Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Honeymoon to...Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a city of immense history, located right in the heart of Europe. Its a city filled with Gothic towers, baroque churches and cobble-stone lanes. By reader request from Amy, here are some wonderful sights to see and things to do in Prague. Enjoy!

Sights to see:
Prague Castle
This stunning castle is filled with history, 1100 years to be exact, and so many wonderful things to see. Wander through the breathtaking Royal Gardens, and over to the Summer Palace and St Vitus Cathedral. Be sure to watch the changing of the guard that, supposedly, is set to music reminiscent of a 1960's TV puppet show. Other sights to see are the Basilica of St George, Toy Museum, Powder Tower and the Garden on the Ramparts. With so many things to see I would definitely allot at least a half a day.

Charles Bridge
This bustling pedestrian bridge is filled with musicians, locals, souvenir stands, and beautiful historic figures lining the bridges sides. Plan to visit this bridge in the early evening to to listen to a local jazz band and catch a view of this beautiful glowing city with silhouetted statues in the foreground.

Old Town Square
This popular town square is filled with outdoor restaurants and bars, and surrounded by beautiful churches and homes. Be sure to see the Astronomical Clock (pictured below) where you can see wooden apostles nod past on the hour. Be sure to also check out the Gothic Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, Kinsky Palace and the House of the Stone Bell.

Petrin Hill
This beautiful hill filled with wonderful trails to wander through and beautiful city views. Make sure to get lost in the Maze, and stop in at the Church of St Lawrence to view the fresco ceiling.

St Nicholas Church
Apparently there are 3 churches in Prague called St Nicholas, but only one took 82 years, 3 generations and 1 family to build. This beautiful monument is filled with delightful fresco's and ornate columns. A must see for its amazing interior and architecture.

Off the Beaten Path
With Prauge being like any major city, that is, busy, you may want to take a day or two to get away from the hustle and bustle. The neighborhoods of Vysehrad and Stromovka are virtually camera-happy crowd free. In Stromovka, take a relaxing stroll through the Royal Deer Park (pictured below). With its quiet lanes, duck ponds and weeping willows its a wonderful place to get away from the crowds. Vysehrad has many secluded parks, one of which you can look onto a small board harbour.

Like any other city, there are so many different options when it comes to picking a restaurant. Lunch is the main meal of the day when partaking of the Czech fare. Entres consist of soup, dumplings, sauerkraut and roast pork. If these don't strike your fancy, Prague has many other international options including foods from Afghanistan to Japan.

Where to Stay
Hostel Tyn has a very central location hidden away in a courtyard just off Old Town Square. It is a very affordable place to stay and, due to its desirable location, books up fairly quickly.

Hotel Esplanade is in the mid-range price section, and includes beautiful Art Nouveau style decor and richly decorated rooms. Facilities also include a club bar, restaurant, meeting rooms and a babysitting service. Not that you need that on your honeymoon!

Hotel Elite is on the top end of the price range and its only a block from shopping on Narodni trida.

Hotel Pariz is about as deluxe as they come. With heated bathroom floors and massage facilities, this Art Nouveau beauty will have you feeling like a king and queen in no time. This hotel is centrally located right next to the Powder Tower in Prague Castle.

Quick Facts
Language: Native language is Czech. English is widely spoken in central Prague but not in the outer suburbs or the countryside. Many older citizens also speak German.
Money: Currency is the koruna, or crown.
Weather: The high during summer is around 70 degrees, with an average rainfall of about 2 inches.
Get there: Praha Ruzyne Airport is about 20km west of the city center and is accessible by bus and metro.

Buy the book
I found Best of Prague by Lonely Planet to be extremely helpful when I was searching for information. It is available on Amazon for a pretty good price, especially if you but it used.

Picture Credits:
Castle left, center, right, St Charles Bridge, Old town left and right, Petrin Hill left and right, St Nicholas Church left and right, Off the beaten path left and right,


ami @ elizabeth anne designs said...

ooh! this is great, i've always wanted to go to prague and i'm bookmarking for when i do!

HappyAmy said...

Ask and you shall receive! This is SO awesome. Prague is a frontrunner for our HM destination, and this post makes me want to go now! I've heard so many great things about this city, thank you for the great info!

Lisa from Blush said...

Oooooo! I'm currently planning a Europe trip for next year and you've inspired me to put Prague on the list. Thanks!


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