Prague has become one of the Swedes' favorite destinations for a cheap weekend trip. Many direct flights, cheap (and very good) beer and a lot of history are three factors that contribute to its popularity. But what do you have time to see and do in Prague during a weekend? The answer is: A lot! Most of the historical parts of Prague are within a few blocks of each other and although there are a lot of tourists, most of the sights in Prague are not the kind that you queue for.
1. Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)
Charles Bridge is undoubtedly Prague's greatest attraction. Almost 700 years old and lined with 32 large statues, the King's Bridge connects the city's two parts, the Old Town and Lilla sidan (little side). On each side of the footbridge, two large towers watch over all the kings and saints of the bridge. Walk slowly, enjoy the music of the street musicians and soak up the historical winds. The 500 meter long walk across the bridge is one of Prague's most beautiful sights.
2. Old town square with the astronomical clock
The Old Town Square by the Town Hall is where you will find the historic center of Prague. Stop and watch the 15th century astronomical clock play its game with moving miniature figures every hour, visit the famous Tyn Church (on the right in the picture below), eat a really creamy ice cream or climb the Town Hall Tower for a nice view of Prague. In the evening, you can sit down at one of the many outdoor restaurants and look at the illuminated buildings.
Want to see Prague beyond the tourists? Visit the trendy district of Karlín! After the district was flooded and partially destroyed in 2002, the area has completely changed its character and attracts with newly built homes and lots of restaurants. Here you won't find super-famous churches or buildings, but lots of art projects, exciting breweries and great food experiences. In addition, at slightly lower price levels than in the tourist-dense parts of town. A hot tip if you want to experience Prague like the Praguers themselves.
PS: Soon there will be a food report with restaurant tips from Karlín. Stay tuned! 🙂
4. The Jewish quarter
The Jewish quarter, Josefov, is one of Prague's nicest neighborhoods to walk in. For hundreds of years, the area was one of Prague's slums, but in the late 1800s, the area was cleaned up and new residential buildings were built. However, some of the old sites were preserved, including synagogues and the old Jewish cemetery. The old Jewish cemetery does not look that big at first glance, but if you look closer, you realize that it is crowded among the graves. There are actually as many as 12.000 tombstones in the area and because space was tight, people were buried in up to ten layers. Do you want to know more about the area's exciting history? Visit it Jewish Museum, which is also located here in the area.
5. Wenceslas Square
Images from Wenceslas Square were cabled to the world in 1989, when the historic demonstrations against communism took place here. Visit the national museum, watch the moment about the victims of communism, shop and study folk life.
(This is where Primark is, by the way, if anyone is wondering...)
6. Prague Castle
Prague Castle, which dates back to the 800th century, has been home to many kings over the years. Even today, the castle is inhabited, nowadays by the president of the Czech Republic. Gather your breath and walk up the steep slopes to the beautiful area inside the castle walls and visit some of Prague's most popular sights – Vitus Cathedral, the cute houses on Golden Street and the Old Palace. And for God's sake don't forget to enjoy the view of the Vltava.
7. The Wallenstein Garden
Big, a bit ostentatious and almost a bit boastful – there must have been a bit of a scandal over the construction of the Wallenstein Palace. Albrecht von Wallenstein was one of Europe's richest men during the early 17th century. And like all rich men in the 17th century, he built a gigantic castle. The castle's large baroque garden is very beautiful and has not only a slightly odd man-made cave wall, but also a large number of statues. It may be that you may recognize some of the statues. This is not the original - the original is at Drottningholm Palace. During the Thirty Years' War, the Swedes stole the statues back to Sweden, but during the 20th century, copies were cast to replace those that were stolen.
8. Shop at Palladium
Prague is a cheap shopping city, so the Palladium shopping center with over 200 shops and restaurants is a good stop for some Czech fashion. Go for the stores you've never heard of and skip the international brands and you can find real bargains.
9. The statue "Man hanging out"
One of Prague's most interesting works of art is a man hanging by one arm over the streets of Old Town. The man is not just anyone, but Sigmund Freud. If you are not prepared and the sun is at the right angle, you almost get a shock at first sight. Is that a real man hanging out there? Also called Seven Foot Sigmund Freud.
10. Kampa island
Kampa is separated from Prague's Little Side by a canal. The area is often called the Venice of Prague and has nice houses, lots of water and even a small mill. Here on the island you get a nice view of the Charles Bridge and the Vltava and can stroll around without too many tourists. A slightly more unusual attraction on the island is the John Lennon wall with graffiti from Beatles songs.
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