Prague: Top Three Picks

January 8, 2013 12:10 pm

Prague’s central position makes it easily accessible from almost everywhere in Europe and more than 5 million tourists a year take advantage of this fact. Founded in the Medieval times, gathering influences from the Holy Roman Empire, Habsburg Empire and Communism, its architecture and history allow for a unique and colourful experience. If you’re thinking of joining in on the fun, here are some top tips:

 

TOP 3 HISTORIC SIGHTS:

  1. The Prague Castle – The castle is in the Guinness book of records as the largest coherent castle complex in the world spanning over 70,000 m2. It was founded around 880 AD was the seat of the first Bohemian rulers – the Přemyslid dynasty; Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor and the Habsburg dynasty. It now accommodates for the President of the Czeck Republic. See the changing of the Guard every day at noon, visit the state rooms on the first Saturday after May 8th or the gardens from April through October.

    Charles Bridge Prague

    Charles Bridge

  2. Charles Bridge – take the 621 metre long and 10 metre wide gothic bridge to cross to the Old Town. Visit the Charles Bridge Museum at the end of your walk to find out more about this 15th century masterpiece and its history.
  3. Prague Astronomical Clock – on your walk through the Old Town, don’t be surprised if you find it hard to tell the time on this 15th century dial (the oldest still functioning) – it features the zodiac ring, the signs of the Sun and the Moon, and show Old Czech Time, Central European Time and Babylonian Time as well. Don’t let this discourage you from coming back to see the figures of Apostles, Sins and Death appear at the strike of the hour.

TOP 3 TOURS:

  1. Prague Special Tours – if you’re struggling to find a single Czech person in the ‘touristy’ city centre, you’ll find a small yet innovative tour agency just across the road from the Astronomical Clock. Whether you prefer a Ghost or Underground Tour, Communism or Breweries, you’re sure to spend a great hour or two with these local guides bursting with Czech sense of humour and enthusiasm. If you’re part of the group you can even have a personalised tour.
    KGB Museum

    KGB Museum

    The KGB Museum – don’t miss this small museum with a lot to tell. Your tour guide will deliver brain-racking stories from the communism era in a disarming more-Russian-than-Russia accent before letting you try on the KGB uniform and machine gun for a one-of-a-kind profile pic. KGB has never put so many smiles on people’s faces.

  2. Prague Cruise – tired of walking? Take a break from the streams of tourists and come down to the Vltava bank to take a cruise to see the rest of the sights. You can enjoy your cruise with lunch or dinner, music or even experience the romantic “Prague Venice” cruise.

 

TOP 3 FOODS:

  1. Prague-Style Ham – when you get hungry, enjoy the Prague-Style cooked ham that you can see being smoked at food stands in all the tourist areas. In a pub will be traditionally served with cheese, salad and gherkins as a delicious starter.

    Czech Beer

    Czech Beer

  2. Czech Beer – you’ll be surprised to know that Czechs drink more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world. If you’d like to help them out, choose between Pilsner or Budweis, Staropramen or Krusovice or decide on the pub’s own brew.
  3. Knedliky – don’t leave Prague without having tried the traditional steamed potato dumplings with your goulash or stew. Not only do they taste great, but they also allow you to mop up the plate in a polite way. You can’t go wrong with them.

 

TOP 3 CERNY SCULPTURES:

  1. Peeing Statues –if you’re on your way to the Kafka Museum in Cihelna Street, don’t forget to stop in front of this unusual sculpture. The two men are not only peeing in a pool shaped like the Czech Republic, but thanks to the mechanism, they are also writing famous Czech quotes with their stream.

    Peeing Sculptures

    Urinating Sculptures

  2. Man Hanging Out – this sculpture was exhibited in London, Berlin and the USA before coming back to Prague. Dedicated to Sigmund Freud who was born in the Czeck Republic, it expresses the human need to decide to live life or to let go. Look to the rooftops in the Old City (where Husova and Betlemske nam. cross) to find it.
  3. Tower Babies – you’ll see the Zizkov Television Tower from most elevated places in Prague. However, if you’re close enough, you’ll recognise the black smudges as babies crawling up and down the tower as if it were a climbing frame. Back by popular demand in 2001, no one is quite certain what they represent.

 

Finally, although you’ll struggle to find a person without any English, you’ll want to learn these few crucial phrases just to be on the safe side:

Beer, please. – Pivo, prosím. (Peewo, proseem.)

Thank you.Děkuju. (Dyeckuyu.)

I love Prague! – Mam rad Prahu! (Mam rhad Prahu!)

Tags:
%d bloggers like this: