City Break in Prague ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

Fancy a city Break in Prague? This beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic (now Czecia), nicknamed ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’ is a great place to spend 48 hours or more!

The city is known for its famous Charles Bridge, the stunning Old Town Square with colourful Baroque buildings and the medieval Astronomical Clock.

Prague is easily accessible from all over Europe by airplane (https://www.britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_gb/) and once you have arrived the city is easy to navigate and great for walking. Don’t forget to pack comfy shoes!

Here is an idea of how to spend a couple of days in this gorgeous city.

1. Letna Park

This is a large park atop Letna hill, built on a plateau above steep embankments along the Vltava River. The path running alongside the embankment offers fantastic views over the river, Prague’s Old Town and the bridges, including the world famous Charles Bridge.

Letna Park first became important in the Middle Ages when military camps were located there as it was in a good strategic location. Over time, the park has become used as a meeting place, an entertainment venue and as a place for relaxing with a drink and a picnic.

In 1989 during the Velvet Revolution, 750,000 people protested in the park against the Communist government and in 1996 Michael Jackson started a Work Tour here by playing to 130,000 people.

This is a lovely park to walk through both in winter and summer. During your walk, look out for Europe’s oldest carousel (built in 1892) and the Metronome, which is used to be the base for a statue of Stalin.

Top Tip: Wrap up warmly in the winter!

Letna Park

2. Charles Bridge

Built by King Charles IV and finished in 1402, this bridge is one of the most famous in the world, probably the most beautiful in Europe and the top sight in Prague!

The Charles Bridge is the oldest bridge to span the Vltava and at one time was the only bridge to span the river. It is 516 metres long, 9.5 metres wide, 13 metres high and stands atop 15 pillars.

Legend has it that the builders decided to strengthen the bridge by adding raw eggs to the mortar but there weren’t enough eggs in Prague! This meant that the eggs were sent from all over the Czech Republic and in 1 area, the locals were worried about the eggs becoming broken during so they hard boiled them to the amusement of the builders!

The bridge itself is lined with decorative lamps, statues and Gothic towers at each end where you would pay the toll charge to cross the bridge. However, the toll hasn’t been in operation for over 200 years. The most interesting statue is the one of St. John of Nepomuk. he was said to have been tortured to death after refusing to reveal the Quenn’s secrets. It is thought that because of his honesty, his tongue has stayed preserved for hundreds of years and it is now believed that touching the statue will bring you luck.

Head down to the banks of the river for a side on view of the bridge and if you’re lucky a Nutria might appear from the water and pose for you. Keep well back from these cute water creatures as they carry disease and can bite if you venture too close. Nutria’s were imported from South America for their fur and meat and now Prague has a very large population of them!

Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge
Taken by https://pixabay.com/users/ivabalk-782511/
Charles Bridge
Taken by https://pixabay.com/users/etivari-6021035/
Charles Bridge
Muskrat

3. Dancing House

This amazing piece of architecture was designed in 1992 by the Czech-Croation architect Vlado Milunic in 1992 and the building was finished in 1996.

It is used as an office building but at the top is a French restaurant (open to the public), with a beautiful over the river.

The building is also known as Ginger and Fred (after the dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire) as the house resembles a pair of dancers.

Dancing House

4. Old Town Square

This beautiful square with stunning architecture was founded in the 12th century. Each year it is home to a medieval Christmas (top 10 in Europe) and Easter market.

The square itself is surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants that are housed in the beautiful colourful buildings. What better place to quench your thirst and watch the world go by?!

Top Tip: Visit at dusk when the buildings and church are lit up

Old Town Square
Old Town Square

5. Yellow Penguins (and other statues)

Head over to Kampa Park and see if you can spot the single line of 34 yellow penguins standing on a metal beam on the river. These penguins warn against climate change and plastic consumption and were created by the Cracking Art Group.

They are made from recycled plastic bottles to show how artificial the world is becoming and to show the impact of plastic waste on the environment. The penguin itself, is a social and very intelligent animal and these yellow penguins carry a strong ecological message: Penguins’ survival is affected by global warming and therefore ice melting and this much loved animal is being constantly endangered by humans.

While at Kampa Park, check out the eerie Giant Babies sculpture by David Cerny.

Top Tip: Stop for a snack or drink on the Venetian balcony in the world famous Kampa Park Restaurant

Yellow Penguins
Giant Babies

6. The Astronomical Clock

This lovely medieval tower clock, that is over 600 years old, can be found at the southern side of the Old Town Hall, located in the Old Town Square. It is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world!

Maybe, like I was, you are wondering what an astronomical clock actually does? This informative clock shows the positions of the sun, moon, Earth and the Zodiac constellations. As well as all this, it also shows the date and time and provides some fun entertainment: When the clock strikes the hour between 09:00 and 23:00, 4 figures make an appearance. They are meant to represent the 4 main worries of Prague citizens: Greed, which is a man with a purse, the Pagan Invasion, which is a Turk, Vanity, shown by a well dressed figure looking into a mirror and Death, which is shown by the figure of a skeleton. After the routine of the 4 figures the parade of the 12 Apostles starts in the 2 windows above the astronomical dial.

So that the clever clock is able to do all this, its mechanism is split into 3 parts. The top circle is the astronomical dial which represents the position of the sun and moon and the signs of the Zodiac. On the middle circle are Roman numerals, which are used to represent 24 hour time and the red and blue sections show sunrise, daytime, nighttime and the location of the trips of Cancer and Capricorn and the equator. The Earth is located right in the centre. The outside ring shows a series of symbols, which represent ancient Czech time.

The bottom clock face shows the calendar. The larger circles represent the months and the smaller circles are Zodiac signs.

Legend has it that the clock is cursed! The clock was created by Mikulas of Kadan and once he had finished his masterpiece he was approached by other countries who wanted him to create a similar clock for them. However, when the Prague city councillors found out about these offers, they burned out Mikulas’s eyes to make sure that no other country could have a similar clock. Mikulas was driven mad and vowed to take revenge so he committed suicide by throwing his body into the clock mechanisms. The legend says that his suicide cursed the clock as it broke and anyone who tried to fix it would also become mad.

Top Tip: For the best view, buy a ticket to the Old Town Hall where you can view the clock from the tower’s chapel

Astronomical Clock
Astronomical Clock

7. Devil’s Stream

Known as the Venice of Prague, this is one of the most picturesque places in Prague and forms Kampa Island (750 metres long) between the Vltava River and the side branch, Certovka. Keep a lookout for the preserved mill wheel from the Grand Priory Mill. It doesn’t drive anything now but it still rotates.

No one is sure how it came to be named Devil’s stream but one legend says it was named after a woman who had a devilish nature and lived nearby at a house called ‘At the Seven Devils’.

This is a great area to have a meal or a drink and you’ll find prices are better here than right by the Charles Bridge or in the Old Town Square.

Did you know that part of Mission Impossible was shot here?!

Top Tip: Take a relaxing cruise down Devil’s Stream. Book a ticket through one of the apps that can be found on my Handy Travel Apps page

Devil's Stream
Devil's Stream

8. The John Lennon Wall

Originally known as the Crying Wall, this is where people would come to pour out their frustrations with the government and authority. During the communism era songs by the Beatles were banned and people could be sent to jail just for playing them. This music represented free speech, freedom, peace and resistance against Communism and so was named the John Lennon Wall after his death in 1980. People would visit the wall to mourn his death and to celebrate him and Yoko Ono even visited in 2003!

The wall once had a large mural of John Lennon but now the original artwork is gone and has been covered over with John Lennon inspired graffiti, lyrics from Beatles’ songs and images that relate to local and global causes, all of which make for good photos.

Sometimes the street performers close to the wall will sing Beatles songs and if you walk around the corner there is a pub named (what else?!) John Lennon, complete with a Beatles jukebox.

John Lennon Wall
John Lennon Wall
John Lennon Wall

9. Tunnel of Books

Veer off the beaten track and step inside the lobby of the Prague Municipal Library to view this bizarre, but amazing piece of architecture!

Created by a Slovak Artist named Matej Kren in 1998, the books used were rescued from landfill or donated. The internal lights are disguised as books and inside the column at the base and the ceiling are mirrors to create the illusion of an endless tower of books!

This creation is not to be missed!

Top Tip: Opening hours are 10:00-20:00 Wednesdays to Saturdays, 13:00-20:00 on Mondays and 13:00-18:00 on Sundays

Tower of Books
Tower of Books

10. Wenceslas Square with Parliament building

If you feel the need for some retail therapy then head on over to Wenceslas Square, which is more like a boulevard! This is located in the centre of Prague’s New Town and has the most pedestrian traffic in the country! It is is lined with shops, offices, bars, hotels, currency exchanges, fast food restaurants and even a few strip clubs!

It is named after Saint Wenceslas who was the patron saint of Bohemia and has been the setting for demonstrations during the Velvet Revolution and the Nazi occupation, celebrations such as when the Czechoslovak hockey team beat the USSR during theIce Hockey World Championships and public gatherings. During the Middle Ages this used to be a horse market but now features a Christmas market.

Stop in the middle of the boulevard and look up it and you’ll see the Czech Parliament Building standing proudly at the top of the boulevard.

Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square

11. Narrowest street in Prague

Prague’s narrowest street is located between 2 buildings off U Luzicheho seminary street and is less than 50 centimetres wide!

The ‘street’ is actually a flight of stairs that connects the main Street with Certovka restaurant that offers lovely views over the river and of the Charles Bridge. The fun part is the traffic light at each end that signals when to walk or stop!

Top Tip: The traffic light signal is often ignored…

Narrowest Street in Prague

12. Lookout Point

For another beautiful view over Prague, hike up the steps to the area outside the fairytale like St. Vitus Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic Cathedral at the entrance to Prague Castle. Look down for sprawling views of the red rooftops of Prague and the river

Top Tip: Wear a hat in the winter, it gets very windy up there!

View point
Selfie

13. Prague Castle

This is a castle complex that was built in the 9th century and is the official office for the President of the Czech Republic. In the past it has been the seat of power for Kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman emperors.

The Bohemian Crown Jewels are housed in a hidden room inside and the castle is thought to be the world’s largest ancient castle covering an area of almost 70,000 square metres.

Top Tip: Lovely views in both day light and at night from the Charles Bridge

Prague Castle
View of Prague Castle

14. Cafe Louvre

If you’re in need of a Czech beer or local food then take a trip to Cafe Louvre. This historical cafe first opened its doors in 1902 making it the oldest cafe in Prague. Its claim to fame is that Albert Einstein used to be a regular visitor.

Th decor has been refurbished but still gives you that historical feel as you walk up the stairs and enter the cafe. There is even a newspaper stand and a billiards room where you can have a game!

The menu is quite small but the food is good and prices are good with the beer prices being even better!

Top Tip: Book a table as it gets very busy. Once inside you will see why.

Cafe Louvre
Cafe Louvre
Cafe Louvre
Billiard Room
Cafe Louvre
Cafe Louvre

15. Proudy Sculpture

By now, I think you’ll agree that Prague is full of weird and wonderful sculptures!

Found outside the Franz Kafka museum, this controversial sculptures of 2 bronze men who waggle around their genitals to spell out text messages with their pee!

The figures have been programmed to write out Czech literary quotes. However, near the statue is a plaque with a phone number. Simply text this number and the literary quotes will be interrupted and your own message will be written by the penises!

Prague

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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