seeking a taste of something a little more hipster should head to Kampa Island, where the infamous John Lennon wall lives. Pass over a bridge to this tiny, easy to miss inland island to spot capybaras splashing about in the water, visit the disarming Crawling Babies sculpture, and enjoy the wooden watermill nestled amongst the houses on the river.
Classic Czech dishes are easily found in Prague. Have the roast duck, dumpling and cabbage for a delicious sweet and savoury meal from Husinec, and the smažák (fried cheese) and potatoes washed down with unpasteurised pilsner from Lokál Dlouhaaa.
For something a little stronger, head to Black Angels cocktail bar (and order the absinthe).