Hidden jewels of Prague
January 1, 1970
by Ivona Filipović
HIDDEN JEWELS OF PRAGUE
Why Czech Republic: Prague, the capital?
So many things to say about Prague, so find out why did I get back there for the second time in spring, 2015. I hope my experience will be of use to someone, because this is one of the places in Europe like no other. Some places there were a discovery to us, but they weren’t in plain sight; so bear in mind – you must explore and seek them for yourself!
Few tips: for visiting Prague (and other places)
Beautiful memories of my journey are still fresh and vividly, so let me begin. First thing first, my suggestion is if you are visiting a big city, like Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, and staying for a while, few days or so, make a list of your interests and find out more about the place. It’s great if you are spontaneous but when you are organized also you don’t lose precious time and money. Probably I’m saying obvious, but most of us forget how much is important to travel with others who have the same interests as we do. First time I visited Prague with my (other) friends I get a whole different but also great experience; yes, the city was special, it was fun and all, but the second time I get the most out of it, first of all the city was something familiar to me, so I knew what I want to see again and what things to add. The four of us made a list, and pretty much we saw everything on it and had a blast! For Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, you need at least four days. We also discovered something new and useful so I’m going to reflect on that things too.
The adventure started immediately when we came; we booked a hostel, but it was far away from the center of the town. Getting around was not a problem, but distance was, so the metro was useful and we get in every part of the town very fast. After we settle in our accommodation, the sightseeing by day and drinking by night began.
Some, let’s say basic things to see on the list were:
- Old Town Square it is between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. Prague Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj is on the Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square and not to forget walk on Charles Bridge is a famous Gothic bridge with 30 statues which dates from 1357. Gothic work are all over the city, enjoy them!
- Vyšehrad/upper castle is a historical fort; it has amazing view on the Prague. There is a great example of Gothic architecture; Vitus Cathedral.
But for even better view I would recommend Klementinum, a national library, in baroque style; you pay entrance, go in small groups, they don’t rush you, and the end of the tour, after half an hour or so you follow the guide to the roof and that view is, metaphorically speaking, the one to die for! On my opinion the best spot to see the whole city.
Kampa is an island on the Vltava River it’s interesting because there is also a museum, and famous Czech artist David Černy has some sculptures on the open. The hanging man; Sigmund Freud, the Babies, the Digital Woman etc. are some of his work, and they are display all over Prague. So, enjoy your walk, a work of art is somewhere on the open! But if you wish to visit museum or galleries, you can find the works of Salvador Dali, Albert Mucha and Andy Warhol in the Gallery of art Prague. When walking around, the Prague you will get to see also the Dancing House or Fred and Ginger, the name is given after the famous dancers.
Something that only a few discover is Municipal Library; there is the tower, made of books; it’s called The Idiom, and its work of Matej Kren. It supposed to represent the well of knowledge. It is very interesting concept, but not so well known.
The pub and comics bar Batalion is something unique also, comics are from Kaja Saudek, and he is famous Czech artist. This place is open 24 hours daily. Not so far from there is Lucerna Palace, an art nouveau building, that is the place with the oldest wine shop in Prague.
My dear friend M., is a huge food lover (but skinny as hell!), she found for us a restaurant called U Medvidku which is also a hotel and a beer pub. It has been open since 1466! Still it’s Prague we are talking about, tasting traditional food and drinking their beer is one of thing you must try! If you come hungry, as we were, this place is no mistake– traditional and quite cheap.
You don’t need to buy souvenirs; you should try to drink them! Like seriously, they have a place called Beer Museum, go there, why not? You can find all kind flavors of craft beer. But also bring (some extra) money; if you are planning to stay long, it’s quite pricey. Our adventure started here, around 6 p.m., we met locals, but also other tourists and left the place together around 4 a.m.! Guys we met were great, hanging out and drinking with someone you just met is unforgettable experience. I never thought that it would end up like that. The best part is that this friendship still lasts, and truth to be told that is my dearest memory of this place; great people!
We also went to the Dubliner, an Irish pub, a place where in the evening is like chaos in a positive way. One night we end up in some kind of dump, underground style, can’t remember the name but far away from the center and still very interesting. All the places I mentioned were crowded with young people mostly.
And for the end, something what was unordinary in a way and I didn’t get a chance to see in person before. I was surprised at first, because in a British bar called George and Dragon we saw older guy who went in with his personnel slave; he was walking like a dog on a leash dressed in some obscure leather clothes and the man whipped him few times so the entrance was quite noted, the show continued later on.
As you can understand from previously said, this is a place of great freedom, do as you like, what you like, no one cares. And on top of that, natural blondes and beer, you are thinking of going and staying there, right?