Prague, Czech Republic: Returning To My Roots
January 1, 1970
What To Do In The City That Never Sleeps
Prague is the culturally rich capital of The Czech Republic. From the pubs to the picturesque streets, Prague is quite well known for its breathtaking views and the typical postcard scene of the Prague castle, the Vltava River and St. Vitus Cathedral. Being born in Prague, I have been fortunate enough to visit family quite often. The life in the Czech Republic is very different compared to Canada, where I moved when I was very little. Here are the things I have observed over my many visits back home.
Where To Stay, Where To Eat
There are countless options when it comes to hotels and hostels in Prague. However, finding somewhere to stay when traveling to different countries can be hard when there is a language barrier. Luckily most hotels in Prague have English speaking workers because it’s a popular destination for English speaking travelers. A few a good hotels are: Hotel Pod Vezi, Design Hotel Jewel, and Hotel Grand Majestic Plaza. There are also much cheaper options like hostels, but make sure to do your research, as some hostels aren’t as safe as others. The beauty of Prague is that no matter where you decide to stay there will be things to do and it will be a great experience. Next we have where to eat. If you are looking for cheaper options the best places are always local. This is also especially good if you want to experience something different. Local places tend to be hidden away from tourists which provides somewhere quiet to get away from the crowds. Traditional Czech food is something you won’t find in other countries so make sure to try it! Here’s a list of local spots for food:
- Apetit, located
- U Benedikta
- Havelska Koruna
Prague street food is also very popular and is a great option.
Must See Spots
There are so many popular attractions in Prague and trying to see them all in one trip would be nearly impossible, however the most popular areas in Prague are Charles Bridge, The Prague Castle, Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, and St. Vitus Cathedral. These are probably the most historical spots to visit in Prague. Along with the historical areas there are also modern day attractions such as shopping malls, swimming pools and shops all throughout the breathtaking streets. There’s a wonderful zoo in Prague that can be accessed right from the Vltava river by boat. This is a wonderful option for families with children, and is a good day trip. Another great idea for anyone who wants to get out of the city heat for a day is the Aqua Palace swimming pool. The good thing in Prague is that there is something for everyone to do, no matter how old you are.
Charles bridge is a very popular tourist attraction in Prague that has quite some history behind it. The construction of this bridge began in 1357 by the Czech King, Charles IV to replace the old Judith Bridge which was damaged by a flood in 1342. This bridge served as an important trade route as it connected the two sides of the city. Now the bridge is lined with artists, musicians, and souvenir sellers, who count on both tourists and locals to make a living.
The Prague Castle
The Prague castle has been around since the 9th century, and has been home to many years of royalty, but is now home to president Miloš Zeman. The castle features a beautiful renaissance garden which is considered to be one of the most quiet places in Prague. After the construction of the castle came the construction of the well known church, St. Vitus Cathedral. It is the biggest church in the Czech Republic and is filled with stunning architectural designs and contains the Czech Crown Jewels. The Crown Jewels are hidden away, but they are displayed to the public every 8 years. The church and castle however, are open year round and are a great place to visit.
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square is interesting not only in its looks but in the variety of shops, restaurants, pubs, and stores that can be found there. One thing most people notice about not just Old Town Square but about Prague itself, is the cobblestone roads. This is a unique feature that many old European towns have. This gives the old town square its distinct look along with the views of quaint colorful buildings. The square also features the world famous astronomical clock which is considered to be a world treasure. The clock still works and can be seen at any time of the day.
For many many years Wenceslas square has been used for gatherings and celebrations. It is the center of culture in Prague, and is home to the National Museum. The square is quite modern, being lined with clothing stores and coffee shops it is a very popular place for both locals and tourists. The square is known for the statue of St. Wenceslas and his horse, showing and marking his death.
There are several shopping malls around the city. The most popular ones are: Chodov mall, Pankrac mall, Zlicin mall, and Flora mall. They contain many different stores, food options, and entertainment. For a more unique experience you can shop around the city in the smaller streets. Smaller streets have more souvenir shops and cafes than other places in the city.
The most effective way to get from place to place in Prague is public transportation. Public transportation is very important in the lives of the locals, it is the cheapest and fastest way to get around. There are buses, the metro and trams. Prague has a pretty complex transportation system so do your research before hopping on the tram!