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Prague is one of those cities that fascinates me. A city that has a little more to its depths; a little more history, a little more grit, more grind and more story. It is one big gothic bohemian town where old and new play side by side, and for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to visit. I was finally able to this year, a whistle stop weekend with my sister.
There is grit in the pretty cobbled streets of Prague, grit and history. Evidence of the west no question with McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc. on every street corner, there is an M&S ten seconds from my hotel, C&A along side high fashion designers, but you would be hard pressed to deny the culture seeping from its every fibre. Echoes of the past and a very open and welcoming people.
The mob culture of drunken brits on stag dos, cheap beer and even cheaper thrills, has given way to the charming side of the city with bite. The lively side of Prague still lives, but the messiness has been edged out by the culture, and for the better. Its easy to see why it has recently become a favourite amongst travellers. I loved every minute of it.
We stayed at the Jalta Boutique Hotel in Wenceslas Square the world heritage site, and location for many revolutions. Its accessible to everything and everywhere; old and new town, museums, churches, Wenceslas square holds the heart of the city.
Getting around- By bus or tram buy a 24 hour pass and grab a map from the tourist stops en-route. Wear flats, forget heels or wedges even because everything is cobbled. Walk and soak it all in, feel the beat of the city at the soles of your feet.
Sites and Sounds- The Charles Bridge leads your into old town, its a tourist trap but don’t be deterred, take the time to enjoy the views of the city from the bridge. Stop at the different vendors and haggle over something touristy. The statues could do with a bit of a clean, but no matter you are in the heart of Prague, take it in.
The Astronomical clock in the old town square, Staromestske namesti, where one would be forgiven to think that for a moment they are transported to Time Square, was another fun touristy site. We aptly burst into applause at The Walk Of The Apostles like the bunch of tourists we are…
Must do- If there is one thing you have to do in Prague, its go to the museums, the city is crawling with them. The Museum of Communism is a fortress of history, so take some time to get educated on the the revolutions that brought the city to its knees and gave it a rebirth. The story of Jan Palach, the student who set himself alight in protest to the end of the Prague Spring, is spine-chillingly moving.
The Gallery of Art in the Old Time Square, flanked by the imposing gothic spires of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, had on exhibit works of Alfons Mucha, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol whilst I was in town, the best happenstance! Observe the stark contrast in style between the three, and the sheer commercialism of Warhol when you compare his early works to the new stuff…oddly, he was a man who defined his time and told the tide of the future, but I do prefer his early works.
Put Prague down on your bucket-list and go again and again.