Dear traveling friends,
today we are talking about my last trip, Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. I was there taking advantage of the All Saints' Bridge, which lasted a total of 4 days.
Let's start by saying that Prague? a city? magic that surely will not disappoint? your expectations,? very economical and you can run very well independently.
Before leaving for ?,? it is useful to make some precautions to be able to enjoy this experience to the maximum.
The first factor to consider? definitely the season. Prague? a city? from the continental climate, so the best season to visit it? between May and September. The winter ? particularly cold, with constant risk of snowfall. We, who went in late October, have already? found temperatures around 0? C, a strong and cold Siberian wind, rain and one day even a little? of sleet.
After evaluating the period, you have to choose how many days to dedicate to visiting the city. Keep in mind that Prague has numerous attractions and places to visit, sometimes very distant from each other,? very crowded with tourists. I highly recommend to provide at least 3 full days, 4 or 5 if you want to move at a faster pace? bland.
Another thing to keep in mind? the location of the hotel. Prague has a large historic center, entirely pedestrianized, all with an extremely crowded road surface, quite uncomfortable to deal with with suitcases in tow. I recommend a hotel in the immediate vicinity of the city center, and then travel by tram, which is very frequent even in the evening. We opted for the area where the Pavlova and Namesti Miru metro stops are located, excellent for both airport transfers and to reach the center. In this area there are many hotels of all categories: Brixen, the one we have chosen, TiFlights, City Central, Raffaello, Alton, Legion etc.
As for the plane, you have many options without having to make stopovers, with Easyjet you leave from Malpensa, Venice and Naples, with Alitalia you fly from Fiumicino while with Czech Airlines you can leave from Fiumicino, Pisa, Bologna, Verona, Venice, Malpensa and Nice . Apart from these there are numerous other options, other companies etc., the choice is yours. Given the company's recent problems, I have deliberately omitted Ryanair.
At this point, all that remains is to book the flight, the chosen structure and possibly a parking space to leave the car at the airport and you will be ready to go.
Now what about the trip? booked, you have to choose whether to buy tourist cards or not. In Prague, the card that allows you to use all public transport and enter most of the tourist attractions is called PragueCard and can? have validity? 2-3-4 days. We felt that the price was not competitive, so we only bought the pass for public transport, which can? have validity? of 1 or 3 days. If you want to do as we do, as you exit the baggage claim and turn left in the arrivals area, you will find a counter where these passes are sold. You can pay by credit card, without withdrawing the money at the disadvantageous exchange rate at the airport.
To reach the city center? you have numerous options such as taxi and shuttle bus, the pi? economic? take bus n? 119 to the Nadrazi Veleslavin terminus and from there? the metro (line A) to the city center. If you have listened to my advice when it comes to hotels, get off at Namesti Miru, a few steps from one of the many hotels in the area.
As you can see, planning a trip like this? very simple. There are all the conditions to be able to travel independently, without taking advantage of the classic guided tours and without having to contact a travel agency. Don't be put off by the language, most Pragueers speak very understandable English. If this language isn't your forte, you will still be able to get by with German or Russian. In some places you will find people who speak a mixture, however understandable, of Italian and Spanish.
Let's talk now about the kitchen. In all the restaurants we have experienced on our trip, we have always found the men? translated into English, so there are no major problems of understanding. All traditional Czech dishes tend to be simple and hearty, based on beef, pork, duck and chicken. Hardly in the typical restaurants you will find in the men? a steak. Do local dishes resemble more? to our roasts, stews and stews. The pi? famous of all? goulash, accompanied by the inevitable potato gnocchi (dumpling in English) and walnut bread.
In addition to the goulash, you can try l? Bohemian duck, usually 1/4 of it, or chicken or pork Schnitzel, which are very similar to our breaded cutlets.
As first,? extremely rare to find pasta, vegetable, chicken or mushroom soups are common, sometimes served in a loaf.
Unfortunately Czech cuisine is not? very suitable for vegetarians or vegans, the vegetables that are normally found to accompany the main courses are potatoes, sauerkraut, peppers and onions, while the choice of carbohydrates is limited to bread. In numerous restaurants? it is however possible to find one or two vegetarian alternatives.
Our short journey into Czech cuisine ends with the drinks, the pi? famous of all? beer (pivo) Pilsner Urquell (light) followed by Kozel (dark). As in much of the world, the mineral waters are Italian and French. To finish the meal, the Czechs drink the classic Slivovitz, a plum distillate typical of the countries of Eastern Europe.
Our Prague tour starts on Saturday afternoon with the program in the first image.
This round, can? be a great choice for the early afternoon, why? allows you to begin to orient yourself and at the same time begin to see some of the most popular attractions. important of the city. Due to an overbooking, we will spend our first night, instead? at the Brixen hotel, at the Wenceslas Square Hotel a stone's throw from the National Museum. Since I don't like the idea of immediately locking myself in a museum, we go down the whole Vaklavske Namesti, dominated by the statue of St. Wenceslas, up to Vladickova, where taking a small commercial gallery we arrive at the delightful Franciscan garden, which surrounds the Church of Santa Maria della Neve.
This Hussite church, an example of medieval architecture, has a particular aspect, since it? only part of the original project was completed. In fact, the gold altar and the central nave are among the most beautiful. big in the city? and stand out from the rest of the church which is very small.
Leaving the church, take via Narodni, where you can admire some of the most famous buildings. beautiful buildings in Prague, including the Adria palace (house 40) and the Viola palace (house 7). Of considerable historical importance? the plaque commemorating the violence suffered by students in 89 by the Statni Bezpecnost, the police under the direct control of the Communist Party.
At the end of the road ? located the National Theater, an imposing and luxurious structure, whose roof with gold finishes, makes it one of the best recognizable buildings in the whole city.
After admiring the theater, you can pass over the Legi? Bridge, which offers a beautiful view of the Castle and Charles Bridge, the two major attractions of the city.
After crossing the bridge, head to Kampa Park. In the area between the park and the Charles Bridge you will find many attractions such as the John Lennon wall, the statue of harmony and the Kampa museum. Passing under the Charles Bridge you will reach the Franz Kafka museum and the Prague Jewels collection.
At this point, ? mandatory to cross the Charles Bridge. The walk on the bridge, in any case a must, isn't it? certainly one of the most? pleasant, given the presence of hordes of tourists, Prague and stalls selling pretty souvenirs, among which? necessary to do the slalom. On the sides of the bridge there are numerous statues of saints, literally besieged by tourists who try to pose for a photo.
After crossing the bridge, can you? proceed in the direction of the square of Stare Mesto. All the small alleys leading to the square are full of souvenir shops, some very characteristic.
The main attraction of the pizza in Stare Mesto? certainly the astronomical clock, built in 1400. At the stroke of every hour? It is possible to admire the spectacle of the mechanics of the clock, with the apostles appearing in the two upper windows and the representation of death ringing a bell and turning the hourglass. Pu? it is advisable to go under the clock about ten minutes in advance to take your seat.
Unfortunately the clock tower was being restored, wasn't it? was it possible to go up to admire the city? from above.
Yes now? after dark and? the time has come to look for a place for dinner, not before for? to have admired the street artists who perform on the square, including a very good fire eater. We decide to follow the guide's advice and go to U Pinkasu in Jungmannovo Namesti. Unfortunately the venue? full, so? we book for the next day and head to the Cesky Raj Restaurant, where we warm up with two delicious meat soups served in a loaf, a pork roll and a beef goulash.
After the excellent dinner, all that remains is to take a short tour to enjoy the view of Prague by night before walking back to the hotel.
The second day begins with the transfer of luggage to the Brixen hotel, to then take tram number 6 from Pavlova which leaves us at the Dlouha Trida stop, a few steps from the Jewish quarter of Josefov. The history of this area of Prague? very particular. In fact, unlike many other cities? of Eastern Europe, the birth of this district does not go back to the Nazi occupation, but even to the 9th century. The buildings in the neighborhood have survived unscathed from the passage of Hitler, who had decided to spare it to make it a "museum of an extinct race". The main attraction of the neighborhood? the Jewish museum, not a classic museum, but a series of attractions scattered around the area. To be able to visit them, you need to buy a ticket at the first entrance, which will be? then valid to enter other places as well. As for the churches, staying within the limits of decency, there are no particular precautions to be taken with regard to clothing. The men are given a free Kippah to use in the synagogues. The Jewish museum? one of the most? visit of the city? and? therefore it is important to try to arrive for the opening hours (00: am) in order to avoid the crowds of half? day.
Our visit to the museum begins with the Pinkasova Synagogue, dedicated to the memory of the holocaust. The entire structure has walls painted white entirely covered with the names and dates of birth and deportation of the approximately 80000 victims of the Nazi madness.
Leaving the synagogue you enter directly into the Jewish cemetery, the largest? ancient from all over Europe, with over 10000 tombstones piled on top of each other. Pay attention to the pebbles and leaflets placed on the tombstones as a sign of respect.
Following the path inside the cemetery, one arrives directly at the Klausov? Synagogue, which houses a collection of objects with related explanations, with the aim of telling the visitor about Jewish culture.
A short distance away are the Jewish town hall, the Vysok? Synagogue, both of which cannot be visited, and the Old-New synagogue (Staronov?). This, being the most? ancient of Europe, with the interior almost entirely original,? surely the synagogue pi? important of the whole visit.
The last two synagogues to visit are the Maiselova, which houses a vast collection of objects from Jewish history and the Spanish (Spanelsk?), The largest. beautiful of all, in Arabic style.
After the visit of the Jewish museum, we headed to the square of Stare Mesto to see the Church of San Nicola, where we also witnessed part of a celebration of the Hussite religious service.
At this point we went in the direction of the Bethlehem Chapel, but due to mixed rain and sleet we decided to stop for lunch. The Blatnice Restaurant on Michalsk Street? Yes ? proved to be an excellent choice.
After the meal and bad weather, we arrived at the Chapel of Bethlehem, a Hussite church which, offering nothing of interest, disappointed our expectations. Beyond? of the purely aesthetic aspect,? worth mentioning that this? however considered one, if not the pi? important church of this religious doctrine. The entrance ticket for the church also allows you to enter a very small museum that collects some objects and offers explanations about the history, the Hussite culture and its founder Jan Hus.
After walking a lot, we decide to take advantage of public transport to visit some of the other attractions of the city. Arriving along the Vltava you can take trams 2 and 7 northwards to Jan Palach square, a Czech hero who set himself on fire to protest against the Soviet occupation, to admire the Rudolfinum, former seat of the Czech Parliament and now home to the philharmonic .
At this point we took tram 17 to Jiraskovo Namesti, where? located the Taci Dum, an art-nouveau building that catches the eye thanks to its particular structure.
In theory, the day's program would be concluded, but since c ?? still time available, we have chosen to continue with the program of the following day. We then took tram 17 to the National Theater (Narodni divadlo); from there, turning the corner, you can? get on trams 22 or 11, to cross the river and get to the Church of Our Lady Victorious. Inside you will find one of the most popular icons. known and loved throughout the city, the Bambin Ges? of Prague. In addition to the altar that houses the wax statuette, do not miss the museum that houses all the clothes.
At this point the day can? to be considered truly finished; all that remains is to go back to the hotel by tram 22 to the Pavlova stop, to prepare us for dinner. Thanks to the reservation made the day before, we can have dinner at U Pinkasu, a typical Czech restaurant. Since the restaurant / pub is in the center, it can? be useful to spend the day to book. The waiters, some of whom speak Italian, even if very busy, are still available to help customers in their choice. The kitchen mainly serves delicious traditional Czech meat dishes, without neglecting for? some fish and vegetarian choices.
The third day, what will it be? the pi? demanding of the entire journey, it takes us to the Castle, a complex of medieval origin that incorporates a whole series of buildings. Achieve it ? very simple: just take tram 22 from Pavlova to Prazsky hrad. Entering from this side, you will be able to avoid the long climb from Piazza Mala Strana, which you have to go through if you want to enter from the first courtyard. First of all, do you have to go through security, the queue? very long but also smooth, yes? limited to about 15 minutes. The entrance to the castle? free, but if you want to enter the individual buildings, which I recommend, you have to buy the ticket. There are two types, short route and long route. After having made all the necessary assessments, we opted for the short route.
As soon as you enter the walls, try to go to the small information office, which sometimes also sells tickets, in order to avoid the long queue at the other ticket offices located in the courtyards.
After a long line under a heavy sleet, we finally manage to enter the Cathedral of San Vito. Don't miss the light effects created by the magnificent stained glass windows.
Take all the time you think necessary to visit the Cathedral, the largest building. nice of the castle. In addition to the stained glass windows, the other three attractions of greatest interest are:
- the Royal Mausoleum, in the center of the cathedral
- the tomb, completely in silver, of San Giovanni, in the apse.
- the chapel of San Wenceslao, in the right aisle, at the end of the path.
Going around the cathedral, you come to the Basilica of San Giorgio. The beauty of the red brick façade contrasts with an interior that offers no particular attractions.
Leaving the Basilica, you arrive at the Vicolo d? Oro, once the street of the goldsmiths which now houses a whole series of souvenir shops and reconstructions of houses of the time. Right in front of the entrance to the alley, you enter a museum that houses a collection of armor and weapons, as well as a small shooting range, where by paying a little extra, you can try your hand at crossbow shooting. The last castle attraction we visited? was the Old Royal Palace. To be the master? certainly the Sala Vladislao, but also some of the rooms of the palace are definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, in order to take the photos, you need to purchase a pass.
At this point, we left the castle to continue with the tour of this area of Prague. In addition to there? that I have described, in case of interest, you can see the exhibition dedicated to the history of the castle, the museum at the Lobkovicz Palace and the Powder Tower (closed on the day of our visit for restoration). If you manage to make it in time, at 12:00 you can try to watch the changing of the guard at the main entrance of the castle.
Leaving, we took Loretanska Street to Loreta, where you can admire the Holy House, a reproduction of the house of the Virgin Mary, the baroque Church of the Nativity? and finally the collection of religious treasures. To be able to take the photos you have to pay extra.
Not far from Loreta, c ?? the Strahov Monastery. Entering from the courtyard of the monastery, can you? visit an art gallery. I wait more? important of this museum? the absolute scarcity? of tourists: you will then have the opportunity? to observe works of art, rich religious relics and some beautiful rooms in absolute tranquility. In the entrance located next to the church of the monastery, you can access the Library. Upon entering, you can visit two of the most literary themed rooms? beautiful in the world, the Theological and Philosophical rooms. To be able to photograph them, which I highly recommend, you have to pay a little extra.
Leaving the monastery, a long descent awaits us along the Uvoz streets and the splendid Nerudova, where there are some beautiful Renaissance-style buildings. After the descent, you will find yourself in Piazza Mala Strana, where the Church of San Nicola stands out. Unfortunately, we arrived after closing time. Peering inside, we were able to see that it was undergoing complete restoration, so? we decided not to go back the following day.
Being late, we took tram 22 back to Stare Mesto. In the center there are many restaurants: we opted for U Supa, a traditional brewery revisited in a modern way, where? It is possible to taste the beer produced by them and the typical Czech dishes enriched with a touch of originality.
The last day, we decide to dedicate it to the visit of the Civic House and the Museum of the city? of Prague.
Unfortunately, visiting the Civic House (Obecni dum)? a titanic undertaking. Only guided tours are possible. We were already? left prepared for this, but not for the fact that there was only one expected within three days, obviously sold out. Considering that the visit seems to be very interesting, I advise you to go as soon as possible to try to book the entrance, maybe, if you are lucky, after a few days you will be able to find free places.
After this unsuccessful attempt, we go on foot to the Museum of the city? of Prague, which is located a stone's throw from the Florenc metro station.
The museum, very interesting and well organized, traces the history of the city, starting from the ancient finds of the age? from stone to objects dating back to the early 900s. The biggest attraction? important of the museum? certainly the imposing and very detailed model of the city, made in 1830.
Still having some time available, we decide to go to the museum of communism. Pay attention, the seat of the museum is? recently moved to via Celnici 1031/4, in the same building as the Billa supermarket a stone's throw from Piazza della Repubblica, if your guide doesn't? recently, you risk going to the wrong place.
This interesting museum traces the history of communism in the Czech Republic, through a series of explanatory panels and memorabilia from the period. Surely not ? on the level of the Museum of Terror in Budapest, but still worth a visit.
Unfortunately, the time available to us? finished; all that remains is to retrieve your luggage at the hotel and take public transport back to the airport.
In case you have more? days, don't worry, Prague still has plenty to see!
For a long time will we carry within us the memories and emotions of this city? magic that surely will not disappoint you.
Thank you for following me in this story.