Prague, oh Prague. You truly are a fairytale city.
Before going to Europe, everyone raved about Prague, and I must say, the city lived up to the expectations.
(I do realize how photo heavy these posts are. It’s like picking a favorite child, though, so I just insert a good chunk of the pictures I took. Hopefully you all don’t mind ; ) Also, you can click on any picture to see it full size.)
When we first arrived, after dropping off the bags, we headed dinner at U Cisaru, a lovely little restaurant on Prague’s Castle Hill. We tried traditional a traditional Czech meal of paté, beef and dumplings (by we, I mean I tried Michael’s), with our fair share of Pilner too, of course.
Next we took a Prague by night walking tour. This was the perfect introduction of Prague, walking through Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, and to the Magical Charles Bridge lined with saints. Seeing the Prague transformed from the warm sunset glow to night lit up by illuminated buildings was stunning.
One stop on the tour was a quaint restaurant for drinks and a lively accordion player. You haven’t lived until you spend an evening in the basement of a pub in Prague, singing and cheers-ing “na zdraví” with a room of people. Fun fact – in Prague, men typically drink lighter colored beer, while darker, sweeter beers are for the women. I did have one of these dark lagers during the night tour, and it was exceptionally good.
The next day was all about more Prague sites. We visited the 1,000 year old Prague Castle (the largest ancient castle, says the Guinness Book of World Records) with the St. Vitus Cathedral in the grounds. Each wing is opulent and grand. The castle, its history, and the views it provides are all extraordinary.
We spent time seeing the Powder Gate, Europe’s oldest surviving Jewish cemetery, and the astronomical clock. We explored Old Town Square and the Estates Theatre, visited an outdoor market, viewed lots of Prague crystal, and took a relaxing cruise on the beautiful Vltave River. We strolled Kampa Square and saw David Cerny’s “Babies” and “Hanging Out.”
Prague has a long history of adaptations and changes, which is clearly visible from the different styles throughout. The city was not destroyed by WWII, like a lot of other central European cities, so ancient historically aged structures are found throughout in styles from medieval gothic, to baroque, to communist-era.
I also loved Czech humor. Our local guide, Andre, was so funny (in addition to being incredibly knowledgeable). He joked, ” Us Czech’s don’t shoot each other, so we have to make fun of each other.” And that they do.
Okay, so I got just a little bit of history in there, but basically, Prague is a city of dreams. A cathedral, a statue, or an ancient artifact is around every corner. So yeah, Prague, I like you.