Prague. The capital of the Czech Republic, historical capital of bohemia, has a bounty of beauty and history fit to rival other more known European hotspots.
Split in two by the River Vlatava, you will wonder what side of the bank to begin your holiday. Will it be in the steep hills and striking surrounds of the Hradcany castle district, or will you journey back to the 10th century in medieval Old Town? On a sunny day, there is no better way to deliberate than on Charles Bridge, which, lined with iconic 11th century statues, links the two banks with romantic grandeur.
In Old Town, it is possible to amble for days, admiring the old-style houses and churches. To get the most out of this quaint, little place, work around Old Town Square. Begin with the Baroque at the Church of Saint Nicholas, which is free to enter and often has the odd choir rehearsal inside, and head round past Kinsky Palace and toward the Astronomical Clock on the side of the Old Town Hall. No one quite knows how this clock works, but on the hour there is a small ‘display’ involving the apostles. Whilst in the region, make sure to capture a snap of the Gothic Powder Gate.
At the centre of Prague’s history is its castle district, which still stands tall in spite of invasions and fires aplenty. To avoid the hills, catch a funicular from the Little Quarter to the top. Whilst there, climb the observation tower which overlooks this spectacular city. Then, amble down the hillside toward the castle, making sure to arrive by noon if you want to capture the changing of the guard. For only 125 czech koruna, about £4, you can buy a circuit ticket that will get you into most of the attractions. Make sure to hit St Vitus’s Cathedral and Golden Lane, a quaint line of artisan cottages inside the castle walls.
For lunch, there is plenty of choice. Prague boasts a plethora of gardens and parks, which in good weather are perfect for a picturesque picnic. If you want to lunch with the peacocks, head to Vojan Park, or the Wallenstein Palace’s gardens in the castle district. Otherwise, there has never been a cheaper city to dine in. If searching for the real deal in Czech cuisine, which includes beer flavoured ice cream, try U Medvidku on the border of Old and New Town. If you’re planning on seeing something at the National Theatre, this is the perfect place for a meal beforehand, being on the same road.
Before going home, there is one thing that must be done. Beer. They’re big, and they’re cheap, and therefore booze up before being homeward bound. What better way to soak in all that culture?
Katie Olivia Dawtry