Aptly touted as the “Paris of the East”, the city that threw off the shackles of communism through the Velvet Revolution and Prague Spring is now the hip, chic town whilst retaining its romantic flair and mystical magic of Bohemia. The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague has much more to offer than tourist sights and pickpocket scams. Here’s the six things you can do in Prague to make the most of your stay.
Looking past the last decade, Prague is steeped in history. Take a gander into the grounds of the magnificent Prague Castle, home to past Czech monarchs, step into the existentialist mind of Franz Kafka at or find out what went on behind the Iron Curtain at the Museum of Communism and see a symbol of rebellion at the John Lennon wall.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the picturesque town of Český Krumlov is full of excitement with a huge castle, museums, pubs and grub to satiate the wandering traveller. The view is worth it for the almost 4-hour train travel and the town offers so much more that one could consider an overnight stay to make the most of it.
Another day trip from Prague would be to the town of Kutna Hora to visit the Sedlec Ossuary, or the Bone Church, where the bones of people decorate the walls of the church, creating an atmosphere of peaceful reverence.
For a country that is largely atheist now, there are scores of beautiful churches in this old town. One doesn’t have to be a believer to appreciate the grandeur of the architecture that house sacred grounds and the intricate artwork that went into the paintings, statues and stained glass windows. A highlight is definitely the Infant Jesus of Prague statue at the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Lesser Town, which attracts visitors from all over as it is believed to perform miracles.
There is nothing more like feeling like a local than shopping for groceries with them. Check online (http://www.farmarsketrziste.cz/en/) for the days where different markets are held and get your share of fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat and wines whilst immersing yourself in local culture.
The national drink of the republic and the freshest ale from homegrown breweries. No trip to Prague is complete without at least a drink a night. After one night, you will be well-acquainted with the likes of Pilsner Urquell, Kozel’s Medium, Gambrinus and some you probably can’t remember. Beer is already very cheap but look out for happy hours and pub crawls to get even better deals.
Ditch Starbucks and channel the spirit of revolutionaries and intellectuals like Kafka and former president Vaclav Havel by having coffee in many of the cafes littered around the city. Nothing quite like getting a caffeine kick in a cosy cafe with a hipster vibe but still retaining the ambience of the quintessential coffee shop while on holiday.