Prague at night is extremely beautiful! Walking around at evening and at night is the best way to feel Prague. When traffic is mostly ceasing you may view the town of hundred spires in completely different position.
More so that historical buildings are illuminated particularly on significant anniversaries. It gives you a chance to acquire unique cultural and aesthetic experience.
Don't worry, it is perfectly safe. Even the suburbs that can look a little run down are quite safe.
I passed through the Strahov Monastery gate and proceeded heading downhill and through the suburb of Pohorelec. Sadly, it derived this name through the many times it was burnt to the ground! As a result, all houses in the square were rebuilt in Baroque style. It has a small square and many historical buildings worth looking at
The first building I came across, was quite large and had a clock on its facade, this was the former Army barracks built between 1890-1893. [photo 1] Be careful walking around here, only because there is a road for cars, a tramline and pedestrians, quite a bit to look out for when crossing the road!
The building at no 155 was quite interesting as it had a Hotel sign but looked like a Church! The front had stairs leading to the entrance door. On the railing were religious sculptures. Also, the building wasn't attached to others, there was a narrow alley on either side making it more distinctive. I have now found out, this baroque style building was built in 1664, by an Abbot of the Strahov Monastery, as the hospice of St. Elizabeth & St. Norbert. Well, no longer is it this, I guess now a Hotel!
On quite a warm day, I was happy to find a group of buildings with a beautiful long arcade to walk under, quite cool because of the thick walls. [photo 3]
This sculpture (called 'Quo Vadis' - roughly translated as 'where are you going?') is the work of the infamous Czech sculptor David Cerny - yes, he's also the culprit responsible for the giant babies that maraud over the Zizkov TV tower!
This sculpture commemorates the exodus of people westward as the Iron Curtain started to crumble in September 1989. These included 4,000 East Germans who camped in the grounds of the German Embassy in Prague before travelling on to the West, leaving their East German cars behind them. One can only imagine the resultant glut of Trabants on the market - it was never a car destined to hold its value in a free market economy to start with, and they must have been almost giving them away at street corners!
The infamous Trabant - the DDR's 'people's car' which is a front runner for the title of 'worst car ever manufactured' - is a powerful symbol of the former East. I confess to having a minor fascination for Trabies - for those who are interested in learning more about these compellingly awful vehicles, click here for a eulogy on their unique charms! And, if you're still interested, rent the DVD of the excellent German movie 'Goodbye Lenin', where a Trabie plays a key part in the plot!
Unfortunately this sculpture is now located in the grounds of the German Embassy in Mala Strana, and is therefore not accessible to the general public: this photo was taken through the fence!
A tour of Prague’s darkest days: the terror of Nazi occupation and the fight to rid the city of the invaders. Prague was key to Hitler’s plans for world domination. Threatened with total obliteration, betrayed by the British and the French, the Czech people took matters into their own hands. on the tour you revisit the battleground of the Old Town, witness the power of Nazi propaganda and enter the city beneath the city: secret headquarters of the Prague resistance. Also you will learn about previously hidden documentary evidence and about the few brave men, flown in from Britain to assassinate the Nazi „Butcher of Prague“,the most dangerous man of third reich and the architect of the final solution to the Jewish question, Reinhard Heydrich.
The tour starts at the Powder Tower and heads towards the Old Town Square before going into the Jewish Quarter and ending at the Hotel Inter Continental.
No money up front.Pay only if you like the tour. Includes admission to the Resistance Hideout.
On this tour you can discover the background and stories from the communist time and experience how would life be in communism cold-war times.
The tour starts with some background history about the Czech Republic and how it became a communist country. After walking through the streets and being shown various places of interest, including the "secret police headquarters STB" and the place where the student uprising began, you come to Wencelas Square near to where the Student Jan Palac was seriously injured.
Next you will board a tram to the nuclear bunker built in the 1950's to house upto 5000 people.
The city of Prague is famous for its beautifull architecture, but there are not only the treasures which are visible on first sight on the streets. Like many other european cities Prague has lot of hidden gems and secret places. Some of them almost 1000 years old. Beneath the town is an other city. The one from before. Under the houses of patricians and palaces of nobilities a whole complex of underground cellars, rooms and labbyrinth-like corridors can be revealed. The whole city, mostly in the area of the OldTown is undermined with these historical underground rooms. Many times rebuilt, forgotten these historical undergrounds give an insight into the past, unknown facts and relations and give a picture of the life of a medieval city in the 11th and 12th century.
On this tour you will visit first what is believed to be the oldest underground rooms in Prague at U Kunstatu which is now a restaurant before moving to the Old town hall and entering the labyrinth of tunnels and rooms below. From above you would have no idea what lies below the town hall.
All in all this is an excellent tour with very knowledgeable guides and the information is passed on in a way everybody can understand.
We already knew Sandemans free walking tours since we met them for the first time in Madrid, and we loved the tour a lot. When we found their leaflet in a Starbucks Coffee, we decided to join the Prague tour as well. Guides are well prepared volunteers (usually students), you can pay them as much as you want at the end of the tour.
Meet them everyday at 11am and 2pam in front of the Tourist Office in Old Time Square, you will recognise them because of their red t-shirt. Tours are in English and in Spanish. Guides will show you the Old Town on foot while telling you about the city history in a very amusing way.
The tour lasts for 3 hours with a stopover in a local pub for a drink.
I know they are also doing Prague Castle walking tours for 300CKZ, check out their website for further info!
if you finished youre "things to do in prague" and you think you want to do somthing thats not on the menu just start walking from the anywhere in the old city and along the river to the gothic part of vysehrad. only a few minutes from one of the most beautyfull places in europe you find yourself, like in a time machine, in one of the ugliest. a living remember of the comonist days and the soviets rule over chescoslovakia. in its way, the walking in these streets is being in real prague, with the real people of prague, and the real life of prague.
the finish of this trip at the dark castle of vysehrad, with her famos cemetery and a vew on the river and prague from a diferent angle is a trip werth doing.
on the way' dont forget to visitginger and fred, one of the beautyfull modern buildings in prague, that got is name because it looks like a dancing man and waman.
My advice on going to Prague is get a guide and do a walking tour. I learned so much more from our guide than I would have ever done on my own. They are not expensive to hire and will show you places you would have never found.
For instance, the TV mast (you can see in the top right hand side of the photo) wasn't used just for transmitting programs. During the days of the Eastern bloc it's main purpose was to block transmissions from the rest of the world from going into Prague. Times have changed.
After taking the Prague City Walks' 'Ultimate Tour' on my first day, I decide I wanted to take their 'Jewish Quarter Tour'. At the start of the tour you are told that this 90 minute walk does not include going into any of the synagogues or cemeteries in the area. It is just a walking tour telling you about the Jewish Quarters history.
You will pass two important places on this walk, the Jewish cemetery, where so many people are buried, layer upon layer of earth, that not all people there have a tombstone. Another place is the Old-New Synagogue, so called because it was known as the 'New' Synagogue, until another one was built a while later, so then it became 'Old-New'.
A name you will also hear on this walk a bit will be Franz Kafka (b. 1883 - d. 1924). A famous author (that I'm sure most of you have heard of) from Prague - he is even quoted on the Prague City Walks' page for the Jewish Quarter walk. There are monuments or sculptures to honour him throughout the Jewish Quarter.
On this tour you will gain some insight into the history of the Jewish people of Prague, and how over the centuries they have been persecuted because of their religion. It is as fascinating as it is sad.
Tickets: 300 Kc
(Walks are daily at 2.30pm)
Soon we stopped at a restaurant and had a typical Czech three course meal (from what I was told). One drink was complimentary (after that you had to pay). My meal consisted of soup, my main meal was something that was said to be popular with university students - a kind of cheese pocket thing... a lot of melted cheese with a crumbed exterior. And for desert, sweets that were in the shape of coffins (!), but tasted like meringues and had cream.
From there it was a short walk up and into Prague Castle with entry also into the Cathedral (although if you wish to take photos you have to buy a special ticket). Even if you decide not to do this tour, I really recommend a trip to Prague Castle, it is an incredible area with many beautiful and different types of architecture within its walls.
The tour ends at Prague Castle with views over the city. I found our guide to be very informative, and willing to answer any questions that people had.
So if you are only in Prague for a short time - I definitely recommend this tour. Time seemed to fly by!
Tickets 1000Kc (includes everything mentioned above!). With this ticket you also get a complimentary ticket to go on Prague City Walks' 'Ghost Trail' tour.
For more photos, please take a look at my Prague Travelogues:
'Ultimate Tour' Pt.1 - On The River
'Ultimate Tour' Pt.2 - Walking To Prague Castle
'Ultimate Tour' Pt.3 - Prague Castle
And for photos taken from Prague Castle, check out my Over the Rooftops of Prague Travelogue.
When in Prague for either a long while or a short stay I would recommend taking the Walking tour of Prague. It starts every morning at 0945 or afternoons at 1300 and meets under the St. Wencelas statue on Wencelas Square near to the National Museum. The guide will be holding a yellow umbrella and it costs 450 Czech Crowns and lasts approx 4-5 hours. It's a long walk but there is so much to be learnt and seen in such a short time such as the New Town, Old Town, Lesser Town the Jewish Quarter and Prague Castle. Includes the cathedral, Astronomical Clock and Charles Bridge. Includes all the major sites of Prague.
There are lots of beautiful parks in Prague where you can go for picnic. I liked especially the Letna park just a few minutes walk to the north of the city center. There's no rush and you can easily enjoy your short living in a different culture and it's nature.
The usual bus stop for the start of the old walk is at the rear entrance of the castle (Hradcany). I recommend two walks. The first goes back down the road with the castle on your right until you come to the rear entrance of the Royal Gardens (photo shows the Belvedere). Walk back through the garden and left into the castle where you take in the cathedral and Golden Lane before walking a few yards through the arch and coming back through the other castle garden and out near the main gate for the scenic view. Stay on the cobbles and walk down to Malo Stranske. Stop in the Mikulas Church then continue down Mostecka and onto Charles Bridge. Keep straight over the road into Karlova and follow the crowd to Staro Mestke (old Town Square).
The second walk starts from the same place. Walk towards the castle but, don't go in. Where the sentries are turn to the right. You eventually come out near the main gate. Turn to the right and walk up towards the Parliament. In the little square at the top you have the choice of turning left back down the hill to Mikulas church or go through the square to the left and go into the grounds of Petrin (little eiffel tower) Come back onto the hill and follow the same path to Charles Bridge but, go off to the right down the stone steps and have a look round Kampa and the Park. Go through the park and you will come to a bridge. Coffee time. Cafe/pub Olympia is on your right and if you cross the bridge, Slavia is on the opposite corner. Have a Vienna coffee. (jedno videnskou kavu, prosim)
Take a walk on the hills in the city! We started at Sefanikuv most up to the pendulum and through the parks to the HRADCANY, after a visit we had lunch in the "U Lorety". In the afternoon we continued to the Eiffel-Tower. And from there back down to the city. One great view after the other.